Disney World is steadily continuing with its phased reopening!
We’ve seen restaurants and hotels reopening as the parks fill up to their limited capacity. And as COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed across the country, some things are returning to normal. In fact, we’ve been seeing more and more signs of this in Disney World lately. Let’s break it all down and take a look.
Disney World Is Hiring
Recently, Disney World posted job applications for Attractions, Custodial, Merchandise, and Quick-Service Cast Members. While third-party companies like Patina Restaurant Group have been hiring in the past year, this is the first time since the closure we’ve seen Disney itself hiring for positions inside the parks and resorts.
Disney laid off thousands of Cast Members in the wake of the pandemic but furloughed Cast Members are also being called back to work. These job listings are a huge sign that the parks are getting back to business.
Shows Are Reopening
When the parks reopened in July 2020, entertainment was temporarily suspended. That included nighttime spectaculars like Happily Ever After as well as shows like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Finding Nemo: The Musical.
While Disney hasn’t said when fireworks will make their return — even though a brand-new show is in the works — they did bring back one very popular show, Festival of the Lion King! The show was modified to fit current health and safety procedures, including altering parts of the choreography.
No other shows have received an opening date yet, but Festival of the Lion King’s comeback is a BIG sign that entertainment may be slowly be returning to the parks.
The Parks Are Full
Disney World reopened at limited capacity and has slowly been increasing that number — for a while, capacity was capped at 35%, but now Disney CEO Bob Chapek has shared that capacity is increasing again. Park Pass reservations are also now required to visit, in addition to a valid ticket for the same day. But there has been a HUGE demand for these Park Passes, and capacity calendars are filling up fast.
Even though Disney tends to refill Park Passes at random, availability is pretty slim. All 4 Disney World parks have been almost completely booked since spring break season — and it doesn’t look like the trend will slow anytime soon.
Hotels Are Full
A big tip-off that travel is resuming is the status of Disney World hotel reservations! While not all the resorts have reopened just yet, those that are open are booking up FAST. Many resorts are already completely full from now…
…all the way to August! And hotels that do have openings have pretty slim pickings with regard to what type of room you want.
Now, Disney hasn’t disclosed if they are filling all their rooms at all times, or if they’re leaving some empty at times to accommodate safety measures. But regardless of whether or not the hotel is totally full, we’re seeing a much higher demand for rooms than we were right after the parks reopened.
Mask Rules Are Changing
Since the parks’ reopening, Disney World has required guests to wear approved face coverings at all times, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary. These policies — which applied to guests both indoors and outdoors — had remained in place until very recently.
At the beginning of April, Disney World implemented a new mask policy, which allowed guests to remove masks when taking photos outdoors and distanced from others. Then, in a massive shake-up, the policy changed again in May. Now, face coverings are optional in outdoor common areas.
Face coverings must still be worn in all indoor environments unless actively eating or drinking while stationary. They must also be worn on attractions, during shows, and in the queues for attractions and shows.
While Disney is still functioning under limited operations, with certain attractions closed and crowds capped, we are seeing a slow return to normal. These signs could be indicators that the Disney we know is on its way back. We’ll keep an eye out for any and all other changes, so stay tuned to DFB!
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Are you planning a trip to Disney World soon? Let us know in the comments!