Disney is keeping safety at the forefront of its reopening plan. We recently went to the Magic Kingdom for the passholder preview and got a sneak peek of Disney’s COVID19 response. We were hesitant at first with the numbers in Florida rising but Disney surprised us with how efficient everything was. Disney’s safety is built to scale so when crowd sizes increase as the reopening plan rolls into future phases they will be prepared.
Playing the Long Game
Disney is playing the long game when it comes to safety. We noticed social distancing markers that appear to be permanent. We believe that Disney will be using them for the unforeseeable future.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction had social distancing markers and umbrellas set up all the way around the mountain it is built on. Crowds aren’t large now but Disney is preparing for later phases in the reopening plan when capacity numbers can increase.
Disney’s new reservation system Park Pass allows Disney to track how many guests are planning on going to any given park on any given day. This will help with additional safety precautions that might need to be taken and staffing.
The Park Pass system only allows guests to create three park reservations at a time. Gone are the days of going to Disney on a whim. After one of your reservations is used you can then make a new one. The only expectation here is if you are staying at a Disney Resort. Resort guests get additional park days for the length of their stay.
Guests also cannot park hop. Once you choose your park for the day that is it. So make sure you choose wisely when picking which park to go to on any given day. If you are planning a vacation this is something you definitely want to keep in mind.
What Can You Expect At Galaxy’s Edge?
In our opinion, a similar set-up should be in place for the Galaxy’s Edge attractions. The attractions in Galaxy’s Edge have already experienced large crowds since the land is relatively new. Disney has policies and procedures in place that seemed to work at the time which may have to be tweaked due to social distancing precautions. We think based on what we have seen at the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs that social distancing markers will be in place well outside of the main queues just in case crowds require them. We should see signs posted about safety precautions, hand sanitizer stations, portable handwashing stations, plexiglass dividers, and virtual queues.
Rise of the Resistance
We finally got word from Disney about how they were going to handle Rise of the Resistance when they reopen Galaxy’s Edge on July 15th. We were concerned with all the protocols that would need to be in place that they might not even open the popular attraction. We got the official word today that they are opening the attraction and being to utilize a virtual queue system.
Before the parks shut down in back in March, Rise of the Resistance used a virtual queue system but the problem with it was guests were showing up hours before the park opened, doing rope drop, and clogging the system with attempts to get a boarding group. Crowds were crazy big at the Hollywood Studios gate and getting a boarding group was nearly impossible.
Disney can’t have large crowds like that again due to COVID19 safety precautions so they redeveloped their boarding group system. Now guests can get boarding groups only at specific times during the day (10am, 1pm, and 4pm). There is no need to arrive at the park super early. The My Disney Experience app is where guests will go to get a possible boarding group. The app will notify you when it is your party’s turn to board the ride. You have one hour after you get the notification to report to the ride entrance.
We do not know how the attraction will be modified. We are expecting a lot of preshow elements to be removed from the experience due to COVID19 safety precautions. In our opinion, Disney’s safety is built to scale. They seems to be thinking ahead, as crowds get larger when other phases of their plan are rolled. We will find out more on July 15th with Galaxy’s Edge reopens to the public.