Since I started this blog within about a month of the pandemic really hitting the U.S., it has become a place for me to document so much about these unprecedented times we are all living in. No matter how long I end up having this blog, I am so glad that I’ve had a place to consistently write and record what this time in life is like!
So, on that note….here’s what DISNEY WORLD was like, during the pandemic. 🙂 (This is all off the top of my head and is just what I remember/was aware of. If you want specifics, I’d recommend checking out Disney’s website for more on their COVID policies!)
1- MASKS. Masks everywhere, all the time. Masks on rollercoasters. Masks on rides. Masks in photos! Masks in line. NO EXCEPTIONS to the masks, everywhere, anywhere. (Signs all over state- “You may not take masks off for photos!!) Fortunately, I saw literally zero people abusing the mask policy.
Disney employees were huge sticklers on it, too. I did see them approach a couple people whose masks had slipped down below their nose and promptly ask them to pull it up. I also saw a woman pull her mask down in the bathroom to check her tooth in the mirror, and the housekeeping employee that was mopping the bathroom floor immediately said, “Ma’am, you need to put your mask back on NOW.” I also saw Disney employees approach a few families with young kids and check their ages…masks are required on anyone ages 2 and up. (yikes! That could be tricky for some families I bet!!). They also had strict requirements re: which types of masks were allowed (i.e those neck gator ones NOT allowed- and I saw them turn a couple away at the entrance due to this.)
2- FACE SHIELDS plus masks were worn by all Disney employees that could potentially be in more contact with people (i.e. the ride operators/ line attendants, any food service workers).
3-TEMPERATURE CHECKS and symptom screening at the entrance. (Done by healthcare providers/ a medical group).
4-HAND SANITZIER everywhere. Like, everywhere. The boys were just on auto-pilot. On their way into the line- gel. Time to get on the ride- gel. Get off the ride- gel. We didn’t even have to think about it, and it was nice that they provided it in all the right places. (Of course I had a ton with me, too.)
5-FLOOR MARKINGS for all lines. Those 6 foot markers were installed all over the place, in every single line situation ( in food service lines/stores as well).
6-PLEXIGLASS/ BARRIERS installed anywhere people could potentially be in closer contact (i.e. when lines had to pass by each other, or like in between the benches on the safari ride.)
7- NO HIGH CROWD ATTRACTIONS. I mentioned this yesterday, but no fireworks, no group shows (with the exception of a few smaller ones with seats/rows marked off, assigned seating, etc.). No fireworks, no parades, no character greetings.
8- LINES OUTSIDE. They have gone all out to move the queue areas primarily outdoors. The lines now snake around in all sorts of crazy ways outside (spaced out), limiting any indoor time to probably only 10-20% of the waiting time. They have extra staff manning the lines, marking the back of the line with signs so people know where to join the line!
9-ADAPTATIONS TO SOME RIDES/ATTRACTIONS. Some rides normally have fun little “extras” in the waiting area (ex. for the Haunted Mansion, at one point you normally would crowd into a spooky little room and the doors would close and the lights all go out and a scary voice welcomes you while “lightning” flashes…They are currently bypassing that completely. I noticed some other similar changes on other rides, too.) Many rides were also not running at full capacity to allow for social distancing of parties, depending on the ride set up.
10- NO EATING in line/ while walking around.
This might all sound like, UGH, how fun is that?! But it was totally fine! I was relieved and HAPPY to see all of these accommodations. Besides, at this point in the pandemic, sadly, none of this fazes us anymore. It feels oddly normal. I had a few moments looking around on the rollercoasters that I thought, “Gosh, this looks weird. All these people with their hands in the air, having fun, with these big masks on!!” But it is what it is right now, and I’m grateful for any way to help keep people safe.
I am grateful for our city’s recycling service! It’s garbage day here and I’m grateful that it’s easy to separate our recyclables.