How Disneyland is taking omicron precautions – Orange County Register

I’ve been writing about COVID-19 precautions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for so long that I often forget that people are still heading to the Anaheim theme parks for the first time since the pandemic closed, and ask what will happen.

I decided to put together all of my COVID-19 health and safety tips and advice into one concise package that includes everything you need to know about visiting Disneyland right now because of the omicron variation caused. spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

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One day I received an email from a father who wanted to know if Disneyland would update its mask policy to reflect the record number of COVID-19 cases and higher transmission rates with the omicron variant. The family was planning a trip to Disneyland with young children who weren’t yet eligible for vaccinations and he wanted to make sure they were safe.

I also received a call from a woman with multiple illnesses related to her immune system who had just returned from Disneyland and was surprised by what she described as COVID health and safety protocols. -19 loose of the park.

Here’s what I told them and what I would tell anyone who asked.

The first thing I want to say is that you don’t have to go to Disneyland right now – no matter how much you want to or your kids beg you. If you’re not ready, stay home. Disneyland has been there for 67 years and will almost certainly be there for another 67. The pandemic will eventually be over and you can visit Disneyland when health officials give clear indications.

Will Disneyland change its mask policy?

Sure is not. Don’t expect Disneyland to update its mask policy or other COVID-19 health and safety protocols unless health officials tell theme parks to do so.

Disneyland follows guidelines released by California and Orange County health officials — and those guidelines haven’t changed significantly over the past few weeks as omicron-related cases have spiked. If state or county COVID-19 protocols change, Disneyland will adapt and align park policies with those authorized by local health officials.

Disneyland requires masks indoors when riding and in stores, but not outdoors – which takes up most of the park’s area. Masks are also required on buses, monorails and accompanying vehicles. Disneyland staff politely and persistently remind visitors to wear masks while they are indoors.

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The number one priority since the phased reopening is the health and safety of actors and guests, according to Disneyland officials. Disneyland has taken a multi-pronged approach to the COVID-19 pandemic following the guidance of government health authorities and the recommendations of Disney’s team of health and safety experts, according to Disneyland officials. .

Disneyland is no longer required to practice social distancing while riding, in line, or during performances. Those requirements disappeared in June as California scrapped most COVID-19 health and safety protocols and the state economy reopened after a year-long pandemic shutdown.

Disneyland recommends that unvaccinated visitors wear a mask at all times in the park, but does not require proof of vaccination or actively enforces any mask requirement for unvaccinated visitors. .

Most Disneyland employees still wear masks — but that’s no longer required in all situations, especially in outdoor environments. Some Disneyland employees are wearing dual face masks to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19.

What should you do if you are going to Disneyland despite your concerns about COVID-19?

Disneyland is a huge place with over 100 acres of open space, and DCA is almost as big. Excessive mingling can be avoided even in such crowded places. But at some point, you’ll run into people at Disneyland and DCA if you think you’ll do all the things you used to do before the pandemic.

My best advice: Stick to the recommendations health officials have made throughout the pandemic. Vaccination. Wear the mask. Maintain social distancing. Avoid high contact surfaces. Wash and sanitize your hands often.

Disneyland was able to accept visitors in May and June under reduced capacity limits and strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The tools and strategies used then remain available to you if you make a diligent effort to follow them.

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Many visitors wear masks at all times in the parks, but that’s certainly not a common practice. There’s nothing stopping you from wearing a mask all day at Disneyland and DCA. If you’ve never worn a mask for 16 hours straight, you might be surprised to forget how quickly you put it on. On the other hand, it can drive you crazy. Either way, make sure you consider what a day fully masked at the park will be for you and your family before you reach the front gate.

Social distancing is now more unlikely than at Disneyland as crowds have grown again over the past eight months – but not impossible. You don’t have to sit in the front row to watch the parade or gather in the crowds on US Main Street to watch the fireworks. Try catching the parade or fireworks from a less crowded place. You may find you like the new perspective.

Choose rides and attractions with low or no wait times to avoid long and crowded lines. Leave space between you and the group in front of you in the queue if you really have to go to a more famous attraction.

Maintaining social distance from visitors behind you and either side of you in the conversion queue will be difficult if not impossible. If the line seems too long or crowded, wait until next time. Space Mountain isn’t going anywhere – and skipping the indoor roller coaster this time will give you something to look forward to on your return visit.

Choose outdoor games to help air circulate more. If you must take an indoor trip, choose one that offers individual cars just for you or your family – like Haunted Mansion or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

You won’t be able to do all of those things like before the pandemic. Stay away from indoor games that jam everyone together like Star Tours, Indiana Jones Adventure and It’s a Small World.

You probably won’t take Rise of the Resistance on this trip – unless you want to wait in two-hour queues with a few thousand other people. Trust me, the popular new Star Wars ride will be there the next time you visit. But if you absolutely must ride the Rise, pay $20 to skip the line. It will be very reassuring.

It was also a trip to test drive Disneyland’s new Genie+ cutting service. It’ll set you back $20 per person – but you’ll cut wait times and avoid crowded lines.

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Disneyland is still maintaining a 6-foot distance between visitors and meet-and-greet characters. The pandemic policy is actually a boon for visitors who now have more opportunities to take a selfie with Mickey, Princess Tiana or Captain America. Follow characters in socially distant locations.

The glass dividers that were popular after Disneyland first reopened have been largely removed from traffic and attraction queues, but they can still be found at many points of sale. in restaurants and shops. Oga’s Cantina features glass partitions that separate individual stalls into two separate seating areas for multiple parties.

Mobile order your food and eat in a less busy area of ​​the park, not surrounded by many tables and diners. Disneyland offers a long list of finger foods designed to be eaten while standing or walking. My favorites: Corndog and Ronto Wrap. I feel hungry just thinking about them.

There are still plenty of hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks, but none come close to the number seen when Disneyland first reopened at the end of April. Wash or sanitize your hands after you get off the bus. And try not to touch your eyes, mouth, nose or face.

Disneyland employees can often be seen cleaning up touch surfaces after the park reopens for the first time, but that is no longer the case. Carry disinfectant wipes with you to wipe down any tables or hold hands that you might not like to touch. Who knows how many people have held onto that astrological explosion. How Disneyland is taking omicron precautions – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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