I love to travel. I love getting away from my normal routine and real life to check out and enjoy myself. Sometimes you just need a break. Usually my life is extremely busy – especially the springtime. I have three very active children. We do ALL the activities. And springtime is especially chaotic for my family. It means sports, school projects, end of the year recitals, end of year parties, and even more sports. So when the world came to a crashing halt last March, I suddenly found myself with a whole bunch of free time. Initially, I was very thankful for the time to slow down and enjoy myself with my family. Where there used to be very little time, suddenly all I had was time. And for a while, that was okay. I baked bread, cleaned my house, took more walks, baked even more bread….. But then, I started having the feeling that if I stayed in my house one more second I was going to scream. Or lose it. It was time for a vacation.
What does taking a vacation during a pandemic even look like right now? Is it even possible? The answer is yes. Travel is still very much possible – it just looks a little different. I am a Disney girl and one of my favorite places to visit is Disney World. Both DisneyWorld and Universal Studios have taken extra safety precautions so that you can still enjoy the magic the parks have to offer, but in a safe way. What can you expect? Besides the usual temperature checks and mask requirements, both parks are doing an excellent job of keeping the parks clean. I mean really clean. I was constantly aware of staff sanitizing common areas. And every time I went on a ride, I was given a squirt of hand sanitizer by a staff member. Hand sanitizer was also available upon exiting the ride. And my favorite part – the remote control in your resort is even cleaned! I am a little bit of a germaphobe and the remote controller has always grossed me out. So the packaged remote controller is a dream come true for me!
They also do an excellent job of social distancing. On the buses and in theaters, you are assigned a seat so that you were never seated directly beside someone outside of your family. Plexiglass was installed to help create a barrier. Lines are socially distanced. You are not allowed into quick service restaurants until your food is prepared. Menus are opened by scanning a QR code on your phone. How cool is that? It was different from what I was used to, but you know what? I liked some of the changes. I loved not having someone right on top of me in line or sitting on top of me on the bus. It was nice to have some breathing room.
One thing that is missing are parades and fireworks. Large groups of people gathering in the same place is definitely a no-no. However, I was so impressed with how many characters I have observed at both parks. Disney has calvacades throughout the day, which are small popup parades. These calvacades are not at scheduled times, so as not to draw big crowds, but they happen so frequently that you can’t miss it! And at Universal Studios, I was so amazed at how many characters I saw. You simply couldn’t walk anywhere without finding a fun friend to take your selfie with.
Visiting Disney or Universal is not for everyone right now. But, if you are ready for a break from real life and a chance to play with your family and friends – there is still loads of magic to be had. One thing is for certain – make sure you plan your trip with a travel advisor! Things are constantly changing and it is your agent’s job to keep up with the changes and keep you informed! If 2020 has taught us anything, it is how to be more flexible. So, get ready to pack your masks and enjoy a new kind of magic with your family! Here’s to making fabulous memories in 2021!