Did you know there is a free COVID-19 testing site right at Walt Disney World? There is! Free! I went a few days ago to try it out, and wanted to share my experience. The Florida Division of Emergency Management actually runs the site, but it’s located on Disney property. I’m sure Disney recognizes the difficulties there are with interstate travel to some states and many countries, and they want to help as much as possible. Some states will allow travelers to opt out of (or lessen) their mandatory quarantine period if they have a negative COVID test prior to entrance. Some travelers will also want to be tested for their own peace of mind.
Here are some answers to questions you may have!
1. Where is the testing site located? – It’s in a backstage area, not too far from Animal Kingdom. You can’t take Disney transportation to get there, you’ll have to drive or be dropped off. The actual address is 3010 Maingate Lane, Kissimmee, Florida 34747. When you get close, you will see several signs directing you.
2. When Is the testing site open? – The site is open from 8 am to 5 pm daily. It’s for walk-ups only, and you cannot make an appointment beforehand.
3. Who can use it? – Anyone! You do not have to be a Florida resident or cast member; the testing is open for anyone who would like to use it. You do not need to be symptomatic, or give a reason that you want the test.
4. What information will you be asked to provide? – You will be asked to register via the website using your personal device, while in line, before reaching the front of the line. You can also register online before arrival at https://www.patientportalfl.com. The registration process will ask for basic information like name, date of birth, phone number, email, and home address. You will also be asked some demographic information, plus insurance information, but you can decline to answer those if you want. Once registered, you will receive a bar code which they will scan before the test.
5. What type of test is it? – By default, you will be given a rapid test. If, however, you have a reason to need a PCR test, they will give it to you. They may ask for proof that it is necessary. I needed a PCR test, and I was asked if I had proof, but I didn’t actually have to show it. They gave me both the rapid and PCR test.
6. What is the process like while you wait to take the test? – When you arrive, you will park and join what is probably a very long line. The line is marked with several ropes and cones set up in the parking lot. There are several signs posted with registration directions along the way. Fun fact – You can actually see Expedition Everest from the line!
7. How long will you wait in line to take the test? – I was in line for about 2 ½ hours. It’s not quick! The day I was there, there were 12 switchbacks in the single line, with about 15 people (or small groups) able to fit in each portion of the line. So, on average, it took about 12.5 minutes to advance through each switchback in the line. There were then multiple windows at the front of the line, and four windows were open and staffed when I was there. Your test(s) will occur at the window, and the test itself takes about 5-10 minutes. Hopefully you will be able to calculate about how long your wait will be with that information.
8. Did it feel safe? – It did. The line is outside, everyone was spaced out, and masks were mandatory. Despite the number of people in line, and the wrapping of the line, I never felt like I was closer than 6 feet to anyone. I only saw one person with the mask below their nose. Not long after I noticed him, someone came out from one of the trailers with a bullhorn and made an announcement along the lines of – “Many people in this line are here because they think they have COVID, and some of them are correct! Please keep your mask on your mouth AND nose.”
9. What is the actual test like? – It’s a self-administered nasal swab (both for the rapid test and the PCR test). You will approach one window of a trailer when called, and they will scan your bar code and confirm your identity. After that is confirmed, you will approach a second window where they will give you instructions on how to use the swab (you insert about one inch of the swab into both nostrils, and scrape the sides for about 5 seconds), hand it to you, and close the window. When you are done, they take the swab, and you are done!
10. How long did the results take? – The rapid test results were as advertised, and I had a text message and email exactly 20 minutes later with my results. The paper with the information on the PCR test said it could take five days to get these results through a secure website, but when I checked for results about 36 hours later, they were there.
That was my experience! I hope it helps! Do you have any questions about it?
Tammy Whiting is the owner of Storybook Destinations. Did you know Storybook Destinations offers a complimentary subscription to TouringPlans with qualified Disney and Universal bookings? Click here for a no-obligation quote on your next vacation!