In the Parks

What It is Like To Visit Walt Disney World in Spring 2021

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When Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, we all knew we’d have to get used to a new way of enjoying the Most Magical Place on Earth. Now, things have started to change again. For the most part, all the COVID-19 precautions are still in place. The big important ones like social distancing and mask requirements are still in full effect. But, things are a little different at Walt Disney World than they were when the parks first reopened.

Expedition Everest Extended Queue Goes Near Dinoland – March 17, 2021
Decorated Paddle Sign for COVID-19 Precautions

Here’s what it is like to visit Walt Disney World theme parks right now.

Current COVID-19 Precautions at Walt Disney World

  • Masks are required for all guests age two years and older, except when eating and drinks while stationary
  • Temperature check required before entering all theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs
  • All lines for attractions, food and beverage, merchandise shops, and more have physical distancing markers
  • Socially distanced lines do lead to extended queues outside, especially during peak periods
  • Masks are required to remain on when taking photos, with or without a Disney PhotoPass photographer
  • Most quick service dining locations are available through mobile ordering only
  • Most table service dining locations offer contactless menus unless a physical menu is requested
  • Character interactions are distanced and unscheduled
  • Increased cleaning procedures

Some procedures that were in place upon reopening, and for many months after, have started to be reduced. For example, some of the busier attractions, like Big Thunder Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, are now loading guests at every row. It used to be every other row. Also some attractions have plexiglass dividers on the ride vehicles, which can be annoying.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Loading Every Row – March 10, 2021
Big Thunder Mountain Loading Every Row – March 10, 2021
Frozen Ever After – Plexiglass

Additionally we’ve noticed the designated entrances and exits of merchandise shops are not as strictly enforced as they once were. And we’ve noticed some of the hand sanitizing stations that were omnipresent are being reduced in some areas.

Hand Sanitizer at Treehouse Entrance

Tips for visiting Walt Disney World in Spring and Summer 2021

  • Have a plan but be flexible with the things that can impact it. Disney is changing things rapidly and many of them without notice.
  • Each family has their level of comfort and sensitivity to the current situation. Be sure to talk with your family beforehand about what precautions are in place and their comfort level.
  • Splash pads and playgrounds in the theme parks are closed for now. If you have little kids with you prepare them for this change.
  • Plan time in Disney’s Relaxation Stations so you can take a break.
  • If you want pictures without your masks, plan some time for photos at your resort away from the main common areas.
  • Pack extra masks, in the spring and summer heat they become “icky” after about three hours.
  • Practice mask wearing and talk with your toddler about why they need to wear their mask.
  • Place your mobile order for food ahead of busy meal periods to save time and get the time slot you want.
  • If you need to cool off, stop at any quick service location and let the Cast Member out front know you need some water. You’ll be able to head in for some air conditioning and ice water regardless if you have a mobile order.
  • Use our Lines app to use a touring plan that will save you hours in line, and know the actual expected wait times for all rides.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Relaxation Station
Dawa Bar  at Animal Kingdom with Distancing Markers

Visiting Walt Disney World right now is still very different than what many of us are used to. With some planning ahead and managing of expectations it can still be a great time. If you’re visiting during the upcoming spring and summer months, be sure to hydrate and dress comfortably. Most of all, plan out your day ahead of time and use our tools to maximize your Walt Disney World vacation.

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Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

3 thoughts on “What It is Like To Visit Walt Disney World in Spring 2021

  • Do they have plexiglass between the rows of the boarding are in thunder mountain? You’re pretty much on top of one another in that space otherwise.

  • Are the splash pads and playgrounds open at the resorts?

    • Hey Debbie, yes at the resorts splash pads and playgrounds are open. Thanks for reading!

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