COVID Wave Hits Walt Disney World

in Walt Disney World

Hazy clouds pass by over an aerial photo of EPCOT inside Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Bioreconstruct on Twitter

COVID is still a problem at Walt Disney World Resort.

As Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and dozens of Disney Resort hotels brace for Tropical Storm Idalia, the Central Florida Disney Park faces another ongoing threat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc for more than three years, killing more than a million Americans and disabling even more. Walt Disney World Resort reopened just months after initial shutdowns in the summer of 2020, with mask mandates and, later, vaccination requirements.

Mask requirement sign at Disney World
Credit: Inside the Magic

The Disney Parks dropped most COVID-19 precautions throughout 2022, returning to a new normal in 2023. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board outlawed COVID-19-related mandates on Walt Disney World Resort property.

But the lack of restrictions didn’t make COVID-19 disappear. As the highly infectious Eris variant spreads throughout the United States, Walt Disney World Resort guests report contracting the disease on vacation.

“Had a great trip but now my entire family has covid,” said Reddit user u/maddied1670. “Landed back in my hometown yesterday and immediately tested only to be positive. Tons of people in lines coughing and no regards for personal space.”

Guests wearing face masks at Disneyland Resorts
Credit: Disney

“I have had Covid twice,” u/Steecie41 replied. “Both times after returning from Orlando. Both times, our family was together the entire day except for….restrooms.”

“I’m not trying to be gross or anything, but cities measure Covid spikes by testing their wastewater for shed virus loads,” the guest continued. “Now, picture being in restrooms with 30+ stalls all being flushed over and over. Now, picture the virus cloud in the restrooms. Add to that the hand dryers that blow germs everywhere, and you’ve now entered a giant cesspool of virus.”

“We live here, went to MK and Epcot last weekend,” u/InSannyLives wrote. “Out sick with Covid the last 5 days. It’s definitely going around.”

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

Many blamed COVID spread on unhygienic behavior and guests traveling while sick.

“With the incubation period of COVID being 2 to 14 days, I wonder how many people showing symptoms at the parks were already sick before they left,” u/Snuffy1717 said.

“I’d imagine plenty of people traveling are already feeling ill during their trips but ignore it and then test when they’re home and have already infected others,” u/atschinkel agreed.

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

A medical professional allegedly warned one guest that many travelers no longer test for COVID or take it seriously.

“Went to the Flamingo Crossing ER during my trip about 2 weeks ago now due to an alternate and they warned us most cases they are getting of ‘heat exhaustion’ and ‘flu’ are Covid,” u/GingerCat2121 wrote.

“I came home from MNSSHP and Epcot last weekend with overpriced souvenirs and a case of covid!” warned u/“nroxbear16. “As someone who lives here I knew covid was surging again and I still went without bc ‘couldn’t happen to me!’ 😑 Wrong. Mask up, wash your hands and try not to be a sardine in a can!”

Have you had a Walt Disney World COVID infection? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks Guest experiences. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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