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With all of the information that Disney has released recently regarding the re-opening of the Walt Disney World Resort, it can be easy for those who have been dreaming of the perfect Disney vacation to get discouraged. As a Disney Travel Planner, it's been hard for me to tell my clients the big changes that will be coming to the parks for the foreseeable future. However, with a little faith, trust, and pixie dust, I know that Disney will still make each vacation one to remember! Let's dive into 10 ways that you can make the most of your Disney vacation once the parks open up in July!

1. Respect the guidelines that Disney has put in place to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others. Look over these guidelines for Disney World Resort before your vacation so you know exactly what to expect!

2. Be kind and respectful to the Cast Members. They are doing their best to make the parks a magical and safe place for you and others. Thank them for what they're doing! If you want to give a special shout-out to a Cast Member that made your day extra magical, stop by Guest Services to fill out an Applause-O-Gram! 

3. Have a plan in place for how you will tackle the parks. Write your bucket list of rides, snacks, and shows (that are open) that you don't want to miss!

4. Here is a list of the dining locations throughout the four Disney World parks that are in compliance with social distancing regulations (an asterisk* indicates my favorites):

  • Magic Kingdom:
    • Casey's Corner*
    • Columbia Harbour House*
    • Gaston's Tavern
    • Golden Oak Outpost
    • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
    • Pinocchio Village Haus*
    • Sleepy Hollow*
    • Tortuga Tavern
  • Animal Kingdom:
    • Flame Tree Barbecue*
    • Harambe Market
    • Pizzafari
    • Restaurantosaurus
    • Satu'li Canteen*
    • Tamu Tamu Refreshments
    • Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes
  • Epcot:
    • Katsura Grill
    • Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe
    • La Cantina de San Angel*
    • Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie*
    • Lotus Blossom Cafe
    • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
    • Rose & Crown Pub
    • Sommerfest*
    • Tangierine Cafe
    • Yorkshire County Fish Shop
  • Hollywood Studios:
    • ABC Commissary
    • Backlot Express
    • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
    • Dockside Diner
    • Ronto Roasters
    • Sunset Ranch Market*
    • The Trolley Car Cafe
    • Woody's Lunch Box*
My favorite outdoor seating

5. Just because there is a temporary pause in Character Meet & Greets doesn't mean that you can't take tons of awesome pictures! There will still be characters roaming the parks, so make a bucket list of the characters you want to catch in passing. In addition, there are many walls in the Disney parks that make for great pictures!

Galactic Purple Wall in Tomorrowland, Disney World

6. Take advantage of the shorter wait times and smaller crowds! This is the first time in a very long time that the Disney Parks will have an extremely limited crowd and no FastPass line, so enjoy this while it lasts!

7. Plan your outfits accordingly. Florida in the summertime usually means two things: heat and rain. In the days leading up to your vacation, constantly check the weather in Orlando to get an idea of what to pack, and pack smart! Here is a Post-Pandemic Park Bag Checklist for some ideas.

8. Take frequent "mask breaks." Disney is supposedly going to have mask-free "relaxation zones" where you can take off your mask while still being socially distanced. Give yourself a breather throughout the day by visiting these zones!

9. Always do rides first, then watch the shows that are open. Don't waste time waiting in a long line for a show, especially if there is a short wait for a popular attraction!

10. Download the most recent version of the Disney World app to be able to: check into your resort online (no having to go to the front desk to check-in), easily check attraction wait times, and order food using Mobile Order. All of these things limit your contact with people in the parks, which is the goal of keeping yourself safe and healthy!

 About the Author: Hillary Van Way is the Disney-obsessed creator and writer of A Spoonful of Mickey, a Disney blog that informs, inspires, and immerses its readers into the magic of Disney. She is a long-time lover and visitor of the Walt Disney World Resort, a recent transplant to California not too far from the Disneyland Resort, and a Disney Travel Planner for Academy Travel where she does FREE planning for all Disney trips! Contact her here to let her plan the Disney vacation of your dreams, absolutely free of charge.