The past year has been a wild ride. Many haven’t gone far from home the entire year, and some don’t even feel great about heading into the grocery store to gather basic necessities. This leaves many people wondering how anyone could feel safe going somewhere like Disney World. Oddly enough though, we feel safer at Disney World than we do at the grocery store. We feel Disney has done an excellent job implementing safety protocols, and wouldn’t hesitate to head to the most magical place on earth for a vacation, even during these crazy times. Here’s why we think you’re better off at Disney than at your local supermarket right now.
1. Capacity Limits
While Walmart was implementing capacity limits at one time, and while some smaller grocery stores might still be doing this, we haven’t seen enforced capacity limits at the grocery store ourselves in quite some time. Disney, on the other hand, is still capping capacity at 35–40%, meaning the parks will never be too crowded to distance yourself from others, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort required to do so.
2. Temperature Checks
When you arrive at a Disney park, the first thing you’ll have to do is have your temperature checked. This helps ensure no individuals are entering the park with a fever. We’ve yet to see a supermarket check temperatures upon entry, meaning a fellow shopper might just be walking right next to you while running a full-fledged fever and you’d never know it.
3. Specific Masks Required
Most businesses are requiring masks these days. That said, very few are particular about the type of face covering you choose to wear. This means things like neck gaiters, mesh masks, and bandanas are passing off as appropriate face coverings in the store. Meanwhile, Disney World is very particular about the face coverings they allow, meaning everyone must be wearing an effective mask during their visit.
4. Enforced Mask Policy
Not only is Disney particular about the type of mask you use, they actually enforce how, where, and when it is worn. Guests in Disney parks must wear their masks at all times, even while outside and/or taking photos. Additionally, the mask must fully cover the mouth and nose of the wearer. Exceptions are made for very small children under the age of two, and masks may be removed for eating and drinking as long as the wearer is stationary while doing so. Recordings are played to remind people of the rules, and staff are very vigilant in making sure they are followed—something we rarely see while grocery shopping.
5. Social Distancing Markings
Social distancing is also enforced at WDW. Markings on the ground tell visitors where to stand when waiting in queues for rides. Additionally, you’ll find ground markings near food carts where people might line up to order their snacks and drinks. You’ll also find ground markings in certain attractions, helping to ensure parties stay together and distance themselves from one another. We will say that we have seen floor markings in some grocery stores. These usually tell shoppers which direction they may go down the aisles, and while they might work on paper, they are rarely followed, and tend to cause congestion when they are. Unfortunately, we don’t actually have a great answer to this problem for the stores, but we do firmly believe Disney has handled this aspect of social distancing in the best way possible.
6. Constant Cleaning
For a while, every single grocery store was wiping down carts after every use. We also noticed stores closing early to do a thorough cleaning each night. Unfortunately, while both of these practices are still being used in some places, they tend to be inconsistent at best. Additionally, considering all the high-touch places in a store, we never quite feel the procedures were enough anyway. In contrast, Disney is constantly wiping high-touch surfaces. There is nearly always a Cast Member cleaning the restroom when we visit one, and the rides are wiped down many times a day. Disney World has even removed the need to touch the fingerprint scanner heading into the parks, taking away one high-touch surface entirely.
7. Fresh Air and Sunshine
To be fair, grocery stores can’t exactly move all of their merchandise outdoors (which makes us think, maybe an outdoor farmer’s market would be a better shopping option right now). However, we will say that the fact that the Disney parks are almost entirely outdoors certainly does make us feel more comfortable with visiting the place. The fresh air will likely carry germs away from us, especially when combined with social distancing and masks, and we’re guessing the Florida sunshine is pretty quick to sanitize outdoor surfaces.
Obviously, visiting a public place such as Disney World does come with its own set of risks. That said, we stand by our statement that we feel more comfortable visiting Disney World than a grocery store, and hopefully this article has helped you better understand why that is. Maybe it’ll even inspire you to book a Disney trip of your own!