17 Days in WDW During COVID-19

Our flight arrived late last evening from our 17-day vacation to WDW during COVID-19. I’m not going to do a day-by-day breakdown of our trip, but I thought I’d share some of our experiences, as they pertain to the pandemic in case any Liners are contemplating a trip.

Park Entry: We went to a park every day except the first and last day of our trip. We went to DHS six times, MK five times, and AK and EP two times each. At each park, we first had our temperature taken by Advent Health. Even after waiting in line in the hot sun, evidently our temperatures never exceeded 100.4 F, as we were always allowed entry. The staff from Advent Health were very quick and friendly. I’m not sure if they were trained by Disney, but they behaved like one would expect of all the CMs there. When we wore our Happily-Ever-After buttons, they always wished us a happy anniversary and/or they would comment on our Disney-Bounding outfits. I didn’t see anyone denied entry or asked to wait in the separate cooling-down area.

Social Distancing: The parks have signs and regular audio reminders to practice physical distancing. Each of the queues is marked with please-wait-here signs that are taped to the ground. Some of the queues now have a barrier in between the rows so that people are not breathing on each other. Other queues have rows that are blocked off in order to allow more room between the rows. And in yet other queues, they have the rows open but the please-wait-here signs are placed at the end of one row beginning of the next row over to create a buffer in between them where no one should be standing. Some of the attractions also have barriers for the same reason, such as Kilamanjaro Safaris. Where there is an auditorium, such as in the HoP or Mickey’s PhilharMagic, every other row is blocked off and then groups of four seats are available in the other rows; these are separated by a few seats on which signs have been placed to indicate they are not available.

Of course, it is easy to get caught up in the surroundings and end up following too closely behind the person in front of you. Or, if you’re not paying close attention, you might assume that there is a sign posted six feet in front of you when there actually is not, so you can sometimes end up standing in a spot where you aren’t supposed to be. This is understandable; it happened to us and to others in line with us. However, there were some guests who didn’t seem concerned about distancing at all and were pretty much right on our tail during the entire wait. We’d give them “dirty looks,” and some would realize what they were doing, whereas others seemed totally oblivious. One group of guests at TSM was particularly bad, so I mentioned to the CM that they might need a little reminder and that I thought I’d let him know since I really didn’t have the authority to tell other guests what to do. I was a little surprised that he told me that he didn’t have that authority either. I’m not sure if that was really true or if he just wanted to avoid any confrontation. (It wasn’t like they were big burly guys; they were girls who were 12 or 13 years old.) It seems to me that CMs should be able to give guests a friendly and kindly reminder.

Masks: For the most part, the guests wore their masks appropriately. We saw a few who didn’t here and there. We found that most of those who didn’t wear them correctly fell into the 18-30 age bracket, and it would primarily be in the queue or on the attraction when they would not be compliant. They would have their masks on when entering the queue, but as soon as they passed the CM or as soon as the attraction began and they were not in view of a CM, down would some the masks – you know, like children behave. Then when they would pass another CM or the attraction ended, the masks would come back up. Some would also do this while on the buses.

This was very irritating to us. My DW is 54, she has asthma, and she is very claustrophobic about having anything on her face; she doesn’t even like to wear hats for this reason. So, if she can handle wearing a mask all day in a humid, hot theme park, I am not sure why these young people can’t seem to do it. When we’d see young people pulling down their masks, I’d sing to my DW, “I’m too sexy for my mask, too sexy for my mask, so sexy, don’t ask.”

We did see older ones flouting the rules here and there as well. There was one woman in her 60s or so, who pulled her mask down during the queue for BTMRR except when there were CMs present. When the ride started, down came the mask again. While on the ride, she was waving to someone waiting for her on the ground; she pulled her mask down further and was making faces at the person in kind of a defiant look-at-me-I’m-not-wearing-a-mask manner.

Regardless of one’s feeling about the need to wear masks, by entering the park each is silently agreeing that they will wear masks except when eating and drinking while stationary. IMO, when they break that rule it is tantamount to lying and reneging on a contract. If you can’t comply with that rule, that’s fine; just wait to go at a time when it is no longer required.

Also, it’s not like breaking a rule such as not chewing gum where the worst-case scenario is that a guest needs to take several minutes to scrape it off their shoe. If one breaks the mask rule, it could potentially kill someone. So, it would just drive us crazy that there were some who were so incredibly disrespectful. But, again, most complied with the mask rule.

Food: We ate at several restaurants during our trip. You are allowed to take your masks off at the table, but if you need to get up and, say, use the restroom, you would need to put your mask back on. Sometimes it was difficult to figure out where to place your masks in the meantime without contaminating them. You hate to just set it on the table. A couple of restaurants preemptively provided a solution: At The Wave, they provided a small plate on which to place your mask, and at Paddlefish, they provided a small bag. Everywhere else, you just had to figure it out on your own.

The menus were understandably somewhat limited, and some restaurants were not open at all. We stayed at CB and ate food from the Marketplace a few times. Instead of putting the food on plates, they would put it in small, brown boxes. Some dishes were fine for this, but it was difficult to eat others (i.e., Mickey Waffles) this way. At all the other restaurants, the presentation of the food was similar to our experience in the past.

We had a weird experience at Regal Eagle. A teenage girl at the table next to us vomited on the floor. The other teens with her took her home, while the adults stayed at the table. It took several minutes before the CMs cleaned it up. It was quite disconcerting.

Note: If you like salt on your food, you have to ask for it. They are not currently leaving salt and pepper shakers on the tables, but they will bring you the little packets upon request.

Hand Washing: There were a few hand-washing stations throughout the parks. The soap in the regular restrooms didn’t lather up very well at all. I’d usually wash for 10 seconds, rinse, and then wash for another 10-15 seconds again just to be safe. I didn’t see any other men washing for 20 seconds. Some would wash for 5-10 seconds, others would just rinse, others just bypassed the sinks altogether. This is gross at any time – but it is especially appalling now.

Note: The soap at the hand-washing stations seemed to lather up much better than that in the restrooms.

Sign at entry: One thing that I found a little humorous was the sign at the entry of the park. It recommended that if you had a temperature, if you felt nausea, if you had diarrhea, if you have a cough, if you had a headache, that you not enter the park. I understand the point of the sign, but it pretty much describes the symptoms I have at one point or another on every trip to WDW that we’ve done so far. (This time, though, I actually felt better than I have on previous trips.)

How am I feeling now?
To be honest, I am feeling a bit crummy right now. (My DW seems to feel fine, though.) I have a bit of a headache, I feel a little dizzy, and I feel warm. (I took my temp just out of curiosity, and it’s fine.) I am currently chalking it up to the unhealthy (but tasty) food I’ve eaten over the past couple weeks. the late arrival last night, knowing how much catch-up I now need to do, and the PDD (post-Disney depression) that we all experience after a trip to WDW. I’ll post an update in a couple of weeks to let you know how we’re doing at that point.

It has now been two weeks since I got home, and I’m feeling fine. The crummy feeling after I returned is gone. Now I just need to lose the weight I gained from all the yummy food there and, of course, plan my next trip. :grinning:


Glad you had a good time and so envious of your LONG trip! I hope to do likewise someday! I had one situation in our trip last month where a group (mom and kids) stayed right up behind us. I finally did point out to her “I think your mark is back there…” and she got the point. Hated to do it but felt more comfortable afterward.


That’s a really long trip! I would think it was very much the job of CMs to remind guests who are breaking rules.


Sounds like a wonderful vacation! Your description of all the safety measures is helpful and carries a lot of weight due to the number of days you were there. For that long of a stay, and with some things not open yet, did you find that many days (especially at HS and MK) to still be worth it or does it become diminishing returns at some point? On those HS and MK days, are you repeating things many times, or taking it slow and not in the park for very long at a time? I’m used to about 5 days total and run run run, so it’s interesting to hear other perspectives from those that do it very differently than me.


I hope you feel better soon! I went to WDW in August and came home with a slight sore throat. I was concerned I had COVID (but thought it was from the airplane most likely, not WDW). I ended up getting a test which was negative and the scratchy throat never amounted to anything. Probably just allergies and being tired after a busy vacation!


My DH just complained about this at work; GROSS!

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:exploding_head::exploding_head::exploding_head: I can’t get past this sentence. I just keep rereading it. :star_struck:


I have to admit that – even with the shorter hours – there was a lot of repeating, which I don’t mind personally. Each day we were able to do every attraction – every available attraction – that we wanted to do at least once, and some of our favorites twice. But because the hours were shorter (e.g., MK was 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on our last day), we did usually get there at rope drop and stay until closing.

This is the longest we’ve ever stayed. We started out with three days, moved to seven days, and the previous two times we did 15 days. The 17 days this time was kind of an accident, as I miscalculated the dates on the calendar when I originally booked it and then we had a flight cancel on us, which “forced” us to book an extra day.

Even with longer trips, we tend to run, run, run as well – especially me. My DW will sometimes join me later in the day or leave earlier than I do. I’ve been known to get to the park at 6:00 am to be the first in line and stay until it closes at 2:00 am. This trip was a bit more relaxing. We just sort of wandered, did the attractions we wanted, caught a cavalcade here and there, grabbed a snack that sounded good, etc. In fact, I actually didn’t create any Touring Plans this time around or even use the TP app while we were in the parks, as I didn’t feel it was necessary. (Sorry @len. However, I did renew my subscriptions for WDW and DLR this morning, as I plan to use them again in the future.)

With the shortened hours, we were able to get more sleep and be better rested for the following day’s activities, which was nice.

I hadn’t yet seen Galaxy’s Edge, and I’m a huge SW fan, which is why I planned the majority of days at HS. I got to know that land very well, but I just loved it and I could have spent more time there soaking up the atmosphere. For the casual fan, though, I would say that one or two days at HS would be sufficient. You could say the same with MK right now as well.

Hope this helps.


That was a nice way to handle it – depending on your tone of voice. :slight_smile: We tend to be a little more passive-aggressive I suppose.


You just need to bring my 4 year old. He likes to call people out on it. “Mom, they aren’t social distancing.” It was a little awkward the first few times, but now I think it is hilarious. If my 4 year old can figure it out grown adults should be able to it. It isn’t hard.


My 5 day experience at WDW so far is very much in line with yours. I’ve been doing minute by minute postings because it just works better for me but I love your big picture summary, and again, it is what I would write if I were doing it your way :slight_smile:

I hope that you will feel better, and its not the dreaded, yeah.


17 days, green with envy here… I would love a trip to WDW where it wasn’t, GO, GO, GO.

Take care of yourself. Hopefully you are just a bit run down by the heat, humidity, and glorious WDW eating.


That’s awesome! Children and the very elderly seem to be able to get away with being very blunt and honest. Maybe we’ll have to rent a four-year-old to go with us next time. :slight_smile:


The longest I’ve ever spent at WDW altogether was 5 or 6 days :joy:

You make me nervous for my trip in November. I would like for myself and daughter to enjoy ourselves but it is not going to be very fun if our fellow theme park goers are constantly watching us to make sure we stay strictly 6 feet apart and keep our mask on to their satisfaction and wash our hands a certain number of seconds. I am not quite certain how I will react to the utter rudeness of dirty looks or confrontation over such things. It seems like everyone would enjoy themselves more if we could stop obsessing about the virus and what other people are doing and mind our own business and live our lives. The worst sickness in our country right now is one of mass hysteria, not the virus.


That’s what people are trying to do. Live. How inconvenient for you that other people are showing an appropriate amount of caution during a pandemic. Things are not “back to normal” now but we can all enjoy a certain amount of normality if everyone participating can show care for themselves and others. Perhaps you should reconsider your trip if you find being respectful of that unreasonable.


Respectfully, I think you might want to forgo a trip at this point. Mask (and other) rules are there for the safety of all, if you don’t agree with them then it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to the parks right now. Maybe you should wait until things are back to normal, whenever that happens.

Disney is a private corporation that welcomes those that accepts and respects their policies. Everyone that enters the park right now does so knowingly accepting a social contract to respect the guidelines of Disney and respect other guests. To go into the park with the intent to subvert the safety rules would be seen as a breach of that social contract. Disney security recently removed a man for his breech of that agreement. How would you feel if you and your daughter were escorted out b/c of your refusal to follow the rules? As a society we do tend to keep each other in check. Some of us need our fellow citizens to keep us in check and others read, understand, accept and follow the rules.


I completely understand that there are different opinions on the pandemic and how it is being handled, and I can respect that. It is definitely a very interesting time to visit WDW. I don’t really regret going, but I think I’d like to wait until things are somewhat back to normal before returning – unless perhaps the current requirements for visiting the park stretch on for a long, long time. I really hope this isn’t the case.

Time will tell if the reaction to the virus was overblown or if it wasn’t extreme enough. Personally, I tend to err on the side of caution. I’d rather suffer the inconvenience of wearing a mask even if it ended up being completely unnecessary than enjoy the comfort of not wearing a mask and potentially kill someone else or die myself.

I do take exception to your comment about the “utter rudeness of dirty looks,” though. After all, which is more rude? (1) Giving someone a dirty look for breaking a rule or (2) repeatedly standing within a foot of someone while ignoring clearly marked signs that read “Please wait here,” ignoring the
other posted signs and the often-repeated messages over the loudspeaker in the park to maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and other guests, ignoring the fact that one has made an agreement by entering the park that they will abide by these rules – all while knowing full and well that many other guests are extremely worried that they might contract this virus and that by ignoring these rules one will make others feel very uncomfortable or even threatened. The latter, my friend, is the epitome of rudeness in my opinion.

Would it be rude to give someone a dirty look for breaking other rules of the park? For example, if someone lit up a cigarette at a table next to you in the dining area of Cosmic Ray’s, would you not be a little miffed? If you saw a group of ten guests cut in line with one friend in front of dozens of other guests at Space Mountain, would you not be a bit irritated? (I’m not even sure if cutting in line is specifically prohibited, but it’s definitely bad manners.) If another guest in your boat were taking numerous flash pictures on PotC, would you not be annoyed? Of course, we don’t let such things that happen from time to time ruin our trips, but imagine if they were to occur nearly every time you were looking for a table to eat, got in line for an attraction, and sat down to enjoy a dark ride. Even if it is typically not your personality to do so, you may eventually find yourself giving a dirty look or directly confronting the other individual.

I could see that. In our case, we were not constantly watching for people to see who were not in compliance, but when you and most others are doing your best to abide by the guidelines you tend to notice fairly quickly those who are not. Everyone can forget the rules at times. It happens. We might accidentally follow too close to someone or we might forget to put our mask back on when leaving a table at a restaurant. I wasn’t talking about these situations. My problem was with those who consistently or flagrantly ignored the guidelines – those who were following too close during the entire wait for an attraction, those who pulled their masks down immediately after the CM asked everyone to keep their masks during an attraction and they were out of view of the CM and then pulled their masks back up when they were within sight of the CM again, etc.

I understand that you want to enjoy yourselves in the park – and rightly so. I want you to as well. But keep in mind that others that are visiting right now during the pandemic want nothing more for themselves. Now, there are those who feel that the reaction to the virus is overblown, but others don’t feel that way and by going to the park they’re knowingly taking a risk just to get a taste of that Disney magic that they’ve been missing – but doing so in the hope that all those in attendance will be respectful of others, regardless of their personal views, and adhere to the guidelines in place that are intended to help everyone stay safe – or at the very least feel safer. If you and your daughter visit and are largely respectful of the guidelines that Disney has implemented, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy yourselves without receiving dirty looks or encountering confrontation.


Yes, this is why the rule breakers get dirty looks, and reminders, and potentially, reprimands.


I wish people could be as respectful and compassionate about the feelings of people who are not worried about the virus and have different concerns, as we are expected to be for those who are still fearful of the virus. The problem is a lack of mutual respect. One side is expected to give way in all things to the other side and that’s not right. I don’t care to live my life in fear, so I will get on a plane and fly to Orlando and take my daughter to Disney World, a trip that was to be a graduation present in May. We will obey the rules to as much of a minimum as we can get away with and try to enjoy ourselves. It seems like if some people are willing to bend enough to be uncomfortable and comply to a minimum of the virus rules in order to travel, and others are brave enough to travel despite their fear of catching the virus, that each side could maybe be gracious enough to accept and respect what each side is doing and leave each other alone. It’s just good manners.