With the Disney World closures currently extending “until further notice,” a lot of Disney trips are being canceled automatically by the company or by the families who were supposed to be going on them.
All those canceled trips mean that for many of us, we’re having to reschedule our perfect Disney vacations. That can be a pretty big bummer considering planning a Disney trip is NO JOKE.
So, if you’re stuck having to reschedule and rework all of your plans, we want to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible for you. Here are 5 BIG mistakes you don’t want to make when rescheduling your Disney trip!
1. Don’t Reschedule Your Trip TOO Soon!
We know it can be tempting to schedule your trip as SOON as possible after the parks open (trust us, we want to get back too!), but if you end up choosing days that are coming up too soon, you might run into some issues.
If you have any must-do rides or restaurants on your list, you’ll want to reschedule your trip AT LEAST 180 days in advance to ensure you have enough time to get those sought after reservations!
Leave Enough Time to Get Those Dining Reservations
Remember, you can make Advance Dining Reservations as early as 180 days out, whether you have park tickets or not! In fact, you can even make these reservations without having booked anything else for your vacation. If you want to take full advantage of early booking, be sure to book your Disney resort reservation MORE than 180 days before your trip.
Having a resort reservation at a Disney World-owned restaurant will allow you to make reservations — for up to 10 days of your trip — 180 days before your trip begins. Many popular restaurants book up right away at this 6-month mark, like California Grill, Cinderella’s Royal Table, or Be Our Guest Restaurant, and having your resort reservation booked will allow you to position yourself to get the best options possible.
We’ve got plenty of helpful info on how to make Advance Dining Reservations as well as TONS of restaurant reviews so you can make the best choices for your trip!
If you’re unfortunately rescheduling that dream trip you already planned months ago, this may be an opportunity to revisit your choices. Hey, maybe you can snag a hot reservation you couldn’t get the first time around?!
Don’t Forget to Leave Time To Get FastPasses!
Even if you’re not too picky about your restaurants, you’ll still want to make sure you have plenty of time leading up to your trip so that you can get the FastPasses you want.
Disney World resort guests can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days out from the first day of their reservation for the length of their trip, while guests not staying at a Disney resort can book theirs 30 days out. We highly recommend staying onsite for this very reason. FastPasses for popular rides can go FAST at 60 days out, so you’ll want to make sure you’re primed to get the best FastPasses possible. Note that you DO need to have your tickets purchased and your My Disney Experience account created in order to get FastPasses.
This is another great opportunity if you’re rebooking a canceled trip to try and look on the bright side: you can possibly score those tough FastPasses you may not have gotten first time around! If you missed out grabbing that Flight of Passage FastPass, now may be your chance to try again! If you had a perfect lineup of FastPasses booked originally, try to see this as an opportunity to revisit your plans and prioritize for your family.
2. Don’t Ignore How the Parks Might Be Different When Disney World Reopens
Things might be a little (or a lot!) different when we get to go back into the Disney Parks. If these changes worry you at all, you might want to consider rescheduling your trip much further out than you were originally thinking.
We get it, you want to get there for that vacay as soon as it’s safe, but if you’re worried the changes could negatively impact your experience, a wait could make sense. So what sort of stuff could we be looking at?
We Could See a Phased Reopening
A phased reopening is entirely possible. In Shanghai, we’ve seen the hotels and shopping district reopen first, so the same may happen in Disney World. When the parks DO reopen, it’s possible some attractions, shows, and rides may not be open for a while after the closure ends. In fact, they could potentially even leave whole lands of parks closed, if Disney feels it’s in the best interest of safety.
If you’re nervous about things remaining closed, reschedule your trip for a few months after the parks may realistically reopen. That way, you give Disney World (and the rest of the world) plenty of time to recuperate from the closures.
Experiences May Be Different After the Reopening
Even once things are open, there may be changes to certain aspects of the experience you’re used to. We’ve discussed that Disney World could be VERY different when it reopens, and we certainly don’t want anyone disappointed if things have changed right after the closures lift. This could include lowered capacity on attractions, adjusted dining experiences, or even limited character interactions.
Some of these changes could be permanent, but many will potentially ease up over time allowing us to have that Disney trip that we know, love, and look forward to. Some guests may be ok with an altered experience, while others may want to ensure their trip is rescheduled far enough down the road to avoid potential changes.
There May Be CROWDS!
On top of that, you’ll want to rethink your expectations when it comes to crowd levels. At first, crowds will possibly be lower than usual, especially if there is a phased reopening; but LOTS of people will likely be rescheduling their canceled trips for sometime before the end of the year due to Disney’s current ticket policy during the closure. This could mean a noticeable uptick in crowds.
If you’re ok with a few more people in the parks (much of the closure has been over the notoriously busy Spring Break season, so we suspect many families were already bracing for crowds!) this may not affect your trip too much. But if the idea of extra bodies in close proximity to you is unnerving, consider delaying until the value season in the fall or postponing until next year.
We’d, of course, love Disney World to be just as it was prior to the closure, but we also want to be realistic! So much has changed not just with Disney, but with the world; so changes to keep everyone safe are likely going to be necessary.
Don’t expect that arriving the day after they reopen will put you right back in the normal Disney World we’ve all known before this. Ask yourself: Are you OK with this? If you’re not, it’s a good idea to consider booking your trip further out until any potential changes will return to normal.
3. Don’t Forget to Write EVERYTHING Down
Another big tip when planning your rescheduled Disney trip is a simple one: write EVERYTHING down. We mean it. Everything. Confirmation numbers, cancellation numbers, dates, pricing, discounts, room type, dining plan specifics, etc. If you’re hoping to travel right when the parks possibly reopen, this is especially true for you.
If you’re planning for a possible June reopening or even looking to reschedule later in the summer, you’ll want to be wary of any further extensions to the closure. As you know, it’s a hassle to reschedule a Disney trip and it will be even worse to reschedule it TWICE.
But keeping track of all the details in an easily located (and remembered) spot will help if you do have to dig in and reschedule a second (or third, or fourth) time (I know some of you are already on your third reschedule!).
As you’re canceling plans and rescheduling, write down everything you book or plan to book! Even write down numbers to call to reschedule again if it comes to that! Save those emails, too, in an easy to find location for reference. It’s all about making it easier for you in the instance of a closure extension. That way, if the time comes that you’re faced with a RE-reschedule, you’ve got all of the information you need handy to make it easy.
Working on rescheduling? Click here for our step-by-step guide on rescheduling your trip!
4. Don’t Forget — Different Times Of Year Mean Different Planning
If you’re faced with rescheduling your trip, you have a huge consideration to keep in mind now: You may be rebooking at a totally different time of year!
Those crowds you prepared for, special events going on, and more will be totally different depending on the time you rebook, so don’t forget to plan with that in mind!
Each season in Disney has different weather, crowds, events, and seasonal costs.
Planning for Summer
If you’re rescheduling for the Summer it could be hot, hot, hot — much hotter than the Spring! So make sure you take that into account. If you have heat-sensitive folks in your party, you might want to push your vacay into the Fall.
Don’t forget that Summer is typically Florida’s VERY rainy season, with big storms coming through just about every afternoon on one part of property or another; so plan accordingly.
Summer also tends to be crowded since kids are out of school — and that means higher ticket prices. Now, that might be a little different this year if people are hesitant to return to the parks.
We may even see some additional discounts coming from Disney to sway Summer visitors to the parks too.
Planning for Fall
If you’re rescheduling for the Fall, you’re going to have weather that’s a little bit more forgiving like the Spring. However, Summer and Fall are hurricane season in Florida which is a big thing to consider, especially taking in to account that Fall is typically the more active time of year for hurricane activity.
If you’re worried about this, it may be worth looking into vacation insurance for your trip. Now, Disney has experience with handling hurricanes, but being mindful of how hurricanes affect Disney World is worth reading about.
Hurricanes don’t usually reach as far inland as Orlando, but over the past couple of years, Disney World has had to shut down twice due to hurricanes. Get educated.
If you’ve never attended these events, now might be just the time to try them out!
Planning for Winter
If you plan to go in Winter, you could have the opportunity to visit the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, not to mention a chance to experience Disney at Christmastime. Oh, and don’t forget Flurry of Fun, and the Christmas Tree Trail, and so much more!
So you’ll want to do your research on how these festivals and parties work, and keep up with DFB as we bring you news about them in the coming months!
Winter is varied when it comes to crowds. Crowds ramp up to their annual peak during the two weeks around Christmas, but otherwise, they’ll be generally lower than much of the rest of the year. Still, this might change this year with rescheduled vacations from the Spring!
And even though it’s Florida, it still can get COLD. Granted, we’re not talking “whip out your parkas” type weather (most of the time), but you may be faced with needing long-sleeves and sweatshirts. Make sure you pack those layers so you’re not shivering in line for Big Thunder Mountain. Forking over $75 or more for a Disney World embroidered fleece jacket can be painful.
Doing your research if you’re going to Disney World at a time when you’re not used to the weather, the crowds, and the special offerings can help your planning and your overall trip run more smoothly.
5. Don’t Reschedule Without A Master Plan
Speaking of doing your research, DON’T just dive into new dates for your trip without thinking. You might think that since you already had a Disney trip planned that all you have to do is just transfer that plan to a new date.
Well, you could do that, but you’re going to have a much better trip if you do a little bit of extra prep work ahead of time (trust us!).
So, whether you’re going at a different time than usual or just want to make sure that you plan for ALL potential hitches in your rescheduled vacay, you’ll may want to grab a copy of the DFB Guide!
Our ebook will give you ALL of our recommendations, reviews, tips, AND information about all of the seasonal events and parties you might encounter, restaurant details, special events, and what you can’t miss — no matter when you’re going!
SO MUCH at Disney World changes seasonally. You want to be sure you’re choosing the right events and touring strategies at the right times. Glass half full approach: this is a chance to make your trip even better than it was before all this happened!
Take this opportunity as a chance to really plan out the BEST Disney World vacation you could possibly take to make up for all the postponements. We’ll even help you do it with a 30% off discount for the DFB Guide! Just head on over to the DFB Store and pick out the guide or bundle you want, then use code 30SALE at checkout!
Whenever you choose to reschedule, we’re here to help, both with tips and tricks and with the latest news about reopening. So don’t forget to check back with us; we’ll be keeping you in the know about everything happening at Disney World!
Ready to get planning your rescheduled Disney vacay? Click here to see why now really IS a great time to plan!
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Are you planning on getting a canceled Disney trip rescheduled for late in the year? What are your concerns? Share your thoughts in the comments!