Here’s What Social Distancing Looks Like in Disney World Right Now

Ever since Disney World reopened, there have been several new health and safety measures in place. 

Face Mask requirements in Disney Springs

The safety measure that has perhaps changed the most is the physical distancing requirements in the parks! We’ve seen updates for rides several times, as well as new rules in place. So…what does social distancing like in the parks right now? Let’s break it down.

Queues

One of the biggest places where you’ll notice physical/social distancing in Disney World is the lines and queues Lines all around Disney World have ground markers. You’ll spot them outside of gift shops…

Ground Markers in Disney Springs

…as well as in queues for rides. Each marker is at least 6ft apart to abide by CDC recommendations.

Make sure to stand on your markers!

In spots where markers can’t be 6ft apart or where Disney needs to create more space, there are plexiglass dividers in the queue.

Plexiglass in the Flight of Passage queue.

Guests are encouraged to stay on their ground markers, but occasionally you’ll find people who forget or accidentally walk past their spot. If you encounter this situation, just hang back a little further to accommodate or kindly remind the other guests to keep the distance. If Cast Members notice, they’ll often say something.

Keep your distance from others while waiting in line!

For parties of more than 3 or 4 people, it’s usually pretty difficult for everyone to stay on one marker. We recommend splitting up between two lines or dots if that is the case. (This was Disney’s policy briefly, but then they removed the signs from the parks.)

These signs have since been removed.

Ride Vehicles

Procedures with physical distancing on Disney rides have changed quite a bit over the last few months. When the parks first reopened, most rides allowed for plenty of space between guests, but now we’re seeing more and more that some ride vehicles are seating every row. Several rollercoasters are operating this way around the parks.

Guests seated every row on Slinky Dog Dash.

In addition to coasters, some omnimover rides are now loading every car. On other ride systems, we’ve seen the addition of plexiglass to seat more parties.

Every car is now being loaded at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin!

Some examples of this include DINOSAUR, Rise of the Resistance, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Plexiglass dividers on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Shows

If you’re headed to an indoor show at Disney World, the seating process is very different right now. First of all, when you’re in the pre-show or loading area, your group will be sent to a floor marker to stand and wait.

Floor markers inside Muppet*Vision 3D pre-show area.

Once it’s time to enter the theater, guests are ushered into the theater in small groups. You’ll only be able to seat four people together, so if you have 5 or more in your party, you’ll be required to split up.

Seats are marked off for safety.

Certain seats in the theater are blocked off so that guests are distanced from one another. Remember to keep your face coverings on throughout the show!

You’ll have to skip some rows!

Character Interactions

In some areas where character cavalcades pass by, you’ll spot social distancing markers on the ground. The most prominent place we’ve seen this is on Main Street, U.S.A.

Those green dots are where you should stand!

When characters pass by in the parks, things tend to get pretty chaotic, with tons of people rushing to the edge of the sidewalk to watch their favorite pals go by. Even if you choose a socially distanced spot to stand, you may find that you’re soon surrounded by people.

People watching the cavalcade in Frontierland.

In that case, we recommend looking for the little-known and less crowded places to watch the cavalcades go by. Avoid main bridges in Animal Kingdom, instead going for the quieter areas between Africa and Pandora. In Magic Kingdom, don’t pick a spot on Main Street or Frontierland — find somewhere quieter in-between.

It’s so calm over here!

For EPCOT, the crowds fluctuate around the World Showcase, but usually, the lagoon side of the walkway is less crowded for stopping than the side with all the pavilions. In Hollywood Studios, most places outside of Hollywood Boulevard should be calmer.

Hey there, Mickey and Minnie!

The same goes for other physically distanced character interactions. If characters come out to wave from a distance, guests like to rush up and take photos right in front. Try choosing a spot off to the side or in the back to snap your pic.

Wait a few minutes to get that perfect picture!

If that doesn’t work, just wait a little bit and the other guests may move away, allowing you time to take your photos in peace. Patience pays off!

Don’t fight the crowds!

Dining

If you’re heading to a restaurant to eat, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about safety — these places are well-regulated right now!

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

Tables that are too close to one another are removed or marked off. If you’re dining in a table service restaurant, the host or hostess will seat you. If you’re dining at a quick service, simply choose a spot that doesn’t have a sign on the table.

Avoid places with these signs!

During peak meal times, it can be a little harder to find a place to sit in a quick service, so keep in mind that you may have to go outside. If you get up at any point to throw away trash or get condiments or utensils, remember to put your mask back on before you leave the table.

Dining areas at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe fill up quickly!

If you’re eating a snack or taking a sip of your drink while out and about in the parks, you’re required to move to the side and be physically distanced from others before removing your mask. Many guests consider the “stationary” part of this rule, but not the “physically distanced” part, so remember to step away from others. Don’t stop in the middle of the walkway.

You also can’t eat in queues!

Transportation

Disney World transportation follows social distancing guidelines as well. Buses are divided into sections, and your driver will seat you in a numbered area based on the size of your party.

A quiet bus ride over to Magic Kingdom!

On the monorail, you’ll be directed to a number to stand on as you wait for the next train to arrive. Your party will then load the car in accordance with the spot where you’re standing. To increase capacity, Disney added dividers in the monorail cars. 

Dividers have gone up inside monorail cars.

For the Disney Skyliner, gondolas are still being boarded with one party at a time.

All to ourselves!

For the ferryboat to Magic Kingdom, guests must choose a physically distanced dot for their party to stand on. While some bench space is available, other spots are marked off. With smaller boats, you’ll want to pay attention to the signs on the seats as well.

Don’t sit on the marked-off benches!

When it Rains

The biggest problem with social distancing in Disney World right now is the rain. When bad weather comes around, nearly everyone likes to huddle up under all the dry places of the park, and physically distancing tends to be the last thing on guests’ minds. 

Lots of people hiding from the rain in the tunnel to Galaxy’s Edge

Be prepared for this situation ahead of time — bring your own rain gear and put it on once you see the skies start to darken. If you’re decked out and ready to go, you won’t need to crowd under an awning to stay dry.

People cramped together in Frontierland.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re unprepared, just remember to be mindful of the space of others.

Be aware of your surroundings!

In General

While walking around the park, you may notice that physical distancing isn’t as easily observed. Guests still walk in large crowds and there are still a few bottlenecks around the parks.

It gets busy over here!

Things get especially packed during holidays and times when students are out of school. There have been days where we’ve seen walkways filled across with people. 

Mexico Pavilion spring break crowds

If you want to avoid these kinds of crowds, we first recommend visiting the parks during the “off” times. Arrive early in the morning, go on weekdays, avoid holidays to ensure that you’re minimizing the number of people in the parks.

It’s so much better to not run into other people!

Besides that, avoid places that you know are bottlenecks or hit those popular spots first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you do that, you’ll likely be able to enjoy those areas even more without having to squirm around other guests!

Don’t you want a view like this?!

Physical distancing can be a bit tricky in Disney World right now, especially with guests visiting from all over. The most important thing to remember these days is to be aware of your own surroundings!

Watch out for other people!

Stay tuned to AllEars for more updates and news live from the Disney World parks. We’ve got the details on all the health and safety measures you’ll find, and we’ll make sure to keep you in the know!

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Have you been to Disney World since the reopening? What was social distancing like when you were there?

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