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Should you travel to Disney right now? It’s debatable

For the recurring series, That’s Debatable, we take on a contentious issue of the day and present two spirited arguments—one in favor and other emphatically opposed. Previous installments from the series are here. 

YES, DISNEY PARKS ARE THE DISTRACTION WE NEED NOW

The stretch of I-95 from Pennsylvania to Florida is a long, unlovely drive. But as soon as I was fully vaccinated, it was the first road trip I wanted to take. Destination: Orlando. I’ve been a devoted Walt Disney World fan for the last decade. I’ve made the trek once a year. Many key moments in my life have unfolded in the vicinity of Cinderella’s Castle—I answered my phone to receive my first job offer while exiting the monorail; I watched friends get married at Epcot; I ran half marathons around all four parks. So, while I can understand why not everyone would race to the country’s most popular amusement park during a pandemic, I was tired of waiting. I needed a jolt of whimsy. At the end of March, my partner and I opted to drive three days rather than fly, eager to avoid crowded airports. But after making the first trip outside of our neighborhood in a year, I was in my happy place. I never once regretted it.

Let’s be clear: Disney World—which reopened in July, limiting capacity to 25% and later ticking up to 35%—is not an entirely carefree-zone. Visitors must wear an approved face mask and get a temperature check before passing through park gates. Ride vehicles are limited to one or two parties (if you’ve ever wanted an entire Pirates of the Caribbean boat to yourself, this is your chance). Hand-sanitizer stations are everywhere, as well as my new favorite, hand-washing stations. Most meals and snacks must be ordered via the My Disney Experience app, to ensure distance between visitors and food-services employees. As an added benefit, guests are eligible for free Covid-19 testing care of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, outside resort gates, with on-site registration and speedy results (sometimes within the hour).

An expanded version of this article appears on WSJ.com.

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