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How Disney Cruise Line May Change After The Viral Crisis

Disney Cruise Line offers a truly magical experience. Those who have been on a Disney cruise know how incredible they are. COVID-19 has definitely impacted the cruise industry, and even when the ships sail off again things will look quite a bit different for a while. Nothing has officially been announced, but here are some assumptions of what a Disney Cruise Line vacation may look like after COVID-19.

1. Increased Handwashing Measures

Disney cruises have always been all about keeping germs as minimal as possible. Before you enter the kids’ areas or restaurants you were either given a hand wipe or asked to use the handwashing stations. These are both great ways to keep the germs away. Chances are that such measures will increase once the ships sail again.

2. Temperature Checks

In the past, you were given a health statement to sign. You were asked if you were sick before boarding the ship. In the future, most likely there will be more questions about you and everyone in your party. It is also probable that they will start doing temperature checks before boarding, to make sure everyone is healthy.

Photo: Disney

3. Masks in Public Areas

When cruises first return there is a good chance that masks will become normal on the ships if you are in a public area. Masks would not be required while dining, swimming, or in your cabin. Disney Cruise Line hosts themed nights, so getting a matching mask will work perfectly for that. A mask could be a great addition to a costume for Pirate Night, for example. Disney Cruise Line could also have exclusive themed masks for sale. When cruising, check to see the requirements for any ports that you might be visiting. Even if Disney Cruise Line doesn’t mandate face coverings, some ports might.

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4. Change in Buffets

Disney cruise line has amazing food and that won’t change, but the way that you get the food may be different. The buffet at Cabanas is very popular, but there are a lot of shared surfaces, so the buffet line may not return for a while. The buffets could change so you will still have unlimited food, but a Crew Member could put the food on your plate instead. At least one full service restaurant is always open for breakfast and lunch, and this could become more popular.

5. Additional Scheduled Dining Times

For sit down dinners they have two scheduled times, and you can either pick the earlier or the later dining. With Rotational Dining, you have the same servers every night. They go with you to each restaurant, and they truly become a special part of your vacation. The problem is that the dinner restaurants have tables that are close together. Disney may have to add additional seatings to keep fewer people in each restaurant at a time. The practice of seating different parties together at a table may also become a thing of the past.

6. Characters from a Distance

Characters are part of what makes a Disney Cruise Line vacation so magical. Before Coronavirus you were able to meet many of your favorites throughout the day. Since social distancing has become the new normal, close up meet and greets will most likely not take place for a while. Disney will still have ways that you can see your favorite characters, it will just be from a distance. 

Credit: Disney

7. No Fireworks

Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise line that does fireworks from sea, but that also means large groups gathered in one place. Disney knows what they’re doing, so they could be working on a way to still have a beautiful show in the sky, but it may have a different feel than you’re used to. It could be that parties are assigned a place to watch, or that tickets will be required to watch from the deck. They could also put the fireworks on hold for a while.

8. Pool Limited Capacity

The pools on the Disney ships could be problematic. They tend to get crowded. Expect lounge chairs to be spaced further apart. Disney will have to limit the number of people in the pool at a time, or they could temporarily close them because of the size. Reservations for pool time are also a possibility.

9. Castaway Cay Social Distancing

One of the best parts of many Disney Cruise Lines vacations is Castaway Cay. Fortunately, it is easy to practice social distancing on Disney’s private island. There will most likely be fewer lounge chairs on the beach, and some tables at Cookie’s might be blocked off. There could be fewer experiences available. Even if there are some changes to Castaway Cay, it will be one of the best parts of your trip.

Castaway Cay

10. Adjustments at Kids’ Clubs

Many kids love Disney cruises because the kids’ clubs are amazing. Adults are even jealous when they see how much fun the areas are. Disney is going to be cleaning around the clock to make sure these areas are safe. Social distancing will be enforced, and it could be that appointments need to be made to keep the number of kids down.

11. Live Shows with Reduced Audiences

Some of the live shows on Disney Cruise Line are world famous. There many guests that will book a cruise specifically for the shows. Thankfully, the shows can be watched from a distance. The size of the audience will need to be kept down, no more crowding in to make sure that every seat is full. In the past they have had two shows each night. They might need to add more so everyone can be a part. It is also possible that tickets will be required for the shows.

12. Movies Move to Room Cabins

Another fun part of a Disney Cruise Line vacation is seeing either new or classic movies in the theaters. Like the live shows, they will most likely have to limit capacity in the theaters. It’s possible that more of the first run movies will be available in your cabin, so you won’t have to watch in the theater.

Even though Disney Cruise Line will look different than it did before, it will still be a magical voyage that is worth every penny. Disney will do everything in their power to keep you safe, yet still make sure you have an amazing vacation.

About Tricia Kennedy

Tricia Kennedy lives in Orlando and loves having Walt Disney World pretty much in her backyard. She can be found at Disney several times a week. She will often stop by a park for an hour or two, but she also enjoys spending a whole day there with her friends. A lifelong Star Wars fan, Tricia especially enjoys Star Wars Weekends and has ridden Star Tours over 200 times. Tricia's other favorite thing is Disney's BoardWalk, where she can often be found taking a walk or watching the nightly street performers.