What do you do when you have been in a pandemic for a year and just want to get away? You go to your “Home Away From Home”…Walt Disney World of course! Allison Podesta is a dream vacation planner with LBAC Travel, contact her to start planning your next trip!
I have been working tirelessly through this pandemic as both a nurse and a travel agent for a year now. My husband and teenage son have been putting up with me through it and now it was time to reward us all. About one month prior to our trip, I was able to reserve The Polynesian Village Villas and Bungalows using my Disney Vacation Club points.
We flew from New York to Orlando on Delta Airlines. Delta is doing a fabulous job of keeping their passengers safe. Through April 2021 they are continuing to block middle seats on all flights (unless you are traveling together of course). This put our flight at about 2/3 full. Upon boarding you are provided a sanitizing wipe to clean your area. Snacks are provided in a pre-packaged ziplock bag with two snacks, a water bottle and hand sanitizer. Delta is loading passengers from the back of the plane to the front of the plane to avoid passengers crowding in the aisles close to other passengers. This was a great experience.
The Walt Disney World Resort has so many safety measures and protocols in place to keep their guests feeling secure. First and the most important is that all guests MUST wear a mask at all times. This includes indoors, outdoors and on all transportation as well as on rides and attractions. The exceptions are while you are seated at a table eating, stopped outdoors to have a snack or drink or if you are enjoying one of the “Relaxation Stations” set up around the parks for guests to have mask breaks. Cast members are stationed all around to remind guests to wear their masks properly and let them know if they do not, they will need to leave. There are also overhead announcements made periodically throughout the day. I even witnessed an incident where the guest in the row in front of my family on an attraction had her mask off during the ride. She was promptly met by a cast member at the end of the attraction and reminded that her mask needed to “remain in place at all times”.
Upon entering the parks you will have your temperature taken. Been out in the hot sun? Don’t worry…. The health screeners have a few tricks like checking behind your ear for an accurate temperature. Inside the parks there are hand sanitizers throughout. Before attractions, after, walking down the Main Street, near all dining and snack carts….EVERYWHERE! You will also see constant reminders to “Physically Distance” from other guests. The ideal is six feet apart at all times. Even in the queues for rides and attractions. The days of “fill in all the available space” are LONG gone! There are markers on the ground to mark where you should stand behind other guests. The queues themselves are incredible. The thought and imagination that went in to working out these lines must have taken hundreds of cast members and thousands of hours. Lines will zig zag in and out of restaurants, through closed attractions, onto train platforms, down walkways and even on to other CONTINENTS! (We were in China for the Frozen Ever After queue!) It was always an adventure to see where the lines would take you next!
All quick service dining is done through mobile order on the My Disney Experience App. You select an arrival time, place your order and wait outside the restaurant until your order is ready. Guests are then able to enter the restaurant, pick up their food and find a table. Table service check-in is done through the My Disney Experience App, which was very quick and easy! You receive a text when your table is ready. Temperatures are taken at all restaurants.
There are currently no shows, fireworks, parades or character meet and greets happening at the parks. Disney is making the best of it and are having Character Cavalcades throughout the day. These are small, limited parades (if you will) with a few characters. Each park does this differently. In Magic Kingdom we saw floats with characters that took off in Frontierland and ended on Main Street, in Epcot the princesses were pulled in a horse drawn carriage around The World Showcase, Animal Kingdom had boats in the water with characters and Disney’s Hollywood Studios had small parades as well.
Despite all the changes and limitations at the Walt Disney World Resort…my family had a MAGICAL visit. Many naysayers will try to convince you that they magic is gone right now. Is the magic missing at the Walt Disney World Resort right now? No. Is it different? It is. Your family vacation is what you make of it. If you are looking to create memories with your family….#takethetriplbac
Allison Podesta is a dream vacation planner with LBAC Travel, contact her to start planning your next trip!