Indoor vs outdoor dining and COVID

I have one photo from inside Antojito’s. Actually, the spacing is larger than the photo shows, so it is a tad misleading. But I’m posting it so people can judge for themselves if they would feel safe eating inside in this case.

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I am not eating indoors. An indoor restaurant is a place were I won’t be wearing a mask at the same time as other people will also not be wearing a mask. Without knowing details about the ventilation system I don’t trust distancing or capacity limits (there are recorded cases of people being infected on restaurants by someone sitting over 5 meters away) - this text from the Atlantic explains my rationale pretty well:

OTOH - I have 0 problems eating outside (*) - it is something I do often. So far no outbreaks were connected with outdoor dining (or outdoor activities in general).

(*) - in Munich, with current numbers. In Brazil I just stayed home all the time with contactless delivery being my only interface with the outside world.


I like this article - had read it many times. Before the end of March I’d bought more air filters - so most rooms have an air filter. Because early on, aerosol seemed key.

This article - out in July - confirmed my decisions, based on the three Cs where I’m usually at - to continue with the course we’ve been on.

This article definitely confirms that being informed, and using that information to assess one’s surroundings, is one of the best ways forward while awaiting vaccines and effective treatments.

I’m glad there are options.


I keep seeing people concerned with the age of the unit and how adequate the ventilation system is? I thought the issue with indoors was the circulation of air in the ventilation system? This is why I will not eat indoors right now. The table 18 feet away from me will have a mask off. Their air will get circulated to my section via ventilation. I will also have my mask off to eat. Or do I have this wrong?


Potentially. It depends on how the system is designed.

Smaller, cozier restaurants, even with spacing, would be more problematic. If you look at the photo of Antojito’s, you will see very wide open space with high ceilings. This typically means ventilation will be less likely a problem. You’ll also notice that the doors are left wide open, which was the case pretty much everywhere. The A/C systems were going pretty much full-blast (in some cases, to the point of being downright frigid). This is to keep the air circulating, plus an influx of fresh air.

This is why I felt fairly safe. However, if the place I wanted to eat was smaller, lower ceilings, or the air didn’t seem to be moving, I’d be more concerned. Of course, it is hard to tell when scheduling an ADR if this will be the case ahead of time unless you research it well.


Thanks, this does help, not necessarily with ADRs, unless you know the restaurants well, but in general


We have only really been dining outside (rare with two small kids anyway) up here in MA. But it is the time of year where I would rather eat outside anyway.

I did purposely plan most of my indoor ADRs at large or lobby area restaurants so that they might have the best ventilation. We’re have Chef Mickey’s, Maria & Enzo’s and Whispering Canyon Cafe. I do have a reservation for Beaches & Cream, but I haven’t decided if we will keep that yet as others have mentioned it is a more intimate space.

Mostly what @ryan1 said, but also, I am pretty bad at judging air flows. Just looking at a restaurant, I cannot tell if the air I am breathing is coming clean directly from an AC filter/outside or if it is circling around the place, getting aerosols from everyone and then coming to me. I am sure there are people around who can do it, but it is a skill I do not have, and also an information I can’t find elsewhere. Since I am lucky enough to have a bunch of outdoor dining options available to me, I chose to bypass this issue by never eating indoors.


And probably not 97 degrees with too much humidity!

Pleasant outdoor dining is the best. :+1:


I’d feel fine eating there. It’s basically outdoors. Sort of. You know what I mean. Also, the new non-buffet breakfast looks to be terrific, and terrific value.

Haha yes, exactly. If you have public transit rolling by above your head, you must be outside. We are super pumped for Mickey waffles for $25!

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This has been our average at home for the past 2 months! :joy: But we have lots of rain coming, hopefully not too much but it might keep our highs in the lower 90s

Throughout the month of July we’ve been consistently over 90 degrees at 7:30 pm (unusual for us). Several nights a week I drive by a couple of restaurants with outdoor seating and wondered all through July how comfortable could they be?

Temperature is still up but for some reason the humidity tends to take a break the second half of August - keeps the State Fair doable.

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Just dropped in to say hello, fellow Kentuckian!

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Assuming we’re a representative sample, it seems more people are interested in outdoor seating than indoor. How is that translating at the parks? My family likes doing TS for lunch because it gives us a chance to relax and recharge. How hard is it going to be to find a place in the parks to sit and enjoy a meal outside if most people at the park are trying to do the same? Or do the lower crowd numbers fix that issue?

When we were almost everyone was trying for indoor seating. We couldn’t find any at Backlot, so we had to eat outside. Inside was completely full. Outside, almost no one. But this was clearly due to the extreme heat. It temps had been lower, it may have been a different story.

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I am not completely comfortable with indoor dining. But we were just at WDW and it was just too hot not to eat inside in the middle of the day. If we were there in cooler weather, we would probably have stuck to outdoor dining. In some of the places we ate, it was almost too cold inside for me.

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This is true… particularly at UOR!

I’ll just add that while I said above that I am comfortable eating out, dining indoors is probably the riskiest thing you’ll do your entire trip. Masks removed, confined spaces, potential for poor air circulation, and staying in the same place for an hour + are all risk factors for spreading the virus.

So being mindful of the steps you can take to reduce your risk and exposure is important:

  • Eat at off times
  • Find less popular restaurants
  • Keep your mask on as much as possible
  • Don’t linger at the restaurant - eat and leave
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and request to be moved if you are not comfortable with your seating location
  • Eat outdoors if possible and/or if the weather/heat permits
  • Always be prepared to change your plans or leave if conditions don’t meet your risk tolerance.

And that last point is key - everyone has a different risk tolerance. For some, that means no Disney. For others, that means no indoor dining. For others, you might have no problem dining in a packed restaurant. I’m not going to judge anyone but I would hope everyone is at least aware of the risk factors and takes as many precautions as they practically can.


Fair point. I forgot about the temps right now- my mind was on my Oct/Nov trip when it’s not such a factor.