Disney World During Covid-Report

Edited: September 25, 2020, 3:31 PM

My wife and I recently returned from a 7-day trip to Disney World and I wanted to post some of how the trip went.

Weather-It was HOT. Way too hot. The last time we had done Disney World was September of 2017 and shame on us for making the same mistake twice. It was made worse by the fact that many queues spilled out into the open areas to accommodate the physical distancing markers.

Crowds-This was the part that surprised me. It was very crowded all week. We were there from 9.15-9.21 and with the exception of our Animal Kingdom day (Thursday) each park felt packed. Now there were places that were quiet and had few people but where the major attractions and restaurants were it was wall to wall at times. This did nothing for physical distancing. This was especially true of the quick service places around peak meal times. Everyone was crowded around the entrances trying to mobile order and then waiting for their food to be ready to go inside. In my opinion Disney has not opened enough quick service options to deal with the current crowds. It's the only thing I can think of that's causing such huge build up around these places. Other than that there were definitely times where you'd be walking through an area and it felt like a normal park day. It was surreal but never felt dangerous either.

Wait times- At first glance the posted wait times were intimidating. Certainly not what we had been hearing or expected when we decided to make the trip. As the week went on we soon realized that most posted times by Disney were greatly exaggerated. A 30 minute wait usually ended up being 15-20 and so on. When we rode Mine Train it was posted at 50 minutes and the queue wrapped all the way around the outside of the mountain. We were on in about 30 though. We never waited more than 30-35 minutes for any attraction and rode everything we wanted to ride at each park.

Covid precautions- Disney has done a great job of ensuring things are as safe as they can make them for the public. For the most part the public is doing their part to ensure things are safe as well. We almost never had a problem with people physically distancing in lines or shops. Bottlenecks in areas of the parks definitely happened but you're out of those pretty quickly and can move away from people again. Mask compliance was also incredibly impressive to me. I almost never saw someone with their mask off when it shouldn't be and CMs were great about reminding those who may have forgotten the rules.

Attractions- We were able to ride RotR twice during our two visits to Hollywood Studios. I set my expectations lower for this attraction. When we rode FoP for the 1st time in 2017 all I had heard was how groundbreaking and amazing the ride was. I let the hype get to me and left thinking it was just Soarin 2.0 and I didn't get it. Well with RotR I can tell you the hype is real. That attraction blew me away. It was incredible and a crown jewel in the Imagineering crown. As for FoP I was able to ride it twice on our Animal Kingdom day and it's growing on me. I think it's fun and the imagery is breathtaking. That said I still think it's just Soarin 2.0 and it's not in my top 10 attractions. Slinky Dog Dash was fun but nothing too exciting for me. I think if I rode it at night my opinion would change. We never did ride Runaway Railway due to the waits and just basic intolerance, so something to look forward to in the future. I will say this about the two newest lands in Disney World...I like Pandora way more than I like Galaxy's Edge. I'm sure that's not a popular opinion but I think the beauty of Pandora trumps the beige dusty landscape of Galaxy's Edge. That being said we did not get nearly enough time to explore Galaxy's Edge due to the crowds. There was a line for everything including the shops and that was a big turn off for us. I would like to go back when things are a bit back to normal and some of the excitement for this land wears off.

Resort-We stayed at the Rivera Resort this trip and I gotta say I loved it. I know reception has been mixed on this one but I thought it was great. Bar Riva may be my new favorite spot on property. I found it to be a nice quiet retreat from the chaos of the parks. The skyliner was amazing and made getting to and from DHS and Epcot so easy. We found ourselves leaving in the middle of the day most days due to the heat and crowds. The skyliner was a game changer for this and saved so much travel time.

I think that just about covers it. Overall we had a great trip and felt incredibly safe in Disney's bubble. Taking a trip right now was ok for us but it may not be ok for everyone; so I won't say go or don't go. Just know that Disney has done a great job making it as safe as it can be. Two things I hope continue to expand even after this thing calms down, is mobile ordering and physical distancing in the queues. I don't have much hope for the latter but both were great and made the park going experience that much better.

Replies (2)

September 26, 2020, 7:47 AM

Thanks for the report, we are headed to the Magic Kingdom in a couple weeks. We're hoping crowds still are manageable. We live in Florida and my wife was just reading that the governor has essentially told the parks they can go back to 100%.

September 29, 2020, 1:58 PM

Nice report.

Not sure of the wisdom of over egging wait times. The discouragement factor surely wears off once you realise the trick.

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