Union Agreement Details New Disney World Rules for Visitors

May 14, 2020, 3:48 PM · The Walt Disney World Resort has reached an agreement with a coalition of unions representing many of its cast members over new safety procedures at the resort. The procedures detail the new safety rules that Disney's visitors will face when they return to the resort and its theme parks.

The agreement with the Service Trades Council Union will require all visitors to wear masks when visiting the Disney theme parks, as well as subject them to temperature screening before they are allowed to enter. The same requirements will apply to Disney's cast members, who will be screened when they report for work.

In addition, Disney will install clear plastic barriers at its cash registers, as we're seeing installed at many groceries around the country. The agreement also calls for touchless transactions to minimize the transmission risk to both visitors and employees. (So be prepared to set up your phone for payments before visiting Disney, if you don’t have a Magic Band.)

As expected, Disney's employees will get training on social distancing procedures. And the agreement calls for more frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas around the resort as well as the installation of additional hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations.

The agreement does not include any information on a potential reopening date for Walt Disney World's theme parks, which remain closed until further notice. Disney World's Disney Springs shopping and dining area begins its phased reopening on Wednesday.

Replies (23)

May 14, 2020 at 4:13 PM

My mom just got an e-mail from Disney canceling her June trip which was to celebrate my oldest nephew's graduation. She's hoping for August now with her main concerns including if pools are open and wearing masks in that heat.

She is a professional nurse of 30 years in her 70s so she recognizes dangers but very eager to go back and even take advantage of good deals and lower crowds. As I said, her concern is how much would actually be open.

May 14, 2020 at 4:26 PM

Urrghh... I'm more irritated about the touchless transactions than the masks ('cause I honestly think the mask thing isn't going to be sustainable long term...). As I've said before, I'm not a fan of carrying my phone into the park and I sure as heck don't like doing anything financial on my phone.

Question, though... Would it have to be payment through a magic band or phone app, or would they also allow payment via the "contactless" credit cards that are starting to be a thing? If that's the case, then I'd be okay with it....

May 14, 2020 at 4:28 PM

@ Melanie Howe: I think one effect of all this is how "contactless credit/debit cards" are going to become a new norm. Seen it at various stores so logical it takes off now.

May 14, 2020 at 4:32 PM

The "mask thing" is absolutely sustainable. It is the absolute bare minimum to ask of people in a time where social solidarity is paramount, and it is a cultural norm in other countries. I am thrilled to see Disney taking the plunge on them, and I hope it becomes expected to always wear a mask when under the weather in the United States.

May 14, 2020 at 4:55 PM

@evanweston I agree with wearing one when under the weather, or when in close proximity to others indoors whether under the weather or not (since coronavirus sometimes has no symptoms), but wearing one the entire time you're a theme park that is mostly outdoors in the sun seems a little over the top. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't drop it down to just a requirement when entering a building/queue.

May 14, 2020 at 5:03 PM

Sure, that would be acceptable. Personally I'm expecting to return to the parks when they re-open, as I have the ability to distance myself and evidence is mounting that it's very difficult to spread the virus outdoors, but I've yet to decide if I will participate in any indoor attractions. Which I guess rules out Epcot and Hollywood Studios, lol!

May 14, 2020 at 5:27 PM

Melanie Howe: Anyplace that can accept a tap-to-pay with an Android phone or iPhone can also accept tap-to-pay plastic credit/debit cards. They use the same underlying technology (as does a MagicBand, although it's processed a bit differently of course). Ditto a smart watch with payment capabilities. And, tap-to-pay is inherently more secure, as it creates a unique payment ID for each transaction that can't be skimmed and re-used later (unlike mag stripes, whose info can be skimmed and sold to bad guys). "Touchless" can, to some people, also simply mean "you handle your credit card yourself," as in "you insert your own card into the machine rather than handing it to a cashier," which is already the case in most WDW locations. Provided you don't need to enter a PIN (as with a debit card), you can avoid touching the payment terminal and picking up a previous customer's cooties.

The cultural differences between countries is interesting. Americans are accustomed to handing over a credit card to pay; many Europeans are aghast at the idea, because they switched to chip-and-PIN so long ago. In Europe, it's uncommon to hand your card over to a merchant; you complete your transactions yourself. Just interesting the differences.

May 14, 2020 at 5:44 PM

Thanks, MikeW and Don. That’s good to know :-)

May 14, 2020 at 8:35 PM

It’s crazy how far behind the US is with payment methods, (though the same could be said about most things/issues) Australia has had contactless payment with credit cards since at least 2013 when I moved here. Tap and go is very much the norm and it is super convenient and easy. I get that it would take more of an initiative to upgrade as obviously there are more eftpos machines in a country of 300 million than 25 million, but it always throws me for a loop when I travel back to the US and need swipe and sign.

May 15, 2020 at 3:19 AM

Touchless transitions are definitely going to be the most difficult thing to work with, considering how few people use them.

May 15, 2020 at 5:30 AM

>> allow payment via the "contactless" credit cards that are starting to be a thing?

Starting??? I’ve had mine for years...

May 15, 2020 at 8:23 AM

@ChadH - I’ve only started getting them from my cc companies in the past year...

May 15, 2020 at 8:52 AM

Just adding my two cents. Do you shop at Publix? I do and I have the Publix app on my phone with my bank card set up for payment. You open the app with FaceID or a PIN when you are checking out and tap the pay button, then your camera opens up and at anytime during your transaction you scan the QR code displayed on the screen listing your items and tell the cashier you are using the app to pay. No handing over or swiping your card, no touching the pinpad. When your order is done being scanned, the payment is automatically processed.
So my point is that it is very easy to avoid contact with items that hundreds of people may touch at some point at Disney or anywhere. I have never used a MagicBand, but I am sure that a linked bank card performs the same way, providing that they don't ask for any keypad entry to process.
I am sure that many merchants will be finding this type of contactless payment the way to assure customers of less risk to them and employees.

May 15, 2020 at 9:48 AM

Tokyo can be as hot and humid as Orlando in the summer, and it is still the norm for many guests to wear masks year round, even at Disney. Like anything else, people are just worried about it because it is new.

May 15, 2020 at 11:09 AM

As I saw in some of the pics/videos from CityWalk reopening, there's going to be a certain segment of the population who just aren't going to follow the guidelines that parks set. I really feel for the front-line workers who will possibly be getting into some heated confrontations regarding masks and distancing. I mean, I've personally seen a fight break out between a guest and a cast member when the cast member stated the person couldn't sit in a spot for Fantasmic.

May 15, 2020 at 11:15 AM

@JMB: I've been saying for a bit, a difference in cultures between East and West so while folks in Japan may be used to such methods, folks in the U.S. aren't and let's just say, the mask issue is already a hot potato of a topic here....

May 15, 2020 at 11:20 AM

My family and I were in Orlando for Easter 2019 and I couldn't get over not having Tap n Go available, it's been the norm in Canada since 2011 or 2012. Before we made our trip I had gotten a US Visa thru my bank at home and it was strange to not have the tap spot. I'm so used to it that I caught myself a couple of times just tapping and it not working.

May 15, 2020 at 12:20 PM

I'm not sure why the US banks are so far behind the rest of the modern world, but I noticed it when we went to Europe back in December 2011. We were going to 3 different countries, none of which were on the Euro at the time, so we didn't want to have to keep changing money or carry around lots of cash that could be lost or stolen. We looked at our existing credit cards to see which ones were cheapest to use for foreign transactions, and in doing so discovered the "chip and PIN" requirements of most European point of sale (POS) terminals. None of our existing cards allowed for use on those terminals, so we ended up getting a new credit card explicitly for the trip. Even then, that brand new card was only capable of "chip and sign" (the terminal will print a receipt that the customer signs in lieu of entering a PIN), but were informed that it might not work at every single POS terminal we may encounter. In the end, I think there was only one merchant that we came across that wouldn't process our card, but it really made us consider the security of credit card transactions in the US.

I pretty much will use ApplePay whenever I can, and am constantly frustrated when I come across terminals that don't have NFC readers to allow for touch and go transactions.

The argument that is always made regarding chip and pin/sign credit cards and other touch-and-go systems is the inability for those on the lower end of the financial spectrum to qualify for cards and bank accounts necessary to make these systems work. Until the banking industry removes account requirements (good luck with that), every merchant must be capable of accepting cash or would be subjecting themselves to a potential ACLU lawsuit.

May 15, 2020 at 5:10 PM

My experience using magic bands at wdw was that it required a 4 digit pin code entered on a physical keypad after tapping. Is this still part of the process? Last visit was in December 2019.

May 16, 2020 at 7:14 AM

>>... is the inability for those on the lower end of the financial spectrum to qualify for cards and bank accounts necessary to make these systems work.

Even a basic free bank account in the UK will get you a chip and pin card. They’re offered by most major banks. There’s also a range of prepay debit cards or current account alternatives available.

May 16, 2020 at 2:37 PM

I am curious to know if cash will still be accepted. I don't like using my phone to pay for things or a credit card, we are strictly cash on the barrel. Anybody know?

May 16, 2020 at 2:54 PM

Masks, as so loosely defined by all current restrictions, provide no protection for the wearer and, unless made and fit perfectly, none for the public. It has also been shown that mask wearers touch their faces much more often than nonwearers. It can also be demonstrated by observation that talking requires reseating the best of homemade masks, which is why so many in the grocery store have masks below their noses.

May 18, 2020 at 8:30 AM

@Rodmouse Where these demonstrates looking for a negative? The notion that homemade masks requires them to be reswat is asinine. Most people have them below their noses because they get hot. I haven't seen any report claiming that wearing a mask would be 100% effective wearer, but to increase your chance of not spreading it. I guess people have giving up on doing the actual research when it's become so easy to have someone else just tell you.

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