2020 has brought “unprecedented times,” but has it taken away all the magic? I am Tricia Scott, owner of Visit Mickey Vacations and I went to Walt Disney World for the reopening on July 11, 2020 — and I’m here to tell you that the magic is alive!
When the pandemic hit us all in March, there was widespread closures to work, stores, salons, gyms and travel. All Disney Destinations closed, including the parks on both coasts of Florida and California; Disney Cruise Line; Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii; and all the Adventures by Disney around the World. As of the writing of this article, only Walt Disney World has resumed business, with no estimated dates for the other locations.
Walt Disney World reopened after this historic four-month closure and we were there to witness it. Everyone was focused on the “magic”… was it still there? Yes, but with Disney, “magic” is second only to safety! Safety always comes first and Walt Disney World has processes and procedures to keep everyone as safe as possible. Face coverings and social distancing is required, but there are “Relaxation Stations” in every park, where you can sit and relax mask-free.
You have many options of where you can stay in Orlando, but for the best Disney experience, we suggest you make a reservation for a Disney Resort. In the past, entering any Disney park just meant going to the gate with a valid ticket and you could enter. This is no longer the case. After you book a resort reservation, you can begin making reservations for the parks, followed by dining reservations. There are many changes in place and I highly recommend you work with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, before attempting to navigate these changes on your own.
As for the magic, there are Disney “magical moments” happening throughout the day. A character will pop up out of nowhere and say “hi.” The magic is organic and unexpected and makes for a less scheduled day. Rides are open and most of them you walk right on, after walking through the ride queue. You can get on every single ride in a day and because of reduced attendance, there are no needs for Fast Passes.
Tricia Scott is owner of Visit Mickey Vacations, the exclusive travel planners of Northeast Ohio Parent magazine. For a free quote, go to visitmickey.com/quote-neoparent.