Dining, Pre-shows and Disney Springs During COVID?

Hey Gang,

Mrs. and I are (finally) popping out of our COVID cocoon for a visit to our happy place next week. We’ve been (and continue to be) v-e-r-y COVID-cautious, but based on all the write-ups it appears that Disney is doing a great job of keeping everyone safe. We’re going to be there S - F so hopefully won’t have an issue with the weekend surge. We’ve got a couple questions for folks that have been there recently:

  1. Outdoor dining seating
    a) does it feel sufficient, or are folks having to wait / scrounge for a place to sit and eat? Of special interest is the Food & Wine Festival since we plan on spending a fair amount of time there.
    b) are the usable outdoor seating tables spaced out to keep a minimum 6’ distance?

  2. Attraction Pre-shows
    Since the CDC guideline seem to be focusing on ‘time and space’ concerning virus transmittal, we were wondering what Disney has done with the pre-shows. It looks like HM & FoP have basically ditched the pre-shows, but were wondering if that is true across all attractions, for example Hondo’s spiel at MFSR, BB8 & Rey on ROTR (actually, that also brings up the question about spacing on the transport; oh and in the interrogation room - that seemed like a tight fit for 16(?)). And same question for TT - do we hang out in the library or just move on to the boiler room.

  3. And final question - Disney Springs. We’ve got a couple days at Saratoga Springs which we initially thought would work well - since the parks are closing early we’d have dinner at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating in Disney Springs. BUT … we’ve read that DS compliance on spacing and face coverings feels a little like the wild west. Is this still true? It’s easy for us to avoid going there, but wanted to confirm some of the stories before removing this from our evening plans.

    We’re looking forward to this trip with an odd mix of excitement and nervousness, due to both COVID as well as the necessary changes at the park to keep us safe (no Happily Ever After to close out our day!!! :cry:)

    Paul & Carrie

Hello and Welcome… I’ll answer a few :wink:

  1. outdoor seating is good right now. If you’re doing QS you can’t go inside until your food is ready on a mobile order so it eliminates the table issues.
  2. DSprings has been a mask compliance issue but Disney has changed policy with signs and announcements about Wearing masks appropriately or you’ll be asked to leave… and it is MUCH better now. We were avoiding it but now I feel comfortable there again.
    Have fun, enjoy!
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Pretty much any and all pre-shows are gone…or in the very least, a simple pass-through. And they keep you socially distanced in the cases they can’t eliminate them entirely. We saw Rey and BB-8, for example, but we were socially distanced every step of the way with big dots for groups to stand on.

ToT, you just pass through everything, similar to HM.

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I should add that in some cases, if you have a group that is larger than 4 people, they will want to split you up into smaller groups so that the number of people standing on any given dot is small. We had 7 people, so we were often broken up into a group of 4 and 3.

You walk through it rather than standing in the room for it, but the spiel is still going on–you just might not hear all of it.

Still going on (although I never did ROTR pre-Covid so maybe it’s different).

We went to Disney Springs in July and mask compliance was lower than the parks. But we went last weekend again and I felt it was better. It was a weekend and so it was crowded. Going during the week should be better.

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1)a) we never had a problem dining outside but Pecos Bill did take a couple of min to get one. We ate lunch at Backlot Express outside in DHS (after we finished eating a larger woman sat at a table near us and wasn’t six feet from us but we could have slid our table or moved but since we were done we masked up and left) and we had dinner at Trattoria al Forno where we did have to wait 45 min for an outdoor table but we did get it. If you do table service stop by early if possible and request outdoor table as you have to do it in person but in our experience it was honored though you may have to wait. Epcot day we did food and wine and always were able to find places to eat outside spaced out. We did eat indoors in the big building where Mac & Cheese was but we were quick and it was sparse in there as we went on Wed. Animal Kingdom we did lunch at Restaurantosaurus outdoors and we got mobile order to go food from The Wave (we split our stay ending at Bay Lake) and ate in the room. Magic Kingdom we did Pecos Bill outside and Tony’s Town Square outside where we didn’t have to wait for the outside table as we had a close to end of day reservation and there were some free. We were told it’s first come but we would have asked to wait if need be.
B) some tables are not six feet apart outside in Backlot Express when someone is sitting in them but they are moveable. That’s the only time we experienced that save when we’d sit on a bench to drink water and someone might sit next to us at which point we’d mask up and leave.
2) no preshows except the Rey and BB8 one, the transporter and the small room with Kylo (but we were in that room with only one other party and told to stay in the back of the room) in RotR but they are spaced out with less people in room. ToT no preshow and HM you get to see behind the magic (same is true for universal). Sometimes in line and in the room with Kylo Ren the other family got less than six feet and we’d ask for social distance. People always accommodated our request but it will happen that it will be infringed on and you will have to speak up or move.

We didn’t go to DS.


Thanks for all the helpful insight. Based on y’all’s responses, we’re breathing a little easier (yes, bad COVID pun intended😁)!