We are BACK at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom for the first time in MONTHS! From checking out some of our favorite rides to admiring Cinderella Castle’s new glow-up from close up, it has been A DAY!
We popped into a couple Disney World shops today to scope out the scene and see how our retail-therapy session compared to the ones we’ve previously experienced at Disney Springs as well as the select Disney World resorts that have recently reopened!
Crowds and Waiting to Shop
One of our biggest questions was whether we would have to wait in a virtual queue like we did at World of Disney on its first day back in operation! The process was relatively smooth but still a change from what we’ve been used to in Disney World!
We were told by Magic Kingdom Cast Members that just like the Disney-owned Disney Springs stores, some theme park gift shops may activate a virtual queue system if a crowd forms. You’ll check-in at the front of the store and give your phone number to a Cast Member. Then, when it’s your turn to shop, they’ll contact you to return.
The most prominent example of the use of a virtual queue has been with the Splash Mountain merchandise store. During the Passholder Preview, it had a FOUR HOUR wait at one point!
We noticed that none of the stores (at lease when we were there), including the Emporium, had activated their virtual queues today so we were able to walk right into any shop without waiting. At Uptown Jewelers, there’s a separate virtual queue just to view the Pandora jewelry case.
Most stores now have a designated entrance and exit too to help control the flow of foot traffic.
Some stores even have specific directional signage inside.
Once we got inside, our shopping experience was pretty similar to what we’ve seen elsewhere in Disney World so far. We saw some familiar signage throughout the store, reminding guests to maintain physical distancing and to handle the products as little as possible.
Dressing rooms are also unavailable at most locations.
There’s still plenty of merchandise on the sales floor, but some of the product displays have been reoriented to allow for easier social distancing.
In some cases, trying on merch has changed. At Island Supply by Sunglass Hut, there were bins where you could place glasses after trying them on so that two guests didn’t try them in a row.
Other times things are pretty much the same. At The Chapeau on Main Street, you can still take a gander at how you look in that cute hat.
Checking Out and Payment
Once we selected our treasures to bring home with us, it was time to hop in line! Physical distancing floor markers are present at the checkouts much like they are at other shopping locations throughout Disney World. New plexiglass barriers have also been installed at the cash registers.
For payment, Disney is encouraging all guests to utilize contactless payments, such as Apple Pay or your MagicBand.
On the way out of the stores, we were sometimes able to find some hand sanitizer for guest use.
And just like that, our first Magic Kingdom shopping excursion is complete! Keep in mind, anything you purchase at ANY Disney World theme park gift shop will not be available for front-of-park package pick-up or hotel delivery for the time being. They CAN, however, still ship your items home for you for an additional shipping fee!
What is your favorite store in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!