8 Things That Have Gone Back to Normal in Disney World

If you ask any Disney fan, they’ll probably tell you that it has been a strange and unpredictable year for the parks!

Things are slowly going back to normal in Disney World.

After they closed and reopened last summer, many things changed — from new health and safety measures to the loss of some of our favorite attractions and entertainment options . But, as things begin to start returning to “normal”, we’re starting to see things go back to pre-closure procedures in Disney World as well! Here are a few things that are back to the way they were prior to the closures.

Temperature Checks

Ever since Disney Springs first reopened in May 2020, temperature checks have been a part of the health and safety measures — but no longer! Disney announced plans recently to phase out temperature screenings, and that started on May 15h.

Empty Temperature Check Booths

Click here to read about temperature checks ending early

Face Mask Policy Updates

On May 15th, Disney World started what was perhaps their biggest health and safety change so far — they eliminated the requirement of face masks in most outdoor common areas.

Expect mask-wearing to stick around for a bit!

A month later, Disney World updated their policy again to make face masks optional in most locations for fully vaccinated guests, with the exception of transportation like buses, the Monorail, and the Disney Skyliner. Guests who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing face masks in all indoor areas; however, Disney has stated that they will not require guests to show proof of vaccination.

New face mask policy in effect at Hollywood Studios

Click here to read more on the latest face mask policy update from Disney World.

Hand Washing Stations

One health and safety measure that has seemingly disappeared from the parks is the hand washing stations! These were first put in place before the closures to encourage guests to wash their hands more frequently. But, in recent weeks, they’ve been removed from their former locations.

We used to see these all over the place!

We’ll admit, we hadn’t seen quite as many guests using them as before, and there are restrooms everywhere in the Disney World parks, so this is probably something that won’t be too sorely missed. You can still find hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks, especially at entrances and exits of attractions.

Hand washing stations may be gone, but you’ll find hand sanitizer stations instead.

Self-Serve Drink Stations

We’ve also started to see the return of self-serve drink machines. To slow the spread of germs, drink machines were manned by Cast Members at quick service restaurants for several months after reopening.

Self-serve drink stations have reopened in many Disney World Resorts

We recently noticed the option to fill up your own cup at some Disney Resorts, but then we spotted this option at a few spots in the parks as well. It’s a little change, but it’s a small step back towards normalcy.

Tea packets, coffee creamers, and more are now out for grabs

Trash Cans

Even Disney World trash cans are starting to go back to normal. Since Disney World reopened, they’ve been propping trash can doors open using zip ties — but not anymore!

Trash cans have been propped open in the Disney Parks

Trash can doors in Magic Kingdom have been closed in multiple locations around the park including Adventureland…

Trash can lids are starting to close

…and Fantasyland near Mad Tea Party. And, while some of the trash cans still have the health and safety reminder stickers on the front, some have already been removed.

And they’re all around the parks

We spotted more trash cans that have closed lids and no longer have the health reminders at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Some are even missing the health and safety signage

…in Fantasyland…

And more are closed

…and even near some snack carts throughout the park.

Even ones next to food carts are closed

Some trash cans do still remain open like this one near Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland, but we’ll likely see more return to their normal closed position soon.

Though, some still remain propped open

After Hours Events

Disney World recently announced that while Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will not go on in 2021, it will be replaced (at least for this year) by another after hours event — that’s right, after hours events are back in Disney World!

Halloween in Magic Kingdom

Disney After Hours BOO BASH will offer many of the same features typically seen in an after hours event. The park will close to regular guests at a designated time, at which point the separate ticketed event will begin.

Halloween Time in Disney World

While there are no fireworks or full parades planned for BOO BASH, guests can still dress up in Halloween costumes, collect candy, and experience shortened wait times for their favorite Magic Kingdom attractions. Oh, and the Cadaver Dans will perform, along with spooky character cavalcades!

Cadaver Dans

Festival of the Lion King

And, we’ve finally begun to see entertainment return to the parks with the Festival of the Lion King reopening in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While the show hasn’t exactly returned to “normal” just yet, it’s pretty close!

Festival of the Lion King Sign

The modified show is temporarily called A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King because some elements, like the tumble monkeys and audience participation, have been removed for now.

What’s Up, Simba?

There are also some additional safety precautions like distanced seating for guests and a few changes to the choreography to allow for distancing between performers — but, the music and performance are just as good as we remember. And, now that one live entertainment show has returned to Disney World, we may see more reopen soon.

Festival of the Lion King


Live shows aren’t the only form of entertainment returning to the parks though — fireworks are back too! Beginning July 1st, Happily Ever After will light up the nighttime sky at Magic Kingdom every night at 9:15PM…

Happily Ever After Fireworks

…and over in EPCOT, the temporary show EPCOT Forever will be returning to the park and begin at 10PM daily.

Epcot Forever

Now, there may be a few changes to the EPCOT show that was implemented after Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was discontinued. With the five new barges in World Showcase Lagoon set up for Disney’s new show Harmonious, some elements of the show may be missing, including the iconic illuminated kites.

Epcot Forever Kites

For now, Disney has not shared any information on when Harmonious will officially debut in EPCOT or when (or if) other fireworks shows, like Fantasmic! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will return. But, it sure is exciting to see some fireworks back in Disney World!

Harmonious will be both a daytime and nighttime display!

Well, those are 8 things we’ve noticed in Walt Disney World that have begun to go back to normal. We’ll make sure to keep you updated as more things return to the way they were pre-COVID, so stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest Disney World news!

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