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Disney Covid-19 Silver Linings

Let’s be real…. COVID-19 has ruined a lot in 2020- vacations canceled, schools restructured, sporting events, graduations, weddings, religious events- all canceled. It’s easy to get lost in the gloom and doom of the times. Why don’t we change things up a bit and focus on the positive for a minute? I always feel better when I’m talking Disney, so why don’t we find the positives there? The Disney Covid-19 silver linings, if you will…

1.  Crowds- With parks operating at a lower capacity, we’re seeing much lower crowds in the hotels, restaurants, shops and theme parks. Even with capacity increasing as of late, the crowds are still much, much lower than normal for this time of year. Wait times for attractions, although seemingly very high on the Disney app, are, in reality, low and guests are able to experience much more than during a busy pre-Covid park visit. One of our Disney Covid-19 silver linings was that our actual wait times were around half of what the posted wait times were for most attractions. Social distancing was also an unexpected silver lining. Our weather during our trip was unusually hot and humid for this time of year. Typically, we’d be crammed in queues and ride vehicles with sweaty strangers. Not during Covid! Parties were kept together on attraction vehicles and in Skyliner cars and not crowded together with new “friends” who don’t necessarily value the same quality of hygiene that you and your friends/family may value.

2.  Festivals- Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting Epcot during a typical October International Food and Wine Festival day? Quite an experience, but with long wait times for food booths and huge weekend crowds. This year, although there aren’t quite as many booths as usual, the lines are fabulous: more Disney Covid-19 silver linings. We never waited more than 5 minutes or so for our food. And, probably in part due to the mandate that guests may only remove their masks while stationary and eating, more tables were available near the food booths than ever before. No more eating on top of Epcot garbage receptacles. Cooking for lower crowds also seemed to translate to improved quality control. Our lobster was not rubbery (as one may expect when chefs are preparing so much quantity) and our filet mignon was tender and cooked medium rare. At a food booth?? We were so pleasantly surprised! We were able to eat around the world! And don’t forget that this year’s festival is actually a combination of Food and Wine and Flower and Garden so guests are able to experience a sampling of treats from both! How lucky are we?!?!? And let’s talk about those Halloween treats from the Magic Kingdom which are typically exclusive to guests attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!! Disney Covid-19 silver linings: now these are available to anyone visiting the park during the Halloween season. Another Covid silver lining perk- children AND adults were allowed and ENCOURAGED to show their Disney love by wearing costumes in the parks- a perk typically reserved only for guests with party tickets!!

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

3.  Transportation- Remember those long park days when, at the end of the night, you were crammed on a standing-room-only bus back to the resort with your aching back and feet? No more! Now everyone is guaranteed a seat on the bus due to limited capacity and seating. To help with the this, we saw an increase in the frequency of buses at peak times in the theme parks and Disney Springs. Related to transportation is the new policy for elevators which only accommodate the people in a single party in order to adhere to social distancing protocols. No more silent, awkward elevator rides with strangers!

Disney Transportation

4.  Cavalcades- These were SUCH a silver lining! No more scoping out a seat on a parade route hours before the parade. No more fighting off crowds for a good view or waiting on line for hours for a quick glimpse of your favorite character. These cavalcades were adorable and well themed. They were not scheduled in an attempt to avoid crowding or people lining up parade routes. And they happened much more frequently than the once or twice a day parade times in typical years. Characters made eye contact, waved, blew kisses and made hearts with their hands. It was so personal and one of those Covid changes I hope stays long after this crisis is over. Speaking of characters… we noticed a lot more adults who were taking socially distant selfies with characters. It was more of a cute photobomb situation and less like an awkward instance of a 45 year old woman waiting on line for a picture with her favorite character. Plus these allowed for some really fun and silly poses. We were big fans!

Captain Jack Sparrow

5.  Dining- Another silver lining that I hope stays long after the pandemic- making dining reservations at 60 rather than 180 days prior to arrival. I personally love this! It’s much more realistic to know what my daily plans will be and what my family will be in the mood to eat closer to our arrival. Another happy dining silver lining was at Oga’s Cantina in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Pre-Covid, we had to make a reservation 6 months in advance and still not be guaranteed seating once inside the bar. My family of 8 had to squish together and stand at the bar in December, pre-Covid. Now in October, we were given seats at barstools and were expected to stay in our seats due to social distancing measures. Another dining related Covid silver lining was our ability to obtain last minute restaurant reservations at normally unattainable venues. For example, we were easily able to switch our day for our reservation at California Grill several weeks before our trip and our reservations at Oga’s Cantina just a few short days before we were supposed to go.


Hopefully these are some silver linings that can make you excited and ready to plan that trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. It is absolutely possible to feel safe and have a wonderful vacation making beautiful new memories to salvage a pretty rough 2020.

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