When Walt Disney World reopened to guests in the summer of 2020, they had put into place a variety of health and safety measures. These steps were to help keep guests and cast members safe while still having a magical time. After experiencing the parks, we can say that these health and safety measures taken by the Walt Disney World Company make us feel safer than the grocery store and here is why.
1. Masks requirements and expectations
First and foremost, the mask requirements and expectations at Walt Disney World are stricter and more enforced than the grocery store. Right now, all guests ages two and up are required to wear a mask at all times unless stationary and eating or drinking. All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must: be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material, fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin, fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the guest to remain hands-free. These restrictions keep everyone safe while traveling to and from the parks, in the parks and throughout the resorts. Most grocery stores don’t have specific requirements when it comes to wearing masks living it up to the guests to choose to wear one and also one that provides the same protection as those masks expected at Disney. Disney also has been asking guests who can’t follow the expectations to leave. This is not something that would happen at the grocery store.
2. Hand sanitizer and Hand Washing Stations
Another step that Disney is taking to keep guests safe is the placement of hand sanitizer and hand washing stations throughout the resort property. At each ride entrance and exit, guests can find hand sanitizer. Throughout the parks, hand washing stations are placed to allow guests the opportunity to quickly stop and wash hands. Although some grocery stores might have some hand sanitizer at the entrance or at the cash register, it is not easily accessible as it is in Disney. The joke was always you can’t go 20 steps without finding a trash can- the same seems to apply to hand sanitizer.
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3. Temperature checks
NOTE: Disney has announced they will be phasing out temperature screenings for guests beginning May 16. See details here.
A step that Disney is taking that is above and beyond what grocery stores are doing is temperature checks of all guests entering the parks or Disney Springs. Guests will have their temperature checked prior to being admitted and those with temperatures higher than 100.4 will not be allowed to enter at that time. We understand that a temperature is not the only indicator of the COVID-19 virus; however, it is a step that Disney is taking to help limit exposure within the Disney Property. It is nice to know that the other guests in the park with you aren’t fighting something off with a temperature whether that is COVID-19 or another virus.
4. Capacity limits
Since reopening Walt Disney World has had a capacity limit not just in the parks, but also in stores, on rides and in dining locations. Disney works extremely hard to allow guests 6 feet of space during their vacation experience. Grocery stores are not limited how many customers are in the store at a time making maintaining those 6 feet difficult to do. During those peak shopping times, it can get extremely crowded making it hard to stay distanced from others. It is nice that Disney is helping guests to this successful with limited capacity.
5. Traffic Control
Some grocery stores implemented one way traffic at the beginning of the pandemic; however, these precautions don’t seem to be in effect anymore in most stores. Disney however continues to control traffic with one way both in stores, dining locations, pools as well as in queues as guests wait to ride. Disney continues to control the traffic throughout the property so guests can maintain distancing as much as possible.
Disney has always been a clean place, but since the pandemic the cleaning procedures are beyond what they have ever been. Cast members are constantly cleaning high touch points throughout the park, rides are closed throughout the day to clean, and resort rooms are being deep cleaned between guests. Grocery stores, although cleaned each night, are not going through and cleaning those high touch points constantly. Carts, cash registers, and doors aren’t cleaned on a consistent basis like those high touch points are in Disney.
These are just a few of the main reasons why we feel safer at Walt Disney World than our local grocery store. We are grateful for everything Disney and the amazing cast members are doing to keep us safe and allowing us to return to the magic.