There are many great things about visiting Walt Disney World these days, but it certainly is different than before the pandemic began. In order to help you kids have a magical experience, you’ll want to prepare them for the safety measures and the differences from the traditional Disney experience. Here are a few ways to help get them ready and excited for your Disney vacation.
1. Get them comfortable with wearing a mask
Disney is following the CDC guidelines and requiring masks for all visitors aged 2 and up. Many kids are doing this successfully, but don’t expect them to be able to wear a mask all day if they aren’t used to it! Start practicing several weeks before your trip with wearing it for short periods of time and build up to longer periods. This will also give you a heads up if they are really struggling and you need to make adjustments, like putting buttons on a hat to hold the ear loops or finding a different size mask.
2. Practice social distancing
If your kids have been attending day care, camp, or school and they are used to being around other kids, it may be hard for them to understand why they need to stand six feet away from other parties while visiting Disney. Same goes if your family has been quarantining and the kids are excited to be out and about and see other families. Try going to some public outdoor spaces and have the kids work on maintaining their social distance.
3. Be clear about what will be different
We all experience things in relation to our expectations, and kids are no exception. If they are expecting this Disney trip to be similar to a past visit, with meet and greets, parades, fireworks, and character meals, they will surely be disappointed when they arrive to find a very different Disney experience. Help them prepare and adjust their expectations ahead of time. Show them some videos of what the parks look like so that they have a visual to go along with your description.
4. Get excited about the short lines!
Attraction wait times have been a fraction of what they were pre-pandemic, so now is the time for riding ALL the rides. Get the kids excited about being able to do more than you would in “normal” times. Involve them in making plans for what rides to do each day and creating your route around the park. You could even help them create a list of rides they are excited about to check off, and plan a celebration for riding them all.
5. Highlight what is special about this time
In addition to the short rides, there are other great things happening at Walt Disney World these days. One effect of the low crowd levels is that you can get really great photos that aren’t filled with tons of strangers. Characters are making random appearances around the parks, which almost never happens in “normal” times. Disney is also sending out Character Cavalcades – small parades – throughout the parks at random times, and they have even been featuring some rarely seen characters. Get the kids excited about what they will experience at Disney, and they’ll quickly forget about what’s missing.