Opinion: Visit to Walt Disney World safer than visiting the grocery store

Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2020 10:23 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the piece:

Their safety procedures were above and beyond what I’ve seen anywhere. There’s constant cleaning, plastic partitions are everywhere separating people, masks are strictly enforced — even for kids in strollers — and the guests largely followed Disney’s lead and behaved themselves.

Read more from The Tampa Bay Times.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 12:22 PM

Of course it is! I don't see attendants cleaning the isles every 15 minutes in my local grocery store.

Thursday, August 20, 2020 2:25 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

There's also the indoor/outdoor thing in Disney's favor. On the other side of the coin, though, I don't think 10,000 people are in my grocery store at a time and I usually don't stay more than 45 minutes.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Thursday, August 20, 2020 6:04 PM

I returned to a Walt Disney World park today for the first time since March. Once they reopened I was still held to the summer blockout dates for my Annual Pass, and today was the first weekday I've had off since I was unblocked.

I spent a few hours at Animal Kingdom and had the same experience most everyone seems to be having at the majority of parks. The cliche "it felt safer than the grocery store" feeling felt pretty real the whole time I was there. Preshows were being bypassed but still playing, so I still got to see Mrs. Huxtable on my way to ride Dinosaur. Nothing had a wait of more than 15 minutes. Unlike at most other parks, no matter the size of your party, you could ride together. For example, on Expedition Everest, If you had a group of two, you'd get assigned Row 1 and then the next party would start in Row 3. But if you were a group of 3 or more, they would load you in Row 2 rather than arbitrarily skip it. Then a row would skip. If you had a group of 32, you'd be allowed to fill a full train.

The only thing that felt weird, besides all of it if I stopped and thought about it too much, were the dividers on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Even though the vehicle is still fully open air and the plastic dividers simply go between the rows, it was interesting how much they actually wound up unintentionally obstructing the view. Maybe it's because I worked the attraction as a driver for two and a half years and experience it differently than most, but I was surprised at how they were always in the way.

All of the attractions were open, minus the two live shows. But many food and merchandise locations were closed, including Tusker House and the entire Harambe Market area. I saw the boat filled with characters go by a few times on the different bridges. I got to see the regular Safari Mickey & Minnie go by over by the Nemo theater and then Dinoland themed Chip n Dale on the Dinoland bridge.

Oh, and Dinorama. You thought it was bad when it was opened? Now you have Primeval Whirl permanently SBNO and all of the midway games were shuttered. It reminded me of the old "Crap Corner" area of Geauga Lake in the last season after they took out X-Flight, Superman, the monorail and Mr. Hyde's and left Mind Eraser surrounded by random shells of former attractions. The Triceratops Spin Dumbo clone was open, but that was it. I always thought this was a poorly executed area with not nearly enough to do, especially being an area designed for families. You had the Dumbo clone and then Primeval Whirl, which sported a higher height requirement than Dinosaur or Everest. Once we're out of the "bad times" I say it's time to say goodbye to Dinorama. Keep Dinosaur and Dinoland, but reinvent the entire Dinorama area.

I would have stayed longer but the afternoon storms started to creep in a few hours earlier than normal. Three hours in the park got me all the riding I wanted. Even the two Pandora rides were essentially walk ons. If you've done WDW and want to get riding time in like nobody has since the post-9/11 days, now is your chance. If you are looking to take the big Walt Disney World vacation, now is not the time as you aren't even going to come close to getting the full experience. With the closures and extensions my Annual Pass is good now through February, and I'll happily renew. It's annoying how limited the Park Pass reservation availability is for Annual Passholders, but unless you wait until a few days out it looks like the only thing that really needs to be planned at least 3-4 weeks out is a trip to Hollywood Studios.

I will also miss going to Magic Kingdom, Studios, or Animal Kingdom in the afternoon for some rides and then driving or monorailing over to Epcot for a nighttime walk around the lagoon and food. I don't see park hopping coming back anytime soon. And it also seems like Epcot consistently has same day availability, but since I scanned into Animal Kingdom today I can't go anywhere else. However, as a passholder with a limit of three reservation days able to be booked at any given time, the moment I scanned into Animal Kingdom I was able to book another day (I already had my max of three booked).

Thursday, August 20, 2020 6:11 PM

It probably also depends on mask compliance in your area.

In my Chicago suburb, mask compliance has actually been pretty good at grocery stores.

So for me, mask compliance has actually been much WORSE anywhere that people might actually want to go and spend time.

Thursday, August 20, 2020 6:35 PM

Mask compliance has been good here for a while now, believe it or not. But that still doesn't stop crowding in aisles, at the register, etc. Whereas at the parks you are outdoors and with the low crowd levels have wide, open paths to spread out.

Thursday, August 20, 2020 7:23 PM
Jeff's avatar

It's good in most public place, but people in my neighborhood don't care. I haven't seen entitled white people party like this since going to parties in college.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Thursday, August 20, 2020 7:53 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Fazcoasters said:

cleaning the isles

Paging Vater....

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."


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