Connor Drake- Effects of COVID on Disney

My name is Connor Drake and my portfolio will consist of statements and images sent in by my friend Chrissy. She identifies as a female and is 18 years old. They will the visual and emotional effects COVID has brought unto Disney World. Statement of permission: Connor Drake has the right to use my images and statements for use in his Pressbooks Portfolio project. Chrissy

Pre-COVID Jan. 8, 2017 by Chrissy

Statement #1

This image was taken pre-COVID on January 8th of 2017. For Christmas, my family decided to surprise me with a 3 day trip to Walt Disney World. We decided to go to Magic Kingdom for our first official day of our trip. Before COVID, life was much simpler, but less hygienic. There were no masks, no hand sanitizer stations, and everyone was crammed into lines. The parks were packed, as per usual. Everything was available to the public from: shows, rides, and dining. My family had decided to take a quick picture in-front of the castle and behind us, there were other families that were trying to do the same. Before COVID, Magic Kingdom could run at full capacity and rarely ever had to worry about turning away guests.


In this statement, Chrissy is stating that while pre-COVID life was simpler, it was both less hygenic as well as wreckless. The ability for a family to become sick was much higher and there were not many oppurtunities to rid your hands of bacteria and viruses. In this image, I see a happy family enjoying their time at the “Happiest Place on Earth.” They do not have to worry about whether their mask is on right, if the are 6 feet apart, or if the person who is choking on a churro has COVID. They’re worries were miniscule. “Are we going to make it to the 4pm show?”,”Maybe this line will be fast.” or “Did they forget my mustard on my burger?” These are the kind of worries we had at Disney pre-COVID. In the background, you see families enjoying themseleves and taking pictures. Behind the camera, people are lined up for this photo. The sky is clear ensuring a day filled with happiness and reduced interruptions.


COVID Disney by Chrissy

Statement #2

Once Disney opened back up to the public with new rules and regulations due to COVID, my family decided to wait a bit before going back. They finally decided it was time to head back, specifically to Hollywood Studios, in September of this year. We had to make a reservation to even enter the park about a month in advance. I was lucky enough to get a reservation a few days before going because I was unsure of if I could even go due to work. When we first got there, we were asked if we had our reservation at the parking booths. We were also reminded of the social distance and mask regulations before showing our annual passes. When we finally got to the parking lot, we noticed that they no longer do trams anymore due to social distancing. With that, we had to walk from our parking spot, all the way to the front of the park.

When we entered the park, we had our temperatures checked and everyone was wearing some sort of facial covering. On the ground, everywhere you looked, were social distance tape to prevent guests from crowding together. It was like that in the ride queues as well. The park was only running at 25 % capacity and even then, there were still a lot of people. It should be mentioned that we arrived at the park around 4:00. It should also be noted that all of the parks on Disney property closed a few hours earlier and did not offer extra magic hours. The masks were a little hard to wear because of the Florida heat, especially for my four year old brother who has autism. On the other hand, he still did much better than some of the other people I saw while in the park.


In this statement, Chrissy gives us an inside look into what being at Disney with COVID going on. Her family decided to wait to return to the park until Disney undertood what they were doing as precautions first. As she has said, before even stepping onto Disney propety you must have a reservation. Once you arrive, all of the precautions are in place toensure everyone stays safe. In this picture we can see a reduced crowd as compared to other pictures as well as the use of masks by all guests and staff. She also gives a look into the difficulties of masks for disabled guests. It is difficult, in the Florida heat, to continue to wear a mask at all time. However, it is a necessary precaution that has been put into place. Her family still looks happy and as though they are enjoying their day at Disney World.

COVID Disney with a friend

Statement #3

I was totally okay with going back after my family and I went in september. So, I decided to go with a close friend to see if my experience would either be worse or better than before. This picture was taken on Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom. It should be said that masks have to be worn while on the ride, at all times. Still, Disney managed to find ways to implement designated areas for guests to remove their masks, while still social distancing. I will admit that all of the ride lines were much shorter than before COVID-19 struck. We only waited about 30 minutes for Splash Mountain, which is usually a 45-60 minute wait. On all of the rides, you are socially-distanced by party. Hence, the spaces inbetween my friend and I, and the gentleman behind us.

Unfortunately, Disney has had to lay off many of their employees due to COVID. Most of the shows and entertainment were closed and were used as social-distanced queues for the rides. The dining options were very limited and the cast members heavily suggested either getting a reservation or to mobile order your food. The cast members were also monitoring everyone’s use of a mask and reminding those that needed it, to social distance. Overall, much has changed at Disney because of COVID-19. With that, I would still go and would still call it the “Happiest Place on Earth.”


In this statement, Chrissy told me more about the way Disney has changed. Lines are shorter, masks are used everywhere, including rides, and people are even social distanced on rides as well. However they offer designated areas in which you can taje a break and breath without a mask. She also shared that Disney had huge lay offs ue to the reduced amount of income so many shows and attractions were closed and used as an area to ensure proper social distancing. Dining options are limited due to reduced employee number and the cast members ensure all guests wear masks. However Chrissy states that she still believes disney is the “Happiest Place on Earth.” In this photo, we can see that even with social distancing, the rides we love still give us the same feeling they always have loved.



In these images, Chrissy has shared with us her experience at Disney as always being a positive one. Even with the implications of masks and use of social distancing by cast members and guests. She stated that she would still choose to go to Disney even through the measures being put into place. I believe Chrissy sees quarantine less as an inconvenience and more of an oppurtunity to protect those she loves as well as experience something many people won’t be able to. I’ve never seen a Splash Mountain line only take 30 minutes.I believe she aimed to show us that even through quarintine, with the correct precautions, we can still do the things we know and love.

In our reading this semester, we read an article published on BBC written by Martha Henriques called, “Will COVID-19 have a lasting impact on the environment?” In it she states that the global emissions has dropped by .3%. Mostly due to many factories being shut down. This is a silver lining. We are giving the Earth a slight break in the amount of pollutants we are pushing into the air. Disney is putting out less emissions due to the reduced guest capacity. They aren’t leaving A/C running in buildings that don’t need it and are not using as much food which cuts down on both food waste as well as air pollution. However, this reduced emission comes at a price. These factories shutting down has led millions of people out of work and scrambling to find a new one. With this surge of reduced jobs and increased unemployment, it’s unlikely all will be able to find a replacement job. COVID-19 has shown us what we can do if we come together and try to reduce emissions and attempt to protect others. If theses mandates were not put into place, the numbers would be much higher than they are now.




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Health and Environmental Humanities Artistic Expression Portfolio Copyright © by The Students of HUM2020 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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