One thing we’re sure about in the midst of this situation is that we WILL return Disney World! Eventually.
Disney World has been closed since March 16th, and the park gates will remain shuttered “until further notice.” But just in the last few days we’ve seen a LOT of updates and confirmation about what Disney World will be like when it reopens.
Disney Springs will begin Disney World’s phased reopening on May 20th, and Disney World has confirmed that guests will be required to where face coverings. Disney World has also confirmed that rides, attractions, and other experiences may be modified or closed in order to protect guests and cast members during the theme parks’ reopening phases. And the Walt Disney Company has also stated that they are currently considering using more virtual queues and implementing more modifications like capacity limits in the parks when they reopen.
So with all of these changes, we asked our readers if we should even go to Disney World when things are so topsy-turvy. Here’s what they said.
Disney World Will be Different When it Reopens
We’re definitely missing our Disney World fix right now (and we’re betting a lot of you feel the same!). But as much as we want to get back to the parks, we’re also coming to terms with the fact that things will likely be different when Disney does reopen. In fact, Disney’s Chairman Bob Iger said, “I don’t think we’re ever going to see a return to business as usual.”
Iger also discussed potential safety measures including temperature checks and social distancing in the parks. And now, the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force has shared proposed guidelines for theme parks that include requiring 6 feet of distancing between guests, masks and temperature checks for employees, reduced park capacity, and increased sanitization of surfaces within the parks.
Given the suggested distancing of six feet between guests, this has called into question whether entertainment that draws a large crowd, like parades and fireworks, will still be possible. Disney has also spoken out that they’re considering heavier implementation of their Virtual Queue system once the parks do reopen to help maintain distance between guests as well as reduced capacities overall in the parks.
We Asked Our Readers to Weigh In
With all of the changes being suggested, we wanted to know how our readers feel about experiencing Disney in this new normal. So, we asked our Instagram followers, if Disney World is super weird when it reopens, would you still go? (Yes, in this case, “super weird” is a technical term! 😉 )
And based on the responses, people seem to be split on this decision — of the first 445 people to chime in, 195 said NO, they wouldn’t go if there are excessive changes, 143 said YES, they’re still down for a trip, and 107 said MAYBE, depending on what specific changes are implemented. Here’s a visual breakdown of the results!
Let’s take a closer look at some reader responses to see the reasoning they gave behind their answers!
“Yes, We Would Definitely Still Go!”
Of the readers who responded, 32% said they would still go to Disney World even if it does look super different than what they’re used to. Many of these people mentioned that they are really missing the magic, and they’ll take whatever they can get. “Yes because Disney is Disney and I know I will love it no matter what.”
Others also mentioned that they think that many of the changes will end up becoming long-term, so they don’t see a reason to hold out with the hope that the guidelines will be dropped. “Yes, we have to get used to this…world — we are not going back to normal after this.”
“No Way, We’re Not Dealing With That!”
On the other hand, 43% of people said they don’t plan on returning to Disney World with these restrictions in place. This was the most popular response and many within this group said that given the costs associated with a Disney trip, they can’t justify going while things aren’t operating at full steam. “It’s too expensive to not have the experience you want to have.”
Others also mentioned that as much as they love Disney, a vacation with a bunch of limitations just wouldn’t feel the same. As one person put it, “I want the full magic of Disney, so I’m willing to wait a little longer.”
“Maybe, But it Depends on the Circumstances!”
The remaining 24% said it might be worth it, but it depends on the specifics. There were two main reasons given for this response. Some people mentioned that while they think seasoned Disney World vacationers could still get some enjoyment out of a visit, it isn’t the best time for someone to take their first trip. “For some like me (AP/DVC [an Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club Member]) yes. If it were my once in every 5-10 years [trip] or a once in a lifetime trip, nope!”
Another point several people made was that it all comes down to what changes are actually implemented. While many said they wouldn’t mind extra health and safety measures, losing rides, attractions, and fireworks would be a dealbreaker. “Depends on what rides and attractions are open/closed, and what dining options [are available.]”
We asked our readers how they would feel about temperature checks at Disney World and this is what they said
So, as much as we miss Disney World, it seems like people have very split opinions on whether or not they would visit “at any cost.” Overall, many of the respondents agreed that the price they would pay for a limited experience is concerning, and that Annual Passholders will probably be the most willing to visit amid strict health and safety measures. Our readers made some excellent points, which gave us more to ponder while we await our return to the parks!
Would you still visit Disney World if it looks super weird when it reopens? Let us know in the comments!