Disney World Reopened This Weekend—And I Was There!

Tina ChiuBlog, News

Disney World Reopened Wearing a Mask in front of castle

After 117 days of being closed (but who’s counting) Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom at Disney World reopened this weekend and I was there to experience it all! My return to Disney World started Friday, July 10 at the Magic Kingdom for Passholder Preview.

Followed by official reopening day July 11 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and then closing the circle by returning to Magic Kingdom on Sunday. 

Throughout the entire weekend, I felt safe, impressed, and was honestly so happy to be back!

It was obvious that Disney’s main priority is the safety of their guest and cast members and I believe they achieved that while still providing the magic.  

Let’s Talk About Masks

wearing masks at animal kingdom with wilderness explorer

Cast Members and guests alike were wearing their masks! Photo by Tina Chiu

From my observation, this weekend, almost all the guests that I saw were wearing masks with very rare expectations mostly when taking pictures.

I was hesitant about wearing a mask all day in the heat, but I came prepared and survived! Honestly, it is hot in this Florida sun with or without a mask. So I recommend portable fans, staying hydrated, taking long lunch breaks, and enjoy the indoor air-conditioned rides in the afternoons. 

Disney World Reopened with relaxation stations at Magic Kingdom

Guests are encouraged to relax and cool off at relaxation stations. Photo by Tina Chiu

We left Magic Kingdom for lunch at the Polynesian on our last day and it was the perfect escape from the heat. There are also a few relaxation stations available at each park where guests can remove their masks while still socially distancing. 

Guests and Cast Member Safety 

Plexiglass over register at Disney World Reopening

Some registers were closed when Disney World reopened, while others had plexiglass shields. Photo by Tina Chiu

I believe Disney has thought of everything when it comes to the safety of guests and their Cast Members. 

I was not expecting so many plexiglass dividers in the parks and resorts, but they were great and create a barrier for most face to face interactions. They even have sanitized pens and scannable menus.

Sanitized pens on a desk

Even the pens are sanitized for complete safety! Photo by Tina Chiu

From what I observed, most guests were following the distance makers on the grounds and indicated entrances and exits in shops. For more information on safety measures, check this out.

Rides

Guests standing in line for pirates social distanced

Lines may look long, but they’re just social distanced! Photo by Tina Chiu

I have to admit that I was nervous when no FastPass+ was announced. However, the low crowds this weekend proved that there was no need for them at all. 

The majority of the rides were walk-ons and to our surprise, my party had a whole row of vehicles to ourselves on Avatar Flight of Passage. Disney once again provided plenty of space between parties on rides by skipping rows, bypassing some waiting areas, and reducing the number of guests on a ride. 

Splash Mountain social distanced on ride

Guests can expect fewer parties on each ride at a time. Photo by. Tina Chiu

There was only one situation on the Kilimanjaro Safaris where I did not feel 100% safe with the number of guests on my safari truck, so I simply choose not to ride it.

Is the magic still there? 

Character cavalcade at magic kingdom

You can still spot Mickey, Minnie, and friends at the character cavalcades! Photo by Tina Chiu

Absolutely! Just hearing the Disney music, walking down Main Street, U.S.A and seeing the newly painted Cinderella’s Castle brought tears to my eyes

Sure, it’s not exactly the same without character meet-and-greets and nighttime entertainment but Disney has filled that void with fun character cavalcades throughout the day. 

Cast Members are still creating magical moments for all the guests and I believe as long as we keep following the guidelines, Disney will remain safe and magical!

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About the Author

Tina Chiu

Tina is a mom of two boys and loves sharing the joy of Disney with her family. She collects Minnie ears, participates in RunDisney races (mostly for the bling), and enjoys staycations with DVC. Tina hopes to one day retire on the Disney Dream, but until then she’ll continue living her very best life, one character meet and greet at a time! Follow along on Instagram