Welcome to Blog 2 of my 3-part blogging series on our trip to Disney World during Covid-19. This blog is going to focus on everything we witnessed as far as safety, security, and cleanliness. Please note that I am a travel professional, not a medical professional. My observations are simply that - observations. Thanks again for following along in our journey! Let’s dive in.
Safety & Cleanliness
Disney has done it right. I honestly felt safer at Disney than I do at my local grocery store. It’s not an exaggeration. Anytime I go out into my community, I encounter several people who do not follow the rules of wearing a mask or even social distancing. While we were at Disney, the only time we personally witnessed anyone without a mask was when a person was eating or drinking.
Masks are required everywhere you go. I mean everywhere. In the ride queues, on the rides, in the bathrooms, walking around anywhere. They are required every single place. If you take a drink, you need to put your mask right back on or a cast member will politely remind you. The only exception is at restaurants. Once seated at your table, you can remove your face coverings for the duration of your meal. You do need to put them back on, though, if you leave your table.
Was it annoying to wear a mask for 10 hours a day in the Florida humidity? Absolutely! Was it worth it? Absolutely! We totally get it, and we knew what we were signing up for! We want to be safe and keep those around us safe! So, we did it. We wore masks the entire trip. And guess what?! It was fine! We got used to them and we even picked out our masks for the day each morning, just like we would our clothes. We complimented other people’s masks and they complimented ours. It was just another piece of clothing and it worked.
The biggest inconvenience for mask wearing is the glasses. I finally ditched wearing sunglasses because they kept fogging up. If you wear glasses regularly, I recommend an eye shield to help with the fog, or switch to contacts for this trip.
It’s the word of the year to be sure. Disney did it right though! There were social distancing markers in every ride queue, in the restaurants and quick service dining and even on the resorts where it was necessary. Not only did everyone adhere to the social distancing guidelines, we all became trained in it! Lulu and I were in line for Rock N Roller Coaster, and the line had gotten a little long to where it stretched outside. There were no markers for social distancing when we entered the queue. Oh no! What should we do?! Then, the remarkable happened. Every guest naturally social distanced! Every person in that small section naturally social distanced from one another the same distance all the markings are normally placed. Disney trained us to naturally social distance!
Social distancing was done very well in the parks, and it was also put into place on all the Disney transportation. The monorail had a partition up in the middle of the car, which was actually kind of nice. We also got an entire car to ourselves! We never had to wait for the monorail either which was also nice. The busses had clear partitions throughout them and limited the amount of people who could enter. Because of the social distancing on busses, though, the wait was longer. When we would walk up to the bus stop and noticed the line being pretty long, we would just order a Lyft. We didn’t want to chance missing out on park time to wait for the bus. So, if you are staying at resort that utilizes only busses, give yourself extra time to get anywhere you need to go.
Wow. The details! Disney would shut down rides throughout the day to clean every single ride vehicle. We personally witnessed how they are cleaned with a portable sprayer as we were waiting in the ‘It’s a Small World’ line. They would spray the ride vehicle and send it through the ride once to let it dry, then allow guests to get back in it.
In addition, hand sanitizing stations were placed before and after each ride and throughout the park. We were never in want of a hand sanitizing station. I have to say, I think this should be a permanent change for Disney. It is long overdue to have hand sanitizing stations throughout the park, so I hope this is here to stay.
I also witnessed bathrooms being cleaned regularly, and I even watched a cast member clean a trash can. Now, let’s be honest. Disney is always incredibly clean. You never see an overflowing trash can, and rarely catch litter on the streets. They are always on top of it. Now is no different. They are doing an impeccable job.
I was a little nervous prior to our trip about the required temperature checks, but that was the easiest part of entry to the park! We went to a tent, they scanned our heads, then we went in! It was super easy. I never witnessed anyone who had a temperature and what they would do, but I imagine they would deny admission at that time.
All this to say, I never once was worried about catching Covid-19 on this trip. Could I have caught it? Sure – it is a highly contagious virus. With all that Disney is doing with sanitization efforts, temperature checks, mask rules, and social distancing, I believe Disney has done everything possible to minimize your chances of getting sick.
Here’s the silver lining of all of it - With the reduced crowds, you get to stop and take a minute to appreciate the details of things around you. It really felt like a vacation. We still got to get away and escape the harsh realities of the world that awaited us back home. We did this despite having to wear masks, practice social distancing, and constantly being reminded through audible messages by cast members and park speakers and abundant signage. Even through all of that, we felt like we were at Disney World. We still teared up when we walked down Main Street toward the exit, taking that one last look at the castle until next time.
Thank you, Disney, for doing everything in your power to keep us safe. Thank you for caring about your cast members and your guests. And thank you for giving us magic when we needed it the most.