Who is doing it right?
The few inquiries I have had this summer from people who wonder where they can go right now have resulted in some research on my part on how different destinations are dealing with Covid-19. That research, in turn, has led to a few thoughtful conclusions. Disney and Universal are doing a great job.
Some places that were quick to open back up have been, well, not so good with the masks and social distancing. I'm not going to name any names of towns or attractions, but there are some I feel like are just a hot mess with an outbreak waiting to happen. I will tell my clients that, too. I'm not going to send you anywhere I wouldn't go myself right now.
I have also had some inquiries about other cities and areas within driving distance, and I've found myself talking people out of some of those, as well, based on attractions and bars being closed, beaches being closed off... Let's face it. This whole thing is just a mess. It's hard to know what we can do, and more importantly, what we can do safely and still have fun. Because otherwise, what's the point?
But after reading all the emails about safety and cleaning protocols, observing pictures and comments of a few friends and numerous Facebook group members (specifically on pages for Disney and Universal travelers), I have come to the conclusion that the most fun place I would feel safest going right now is Disney World, with Universal in a close second place.
Are you shocked? Don't be. They are operating at seriously reduced capacity and so far, have not even been able to get to that reduced capacity. The parks are almost empty. The lines have tape to keep parties apart. No Fastpasses at Disney means two regular lines to increase social distancing. No parades or fireworks means no crowds gathering. And you're only allowed to remove your mask to eat or drink when you are seated or standing in one spot. You can't just pull down your mask and stroll with a drink in your hand and get by with it. Oh sure, there were fake pictures on Twitter and such that were taken pre-Covid, claimed to be current, showed people jammed up together, but the real information coming from people I know who have been there is that they can ride some of their favorite rides over and over. The tape lines are respected, and if they are not, a masked cast member is there to politely gesture for you to stand in the proper place. I tell you, I would be there right now if I hadn't lost my income to the pandemic.
Universal has been open since June 5, and Disney since July 11. That is ample time for someone in the media to have blasted it far and wide if there were any outbreaks associated with either place. Let's face it, the masks, the social distancing, and the sanitizing are making a big difference. And while these places are not guaranteeing that you won't come in contact with Covid at their parks, restaurants, or hotels, I personally would feel like I had a much better chance at staying safe at one of them.
I would also like to mention that Biltmore seems to be doing a great job this summer with requiring masks and keeping people separated. One really popular thing this summer has been flying or driving out west to the national parks. There's plenty of space for spreading out there. And if you're going to fly, I will be glad to share with you individually which airlines I believe are doing their part to keep passengers well. All of these are things I can help you arrange.
So let's keep social distancing and being really careful, because the sooner this is over, the sooner we can go anywhere we like again!