Traveling to Disney World is VERY different now — and we want you to be prepared.
We’re constantly on the lookout for new tips to bring you, especially when it comes to contending with all the changes in a reopened Disney World. It really is a whole new world in and around the parks, so we’re bringing you EVERYTHING you need to know to be an expert on your trip. Here are 5 brand-NEW tips for traveling to Disney World in the age of this “new normal!”
1. Know the government restrictions both inside and outside of Florida.
First off, you need to be aware of government restrictions in and out of Florida. There’s a lot that’s different concerning how travel works right now, and that can cause some hangups along the road. For one, if you opt not to fly, you might find yourself with a lengthy drive ahead of you (a 16 hour drive each way is NOT fun when you’re used to a three-hour flight — we know from experience!).
But the drive itself isn’t the only thing you have to worry about, you also need to be aware of the travel restrictions in different states. Headed into Florida, folks from the New York Tri-State Area were recently subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. This mandate has since been lifted, but several states do have mandates still in place requiring quarantine following a visit to Florida; so be sure to do your research before you head out.
Prior to travel, research the government restrictions through the State Health Departments in every state along your route, especially if you intend to stop. That way you’ll know how feasible travel is and how to be prepared.
Beyond that, you need to be aware of ordinances and health mandates in any location that you intend to stop. For instance, Orange County, Florida (where Disney World is located) currently has a face mask mandate. Make sure you’re following local instruction EVERYWHERE on your route.
2. Disinfect your hotel room.
According to Business Insider, hotels present a particular risk during the global health crisis due to the fact that they are a place where many people from different locations gather. Of course, they probably won’t be gathering in YOUR room (we hope — that’d be weird), but a hotel room is entered by housekeeping and other guests before you. In short — it’s a good idea to disinfect.
This starts at home. Make sure you pack the supplies you need to wipe everything down when you arrive. Bring along some disinfecting wipes, and baggies for things you don’t want to touch (like remotes or phones!). Having your own stash of portable cleaning supplies will make it a whole lot easier to feel comfortable in your room.
We recommend disinfecting upon arrival. You can forgo Mousekeeping if you feel more comfortable limiting others’ access to your room and if you don’t, you might want to disinfect each evening upon returning. We also recommend isolating any clothing, shoes, and gear you had with you during the day once you enter your room to limit possible contamination. Is everything probably fine? Likely. Will it give you peace of mind to re-clean? Likely.
3. Wear a mask that’s comfortable for YOU (and your kid)!
We’ve talked a lot about what the BEST masks to wear in Walt Disney World are but this advice is SUPER important: wear something COMFORTABLE, both you AND your kids! There is nothing worse than getting halfway through your Disney day to find that the elastic straps are causing sore spots on the back of your ears, or your mask has a weird smell or feel when it’s in the heat for a while.
Have no fear, though! We’ve got some ways to avoid such issues. For one, we’re pretty much EXPERTS by now concerning which masks are the best of the best to wear in Walt Disney World. We’ve even got a list of top picks specifically for kiddos! So, check out our lists and decide what works for you and your face mask needs. Are you looking for a tie-around-back mask? A fun pattern? The disposable kind? These are the decisions you’ve gotta make before you arrive!
Once you’ve got your masks picked out, it’s a matter of STAYING comfortable once you’re in the parks. Make sure you bring extras (in different styles!) to swap out as you need and know where those Relaxation Stations are! A break can do wonders — especially when it comes to keeping little ones masked up.
4. Know all of the best outdoor dining options!
This one’s a new tip we want you to know! When you’re in the parks, make sure you know all of the best outdoor dining spots. According to the CDC, it’s considered safer to dine outside than it is to dine in an enclosed space so if you’re looking to keep risk levels as low as possible, it’s time to grab a meal out on a patio.
Of course, most quick-service locations offer outdoor seating and, for the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, you can find tables near all of the kiosks. Things get tricky if you want to sit outside at a table-service spot though — especially since a number of restaurants in the parks remain closed. If you’re not comfortable dining inside, a lot of table service spots won’t be an option at this time.
In Magic Kingdom, the only table service restaurant with outdoor dining is Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. In Animal Kingdom, you’ll need to swing over to the Tiffins/Nomad Lounge space. In Hollywood Studios, you can head to BaseLine Tap House. And in EPCOT, you can choose between Rose & Crown and Spice Road Table. Disney Springs also offers a number of table service locations with ample outdoor seating areas. Keep in mind at most of these locations, outdoor seating is limited, so you might have to wait for a table to open up.
5. Get familiar with Mobile Order.
Finally, we recommend you DEFINITELY, definitely, definitely get familiar with Mobile Order. The service is HEAVILY encouraged in the reopened parks and resorts to help keep guests and Cast Members safe by limiting contact as much as possible. In many cases, unless you have an allergy or want to pay cash, you will be encouraged NOT to order at the registers of fast food locations. Instead, Cast Members will direct you to place your food orders via Mobile Order. If you ARE looking to order in-person, let the Cast Member at the entrance know and they’ll help accommodate you.
The Mobile Order system is a part of the My Disney Experience app and it is super easy to use. You can follow our full guide right here! If you have any trouble, find a nearby Cast Member and they will be happy to help you through it. Just make sure you’ve got the app downloaded and your phone charged before you head into the parks! It’s more important than ever now!
Hopefully, these five new tips are a big help while you’re planning and on your Disney trip in this new age. If you have any questions, comments, or tips of your own to share with us, please do so in the comments! We’ll be bringing you more and more tips as we have them; as always, stay tuned.
Have questions about a Disney trip in the new normal? Ask them in the comments!