Disney World Will Reduce Physical Distancing, But Not Everywhere

by | May 13, 2021 | Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW News, WDW Resorts

Walt Disney World (WDW) announced it will begin to reduce its physical distancing measures, but only in certain areas.

On Wednesday, May 12, WDW updated its physical distancing policy posted on the official website.

This is definitely quite the change since the theme parks reopened in July 2020 following a temporary closure at the beginning of the pandemic.

Here’s what you need to know.

Physical Distance Updates at Disney World

Guests standing in line for pirates social distanced

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

The physical distancing change reads:

“Temporary adjustments are still in place to promote physical distancing. While we will reduce physical distancing measures for Guests across many areas with a gradual, phased approach, six-feet distancing measures will continue in all dining locations, merchandise stores and in areas where Guests can temporarily remove their masks.”

So, let’s break this down.

First of all, this does not mean physical distancing is being eliminated. Rather, it means guests will soon see a reduction regarding physical space between themselves and other guests in specific areas.

More than likely, physical distancing in attraction queues will be reduced.

That said, the 6-feet physical distancing efforts we’ve all become accustomed to will remain in effect at all dining locations, merchandise stores, and in other areas where guests can temporarily remove their masks, until Disney states otherwise.

On April 28, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings shared updated reopening phases. Phase 1 includes the reduction of physical distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet “in all settings.”

Universal Orlando has since reduced their physical distancing efforts to 3 feet. Disney did not state an exact reduction number.


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Temperature Screenings

Animal Kingdom Temperature Screening

Photo by Julie De la Fe

In other health and safety updates, temperature screenings are also ending at WDW.

Disney announced on May 5, “Following the advice of the CDC and our local health officials, we will phase out onsite temperature screenings at Walt Disney World Resort for Cast Members beginning May 8 and Guests on May 16.”

Disney also made it clear at the time, “We will continue to follow the guidance of health and safety leaders going forward and most importantly encourage people to get vaccinated.”

And in more progress, Disney World will resume special events beginning in August with the new Disney After Hours BOO BASH in place of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.


What do you think about the latest health and safety updates regarding temperature screenings and physical distancing at Walt Disney World?  Tell us in the comments on our Facebook page!


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Written by 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.