The novel coronavirus of 2019 has caused an unsettling on a global level, and Disney Parks around the world have not been immune to the havoc. Shanghai Disneyland was the first to close in January, and other parks followed suit over the next few months. Fans around the world felt similarly at one level or another: a world with no open Disney Parks is a world in which we don’t want to live. But alas, a dream is a wish your heart makes, and our dreams have come true—the parks are now open and we couldn’t be more excited. But we’re also aware that we have to take steps to ensure our safety, health and well-being, and that gets super tricky when it comes to kids. So how can we make keeping healthy fun for kids while we’re in the parks? Here are a few ways.
5. Don’t scare small children with facts, figures and details about COVID-19.
Small children not only won’t understand what you mean by “respiratory compromise,” “immuno-suppressed” and “incubation period”; what is said to them can create anxiety and fear. And we’d never want a trip to the parks to be associated with those two things. So, as with any other topic, tell them what they need to know—and in terms that make sense to them.
4. Whistle while you work (or sing while you wash your hands).
Before heading to the parks, pick out the chorus from a favorite Disney song and then sing it while you and your child wash your hands—so long as you sing for at least 30 seconds: 20 seconds for scrubbing and lathering and 10 seconds for rinsing, per CDC guidelines.
3. Make your own hand sanitizer together.
Small children will definitely need your supervision and help with this one, but it’s fun to make your own hand sanitizer to take into the parks, and since your children can help make it, they may be more open to the idea of using it. You’ll only need a few ingredients: isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel and essential oil like tea tree oil or lavender oil. In order to make the alcohol content at 60% as the CDC recommends, you’ll want to stick to a strict 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera. You can even purchase small plastic travel size containers (like those you put shampoo in when you’re flying). Before filling the bottles with your hand sanitizer, let the little ones decorate their bottles with Disney stickers. Mix the aloe vera and alcohol and use essential oil sparingly to give the sanitizer an appealing scent. Fill the bottles and pop them in your park bag.
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2. Pack a Disney-themed mask.
Walt Disney World requires Guests ages 2 and older to wear masks (face coverings) while in the parks. And while masks aren’t the most comfortable or flattering accessory to don at Disney, since they are required, why not make them fun to wear? ShopDisney.com is offering masks for pre-order, or you can get really creative and have your masks custom-designed with your kids’ favorite Disney characters on them online at Etsy.com. Don’t be afraid to get really creative and have fun!
1. Make waiting in line (six feet apart) a breeze.
There are added safety measures to limit Guests’ potential for being exposed to coronavirus. One of these measures is the practice of social distancing. If you have small children, you already know that waiting in the queues for attractions and experiences can be taxing—especially if you’re doing so during a normal nap time. If you have to wait, why not make it bearable? Bring snacks to share in line (after washing hands of course) or bring a favorite book to share with your little ones. Try bringing a bottle of bubbles to blow while waiting in line.
We can keep the magic alive by working together, working creatively, enjoying the parks responsibly and practicing kindness and consideration toward other Guests.