Let’s face it, 2020 has not been the year we expected it to be so far. I know I have been ready to get back to normal life for a few weeks. There seems to be no end in sight to home schooling and working from home. I never dreamed home schooling would be so hard. My oldest daughter’s high school graduation was cancelled. My youngest daughter’s bridging ceremony to middle school is now a drive through ceremony. My son’s stock car racing debut is on hold. It just seems like life is on hold for many of us. The big questions for most of us is are we going to get to take our summer vacation?
Our favorite place in the whole world have been closed because of this pandemic. Many of us have been forced to change our Walt Disney World vacation plans a few times because we don’t know when the parks will open back up.
We know that the “happiest place on earth” won’t be closed forever. The hardest part is not knowing when it will open or if it will even be the same because of social distancing. There are so many rumors out there about when the parks will open. One good thing is that the Orange County, Florida’s Economic Recovery Task Force has been having meeting to come up with guidelines and mandates for a phased reopening. These are plans that have not been put into place yet as they are still working out the details but I just wanted to give you all an inside look to what those mandates might entail.
Hotel Guidelines by Phases:
·-Phase 1 & 2
o Mousekeeping services will be limited to allow for minimal guest and cast member exposure.
o Mobile check-in
o Mousekeeping services provided to clean upon request or when guests depart.
o Cast members that do not have a direct role in serving guest will still be allowed to work from home.
o Room service will only be allowed to be delivered to guest room doors.
o Guest will have to self-park, no valet service.
o Promote social distancing for guests and cast members
o Touch-less sanitizer at all entries are recommended
o Increase in cleaning and additional sanitation services.
o All cast members will be required to wear face masks
o Remove all service items in guest rooms such as glassware, coffee cups, coffee makers, etc.
o Will not offer self-service foods.
- Phase 1 & 2
o Paper or disposable menus
o Encourage takeout or online orders
o Touchless sanitizer at entry
o Hand sanitizer at every table
o All cast members to wear face masks
o Temperature checks for cast members
o Extra cleaning entailed
o Seated tables need to be six feet apart
o Limited capacity to 50%
o Phase 2 limit will increase to 75% capacity
Theme Park Guidelines
- Phase 1 & 2
o Tape marking off 6 feet apart in ride and attraction queues
o Cast members to wipe down surfaces at random
o Cast members are required to wear a face mask
o Touchless hand sanitizer at each ticketing entry, turnstiles, and every ride or attraction entry and exit
o Cast member temperature checks before shift start
o Wipe down all railings and surfaces frequently
o 50% capacity
o Phase 2 will be 75% capacity
Still so many questions for what will the parks look like? Will there be parades, fireworks, and character meet and greets? Here is my opinion. It is my opinion only. I didn’t hear this from Mickey himself or any cast members.
I think that at least through phase 2 there will be no fireworks, parades or character meet and greets. I know, it’s a scary thought. Think about it though, for parades and fireworks it is very hard to social distance. Who wants to tell a 6 year old (or adult) that they can’t hug their favorite character? I could be wrong on this, but I just can’t see how it can be done safely.
So, the next question most of us have is should we keep our reservations or should be push them back to 2021? It just depends. Coming from a Disney Planner prospective, if it is your very first trip I would wait because you are missing some of the magic. If you are a veteran like yourself and have seen all the magic then yes I would still go. I actually have a trip for October planned. I’m keeping it until I hear that I cannot go because the parks will not be open. Some of the magic will still be there. Just in a different form. My opinion is, I don’t care as long as I am “Home”.
As we all finish up our stay at home orders, just keep planing your trips!
See You All Real Soon!