Disney Parks Once Again a COVID Hotspot, 3 Years After Shutdown

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Cast Member wears a mask and holds a Mickey mask in front of their face outside Cinderella Castle

Credit: Disney

The Disney Parks, and the Walt Disney Company itself, are still struggling to return to pre-pandemic numbers across the board. In the parks area, attendance has seen a significant decrease compared to pre-2020, and in the entertainment side, Disney has seen a string of disappointing releases over the last few years.

The U.S.-based Disney Parks shut down in March 2020 as a precaution against the growing COVID pandemic. Originally meant to last just two weeks, the Parks wouldn’t reopen until late July that year with heavy safety measures in place to help ensure guest safety. Protocols included masks, temperature checks, and distancing, as well as a new reservation system, park-hopping rules, and the removal of any character interactions, including parades and live shows.

Mickey mouse leading the "Magic Happens" parade at Disneyland Park
Credit: Disney

The parks are finally starting to return to “normal” operations, with the announcement that the reservation requirements and park-hopping rules would be dropped sometime early next year. As it stands, even though the numbers are technically lower over the last few years, crowds look just as bad as ever, with wait times at typical levels, proving that the parks are just as popular as ever.

sign at walt disney world during covid asking people to wear a mask while taking photos at EPCOT
Credit: Inside the Magic

However, in a recent Reddit thread for the Walt Disney World Resort, several guests pointed out that COVID is still around and something to be aware of. While the original thread was about bedbugs, users chimed in that it doesn’t hurt to always be sanitary. “Plz bring disinfecting wipes and go over door knobs, toilet flusher etc. I live near Disney, and covid has popped again about 2 weeks ago. Although I was just exhausted more than anything,” said u/coreysgal.

A Disneyland Cast Member stands by a COVID health and safety sign, wearing a face mask and showing off the Disneyland rules.
Credit: Official Disneyland Instagram

“Second this. Just got back from Disney Monday and developed symptoms Monday afternoon, confirmed yesterday that I have COVID. Either from Disney or the plane,” agreed u/After-Orange-6472. “I picked it up on our trip a couple weeks back too. Felt like a stomach bug at first. Thankfully was only a few days this go round,” chimed in u/ScoutGalactic.

While vaccines have helped most people fight off the worst of the virus, and it’s certainly not as feared as it once was, the COVID virus has continued to mutate, similar to the flu, and is still spreading among major crowds and populated areas. In comparison, attendees at recent Taylor Swift concerts also complained of coming down with the virus, urging future concert-goers to mask up, get tested, and stay safe.

Have you been at a Disney park recently? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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