Fall 2020 did not “fall” short at Walt Disney World!

Posted by on November 12, 2020 in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Missy Ryan

There is no doubt about it, Fall 2020 has not been like any other Autumn Season we have experienced in the past. When we reflect on travel, the changes are far more different than what we have been used to experiencing.

For myself, these transitions and the changes were extremely challenging, as I am sure they were/are for many others. As phases began to be implemented and the world started to slowly get into the new routine, I was right there with them learning and hoping for a continuous growth with a new flow of reality.

I knew I wanted to travel. I knew I wanted to get myself back through the gates of Walt Disney World.

I waited patiently to see how they were accommodating the new changes. I watched eagerly as others were walking on Main Street again, traveling with new rules and modifications applied to experiences we were so comfortable with for years.

I wanted to take a moment and shed some positive light on what has become an overwhelming uncertain time.

Please read further with an open mind as I list my experiences and my observations during my most recent travel back to the magic.

To begin, I would like to point out that Disney is always clean. During these times, let me say, this is clean on an entirely new level.

You will see cast members cleaning everything from railings and lampposts, to closing rides for 20 minutes so they can spray individual handles on a ride with sanitizer. This would add to a wait times, but in all honestly, if it meant a ride was getting attention to cut down on germs, it did not bother me one bit.

Each ride will have a sanitizer station for guests prior to them getting on and again for when they got off.

Various areas will have sinks with running water and paper towels. You may even spot several wipe stations throughout the park.

Cast members are also very vigilant about properly wearing masks. Guests must always have them on over their nose (and mouth). If you are on a ride and do not have your mask on, you will not have access to your picture.

Several areas around the park were also dedicated to relaxation stations. In these areas you may rest, take your mask off and eat or drink.

During these special times, Disney has also brought in some added magic to bring back the smiles we have longed for these past few months.

Cavalcades!! My new and most favorite addition to Disney parks.

These random parades are just that. Random. You will not have a schedule to follow or plan out.

What makes them so wonderful is you are no longer waiting in a crowd of people, shoulder to shoulder, as you wait for your favorites to pass by. They have several different themes and characters that come through. You may get a waive, a kiss blown or a smile that is specifically is for you! It truly made my heart burst.

Character pop ups. Another wonderful, heartwarming addition. These characters can pop up in different locations at different times of the day.

I loved how my daughter had some one on one time talking to the stepsisters or seeing the Country Bears throwing her kisses. These are the moments I will always hold in my heart. They were special and those moments belonged to us. What a gift to experience.

Upon arrival to the park you can also find some sweet and charming characters on the train station platform waiving and interacting. You may see a few different faces throughout the day pop up and then wish you farewell at the end of the night.

Mobile ordering was another modification that was stepped up in the parks. Ordering food in advance and avoiding crowds and lines during your pickup window. This was so simple, quick, and easy. I loved taking advantage of ordering snacks, meals, or a morning coffee.

Social distancing was never an issue at the parks. Markers are clearly placed on the ground at each park and guests were very respectful of their areas. There was not a time that I felt unsafe or closed in due to a crowd.

Character meals are slowly being phased back in as well.

They no longer are signing autographs or coming within 6 feet of tables.

I will admit, this was something I thought may be hard to adjust to.

However, after experiencing 3-character meals during my stay, I can say that they were all wonderful.

The interaction, the dancing, the costumes. They were all so special to be part of.

Other small changes that you can expect:

Busses will have parties sit together but you are spaced out from other families.

The Skyliner will have one family per car.

The monorail will have a divider between each car and families that are traveling together will sit with one another.

You will no longer scan your finger at the gates.

Temp checks are taken at the parks and dining locations.

Housekeeping is every other day, or you can bypass it all together.

Pool chairs are spaced. Tables everywhere have one closed between each set.

Menus are no longer given. Instead you will scan a barcode to view what a dining location may offer.

Magic shots and cast members taking photos for photo pass are going above and beyond with poses and overall fun.

Lines for rides are lower in the morning and later hours.

I am truly so thrilled with everything I experienced. The joy, the happiness, the memories that I will hold on to forever.

To those who have wondered, I am here to say…the magic never left.

If you are ready to travel or have any questions about future travel, I would absolutely love to share more information.

Please reach out and contact me with further questions at missyr@wishesfamilytravel.com

You may also follow me on Instagram or Facebook

Looking forward to adding some magic and joy to your future plans!!!

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