Although the Walt Disney World theme parks reopened back in July Disney decided to keep the two water parks closed quite a bit longer. The day is finally here, and today (March 7) Disney’s Blizzard Beach reopened its gates to guests. I had a media preview on March 4th, but still wanted to see how things would go on opening day so here I am. Here are my opening day observations.
I arrived at around 10:30 because I wasn’t sure how crowded it was going to be. Capacity is limited and I wanted to guarantee myself a spot, since it’s first come, first served. The Disney Park Pass Reservation system is not being used for Blizzard Beach. When I arrived the parking lot was pretty empty. It was in the mid-60s when I parked, which is a little bit cool for a water park. There was absolutely no wait for temperature check or to get through the front gate. There was a cast member on a microphone who announced that masks are required when walking to restrooms, shops, and restaurants. It is to your discretion if you use them in other areas, but it is highly recommended to hold onto one at all times. The same recorded safety message that you hear in the theme parks also played.
There were a couple of lines to get into different parts of the park but they were very short. I decided to head over to the Chairlift. If you’ve never done it before the view is amazing! Even if you don’t want to do any of the water rides you can take the Chairlift up and then take the stairs down.
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Mobile Ordering is still the recommended method for food, just like at the Walt Disney World theme parks. It’s used the exact same way through the My Disney Experience app. If you’ve been back to the parks you know the drill. If you haven’t used it yet, ask a cast member near the restaurant for assistance.
The cast members were super friendly, and pretty much every cast member I walked by waved and said hello. They really did seem happy to be back.
One thing I wondered was how face masks were going to be working at the water parks. For the most part, guests were wearing them as they walked around. Many people who were getting in line for slides were still wearing them. It did seem popular to have a disposable one. You are not allowed to have a face mask on when on slides or in the water, so it is kind of tricky how to handle it when going to and from rides. Most people were following the social distancing guidelines and staying at least 6 feet away from others. When it is a warmer day it will be interesting to see how that works, but today people seemed to take it very seriously. Walt Disney World asks guests to not move any chairs or tables, since they have been placed at a safe distance from other parties. All cast members, including lifeguards, wore masks at all times.
Most rides seemed to be walk on, but I feel like that may have been a different story if it was a warmer day. The people who were there today wanted to be there on the day that the park officially reopened. They also wanted to take advantage of the short wait times.
If you were wondering how they are going to handle floats, Disney already thought of this. Once you’re done using your float you turn it upside down, and the chlorine will kill the germs. You’re only then supposed to take a raft that has been turned upside down. They are not cleaned between each use.
Here are a few final thoughts. Just like always, Disney has gone above and beyond for health and safety for all guests in cast members. I think they did a great job with reopening Blizzard Beach. I’ve been to another area water park and I didn’t feel nearly as safe. Just like the theme parks, there are plenty of hand sanitizer stations, so there’s no excuse to not keep your hands clean. Cast members were constantly cleaning high touch surfaces just like they do at the theme parks. It will be interesting to see what Disney’s Blizzard Beach looks like when they reach capacity, but I’m sure the cast members will still do a great job of enforcing the new safety guidelines.