The Sunny Side of the Street
What’s best about Disney Right Now
By H A Malo
I’m an eternal optimist. I can only stay down for a day or two before I’m digging myself out of the Mean Reds (Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?).
So, while everyone is upset about all the things we can’t do at Disney World… I’m thrilled about the things we can do. There are oodles of experiences unique to this time we find ourselves in and I plan on taking advantage of them.
I’m planning an Adults-only trip for early December. Before Covid, we were planning on a few behind the scenes tours, Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party, the Christmas Processional at Epcot and maybe a special something for fireworks one evening.
Needless to say – none of that looks like it’s going to happen, and I was pretty bummed about the whole prospect of a lackluster Disney World vacation, until I started digging my way out… and here’s what I’ve come to realize:
No Fast Pass+
Now at first blush… this may be disappointing. But the agony of trying to perfectly plan your day around what rides you can and cannot get, three months before you’re even in the parks can be a little stressful. While I’m a planner, there’s something to be said for a plan-less day at Disney World. It’s freeing to walk in the park and stop in stores to shop and not feel like you should be in line for a ride… but instead, just to go wherever the wind takes you.
Super Duper Customer Service
Disney cast members excel at customer service. But, let’s be honest: customer service is more lavish, when there are fewer guests in the parks. With the new park attendance restrictions in place, cast members have a certain burden lifted from their shoulders. They can take more time during those interactions and they’re able to be more responsive and attentive. I’ve heard story after story about the Magical experiences guests are having with cast members and I can’t wait to experience it first-hand.
Once in a lifetime Picture Ops
Everyone wants that special moment in front of Cinderella’s Castle or at the sword in the stone. Or what about that empty Main Street shot? Right now, guests are experiencing a park unlike any other time and their pictures are proof the Magic is still there… even if it less crowded. You’ll have time to take these special pictures because your day isn’t spent in line trying to ride the rides without fast passes.
And speaking of Lines…
Have you looked at the wait times in MDE? The last time we were at the Magic Kingdom, the shortest wait I saw for Peter Pan was 75 minutes. Now I rarely see that wait above 20 minutes… which is the perfect amount of time to leisurely enjoy the standby line through the attraction. Lines at all four parks are typically walk ons at this point!
Unique character moments
When was the last time you saw Pooh trying to catch butterflies? Or hear the stepsisters from Cinderella arguing with one another? Or how about seeing Pocahontas gliding down the river (on a Pontoon boat, but whatever… ). Disney is doing its darndest to give us unique moments like these. And this is something I can really get behind. In my opinion, this is the Magic Disney has been missing. Sure, it’s great to wait in line to meet Anna and Elsa and get a picture with them but, there is something uniquely Magical in watching your favorite characters going about their lives in completely unexpected ways.
And there are even more unique opportunities right now. This Halloween season, for the first time EVER, Disney is allowing guests of all ages to dress up in their most creative costumes. From September 15th to October 31st, guests can show their Halloween spirit while in the Magic Kindgdom. Disney has a strict dress up policy, particularly applicable to adults, but they are bending the rules a bit this year. (Some mask rules still apply, so drop me a line if you have any questions!)
Finally, the Food and Wine Festival, which has been modified to accommodate our current circumstances and started when the park re-opened in July and will continue into the Fall this year.
There are so many things to be happy about and look forward to. While Disney make look a little different, it’s a more unique experience now. It’s precious in its own way, and I for one, can’t wait to be part of it!