How Social Distancing Might Work at Epcot Attractions

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We recently looked at ways Disney might use to enforce social distancing at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios when they begin phased openings at the parks. Today we’re looking at how social distancing might work at Epcot.

As with the other parks, for safety purposes, we’ll assume that guests and cast members are all wearing appropriate face coverings, sanitizer and hand wash stations are readily available, and vehicles are cleaned on a regular, frequent schedule. Another huge area of consideration is the management of queues for rides, which are currently universally configured with guests close together. We’ll assume for now that there will be a virtual queue management system in place, perhaps something like the way Rise of the Resistance boarding was managed prior to closing.

[Please note: I have NO inside information about Disney’s reopening plans, timing, or procedures. These are my thoughts only.]

Epcot poses perhaps the most challenges with social distancing. While the park is large, it’s not particularly ride-heavy. Lots of pull of Epcot is shopping and dining, things that are harder to do in a distanced fashion. And I can barely imagine how the ubiquitous Epcot festivals might be handled. Will they obsessively clean the tops of the many trash cans that guests use as Festival tables?

FUTURE WORLD

Awesome Planet

A 50% or more reduction in guest admission per show would allow for parties to distance from each other. Perhaps alternate rows could be entirely taped off. Cast members could ask guests to leave a space between parties.

Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival

A 50% or more reduction in guest admission per show would allow for parties to distance from each other. Perhaps alternate rows could be entirely taped off. Cast members could ask guests to leave a space between parties.

Journey Into Imagination

Social distancing could be achieved by loading one party per vehicle.

Living with the Land

The Living with the Land boats could have one party per row, with rows skipped between parties.

Mission Space Green/Orange

Social distancing could be achieved by loading one party per vehicle. This attraction is nearly enclosed, with guests touching many surfaces as part of the experience. Extra cleaning attention will be warranted.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Social distancing could be achieved by loading one party per clamshell, perhaps leaving every other shell empty.

Soarin’ Around the World

Social distancing might be achieved by loading the attraction at 50% capacity, leaving empty seats between parties.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth was scheduled to close this week for a lengthy reimagination and refurbishment. Given that Disney’s budget has been hard hit by the extended park closures, it may be that Spaceship Earth remains in its current form for the time being. If this is the case, social distancing could be achieved by loading one party per vehicle.

Test Track

Social distancing could be achieved by loading one party per vehicle. The touch-intensive preshow area (where guests build their own cars) might be temporarily eliminated.

Turtle Talk with Crush

A 50% or more reduction in guest admission per show would allow for parties to distance from each other. Perhaps alternate rows could be entirely taped off. Cast members could ask guests to leave a space between parties.

WORLD SHOWCASE

The American Adventure

A 50% or more reduction in guest admission per show would allow for parties to distance from each other. Perhaps alternate rows could be entirely taped off. Cast members could ask guests to leave a space between parties.

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along and Impressions de France

A 50% or more reduction in guest admission per show would allow for parties to distance from each other. Perhaps alternate rows could be entirely taped off. Cast members could ask guests to leave a space between parties.

Canada Far and Wide In Circle-Vision 360

Guests stand for this attraction, tending to move around slightly and leaning on the railings. A 50% or more reduction in guest admission per show would allow for parties to distance from each other. I suspect that areas of the carpet will be taped off, with guests asked to stand only in specified zones.

Frozen Ever After

The Frozen boats could have one party per row, with rows skipped between parties.

Gran Fiesta Tour

The Gran Fiesta boats could have one party per row, with rows skipped between parties.

Reflections of China

Guests stand for this attraction, tending to move around slightly and leaning on the railings. A 50% or more reduction in guest admission per show would allow for parties to distance from each other. I suspect that areas of the carpet will be taped off, with guests asked to stand only in specified zones.

Of course, even if methods like these do take place, we have countless other questions about character greetings, stage shows, fireworks, shopping, dining, and more. We’re looking forward to seeing what happens. Do you have any theories or predictions? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

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