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COVID -19 Updates

Our Commitment to You and Your Safety


The health and safety of our guests, homeowners, and our magical team continue to be our top priority, and that's why we have implemented the SafeHome Program into our cleaning practices. We have also adopted new flexible policies to help you make the best decisions for your family.

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As the sun rises on the Cinderella Castle and the Tree of Life, Walt Disney World® Resort welcomes guests to its theme parks once again. With two Disney theme parks now open and two more on the way on July 15, 2020, there have been many changes to ensure the safety of cast members and guests.

We knew that the Magic Kingdom® Park was going to be a must-visit during the opening weekend, so we wanted to give you guys a glimpse at its nearby neighbor, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. We had the opportunity to visit and gather some insight on what to expect, and while we were there to bring you the scoop, we realized how much fun the theme parks still are! So what can you expect in your future visit? We broke down some of the key changes you’ll notice on your trip to the theme parks.

Quick Notes Before Beginning…

Before guests may visit any of the four Disney theme parks, you must reserve your day online.

At this time, guests are only allowed to visit one park per day. The Park Hopper® and Park Hopper Plus® options are on hold until further notice.

The Disney FastPass+ service is on hold until further notice.

For more information on updated policies and procedures, please visit Disney Parks Returning to the World of Magic.

Park Entry and “Health and Safety” Notices

When you reach the park entrance, you’ll already begin to notice the stark difference in crowds just by the number of cars that enter. Upon our arrival, we didn’t even have to wait to pay for parking. It’s a nice change from the usual congestion we see and really does provide that peace-of-mind on arrival.

Daytime shot of parking entrance to Disneys Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Once you hop out of your vehicle and make your way to the gates, you’ll be greeted with the new Health and Safety Notice sign that helps you determine if you’re able to enter the park.

Daytime shot of the Health and Safety Notice sign for COVID-19 propped in front of the gates to Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

As seen above, the notice notifies that they will be required to wear face coverings, undergo temperature screening, and practice physical distancing of 6 feet (2m) during their visit. The notice also states that “By entering Walt Disney World® Resort, you are confirming that you are not experiencing any of the following symptoms:

If you are unable to confirm all of the above listed, you must not enter Walt Disney World® Resort. And while these newly enforced policies do seem a bit strict, they definitely aid in preventing the spread of sickness and we truly appreciate the effort that has been implemented!

Once you pass this notice, you will undergo a temperature screening prior to officially entering the park.

Daytime photo of male left) using a temperature gun to check the temperature of a little girl right) as a little boy right) stands to the right of the little girl at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

As long as your temperature falls below 100.4 after screening with a no-touch thermometer and you are wearing an approved face covering, you are granted entry (with your reserved admission, of course) into the parks!

Guests will notice upon entry that all Cast Members will be equipped with two types of face coverings, including protective masks and shields. Guests will also only be asked to scan their admission cards or MagicBand rather than scanning your thumbprint for sanitary reasons.

Cast member (left corner) watching two kids (little girl with her Magic Band on the Mickey scanner and little boy behind her) as they all look at the camera before entering Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. All people are wearing face masks and sunglasses. Cast member is also wearing face shield. Daytime shot. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

 

Physical Distancing and Inside the Theme Parks

The first thing you’ll come to notice when entering the theme parks is the stark difference in crowd size (for the better). Because of capacity limits in all four Disney theme parks, you’ll notice that entering the park and maintaining a distance between you and other guests will be a breeze.

Daytime shot of boy and girl (left corner) posing for photo with the Tree of Life in the distance and a very empty Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in the background. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

This also makes for a fantastic opportunity to take amazing photos inside the theme park! Pose nearly wherever you’d like without interruption or heavy crowds walking by, just like below at Pandora: World of Avatar.

Girl (left) and boy (right) pose in center of daytime shot photo in front of Pandora: World of Avatar inside of Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Attraction Wait Queues

It would only make sense that if the parks are less crowded, so are the queues, right? Well, that’s entirely correct. Over the weekend, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park rarely saw a wait time that jumped over 5 MINUTES.

Daytime shot of girl (left) and boy (right) pointing up to a Stand-By Entrance sign that reads "5 Minutes" in front of Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Daytime shot of back of little girl (right) walking through individual line queue to get onto safari truck for Kilimanjaro Safaris inside of Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Yes, we’re serious about this one. Most, if not all attractions at the theme park were practically walk-on’s, giving guests the chance to complete everything and still have plenty of time to re-ride their favorites.

And before you even ask the question, yes, this includes Avatar Flight of Passage, which is well-known for being one of the consistently busiest attractions on Walt Disney World® Resort property. Have you ever been able to walk onto this ride without a wait? It seemed near impossible in the past, but now it is a completely common occurrence. Time for those back-to-back attraction visits!

Indoor photo of boy walking down the attraction corridor (top left corner) and girl (center) turned around posing for the camera as she stands beside the bikes in Avatar: Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

We’d also like to note that while fewer guests are riding the attractions, that doesn’t stop the Cast Members from ensuring that all rides are properly sanitized throughout the day as a way to minimize bacteria transfer on high-contact surfaces!

Quick Service Dining

Just like the rest of the theme park, the on-site quick service dining options were also extremely low capacity. This made it extremely easy to grab food and a physically distanced table without worry.

Boy (left) and girl (right) waiting for their food in front of the pick-up windows inside of Satuli Canteen at Pandora: World of Avatar inside of Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Walt Disney World® Resort is also recommending contactless payment by either paying with a tap debit or credit card, through a smartphone wallet or by completing a mobile order through the My Disney Experience app. All of these are additional ways to minimize the handling of high-touch surfaces for both cast members and guests.

Parade Viewings

Unfortunately (for now) parades and character meet & greet sessions have been put on hold in order to ensure guests have the chance to physical distance. BUT, you will have the chance to spot some of your favorite character friends and floats throughout the day! At Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, guests may see water floats pass by during their visit, just like this one here!

Girl (left) and boy (right) look over a wooden railing out to the lake where a water float boat cruises through with Daisy and Donald Duck at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Daytime shot.

 

And May the Magic Continue…

While things may be a bit different on your future visit to the theme parks, we guarantee that the magic still remains. We hope this overview gave you the insight you need for when you decide to plan your next vacation. And when you do, make sure to check out some of our extraordinary vacation rentals that may be ideal for your Orlando family vacation!

Thank you for coming along the Walt Disney World® journey with us! Until the next blog post, have a magical (and safe) day.

 

 

*As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney*