What happened to Walt Disney World during the COVID pandemic? Well, Walt Disney and COVID did not have the happiest of times. Walt Disney World closed for a brief period during the worst of the pandemic, but unfortunately, when it reopened again it wasn’t business as usual for quite a long time. In the early days, there were capacity limits, temperature checks, mask requirements, and social distancing, and even worse, many popular areas remained closed.
Once the Walt Disney company’s four Florida theme parks reopened after their pandemic-related closure, Covid still loomed large and heavy over the park’s operations. The one bonus was that lines moved quickly because of the limited attendance at the parks, but they still snaked long distances as the company tried to encourage social distancing.
Rides also had plexiglass between people, and in some cases, seats were left empty to separate people from each other. Food was ordered and paid for digitally, and inside spaces had capacity limits, which led to lines outside stores.
The worst part though was that there were no fireworks or parades to watch, as that would have just become a social distancing nightmare.
Well now that the Pandemic has been with us two years, many people have vaccinated themselves, and this fact is allowing more freedom once again.
Fireworks returned finally a couple of weeks ago and most shows, music acts, and performances returned shortly after that.
And now, Disney World has a plan to bring back the last missing piece of the puzzle, which is its famous parades.
Why Do Parades Even Matter?
What would Disney World be without its parades? They certainly wile away the time in the most interesting of ways when you are waiting in a long queue to go on a ride. This is especially true at the Magic Kingdom, where most of the rides have a long wait. It is not unusual to wait for a half-hour or more to get onto your favorite ride.
Here is an example of one of the spectacular Xmas parades in case you wondered what you were missing.
Standing in queues is not fun especially when you have small children with you, but what better way to spend your time than watching a fun parade go past. Especially when the parade consists of your favorite Disney Characters.
The great thing about shows and parades at Disney World is that you get the experience without the long wait. Sure you still need to stake out a good spot for both, but generally, that won’t be too difficult, and the best part is that you will be entertained for longer than the length of most of the rides, so Moms and Dads get to relax for a bit.
Shows and parades round out the Disney experience without requiring a long wait. Yes, you have to stake out a good spot for a parade, but that’s generally not that hard. And you might stand around for a few minutes in exchange for your kids being entertained for longer than the length of most rides. Mom and Dad are at least sort of getting to relax for a short while. You also get to take pictures and feel as if you did something more meaningful than waiting in a line.
So When Is The First Disney Parade Happening?
This momentous occasion will happen on the 11th of February 2022. Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade will step off on the Main Street parade route. The new production will feature ‘nearly 30’ Disney and Pixar characters, including the Magic Kingdom debut of Miguel from ‘Coco,’ as Robert Niles reported at Theme Park Insider.
In addition to parades, Disney will be bringing back its live shows that take place at the park’s signature castle.
Niles has also written that “On February 25, Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire will debut on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage. The show will include a new, original song entitled ‘Where the Magic Feels Like Home,’ as well as a new finale with Mickey Mouse and friends in their 50th anniversary.”
As the Covid omicron variant fades (hopefully) and the pandemic becomes less of a concern, parades, and shows returning people won’t mind spending thousands on their trip.
So hopefully we are nearing the end of Walt Disney and COVID, and 2022 could be a great year for them. There are also reports of new rides, restaurants, and experiences coming that will bring both old and new visitors flooding back.