While last year we helped you answer, “Should I even go to Disney World with all this construction?” Now we’re asking the same question for a much different reason.
That’s right, friends! Remember all the waaay back to 2019 when our biggest concerns were whether or not Cinderella Castle would remain uncovered during its refurb?? Those were much SIMPLER times!
But we know many of you are searching for the answer to, “Is it even worth it to go to Disney World right now with all this uncertainty?” Don’t worry — we feel the added pressure of planning a Disney World trip right now, too! The struggle is REAL!
And while we can’t make this really tough decision FOR you, we CAN help you determine the best solution for you and your family! Let’s examine a few things that will help you make your decision!
It’s Unknown When the Parks Will Re-Open
Here’s one of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to make your mind leap over — how do you plan a trip to a place where you technically can’t even go right now?
And while Disney World is accepting new reservations starting after June 1st, it hasn’t officially announced a re-opening date. So far, the parks are just closed “until further notice,” which for all we know could still be a while!
You Should Plan a Trip If: It’s Not That Big of a Deal If You Don’t End Up Going
Because you can book a room at any Disney World resort starting June 1st, if you’re more open to changing your plans, you can go for it! You can book all your FastPasses and Advance Dining Reservations just like you normally would. And while it’s true we don’t know if Disney World will be open for you to use them or not, it doesn’t hurt anything if you want to go ahead and make plans!
If Disney World DOES extend its closure, you would receive a refund for your Disney World hotel and any tickets you already purchased will be extended. You won’t be out any money (be careful with buying tickets, though, and make sure you know all the current details with refunds and extensions), and you can rebook your trip at a later time. Just make sure you know your airline’s policy for refunds before purchasing airfare — or delay buying your flight until you know if the parks will be open!
It Might Be Best to Wait Until Next Year If: You Would Be Horribly Disappointed if You Didn’t Get to Go on Your Trip
If you’re risk-averse when getting your hopes up or have kids who would be crushed by the news their Disney trip just got canceled, you might want to think about 2021 instead — you know, just to be on the safe side.
Plus, that way, you’ll have plenty of time to do some research and watch lots of DFB videos to get you (and your tastebuds) prepared!
What’s Your Current Comfort Level Around Big Groups?
Nobody really knows just yet if the parks will be crowded or not when they re-open, but many analysts seem to think it could be up to 2 years before the parks reach their full crowd capacity again.
Armed with the knowledge the parks’ capacity could be limited but you might still run into bigger groups of people than you’re used to these days, what should you do?
You Should Go If: You Feel Disney World and Crowd Levels Will Be Safe As Soon As It Reopens
We asked our readers if they would be comfortable returning to Disney World as soon as it reopens and the overwhelming majority said YES! Many felt Disney wouldn’t open until it was 100% safe for guests and Cast Members to return.
In fact, many of you guys have already booked your trips and are looking forward to the parks being extra-sterilized after their long temporary closure — plenty of time to get them nice and sparkly clean!
It Might Be Best to Wait Until Next Year If: You Want To Give It a Little Time First
But while many of us are anxious to rush back, others might be more inclined to wait and see. Are you going to be too nervous being around a bunch of people right away? Perhaps you have someone in your group who is immunocompromised and that’s a concern for you? If so, you might make the choice to hold off — at least, for a little while — to see how the parks are operating. Is there lowered capacity? Are the enforced distancing and potential health screenings enough to make you feel comfortable?
We know many of our readers’ hearts and brains might be at odds when it comes to deciding when to return to Disney World, so with that in mind, here are a few more considerations to keep in mind.
We Don’t Know If or What Modifications Disney World Will Be Making…Yet
Bob Iger has already hinted that Disney World is considering temperature screening guests when it reopens, but it’s unknown at this time the full extent of new protocols Disney will be implementing.
There are many potential options such as answering questionnaires about one’s health, temperature screenings, and maybe even rapid testing or showing proof of being vaccinated (once a vaccine exists); but nothing has been confirmed.
Recently we polled our readers and asked them if they would OK with temperature checks to enter the parks. Here’s what they said.
You Should Go If: You’ll Be Happy Just Being at Disney World Again Regardless Of A Potentially Different Experience
What if you had to wear a mask or Cast Members all wore masks? What if you had to provide personal information about your health? In addition to being around large groups of people again, how badly do you want to go to Disney World? Bad enough to give up some privacy?
What if all areas and attractions in the parks weren’t open when you went? It’s possible that Disney World will reopen in phases like Shanghai Disneyland is doing. Would you still want to go if your favorite restaurant or attraction might not be open? Or if your experience with it is very different?
It Might Be Best to Wait Until Next Year If: You Need Disney World to Be Exactly How You Remember It
We can’t really sugarcoat this for you — Disney World might not be entirely how you remember it when it reopens. We’re still expecting it to be totally magical and AWESOME, but when you think about how much a trip to Disney World costs, it might not be that picturesque perfect trip you were originally willing to shell out big bucks on.
There will likely be a LOT more change than just the castle being painted.
It’s very possible certain aspects and experiences will be modified when the parks reopen and it’s unclear right now what that may entail. There could be limited capacity; but to think “bigger picture” for a sec, entire lands or rides could be shut down due to an inability to practice social distancing in some areas of the parks.
Would you be majorly bummed if you went to Disney World and didn’t get to experience absolutely everything you wanted? If so, you might need to lay back for a while.
We’re Missing Some Key Dates for Events
Another thing that you’ll need to work around is having potential events you might be looking forward to still very much up in the air for this year.
At this point in years past, Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival and Festival of the Holidays dates would have been announced along with dates and tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, which happen on select evenings through November and December at Magic Kingdom. This year, however, we’re still waiting on all of this info!
You Should Go If: You’re Comfortable Assuming When and If These Events Will Happen (Or Comfortable Missing Out!)
Since these festivals and events typically happen around the same dates from year-to-year at Disney World, you should be able to use last year’s dates as a frame of reference.
BUT, that’s not written in stone. We’re still waiting for information on all of these events and it’s still possible they may happen at a reduced capacity, for shorter time frames, or possibly not at all.
It Might Be Best to Wait Until Next Year If: You Would Like These Events and Dates Confirmed Ahead of Time
With so much disruption going on lately, you might want the added reassurance from Disney before you start planning your fall or winter trip!
And hey, we don’t blame you there! If you have your heart set on attending one of these special events, it’s probably wise to see if they’ll actually be happening! Otherwise, we think its a pretty safe bet to plan on enjoying them in 2021 instead!
Some Special Offers Still Haven’t Been Announced
Disney World often releases a free Walt Disney World dining offer in April, but so far, we haven’t heard a peep. Many guests look forward to this promotion as it grants Disney Resort guests each an included Disney Dining Plan for free with the purchase of a vacation package. There is a current free dining promotion for guests who had to cancel their vacations when the parks closed, but that’s not available to everyone, and it’s the one we’re waiting for!
You Should Go If: You’re Cool With Not Getting Free Dining
If a 2020 Disney World Free Dining Promotion for the general public IS released after you’ve already booked your trip, you can usually cancel and re-book your vacation with free dining! No problemo!
But even though Disney has made this offer in years past, it’s no guarantee they’ll do it this year! Especially with things being so different! So just be prepared. You might be “going it alone” without free dining and you’ll have to pay for your meals out-of-pocket instead!
This may not be an issue if you were banking on scoring a room discount instead of free dining, so weigh your options and decide which offer might be better for you and your family.
It Might Be Best to Wait Until Next Year If: You Only Want to Go to Disney World When Free Dining is Available
Like we said above, if missing out on free dining is a Disney World deal-breaker for you and your budget, you’ll probably wanna hold off until there’s an official free dining offer released.
But when that will happen is unclear at this time! We’ll be on the lookout for any special promotions and report back to ya as soon as we hear about them! Don’t forget to join our newsletter for the info IMMEDIATELY!
As for deals available right now, there’s a special room discount going on where you can save as much as 25% on select rooms at Disney World resorts if you book by August 31st!
There’s definitely more to mull over this year than almost EVER before during these unprecedented times. And even though there are A LOT of factors to consider, here’s what it all boils down to: you get to do what’s right for your family. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. Spend some time figuring out how you feel about crowds, if you’ll be OK if your vacation gets postponed, if you won’t mind if certain rides are closed or events aren’t happening. Is now the time? It’s up to you.
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Let us know if and when you’re considering a trip to Disney World in the comments below!