PlanningThe ParksTips

Covid Changes We Like in Walt Disney World

COVID-19 charged a lot of things throughout the world and Walt Disney World was no exception. From new health and safety measures to an increase in cleaning, Disney as a whole has made adjustments as a response to COVID-19 to keep both Guests and Cast Members safe.

Although we don’t love all the changes, there are some changes that came from COVID-19 that we like.  Take a look at the changes we like in Walt Disney World because of COVID-19.

Credit: Disney

New Security Measures

The first that we like that came as a response to COVID-19 is the new security systems at each of the four Disney Parks.

Prior to the shutdown in March 2019, the security team would go through each bag individually.   This was an extremely slow process and honestly not a consistent one at that.  Some members would go through every inch and pocket while others would quickly glance and move on.

The new system was brought in by Disney to limit contact between Guests and their items and the security team.  This new system allows Guests to keep their bags on and walk through a metal detector much like at an airport.

security system MK- ITM
security system MK- ITM

Not only do we absolutely love how quickly this system is as Guests can quickly move through one after another, but we also feel like the new system is even more secure than before.

If you haven’t been to Walt Disney World with this new system, make sure that you remember to take out any major metal items such as umbrellas, water bottles, glasses cases, or large batteries.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

Mobile Ordering

We were fans of mobile ordering right when it became available at Walt Disney Worl and continue to be a big fan.  Although this overall system was added to My Disney Experience prior to the shutdown and covid, we are grateful that we now have this option at even more quick-service locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

Mobile ordering is fantastic as it allows Guests to order their food through the app.  Not only that, but Guests are able to choose their time making it easy to plan for meals.  Even though you might need to plan ahead during the busier days in a Disney Park to make sure you get your preferred time, we love how easy this feature is.

Having mobile ordering throughout the Disney Parks and Disney Resorts at so many of the quick service locations is something that we feel has made our experience in the Parks so much easier.

Credit: Disney


We have always loved Walt Disney World because of how clean it is, but the measures that Cast Members have taken since the pandemic are above and beyond.

From the very beginning, Disney makes sure to offer hand sanitizer throughout the Parks as well as additional cleaning measures both in the Disney Resort rooms and throughout the Disney Parks.

We continue to see Cast Members wiping down high-touch services and Resort rooms continue to receive a deep clean between each Guest.

Knowing that these measures were taken and continue to be taken throughout the Walt Disney World Resort gives us a little peace of mind.


adventure friend cavalcade
Credit: Disney

Even though we are thrilled that the Festival of Fantasy Parade is back in the Magic Kingdom, we absolutely love the addition of the cavalcade that came out of the pandemic.  Disney wanted Guests to be able to see and interact with their beloved characters but knew it needed to be at a distance and without large crowds.

Because of this, they created cavalcades.  These are mini-parades that started off in all four Disney Parks and now happen mostly in the Magic Kingdom.  Each one has a theme and includes some of my favorite characters.

We love the new Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade that includes around thirty of our favorite characters like Miguel from Coco, Moana, and The Incredibles.

Now Disney has times posted in the My Disney Experience app, so Guests won’t miss them.  We love how these little moments of magic pop up throughout the day in Disney Park.

pooh bear epcot
Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff

Characters Out 

We also love how the pandemic has seemed to bring out more of our beloved Disney and Pixar characters in unique and fun ways.  Being able to see Winnie the Pooh catch butterflies in EPCOT or having Joy dance around and have fun.

In Magic Kingdom, it is great to be grated by characters at the train station or to see them saying goodbye as you head out.

Even though we are happy that traditional meet and greets are back (we love our Mickey hugs), there is something special about seeing characters in different spots in the Disney Parks interacting with Guests even if it is from afar.


Resort Benefits

Prior to the pandemic, Guests staying at a Disney Resort would be able to take advantage of extra magic hours at one of the four Disney Parks.  Now, this benefit has been adjusted and Guests can take advantage of early entry at any of the four Disney Parks.

Some Guests might be upset that this offer is only a half-hour where previously extra magic hours were a full hour, but we think this is an upgrade.

Having early entry at all four Disney Parks allows those hoping to participate to spread out between the four Parks instead of all being at one.  Even in 30-minutes, Guests can get a lot accomplished prior to the crowds showing up.

We also like the new extending evening hours offered to Guests staying at a Deluxe Resort.  This is offered at all Parks on select nights except for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  This allows these Guests to experience the Park for two hours after Park closing – a fantastic way to experience low crowds.

We aren’t always a fan of change; however, these changes are ones that we enjoy and feel like make our Walt Disney World trip easier and even more magical.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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