Our annual passes expired in February before the world shut down. We intended to renew them for Spring Break in late March but Covid-19 interrupted those plans. My girls have been begging to go back to Disney World but I was a little skeptical, especially with a new baby and two young girls to consider.
My brother is a Cast Member and visited in July before the parks re-opened to the public. He provided me with an in-depth review of the parks and was highly impressed with the Disney World Social Distancing measures put into place.
I received a magical email in early August with an invitation from Disney World Media Relations to visit the parks (and stay at the beautiful Riviera Resort) and couldn’t wait to surprise my girls with a trip before we begin homeschooling. Here is an honest review of what to expect at Disney World during Covid with little kids.
Due to limited capacity, reservations are required prior to entering the parks. You must reserve your spot via the My Disney Experience App before simply showing up to the park. This takes a little more planning than we’re used to, but helps limit the number of guests to ensure everyone’s safety.
In addition to the one day entry Disney provided us, we also purchased multi-day tickets. We have been able to make reservations very easily, sometimes even the night before we head to the parks.
Health Inspections Prior to Entering
You must be healthy in order to visit Walt Disney World. Prior to entering the park, you can expect to have your temperature taken. If anyone in your party has a fever (100.4 or higher) they will be taken to another location for re-evaluation. If one person in the party has a fever, no one will be admitted.
I recommend packing a thermometer for your trip and taking your temps before heading to the parks just to be sure. They use touch-less thermometers at the park so there is no worry of anyone physically touching you.
Disney has also removed the finger print scan from their park admittance procedure, so no gross germs are lingering at the turn styles either.
Wearing Face Masks
All Cast Members and guests 2+ must wear a face covering at all times. The only exception is if standing or sitting stationary to eat or drink. Florida is HOT so I highly recommend bringing extra masks to swap out throughout the day as they tend to get quite sweaty. Disney sells adorable masks (they run small) which my girls loved. Disposable masks provide a little more breathability in the heat, but aren’t nearly as cute.
I’ve had several people ask how my girls did with their masks all day and they were ROCKSTARS! No complaints and no issues. Here are some tips specifically for helping little kids wear masks at Disney World During Covid:
- Practice beforehand! Take your kids to the store, to public spaces where masks are required. Let them wear them at home. The more they can wear the mask, the more comfortable they will feel.
- Find the best fit. Try on LOTS of masks to find the best fit and breathability for your child.
- Let them pick. Once I found masks my girls could wear easily, I let them choose which designs they wanted. This made them excited to wear them.
- Stop for breaks. Take it easy! The heat with masks is hard so building in lots of breaks for water and snacks is important.
Restrictions on Eating & Drinking
I mentioned about that you must be stationary to eat or drink but it warrants saying again. Disney Cast Members will NOT let you walk around with your mask down to eat or drink. You will need to stand or sit in one spot to do so. This makes it much harder to drink water. With the Florida heat, especially in masks, it’s important to stay hydrated.
We would take a water break every time we parked or returned to the stroller. My girls kept water bottles in their seats to drink constantly.
Ride Sanitation Every 2 Hours
Some shows are currently closed, while others have seats blocked off to allow for social distancing. Rides stop for sanitation every 2 hours. Most rides also have seats blocked off or they only use every other seat to keep parties separated.
There are also no FastPass+ reservations right now, however, wait times are mostly short. We rode Mine Train twice with only a 20 minute wait, so if you love rides now is the time to plan a trip.
Line Markers to Promote Social Distancing
There are visible markers EVERYWHERE. Disney World has done an incredible job of providing visual reminders, especially in the attraction queues. The marked lines on the ground keep parties separated. I actually love this new style of waiting and would be happy to keep this forever to stay away from other guests when standing in line.
Hand Sanitizer Everywhere
There is also touchless hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks. We saw stations at the entrance and exit of every ride, store and restaurant. We basically made it a game for our kids that every time we saw one we used it. Surprisingly, it doesn’t dry your hands out. I wish I knew what brand they used so I could buy it to use all the time. We also never encountered one that was “out”.
In addition to restaurants, you are also allowed to remove face masks inside of the designated relaxation stations. These areas are controlled to ensure they are not too crowded and all seating areas are at least 6 feet apart from each other.
We loved the Air Conditioned on in Magic Kingdom near Dumbo/Barnstormer (where Minnie, Daisy, Goofy and Donald typically meet). During the hottest time of the day, we took turns hanging out in here while swapping to ride without the baby.
What to Expect at Disney World During Covid
Overall, we were highly impressed with our experience at Walt Disney World during Covid. It is by far the safest public place I have felt since this pandemic began. People are genuinely happy to be able to return to the magic and are following the rules.
Kudos to Disney for crafting such great procedures to allow guests to enjoy the parks while staying safe. If you’re on the fence about planning a trip, I highly recommend it. We will definitely be returning again soon.