Disney World Reopening Day 2: Visiting The Magic Kingdom
On Monday, I visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and it was certainly a different Disney experience. On Tuesday, I visited the original theme park in Walt Disney World: The Magic Kingdom (the one with the castle). Let’s dig into how it went!
How is Disney’s Magic Kingdom After Reopening?
As I detailed in my first post, now is not the time to be planning a trip to Disney World. But, as COVID-19 cases reside and better treatments or a vaccine come into our lives, your family may consider a trip again. Use these posts as a starting point for planning that experience, especially if Disney’s safety standards fit your family’s needs.
Arriving at the Magic Kingdom by personal vehicle was the most unique so far at this park. You park at the Transportation and Ticket Center and then take one of several transport options over to the Magic Kingdom.
I arrived to park about 20 minutes before the official opening, paid my parking fee ($25), and parked. Following the same procedure as yesterday, each car is separated by one empty space from the others, encouraging physical distancing.
I walked the five minutes over to the Transportation and Ticket Center, where security and temperature checks happen for the park. After the checks, you can choose between the monorail or ferry to get to the Magic Kingdom. Today, I chose the monorail, which is my favorite way to arrive. Groups on the monorail were two to a section and the sections were separated by a divider. If you’re worried about interior environments, I’d recommend the ferry, which has an open deck. I took the ferry back, and it was a fun way to end the day (there was only one other group on there with me).
It was 9:03 AM by the time I walked through the gates of the park, and there weren’t many people around, as Disney has stopped pooling people for a rope drop at park opening. Instead, the attractions are waiting for you as you arrive!
Crowds and Experience
Similar to yesterday’s visit to the Animal Kingdom, crowds were sparse for the Magic Kingdom. There were definitely more people in the park than the Animal Kingdom, but with over 28 rides and attractions open for guests versus 12, everyone was more spread out at this park. Avenues are wide for the normally massive crowds, so there is plenty of room for the current visitation levels to stay socially distanced.
Wait times vary, but I didn’t see a line longer than 35 minutes the whole day. The longest waits were for the ever-popular Seven Dwarves Mine Train and the soon-to-close Splash Mountain. Other normally-popular rides, like Space Mountain, were virtually a walk-on much of the day.
To keep everyone separate and safe in line, the same “Wait Here” markers were spread throughout the attraction lines as there were at Animal Kingdom. Many lines also added plexiglass to further social distancing measures. The boarding policies varied on the attractions. It’s likely that your party will get their own vehicle for the ride, with space in between the next group. The show attractions featured plexiglass to separate groups. The Jungle Cruise was probably the most crowded experience in the park, with plexiglass blocking different parties seated immediately next to each other.
As with Animal Kingdom, relaxation stations were spaced out throughout the park, allowing guests to take a break. With a heat index of 107 degrees the day of my visit, it’s likely needed for visitors. I even took a break and ate indoors at the Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen, where tables were spaced appropriately for diners. Pro tip: sit-down restaurants are the only places you can order an alcoholic beverage in the Magic Kingdom (but only beer and wine).
Finally, I saw many “Character Cavalcades” on show throughout the park at different times. This enables guests to see their favorite characters, from a safe distance (and allows Disney to have characters performing without masks). Expect characters like Gaston riding horseback through the park, or Mickey and Minnie waving at you from the train station balcony.
It was a pretty normal day at the park, save the low crowd levels. If you have young children, they may be disappointed in their visit as all of the popular meet-and-greets, like those with Mickey or the Princesses, aren’t available right now. For people who love the rides, crowds are low enough to experience everything in the park in one day. Stay tuned as I visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios tomorrow!