You may have been to Disney World hundreds of times, but things are constantly changing there.
One of the things that changed when the parks reopened, and has continued to change over the last few months, is the way that certain attractions are loaded and the addition of plexiglass to lots of attraction vehicles or queue areas. If you’re heading to Disney soon and wondering just what rides have plexiglass or whether you could be sitting next to someone from another party on a ride, then read on. We’re breaking down everything you need to know right here!
Keep in mind, this entire post is based on what we’ve experienced on these rides over the past few months. Your experience may be different. So, even if we saw boats on one ride loaded with 2-3 rows between parties, that could be different when you visit the park. But, this should still give you a general idea of how we’ve seen the rides loaded.
We’re going to break down this list into rides with plexiglass/distancing barriers in their attraction vehicles, and rides which (at the time of posting) don’t have plexiglass on their actual ride vehicles. Keep in mind that some of the rides that don’t have plexiglass on their actual ride vehicles may still have plexiglass in their queues. Let’s dive in!
Attractions with Plexiglass/Distancing Barriers in Their Ride Vehicles
On the Jungle Cruise, you will see some distancing barriers dividing parties on the boat itself. There’s also a distancing barrier separating guests from their Jungle Cruise Skipper. Aside from the barriers, another distancing measure that has been implemented on this ride is that guests are no longer seated in the middle of the boat.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, plexiglass barriers have been added to the attraction vehicles between the rows, and guests are now being seated generally in every row.
There are also some plexiglass barriers in parts of the queue.
Thinking of flying the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy? Well, then you can head over to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The ride recently got some plexiglass added to its cockpits around the gunners’ seats. These dividers separate the gunners from the engineers.
This set-up can potentially allow for a group of 1-4 people in the cockpit, plus a separate party of 1-2 people in the same cockpit at the same time.
In addition to this change, the loading procedure has also been recently changed. Once guests arrive in the room with the Dejarik table, there are now sets of orange and blue dots for different parties. One party with a group of one to four guests will be assigned to one dot and a smaller group of up to two guests to the second dot. Those on the orange dots go to the left cockpits, and those on the blue dots go to the right cockpits.
There aren’t specific gunner, pilot, and engineer standpoints in use anymore.
On Rise of the Resistance, there are plexiglass barriers throughout the various more pre-show elements of the attraction…
…including the transport ship. There are also social distancing markers or other distancing measures in place.
Plexiglass has also been added to the ride vehicles themselves, separating the rows, so guest are now being seated in every row.
This attraction is also one that can have a line that stretches quite far out from the ride’s entrance at times, so keep that in mind.
At Star Tours, there are plexiglass barriers at the loading area. There are also plexiglass barriers between some of the seats to help promote social distancing between parties. Additionally, every other row is marked as not available.
On Tower of Terror, plexiglass barriers have been added to the attraction vehicles, separating some of the seats from one another.
Additionally, there are plexiglass barriers in part of the queue.
Frozen Ever After
At Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion, plexiglass has been installed on the attraction boats, and guests are now being seated in every row of the boat.
There are also plexiglass barriers throughout parts of the queue.
Living with the Land
At Living with the Land, distancing barriers have been added to some boats, and guests in those boats are seated in every row. If a boat without plexiglass barriers is used, guests are generally seated with one row between parties.
On Soarin’ Around the World, distancing barriers have been added on some seats in the rows. Additionally, some seats are locked and unavailable for use.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
At DINOSAUR, there are distancing barriers on the vehicles between the 1st and 2nd rows. Cast Members have been loading guests in rows 1 and 3, which leaves an empty row between guests.
There are social distancing markers in the waiting area at It’s Tough to be a Bug! In the show itself, there are some plexiglass barriers between seats. Some rows are also blocked off, and some seats in the open rows are marked as unavailable for use.
At Kilimanjaro Safaris, there are distancing barriers between the rows, and guests are being seated in every single row. Each row is only seated, however, with one party.
At Na’vi River Journey there are some distancing barriers in the queue.
As for the ride itself, Cast Members were previously only loading one party per boat. We later saw plexiglass added to at least one boat, and Disney was loading every row in that boat. Recently, we stopped by the ride and saw that plexiglass has now been added to every boat and Cast Members are loading guests in every single row.
Wildlife Express Train
While waiting for the Wildlife Express Train, you’ll find some social distancing markers indicating where guests can stand or sit. On the train itself, plexiglass barriers have been installed to help guests remain separate. Also, note that there are rows closed for distancing purposes.
Attractions Without Plexiglass/Distancing Barriers on Their Ride Vehicles
At Astro Orbiter, each party gets their own rocket, just as they used to. Guests also still ride the elevator to get to the top level to board their rockets, but Cast Members typically load only one party per elevator to maintain social distancing.
Previously, at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, every other vehicle is typically loaded, leaving one car empty between parties. But, recently, we noticed that Disney is now loading parties in every single car.
Also, the line for the attraction can sometimes stretch to some unexpected places due to the social distancing measures in place, so you might get a walk through the queue area for Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. That’s just something to keep in mind.
Ready to blast off into space on Space Mountain? Well, before you board your rocket ship, you’ll find plexiglass dividers in some of the queue areas. Generally, only one party is loaded per each section of 3 seats as well to provide for some distancing.
The queue for this attraction can sometimes stretch out quite far in Tomorrowland, so just be on the lookout for that Cast Member with the “Line Starts Here” sign.
If you’re looking to drive your own car at Tomorrowland Speedway, just be aware that Cast Members are generally stopping guests from entering their cars until other drivers exit, to allow for social distancing.
After being closed for over a year, the PeopleMover reopened in April of 2021. Initially, Cast Members were leaving about 2 empty cars between different parties. Now, however, it looks like Disney is generally leaving 1 empty car between different parties.
Over at Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, every other row is unavailable, and some seats within available rows are marked as unavailable to use. Keep in mind that you may need to split up your party within a row to stay seated within the seats that are available for use.
On “it’s a small world,” there are plexiglass dividers throughout parts of the queue. Generally, more than one party is loaded per boat, with about 2 empty rows left between parties for social distancing.
At Dumbo, the interactive play area that was part of the queue is temporarily unavailable. On the ride, each party gets their own elephant, just like they did previously.
At the Mad Tea Party, there’s really no dramatic change in terms of seating in the attraction. One party is seated per spinning teacup.
At Mickey’s PhilharMagic, guests must maintain social distance from one another while waiting in line and in the area before entering the theatre. Once inside the theatre, there are some rows and seats blocked off to help maintain social distancing between parties.
The queue for Peter Pan’s Flight is another that can sometimes stretch into some interesting areas, like inside of the currently closed Columbia Harbour House.
Parts of Peter Pan’s Flight main queue areas have plexiglass barriers to help maintain distancing between guests. For the ride itself, each ride vehicle is being loaded with one party per flying ship.
At Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, guests are assigned a row and can then select a horse from that row. Only one party is seated per row. So, if you are assigned a row with 4 horses and you are just a party of 2, you’ll be able to sit in any 2 of those 4 horses and no one else will sit in that row with you.
At Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, there are plexiglass barriers throughout parts of the queue.
On the ride itself, an empty row of seats used to be left between each party. Recently, however, we’ve seen Disney seating guests in every single row of this ride.
Looking to ride the Barnstormer? You’ll find some plexiglass in part of the queue for this ride now. On this attraction, generally one row used to be left empty between different parties to ensure distancing. Now, however, Disney is seating guests in every single row.
Over at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the high-touch, interactive parts of the queue are temporarily unavailable. Also, only one party is seated per vehicle.
Ready to head under the sea? Well, you can see Ariel and her friends on Journey of the Little Mermaid in Fantasyland, where only one party is being loaded per shell (just like before the park closures), and every shell is generally being loaded (meaning there are generally no empty shells between guests).
Inside of the waiting area in The Hall of Presidents, there are social distancing dots indicating where guests should stand as they wait to go inside of the theater. Once inside, you’ll find that some rows are blocked off as unavailable, and some seats are blocked off within the available rows, all to maintain social distancing between guests.
In the Haunted Mansion, guests walk through the pre-show areas…
…including the Stretching Room as just extended parts of the queue. In other words, the traditional “is this haunted room actually stretching?” spiel has been temporarily suspended. As for the ride itself, each party gets their own doom buggy (just like before the park closures). Also, generally, every doom buggy is being loaded, meaning Cast Members are not leaving empty vehicles between parties.
The queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is another one that can stretch out quite far from the attraction’s entrance. With the December holiday crowds, we saw it go all the way through the Frontierland Train Station! So, again, be on the lookout for the Cast Member with a sign indicating where the line ends.
In terms of the ride itself, generally there is at least one row left between parties, or only one party will be loaded per cart (each cart is made up of 3 rows).
At Country Bear Jamboree, there are social distancing markers in the waiting area before guests enter the theater. Inside of the theater, generally every other row is closed, and some areas within available rows are marked as unavailable for use. This is all done to help parties socially distance from one another.
You can still visit your laughing place on Splash Mountain, but this is another one with a line that can stretch out quite far, sometimes almost reaching a whole other land in Magic Kingdom!
On the ride itself, boats are generally loaded with a few empty rows between different parties.
At Pirates of the Caribbean, plexiglass has been added to the queue.
The line here can extend quite far past the entrance to the ride, so just keep that in mind.
In terms of the boats, they were previously being loaded with a few empty rows left between different parties.
That, however, appears to have changed. Now, Cast Members are generally loading guests in every other row. So, typically only one row (as opposed to multiple rows) is being left between separate parties.
Soar off to a whole new world at the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. At this attraction, generally one party is seated per flying carpet.
At Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, there are social distancing markers in the pre-show area where guests should stand while they enjoy the pre-show.
Inside the theater, some rows have been blocked off. Additionally, some areas within available rows are also blocked off. If you’re traveling with a bigger party, this might mean that your group will have to split up to make sure you’re only sitting in the areas marked as available.
At Swiss Family Treehouse, guests are asked to maintain an appropriate social distance from other parties while walking through the attraction.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Alien Swirling Saucers, there are distancing markers throughout the queue and loading area, and (just as before the park closures) 1 party is seated per vehicle.
Slinky Dog Dash is another attraction where there are plexiglass barriers in parts of the queue.
As for the attraction vehicle itself, there is no plexiglass on the ride, and guests are being seated in every single row.
At Toy Story Mania! there are plexiglass barriers throughout parts of the queue. In terms of loading, Cast Members load guests in every row in every vehicle, just as before. Rows and vehicles are not skipped between parties.
Over at Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, certain rows are blocked off and some seats in the available rows are marked as unavailable, all to promote distancing.
The ride vehicles themselves, however, do not have plexiglass, but the attraction is now seating guests in every single row.
It’s time to light the lights! If you’re looking for some Muppet fun, you can visit Muppet*Vision 3D. There, you’ll find some social distancing markers in the pre-show area of this attraction.
Inside the theater, certain rows are blocked off. Also, within the available rows, some seats are marked as unavailable so that there can be some social distancing between parties.
If you’re looking to watch Vacation Fun — An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie, you can do so in Hollywood Studios. Some rows in the theater are blocked off and some seats within available rows are marked as unavailable for use to promote distancing. Keep in mind that will theater shows like this one, if your party is larger than the number of available seats in one section of a row, your party may need to split up.
At this stage show, there are social distancing dots in the waiting area, indicating where guests should stand.
Inside the theater, some rows are skipped, and some seats in available rows are marked as unavailable for use. Keep in mind, guests must keep their masks on throughout the entire show. Guests are also expected to remain seated until a Cast Member gives their row the signal that they can exit.
At Walt Disney Presents, guests should maintain an appropriate distance from others while walking through the exhibit. In the theater show at the end, every other row is skipped and some seats in open rows are marked as unavailable for use.
At Awesome Planet, there are social distancing markers in the waiting room area indicating where guests should stand. In the theater, some rows are blocked off, and some seats in available rows are marked as unavailable for use.
At the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival, there are social distancing markers in the pre-show area, and inside the theater, some rows are skipped and some seats within open rows are marked as unavailable for use.
On Journey Into Imagination with Figment, generally one party is loaded per car. Also, some parts of the attraction may be slightly modified during your ride. During our most recent visit to the attraction, the skunk smell was not released in The Smell Lab portion of the ride. Additionally, high-touch areas in the area following the attraction, ImageWords — The What If Labs — may not be available.
At Mission: SPACE, there are social distancing markers in the pre-show area, indicating where guests should stand. Only one party is loaded per vehicle. Also, the games and interactive area following the ride are not available at the moment.
At Spaceship Earth, Cast Members leave some space between parties, meaning you will generally not be seated with another party in the same vehicle.
Previously at Test Track, each party was generally given their own car. That has now changed, however. Now, we’ve seen both rows being loaded in each car with one party per row. Keep in mind that there are no plexiglass barriers between the rows at this time.
At The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Cast Members have been seating guests in every shell lately, with (as usual) the shells limited to one party in each.
At Gran Fiesta Tour, there are some plexiglass barriers in the queue area, and while separate parties can be seated on the same boat, they’re generally spaced out with about 2 rows between them.
Guests are instructed to maintain social distancing within the waiting area for Reflections of China. In the theater, some rows are closed off, and some spaces within available rows are marked as unavailable, so as to maintain social distancing between separate parties.
At The American Adventure, the seating is much like other shows at Disney World. Generally every other row is blocked off and some seats within available rows are marked as unavailable for use.
At the France pavilion, you can watch Impressions de France or Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. There are social distancing markers there in the waiting area, and inside the theater every other row is closed. There are also some seats in the open rows that are marked as unavailable for use.
At Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360, every other row is closed and there are some areas within the open rows that are marked as unavailable for use.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
On the animal trails throughout Animal Kingdom, guests should maintain an appropriate social distance from other parties walking around the area. In some areas of the trails, the number of guests allowed in one area is limited and guests are instructed to stand on social distancing markers there.
Guests also cannot eat or drink beyond certain points, so be sure to finish your snacks and drinks before entering the areas.
In the Avatar Flight of Passage queue, there are plexiglass barriers.
There are social distancing markers in the pre-show areas.
But, there are no barriers between the seats. Guests are, however, now being seated in every single bike.
At Expedition Everest, there is plexiglass in some parts of the queue.
The attraction is now seating every single row. This means that a different party could be seated in the row directly in front or behind you.
For Kali River Rapids, generally guests are seated with an empty pair of two seats between them.
If you’re looking to draw some Disney characters, you can head to The Animation Experience. There, little groupings of seats are bunched together but separated from other groups of chairs, so there can be some distancing between parties. Capacity is also limited for this experience.
Affection Section reopened in November of 2020. It has some sanitizing stations, distancing measures, and hand-washing stations in place.
At TriceraTop Spin, only one party is loaded per dinosaur.
Keep in mind that this post is just based on our experiences on these attractions, but things may vary so you might experience something different. Also, while we may not have mentioned it in every single section above, generally all of the Disney World attractions have some form of social distancing markers in their queue areas.
For the most part, there are also hand sanitizing stations at various parts near and in the attraction, including just before the attraction entrance, before you load, and after you exit. Additionally, attractions are being regularly sanitized. All of these loading procedures and seating arrangements are subject to change, so keep an eye out for more updates from us at AllEars.
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Are you planning to visit Walt Disney World in 2021? Let us know in the comments!