Out There! Disney During Covid

AAA Travel Advisor Felicia Troy has just returned from Walt Disney World and wants to enlighten members as to what they should expect as they plan their next trip to Florida. From changes to menus, social distancing, mask requirements and more, Felicia will walk us through the NEW best practices for planning a Disney vacation.


What to know before going to Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort continues to work closely with local health officials and their own health and safety experts and reference CDC guidelines with respect to the safety of Team Members and guests during their limited opening of the popular Florida resort. Currently, you can expect the following to be apparent during your visit:

  • Limiting capacity and following social distancing guidelines throughout all attractions, restaurants and shops throughout the destination
  • Increasing our already-aggressive cleaning and disinfection procedures, and frequently cleaning all high touch surfaces
  • All team members will undergo temperature checks and wear face coverings
  • All team members will participate in extensive training on our new procedures

"Things are going to feel a little different, and I encourage everyone to become well-versed in our updated operational guidelines, but know that everyone at Universal Orlando is looking forward to having you back. We’ve got a bit of a service mentality around here — whether we’re serving you food, getting you on a ride, selling you a T-Shirt — serving our guests is what we do and our Team Members are grateful for the opportunity to go the extra mile on your behalf." Bill Davis, President of Universal Orlando stated in a recent letter to the public.

Universal has produced a quick video highlighting changes and what visitors can expect on an upcoming trip to the resort.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De1d6TlYkKw&feature=emb_logo

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the resort has released enhanced sanitization procedures and implemented additional measures for distance spacing and screening.

Universal asks that all guests and Team Members continue to comply with the following:

Face covering required
Everyone is required to wear a face-covering during their visit.

An appropriate face covering for a visit to Universal Orlando must fit the following criteria:

  • Must cover your nose and mouth and be secured under your chin
  • Must fit snugly against the sides of your face and be secured with ear loops or secured around your head

Universal recommends that face coverings be at least two-ply (consist of at least two layers). Also, a gaiter is considered an appropriate face covering as long as it covers your nose and mouth.

The following are NOT permitted at Universal Orlando:

  • Face coverings with exhalation valves
  • Face coverings that are not secured with ear loops or secured around your head
  • Face coverings that include mesh material or holes of any kind
  • Face coverings that are unable to be secured under your chin, such as bandannas
  • Costume masks or veils, per our costume guidelines

Temperature check required
Temperature checks will be required upon arrival, and guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted.

Wash hands often
Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.

Social distancing
Practice social distancing and keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) between your travel party and others.

Floor markings
When present, please stand on the floor markings until the group in front of you moves forward.

Follow Team Member direction
Please follow directions from our team members and have patience as we work through these new operational procedures.

AAA Travel has been sending members to the park for decades, and our discounted tickets and vacation packages have been a long-standing club favorite. Learn more about AAA and Universal Resorts and contact your AAA Travel Agent to help you plan your next trip to Florida. Call your agent at 1-800-222-7448.


Capturing the Disney Magic

Written by Stacey Crowley, Travel Sales Manager and Disney Enthusiast!

I’ve been a decades-long Disney fan, hooked on the magic and in love with the experience. I even spent time working at Walt Disney World. It is a time in my life that I will never forget. AAA members often ask me for “insider’s tips,” so why not gather my insights into one location!

How hard is it to find a place to eat in the park?

I often reply with, “what kind of meal or experience are you hoping to have?” Like any park, there are plenty of grab and go locations. But if you’re looking to rub elbows with a favorite character, or enjoy an airconditioned sit-down dinner, you’ll want to plan ahead.

There are even some restaurants throughout Walt Disney World where you can make reservations before the park opening. This allows you to create beautiful memories and photos before the rush of people come into the park!

Disney is just for kids, right?

Kids of all ages! As cliché as it sounds, you’re only as old as you feel. Disney makes me, and many people I have sent to the park, feel like a child again. The park is filled with modern characters, like Moana and Elsa. But my childhood favorites are still there, and just as lovely as I remember them.

Even if you’re not a character fan, Disney has several events throughout the year that cater to an adult crowd. One of the best times to visit Disney as an adult is during mid-October for the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.

But what about the crowds?

Like every travel destination, the park experiences a “busy season.” If the kids are out of school, the park is going to be busy! Holidays? Busy. I find the quietest times to visit Disney World are the second week in January and the week after Labor Day.

Is it in my budget?

That’s where I work the AAA magic to get you into the Disney magic! With a wide selection of accommodations, both in and around the park, I look to find AAA members the rooms and rates that will make their vacation dreams come to life. There are opportunities for suites and villas, but just as many choices to find single rooms with money-saving options.

The best part about our process is that we help you with all aspects of your booking, including airfare, dinner reservations, airport transfers, park tickets and more.

As you plan your next vacation, I encourage you to talk to a AAA travel agent and explore Disney, Florida, and the world with them. Together, you’ll find the right escape.

AAA Travel Agents are a valuable part of your AAA membership. I am happy to help you plan your next vacation. Email me at SCrowley@aaanortheast.com and we can plan your next adventure.


Disney Announces Commitment to Health & Safety Measures

On Saturday, the phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort will begin. Here is what park visitors need to know, and what they can expect, as they return to the park.

1.  Health & Wellness

  • Limited and carefully managed attendance: All guests will be required to make advanced ticket purchases and reservations.
  • Reduced capacity and physical distancing: Disney is reducing capacity by letting fewer people enter parks and are adjusting experiences to allow for physical distancing, a key measure reinforced by the CDC. This includes physical distancing in dining experiences, attractions, queues and other locations. Additionally, physical barriers have been installed in areas where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain, like cash registers.
  • Temperature checks: Quick temperature checks are required for all guests at entry to theme parks.
  • Face coverings: Disney will be requiring both cast members and guests ages two and older to wear a face-covering – unless swimming or when eating or drinking – and enforcing this policy across parks and resorts.
  • Handwashing and hand sanitizer: Parks have increased the number of hand sanitizer locations and handwashing stations throughout parks and resorts.
  • First Aid locations: First aid locations are staffed by experienced nursing staff and have updated their protocols for responding to symptoms of illness.

2. Cleaning & Disinfecting

  • Increased cleaning & disinfecting: Disney is increasing the frequency of cleaning, especially for frequently-touched surfaces and high-traffic areas. Following park close, each park will receive enhanced cleaning before guests arrive the next day.
  • New procedures for resort stays: In addition to increasing cleaning in areas such as elevators and escalators, handrails, tables, handles, and restrooms, Disney has updated procedures for guest rooms at Disney owned-and-operated Walt Disney World hotels. Before arrival, every room will be given an enhanced cleaning and a light cleaning service (including removal of trash and replenishment of towels and amenities) will be offered every other day during the stay.

3. Technology Solutions

  • Disney apps: With the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps guests already know and love, guests can view hand sanitizer locations, explore digital menus, and more.
  • Limited-contact options: From Mobile Order and cashless payments to Walt Disney World’s MagicBands and online check-in at select locations, Disney is offering technology solutions that can make it easier for guests to minimize contact and maintain physical distancing.

4. Cast Member Training & Workplace Safety

  • Training: Cast members are receiving additional training on both new measures and the continued importance of personal health and hygiene, such as handwashing and of course, staying home when ill. For some, this includes training on how to help everyone who visits to follow new health and safety measures, including wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distancing.
  • Workplace health and safety: Disney increased the frequency of cleaning in work areas, adjusted work practices to promote physical distancing, and introduced new protocols for temperature checks and face coverings.
  • Health screenings: Cast members will self-screen for temperature and symptoms of illness before each shift and will stay home if they are not feeling well.

5. Working Together

  • Guest communication: Disney is proactively sharing information with guests about what to expect ahead of their visit to support their planning. In parks and resorts, the parks have added signage about personal health and hygiene measures, physical distancing, and more.
  • Following guidelines: A special group of cast members will also be present in the parks to explain new procedures, answer questions guests may have and encourage everyone to follow these measures to promote the well-being of us all.
  • “Together We Can Make Today Incredible” campaign: In June, Disney introduced “Together We Can Make Today Incredible,” a health and safety campaign that spotlights healthy behaviors featuring fan-favorite characters from the Incredibles animated movies. The campaign emphasizes that everyone has an important role to play in health and safety while engaging guests in a uniquely Disney way.

You may have questions, and AAA Travel is here to help! Contact your AAA Travel Agent at