WDW Blog

When People Won’t Social Distance

The lines are clearly marked

Part of the plan when Walt Disney World announced that it was going to reopen included markers on the ground to make sure that people stay at least six feet apart while in line. Keeping apart is one of the main ways to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Marking the distance is a smart idea, and Disney went to great lengths to make it easy to see exactly where each party needs to stand. Unfortunately, just because the markers are there does not mean that people are going to follow the rules. What do you do if the party behind you refuses to social distance? Here are a few suggestions.

If the people behind you are getting too close the first thing that you should consider is saying something to them. There is probably a good chance that they do not realize how close they are. Be polite, and just gently let them know that they are not following the social distancing rules, and that they are too close. Most of the time, that is all that it will take.

Sometimes there might be a reason why you don’t want to say something to the people who are getting to close. If that is the case and there is a Cast Member nearby, try to get his or her attention. Reminding people to follow the rules is part of the Cast Members’ jobs these days, so this will not be the first time that they have to tell someone to leave some space.

This is not something that I would always recommend, but if you have no other option and do not want to get out of line, fake cough a couple of times. Don’t do it loudly, but be loud enough that the party behind you can hear it.

If you have no other options and still do not feel comfortable, give up your spot in line. Either offer to trade places with the group behind you, or leave the line and rejoin it later. Either way, you are giving the party what they want, when getting too close is done on purpose it’s a new form of line cutting. Then again, it’s better to give up your spot than to be worried about the possibility of getting sick.

One more thing. I’ve heard of rude groups who have loudly talked about getting a positive test after someone asked them to stay back. If you hear someone saying something like that, report it to a Cast Member, even if you are sure that they were joking. This is not a joking matter, and words have consequences. I equate it to yelling “fire” in a theater. Some things are just wrong to joke about.

After saying all of this, I want to state that I have rarely had a problem with a group behind me who didn’t want to social distance. Most people have been fantastic about it. There have been a couple of groups who forgot; these aren’t normal times. I’ve also had people who have literally missed the mark, they walked too far by accident and then the group behind them didn’t leave room. Only once have I left a line because the people behind us refused to social distance. Given the number of times I’ve been to the parks since they reopened, that’s a pretty good record.