Enjoying Orlando’s Famous Theme Parks During A Pandemic

Covid-19 restrictions surely have affected the quality of fun individuals can endure. However, the same restrictions have made theme parks less overwhelming and more enjoyable.

It has always been impossible to avoid the ridiculous crowds and lines at Disney World and Universal Studios. With the Covid-19 restrictions in place, this issue has temporarily disappeared. The wait times for popular attractions are shorter than usual, and there is no awkwardness of having to sit by a stranger. Individuals can soak up more of the parks’ incredible artistry as well.

My family usually plans an annual trip to Orlando to escape the craziness of the real world and try out the latest attractions. We spontaneously drove to Orlando in a sprinter van this year. We spent Thursday and Friday enjoying Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Then we ended the weekend at Universal Studios. Wearing face masks in the Florida heat while riding rides was honestly annoying.

Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster in Toy Story Land of Hollywood Studios

We could not even take our masks off to get a professional park photo done. We could only take our masks off when we were eating or drinking. Constantly wearing masks is less annoying waiting in ridiculous crowded lines, though. If you go on a weekday, you would barely spend over sixty minutes in line.

For instance, the wait for Avatar’s Flight of Passage in the Animal Kingdom is usually over an hour and a half or longer. We got through the line in less than an hour. We literally got to do about four attractions in Hollywood Studios before noon without having fast passes. We have not experienced so much ease in waiting since the early 2000s. The longest we had to wait in line at Disney World was about fifty minutes. It was the newest attraction in Hollywood Studios, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. Operators were having technical difficulties.

The end part of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad

The crowds at Universal Studios were a little busier. It was the weekend though, and many locals usually fill up the parks. It took over an hour to get through the line of “Escape From Gringotts” ride in Diagon Alley of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The wait was worth it. I have not visited Universal Studios since I was seven or eight years old, so this was my first time exploring the Harry Potter section. I grew up loving J. K. Rowling, and it was amazing to feel like a character in Harry Potter.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Going to the grocery store seems riskier than going to a theme park. Both Disney World and Universal Studios seem to take the safety precautions seriously. Nobody can enter the parks without a face mask. Workers keep their masks on at all times, and they expect all visitors to do the same. They won’t allow anybody to walk around with exposed faces. So take smiling photos scarcely and make sure you have a comfortable fitting mask.

There are markers every six feet along the lines, so individuals will remember to be on top of each other. Assigned resting areas are throughout the parks, so people can take a break from their masks.  Hand sanitizer dispensers are everywhere at each park. Each individual has to sanitize their hands before getting onto a ride. After each run, operators wipe rides down the seats and handlers with Clorox wipes.

 Expect to not have close encounters with most of your favorite characters or getting to trade pins with others. You will have more time enjoying attractions though. If you are planning to grab a quick lunch at the park, download the mobile app beforehand. Visitors who want to eat at the convenient food places in the parks have to place orders beforehand on the mobile app to sit down at a table. 

 Even though there are a few cons of going to your favorite theme park during a pandemic,  I highly recommend going as soon as possible and preferably on the weekday. Many hotels and flights are inexpensive right now. The parks will be unbearable to walk (or roll) through once CDC allows full capacity. Families who had to cancel during the months between March and July will most definitely try to go during the fall and winter. Take advantage of this rare opportunity now, before it is too late!

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