Welcome to the third and final blog of my 3-part blogging series on our trip to Disney World during Covid-19. My first blog was an overview of our trip and why we chose to go. The second blog was about the safety and security we witnessed while on Disney property. This blog is our Top 10 lists of what we hope Disney will keep/what wasn't missed, and also a Top 10 list of things that annoyed us and things that were missed. Let’s dive in.
There are a lot of changes at Walt Disney World currently. Some are good, and some are a little annoying. No matter what’s in this list though, keep in mind that our experience was not hindered by these things. These are just observations that we made during our time at the parks!
What Do We Hope Disney Will Keep/What Was NOT Missed
1. Extra cleaning procedures
We loved seeing the ride cars disinfected regularly. We didn’t love the rides getting shut down while they were doing it, but we are hoping to see this type of cleaning continue!
2. Hand sanitizing stations/Hand washing stations
Disney World was overdue for these! If you go on a Disney Cruise, there are places to wash hands and sanitize regularly. Now, Disney World has the same!
Normally the monorail is one large car with 4 seats, 2 of which are back to back to one another. The partitions went in between the middle seats, separating a large car into 2 smaller cars. We liked the separation!
4. Keep the “don’t fill in all available space”
While we missed the pre-shows before rides, we did not miss having to fill in all the available space. It was nice to not be touching other people in these large rooms
5. Mobile Order
Mobile Order, especially at Quick Service restaurants, made it much easier and faster.
6. Shorter window for dining reservations
Before, we were able to make dining reservations 6 months in advance! That is a long time! 60 days is much more reasonable to firm up your plans and get ready for your park experience
7. Family Style instead of buffets
From what we’ve heard, the buffets are going away. This means that most character meals will now be family style. We loved the family style options. You get to try more things, you don’t have to get up at a buffet line, and everything is fresher!
There were impromptu cavalcades throughout our day. We enjoyed the fun surprises on who we would get to see next! Sure, we love meeting the characters in person and giving them a hug, but all the characters were still very interactive on the platforms and cavalcades!
9. Fast passes were not missed
I’m not suggesting we never do fast passes again, but for this trip, it was nice! You weren’t rushing around to make a ride by a certain time and the lines moved faster.
10. The 30% annual passholder discount at the shops
Haha! Seriously though, it was awesome, and we may have bought way more than we should have!
What Was Annoying/What Did We Miss
We get why we need to wear them and we are thankful Disney is enforcing masks, and we honestly got used to them. But they’re still annoying in the humid Florida summer.
They are now limiting how many people get onto a bus, which created longer wait times for busses.
3. Narrow lines with the clear partitions are a little tight for people who may be claustrophobic
There are now clear partitions throughout rides where social distancing isn’t possible. Some of these spots are incredibly tight. For example, when we were in line for Big Thunder, I almost had to close my eyes until we made it down the ramp!
4. We didn’t care for the partitions on the Jungle Cruise boat
There are partitions between parties on the Jungle Cruise boat, which makes sense! But it made the interactions less fun with the skipper jokes.
5. Park hours
On the one hand, I didn’t miss getting up before the sun to get to the park at rope drop, but on the other, I really missed being in the parks at night.
Because of the Union, we couldn’t have any live action shows. This was most missed at Hollywood Studios, where there are so many to choose from. We also, of course, missed the night time shows, especially the fireworks at Magic Kingdom.
All of the pre-shows on the rides were bypassed. They just became part of the ride. We especially missed the stretching room in the Haunted Mansion, the Twilight Zone scene in the Tower of Terror, the Steven Tyler scene on Rock N Roller Coaster, and so many others!
8. Disney’s Magical Express Changes
The lines are long to get on to the magical express at the airport, and you have to pick up your luggage – it isn’t delivered for you! You also can’t check your bags to the airport at your resort right now. Hoping these changes are short!
9. Shops and restaurants being closed
Several shops and restaurants were closed. Big Top Souvenirs, for example, is one of our favorite places to grab a snack, and it was closed. I won’t list all the closures, but I noticed the most at Hollywood Studios.
10. We missed park hopping
There were moments where we realized we had done everything we wanted to do at a park before closing. Since we couldn’t go to another park, we spent more time at the resort, which was nice! Choosing your resort is very important right now because you will be there more!
No matter what Disney does or doesn’t do, it’s still Disney World. It’s still magical. It’s still a vacation, and it’s still our happy place. We all had a wonderful time. We loved so many of the changes. Even though we missed a lot of things, there was a lot of good things added too! If you’re on the edge of going to Disney because you aren’t sure on the experience, let’s chat. Let’s chat about your specific concerns. Maybe it isn’t the right time for you, but maybe those experiences were replaced by something even better. Thanks for reading and following along in our journey!