Planning a Visit to Walt Disney World Post-Covid
For those of us looking for a bright light in the New Year, many are planning their visits to Walt Disney World in Florida. While some of the planning has changed, the Magic is still there and is welcoming guests ready to return to some sort of “normal.”
In years past,
guests would have been encouraged to book at least 7 months in advance to allow room for all the planning timelines. With slightly relaxed planning, it is much easier to plan a visit to Walt Disney World in a shorter time frame.
Keep in mind – Disney now requires Park Pass Reservations for each day of their visit. The biggest downside of waiting to plan your visit is the decreased availability of a reservation in the parks, especially around holidays and school breaks.
Disney is dedicated
to keeping its guests and cast members healthy while maintaining magical experiences in new ways throughout the parks.
Biggest changes right now:
- Reduced park capacity – to ensure fewer crowds and more space to spread out, the parks are working at reduced capacity. Smaller crowds = shorter lines to most attractions. As such, the FastPass system is not currently being utilized.
- Resort hotels are slowly reopening with new reopening dates being announced often.
- Fireworks and several shows are currently suspended while a plan is put in place to ensure the health and safety of guests and cast members.
- Character Meet and Greets, to include character dining experiences, are not available at all locations or are being reintroduced with safer social distancing.
- The daily afternoon parade at the Magic Kingdom has been replaced by impromptu “character cavalcades.” Each park has these special recurring “parades” that often include up to 3 floats and several characters. For many guests, this new experience is the highlight of their visit!
- Favorite characters also make their appearances on balconies and in open areas, especially in the Magic Kingdom where the buildings often overlook pathways.
- Dining reservations can now be made 60 days prior to arrival instead of the 180 days that we have seen for the last several years.
- With FastPasses not currently available, that’s one less day to have to wake up before the sun to book specific attractions.
- Sanitation stations are all over the resorts and parks, and dedicated cast members can be seen constantly wiping down high contact surfaces. Attraction vehicles are also cleaned on a regular basis.
- In addition to social distancing everywhere possible, Disney is requiring touchless temperature checks throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.
- Masks are required for all guests ages 2 and up. There are rest areas where masks can be removed, and you may remove your mask while sitting and eating.
- Mousekeeping is not entering resort hotel rooms during your stay to reduce contact.
- Quick-service dining is done easily and quickly on a mobile app, allowing you to schedule your meals and reduce wait times.
Guests who have visited Walt Disney World over the last few months
have had the opportunity to experience the parks in a new way – enjoying far fewer crowds so they can enjoy more attractions, catching appearances of rare characters in the parks, and experiencing a new type of Disney parade that pops up unexpectedly and delivers smiles at a time when we all need a little Disney magic. Disney will continue to bring magic to guests in new ways.
For 2021, don’t forget that October 1st officially marks 50 years since the Magic Kingdom opened its gates. Look for celebrations to mark the occasion!
With what we experienced during 2020,
all the changes, new policies, new attractions, and celebrations coming for 2021, now, more than ever, is the time to book with a travel planner who specializes in Disney destinations.
When you are ready to travel again, Disney is ready with open arms to welcome you home!
Nancy Wideman, Travel Specialist