There has been no shortage of changes to the experience of visiting Walt Disney in 2020. The big question remains: is it still worth it to take a Disney World trip this year? We share our answer and the pro and cons in our latest video.
The 6 Things To Know
#1. Park Reservations Required
The first step in planning your trip to Walt Disney World in 2020 is checking the reservation system. All parks now require a valid theme park reservation for your entire party to visit. There is a chance that your desired trip dates are already booked. Keep an eye on the theme park availability calendar here in the months leading up to your visit. Capped reservations at your favorite park may be the deciding factor in keeping or canceling your trip.
We recommend making your park reservations ASAP! See below for a quick tutorial of using the reservation system.
#2. No Park Hopping
Theme park reservations are limited to one reservation per day. That means that park hopping will not be possible in 2020. Are you someone who loves to jam-pack the day with several parks? This may be a reason to defer your trip. The only loophole to this constraint is to book an expensive Disney World VIP tour in excess of $3,000.
#3. No FastPasses Of Any Kind
Both FastPasses booked in advance (via FASTPASS+) and passes secured during the day of your trip have been eliminated for 2020. Due to reduced park capacity, and to accommodate proper social distancing in queues, stand-by lines are now the only way to gain access to rides. Though wait times have been lower than usual for the summer season, some waits have still soared to over 60 minutes for popular attractions like Mickey’s Runaway Railway.
#4. Major Cuts to Dining
Dining has undergone significant changes this year. The popular Disney Dining Plan has been cut, so individuals looking for a preset dining budget will need to make alternate arrangements. Several restaurants have also shifted their experience offerings post-closure (for example, Be Our Guest restaurant now only offers pre-fixe lunch options.) Some snack favorites have mysteriously vanished too!
It isn’t all bad news, as some dining experiences have changed for the better (in our humble opinion.) Buffets have now shifted to family-style at table dining experiences where waiters bring you platters of food. YUM!
We recommend researching your “must eat” food items before planning your trip.
#5. No Character Meets, Parades or Fireworks
Sadly there will be no chance to hug your favorite character on your next trip to Walt Disney World. Character meets have shifted to new experience called character cavalcades (think a very short parade) where Disney favorites stroll by in an organized manner. Sometimes these cavalcades feature small floats, horses, or cars. Other spottings of princesses have happened atop balconies or on small stages.
When it comes to parades and fireworks, sadly, these have just been plain ole canceled for 2020. Look for their return in 2021.
#6. Masks Required All Day Long
It goes without saying, but masks will be required to be worn all day long. This will be particularly challenging in the Florida humidity, with local temperatures topping out in the high 90s. Disney has instituted a few options to help combat potential discomfort. Mask relaxation stations are featured around the parks – a chance for guests to sit socially distanced from each other and remove their masks. Guests can also take off masks while eating or drinking as long as they are stationary. For some individuals, wearing a mask all day may be a deal-breaker on its own for 2020.
So, Do I GO?!
This decision is a very personal one! We recommend taking a look at your “must-have” experiences in the park and making a decision from there. For many individuals, a Disney trip is a once in a lifetime experience, so it is worth weighing the pros and cons carefully before booking. Understanding potential health risks is also an essential planning step for your 2020 vacation.
What’s your final decision? Are you planning on visiting Disney World this year?