As vacations are being planned, one question I'm hearing over and over is, is 2021 the year to visit Disney? While I have my own opinion, and I'll mention it at the end, here are a few reasons why you might want to visit, and why you might want to postpone your trip.
So many great shows are paused in 2020/2021, including the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular! It's now a mask break area. If shows are a part of your favorite thing, or if you've never been, it's going to be tough, I won't lie, to not see the nighttime fireworks or other shows. It really felt like something was missing, not getting to see those. The resorts stream those, but you don't have that incredible, magical and overwhelming feeling of being THERE and soaking in all that magic.
If you don't care about shows and always skip, you might not even notice.
We all know hugs and autographs have left, and it's said they might not return because lines move faster without! (Which stinks, I'd gotten these cute wooden ornaments to paint and have autographs on for Christmas 2020. Didn't happen.)
If you are good with selfies, waves from a distance and the cavalcades, which don't quite have the luster and magic of a parade, but are easier to catch and happen more often, it might not be a big deal! If meeting a princess or Mickey is the only way your tot will be happy, prep them ahead of time.
With less cast members, lower guest numbers, and reduced park hours, there is also less when it comes to food offerings. Menus are reduced, beloved favorites are gone, or only served in one location, and many eateries are simply not open.
If you bring your own food or don't care too much about what you eat, it might not be a problem for you.
When the parks reopened, only a few rides weren't open. Now, it seems that more and more are closing. Be it due to trying to cut costs, reduce crowded or bottlenecked areas, lack of staff, of just they all need maintenance at once, there's not been a clean answer. The fact is though, less rides are open.
The ones that are, if possible, they are no longer loading every other ride car. In some instances shields are installed, which for some rides, like Rise of the Resistance can really stink if you are in the back row and trying to look through the plexiglass.
Wait times aren't quite as low as they had been, due to fewer rides available. Still, if you are smart, have been before, utilize a touring plan, and understand not everything might be there, you might still benefit from the lower crowds.
While yes, the buzz is true, some value resorts are getting upgrades to deluxe, overall that's not what's happening in the majority of cases. On our last visit, we did not like the lack of mousekeeping. They came one for fresh towels, and I had to beg for clean sheets. Let's be honest here, on an 8 night stay you need clean sheets at least once, especially because if there are four in the room, there's not enough seating and someone needs to sit on the bed and crumbs and park dirt makes their way on the bed. Ick. I had to flag down people for towels, beg for toilet paper and soap. Not the level that we are used to. It was pretty disappointing. Trash overflowed, and though we set it out, it wasn't always picked up.
While this is for on property resorts, my understanding is that outside of the bubble, SOME hotels are still offering daily housekeeping.
Disney has said that marks will be required through 2021. They are quite choosy on the types you are allowed to have. For 3/4 of us in the house, no biggie. But the gaiter fan struggled a bit, in part the a large head size, regular masks were difficult. Some people don't mind masks, others, it's a definite no at Disney.
While it's not a requirement in Florida to wear a mask, anywhere on Disney property it is, and special mask-ateers will remind you to follow the rules.
This isn't the year for us. We went last year when Disney first opened after the pandemic. While it was great getting to go on rides with almost no wait, that, and much of what we did enjoy, has been closed. Having reduced park hours, reduced menu options (especially when we are already restricted) , no shows and no characters really were disappointing. It was still a good trip, but instead of a 10 out of 10, it was more like a 6. There was just so much missing!
Did you go last year? Will you be going this year?