A lot has been changing in Disney World recently!
Disney already had quite a few updates in store for the week, and the release of new CDC guidelines permitting fully vaccinated people to remove face masks both indoors and outdoors made for even more changes in the parks. So, we’ve got a lot to cover — let’s take a look at all the big news from last week that will impact your next trip to Disney World!
Here’s all the BIG Disney World news you may have missed from the past week!
Face Masks No Longer Required Outdoors
We’re starting off with perhaps the biggest news of the week and it came only a few days ago. Disney announced that face masks would no longer be required for all guests when outdoors in the Disney World parks and resort area beginning on May 15th.
Previously, Disney had only allowed for face masks to be removed when stationary and actively eating or drinking and when taking a photo, but now guests may remove their masks in most outdoor settings.
Keep in mind that masks are still required when waiting in queues for rides, on rides, when in shops, dining locations, other indoor areas, and on transportation.
Temperature Checks Removed
Prior to the new mask updates, Disney had announced that they would be phasing out temperature checkpoints for Cast Members and guests at all entry points to the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs.
The change was set to begin on May 16th, but they took effect a day early when the new face mask policy began. Now, guests visiting the parks can walk past the un-staffed tents and head straight to the entrance.
During the Walt Disney Company’s Q2 Earnings Call, CEO Bob Chapek shared that they had already begun increasing park capacity at Disney World. This was a pretty big update because Disney had not shared any news on the matter since they initially increased capacity to 35% in November.
Following the earnings call, we spotted that more Park Pass Availability had been added for the remainder of May and the entire month of June, so we’re already starting to see the impact of capacity increases.
Phased Out Physical Distancing Measures
We’re not done with all the health and safety updates just yet! Disney announced that they would begin to gradually reduce physical distancing measures in the parks last week and we have already started to see a few adjustments being made.
We’ve spotted some safety signs that are now missing the “6ft/2m” indicator on the physically distancing icon, some physical distancing stickers have been removed from benches around the parks, and there were even some changes to the seating at the reopened Festival of the Lion King already.
These changes haven’t been implemented at all locations around the parks just yet and Disney had previously shared that they would be maintaining the six-foot distancing guidelines in all dining locations, merchandise stores, and places where guests can remove their masks temporarily. But, we will continue to keep an eye out for updates!
Click here to learn more about Disney’s plan to gradually reduce physical distancing measures in Disney World
Festival of the Lion King Officially Reopens
This weekend also marked the official reopening of Festival of the Lion King in Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Guests are now welcomed back into the theater (with distanced seating, of course) to go on a journey with characters from Disney’s The Lion King through all of the iconic music.
The show now features a few modifications to ensure physical distancing for the cast and guests. So, you won’t be able to see the tumble monkeys or the birds flying above the stage, but the redesigned choreography still makes for a great show!
More Dining Options
Chef Mickey’s Reopen for Dinner
And, more dining options are now available for guests in the parks and resorts too! Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort had reopened for breakfast way back in July and this weekend the restaurant reopened for a character dinner option as well!
Dinner is no longer buffet-style, but it is still all you can eat — your server will just bring all the family-style meals to your table.
Terra Treats Reopen
So, now you can pick up pizzas, sodas, water, or a beer from their limited menu to keep you full on your way around the park!
Now you’re all caught up on the big Disney news! We’ll continue to keep an eye out for changes to health and safety measures in Disney World and all other important updates that could impact your vacation so stay tuned!
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Will you be visiting Disney World soon? Let us know in the comments!