14 Feb Now or Later ? Planning for Disney in a Post COVID World
Walt said it best when he said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Here at PPV inc., we’ve been doing just that! While the past year has been full of ups and downs and the thought of travel has been met with uncertainty and apprehension (and rightfully so), we are beginning to see a shift BACK to travel and we are so excited to once again be planning and booking Disney vacations! With the trending “return to travel” families are asking, “Should we do Disney NOW or LATER?” We are hearing this sentiment echoed over and over.
While we whole heartedly understand that the draw to Walt Disney World is different for each family and the anticipated experience is made magical by varying “Disney details” that may or may not have returned to the parks quite yet, we DO feel that there are some very compelling reasons to consider traveling NOW instead of waiting for LATER.
We’ll wait for fast passes to return! We can’t travel till the castle show is back! We can’t vacation without the dining plan! We’ll wait till there is no mask restriction ! ……… All of these reasons, and so many more, present a very important question – HOW LONG ARE YOU WILLING TO WAIT?
If you’ve spent much time at all dreaming of Disney, you’ve certainly considered the age of your kiddos during that first, magical walk up Main Street….. the first time they set their eyes on the giant castle, the first time they see a character and think she REALLY lives there in Magic Kingdom. There is a window of time where the magic of Walt Disney World IS truly MAGICAL through the eyes of a child. So that begs the question again, HOW LONG ARE YOU WILLING TO WAIT?
The reality is, it’s totally possible that Walt Disney World, as we knew it, will forever be changed. If we’ve learned anything this past year it is that we must adapt to the times, embrace today, and look ahead to the future. Your kiddos are not going to have a clue about what is “not there” if the focus is on the MAGIC that remains! And speaking of that MAGIC ……..
“Old School” Disney- “New School” Experiences
The reopening of the Disney theme parks last year presented a very unique opportunity for guests. The change in planning timelines and procedures opened the door for families to get back to the basics and experience the parks in an “Old School Disney” sort of way! You no longer needed to book your vacation a year in advance. You didn’t miss out on dining by planning a trip only a couple of months out. There were no fast passes to secure ahead of time and be bound by. The reopening of the parks ignited a sense of spontaneity which repeat Disney go’ers quickly began to recognize as that “Old School Disney” vibe. Of course there was still planning involved and much to know in regards to the changes but the flow of the trip and the idea of packing up and heading to the Happiest Place on Earth on a bit of a whim was suddenly possible again! And for many, this flexibility within the process was a breath of fresh air!
Fast forward to today and while “Old School Disney” is still very much still the vibe, we’ve also ushered in an era of “New School Disney”!
- The Fast Pass system has been replaced with the new Disney Park Pass Reservation system which helps monitor and limit the capacity within the parks. This new system has proved to work very efficiently. Lines continue to move quickly and the parks never feel packed with people. It’s unknown when or if the Fast Pass System will return, but for now, this new way of managing guest attendance in the park has been fabulous!
- While you may have heard that things like parades and fireworks have not returned to the park, did you know that the Festival of Fantasy Parade has been replaced by a number of smaller, pop up parades called CHARACTER CAVALCADES? These “mini parades” are happening daily throughout ALL FOUR PARKS which has never been done before! They allow for flexibility within your day because they happen over and over and they provide an opportunity to quickly see and dance with characters while avoiding the large crowds we once had to wait in, in order to secure that perfect parade viewing spot!
- New technology has played a huge role in the reopening of the parks as well! From being able (and encouraged) to completely skip the front desk upon arrival/check in by simply doing it from your phone, to ordering all Quick Service dining via Mobile Order right in your app (skipping those long lines), to even being able to open your resort room door right from your phone- new technology has helped Disney reopen in a more efficient and family friendly way, while also promoting a new safety standard that Disney prides themselves in! Speaking of safety……..
The Disney Difference- COVID Safety in Walt Disney World
We always say, “Nobody does it quite like Disney!” and that has certainly proven true this year! Team PPV has visited the parks numerous times since the summer reopening and can say with 100% confidence, the “Disney Difference” is evident! The enhanced cleaning measures across resorts, parks, ride queues, bathrooms, even transportation is unmatched. We call it the “Disney Bubble” because it is truly that! The Disney company has thought of nearly everything and spent several months putting action plans in place before reopening it’s parks and resorts.
One of the main questions we receive daily is – When will mask requirements be lifted? Our honest answer is that we truly do not know but it likely will not be anytime soon. Walt Disney World will continue to operate based on recommendations from the World Health Organization and as long as they think masks should be required for safe travel, Disney will require them as well. While the idea of mask wearing can sometimes be annoying or less than ideal, also keep in mind, mask wearing is what’s allowing us to live our lives and do the things we love to do once again. Whether you agree with it’s effectiveness or not, I think we can all agree, it’s a small price to pay in order to get back to “living”!
- If you need a break from mask wearing in the parks/resorts, remember:
- There are designated, socially distanced, roped off areas around the parks that are mask relaxation areas. You are welcome to sit and take your mask off while in these areas.
- You are not required to wear masks on the pool deck or while swimming , laying out etc.
- You are not required to wear masks while snacking. Simply step to the side and find a spot to sit or stand, remove your mask, and snack.
No Risk, Great Reward
Finally, we know that this year has been filled with so many unexpected happenings. We anticipate the coming year will be very much the same! Disney understands this and has you covered. Currently, you can book a Walt Disney World vacation with absolutely NO RISK! Your Disney Vacation is completely refundable and/or able to be modified up until final payment due date for any reason! But as an added level of convenience, for those traveling through April, Disney is allowing guests the flexibility to make changes all the way up until the day of CHECK IN for any reason! We anticipate that policy may be extended for travel beyond April and will keep you posted! So if you’ve been waiting to book travel for fear of what may happen or change in the future….in regards to COVID and/or beyond, don’t let that hold you back!
For all of these reasons and so many more, the MAGIC of Disney travel may be exactly what you need, NOW instead of later! Embrace today, take the trip, make the memories! You won’t regret it!
Walt said it best, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing!”
We cannot wait to be being DOING Disney travel with you again soon!
To learn more about planning your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation, visit our website www.practicallyperfectvacations.com