At the end of January, I took a very last minute, unexpected trip to Walt Disney World with my family and it truly was one of the BEST trips to Disney. I wasn't really sure what to expect in the parks. I didn't know if it would still feel like "Disney" because there aren't character meet & greets, parades, or fireworks happening which I literally love so much. I was SO excited to go, though, of course. I mean, Disney IS my favorite place in the world but I was obviously a little nervous because there is still a pandemic going on and I didn't how it would be going to a theme park.
But, when I tell you it was one of the most amazing trips I've ever taken... I'm really not kidding. My family and I spent an afternoon in Disney Springs, a full day in Epcot, full day in Magic Kingdom, and stayed at Coronado Springs in the Gran Destino Tower for 3 nights. It was WONDERFUL. I'm not going to get into the specifics of what we did in this post but wanted to share my overall thoughts on my Disney Vacation experience! I've broken my trip down into five things that made my trip SO great and why I recommend going right now!!
I felt SO safe. Masks and social distancing are strictly enforced. There are signs literally EVERYWHERE to keep your distance, how to wear your mask properly, and to keep your mask on at all times except while actively eating or drinking while stationary. Obviously there were a few guests not following the rules but there were Cast Members constantly reminding those not following the rules to put their masks back on. While in line for an attraction or quick service location, there are "please wait here" social distance markers that completely spread out guests from each other and it's SO nice. I always HATE having people bumping into my backpack in line and that didn't happen once which was AWESOME. On the rides, you're separated by either plexiglass, a plastic barrier, or spaced out by a few rows from another party. It's just so nice being so spread out from other guests and makes the experience so much more enjoyable!
There were little to no waits. It's so much easier to have a productive park day. The longest that we waited for a ride was 30 minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean. We waited 20 minutes for Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Big Thunder... it was amazing. Because there is no FastPass and there's social distance markers in the lines, I thought the waits were going to be so much longer. My goodness, I was SO wrong. Even though the lines appear to be long(sometimes they stretch out into the park beyond the queue), you're basically just walking the whole time. It's seriously so nice. Basically, if a ride is posted as a 15 minute wait... you're most likely just going to be walking through the queue and maybe actually waiting for half that! *At least what we experienced!*
There were less crowds for sure. The parks are operated at a reduced capacity which in some areas doesn't feel like that but overall, it felt super calm and empty. Disney Springs was literally a dream. Every time I'm at Springs, it can be hard for me to appreciate the shops, restaurants, atmosphere, etc. because it gets so crowded! When I was at Springs this trip, it was so quiet and guests were so spread out that it was actually so enjoyable. We went on a weekday afternoon and I definitely suggest going then if you can. Epcot felt the exact same as Springs. It only really felt busy in the France Pavilion but honestly everywhere else was so nice to be in. Magic Kingdom was the busiest for sure but still nothing like I was used to. Main Street, Adventureland, and the back of Frontierland by Big Thunder were the most congested so we just tried to avoid those areas when they started to get a little busy. But the rest of the park was so quiet and also so enjoyable.
You still get to see characters in the character cavalcades. Characters are such a huge part in the Disney experience and I was so sad at first to hear that there weren't meet & greets or parades anymore but the cavalcades totally make up for it. These are frequent mini parades throughout the day in Magic Kingdom where characters travel on parade floats so you can see and wave to them. Because they occur so often during the day, it made it so we could get so much more done instead of just waiting in line for a character or standing for a half hour before the parade starts to get a good spot. The cavalcades are super quick and just a fun extra experience to still see characters!
The magic is still there. It's so crazy to me because even with all the new rules there is still that Disney magic. Cast Members were still going above and beyond to help you out & wish you a magical day. The attractions are still the exact same (only Living with the Land in Epcot was ruined for us because of the plastic barriers). The shops are still the same. The music is all the same. The transportation is still great. And the resorts are still amazing.
Let me know if you've been to Disney since they reopened in July 2020 and what you thought. I know not everyone has had the same experience as I had but I would still love to know what you thought! Thank you so much for being here and I hope you have a magical day!!
See ya real soon,