5 Things I’ll Do When Walt Disney World Reopens

With coronavirus quarantines shutting down many aspects of daily life across the world, it’s tough to think positively. But COVID-19 will pass, normalcy will return, and Walt Disney World will reopen. When it happens, here are the 5 things I’ll do on my first trip back:

Wait a Bit

When Disney World does reopen, it’s unclear what the process will look like. Will resorts or shops open first, like in Shanghai? Will there be new health and/or security requirements put in place to protect cast members and guests? There’s just no way to know. As tempting as rushing the gates of Magic Kingdom the morning of reopening sounds, I’d rather wait the weeks–or perhaps months–that it will take to get everything back up and running at 100% again.

Disney will need some time to work the kinks out.

Stay Somewhere New

Some families have 2020 Disney World vacations set in stone, while other families are waiting until the parks reopen to book. If you fall into the latter category, when the time comes, consider staying at a new resort. It’s a great way to shake up your trip. I find it’s difficult to part with the restaurants, rides, and shows that I love, but it’s easier to part with my hotel. There’s something amazing to discover at every Disney resort, but you’ll never discover it if you’re married to the Boardwalk or Pop Century or somewhere else for life.

Do One Extravagantly Expensive Thing

Visiting Disney World can be expensive, especially if you take advantage of its many add-on experiences. The problem is that so many of these add-on experiences look amazing! Unless you win the lottery during the quarantine, you won’t be able to do them all. But picking just one can be the cherry on top of an already special vacation. For my reopening visit, I’m weighing between a ride on one of the vintage amphicars at The BOATHOUSE in Disney Springs or the omakase tasting menu at Takumi-Tei in the Japan pavilion at Epcot.

Book a Tour

As a tour guide in New York City, I know that tour guides don’t have a job unless there are people who want to take their tours. As such, I want to support the cast member guides whose jobs won’t automatically return to full capacity when the parks reopen. At the top of my tour list? Learning more about the history of Magic Kingdom on the Keys to the Kingdom tour and touching a rhinoceros in Animal Kingdom on the Up Close with Rhinos tour.

Never Take Disney for Granted Again

Disney World is so big that it seems indestructible. It’s easy to forget that it runs on the care and energy and goodwill of thousands of human beings, both cast members and guests. This place we love works because we are healthy, because we agree to be good to each other, and because we help keep each other safe. I won’t forget that the next time I’m waiting in a long security line or going to Guest Relations with a problem or doing some other logistical part of my trip. I’ll be slower to complain and faster to express appreciation.

What 5 things will you do when Disney World reopens? Let us know in the comments below.

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Frank Paiva is a writer and performer living in New York City. They once danced onstage at a Powerline concert with their father.

Frank has visited all 12 Disney theme parks around the world. Their favorites are Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and Animal Kingdom.


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