A LOT is different in Disney World and it can be hard to keep track of all of the changes.
Now, MOST of the changes make sense. We totally get the mask mandate, temperature checks, and social distancing. But we’ll be honest, there are some things (or lack thereof) that are just downright confusing for us! Let’s take a look at some of the bigger head-scratchers we’ve experienced in a reopened Disney World!
There are temperature checks EVERYWHERE — but not when you check in to the resorts?
Perhaps our biggest surprise when we first got back to the resorts on their opening day was that there were NO temperature checks when you get to a resort hotel. This definitely strikes us as a little strange considering there are temperature checks EVERYWHERE else — in Disney Springs and in the parks, and even at the table-service restaurants IN the resorts. But there are no temperature checks when you first get to the resorts.
Does this mean that theoretically, a guest could fail the temperature check at Magic Kingdom and head back to the resort to hang out in common areas? Yep, it kinda does! Still, Disney did add an extra precaution with the introduction of those mandatory temperature checks at resort table service restaurants. Still, not having the checks required to enter a hotel at all when they do everywhere else does have us a little bit confused.
Things seem laser-focused on health and safety, but some high touch points seem neglected.
Temperature checks aren’t the only measure that seems to have gray areas. For instance, Disney seems laser-focused on safety and sanitation, but there are some high touch points that seem to be treated just like they’ve always been pre-closure. If you’re nervous about germy surfaces, bring your own hand sanitizer and wipes!
We’ve noticed that there is no cleaning between each guest on interactive rides like Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin or Toy Story Midway Mania, and the Skyliner is only being cleaned ONCE A DAY. Plus, water fountains are still in use, which seems especially eye-raising to us since guests aren’t even allowed to use the self-serve soda stations in most dining locations.
We love the Character Cavalcades, but sometimes they’re head-scratchers.
This one is kind of silly but has definitely left us confused. We absolutely ADORE the new Character Cavalcades, in fact, we love them way more than we thought we would! But there are some character cavalcades that don’t make a ton of sense. We just want to know the thought process behind some of these choices!
For one, the Frozen Promenade in EPCOT features Anna and Elsa taking a spin around the World Showcase. Here’s the thing though, Anna is riding along in a glorious horse-drawn carriage while Elsa…walks? HOLDING her train bunched up in her arm…? Were there no extra white horses to stick her on? Elsa on horseback would be CRAZY cool. We’re not sure this is what she had in mind when she did the whole “Into the Unknown” thing.
Then there’s the Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade. On the surface level, it sounds great. All our Fantasyland pals together at once? Awesome! But in practice it really is just random Disney characters all tossed together on a float. Mary Poppins, Alice, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Aladdin? Not the combo we necessarily would have picked.
And not even all Fantasyland characters! We’re pretty sure Aladdin sets up shop in Adventureland last we checked. Should there be an asterisk next to the name with tiny print at the bottom saying “Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade…oh yeah, and Aladdin. He didn’t have a lot going on today.”
Why won’t Disney show characters wearing face masks?
Speaking of characters, several guests think it’s strange that Disney won’t show their characters wearing face masks. We asked our readers about their thoughts on this, and the results were nearly 50-50 for and against.
Some guests think it makes absolutely no sense for face characters to wear masks. It could possibly ruin the story of that character to see them masked up. But for other guests, there is definitely a case to be made for some characters (princesses, for instance) wearing face masks in a way that won’t disrupt their story.
The biggest benefit of doing this would be that it could give parents a way of showing little kids that face masks are a-ok. Right now, this is giving kids an excuse to say, “But MERIDA isn’t wearing one!”
How can some park areas feel so well thought out, safety-wise, and others feel like a free-for-all?
Another thing that’s really got us at a loss is the way that some park areas feel perfectly planned out while others? Not so much. Think about lines for attractions and some quick-service venues with carefully-placed social distancing and directional stickers. Now, think about seeing NONE of that in super-popular (and super bottleneck-y) areas like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Doesn’t make a ton of sense, does it?
Frankly, Galaxy’s Edge has felt like a bit of a hot mess in general. When that area gets crowded, you won’t typically find us hanging out near the Millennium Falcon for a selfie! We definitely think the space could use more directional markers, better ways to promote spacing, or maybe even some sort of limited capacity.
Disney has been very hot and cold about resort hopping.
Listen, we’re REALLY confused about the deal with resort hopping. Disney’s official line is that to even get INTO a Disney World hotel right now, guests will need a confirmed room reservation, or a confirmed dining reservation if you’re a day guest not staying overnight. But in practice, we’ve found that resort hopping is a little less clear.
So far, we’ve had no issue heading into the monorail loop resorts — Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort — as long as we have that dining reservation OR we order something through Mobile Order from a quick-service spot on site. Basically, food has been our golden ticket in.
But we have been turned away from other resorts for arriving too early for a reservation. At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, we were asked to sit in our car until it was time to go in and eat, and we were scolded at the Beach Club for arriving early as well. Next time we went back to the same hotel, we were allowed to enter with no issue! It really seems very dependent on the Cast Member you encounter when trying to enter. We’re glad you can still (sort of!) resort hop, but we do wish this policy was a little bit clearer.
There are gaps in the monorail dividers.
This is a little thing but it has us confused. We’ve definitely had our moments of discomfort on the monorail since it reopened. After all, it’s an enclosed space and, at busier times, we’ve been in a cabin with up to three other groups. But what really gets us are the barriers between the open cars with GAPS around the edges. Why the gaps?
Currently, monorail cabins are split into two separate spaces by a barrier in the middle of the car, but that barrier does not seal against the walls or seats. The result of this is pretty significant gaps where air can get through, including RIGHT near your head when you’re seated on the bench. If the gaps are there to make sure the cabin has airflow, doesn’t that defeat the whole point?
What’s keeping menus so limited?
And finally, what’s keeping some of our favorite items off of the menu? We’ve been pretty devastated whenever we see a favorite is unavailable at a dining spot (We’re looking at you California Grill Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli!).
We’ve heard from chefs and Cast Members that some missing items will be returning soon, but why aren’t they back yet? We know a lot of this has to do with supply chain issues, available Cast Members, the ability to safely space Cast Members in prep areas, and costs vs. guest demand, but we DO wish that we knew with a bit more certainty when these missing items will return — or if some are gone for good.
So Disney has got us a little bit confused about some aspects of the reopened parks and resorts, but we’re still working to understand! If you’ve got any questions about the new experience at Disney World, ask them in the comments and we’ll do our best to get you an answer!
What changes have confused you in Disney World? Tell us in the comments!