The world has changed since the days of the COVID pandemic at Walt Disney World. No longer are the streets of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs empty with the occasional mask-clad guests popping out of freshly reopened shops here or there.
Temperature checks have come and gone. Parades, character meet and greets, and should-to-shoulder standing room only space for nighttime spectaculars are once again the norm on your typical day at Disney.
During the height of the pandemic, coming off of a brief closure at Walt Disney World, magic once met safety! While the COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented challenges, the Walt Disney World Resort went above and beyond to prioritize the health and well-being of its guests and cast members.
Disney introduced enhanced health and safety measures, fully embracing the latest guidance from health authorities and implementing rigorous protocols to create a safe environment for everyone.
– Face Coverings: All guests ages 2 and up were required to wear face coverings in designated areas. This policy helped to reduce the risk of transmission and ensured a responsible and considerate atmosphere.
– Physical Distancing: Throughout the resort, you’d find reminders and markers to assist with maintaining physical distancing. From ride queues to dining areas, Disney implemented measures that allowed for a safe and enjoyable experience.
– Increased Sanitization: Disney also ramped up its already stringent cleaning procedures, with more frequent sanitization of high-touch surfaces, attractions, and transportation vehicles. Hand sanitizing stations were conveniently placed throughout the resort for easy access.
1. Temperature Checks: As you’d enter the parks or resorts, you would once undergo a quick and non-invasive temperature screening. This precautionary measure helped identify individuals with elevated temperatures, a potential symptom of COVID-19.
2. Park Reservations and Capacity: To manage attendance and ensure physical distancing, Walt Disney World also introduced a new reservation system. Prior to your visit, it was essential to secure a reservation for each day you planned to visit the theme parks. This system still allows Disney to control capacity, providing a safer and more manageable environment for all guests.
3. Modified Experiences and Attractions: Disney made thoughtful adjustments to various experiences and attractions to uphold safety while maintaining the enchantment. Interactive elements and close encounters were modified, but the magic remained intact, somewhat. Attractions incorporated social distancing measures, reduced capacity, and innovative technologies to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for all.
4. Dining Options and Mobile Ordering: Disney understood the importance of dining experiences in creating memorable moments. While some restaurant offerings may have been modified or temporarily unavailable, there were still numerous dining options available throughout the resort. Additionally, Disney’s Mobile Order service allowed guests to conveniently order and pick up their meals while minimizing contact.
5. Stay Updated and Flexible: As the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolved, it remains crucial to stay informed about any updates or changes to policies and procedures at Walt Disney World. Make sure to check the official website, Disney Parks Blog, or consult with a Cast Member for the most up-to-date information. Flexibility is key, and Disney understands the need to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
Visiting Walt Disney World during the COVID-19 pandemic could still be a magical and memorable experience. With enhanced health and safety measures, modified experiences, and careful planning, Disney took every step to ensure the well-being of its guests and cast members. Now we know that when you step into the enchanting world of Disney, we can rest assured that our health and safety are of the utmost priority.
Although most are happy to see each theme park at Walt Disney World return to normal operation, bringing back popular shows, experiences, and attractions you’d expect at a Disney Park, there are some benefits to visiting during the COVID years that guests miss.
Firstly and the most obvious, crowd levels around Walt Disney World Resort took a surmountable hit, even after capacity numbers were increased. People, who felt it was unsafe to travel, just stayed home, leaving Disney World guests faced with smaller crowd levels and easier to access rides.
The Disney experience has changed since then, Disney restaurants, parks, even shopping districts are typically packed to the brim nowadays as those who chose to stay home, make up for lost time. As COVID-19 cases dwindled, Disney relaxed many of their disease control methods and procedures, bringing to life magic on Main Street, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, around the World Showcase, and in lands like Pandora again.
However, one particular safety function that Disney World implemented to ensure guests still had visual access to characters, while maintaining a safe distance was cavalcades.
Although you may get lucky and still see these short parades from time to time at Walt Disney World Resort, they’re mostly a thing of the past, especially some that took place at favorite parks like EPCOT.
Although wearing masks was a pain, some fans miss a specific cavalcade that happened around the World Showcase at random times during the COVID years. As noted by @DisneyClipsGuy on X, formerly Twitter, seeing Disney Princesses heralded around EPCOT on a magical caravan was a highlight of those times, and one that many want brought back to the famed park.
Dear Disney Parks,
Please bring these back to Epcot. They were such an elegant addition to the World Showcase!
Loyal Disney Fans pic.twitter.com/3fOZxyAmCt
— Disney Clips Guy (@disneytipsguy) December 9, 2023
Captioned as follows: “Dear Disney Parks, Please bring these back to Epcot. They were such an elegant addition to the World Showcase,” the idea to bring back this particular COVID offering seems to be popular among respondents, at least with those who don’t realize that the only reason this worked is because the World Showcase wasn’t as full as it typically is.
Still, the character cavalcades during the pandemic years were a great way to see your favorite characters along different pathways or in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort.
Likely, as the parks remained at lower capacity, it is possible that these events remind guests of a less hectic time in the Most Magical Place on Earth, creating a nostalgia for lower crowd levels and more personalized magic.