It’s clear that the new coronavirus is causing a slow in travel in the United States and around the world. People are trying to avoid unnecessary travel if they can. People are also avoiding crowded area where exposure to the virus could increase. Queue Disney Theme Parks.
So far Disney has closed down 3 of their 6 theme parks throughout the world:
- Shanghai Disney
- Tokyo Disney
- Hong Kong Disney
The other 3 remain open:
- Disneyland Resort – Anaheim, CA
- Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando, FL
- Disneyland Paris
I’ve been following the trends of the three theme parks that are still open and everything is pointing to a slow Spring Break season for the U.S. based parks and an overall drop in attendance for all three.
Block out dates have been lifted for AP Holders and Cast Members alike, both of which point to a slower attendance and anticipated visitors. I’ve also been watching how quickly Disney’s newest Star Wars attraction, Rise of the Resistance, fills up with its virtual queue in the morning.
Since its debut in late January at Disneyland, Rise of the Resistance has filled its virtual queue within 30 minutes or less. Most days, if the park opened at 8am, the queue would be filled by 8:15am. However, as of yesterday, the queue took several hours to fill after park opening, suggesting that there are much fewer park goers at this time.
While I am cautious about the coronavirus, if you’re a Disney Theme Park fan, this Spring could be one of the best times to visit the parks if you’re up for it. With what could be historically low crowds, it could be one of the best times to visit in several years as park attendance has only continued to climb.
I was there just this past weekend and other than crowds (which nobody likes anyway), things were normal. Disneyland has a brand new parade called ‘Magic Happens’ and Disney’s Hollywood Studios just opened up a brand new attraction called Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
If you do decide to go, I would suggest following some of the tips I’ve listed out below; things I gathered from my last visit that should help you travel more comfortably during the coronavirus.
- Bring hand sanitizer – You spend all day touching hand rails, attraction seatbelts, tables, merchandize and more. You should be sanitizing your hands, especially before you eat. Check-out MoonKist Spray who has the best alcohol-free hand sanitizer in the business (not to mention one of the few websites that still have hand sanitizer available).
- Wash Your Hands – Honestly, this mainly applies to when you’re done using the bathroom but if you don’t bring hand sanitizer than you should be washing your hands more frequently. There’s always a restroom nearby so head on in and clean them hands!
- Avoid Your Tray Table – It’s THE dirtiest part of the plane if you find yourself flying for your trip. If you must use it, wipe it down with sanitizer or a cleaning wipe. These plastic tables are crawling with germs and should definitely not be used as a pillow without proper wipedown.
- Keep Your Kids Clean – It’s one thing to keep yourself clean but then your kids are all over you ?. Keep their hands as clean as possible (easier said than done). Get into the habit of spraying everyone’s hands after riding an attraction and before eating meals.
- Cancel or Change If Needed – If the thought of traveling during coronavirus is weighing you down, change your trip! There’s no sense in going when all you’ll think about is the virus. Some people are okay with it and some aren’t. That’s fine. A lot of airlines are offering free changes right now and pretty much all Disney tickets are valid through the end of the year or beyond (be sure to check though). So if it just doesn’t feel right, make the change. There’s only one company who offers refundable Disneyland tickets and we would suggest buying through them.
Walt Disney World Resort announced that each fingerprint scanner would be wiped clean after every use at the entrances of each park. They will also have some sanitizing stations based on availability throughout each park. They seem to be taking every step they can towards creating a clean and comfortable environment for every guest.
If you do end up traveling this Spring, I hope you have a Magical Vacation! If you end up staying home I hope you have a Magical Staycation!
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.