Disney World in a Pandemic


Noah Falk, Editor-in-Chief

It’s comical that my high school journalism career both started, and is now ending with a rather unique topic– Walt Disney World.

Four years ago as a mere staff writer for the brand-new online school newspaper, I took a trip to the happiest place on earth.  Upon my return, I composed a descriptive recap of my trip and uploaded it as my second contribution to the website.  Since the publication of that story, I spent the next four years growing in the program and building my credibility, eventually becoming the editor-in-chief.

Now, in one of what may be my last additions to the site before I leave high school behind me, I’m revisiting Disney; both in person, and in press.

Walt Disney World is known for the unforgettable memories made by both children and adults alike.  From character parades to firework displays, a trip to Disney sticks with you.

However, there are drawbacks to visiting the colossal theme park, and your wallet will take most of the hits.

Disney World is privately located across 40 square miles of land.  The park runs on its own transportation system and has its own internal economy between the parks and resorts you would likely stay at.  Getting around can be difficult without a rental car or an expensive stay at a hotel with monorail/shuttle access.  A regular bottle of Dasani water will run you around $4, and food or beverages available on property typically come with steep price tags in general.

Of course, there was also a pandemic going on during this edition.

Despite Florida being free of any covid restrictions, Walt Disney World strictly enforced mask-wearing and limited capacities.  This is understandable, given the massive amount of people walking around in close proximity to others.  That being said, wearing a facemask all day in the Florida heat can be challenging, especially after spending seven hours walking around from place to place.

Wait times across all four of Disney World’s parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios) are notorious for being incredibly long.  In order to keep up with social distancing guidelines, the lines were spaced out to an impressive degree.  Waiting an hour for an attraction often meant waiting a quarter mile from the ride itself.

Overall, a trip to Disney World will be remembered more by lively experiences than minor inconveniences.  My last trip was just as exciting and memorable as the one from four years ago.

As my high school journalism career nears its end, I’m delighted in the fact that I could bookend my catalog of stories with the happiest place on earth.