What are you hoping to see make a return to Walt Disney World? We want to hear from you!
After Walt Disney World’s unprecedented closure due to concerns over the coronavirus, it was delightful to see the parks reopen.
Is visiting Disney World still worth it?
However, despite the parks being opened again, things still look a bit different. Many guests were left wondering if a trip to Walt Disney World is still worth it.
Is Walt Disney World still worth going to if there are no fireworks? What about parades? How about not being able to hug Mickey?
For many people, is it worth the risk visiting a major theme park during a global pandemic? After all, masks are required at all theme parks, and Disney enforces this rule and makes no exceptions.
Guests have to think about social distancing and then there is the constant worry about whether or not everything is clean and safe.
I am here to tell you that despite all of these things, the magic is still there! Visiting Walt Disney World now might look and feel different, but it still can leave you with a sense of wonder and magic just as before.
Things we wish would see return
A few months ago, Jamie wrote about a few of the changes the parks had to make after reopening. You can take a look at her post here.
A couple of the things she listed have returned or will be returning beginning in January, like park hopping!
With all of the holidays, we have also seen extended park hours. If you take a look at the crowd calendars on Character Locator, you can see that Magic Kingdom is open as late as 10 p.m. some nights and 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
While these couple of things are a welcome sight to see return, it’s still not quite the same. There are still so many things left that have not returned and this is where you come in!
We want to hear from you!
I’m going to give you a little bit of help and list a few things that are still missing. However, I’m going to be like Genie and grant you can only three wishes (or votes), so choose wisely!
what do you hope to see return to walt disney world?
Like Genie though, there “are a few, uh provisos, a, a couple of quid pro quos” that we must cover…
We, at Kenny the Pirate do not want to make light of any situation, especially this pandemic we are all experiencing now.
We know that all of the things that are not seen at the current time are because of guidelines and for our safety; and quite simply, it’s possibly just not safe to have certain experiences at this time.
With that being said, for this particular post, let’s pretend things are “normal” and think to yourself, “if I were to visit Walt Disney World under normal circumstances, what do I really want to see return that is not here now?“
Fireworks are the number one thing I think of when I visit Walt Disney World. There is nothing like ending your day at the parks than standing in front of the castle and taking in a spectacular fireworks show.
A visit to Walt Disney World is just not the same without some fireworks and we are hoping to see these return sooner rather than later.
Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom now through the end of the year are treated to some small fireworks showing during the projection show on Cinderella Castle. Have you been lucky enough to see it?
Let’s hope these are a glimpse of more fireworks to come in the coming year.
Like it or not, you will run into crowds at Walt Disney World. FastPass+ definitely helped with that and it’s not around right now.
With the holidays happening, capacity growing, and more guests feeling comfortable traveling, the crowds have definitely become larger since the July reopening.
In fact, we have already seen all four theme parks at capacity twice this month alone. With nearly over an hour long wait for many rides at the parks now, we are definitely hoping to see FastPass+ return!
3. Character meals
Character meals have not completely gone away, but they are limited, and let’s be honest, definitely not the same.
I have always loved character meals in the parks and resorts because not only do you have a chance to visit your favorite character, you can also dine on some delicious meals!
We are missing so many character meals and it would be great to see more return! After all, how can you visit The Crystal Palace without seeing Pooh Bear? Animal Kingdom just does not feel the same without Tusker House, and while Topolino’s Terrace is still a terrific character meal and dining experience, it’s going to be a long time until we see Minnie this close to us again.
4. Character Meet and Greets
We are lucky to see characters still pop up throughout the theme parks and during the many cavalcades that occur each day.
After my trip in July, I actually felt like I had seen more characters in one day than during previous trips! Not only had I seen so many in one day, I saw some characters that I had never been able to see before.
However, it would still be nice to be guaranteed to meet a character if we really want to and not have to depend on one possibly popping up while visiting the parks. We want to know that we can see Mickey and not just hope he will pop up!
5. Special Events
When reopening plans were announced, many other announcements were about what would not be returning. This included many special events, such as themed holiday parties. Examples include Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Candlelight Processional during the holidays at Epcot.
The popular dessert parties that were offered during firework shows are also not available. After all, it’s kind of hard to have a dessert party without fireworks, right?
We certainly hope these events can return soon when it’s safe to do so.
6. Luggage Service with Magical Express
One of the more magical things about traveling with Disney’s Magical Express was the luggage service it provided.
In the past, guests were able to go directly to their resort after their arrival and not worry about their luggage. It magically appeared at your resort later that day!
It was definitely one of the perks I enjoyed and it’s one less thing you have to worry about, especially when traveling with small children. However, this policy changed beginning July 16, 2020. Guests now have to carry their luggage with them to the resorts.
Hopefully, this isn’t the end of the service and this returns as soon as it’s safe to do so!
7. Package Delivery
Package delivery was a great service to have, especially while visiting the theme parks. There is no greater feeling than going on a shopping spree in the park and then just saying, “Can you please send it to my resort?”
The Cast Member simply took down your information and all of your goodies would show up at your resort later on during your trip. No need to tow a bunch of heavy or awkward bags with you during your visit.
Unfortunately, after the parks reopened, this service has been temporarily suspended. Package delivery sent home is still an option, but if you are visiting the parks anytime soon, you will have to tote all of your purchases with you!
Jamie mentioned one thing that Disney does well is entertainment. After the reopening of the parks, many of the entertainment options are not available.
These include parades, live shows, and other entertainment options that were previously offered at many resorts. For example, Hoop-dee-due Revue has not taken place along with many other activities such as campfires and other character experiences at resorts.
Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom seem to be significantly impacted by these cuts and have unfortunately caused so many layoffs of Cast Members.
We are hopeful that we can see The Festival of the Lion King and other popular shows real soon!
9. Buying an Annual Pass
After the park closures, many guests were forced to cancel having an Annual Pass. What was the point of having one if you could not use it?
While many guests canceled their Annual Pass, the option to purchase an Annual Pass is also not available.
If you are like me and ready to visit the parks at a moment’s notice, this option not being available is unfortunate. I’m ready to give Disney all of my money, if they just let me!
10. Unique Tours and Dining Experiences
A lot of the writers had planned on taking the Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour when we were planning for our trip in July.
After the reopening was announced, we found out this special experience would not be available. Other tours still not available are many VIP Tours, Behind the Seeds, and Wild Africa Trek.
Dining events are still not available, which include events such as Dine with an Animal Specialist or Dining with an Imagineer – The Hollywood Brown Derby.
All of these experiences are magical additions to any vacation and though many come at an extra price, they turn out to be well worth it and add to making some magical memories.
Now it’s the fun part! It’s your turn to vote, but remember you can only pick your top three!
What top three experiences or events do you hope to see return to Walt Disney World?
Send us your vote and we will share our results with you in an upcoming post!