Will A Disney Parks Vacation Ever Be the Same After the Pandemic?

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Disney World

Credit: Gregg Newton / Reuters

The global pandemic has affected a lot of different types of businesses and people’s everyday lives. Due to this, a lot of guests have been wondering, “Will a Disney Parks vacation ever be the same after the pandemic?”

Though things may never be the same after this worldwide pandemic, we do have confidence that The Walt Disney Company is putting everyone’s safety as their number one concern before reopening the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.

Please note at this time both the Walt Disney Resort and Disneyland Resort are closed until further notice.

mulan
Credit: Disney

Guests may not be able to stand in line as they normally would. Guests may not be able to meet face characters such as the Disney Princesses right away. Guests may not be able to crowd around Cinderella Castle to watch Happily Ever AfterBut none of this means the Disney Parks won’t be just as magical and families won’t create memories together that will last a lifetime on their Disney trip.

Sure, you may have to wear a face mask but you will still be able to meet Mickey Mouse. Guests may have to stand six feet apart in line according to tape markings on the ground, but they will still be able to ride their favorite attractions.

Here is everything we know thus far that may be different on your next Disney Parks vacation to Walt Disney World Resort due to the Florida task force guidelines and we are expecting similar guidelines to be in place for Disneyland Resort.

disney medical officer and Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Chief Medical Officer Talks Protocols

Though The Walt Disney Company has not made an announcement regarding an opening date, Disney’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel, has released a statement regarding health protocols the company is looking at prior to reopening. 

Dr. Pamela Hymel stated that she is currently exploring options for the Disney Parks including phased reopening, social distancing protocols, sanitization such as having hand sanitizer and frequent cleaning of the theme park, Cast Member training, and more. She stated:

I’m fortunate to work with Disney’s extraordinarily talented team of health and safety experts who are some of the most experienced in the industry. Together, with our colleagues in operations, and local health and government authorities, we’re evaluating several new and enhanced safety measures to do our part towards helping us stay well while we work, stay, and play at a Disney resort and a Disney store. I’m also working closely with the US Travel Association on a set of guidelines the travel industry may tailor to their individual businesses to help demonstrate that safety of travelers is a top focus.

Physical Distancing and Capacity Measures

Dr. Pamela Hymel shared that Disney is currently looking into maintaining social distancing once the parks reopen stating:

  • Physical distancing and capacity measures: As you can imagine, managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort is a major focus, as we implement physical distancing guidelines based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies. This will likely include implementation of guest capacity measures to comply with state and federal guidelines. We’re also exploring ways to use technology to aid us in these efforts, like with our Play Disney Parks App and through virtual queues at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Managing safe distances while eating at a restaurant, standing in lines, or sitting in ride vehicles will be crucial and one of Disney’s number one priorities once they reopen. This means we may not be able to stand so close to one another while watching the fireworks in front of the castle or sharing a ride vehicle with other families on certain attractions.

Capacity is also something Disney is keeping in the back of their minds when they reopen. Shanghai Disneyland’s normal capacity is 80,000 people but the government stated in order to reopen they must keep it at 30% capacity — approximately 24,000 guests. However, the Disney officials stated they are going to open up far below that with gradually open up to 24,000 a day.

Hand Sanitizer Locations page, MyDisneyExperience App
Credit: ITM/TJ Muscaro

Cleanliness and Sanitization

Another protocol mentioned was cleanliness and sanitization.

  • Cleanliness and sanitization: We’re planning increased cleaning and disinfection, determining where that should take place (for example, in high-traffic areas), and the cleaning products and processes we’ll use.  

This means the Disney Parks will likely require you to wash your hands before entering the park, before entering restaurants and after you’ve finished your meal, and possibly even before entering an attraction and after you get off the attraction.

minnie mouse face masks on shopdisney
Credit: shopDisney

Screenings and Face Coverings

Another protocol discussed that could impact guests’ experiences at Disney Parks after the pandemic are screenings.

  • Screening and prevention support: We’ll follow guidance from the government and the medical community regarding enhanced screening procedures and prevention measures, including those related to personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face coverings. Some measures, like adding hand sanitizers and handwashing stations across our resorts, have already been implemented.

Protocols such as temperature checks have already been discussed by Bob Iger as well as other Disney officials.

In regards to face masks, it was confirmed that Shanghai Disney Resort will provide masks for guests and employees. The only employees without masks are face characters who will be kept at a safe distance from the guests.

sleeping beauty castle zoom
Credit: D23

With all of this being said and with all of the safety protocols being put into place at Shanghai Disneyland that are being talked about by Disney’s Chief Medical Officer for Disney theme parks in the U.S., it’s safe to say that visiting the Disney theme parks after the pandemic will not be exactly the same.

Will you be visiting the Disney Parks after the global pandemic is over? Let us know in the comments.

View Comments (7)