I recently had an opportunity to visit Walt Disney World as part of my Goofy Getaways FAM Training. It was exciting and I was a bit anxious because even though some restrictions are being lifted, guidelines are more relaxed, and travel is starting to boom again… COVID-19 is still very much present. Disney World has been in sync with the CDC from the beginning with enhanced health and safety measures that have been put into place when you visit the park(s). The week I was there, some guidelines were modified.
For example: masks are required in most areas in the park for guests who are not fully vaccinated and optional for fully vaccinated guests except when on transportation. Crowd control is managed by the Disney Park Pass reservation system. To enter the park(s) you need a valid reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date required for guests ages three and up. If you have purchased park hopper passes, start at the park you have a reservation for and you can hop after 2pm.
Using the My Disney Experience App was very convenient, and it limited the amount of contact you had with people. It can be used for mobile ordering food, snacks and beverages. I would choose a restaurant, order my food, select a pick-up time window, paid through the app and was notified when my order was ready. There were no long lines or wait times to pick-up my order and it was seamless. You can also make dining reservations through the app if you would like to sit down for a delicious Disney meal experience.
In addition to making your dining reservations, you can do a mobile check-in to alert the host that you are present, and you can scan QR Codes to access digital restaurant menus and start planning your meal. The app was also great for checking on transportation schedules and wait times, checking on ride wait times and showed which rides were in operation and which ones were not. There were scattered thunderstorms throughout our visit which affected the operation of certain rides.
I did not get to fully experience Disney MagicMobile because it was glitching during my visit. We assumed it was because of the weather and interference with the networks. My digital key did not work throughout my stay, and I could not do contactless check-in. A quick visit to the front desk and I got everything sorted out. Disney MagicMobile Pass was also glitchy for park entry and I had left my MagicBand at home because I did not think I would need it. I used my room key to access the park(s) and rides.
It was slightly inconvenient because I had to keep up with my key and take it out every time, I needed to access a new park, ride or going back to my room. My lesson is to walk with my MagicBand no matter what! It would have been a breeze to just have access to everything via my MagicBand on my wrist. Overall, I had a great experience and was able to hit ALL the parks and my contact with people was extremely limited. You are not short on hand sanitizer dispensers, they are EVERYWHERE!
What’s In My Loungefly Mini Backpack: wallet, hand sanitizer, umbrella, poncho, business cards, Disney Gift Card, lip gloss, perfume, hair accessories and hotel room key. Things you may want to add sunscreen, antibacterial wet wipes, water bottle and phone battery charger. Luckily I was in a group and the things that I forgot, I had access to through my travel colleagues/friends. I experienced rope drop so we were up at the crack of dawn to catch one of the first shuttles to the park for gate opening at 7:00am.
Disney Parks Advice: Go in with a plan and strategically navigate your way through the park(s) based on the rides you want to experience and what you have planned on your itinerary. When we were at Magic Kingdom, we started on one side of the park and navigated our way to the other side by lunch time because we had 1:30pm reservations at Be Our Guest. After lunch we made sure we did not miss anything before getting ready to hop over to Hollywood Studios and head to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land.
This was the first time I have been to Disney World and experienced all four parks during my stay. I usually am NOT all about the rides. I will go for a specific attraction. I love Epcot because I am a huge foodie and visiting different countries for my favorite foods is a top priority. I love Animal Kingdom, because of the Kilimanjaro Safari and Pandora World of Avatar. Overall, I had an amazing time and cannot wait to do it all over again. Did you know that spaceship earth is an actual attraction?
I love that I can share my personal experience with my clients and help them plan a magical vacation. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to add some pixie dust to your travel plans.