Disney World might be a magical place, but that doesn’t mean there are no germs floating around. In fact, because people visit the parks from all over the country and even the world, there are probably more germs there than you’d like to know. Because of this, and because we are currently dealing with a relatively unknown virus, it’s best to take precautions when visiting the most magical place on earth in order to ensure you don’t head home with any unwanted “souvenirs.”
You will of course want to do your best to avoid germs throughout your time in the parks. That said, one of the times people most often let down their guard is at meal times. This is likely because we are allowed to remove our masks while eating. Besides, enjoying a good meal is pretty relaxing, leading some to feel less worried about the usual germ-avoidance techniques. On top of all that, your hands are touching your food and possibly your face, leading to an even higher chance of contracting an illness. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these problems. Follow the simple steps below in order to minimize germs while eating in Disney World.
1. Wash Your Hands
First and foremost, always, always, always wash your hands before eating. This applies to snacks and meals alike, and still applies even if you plan to eat with utensils. You never know what kinds of bacteria and viruses you could be carrying on your hands, and bringing your hands so close to your food and your face means those germs are likely to make their way into your mouth and nose. Washing your hands prevents this from happening.
2. Sit Down
Time and time again, announcements at Disney state that guests must be stationary and seated in order to remove masks and eat. However, we feel this point is important enough to be reiterated. Make sure you are seated and stationary before removing your mask to enjoy a meal or a snack. This will help you remain distanced from others while your face is uncovered.
3. Choose Socially Distanced Seating
Yes, you do need to sit down to eat, but where you sit is also important. Will you be dining at a quick-service joint? If so, you’ll be in charge of choosing your own seating. Disney has done an excellent job of ensuring that social distancing is maintained in their dining areas. That said, it is possible for furniture to shift or signs to be removed. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make an effort to socially distance yourself from others even if signage and furniture placement isn’t forcing you to.
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4. Use Sanitizing Wipes
We also can’t be sure what has touched the tables, chairs, and benches we use while eating in a theme park. After all, these pieces of furniture are open for anyone to use, and while Disney does a good job of cleaning up after guests, you never know which ones they may have missed or not gotten to yet. For this reason, we highly recommend carrying sanitizing wipes and wiping down the furniture you plan to use while eating before you begin your snack or meal.
5. Check In Online
If you’ll be dining at a table-service location, you should have the option to check in online. This means you can avoid waiting in a potentially crowded lobby area and lower your contact with others by avoiding a chat with the host. Of course, it’s also just convenient to be able to check in so quickly and easily. As you can tell, we highly recommend using the online check-in feature.
6. Consider Dining Outdoors
Whether you’re enjoying a sit-down meal or counter-service food, if you have the option to dine outdoors, we suggest taking it. It’s been proven that viruses are much less likely to spread in the outdoors where there is plenty of open space, fresh air, and sunshine. Besides, who doesn’t love a good outdoor meal in the beautiful Florida sunshine while enjoying the view offered by the gorgeous Disney parks?
7. Wear Your Mask as Long as Possible
Because wearing a mask in the Florida heat for hours at a time isn’t always the most comfortable thing to do, it can be tempting to rip your mask off as soon as you enter a restaurant. This is against the rules however, and your mask must remain on your face until you are seated at your table. That said, we recommend taking this a step further and leaving your mask in place until your food arrives and replacing it as soon as you’ve finished eating. By doing this, you will keep your face covered when ordering and during most of the time you’re speaking with your server, helping keep everyone that much safer.
8. Wash Again
It may seem silly, but some people like to wash their hands a second time after finishing their meal. After all, you’ve had your hands right by your face, meaning germs have had an opportunity to hop over to your hands. Washing again after eating and replacing your mask will help ensure you don’t spread any germs from your face throughout the park.