Due to the pandemic that has taken over the world, if you’re planning on visiting Disney World during covid, then be prepared to have a completely different experience than before. I took a trip to Disney in early January 2021 and have a lot to share with you on what to consider when you’re planning your trip. Here are the pros and cons of visiting Disney World during covid, and the precautions one should take if planning to go.
Pros of Visiting Disney World During Covid
Disney is Taking COVID-19 Seriously
Disney World has taken various precautionary measures in place that abide by the CDC guidance. For starters, they have placed hand sanitizing stations all over the park, especially before entering into rides and after exiting so you can ensure you’re free of germs when you touch objects in the park.
The park capacity is limited to 30% and physical distancing signs have also been placed on the floors throughout the park and for all lines for rides to ensure you’re a safe distance away from others.
Disney has also mandated that everyone in the park be wearing a face covering (except ages 2 and under) and they also take temperature checks before entering to ensure you don’t have a fever.
Check out their website for their full guidelines.
Less Crowds and Less Lines
One of the biggest pros for me was that due to the parks running at 30% capacity, the parks were a lot emptier than before covid at 100% capacity. This definitely created for a more pleasant experience since the wait time for rides were also significantly reduced. I don’t think I waited more than 40 minutes for a single ride while I was there, which was awesome, because I got to experience more rides than one normally would have if going to Disney World pre-pandemic.
The other benefit of fewer crowds was the opportunity for pictures with little to no people in the background, especially in front of the famous castle.
Everyone Abiding By Covid Rules
Even though Disney was doing its part on taking precautions, I still felt a bit nervous and unsure about visiting the parks during covid. Luckily to my surprise, every single person in the park was doing a great job of following the new guidelines that were put into place. During my whole day there, I didn’t see anyone without a mask (except of course when they were eating). And people were also doing a good job of maintaining enough distance in the lines.
So while taking a trip to Disney World during covid may not have been the best of ideas, there were enough guidelines in place to make it possible to do so safely.
Cons of Visiting Disney World During Covid
Some Activities are Missing
Unfortunately, there are a few things at Disney World that are not operating due to Covid-19. Those include:
- Meet and Greet With the Characters – This sucks for the little ones as that is definitely one of the highlights for them seeing and meeting their favorite characters.
- Evening Fireworks at Magic Kingdom – This was the one that I was the most upset about. These fireworks are usually amazing and are a wonderful way to end your day at Disney, but unfortunately, to avoid large crowds, they are not operating at the moment.
- Fast passes – This means you have to wait in line for every ride currently, but due to the limited capacity, wait times are no more than 45 minutes per ride.
- No parades – You won’t be seeing any character parades when you visit, in order to keep crowds at bay
- No Stage Shows – Almost all stage shows have been currently cancelled since they are indoors.
If you feel that missing any of these things will make or break your trip to Disney, then I suggest holding off for now and waiting till things get better to make your trip.
Attendance is Limited and Reservations are Required
On popular days of the year, such as New Year’s, the parks tend to reach their capacity quite early on. That means that you aren’t guaranteed an entry into the park even though you’ve bought your tickets. So be prepared to go early to ensure you can make it into the park before they reach their capacity for the day.
Disney World is also currently requiring all guests to make park reservations, in addition to having tickets to enter their parks. So make you do that ahead of time to risk not being able to get in. You can make your Disney Park reservations here.
Don’t Get the Same Disney Charm
The biggest con of visiting Disney World during covid, in my opinion, is that you don’t get the same Disney feeling as you would’ve gotten pre-pandemic. The park feels pretty empty and deserted and with no characters around, you sometimes forget that you’re even at Disney World. It almost feels like any other amusement park, making your trip feel pretty average. So if it’s your first time there, I would suggest passing on going during the pandemic, and waiting another year or so.
Other Things to Consider
The parks have changed their daily operational hours and are closing a bit earlier. So be sure to check the hours for the park you are visiting ahead of time.
Download the Disney App
I would suggest downloading the My Disney Experience App before your visit as it will allow you to see restaurant menus and order food directly from your mobile device. It will also display the park map so you can track where you are as well as show you the current wait times for each ride.