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By Soarin’ Diva

COVID-19 and Disney Parks

Thousands upon thousands of disappointed families have canceled or postponed their Disney vacations due to COVID-19 closing parks around the world. It may seem devastating now, but we know that the parks will reopen as soon as it is safe for guests to be there.

Empty Park

Early morning dining reservations and an empty park! Photo: Courtesy of Military Diva

This whole pandemic has been an eye-opening experience for so many. Is it difficult to stay confined to your home for weeks, even months at a time? Of course, it is, everyone gets cabin fever at some point. At the moment, however, it’s extremely necessary if we hope to make it through this virus with the least amount of cases as possible. Personally, when I’m not at Walt Disney World, I’m a bit of a hermit anyway, so it really hasn’t strained me that much. Well, other than the fact that it’s difficult to find certain items in the grocery store (I’m looking at you, hoarders!) For many people, though, this has been an incredible lifestyle change.

Hand sanitizer that can be hooked to bags

Small bottles of hand sanitizer can be attached to park bags

The fact that hand soap and hand sanitizer stays sold out suddenly is both frustrating and very worrisome. I mean, were these people NOT washing their hands before all of this happened? Were they not sanitizing when necessary? The short answer to that is…no, no they weren’t. What’s my basis of proof for this statement? My proof lies in what I have personally witnessed in public restrooms, especially at Walt Disney World.

I can’t count how many adult women I have watched walk out of a bathroom stall and, instead of going to the sink to wash their hands, they bebop out into the park and hop on an attraction, touching everything in their path along the way. That hand-bar you just held on to when you were screaming on Expedition Everest? Yeah, the person before you just relieved themselves & didn’t wash their hands. I have yet to go to a Disney Parks restroom without being disappointed in adults who know better than to behave the way they are.

And how about those who neglect to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze? Were they taught no common manners growing up? Seriously, last time I was at a Disney Park, I watched a child of about 3 or 4 years cover their mouth then they coughed and I thought to myself, that child has more manners than about 85% of the guests here today. It’s really not that hard to do your part to prevent others from catching your cold, flu,  COVID-19 or other viruses.

Crowds at WDW

On top of these basic manners, the other thing I notice among guests is allowing others to have personal space. I’m not saying you should stand a mile back from the person in front of you, but there’s really no need to constantly be bumping into their backpack as they are standing still in line. Or, as I watched one parade viewer tolerate from another, it’s not really considered “cool” to stand directed over someone shorter than you and eat while your crumbs fall on their head and shoulders. Common courtesy, people.

Hand soap

Make sure you use soap and water when washing hands

So, in saying all of this, what I’m trying to drive at is, now that the new normal is to keep your hands washed, your mouth and nose covered and keep a six-foot distance from others, will all of this behavior carry over into the parks once they reopen? In my own personal opinion, I think this experience has been a valuable lesson for millions of people around the world. There are also millions who, to this day, despite the number of deaths accruing from COVID-19 daily, still refuse to go by these basic standards to protect themselves and others. My hope is that the bulk of people visiting Disney Parks will continue on with these standards once things return to “normal”.  I hope to see a drastic decline in the number of adult women who refuse to wash their hands after visiting a restroom. I hope to see many, many more people implementing the whole “cover your mouth/nose” when you sneeze or cough rule than I have seen in the past. I hope people have learned the value of personal space throughout all of this.

I would love to hear from you, do you think you will be even more vigilant about sanitizing your hands and surfaces you eat from when parks reopen and you can visit? Let us know in the comments!

Are you ready to start planning your magical vacation once Disney Parks reopen, but you aren’t sure where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!

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