Since theme parks have started to reopen, one of their highest priorities has been implementing stricter health and sanitation procedures.
Although Disney World and Disneyland haven’t welcomed guests back just yet (but will soon!!), Disney has still started to implement some of its heath and safety procedures in Disney Springs. On top of the temperature checks, social distancing measures, and face mask requirements, restrooms (yes, restrooms) have even switched things up, too.
However, during our time at Universal Orlando, we noticed that their bathroom regulations were well-thought-out for safety, convenience, and cleanliness for everyone visiting. And, before the Disney Parks reopen, they might need to take a few notes from Universal on how restroom facilities should operate.
Universal Orlando Safety Measures
Universal has REALLY been on top of their game with everything we have seen in the parks. Although there have been some bumps in the road (remember the Mobile Order chaos during the opening week?), Universal Orlando has done whatever it can to iron out the kinks and continue to provide the best experiences for guests.
From what we’ve seen, Universal’s temperature checks have been running smoothly. Hotel guests are given wristbands if they have already been screened to lessen the amount of time spent re-checking everyone. The sanitation measures are also well thought out with hand-sanitizer stations everywhere, attractions being wiped down after use, and more.
We’ve also noted the attention to distancing with characters placed on stage or behind roped off areas, dots to stand on to watch shows, and distancing signs and stickers throughout the parks to keep everyone six feet apart at all times.
Universal Orlando Restrooms
But, while there have been consistent signs to remind everyone of the health and safety procedures in the parks, the bathrooms have also been managed extremely well. There are signs outside the restrooms pointing to the nearest available stops and signs inside the restrooms to reassure guests that facilities would be cleaned frequently. We also spotted a number of signs instructing guests to use every other sink to maintain distancing.
Universal even shuts restrooms down for a short period of time to do another round of heavy cleaning, just to make sure things are cleaned to their standards. Within the restrooms and stalls, there is still a lot of social distancing and space implemented so guests don’t have to feel worried about an overcrowded area during afternoon rushes to the restrooms.
The amount of time spent on something as simple as a restroom shows that Universal has been putting a LOT of thought and effort into their sanitation and custodial measures in the parks.
Disney Springs Safety Measures
Disney has also placed strict health and safety measures all around Disney Springs to make sure that Cast Members and guests are protected. On top of the temperature checks and hand-sanitizing stations, there are also new procedures in restaurants and stores (they’ve implemented Virtual Queues and QR menus to promote distancing and contactless protocols).
Disney has continued to find ways to clean high-touch spaces and maintain cleanliness throughout different locations, all while allowing guests to still have great experiences during their time in the shopping and dining district.
Disney Springs Restrooms
However, opposed to the rest of Disney Springs, the restroom situation seems to pale in comparison to Universal’s methods. Disney Springs has SO many signs and markers around the area to clearly designate to guests what each sign means and what to do.
But, the restrooms haven’t seen much change from what they were previously like before. While there are distancing markers outside most restrooms, there are no signs pointing out the restroom areas like Universal and no signs in the restrooms with detailed guidelines either.
The same towels dispensers with the pull-down towels and little turning knobs are still present as they had been previously (which is pretty high-touch, if you think about it). Air-blowing hand dryers are still available too, though it’s widely regarded that these sorts of driers actually spread more germs than they prevent. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean Disney is cleaning any less! We’ve seen custodial teams in restrooms constantly to keep things sanitary.
The lack of signage in Disney Springs restrooms is very contrary to the extensive information we usually see around the shopping and dining district, let alone at other parks.
Although there have been other interesting ideas that Disney could take from Universal’s reopening, the amount of signs and instructions for restrooms is especially something that Disney World should think of implementing. The additional signage likely does make guests feel reassured about the sanitation procedures around the parks.
Disney tends to go above and beyond to help guests and keep them informed, and this would be another way to do so. Since there are so many changes happening in the parks, this extra bit of information and guidance would continue to help guests feel safe, like it seems to have done so far in Universal Orlando.
Of course, Disney could have this already installed in its parks (and we won’t know until they re-open in July). While updated signage in restrooms hasn’t been installed in Disney Springs just yet, it might be another update Disney should look into in the future!
What has your experience been like in re-open theme parks? Let us know in the comments below!