Why Walt Disney World may be my first trip post quarantine
Before you laugh, let me explain.
While we all sit and wait to see what the future of travel unveils in a pandemic world, I know travelers across the planet are planning to travel again. In exploring many, many parts of the world for all my imagined rough draft itineraries, I find myself thinking that of all places Walt Disney World may very well be my first post-quarantine trip. Here is why.
To start the conversation, here are some first trip post-quarantine travel criteria I have been exploring:
Travel somewhere familiar
- Going somewhere familiar means that perhaps you have been before, been many times, or even locally
- There is a lower threshold for disappointment if things are not 100% open or limited capacity to where you may not be able to participate
- This also gives you the position to be able to control the pressure points since you will be familiar with the area
- Plus, traveling internationally (especially as a US citizen) may not be a reality for a long time (the ultimate bummer)
Travel somewhere with control
- I feel like control points are essential for me personally to feel safe
- Know the type of safety measures that will make you feel comfortable – cleaning procedures, face masks, capacity limits, etc
- Private properties are in the unique situation (as opposed to cities or national parks) to mandate criteria
Travel somewhere with a lot to lose
- If a location or property becomes marked with causing the spread of the disease, that is going to put the future of that location at high risk
- Trust is so critical – whether it be an airline or a theme park – if the public loses trust in a company, it is going to cause large downstream impacts that may extend beyond the pandemic
- With time, complacency causes lapses in policy if there are not routine validations of processes by leadership, the “newest” of precautions will quickly dwindle
What I am trying to recommend is go somewhere you are familiar with to test run you new routine before going somewhere new. If you go somewhere new and things you planned on doing either do not make you comfortable, are not open, or some combination in between, you lower the risk of disappointment and taking an unnecessary risk.
An attractive feature of visiting somewhere that is private property is that if they have rules around social distancing, mask requires, etc then the property has the right to enforce it. Finding a place that aligns with the measures you are comfortable with is another way to assist in travel post-quarantine.
I have been to Walt Disney World many times, has the capabilities of controlling safety measures (private property), and is a trusted company with a lot on the line if opening is not done correctly. The parks are a huge money maker for the Disney company and if they are at all associated with an outbreak, it jeopardizes the trust of the brand built on safety.
Now, if Disney chooses not to enforce the measures they set out, limited capacity, face masks, etc – that will definitely change my tune. There is a lot more that needs to happen to get me on the plane to go there but it certainly hits most of the check boxes if they can pull it off. Disney will be presenting their reopening proposal on May 27th so bring your popcorn!
Things I would want Disney to do (not a COVID expert but I am a hospital pharmacist in NJ and have seen some of the worst of COVID in the US):
- Require everyone to wear masks (and actively enforce this)
- Limit capacity, even if it means increasing the price of admissions tickets
- Social distance in lines – while virtual queues are a benefit – if there are no lines at rides, people in stores, full dining locations – where will all the people go?
- Mobile ordering and cashless transactions – money is soooo dirty!
- Enhanced cleaning, increased hand washing / sanitization stations, and surveillance team accessing compliance of both guests and cast members
- Temperature checks are not necessary for me. If you are sick with COVID, you are not going to the parks because you don’t feel good. If you are asymptomatic with COVID, a temperature check is not going to screen you.
- If there were rapid COVID testing available, I think that would be awesome but that does not seem to be in the near future.
By the way, there is so much to do on Walt Disney Property without going into the parks and I still have to share with you all the reasons Disney as an adult and without kids is pretty spectacular (add to my to-do list!). So we will see what the future holds!
Where do you predict your first trip post-quarantine?