Ever since it reopened back in July Walt Disney World has encouraged social distancing at its theme parks, not only by spacing guests apart in queue lines, but also by physically separating guests on attractions as well. However, with crowds increasing over the past few weeks due to the busy holiday period, Disney is ending social distancing measures on several rides to increase capacity, including the following:
- Slinky Dog Dash: Every row is now being loaded, and there is no spacing between parties.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: Ride vehicles are being loaded with a maximum of two parties, plexiglass separates rows.
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run: Parties are now being grouped together in cockpits, with a maximum of two parties now able to share a ride vehicle. Some guests have reported that they are able to opt out of sharing.
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: Every row is now being loaded, and there is no spacing between parties.
- Avatar: Flight of Passage: Riders are now being seated at every link chair with no space between parties.
- Expedition Everest: by loading every row: Every row is now being loaded, and there is no spacing between parties.
Though vaccines for COVID-19 are beginning to roll out across the US, many health experts are warning that until most of the population is widely vaccinated, distancing efforts should continue, which makes this a curious decision for Walt Disney World to wind down social distancing efforts before any large public immunity threshold is reached.
Of course, Walt Disney World is still taking major precautions with regards to the COVID-19 Pandemic, with masks required at all times when not actively eating or drinking, distancing encouraged in queue lines, and limited capacity both in the park and on attractions. In addition, almost all live performances in the theme parks have been suspended until further notice and face to face character interactions are not expected to return until next year.
What do you think about Disney winding down social distancing efforts on rides? Do you still feel safe at the theme parks with the current precautions in place, or would you rather they continue their previous policies?