Park Pro Tips during the Pandemic
Walt Disney World has added a degree of difficulty this summer.
After decades of sameness, the parks have updated many aspects to protect guests against Coronavirus.
Your standard park behavior requires some adjustment right now, but that’s why MickeyBlog is here! We want to help!
Here are seven park pro tips during the pandemic.
(Mostly) Avoid Rope Drop
Some of the things I say may sound a bit controversial.
For example, I’m sure you’ve heard that Disney has reduced operating hours at the parks.
So, your instinct may lead you to show up at Rope Drop, which is usually smart.
During the pandemic, the situation has changed slightly. You may experience a bottleneck at the entrance gates first thing in the morning.
Also, you don’t have to show up the moment that the parks open. With attendance limits in place, you’ll get to do virtually everything you want anyway.
You can safely arrive fashionably late, say 45 minutes or so, without missing out on anything. Plus, you’ll avoid the crowds.
This advice applies to three parks out of four. A notable exception exists, though.
When you’re going to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will want to arrive at Rope Drop.
You need to be at the park the instant it opens so that you can try to snag a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
What’s the most essential item you’ll bring to the parks? Well, it’s your Magic Band, obviously. But the second-most important thing is your phone.
The Disney parks have entered uncharted territory this summer. As we enter the fall, nobody knows what to expect from attraction wait-times.
Thus far, the parks have featured minimal lines, even for some of the most popular and in-demand attractions.
Guests have happily partaken of their favorite rides, enjoying a rare opportunity to experience them multiple times.
I’ve watched cast members ask people whether they want to stay on a roller coaster and ride it again.
I would never have thought that possible at Walt Disney World, but here we are.
So, you have a chance to do something unforgettable right now. You can check off everything on your must-do list if you stay alert.
Whenever you’re in line for an attraction – which won’t be long – you should plan for your next encounter.
Ride Something Until You’re Sick of It
Strategize which rides you should visit next. As you do, prioritize the ones that are usually more difficult to ride on a regular park day.
I’m talking about attractions like Frozen Ever After, Slinky Dog Dash, the Star Wars stuff, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and anything at Pandora – The World of Avatar.
When you notice a modest wait for any of these attractions, you should make a beeline for these places.
Then, keep riding them until you get bored. I attended Disney After Hours earlier this year, and my party did this with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
We legitimately rode it so often that we lost count! It was somewhere between four and six times, depending on who was counting.
We were fully grown adults acting like children due to this chance of repeatedly riding one of our favorites.
Guests are currently adopting this same strategy with Avatar Flight of Passage.
I’ve seen people say that they rode it three straight times! That shouldn’t even be possible!
The one thing to remember is that Disney lists wait-times that aren’t 100 percent accurate.
Park officials place their thumbs on the scale a bit to encourage guests to visit specific attractions.
Target New Attractions
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. Two Disney attractions are less than a year old.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened last December and has caused problems for Hollywood Studios’ management.
Demand for the attraction remains exceptionally high, while its uptime remains shaky.
This ride requires temporary closures as much as any Disney ride other than Test Track.
So, you’ll want to drop everything when the Boarding Group window opens here.
In fact, you should plan your park day around Rise of the Resistance, just in case you’re lucky enough to book a Boarding Group.
While you’re waiting, you should visit the other crown jewel of Walt Disney World.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has only been in operation for about six weeks in 2020.
The ride debuted a few days before the pandemic and then returned when Hollywood Studios reopened.
Very few guests have experienced the attraction yet, and it’s sublime. You may need to reconfigure your list of favorite Disney rides after you’re done.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway hearkens back to Disney’s early days when cartoons came to life on rides.
Only, this version is extremely modern and visually stunning.
My suggestion is to enter the park, try to get a Boarding Group, and then head straight to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
You won’t be the only person to do this, but that’s okay! You could feasibly ride it a couple of times within the first hour of the park’s opening!
Use Cavalcades to Get Ahead
I’m a massive fan of Cavalcades. I think that Disney has stumbled onto something inventive here.
These mini-parades involve Disney characters riding on floats, boats, and automobiles.
One minute, you’re standing around plotting your next move. The next minute, The Incredibles are driving past you as you gaze in surprise and wonder.
Cavalcades provide the perfect amount of momentary distraction during a park day.
Presuming that you’re at the park the whole day, you’ll notice several. And you should ignore some.
Yes, I know I just lost some of you. Hear me out.
Guests have fallen in love with Cavalcades. They’ll wait around in the hope that a procession will start.
Other park visitors will stop what they’re doing the moment that they hear a Cavalcade incoming.
Your instincts may tell you to do the same. Ignore them!
Cavalcades are intended to distract, and they do! Use this distraction to get ahead of the crowd to experience another ride or show.
While everyone else is standing still and searching for their cameras, you can move away from the Cavalcade and toward a short line for a ride.
Use Mobile Ordering
During the pandemic, the buzzwords are safe and smart.
Mobile Ordering checks off both those boxes, and it even adds another one for efficiency.
When you use Mobile Ordering on your smartphone, you pick your meal and pay for it right then.
Once you arrive at the restaurant, you head over to the pick-up area and grab your food.
The transaction is contactless, most people’s preferred choice right now. Also, you can add any special requests, thereby increasing the accuracy of your order.
However, the most crucial aspect is that you’ll avoid crowds. You don’t need to interact with anyone.
All you need is your phone and a cellular/WiFi signal. You’re in complete control of the process, which makes this one a no-brainer.
Use Mobile Ordering, people!
Have a Plan for the End of the Day
Okay, this one’s kind of a cheat. It’s not a park pro tip per se, but it’s crucial to maximize your vacation fun.
The parks are closing earlier than ever due to the pandemic. Disney needs that extra time to clean the attractions.
So, you’ll have more free time in the evening than you ordinarily would.
You should think about all the things you’ve never done outside the parks.
You’ll have a rare chance to do some of these things right now.
I’ve got a few suggestions for what to do, but I’m confident you have your own ideas.
These entertainment complexes offer tons to do, and they have tremendous photo ops, too.
Of course, you could try some other things, also. Mini-golf, hotel activities, and a nighttime swim are all possibilities.
You may even want to leave the Disney Bubble for a while and see what the rest of Orlando has to offer.
You’ve got an unusual opportunity here. Take full advantage of it!
Feature Image Rights: Disney