10 Disney World COVID-19 Changes That Should Stay Forever

by | Sep 14, 2020 | WDW Blog

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Lots of Disney World COVID-19 changes came with the reopening of the parks and resort hotels for health and safety reasons

At first, the Disney World COVID-19 changes may have seemed like a major adjustment, along with everything else there was to think about (face coverings, a deadly virus, staying away from other park guests, etc.).

The majority of us have been used to how the parks have operated for years, so to think that there wouldn’t be FastPass+, the addition of a new park reservation system, the temporary elimination of character meet and greets, and so much more, it was quite a bit to wrap our heads around.

Disney World COVID-19 Changes

It was definitely a lot to digest initially, but the parks have officially been open for two months (that’s it?!), and, well, a lot of the Disney changes are actually pretty great.

They are so good, in fact, that I don’t know about you, but I hope some of them stick around permanently.

Whenever WDW bumps up capacity or goes back to “normal” (which probably won’t be for a while), they will certainly make even more changes and probably reinstate some of the experiences, entertainment, and whatnot that are currently on hiatus. 

But, I really hope that WDW decides to keep the following additions because they definitely make visits to the parks much more enjoyable.

1. Limited Park Capacity

empty main street Disney World COVID-19 Changes i hope stay

Look at that empty Main Street! Photo by Allyson Koerner

The limited park capacity has been fantastic.

There isn’t much demand for theme parks right now, and it shows. But, there is still a set capacity that’s very low and is also an avid WDW visitor’s dream come true. 

The ability to walk around without bumping into someone or literally having them breathing down your neck as you wait in line for an attraction is heaven.

I never thought I’d experience the parks where areas were literally empty and I certainly don’t hate it.

2. Parking Is Actually Nice Now

I don’t typically drive to WDW, since I live out of state and usually use WDW transportation.

But if you do drive to the parks anytime soon, you’ll notice that cars are parked every other spot. 

This is really nice, especially because it gives you distance from others and plenty of space if you have a stroller or wheelchair.

(Psst: The limited capacity might even help you score a parking spot up front). 

3. Top-Notch Character Interactions

pooh at epcot catching butterflies Disney World COVID-19 Changes

How cute is Pooh catching butterflies? Photo by Allyson Koerner

It was definitely a bummer to hear we wouldn’t be able to meet characters, but also understandable. However, WDW pulled it off by how they’ve kept characters as part of the guest experience.

There will forever be something special about hugging a character and getting their autograph, but it doesn’t get better than being able to walk up and take a socially-distanced selfie with a character—and without having to wait in line.

And to be able to see characters like Winnie the Pooh frolicking around in the grass at EPCOT catching butterflies is absolutely adorable.

Oh, and the character cavalcades? Not only do you get to see multiple mini-parades a day, but a variety of characters—and more than you would on a normal park day. It’s fantastic! 

I love a good parade, especially a nighttime one, but cavalcades are quick and hassle-free (no more camping out hours beforehand for a good seat).

4. Hand-Washing Stations

hand washing stations Disney World COVID-19 Changes

Hand washing stations around Disney! Photo by Allyson Koerner

I hate having dirty hands, so WDW adding hand-washing stations around the parks is a huge perk.

They’re easy and fast compared to having to find a restroom to wash your hands.

They also have hand sanitizer everywhere (like at the entrance and exits of attractions), which are a big bonus as well.

5. Contactless Everything, Please!

contactless menus at disney

Contactless menus are the best! Photo by Allyson Koerner

From having us do hotel check- in on our phones using the My Disney Experience app, to implementing Mobile Dine Check-In at Table-Service spots, to using paperless menus (it’s all digital now thanks to a QR code), to not having to scan our fingerprints upon park entry, 

The parks and resorts have tried to make the guest experience as contactless as possible, which is welcomed.

6. Security is Now a Breeze

security disney changes

Easier security at Disney now! Photo by Allyson Koerner

Did anyone else use to dread going through security at the parks?

It used to be a long and tedious process since security guards had to comb through your bags.

Well, not anymore!

Except for select items (aerosol sprays, metal water bottles, and umbrellas), you can leave everything in your bag and walk right through. It’s a breeze!

Granted, sometimes you may get pulled to the side if you buzz and they may have to touch your bag, but for the most part, it’s a much smoother, faster, and contactless system.

7. No More Crowded Transportation

bus seats with dividers at disney changes

Divided seats on the bus. Photo by Allyson Koerner

Remember the days when you were crammed on a bus and literally had your face in someone else’s armpit? Yeah, that was fun. 

Thankfully, like the parks, transportation now has limited capacity.

Only a select number of groups can get on a bus, only one party per Disney Skyliner gondola, and so on. 

Yes, the limited capacity causes some delays, but it’s what is necessary right now.

In the future, I’m sure they’ll be able to add more guests to a bus, etc., but hopefully, it never returns to the point of us being sandwiched between two strangers.  

8. Disinfecting Attractions

Did WDW clean its attractions before the pandemic? I would imagine so, but now it’s made known to guests when rides are being cleaned.

Every two hours attractions are disinfected and it’s nice knowing that, for the most part, the ride is overall clean when you sit down. 

I still always use hand sanitizer or wash my hands and use a disinfectant wipe on my bag, but let’s hope WDW continues to clean rides as they have been.

9. Keep All Those Social Distance Markers

social distancing markers at disney changes

I love the distance between guests! Photo by Allyson Koerner

I definitely don’t miss someone invading my personal bubble in line for an attraction, at a Quick-Service spot, or when shopping.

Let’s keep those fingers crossed that WDW continues using the social-distancing markers and encourage less crowding.

10. Let’s Never Touch A Trash Can Again

trash cans at disney propped open

Trash cans are propped open! Photo by Allyson Koerner

I hope I never have to touch a trash can again.

Currently, the flaps on trash cans are propped open for a contactless experience of throwing away your garbage.

This is truly pure genius. Let’s leave them open!

It’s really no surprise that WDW has figured out a way to still make the parks enjoyable, while also implementing multiple new rules for guests to follow.

The above might not sound appealing to everyone, but believe it or not, it makes the park experience just as magical, if not more.

What Disney changes do you want to stick around?

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Written by Allyson Koerner

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Allyson Koerner is a published entertainment news and Disney Parks writer, who hasn’t been able to stay away from Walt Disney World since she was 5-years-old. She even has her own Disney blog, Magic-Ally Main Street, where she shares news and tips in hopes of helping others plan successful Disney vacations.
Allyson Koerner

Written by Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner is a published entertainment news and Disney Parks writer, who hasn’t been able to stay away from Walt Disney World since she was 5-years-old. She even has her own Disney blog, Magic-Ally Main Street, where she shares news and tips in hopes of helping others plan successful Disney vacations.
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