If you ask any Disney fan, they’ll probably tell you that it has been a strange and unpredictable year for the parks!
After they closed and reopened last summer, many things changed — from new health and safety measures to the loss of some of our favorite attractions and entertainment options . But, as things begin to start returning to “normal”, we’re starting to see things go back to pre-closure procedures in Disney World as well! Here are a few things that are back to the way they were prior to the closures.
Ever since Disney Springs first reopened in May 2020, temperature checks have been a part of the health and safety measures — but no longer! Disney announced plans recently to phase out temperature screenings around the resort, beginning with Cast Members on May 8th and guests on May 16th.
This marks one of the biggest changes we’ve seen since reopening, and we’re interested to see if any other safety measures are relaxed following this move. Universal Orlando has done away with temperature checks already and reduced social distancing guidelines to 3ft — could Disney do the same?
No Face Masks in Photos
In the first instance of Disney relaxing the mask policy since reopening, guests are now allowed to remove their face coverings for photos if they are outdoors, stationary, and physically distanced from others.
For the first time in a year, we’re seeing maskless photos from the parks again. But even though this policy got a little looser, don’t expect masks to go away entirely right now. Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared in February that he expects there to be at least some form of mask-wearing in the parks through the rest of 2021.
Additionally, Disney has confirmed that the Halloween After Hours event, BOO BASH, will require guests to wear face coverings. Since the event takes place from August 10th to October 31st, it’s safe to assume the measure will still likely be in place by those dates.
Hand Washing Stations
One health and safety measure that has seemingly disappeared from the parks is the hand washing stations! These were first put in place before the closures to encourage guests to wash their hands more frequently. But, in recent weeks, they’ve been removed from their former locations.
We’ll admit, we hadn’t seen quite as many guests using them as before, and there are restrooms everywhere in the Disney World parks, so this is probably something that won’t be too sorely missed. You can still find hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks, especially at entrances and exits of attractions.
Self-Serve Drink Stations
We’ve also started to see the return of self-serve drink machines. To slow the spread of germs, drink machines were manned by Cast Members at quick service restaurants for several months after reopening.
We recently noticed the option to fill up your own cup at some Disney Resorts, but then we spotted this option at a few spots in the parks as well. It’s a little change, but it’s a small step back towards normalcy.
After Hours Events
Disney World recently announced that while Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will not go on in 2021, it will be replaced (at least for this year) by another after hours event — that’s right, after hours events are back in Disney World!
Disney After Hours BOO BASH will offer many of the same features typically seen in an after hours event. The park will close to regular guests at a designated time, at which point the separate ticketed event will begin.
While there are no fireworks or full parades planned for BOO BASH, guests can still dress up in Halloween costumes, collect candy, and experience shortened wait times for their favorite Magic Kingdom attractions. Oh, and the Cadaver Dans will perform, along with spooky character cavalcades!
Those are 5 things we’ve noticed in Walt Disney World that have begun to go back to normal. We’ll make sure to keep you updated as more things return to the way they were pre-COVID, so stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest Disney World news!
Have you been to Disney World since the reopening? Let us know!
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