Signs Disney World is Heading Back To Normal

Things are constantly changing in Walt Disney World since it reopened to guests back in summer of 2020.  When Disney reopened, things looked a little different as they made adjustments to help keep guests and cast members safe.  We are slowly seeing more and more return to what we would consider normal operations.  Take a look at the signs we see as signs Disney World is returning to normal.

Credit: Disney

Fireworks Are Back

One of the biggest signs, we feel, that shows the parks are returning to normal is the fact that nighttime shows are returning.  Back in July we were able to start seeing both Happily Ever After as well as Epcot Forever welcome guests once again.  Moving forward, we will see nighttime entertainment in all four parks.  In Epcot, guests can look forward to Harmonious debuting on October 1st and over in Magic Kingdom, Disney Enchantment will also start on October 1st.  During this time, Beacons of Magic, where the four major park icons will become a nighttime spectacle, will also be starting October 1st.  Nighttime entertainment coming back is a great indicator of normalcy returning.

Credit: Disney

Annual Passes are Back

Another great sign that Walt Disney World is returning to normal is that annual passes are once again for sale.  Guests who have been waiting to purchase an annual pass can choose to do so once again.  There are four new passes that guests can choose from on the Disney website.  The Disney Pixie Dust Pass, Disney Pirate Pass, Disney Sorcerer Pass, and Disney Incredi-Pass are the four new annual pass options.  You can find out more about these passes HERE.  With an annual pass, members can make even more theme park reservations, receive parking, discounts and even special offers from Disney when it comes to resort stays.  We are thrilled that annual passes are now available once again.

Social Distancing is Over

If you visited Walt Disney World when it first reopened, you would have been well aware of the social distancing markers throughout the parks, bus lines and resorts.  These markers helped keep guests 6-feet apart while waiting throughout Disney property.  These markers are no longer seen and guests are once again asked to “fill all available space” when waiting in queues.  Although many of us did enjoy the extra space, removing the spacing is a sign that Disney is moving back to normal procedures.

Transportation is Packed Again

A great feature of Disney is the free transportation to and from the theme parks and resorts.  The Disney buses, monorail, boats and skyliner make it easy and convenient to get from place to place.  When Disney first reopened, these modes of transportation were modified to help ensure social distancing.  Buses, boats and monorials had limited capacities and the skyliner only had one party loaded at a time.  This is no longer the case.  Buses are once again back to standing room and the skyliner and monorail have multiple groups loaded together.  Again, we enjoyed our space, but it is nice to see transportation back to normal again.

Shows are Back

When Disney first opened, there weren’t any shows offered in the parks.  Now, we are slowly seeing our favorite shows return.  Beauty and the Beast as well as First TIme in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along are back in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Festival of the Lion King is showing in Animal Kingdom and we love that the Dapper Dans are back in the Magic Kingdom.  Not only are these shows back, but seating areas full.  We are so glad that these performers are back!

Drink Stations Are Self-serve

If you like your pop (soda), you will be glad to know that the self-service pop stations are back!  As the parks reopened, guests had to tell cast members what they wanted and had to be served.  This made the refillable mugs less appealing.  Now guests can once again help themselves to as much pop as they want.  This might not seem like a big deal, but it is a sign that things are moving towards normal.

Buffets Have Returned

Another simple, but good sign, that things are returning to normal is the fact that buffets are returning.  Until recently, most dining areas had moved away from buffets and offered more family-style meals.  With the opening of Boma, we have now seen the return of buffets throughout different locations.  Biergarten and Crystal Palace have announced buffets and we anticipate more to return moving forward.  This is a good indicator of normalcy returning.

Health Measures Adjusted 

Temperature checks and masks were requirements for a while when Disney World first started welcoming guests.  Now we have seen the removal of the temperature checks as well as the adjustment to the masks requirements.   The masks requirements have been fluid so guests will want to double check before heading down.  But we feel both of these steps show movement towards normal.

We also noticed less hand washing stations and hand sanitizer around.  Even though we wouldn’t have minded having these both stick around, we know the removal of some shows progress.

Each and everyone one of these changes are steps towards Walt Disney World returning to normal.  From the removal of temperature checks to the return of buffets and shows, Disney is moving slowly back to normal.  We don’t know when or if everything will return to normal down the road but we are thankful we have made this much progress.



About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.