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What Is Walt Disney World Planning To Do To Protect Parkgoers From COVID-19

As Walt Disney World prepares to reopen their park doors to guests on July 11th for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and then on July 15th for Epcot and Hollywood Studios, they are taking great steps to help ensure the safety of their guests and cast members. Here is what Disney is doing throughout the resorts, restaurants and soon parks to keep everyone as protected as possible.

 

 

1. Face Masks

All Disney cast members will be greeting guests while wearing face masks.  This is to help protect guests as well as the cast members themselves. It is Disney’s policy that all guests 2 and older wear face masks while visiting Walt Disney World Resort.  Guests will be expected to wear masks at all times except when dining, swimming or in one of the rest areas in the parks. There are specific guidelines regarding what type of masks guests are expected to use as well. The biggest requirement is that masks do have to be secured with ties or ear loops. Keep this in mind when purchasing and planning for vacation.

2. Temperature Checks

Guests coming to Walt Disney World can expect to have their temperatures checked prior to being allowed into the parks or Disney Springs.  Disney is saying they will be using “no-touch thermometers” in order to ensure those having a temperature of 100.4 F or above will not be allowed into the parks.  This will also be used for cast members each day they come to work.

3. Social Distancing

As we are experiencing throughout the country right now, Walt Disney World will also be implementing social distancing.  Not only will signs be up and around to help remind guests to keep their distance from others, but from what we have seen from Disney Springs as well as Disney’s international parks ground markers will be used throughout queues.  We believe that social distancing will also be used on rides.  Social distancing will also be used in restaurants throughout property as a limited number of guests will be seated and tables will be spread apart to allow distancing.

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4. Hand washing

Prior to the parks closing we started to see Disney implement more hand washing stations throughout the park.  This will be a trend that continues once the parks open again in mid-July.   Disney will have more hand washing options as well as hand sanitizer throughout the park giving guests more opportunities to wash hands and keep themselves safe.

Credit: Disney

5. Resorts

Walt Disney World DVC resorts were able to open earlier this month allowing guests to come back and enjoy the magic.  With this opening, we were able to see and learn more about what steps Disney is taking to protect guests at the resorts.

Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Guests are highly encouraged to use online check-in limiting face-to-face interactions and allowing guests to head right to their rooms.  Disney is also going to a cashless system right now asking that guests have a form of payment such as credit card, gift cards or MagicBands set up to reduce contact.
  • Disney has also announced enhanced cleaning methods will be used during this time at their resorts.  Not only will high-touch areas such as railings, elevators, benches and tables be cleaned often, but new measures will be taken in guests’ rooms.
  • Attention to high-touch items in guests’ rooms will be a focus of cleaning.  Items such as remotes and door handles will be cleaned with great care.  We have also seen items such as remotes wrapped in individual bags following cleaning to help ensure safety.  Floors will be cleaned in between each guest and housekeeping will only come every other day to limit access to the room.  
  • Finally, if guests need something while staying at a Walt Disney World resort, guests can utilize the new chat feature on the My Disney Experience app.  This allows guests to communicate with cast members regarding needs, questions or concerns without having to have face to face contact.

6. Restaurants

Along with Disney resorts, a few Disney restaurants were opened throughout the property as well as at Disney Springs.  Disney has set up measures at these restaurants to help keep everyone safe.

  • Mobile ordering was a secret that many didn’t use in their My Disney Experience; however, now Disney is highly encouraging guests to use this service during vacation.  This again reduces the interaction needed between guests and cast members to keep everyone safe.
  • At table service dining, guests now can check in through the My Disney Experience app eliminating the need to check-in at the host stand.  Guests can now notify the restaurant through the app that they have arrived and will receive a push notification when their table is ready.
  • Also, at table service restaurants, beside limiting capacity and social distancing tables, guests will use QR codes to access a digital menu.  If this isn’t an option, then paper menus are given.  Both methods can help keep guests and cast members safe with less communal touching of materials.
  • Another step being taken at Disney food areas is regarding refills.  Guests will no longer be allowed to refill their own cups; however, cast members will be there to assist.  

7. Parks

Once the parks open in July, Disney has gone through great lengths to ensure protecting guests heading back to the magic.  Not only will Disney parks be taking the steps discussed above such as face masks, social distancing and temperature checks, Disney will be limiting park crowds.  To help keep guests and cast members safe and to help them following the above guidelines, Disney has put in place a new park pass reservations system.  This system has guests with tickets book a specific park for each day of their ticket.  By doing this, Disney is able to help manage crowd levels at their parks and keep guests and cast members safe.  

  • Along with the park pass reservation, Disney has stated that they will be diligently cleaning those high-touch areas throughout the parks just like in the resorts.  Railings, tables, benches and even park ride systems will be cleaned to help keep guests safe.
Credit: Disney

As guests start to head back to the magic, Walt Disney World is working hard to help ensure guests are protected and safe during their stay.  From new exciting systems to help manage crowds, to face masks and social distancing, Disney is ready to welcome guests back and help them have a magical and safe time in their favorite place.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.