Back in September, I shared with you my experience at the COVID-19 Testing Site that is located on Walt Disney World property. It was fast and easy, and I received my negative results in less than 72 hours. A lot has changed at that site since! A friend of mine who I will call Mary was tested there on January 5. She recounted her experience with me to share with you, as long as I promised to keep her identity anonymous. Since it’s so different than when I was there, I thought I’d pass her information along to you.
Many states require a negative test or self-quarantine when traveling, and this site is on Walt Disney World property. It is also free to be tested. The address is 3010 Maingate Lane, Kissimmee, FL. It’s open daily from 8:00 until 4:00, and it’s a self-swab rapid test. It is on Disney property but it is not run by Disney.
When I took my test back in September, I made an appointment and drove up. I never got out of the car and there were no other cars with people being tested at that time. The site has since switched to walk-up. Appointments are no longer accepted. Instead of no one else being tested, Mary waited in line for two and a half hours. I had heard that the line was broken into two, one for singles and one for groups. That wasn’t the case when Mary was there, everyone waited in the same line. The line is outside, in a parking lot, in the sun. Fortunately for Mary, it was a nice day.
Even though appointments are not made any longer, Mary still needed to make an account at patientportalfl.com. There was a QR code to scan that took her directly to the site. The QR code was in plenty of places throughout the line, so if someone missed it they could just scan it a few minutes later. After creating an account and answering a few questions online, she was given a barcode. The website suggested that she screenshot the barcode for easy access later.
Masks are required in the line, but Mary said that there were people who were ignoring that until they got close to the front. There were people eating and drinking in line, even though someone who worked at the site kept reminding everyone that they should not take their masks off for any reason. This was a place where many people had COVID-19. No one should have taken off their masks.
Another problem that Mary noticed was some of the parents weren’t parenting their children. There were kids running up and down the lines, playing with rocks in the parking lot, and playing on the ropes that made the line. There was one family that she noticed where the two kids kept taking the ropes off of the cones that they were tied around. The man in front of her in line would fix them when he got to the spot, the parents did nothing.
The test itself was easy. A worker scanned the barcode, asked a couple of questions, and then she was directed to a different window. A second worker explained the test to her. She did it herself. She was promised the results in 15 to 20 minutes. It was actually about 30 minutes later when she received her results. She was happy to learn that she was negative.
Florida is a COVID hotspot right now, with over 15,000 new cases reported in the state on Tuesday, and a positivity rate over 10 percent for six days in a row. That doesn’t mean that you should put off your visit to Walt Disney World. I still think that it’s the safest place in the state, and one of the safest businesses in the country. If you’re planning a visit, please take extra precautions and be careful. We all need to watch out for each other.
And thanks to my friend Mary for sharing her experience with me. I called her Mary because she’s a big Mary Poppins fan. Then again, who isn’t…