Pandemic Disney World Does Not Sound Like a Very Happy Place

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Image: Mariah Wild (Getty Images)

Here’s an update from Disney World, which is currently open in a state where covid-19 cases are simply skyrocketing: visitors can no longer walk around eating and drinking because it interferes with the mandated mask-wearing. Starting to think maybe opening Disney World is a bad and unnecessary idea!


Variety reports that the (open! why!!!) park recently updated its mask policy on its website, noting that while guests can still remove their masks to eat and drink, they have to sit down while doing so:

“Face coverings are required for all guests (ages 2 and up) and cast members. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” the park’s website now says under the face coverings section.

I’m not invested in shaming people who want to go to Disney World right now, even though I generally feel like shaming people who want to go to Disney World who are not a) children or b) children. The government should be mandating that potential virus petri dishes like Disney World stay closed for now, and the government won’t. A multibillion dollar company like Disney World could, for the sake of its staff and potential visitors, keep Disney World closed (and pay its employees in the meantime). Disney won’t.

Still, even the cheap flight deals and the promise of shorter lines for, I don’t know, Peter Pan’s Flight (I haven’t been to Disney World since I was six, sorry!) don’t seem worth the dystopian hell that is Pandemic Disney World. Not that having to sit while eating a Tinkerbell ice pop or whatever is hell, but this is, and the ever-changing Disney rules telling everyone to mask up to spare the vulnerable from a deadly virus serve as a reminder that maybe this juuuuuust isn’t the time to see Mickey Mouse.



**Advice needed, please: This may be unreasonable, but I’m 99% sure I’m going to end a 15 year friendship with someone because she decided to take her family to Disney this week. I’ve been busy dealing with health issues so I haven’t been as available for deep conversations over the last year, but we’ve always seen eye to eye in the past, and have had an understanding that if one of us is busy, we’ll just pick up right where we left off the next time we get together, with no hard feelings. I’ve thought of her as that kind of friend you keep for a lifetime. And she’s been a reasonable, intelligent person whom I respect. She’s solid. So I don’t have a clue what might have happened to her recently. I don’t even know if it makes sense to try and explain my feelings to her, or if I should avoid all confrontation and let the friendship die off. This is what has happened:

She posted on social media that this is the “perfect time since there are no lines!” for her and her spouse to drive 12+ hours to take their young kids to the park. And she’s been encouraging others on social media—like every day for the last couple weeks—to contact her for discounted hotel reservations and tickets because she’s some kind of Orlando area travel agent (or a travel wizard or genius or something). Seems she’s involved in some kind of travel MLM or influencer shit. I don’t know what this is. And she’s been posting daily updates from the park with the same “message me for discounts” and “see how safe it is?!” stuff. And no one in the comments of her posts has questioned her or called her out for this in the slightest. So maybe it’s just me? Idk. I peek at social media occasionally but don’t engage there these days, so I’m not getting into it there.

In my view, it’s bad enough to travel that far to an amusement park right now and put your own family (and park employees, hotel and restaurant staff, and everyone else you come into contact with) at risk, but to actually post daily updates that read like influencer spon con for a “safe, fun time,” just so that she can make a couple bucks if you decide take the same risk with your own family? Fuck no. Yeah, I don’t know her.

But do I try and explain? I really love and care for her, so I’m tempted to talk it out, but I don’t even know where to start. Does anyone have thoughts on this? Seriously, am I being unreasonable? I’m thinking she wouldn’t get it, or doesn’t care, if she’s already done this. And she’s potentially bringing Disney COVID cooties back to our small town, right when our cases are beginning to climb. And we are without adequate medical facilities for a full scale community outbreak.

It feels even more selfish in contrast because my family members aren’t taking any risks that aren’t absolutely essential— my husband has been sleeping on our covered front porch since March bc he works in a healthcare setting, in close contact with developmentally and physically disabled clients (many of whom are geriatric, and ALL are considered high risk). So he’s doing a lot to try and protect them, and to protect me because I’m disabled, essentially home bound and considered high risk (severe asthma, immunosuppressed and immunocompromised). And I’ve been advised not to leave home or visit my doctor right now, even though I need to be seen in person for managing some chronic medical issues.

I realize that’s our own stuff and not necessarily their burden, but it definitely makes me feel more sensitive about their actions. What would you do? Would you cut someone out over this? Would you even try to talk about it? I just don’t have much emotional energy for tears, stress and confrontation right now, but I also can’t pretend everything is ok the next time she calls me.