Walt Disney World

How Does Disney World Work Now?

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Disney World, the most magical place on earth, has undergone significant changes in recent years, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park has adapted to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests without compromising the magical experiences it offers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into how Disney World operates now, including changes made due to the pandemic, ticketing and reservations, park attractions, and more.


Disney World has adapted to recent changes, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by implementing various safety protocols such as capacity controls, park entry reservations, enhanced health and safety measures, and hand sanitizing stations. Changes to daily operations include limited park capacity, suspension of FastPass+ service, and requirement of advance park reservations. Adjustments have also been made to park attractions, dining, shopping, and amenities. Traditional character interactions and parades have been modified for safety, and cleanliness and sanitization efforts have been increased throughout the park.

COVID-19 Safety Measures at Disney World

Disney World has implemented several COVID-19 safety measures, including capacity controls, park entry reservations, enhanced health and safety protocols, and hand sanitizing stations. These measures are designed to protect both guests and employees. While some guests continue to follow their own health and safety precautions, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, very few COVID precautions remain in place as of September 2023.

Changes to Daily Operations

The daily operations at Disney World have seen significant changes. The park initially operated at 25% capacity, which was later increased to 35%. Social distancing measures have resulted in physically longer lines for attractions, and the FastPass+ service remains suspended. Dining locations operate at limited capacity, and all running locations require mobile orders. Park tickets are limited to one park per day, and advance reservations are required.

Park Ticketing and Reservations

Disney World implemented a new reservation system to manage capacity restrictions during the pandemic. However, as of January 9, 2024, park reservations are no longer required for date-based tickets at Disney World. It’s always a good idea to keep updated on the latest information from the park as policies continue to evolve in response to the pandemic’s aftermath.

Adjustments to Park Attractions and Experiences

Theme parks have been adjusting their attractions and experiences to accommodate changes in demographics, technology, and consumer preferences. The focus has shifted towards younger demographics and popular IPs, the incorporation of new technologies like augmented reality, and the creation of immersive experiences. Theme parks are continuously evolving to stay relevant, meet changing consumer preferences, and leverage new technologies.

Dining, Shopping, and Amenities

Disney World offers various dining options, shopping facilities, and amenities. However, due to the pandemic, several changes have been made. Dining areas maintain social distancing and follow hygiene protocols. Shopping facilities also follow safety and hygiene protocols. Outdoor seating has been allowed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social Distancing and Park Attendance

To maintain social distancing, Disney World has implemented capacity limits, advance reservations, social distancing markers, modified seating arrangements, and adjustments to park operations. These measures help control the number of visitors at the park and ensure safety.

Character Interactions and Parades

Traditional character interactions and parades have been replaced with character cavalcades and surprise appearances. Characters engage with guests from a distance, making these interactions safer while still maintaining the magic.

Cleanliness and Sanitization

Disney World has increased its cleaning procedures, focusing on high-touch areas. Handwashing facilities and hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the park. Disney World also pauses guest loading on attractions for disinfecting ride vehicles or seating areas.


Disney World continues to adapt and evolve in response to changing circumstances and guest needs. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the park remains a magical place where dreams come true. It’s always a good idea to check for updates on Disney World’s official website before planning your visit. The magic awaits!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the current hours of operation for Disney World?

The hours of operation vary by park and day. It is best to check the official Disney World website for the most current hours of operation.

Are all attractions open at Disney World?

Most attractions are open at Disney World. However, due to ongoing adjustments related to the pandemic, some attractions may be temporarily closed or have adjusted operating hours. Please check the Disney World website for the most current information.

Are masks required at Disney World?

As of September 2023, Disney World has relaxed its mask mandate. However, guests are still encouraged to wear masks, especially in indoor areas and crowded spaces.

Do I need to make a reservation for dining at Disney World?

Yes, for most table-service restaurants, you need to make an advance reservation. Mobile ordering is also available for many quick-service restaurants.

Is the FastPass+ service available?

As of the time of writing, the FastPass+ service remains suspended. Disney World has implemented a new system called Disney Genie+ to replace it.

Are there any special events or shows happening at Disney World?

Disney World often hosts special events and shows throughout the year. However, the schedule can change, so it’s best to check the official Disney World website for the most current information.

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