Is it still magical?
I am a vacation lover, a planner, a “just can’t wait-er”, a count downer…. I love traveling. So you can imagine that this pandemic has not been easy on this wandering heart. Disney Travel was shut down for several months. As they are reopening they announced lots of new procedures and safety measures they are taking and left many people wondering “Is the magic still there?”. People worried that with the new protocols that it wouldn’t be worth all the money it costs to go to Disney World. I understood their concerns…. I too cry like a baby at the Fireworks at night. However, I also know Disney and am always amazed by their business model. So, I had high hopes. I went ahead and took the trip and I am SO glad that I did. So, here’s the answer to the question “is it still Magical?”….YES. Yes yes yes….and here’s why…..
No Park hopper?
Yup. I thought this was going to be a bummer. I am queen of the park hopper tickets and purchase them every single time I have gone. However, due to making sure that the crowd level remains safe they got rid of park hopper tickets (for now, things change all the time). You have to make a park reservation along with your tickets to ensure entry into the park. We spent from park open to park close in the same park each day and it was anything but a bummer. I was able to truly soak up the magic of each park…not rush through it to get to the next thing. I sat down and ate that Dole Whip Float, hung out at my favorite quiet spot in Hollywood Studios while the rain passed, stayed a little longer in each country in the World Showcase…and I wasn’t sad about it one bit. It actually was MORE magical because I was able to truly soak it in.
Masks….the dreaded facebook debate… were they hot? Sure. But honestly I kind of forgot I was wearing them after a just a little while. It is Florida…I went it July….OF COURSE it’s hot…but it wasn’t any more hot because of the mask. My kids didn’t mind it at all either and I thought for sure they would complain. They didn’t. We were in Disney World and if we have to wear masks to be able to enjoy the parks, then we will wear masks! We were just happy to be there.
Pixie Pro Tip: Bring EXTRA masks. My kids liked to wrap a mask in their frozen water bottle so that when they switched them out the new mask would be cool. Smart kids 😉
No Parades? No Fireworks?
Yea…no fireworks or official parades. But leave it to Disney to still make things magical. Instead of parades where people line up along the streets hours before, they just had floats that would randomly pass by. They aren’t scheduled so people don’t line up and they aren’t several in a row…just one or two pass occasionally. I am not the person to wait around for a parade anyway, so this was my cup of tea! See the characters…a few minutes of magic…then off you go! At Animal Kingdom they did a similar thing with boats on the water. It was seriously precious…I might have gotten a little emotional seeing how Disney just adds that little extra magic to your day. ::Swoon::
“I am worried about social distancing and park cleanliness”..
We are living through a pretty stressful time, it is true. Should we be traveling right now? Is it wrong? Is it right? I truly believe this is a question that varies from family to family. I cannot tell you if it is right for your family. I felt like with the proper procedures and extra hand washing, masks and many other safe measures, it was going to be fine for my family. If you are on the fence about it, I would never want to talk you into something….so for this question I wanted to just make a list of new safety things I personally noticed and you can make up your mind on what is best for your family.
- There are social distance markers on every ride queue, restaurant pick up and even popular photo spots.
- Masks are required UNLESS you are actively eating or drinking…then in which you must be stationary (no walking around snacking or sippin’).
- Masks are also required at Disney Resorts except while swimming. There are NO exceptions to this rule.
- Enhanced cleaning in your resorts…even the remote controls are in plastic bags when you arrive stating that they’ve been sanitized.
- Hand sanitizer at the front of every ride and at the end of every ride…and throughout the park. They are EVERYWHERE. Also, some places even have sink washing stations.
- Cast Members that you closely interact with (like servers for example) wear face shields along with their masks.
- Cast Members stop and sanitize rides, railings and anything that people touch often. They even take time to spray down the rides regularly.
- Temperature checks are required before you enter the park for everyone in your party. If you do have a temperature, your entire party is not allowed in.
- Bag checks operate differently as well. Now you only need to talk out metal things (sunscreen bottles, umbrella etc.) and you just walk through the detector with your bag. I actually thought this was great and makes it go MUCH faster!
- No more fingerprint with your magic band at entry…just scan your band.
- No Menus at restaurants. They give you a QR code to scan and it takes you to the menu…or if you are like me, you’ll have already gone to the menu on your Disney Experience App and picked out what you wanted to eat like 3 months ago lol
There are probably more safety features that I did not mention, but hope this list helps guide you in a decision that is best for your family! Overall, I felt very safe and thought that Disney was doing all the right things (In my opinion).
My kids and I had an AMAZING experience and I am already counting down til the next time I get to go back. It was truly no less magical, if anything some things felt MORE magical (guys….we rode Flight of Passage 5 TIMES!!). I am so glad I decided to go ahead and take the trip!