It’s a whole new world of cleanliness and sanitation in Disney World and we’re still getting used to it!
There are all sorts of new protocols for Cast Members and guests and we’ve been observing the way that these protocols work in the parks. We have to say, some things have definitely surprised us about the way that cleaning is handled for rides and attractions. Here’s what we WEREN’T expecting!
1. The Skyliner Cleaning Schedule
Hey, the Skyliner is TECHNICALLY a ride, isn’t it? As you can imagine, we’ve taken several trips on the Disney Skyliner in reopened Disney World by now. The biggest difference is that the ride is limited to one gondola per party — which we’ve actually really liked!
Still, it’s the cleaning procedures that surprise us about this popular transportation method. A Cast Member we spoke to on the Skyliner’s reopening day told us that the gondolas are only being cleaned once a day. With so many guests passing through, we thought they might be wiped down more than that — and they could have changed it to more often by now. Luckily, with the vented design of the gondola, there’s ample airflow through each cabin all the time.
But if you’re still a little put off by the once-a-day cleaning, there are things you can do to feel safer when riding the Skyliner. Keep your mask on even though you’re away from other folks and bring wipes or sanitizer to keep your hands clean after you’ve been in the gondola space.
2. Most ride vehicles are only cleaned every few hours.
We kind of expected rides to be cleaned SUPER often, and it’s true that we have seen our fair share of cleaning going on. Still, we talked to a few Cast Members at different attractions who let us know that there is a designated period of time between cleanings that was a little longer than we were expecting.
For many attractions, Cast Members told us that the rides were being cleaned every two hours. If that makes you uncomfortable, keep an eye out for hand sanitizer stations and bring your own! Be sure to sanitize before and after each ride.
Disney’s cleaning protocols are based on guidance from health professionals but if you feel better with a little bit of back-up sanitizing — make sure you’re prepared.
3. High-touch surfaces aren’t always cleaned more often.
This one might be the BIGGEST surprise we’ve seen when it comes to cleaning procedures on the rides. There are some high-touch areas on rides that we expected to get some extra attention when it comes to cleaning — especially on the more interactive attractions.
We didn’t see any cleaning between individual riders on rides with high-touch elements like the pull-toys on Toy Story Mania, the blasters on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, the seats on Flight of Passage, and the controls on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Dumbo the flying elephant.
According to a Cast Member at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, the ride was being cleaned every two hours like we’ve been told of some other attractions. Like the other items on this list, antibacterial wipes can definitely help to disinfect these surfaces and your hands.
4. Lines still move quickly even when the rides have to be stopped to be cleaned.
It wasn’t too surprising to us that the attractions occasionally close temporarily for cleaning but it WAS a surprise that it didn’t result in longer lines. There were several attractions, like Splash Mountain, that occasionally had an announcement while we were in the queue that the ride was paused for cleaning, but it didn’t slow the ride down that much.
Overall, we haven’t found a back-up in lines and queues for cleaning or other health protocol Disney has implemented. So if that’s a concern of yours, it shouldn’t be a problem.
5. The spray cleaners they are using aren’t what we expected.
One of the main methods of cleaning that we’ve seen is a spray cleaner, which definitely isn’t what we were expecting. It IS Disney, so we almost expected some sort of high-tech UV light that didn’t cause any hassle to guests! But what’s ACTUALLY surprised us is that the sprays DON’T really impact guests.
Our big concern was that our seats would be wet when we sat down, but we spoke to Cast Members at DINOSAUR in Animal Kingdom who told us that they run sprayed-down vehicles through the ride once before they load the vehicle with guests. With this and staggering the sprays, it allows the rides to keep moving without subjecting riders to wet seats! Smart!
Overall, we saw most of the cleaning measures in Disney World coming, but these were surprising. We’ll continue to report from a reopened Disney World so keep an eye out for everything new and alllll the tips in the coming weeks!
And note that Disney World is changing protocol regularly based on feedback from healthcare professionals and the day to day activity in the parks. So if you’re seeing a different cleaning protocol, let us know!
What has surprised YOU about Disney World’s reopening? Tell us in the comments!