7 Things You Won't See at Disney World Ever Again After Coronavirus
When Disney World reopens, in-person lines, autograph books, and buffets will be gone.
We hate to say it, but life will never be quite the same after the COVID-19 pandemic. And Disney World is no different. When you eventually return to the iconic amusement park, you may notice some of your favorite features are missing (bye bye, buffets and snack stations). But on the bright side, there will be plenty of positive changes, too—like no lines and fewer crowds. We're confident there will always be plenty of magic at the Happiest Place on Earth, even if there are some things you'll never see at Disney World again after coronavirus. And for more Disney changes to prepare for, here are 8 Major Ways Disney World Will Look Different After Coronavirus.
No more in-person lines for major attractions
Here's a silver lining to all of this mayhem: You may never have to wait for hours in a line again. Because of social distancing measures, those snaking in-person lines will be a thing of the past. In fact, the My Disney Experience app quietly tested a virtual "boarding group" queue system in March. This could be a sneak peek of how the park will operate in the future, where you'll log in to the app, save a time slot for a ride, and be notified when it's your turn.
No more Disney autograph books
Collecting characters' signatures is one of the most coveted Disney traditions and a favorite souvenir to bring home. But it's not likely to continue. Even if employees—including those in costume—are required to wear masks and gloves, they'll have some limitations. For instance, to take photos and sign memorabilia for fans, characters would have to get within six feet of them, which goes against social distancing guidelines. Moreover, since COVID-19 can live on paper anywhere from 3 to 24 hours, it's especially unsafe to be carrying around that booklet. And if you're a Disney fan, discover these 19 Magical Places That Inspired Disney.
No more buffets and cafeterias
So long, self-serve eateries. As quick and efficient as buffets are, it's no secret that those grab-and-go stations attract the most germs. How many times do people use tongs without washing their hands, or sort through the food to find the best bite, causing cross-contamination? And don't even get us started on the curious kids who touch everything in sight. Because of this, it's hard to monitor cleanliness, even if everyone is forced to use hand sanitizer and wear gloves. In the future, there could be a shift toward contact-less meals, where you order on an app and are alerted when it's ready for you to pick up. And for Disney trivia you can enjoy while the parks are closed, check out these 35 Amazing Facts About Disney World Only Insiders Know.
No more claustrophobic crowds
Remember when families and tourists would flood Disney World? Well, you can kiss those days goodbye. As with concerts, theaters, and other crowded attractions, Disney is expected to drop its attendance to half capacity and eventually build up to 75 percent capacity in phase two, according to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. But even beyond then, we wouldn't be surprised if it never fully returned to max capacity, as it was before the pandemic. The park might also consider timed entry for groups of people to help manage traffic levels.
No more people without masks
Mickey Mouse ears may be one of the most popular Disney accessories, but it's not the only head attire you'll see in the future. It will probably be mandatory for all employees and guests to wear face masks that cover their nose and mouth. While that may conjure an apocalyptic mental image, don't fret. Disney recently released its own fun face masks, with designs inspired by Star Wars figures, Marvel superheroes, Pixar characters, Disney princesses, and, of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
No more packed rides and theaters
Following social distancing rules, you can expect crowds at attractions to be more spaced out. On rides and roller coasters, there might be an empty car between you and other passengers. Similarly, the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force has already stated that theaters at Disney will put two chairs between each party (a maximum of four people are allowed in a group). And for more on how theaters will change after the pandemic, learn which 5 Things You'll Never See at Movie Theaters Again After Coronavirus.
No more entrances without hand sanitizer
Be honest, before the world knew about coronavirus, you wouldn't have given a second thought to haphazardly rushing through those amusement park gates. Post-coronavirus, however, guests will likely slow down and be a little more aware of their own hygiene. From this point on, you won't see any turnstile, ticketing station, or entry/exit point without touchless hand sanitizer dispensers. You'll also notice a ton of cleaning crews wiping down railings and other surfaces that are touched often, including harnesses, lap bars, and handles on thrill rides. And for more insight into how the world will look in the coming months, here are 10 Weird Ways Life Will Be Different After the Coronavirus Lockdown.