Good news, not so good news and the bad news.
First, I was way too optimistic about Christmas 2020 being near normal. While this is more of a look back it does offer a glimpse at what’s to come in the next few months and an update on some previous reports.
We are Floridians and have been in the habit of visiting Walt Disney World for the holidays. Around 25 years ago we spent Thanksgiving at Epcot with our children. We had no relatives nearby and in those days the parks were very lightly attended on Thanksgiving day. So for a few years our Thanksgiving dinner was in Epcot’s Norway or France. Not so empty any more.
The next tradition with our family was visiting The Magic Kingdom for a night of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. For a number of years it was a special event we all looked forward to but kids grow up and they carry on the tradition with their children.
For the past ten years our new tradition is the two of us stay at Disney World to celebrate the New Year. We’ve missed a couple because of travel but New Years Eve is something special at Disney World. Music, entertainment, fireworks, hats & horns and celebrations everywhere. This is high season and reservations must be booked way in advance, so ours were booked in February.
The Good – So here we are now on December 30th staying at the Boardwalk Resort and there is nothing near normal about this year. The good news is that Florida is more open than almost any other state during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Disney World parks are open along with many resorts. The theme parks are currently operating at about a third of their attendance capacity and you must reserve your attendance day in advance.
The Not So Good – Making restaurant reservations ahead of time is now almost a requirement for a visit and we booked three of our favorites for our stay. Last night we had a nice meal but the menu fell way short of previous visits*. The menu offered only about a third as many items as in the past and it leaned way over toward pasta which was uncharacteristic of them. We had another reservation for tonight but after having a chance to view the menu we’ve now cancelled. Again the menu was much smaller and heavy on pasta.
The Bad – We understand what’s going on. As we travel around there are no crowds and this is the Holiday Season. It would be impossible to try and operate fully open without the necessary traffic. While the parks are open along with many resorts there is a lot of Disney World that’s still closed. Where we are staying at least five restaurants are closed along with two of the resorts. Many entertainment venues are also shuttered. We’ve always enjoyed Disney’s fireworks and New Year has always been special. So far there are no fireworks and we’re concerned about tomorrow night.
We’re still enjoying ourselves but if you are thinking about a WDW trip in the next number of months, do so with your eyes wide open – it might not be what you’re expecting.
Read about staying at The Boardwalk HERE.
Read about our recent stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge HERE.
* I’m not mentioning the restaurants names as this is a common issue and would not be fair to these couple of places.
Limiting travel to nearer home for the rest of 2020 may offer a chance to schedule some holiday time for another visit to Walt Disney World. Within driving distance to tens of millions of families and with the recent closures and staged re-openings resulting in a reset to many Disney World reservations an opportunity could be a presenting itself.
As Walt Disney World reopens with clean slates for many prized reservations and tickets there may be unprecedented opportunities this holiday season. More to follow…