Unprecedented times led to Walt Disney World being closed for months on end. When the Disney Parks reopened in 2020, many guests were thrilled to be able to enjoy the magic again however there are certain aspects and experiences that are no longer the same. With restrictions and guidelines put in place for safety for the foreseeable future, guests can still enjoy the Disney Parks, but some experiences have been temporarily closed or changed to accommodate the safety of all. Here are some attraction adjustments that guests should be aware of before heading to Walt Disney World.
1. No FastPasses
One of the biggest adjustments that impacts all guests visiting Walt Disney World is the absence of FastPasses. Previously, every guest had access to the FastPass system, with some booking months in advance and others being able to book the day of visits. However, with lower capacities and controlling the location of guests more for safety and cleaning standards, FastPasses are currently not being offered in any of the four Disney Parks. This might seem like a downer, but with lower crowds and capacity capped at twenty five percent, guests don’t really need the system as wait times are already much lower than normal.
2. No Single Rider Lines
In addition to no FastPass lines being open, the Single Rider Lines are also closed throughout the four Disney Parks. Typically, Single Rider Lines are a great way to save time that would have otherwise been spent waiting on a longer Standby Line so long as groups don’t mind being split up. While attractions with Single Riders Lines such as Expedition Everest, Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run are certainly popular, with lower crowd capacity the wait times on the Standby Lines are much more manageable.
3. No Interactive Elements
Certain attractions throughout Walt Disney World feature interactive elements on the Standby Lines to help guests feel entertained while waiting. While these elements are normally welcome distractions from the wait times, they are also high touch areas that are obvious concerns with safety at the moment. Therefore, areas such as the interactive spinning gem buckets on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, play and music area on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and interactive graveyard at the Haunted Mansion are currently not available to guests.
4. No Preshows
In addition to no interactive elements, several attractions have also chosen to remove their preshow elements to prevent guests from clustering together in one location which prevents responsible social distancing protocols. In order to maintain guest safety, the queues for each attraction feature markers on the floor that allow guests to properly space out, and preshow areas simply don’t accommodate for such safe spacing. Therefore preshows such as the Stretching Room in the Haunted Mansion, cartoon introduction at Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and library backstory in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror are currently not available.
5. No Post-Shows
In addition to temporarily unavailable preshows, post-shows have also been removed as they typically cannot appropriately space guests out and also feature high touch points and interactive elements that are not currently safe. One example of a currently unavailable post-show is Project Tomorrow at the end of Spaceship Earth. Featuring interactive screens where guests can send postcards from their future via email to several games demonstrating unique new technology, the entire area typically draws crowds and high touch points, and is currently not a safe option for guests to enjoy.
6. One Party Per Ride Vehicle
In addition to appropriately spacing guests out while on line for attractions, guests also need to maintain a safe and appropriate social distance while actually on board certain attractions. This is being achieved through the use of plastic barriers such as on Kilimanjaro Safaris, or the implementation of having one party per attraction vehicle on certain experiences. This means that guests will find themselves with their own attraction vehicles on attractions such as Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run to help maintain safety protocols.
7. No Play Areas
Many guests with young children love taking a break and enjoying certain play areas, however they are high touch locations which are certainly safety concerns at the moment. One of the most notable play areas that is currently closed is the one attached to Dumbo the Flying Elephant where normally children would be able to enjoy an air conditioned circus tent with climbing and interactive elements designed to help alleviate wait times.
8. No Character Meet and Greets
A final adjustment that many guests will certainly miss but is paramount to the safety of both guests and Cast Members is the temporary absence of the majority of character meet and greets. Since most of these experiences put guests face to face with characters and typically involve hugs and posing together for photos, they are not considered to be safe for anyone involved as proper distance cannot be maintained. Currently experiences such as Princess Fairytale Hall and Meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Sommerhaus are unavailable, however there are character cavalcades available throughout each park that allow guests to see favorites from a safe distance.