No one really knows what Walt Disney World will look like when the gates reopen in July. What will the reduced capacity look like? Will the Disney Dining Plan come back? What will it look like when it does?
Before COVID-19 closed down the world, we booked a week in a 1 bedroom Disney Vacation Club villa at Boardwalk for this fall. It will be our first time there, and I was really looking forward to it. We have tried to book Boardwalk in the past, but there is never availability when we travel. We had dining reservations at a new batch of restaurants that we haven't tried yet (including Cinderella's Royal Table). They have now all disappeared from the My Disney Experience app. We hadn't even had a chance to pay for the Dining Plan yet.
There were plenty of new things to experience on our trip last October. I piloted the Millennium Falcon and crafted my own lightsaber at Savi's Workshop. We made candy sushi (a highly recommended experience). We explored Andy's backyard. I even completed the Mountain Challenge (I FastPass+'ed Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain in the same day, all before lunch).
But there are several new things that I am looking forward to doing. Some are brand new experiences, others are just new to us.
First and foremost, I need to secure a boarding pass to join the Resistance. I have made a point not to watch any ride through videos so that when I do finally get to experience it, it will be in full glory. I did the same thing for Smuggler's Run.
Staying in Hollywood Studios, another new experience that I have worked hard to remain spoiler-free for is the new Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. I was a big fan of the Great Movie Ride, and am really looking forward to its replacement. I didn't get a chance to ride Slinky Dog Dash or Alien Swirling Saucers, so they are high on my list as well.
Then, I'll hop on the Skyliner over to EPCOT. Spaceship Earth will be missed, but Remy's Ratatouille Adventure looks like it'll be fun. Will there even be a Food and Wine fest this year? Eat to the Beat concerts? Probably not this year.
There are only a few attractions at Disney that I haven't done yet. I plan on checking more off the list. With luck, I will finish the list, that is until the new additions of Tron and Guardians of the Galaxy join the party.
There is much speculation about what the state of the world will be in July, let alone in October when we are traveling. Without fireworks, is it even worth going? If this were to be our first trip, or a once in a lifetime adventure, I would say to hold off for a year or two. Otherwise, I say yes. I am choosing to be optimistic. Sure, it won't be the same as other trips, but since this won't be my first rodeo, and won't be the last, I am looking forward to what this experience will be like. It will all be part of the adventure.
Am I looking forward to walking around with a mask on? No, not really. I am hoping that they won't be required in October, but if they are, I will play by their rules and mask up.
Like many, dining at Disney is as much a part of the trip as Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. Along with the reduced capacity, the parks will have limited hours of operation. Because of this, we aren't planning on rebooking our ADRs when our 60 day window opens. The kids are a bit young to be waiting until after park hours for dinner, so quick service meals it is. Although, if Space 220 is open, and we can get a table, I will do my best to dine at the International Space Station.
No doubt about it, Walt Disney World in the second half of 2020 will be full of unique experiences, (hopefully) never to be repeated. Who knows which of the guidelines in place for the July reopening will still be in effect in October. For those with a sense of adventure, and a little flexibility, it holds the potential to make extra special memories that will last a lifetime.
How about you? Are you planning on going now, or will you be holding off until things are closer to normal? What are you looking forward to the next time you return to the Magic?