Visiting Disney World during Covid is such a personal decision but I thought sharing our experience and questions we asked ourselves would help in the decision making process. Here are our tips for visiting Disney during Covid and how we felt during our recent Disney visit.
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I wasn’t really sure I was going to write this article because making a decision to visit Disney World during Covid is so personal. There are a lot of questions that only you can ask yourself.
Ultimately I decided to share my opinion and experience to help you determine your comfort level visiting Disney in 2021.
This trip, like most Disney World vacations, was planned well in advance. Not only were we visiting Disney World for a week we were also planning a Disney World trip with a large family. There were 11 of us total and we had to make decisions as a group.
When we booked the trip in early April we thought cases would be low and we wouldn’t have to worry too much about Covid.
We had returned from an Orlando trip in May and felt comfortable visiting, little did we know things would change a lot between May and August.
As we started to watch the cases rise and change in Central Florida I went into panic mode. I am a planner, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise given I write a travel blog, and I analyze and research things until I feel like I am making the right decision.
Once I realized the cases were not going to go down and we were going to have to make a decision on how comfortable we were with this trip I started asking a lot of questions.
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I emailed my doctor. She suggested canceling the trip. I read every news article I could and my husband and I talked about how we felt on our daily walks.
As the trip grew closer we decided to move forward with it. We knew that every place we visited would have indoor masking from the airport to the parks and resort.
We also knew that this is something we will be dealing for a long time. The kids will go to school and be around people, we didn’t want to cancel the trip. It was something we were all looking forward to and we felt the risk at home and school is similar to the risk we were taking.
I know everyone may not feel that way. Your family needs to access your personal health and risk level. Below I have listed the main questions and concerns I had. I hope they help you in making the right decision for your family.
7 Tips for Visiting Disney World During Covid
Understand the Rules at Disney World for Covid Before You Arrive
As of August 2021, all guests are required to wear a mask indoors. This includes restaurants, shops, resort areas, and rides. Outdoor masks are optional. Guests also need to make a park reservation before you arrive. Read full rules here.
If you are not comfortable wearing a mask indoors you may not want to visit Disney World right now. Mask rules are enforced. I only saw maybe 1 or 2 people NOT following the rules in lines for attractions.
Guests are also required to wear a mask on all transportation including the Skyliner. I will admit that when my family was the only family in the skyliner I would take a quick break to have a drink. It was triple digits on our visit! Then I would put it back on.
Social Distancing is not being enforced so be sure you are comfortable being in larger crowds. We did make sure to allow for space with myself and my husband on each end and the kids in the middle of us. This made it easier to space out between groups when waiting in lines.
I think overall most people, including our family, followed the face covering rules and I never saw any issues or push back to cast members. I feel it is respectful to the cast members to follow the rules set in place and if you do not agree or can’t follow those rules you may want to postpone your trip.
Be Aware (and Comfortable) that the Rules Could Change Overnight
Health and safety rules at Disney World are changing often. This happened on our Universal trip in May and it happened on our Disney trip in August.
At the start of our Disney trip masks were required as soon as you entered a line for an attraction. It didn’t matter if the line was inside or outside. Once you entered you were required to wear a face covering.
Mid-week the outside rules was removed. This means you would be in a line outside around a lot of people and mask wearing is optional. Some attractions like Jungle Cruise has a full outside line. Masks are not required on the attraction or in the line.
This is something to keep in mind when planning your visit and leads me to my next Disney World during Covid tip.
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Discuss Your Expectations Before You Arrive
There were certain attractions we skipped because we were not comfortable with them. Indoor shows and the fireworks at the end of the night were things we decided to skip.
We didn’t feel comfortable being around really large crowds. We wanted to avoid the end of the night buses that are full of people. We also didn’t want to sit close to people in an indoor theater.
Your comfort level may be different. Maybe your entire party is vaccinated or you feel certain things are a low risk. It is important to think about what your Disney trip will look like and how you will change your expectations.
You may want to avoid indoor lines all together or rent a car to avoid Disney transportation. This Disney trip will look different than pre-covid days.
Everything is NOT Fully Open
Take time to consider what is important to you on a Disney trip. If you love meeting the characters and doing character meals you may want to postpone your trip. Character meet and greets are not back and there are only a few character meals that are back.
This is continuously changing but be sure to research the attractions and dining you want to do before you book your trip.
Consider Where You Will Eat
There are lots of places to eat outdoors at Disney World but August is HOT! This meant we ate most of our meals indoors. Be prepared that you may be close to another party eating during your Disney World visit. If you are not comfortable with this consider sticking with quick service options instead of table service.
With quick service you have more outdoor options or you can choose a table away from people. We found lots of space for our group away from people at most quick service places.
Safety Upgrades You Can Do
There is not a lot of control in this situation and all you can do is the best you can do. A few things we did that made me feel better was upgrading our masks, got everyone vaccinated who could be, and avoided busy transportation times or outdoor crowding.
Of course there were times where things felt busy outside. We wore our masks when crowd levels outdoor were high. This was usually during park arrival and in lines that were outside.
You can check out the masks we upgraded to for kids and adults. We were really happy with them. They were comfortable for all of us all day and outside in the heat. I’m not a medical expert but personally I felt these were an upgrade from the cloth masks. Do what works best for you.
Once You Make Your Decision Avoid the News if It Causes Stress
I could have researched more for days but once we made the decision I decided to avoid the news altogether. It was causing me a lot of stress and would only make me worry on our trip. When we arrived I did the best we could do in the situations we were in and we ended up having a great Disney vacation despite Covid.
Would I Go to Disney World During Covid Again
The biggest question I got was did you feel safe? The answer if yes. We spent 7 days at the resort, did 5 park days, and took the transportation at Disney. There was never a moment where I felt we had put ourselves in an unsafe situation.
Would I go again? Probably. Every visit is different and visiting may increase your risk of getting sick.
I want to make sure I say this before I end this: there is an increase risk of getting Covid if you visit a crowded area with high levels of transmission. There is no getting around this. The best you can do is put as many safety measures in place as possible and do what feels right for you.
If you think with all this you would still feel unsafe, you should postpone your trip. If you feel like you can change your expectations and still enjoy the trip then it might be a good choice for your family.
I hope this personal take on visiting Disney World during Covid sheds some light on what to expect and helps you make the right decision for your family.