A Pocket Full of Insight
I went to Walt Disney and came home with a different perspective.
By Heather Malo
I had to cancel my Disney World Christmas trip a week before we were scheduled to leave last November.
So when the new promotions were released for this spring, I was clicking away on my computer almost immediately.
On the drive down, I tried to explain all the little nuances of Disney World to my traveling companions… and there are a lot of special details. Especially right now.
As you may have heard, Disney World has altered much about the park and resort experiences in order to be open and accommodate our current circumstances. Add that on top of all the other little details some guests may not be aware of and well… Disney World can be complicated.
Upon arrival, I quickly noted some things were indeed the same: our excitement and laughter and joking as we made our way to the resort; Cast Members’ uncanny ability to recognize confusion in guests’ eyes (I swear they teach this in Cast Members 101) and the overall vibe of anticipation and enthusiasm of everyone around us.
Our first park day at Epcot was a dream! Literally every single attraction was a walk on. My aunt and her son rode several attractions back to back (my motion sickness usually keeps me at one trip around the moon). But I kept warning them: our next few days in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios would not be the same. Lines would be longer and we would definitely be waiting for a lot of rides.
And this was the first thing that got me thinking: How do people who don’t have a travel agent in their pocket know this sort of thing?
I spend hours every day reading through blogs, social media pages, listening to podcasts and reviewing Disney materials. In most cases, when asked a question… I know the answer. But for the average person, how do they know all this stuff?
I found myself listening to the conversations of other guests over the next few days. All the questions they asked like How come I can’t put my name on a wait list for Oga’s Cantina? or Will there be fireworks tonight? or What ride should we do first at Epcot? or What’s a Magic Band? And even What are the current changes and requirements due to Covid?
Let me expound on that last one a bit… because I wanted to see not read for myself.
You must wear a mask. If you are over the age of two, Disney requires you to mask up. Yes, Florida has eliminated their mask rules… but Disney has not. They’re a privately owned company and it’s at their discretion to make and enforce these rules.
Physical distancing is everywhere. Markers and cast members are all over the place to help remind you and others of this fact.
For the most part, I felt guests managed these two things quite well. People really tried to be respectful of others and their surroundings. Everyone seemed to have silently agreed that we were all in this together, but dangit… we’re gonna go do Disney and we’ll make it work!
I saw far more cast members cleaning than I’ve ever seen before. There were hand sanitizer stations all over the place but, I noticed most guests had sanitizer tucked in pockets and purses and backpacks because it’s just easier to have your own.
I loved that the monorail and buses and skyliner were less crowded. You were able to stretch out your legs and enjoy that few minutes of sitting down without someone crowding your space.
But all the other little details that I just knew? Because it’s my job?
Those were the things that took my trip over the top and saved us time.
I found myself thinking, more than once… thank goodness I knew that! I’m so glad I knew how to do this or where that was or why we should go here and when… it saved us time and energy. And saving energy when you are walking five plus miles a day, is a big deal.
Then I noticed the Mom with the stroller as she sat down (six feet away from me) while I was waiting on the rest of my party to finish a ride. She was consulting a paper map and was sweaty and her toddler was fussy and wanted his juice and I could feel the exhaustion rolling off her.
I asked her what she was looking for and we had a nice little exchange that may have seemed insignificant to anyone else but the two of us.
My reward was her smile as she pulled down her mask for a few long gulps of water and thanked me for my help.
That’s us Disney Travel Agents… on call even when we are on our own Disney vacations.
We’re a pocket secret weapon at your disposal and we’re here when you need us the most.
Questions? Need help planning your next Disney vacation? Check out our previous blog posts on www.letstalktravel.us or fill out our Trip Request form and one of our wonderful agents will be in touch! We’re here and ready to help you plan!