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11 Things You Won’t See at Disney Parks Anymore

While visiting the most magical place on earth might look a bit different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there's still magic to be found in plain sight.

The world is never going to be the same after COVID-19. During this uncertain time, there are still some things you can count on, like experiencing magic at the most magical place on earth. While the parks were closed at Disney, the American flag still flew high over the Magic Kingdom, the Dapper Dans kept making music, and emergency workers were thanked. Now that the parks are open, you can experience a bit of Disney magic for yourself like this one woman who visited all four parks, two resorts, and Disney Springs during Disney’s opening week. Unfortunately, many things you may remember like parades and meet and greets won’t be in the parks anymore due to safety measures and social distancing.

Meet and greets

If you’ve ever imagined getting close enough for a selfie with Mickey Mouse, you may be out of luck. When Disney released their proposed phased reopenings, one thing guests will be sad to note is not getting close to Disney characters. According to Disney World’s website, “While character meet and greets will be temporarily unavailable, characters will be in the parks in new ways to entertain and delight guests.” Meet and greets are just one of these 20 things that you didn’t know were banned from Disney parks.

Character autographs

Have a Disney autograph book? Sadly, this will go by the wayside due to the pandemic due to safety reasons. Signing accurate autographs is just one of these 15 etiquette rules Disney employees must follow.


Who doesn’t love finding the perfect spot and waiting for parade floats to flow through the parks? Sadly, that magical aspect of Disney World has been put on hold indefinitely according to Disney World’s website. “Certain experiences that draw large group gatherings–such as parades and nighttime spectaculars–will return at a later date,” the policy states. Here’s how to take more than 20 of the best Disney World rides virtually.

Large crowds

Gone are the days of being able to visit Disney World whenever you wanted and be a person in the midst of a large crowd. Along with capping crowd size, ground markings will be a common feature and physical barriers where maintaining distance is cumbersome will be put in place in certain locations. You’re not alone if you miss Disney. Here’s how Disney fans are recreating their favorite rides at home.

Disney characters in the same spot

Along with guests, Disney characters have to maintain their social distance, too. That’s why, according to Disney’s press release, they’ll be in various parts of Disney theme parks. For example, Captain Jack Sparrow may make a surprise appearance in Adventureland and Donald Duck may board a boat and sail down the Discovery River in Animal Kingdom. Do you know these 15 surprising facts about Disney’s most famous characters?

EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

You may have fond memories of visiting EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, but due to COVID-19, this is going to change. When the park reopened on July 15th, this new version deputed and will last through the fall. “The Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will be the longest festival in Walt Disney World history,” reads Walt Disney World Resort’s press release, “blending floral fun from the park’s annual flower and garden event with the global goodies of the food and wine festival.” Do you know these Disneyland secrets only insiders know?

Crowded monorails

Guests visiting Walt Disney World will have to wear face masks and keep socially distant from other people when on transportation. “Buses and Monorails will implement a combination of physical distancing and physical barriers to provide separation between guest parties,” reads a Walt Disney World Resort press release. Have you ever wondered why Disney World tickets are so expensive in the first place?

Cash transactions

Along with other theme parks and reopened restaurants, Disney World is opting for cashless transactions. This includes Disney gift cards, Magic Bands, credit, and debit cards. Big purchases, monthly bills, and travel are just a few things you should always be paying with a credit card.


The FastPass+ service allowed advance access for guests to visit certain Walt Disney World theme park attractions. However, due to COVID-19 and the need for additional space for lines and maintaining physical distance, this service has been suspended.

A mask-free experience

By now you surely know how to avoid these 11 common face mask mistakes. In Disney parks, you won’t see anyone mask-free including cast members and other guests in the park. Looking for a new face mask? Disney is making adorable themed face masks—and donating the profits.

No dressing rooms

After safely walking through the park and going on a few rides, if you decide to venture into a merchandise store, you might be surprised at what you find instead. If you want to try on a T-shirt before buying it, unfortunately, you won’t be able to because dressing rooms won’t be available. Next, these are the 12 things you need to know if you’re planning a Disney trip after reopening.


Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: