Disney World - Easter, 2021
By Jerry Wetzel
Making an Easter weekend trip to Disneyworld and Universal Studios is just what my family needed. Our first family vacation since the beginning of Covid. It was a highly anticipated trip!
We arrived at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort after dark, so we were not able to see all the beauty of the resort. Coronado Springs Resort is a large but incredibly quiet resort with many food and drink options. It has one large pool as well as small “quiet pools” located in different sections of the resort.
One of our favorite places to eat was the Three Bridges Bar and Grill. Our food was incredibly good, and we received great service. Our cocktails were made to perfection. I would recommend staying at Coronado Springs when visiting Disney.
Now onto our park experiences! We packed all four Disney parks into a three-day period. Disney has done an exceptionally good job with Covid. Everyone was wearing masks and they kept you socially distant by using markers on the floor to keep each party 6 ft apart. They also had created serpentines mainly outdoors. We felt safe. By using the Disney buses and our hopper pass, we were able to move from Park to Park and to our resort with ease.
Disney Springs. We had a small window between checking out of our room and our flight later in the evening, so we took a quick trip to shop and eat lunch. Visiting Disney Springs: There’s plenty to keep you entertained at Disney Springs - filled with popular shops, restaurants, the Aerophile and even the Cirque du Soleil theatre (currently “Drawn to Life” production is on hold and no shows are currently running).
Many restaurants and shops are requiring guests to join a virtual queue by scanning in a QR code posted outside the entrance. Social distancing markers can also be found throughout the property to help aid visitors in maintaining their distance.
Walt Disney World has made the check-in process a breeze for guests. As long as your confirmation has been added to your My Disney Experience app, you will receive notifications about your hotel room. The app will update you when your room is ready, where it is located on the property and your phone can even be used as your hotel room key. This means waiting around at the Front Desk can become a thing of the past.
Walt Disney World boasts ample transportation options – from water taxis to buses to the monorail to the new Skyliner which debuted in 2019. Once again it’s important to check with your hotel as to which transportation is provided.
On the Monday after Easter, we Uber’d to Universal Studios and Universal Isle of Adventure. We anticipated large crowds, so we arrived early. Harry Potter section was the place to be. We thoroughly enjoyed our day here as well. Our day was finished off with a great meal at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and bar.
In addition to having a valid theme park ticket for anyone over the age of three, Walt Disney World is also requiring visitors to register through their new Park Pass Reservation system. Guests must select which park they intend on visiting on the day they plan on going. This helps Walt Disney World maintain its 35% capacity cap that has been instated by the state’s phased reopening plan. This is great for guests because it means you don’t get all the way to the front gate before learning you’re not allowed in.
Spring Break is a popular time of year for travelers to visit Walt Disney World. This coupled with the Resort having to operate only at 35% capacity means there is a good chance for guests not to be able to buy last-minute tickets. In order to visit one of the four theme parks or the Resort’s only open water park - Blizzard Beach, guests must have a valid park pass and park pass reservation for the day they intend to visit.
Park Hopping was reintroduced at the beginning of the year, but there are a few changes. Most importantly, guests have to wait until 2 pm to park hop to their second park. Visitors must still have a valid theme park, park-hopping ticket and make a Park Pass Reservation through the Walt Disney World system for the first park they intend on visiting. Guests then have to enter this park before making their way over to the second park.
Temperature checks are mandatory at all theme park entrances and even at the entrance of Disney Springs. These are quick and contactless.
Security checks have always been mandatory before entering, and even with the temperature checks, entering the parks has never been so quick. A big reason for this is due to the fact that bag checks are now a thing of the past. With new security checkpoints, guests no longer have to wait as each bag and stroller is checked before entering.