There are lots of ways that social distancing is encouraged and enforced in Disney World: from signage to barriers and more. There have been some changes in distancing measures over the past year. So, what does social distancing look like in Disney World now?
Capacity and Crowds
The first factor that we need to keep in mind is that Disney World is still operating at a limited capacity. This limit allows guests to social distance in the parks and lets Disney keep capacities in stores in restaurants, and on attractions low.
Disney has not updated the capacity figure publicly since November 2020 when they updated that the parks were operating at 35% capacity. It’s possible that that figure has been changed since then, but Disney has not made any announcements.
So how does that translate in the parks? On most days, Disney World feels full, but not as crowded as pre-closure.
A large piece of this is that many rides are operating with significantly limited capacities which means fewer guests are on attractions at any given time. Add in limitations at restaurants and in stores, and that means more guests may be out in the general park areas.
Speaking of pinch points, they are certainly still the reality in some places in Disney World. These spots can make it especially difficult to remain socially distanced when moving through. Some examples include outside of Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn in Magic Kingdom…
…between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom…
…moving through Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom…
…passing through Mexico in EPCOT…
…and in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
If you find yourself faced with a pinch point and don’t want to sacrifice social distancing, you may want to plan for another route. Don’t worry about turning around and coming back during a less crowded time or finding another path to your destination!
Getting a vantage point further back can help to make sure you stay distanced during cavalcades.
As for rainy days, the best plan is to make sure you have a sturdy rain layer so you don’t have to worry about crowding for shelter in a sudden downpour. You can also opt to get in a line with an indoor queue in those instances. Keep an eye on the radar so you know when the skies might open up! We wore a Disney World rain poncho during a storm in Disney World. Here’s our review.
Overall, it’s still easy to socially distance in most instances, but you won’t always be away from others. Plus, your ability to stay distanced can depend on other guests as well.
Signage and Markers
Disney World is not lacking in social distancing reminders either. Posted at park entrances and throughout the park, you’ll see health and safety signage that reminds guests to stay six feet apart from one another.
There are also a LOT of different guides to help you keep track of distance; most of them in the form of stickers on the ground! Any place where a queue may form, attractions and otherwise, you’ll see “Please Wait Here” markers every six feet or so.
Keep in mind that these may seem like they’re farther than six feet at times. This is because queues sometimes wrap around and the added distance may help you to keep your distance from those to your sides as well as the parties in front and behind you.
Markers can also be found in spots where people might gather. For instance, standing outside of the Canada Mill Stage where the JAMMitors have been performing during EPCOT festivals.
We’ve seen these removed in a few places recently, such as outside the area where Anna and Elsa sometimes pop up in EPCOT’s Norway, but markers are largely still the norm.
Dining locations still have social distancing measures in place too. For one, quick service spots are still HEAVILY encouraging Mobile Order to limit your interaction with Cast Members. While you wait for your Mobile Order to be ready, you wait outside of the restaurant.
Both table-service restaurants and quick-service restaurants have limited capacity in dining areas. You’ll notice that table seating is still distanced to six feet apart both indoors and outdoors.
Attractions are still VERY different in Disney World and many of the changes are in place to account for social distancing. As we talked about, the queues are all still distanced by six feet per party, meaning they sometimes stretch MUCH further than normal. The Haunted Mansion queue, for instance, can stretch all the way to the paths around the queue for the Liberty Belle Riverboat
Once in the actual attraction, you might find that some pre-shows are unavailable. Sometimes you walk straight through the pre-show room like with Haunted Mansion and Dinosaur and sometimes you see an abridged version like with Flight of Passage.
In some cases, pre-shows are still happening but Cast Members will direct you to stand on a specific social distancing mark. This is true for the pre-show areas on Rise of the Resistance.
Once on the ride, you may notice some changes to the loading pattern. In some cases, this means one party per car. In others, it may mean a certain number of rows between you and another party. And, you might spot plexiglass on some attractions too.
In most cases, these measures are similar to the ones that were in place when the parks reopened last year. In other cases, things have changed.
Finally, let’s talk about the current sitch with transportation! Distancing is still in place on most modes of transportation in Disney World although there have been some updates.
The Skyliner has been loading one party per gondola since the reopening. That’s still the protocol!
As for the buses, social distancing has been similar for a while. At reopening, the buses had zone seating. They still do, but Disney has upped the number of zones to increase capacity and decrease wait times.
A similar change happened with monorail cabins. You’ll notice that there are now several smaller zones on the monorail. These are separated by plastic barriers. When you’re getting on a bus or monorail, Cast Members will tell you where to sit.
The boats have distancing measures as well with barriers and some seats marked as unavailable.
Transportation still has a good amount of social distancing measures in place.
We hope this social distancing update is helpful! Of course, we’ll be keeping an eye out for any changes with social distancing and other health measures so you can stay tuned to DFB so you don’t miss any updates!
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Have questions about social distancing in Disney World? Tell us in the comments!