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CURRENTLY IN: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
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CURRENTLY IN: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Happy Hump Day!! Hope you are all enjoying this summer - it's quite different from any summer I've known. Wearing masks and not being able to eat inside a restaurant for one. But, it is just a challenge we will all overcome and get through.
This "new normal" affects everything and theme parks are no exception. Take Walt Disney World for example. Visiting the the theme park has taken on a whole new set of rules and regulations and as such, this Walt Disney World Wednesday I wanted to highlight the way in which guests will experience the park now and going forward for the foreseeable future.
Slowly but surely, Orlando's Disney World is opening back up. Last week, both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopened after four months of closure due to the coronavirus and today Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios parks will reopen as well. Exciting news for Disney World lovers!
However, like most places these days, visiting Disney World will also become an entirely new experience for visitors with new rules and restrictions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. now that. Here's what to expect when visiting the "most magical place on earth" during 2020 and 2021, so take note!
Park Reservations Required
Never before in the history of the world’s largest theme park operator has there been a requirement to have reservations for entry. In fact, most guests, like myself, loved the fact that visiting the various Disney World parks could be a very impromptu and spontaneous decision. This is no longer the case, at least through September of 2021. According to Bloomberg.com, "Guests have to make reservations to enter the parks, a first for Disney, but a move that allows the company to control capacity and keep visitors more socially distant on rides and other attractions. Bookings are being accepted through September of next year."
Mandatory Face Masks
Not to beat a dead horse with the obvious, but like other public places, Disney World requires all guests to wear facial coverings. Not the most comfortable way to make your way around a theme park, but certainly a safe one and a rule that will be enforced. The good news is that in today's safety climate, masks are becoming a bit of fashion statement, and forward-thinking Disney has gotten on the bandwagon with a plethora of fun and fashionable Disney-themed mask options with which to choose.
Limited Capacity and Social Distancing
Disney has set up signage to assist guests navigate their way through the property with ground markings for proper social distancing with tape markings of 6 feet apart in ride/attraction queues. The number of people allowed in the park at any one given time will be 50% capacity for Phase 1 and then increased to 75% during Phase 2, as noted by Miles to Memories.com. The good news take away is that the wait times for your favorite attractions and rides will also be much shorter.
No Park Hopping
Park Hopping and the slightly more expensive "Park Hopper Park Pass" made it possible or guests to "hop" from one Disney Park to another during one day. For the foreseeable future, this feature will not be allowed for Disney visitors. According to ABC-13, "Visitors will need reservations to enter a park, and they won't be allowed to hop between parks."
Many of us are getting used to having our temperature taken as we begin to frequent public places. Disney World is no exception. The company now requires that both visitors and employees receive mandatory temperature checks upon entering the parks. If a guest has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more, that person will be moved to another location for re-screening to double check the accuracy," statesDisneyFoodBlog.com who goes on to say that "those with temperatures above 100.4 degrees will not be allowed entry " Those in their party will also be denied entry, so be sure to check your entire group's temperature before venturing to the parks.
No Character Meet and Greet
Meeting your favorite Disney costume characters is one of the most beloved pastimes for the young and young at heart at Disney World. Nothing says Disney more than a great character photo op. Unfortunately, guests will not be able to greet the costumed Disney characters up close and personal. Instead, the characters are in "cavalcades," or motorcades, as they make their way through the park.
No Fireworks Shows
Two of the most anticipated events at Disney World - parades and fireworks display shows are cancelled at this time. The intention is to avoid large crowds of people grouping together in on location.
Hand-Sanitizer and Hand-Washing Stations
The good news is that in keeping with stringent health and safety regulations, Disney World has installed hand-sanitizing and hand-washing stations throughout all of the parks. Placing these all around will serve as a reminder and encouragement to guests and staff to stay on top of hand cleanliness.
Stay tuned for Friday and a virtual nature walk with the Bronx's Wave Hill's naturalist!!
Have a Magical Day!