When Walt Disney World reopens the gates to the Magic Kingdom and its other theme parks, there are going to be a few practices that will no longer be tolerated. Chiefly among them: Cast Members can no longer use your cell phone to take your pictures.
According to the Orlando Sentinel:
Disney has already said it’s eliminating parades, character meet-and-greets and fireworks, all of which would draw major crowds at theme parks when it first reopens.
Don’t ask a cast member to take a photograph with your phone either. Employees will politely decline.
Before the pandemic, Disney World Cast Members had begun the generous practice of taking pictures of Guests at meet and greets and photo ops at Cinderella Castle and other Disney World landmarks. Guests were not forced to pay for Disney PhotoPass in order to get those iconic shots.
However, this new safety measure means that is no longer the case. While there will not be character meet and greets, Guests will still be able to take advantage of the other photo ops around the Disney theme parks, But they would now have to but PhotoPass in order to get them.
“That’s how serious Disney is taking this,” said Cast Member Union representative Eric Clinton while addressing the Cast Members preparing to be called back to work. “That’s a very different Disney World you all worked at back in March.”
It is hard enough for Guests to imagine a visit to Disney World without taking a picture with their favorite characters, but it is even harder for many to imagine social distancing measures so rigid that even requests to hold cell phones is denied. However, it does make sense given the current situation at hand.
Disney’s PhotoPass is a completely digital system that allows Guests to collect and observe their photos in their Disney account on the My Disney Experience app before ever having to go to the shop and get them printed. And by using Disney World’s Magic Bands, those photos can be uploaded to Guests’ accounts in an almost contactless exchange. The very most required is a tap of the Magic Band.
Walt Disney World’s phased reopening begins with the reopening of the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15.
What do you think of Disney’s PhotoPass system? Let us know in the comments!