July 16, 2020 was my first day back at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World since the parks were shutdown for the pandemic. I was not able to secure a pass to the Passholder preview or a Park Pass for the first 5 days the park was open. I was so excited to visit after 135 days of not being in a Disney park. I usually visit at least monthly as an annual passholder.
Back in March I wrote Walt Disney World is Closed and I’m Struggling. Walt Disney World is my escape from reality, it’s what I do to forget the tough parts of life for a little while. Going 135 days between park visits was hard, but I survived.
My Magic Kingdom Trip Report
I arrived at the Magic Kingdom parking lot about 10:00am. I was parked in the back row of Peter Pan, row 208. To help with physical distancing, Disney parked cars in every other space. When a row was full, they went back and filled in the empty spaces. That way the first group is on their way to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) before the second group was being parked.
Trams are not running so I had to take the short walk to the TTC.. First stop was the temperature check tent. There was no line. I just walked up, had my temperature checked, and walked on through.
Security has changed again and is a bit different from what it was a week ago. No longer are they using the clear plastic bags for your metal items. You put metal item in a bin and walk through the metal detector with your bag then pick up the items in your bin.
When you arrive at the touch points the finger scan has a cover over it so just scan you Magic Band or Card and go. It’s so quick and easy.
Before I even walked under the train station I could feel my emotions welling up, I was HOME! I cried as I walked out onto Main St USA, I couldn’t even put my emotions into words. I was kind of glad this was a solo trip, I needed time to process what I was feeling.
I wandered around town square and up Main St USA. I saw my first Character Cavalcade with Piglet, Rabbit, and Eeyore one the trolley. I heard cast members reminding people to wear there face masks properly, and I meandered down the street towards the castle.
got is almost done with her makeover. You will see lifts, some with painters on them, in my photos. The caste is stunning, and brought me to tears the closer I got to her. Photographs don’t do her justice, you have to see her in person. Hopefully next month the construction vehicles will be gone and I can get some even better shots.
Since wait times were low across the park I decided to start my day in Tomorrowland and work my way around the park. It was nice not to have to worry about planning out the day and running to a Fastpass at a specific time.
Magic Kingdom Attractions
I don’t want to give you specifics on every attraction I visited so I’ll try to respect your time and give you the important information in bullet points.
- The longest wait time I incurred was 15 minutes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
- Due to Physical distancing lines look a lot longer than they are, posted wait times were accurate.
- Sometimes the wait is slightly longer because they are cleaning the ride vehicles. There is an announcement made to let those in the line know what the brief hold up is for.
- Theater style attractions-Every other row is roped off. The rows that are open have 4 open seats and then 3 seats labeled as not available, then the 4/3 split continues down the row. Parties of more than 4 will be split up.
- It’s easier to get a higher score on Buzz Lightyear’s’s Space Ranger Spin when you are the only person in the room. You know for sure which red dot is actually yours. I got my highest score ever.
- There is hand sanitizer at every ride exit. Use it. You touch a lot of things entering, riding, and exiting each attraction,
- Other rides were either skipping entire ride vehicles between parties or at least skipping a few rows between parties.
Magic Kingdom Entertainment, Dining, and Shopping
- I LOVE the Character Cavalcades. I didn’t get to see them all this visit but I saw 4 different ones and two of those I saw twice. I love the parade, but we don’t watch it every time we are in the park because of the crowds and having to find a spot an hour in advance. You don’t have either of those issues with the Character Cavalcades.
- Character sightings-I saw Stitch in Tomorrowland, some of the Country Bears in Frontierland, and Jack Sparrow in Adventureland. I feel like I saw more characters in one day than I have in a long time.
- Dining-Check My Disney Experience to see what is open. Many of the smaller quick service snack places were closed. Mobile ordering on the app is the way to go so make sure you have a credit or debit card attached to your account before you leave home.
- Shopping, some of the smaller stores are still closed. Big Top Souvenirs is closed, I enjoy shopping there and I walked all the way back there to find out it was not open.
Health and Safety Precautions
Disney, as always, is doing a wonderful job. I remember we had a big Disney trip planned with out of state family members a month after 9/11 happened. Lots of people were canceling travel plans, but we didn’t. We knew Disney would do there best to keep us safe, even though bag checks were new and felt very strange at that time.
- Temperature checks
- Masks must be worn by everyone over age 2, some exceptions apply. Masks must have ear loops or ties, no neck gaiters and must cover mouth, nose and chin.
- I tested 3 different types of mask on this trip. The most comfortable was the typical blue surgical mask. My rectangular cloth mask was second best and I lasted about 3 hours in that one. My cloth mask with the point on the nose barely lasted 45 minutes. It was hotter to wear and harder to breathe. It also caused my glasses to fog up the most.
- Hand sanitizer stations are everywhere.
- Attraction seating and lines are physically distanced.
- Plexiglass barriers up in ride queues where needed.
- Restaurant seating is physically distanced.
- Cast Members are constantly cleaning. I saw one wiping down a light pole!
Mom Maven’s Thoughts
If you are a Disney regular, book your trip, the park is clean, the crowds are low. If you don’t think you’ll miss the parade and the fireworks, book your trip. If this is your once in a lifetime, I want all the bells and whistles, book your trip for 2021. I was sure I’d have something negative to say about my first day back but I really don’t. I was sad that they are out of the large Pixar face masks but other than that the day was a wonderful day filled with joy and lots of smiles under my mask.
As always I am here to help you plan your magical Walt Disney World vacation for either 2020 or 2021.Just Email me and we’ll get started.