Many things have changed at the Disney World parks. Some of these changes are for the better. Crowd levels, for instance, are considerably lower, meaning you won’t be weaving through people to get from point A to point B or dealing with people running over your feet with strollers. Of course, there are also negative changes, such as the temporary removal of most live entertainment. All that said, most changes we are seeing are pretty neutral, and you can definitely still have an excellent time even with the changes in place. Still, in order to effectively navigate the parks with these differences in place, you might want to do a bit of research before jumping into your next Disney World vacation. This is where we step in.
Below we’ve listed the top 8 most difficult things to navigate in Disney World right now. While many of the typical difficulties—such as high crowd levels and FastPass+ reservations—have been removed, there are some new puzzles to solve during your planning and your visit. The first step to solving them? Reading this article so you know exactly what challenges you’re facing!
1. Park Reservations
One of the first things you will need to do when planning a trip to Disney World is make park reservations for each day of your trip. For this most part, this is easy enough if you plan far enough in advance. That said, those trying to pay a last-minute visit to the Mouse may run into troubles getting into the parks they want, on the days they want them. The solution? Plan in advance and be flexible if you must make last-minute plans.
2. Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue
Rise of the Resistance is an absolutely amazing attraction that nearly everyone wants to experience. Unfortunately, the ride can only take so many passengers, meaning Disney has to limit capacity each day. In order to experience this new attraction, guests must join a virtual queue. This can be done through the app at 7am before the park opens, or at 1pm while in the park. It is incredibly difficult to snag a spot in the virtual queue, so we recommend trying at 7am first, and again at 1pm if you can’t get in the morning line. Be ready to grab your spot as soon as the clock hits the appropriate time!
3. Mobile Ordering
Most of the quick-service restaurants in the parks are asking that guests use the app to place mobile orders, rather than ordering in person. This is not actually all that difficult to navigate once you know how to do it, but if you go in not knowing that you need to order via the app, it can be a pain to download the app and get everything set up in order to place a mobile order. Be sure you have everything set up and ready to go before your trip begins.
4. Dining Reservations
Even with fewer guests in the parks and a shorter 60-day reservation window in place, the most sought-after dining reservations can still be hard to snag. This is because Disney’s restaurants can only seat a fraction of the guests they could once accommodate. For this reason, you will want to hop online and make your dining reservations as soon as your window opens in order to ensure you get the eateries you want most.
5. Food Allergies or Picky Eaters
Dining during any vacation is made more difficult by food allergies and picky eaters. Fortunately, Disney does what they can to ease this stress. Unfortunately, the limited measures currently offered at some dining locations may make things a little more difficult than they once were. Our suggestion for navigating this issue is to look at menus before making any dining reservations, and speaking with the chef about food allergies so they can help you find a suitable meal.
6. Transportation Changes
There are a few changes to the way transportation works at Disney World. The monorail that goes between Epcot and the Transportation and Ticket Center is not running. Additionally, the monorail, buses, boats, and Skyliner are all running at limited capacity, increasing wait times. To ensure these changes don’t mess up your plans, arrive earlier than you normally would and be prepared to wait a while. You might learn some games to play as a family while you wait in order to pass the time.
7. Finding Characters
Unfortunately, there are no traditional character meet-and-greets at the parks currently. Additionally, live performances and parades have been cancelled. Luckily, this doesn’t mean you won’t see any characters in the parks, but it does make finding them a little more difficult. To see characters, we recommend making reservations for one of the few character dining experiences currently available. If this isn’t possible, watch for “character cavalcades”, which run in the streets and on the water on a fairly regular basis. You may also see characters waving from balconies and other high-up places, so keep an eye out!
8. Mask On vs. Mask Off
Masks aren’t exactly the most comfortable things to wear around all day. As of recently, Disney now allows guests to remove their mask while outside. Masks are still required at all indoor locations throughout the Walt Disney World property. Guests must also wears masks when in an attraction queue, even if you are outdoors. In order to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible, be picky about your masks, packing only the ones that fit best. You might also bring an extra mask to the park each morning, so you can change halfway through the day in case your first mask gets dirty or sweaty.