Disney World Cautious Opening

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Isabella Weiner

Walt Disney World has had to make major changes to adapt to the set CDC COVID-19 guidelines.

Isabella Weiner, Staff Reporter

On Sunday night, March 15th, 2020, Holy Trinity prepared for its longest “spring break”, and Walt Disney World closed its gates indefinitely due to COVID-19. Months later, the park began to reopen in July, and with new safety protocols in place, many students have again enjoyed the “Happiest Place on Earth.” 

Disney has taken various precautions in reopening to ensure the safety of guests. To get in, guests must pass a temperature screening, wear a mask at all times except when stationarily eating, and reserve their tickets prior to arriving. There are plenty of changes inside the parks too, some of which may even improve the guest experience.

With capacity currently at 35% after initially only being at 25%, the parks are much emptier than during typical crowds, allowing for both decreased social contact and wait times. Rather than being packed in crowded lines, guests wait with their party at markers placed six feet apart. Rides are halted briefly for routine cleanings, and parties are spaced out or separated by plexiglass. Hand sanitizer stations can be found regularly for use after touching railings and safety bars. And what’s more, wearing masks prevented one little boy personally witnessed from rubbing his tongue directly along a handrail in line for Flight of the Banshee.

However, the show must not always go on. Many classic Disney shows are temporarily discontinued, including Hollywood Studios’ Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, Animal Kingdom’s Festival of the Lion King, and Finding Nemo – The Musical. Additionally, all the parks’ fireworks, parades, and character meet and greets have halted, and park hours are shortened. Although, characters can still be spotted in new socially-distant surprises, such as a riverboat parade at Animal Kingdom with Mickey, Minnie, Timone, Rafiki, and even Santa during the holiday season.

Amusement parks are continuing to adapt to give guests the opportunity to safely visit. And while the odd-one-out of the family might not get to squeeze next to a new stranger on every ride, the parks are open for making new memories.