Since Disney World began its phased reopening after the unprecedented closures in 2020, we’ve added some NEW tips to our list of things to keep in mind when you travel!
We visit the parks, hotels, and Disney Springs on a daily basis to get a feel for the changes that continue to happen on a near-constant rate — even 2 years later. And, with all of the things that have come, and gone, and then come back again at Disney we have some NEW tips for your vacation!
Bring Plenty of Face Masks (Just In Case)!
As of April 19, 2022 face masks are “optional for Guests in both outdoor and indoor locations, as well as Disney transportation.” The policy does say, however, that it is “recommended” that “Guests who are not fully vaccinated continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters and on enclosed transportation.” And, we have discovered that masks remain required in certain areas of First Aid Centers.
So, while masks are no longer required, you may find yourself wishing you had one in particularly crowded areas. Plus, you never know when the policy could change again — and it could be mid-vacation for ya! We’ve seen Disney implement their updated face mask policies just ONE day after announcing them, so you’ll want to pack a few just in case something changes to avoid paying $9.99+ for a mask in the gift shops.
If you choose to wear a mask outdoors, you probably know that with the summertime Florida weather, you’re likely to encounter thunderstorms, heat, and humidity — and the resulting sweat! This means, your mask is likely to get wet throughout the day.
Whether you opt for reusable or disposable face masks, pack extra for your trip, and throw several in your park bag for each member of your party before you head out for the day. That way, you’ll be all set if you end up needing a fresh mask!
Set a Reminder to Drink Water
We encourage our readers pretty regularly to make sure they’re staying hydrated as they navigate the parks. But from the time we’ve spent in a reopened Disney World, we’ve found we aren’t drinking water as often as usual.
No matter what time of year you choose to visit Disney World, you don’t want to find yourself not hydrating properly! If you think there’s a chance you could fall into this habit as well, consider setting a reminder on your watch or phone to stop and take a drink every so often. Trust us, it’s better than getting dehydrated — especially if you’re wearing a mask outdoors.
If you DO forget to hydrate and find yourself in a tough spot — either through dehydration or heatstroke — swing by the First Aid Center in each park. They’re well equipped to help you if you need it.
Pack Your Own Hand Sanitizer
We’ve found ample hand sanitizer around the parks but, while there are lots throughout the parks, hotels, and Disney Springs, we still recommend packing your own!
By packing your own hand sanitizer, you won’t have to search for a hand sanitizer station. And you’ll have it available when you really want it — like when your meal arrives at a restaurant or when you’ve just pulled down your lap bar on an attraction!
Speaking of Hand Sanitizer, Consider One that Clips to Your Bag!
Another piece of hand sanitizer advice — we’ve found that having ours clipped to the outside of our park bag is super convenient!
That way, we don’t have to dig around inside our bag (and touch all of our other belongings in the process!) when we need it. Here’s a good multi-pack of sanitizers we like.
And Bring Lotion for Your Hands Also!
One side effect we’ve noticed from all of the handwashing and sanitizing we’ve been doing — our hands get super dry!
So, while regular moisturizing lotion isn’t typically at the top of our list of park bag necessities, it’s definitely become an MVP for us in recent weeks! If your room provides travel-sized lotion, pop one not your bag. These are a great option as well (and ultra-moisturizing).
Keep a Close Eye on Disney Park Pass Availability
In order to visit the reopened Disney World parks, all guests are required to have a Disney Park Pass Reservation in addition to valid theme park admission. There is a cap on the availability for Disney World Resort guests, regular ticket holders, and Annual Passholders in each park every day so when they’re all gone, they’re gone.
BUT, we’ve noticed that the Disney Park Pass availability can change, and occasionally, parks that were previously listed as full have become available again. So, if you didn’t get your first choice of park when making your initial reservations, check back regularly to see if the availability has changed!
Be On the Lookout for Characters in Unexpected Places
When Disney World first reopened, traditional meet-and-greets, parades, and character dining were unavailable (with the exception of the modified character dining experiences at Topolino’s Terrace and Garden Grill).
Character dining has expanded since Disney World reopened, with more opportunities to dine alongside Mickey, Minnie, and more. In fact, many character dining experiences have even returned to normal!
Disney World has also recently brought back traditional character meet and greets, so you can once again hug and get autographs from many of your favorite characters. Keep in mind that not every single meet and greet has returned to normal, so check your My Disney Experience app to see who is available that day!
But, if your favorite character isn’t available for one-on-one time just yet, keep an eye out while you’re in the parks! A number of character cavalcades take place in each of the four parks, and multiple socially distanced character pop-ups have also been seen around property.
Reapply Sunscreen to Your Face Regularly!
It’s important to protect your skin regardless of the circumstances of your vacation, but now this common tip has a new twist! Don’t forget to regularly reapply sunscreen to your face! This can help you avoid both a sunburn and unwanted face mask tan lines.
You also might want to use a high SPF sunscreen on your face, to help cut down on the face mask tan lines! This is a great one made especially for your face!
See which face masks are the MOST comfortable to wear all day in Disney World — and which ones you should avoid!
Bring Lip Balm
We’ve found that wearing a mask around the park all day has caused our lips to get dry super quickly. So, another park bag essential that has found its way towards the top of our list is lip balm!
Here’s a bonus tip — since these are typically pretty small, they can fall to the bottom of your bag easily. So if possible, keep your lip balm in a small, outer pocket of your bag for easy access!
Bring a Portable Phone Charger
With the focus on reducing contact, your cell phone (and My Disney Experience app) is more important than ever! You can use your phone to access Mobile Order, pull up QR code menus, process contactless payments, and more!
Disney World does offer swappable FuelRod chargers at several locations.
So, while there are portable phone charging options available in Disney World, you may want to bring your own from home to avoid the high price! This is a reliable charger that can provide you multiple charges in a day!
We’re always scoping out all of the ins and outs of navigating Disney World — and we’ve learned A LOT along the way! For more tips on navigating Disney World differently since reopening, check out our video below:
Click here to read about additional COSTS you may need to plan for on your next Disney World vacation.
Have you been to Disney World since the reopening? Share your new tips in the comments!