To ensure we are equipping our readers with all the information they need, we will continue to report on all travel, safety, and COVID-related news that could impact a Disney Parks visit.
There has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding traveling due to the COVID pandemic.
Disney World has taken several health and safety measures, but many people have expressed that they are not ready to head back in and face the crowds. We asked our readers what it would take for them to feel comfortable in Disney World again — here’s what you said!
As you can probably imagine, we got a lot of different responses to the question “What would it take for you to feel comfortable in Disney World again?” Everyone’s input and perspective is greatly appreciated! While we won’t be able to list every response, we took the most frequently occurring responses and have compiled them here.
Lower COVID-19 Rates in Florida
The COVID-19 numbers in Florida have been increasing recently. And this was one area where many readers expressed concern. One reader said they’re waiting for “Florida Covid numbers to decrease significantly.” Another stated that “Lower case counts in Florida” was what they needed to feel good about traveling to Disney again.
With Florida cases spiking again over the summer, some readers reported they canceled their summer or fall trip in order to avoid the hotspot. Other readers mentioned that “Disney’s doing great, but Florida needs to get it under control.” We read that the concern was less about Disney World itself, and more about the surrounding issues in Florida “I feel safe in Disney, but the travel is the issue.”
Mask Mandates (Or Lack Thereof)
Disney World re-introduced their mask mandate for indoor locations this summer after an increase in COVID-19 cases in Florida. For some, this mandate isn’t enough to help them feel comfortable. One reader is hoping for “MUCH higher vaccination numbers, better mask habits and mandates,” and several readers mentioned a stricter mask policy and for masks to be required outdoors as well.
On the flip side of this, other readers said they’ll feel more comfortable in Disney World when the mask mandate is gone. According to one reader, “My kids refuse masks, so we will go when all the mandates lift.” Another said they canceled their trip “because you have to wear a mask. Florida is tooooo hot for all that…”
More Distancing and Safety Policies
Our readers had several different requests when it came to Disney’s policies. One mentioned a need for more visible cleaning in the parks: “I need to see more disinfecting.”
Another requested a return of the physical distancing in ride lines: “6-foot distancing in lines…it sucks but I don’t want people close to me.”
Disney has been increasing capacity slowly over the summer, and we’ve seen some big crowds recently. Although the crowd levels have dropped off significantly in the last couple of weeks (maybe due to school starting in Florida), we’re expecting more crowds to be back when the 50th Anniversary Celebrations kick off on October 1st. Readers mentioned that they’re looking for lower crowds before they return to Disney World: “Limited capacity – it’s getting waaay too crowded at the moment.”
Some readers suggested specific numbers, like “Maybe smaller capacity numbers but realistic. Even 10-15% less” or “It needs to be 40% of what it is now.” In general, many of our readers are hoping for limited capacity in the parks, for both safety and comfort reasons.
There were several suggestions about vaccines and vaccination requirements in Disney World, ranging from “NOT having vaccine mandate anywhere” to “Requiring proof of vaccination.” Currently, Disney World does not require proof of vaccination. All guests — whether or not they’re vaccinated — are required to abide by the indoors mask mandate.
Another major concern for several readers was that kids can’t be vaccinated yet. One reader shared “Vaccines being available for my kids. We had planned to go this fall, but not with all the new info & numbers.” As of writing, there is no vaccine available for kids under 12 years old. Many parents are waiting for a kids’ vaccine before heading to Disney World.
Return to Normal
One reader responded to our question simply with “everything opening.” Other readers mentioned that they’re waiting for “the Disney Dining Plan to come back” or “staff numbers [to] increase again.” Disney has been reopening restaurants, hotels, and attractions, and we’ve seen a lot of normal things returning to the parks, but not everything is back yet.
One big thing that we haven’t seen return to Disney World yet is close-up character meet and greets. Although you can see many of your favorite characters and even interact with them, you still can’t hug them or take photos right next to them. One reader said they’re waiting for “Characters back to normal” before they return.
Some readers also noticed that the staff numbers are low, and it’s affected their experiences in Disney World: “The customer service has lacked our past two trips. That’s why we’re on a break now.”
On a different topic, many readers said they’ll feel more comfortable in Disney World when there are “lower prices.” One reader said “Feeling pretty unsettled about the new Genie platform and $$$$$.” We heard a lot of feedback that the new Genie system was making people upset with Disney: “cancel Genie and return to FastPass.”
Other readers mentioned that they’re waiting “for all the best perks to come back,” specifically citing the Disney Dining Plan (returning to Disney World) and FastPasses (not returning — replaced by Genie+). Another mentioned, “When I can get more for my money in the parks.” One reader simply wants “one free dessert,” which we wouldn’t say no to!
Another comment we saw a lot in the responses was that people already feel safe in the Disney parks. One reader said “I think they do an amazing job. I was there last November.” We saw more comments that expressed approval for how Disney has handled the pandemic. Others shared that they just really wanted to return to normalcy: “I’m over it. I will go anywhere.”
In general, we saw a lot of different perspectives with these comments! Some people want more restrictions while others simply want the parks to go back to how they were before the closures.
Currently, Disney World’s indoors mask mandate remains in place, along with other health and safety measures like requiring park pass reservations for limited capacity. However, we’ve seen some big crowds in the parks recently and are expecting more of them in October for the 50th Anniversary. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us!
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How do you feel about returning to Disney World? Let us know in the comments.