A Walt Disney World vacation in 2020 looks different but is still full of magic. Tried and true park tips are still important when prepping for a Disney vacation, but there are some new tips to remember when planning your vacation. We hope this checklist is helpful as you plan your next trip to the happiest place on earth.
1. Don’t Wait to the Last Minute to Plan
As always, proper planning is key and will ensure your Disney vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Reserve your park days as soon as possible in an effort to snag the parks you choose on the day you prefer. In an effort to cut down on crowds, the park reservation system keeps guests from park hopping. While spending the whole day in one park likely will not be a problem for your family, take into account your must-see attractions and reduced park hours and park availability before you get far into planning. Parks have shorter operation hours to free up time for cleaning. Some attractions that cannot be socially distanced are temporarily closed. Consult the My Disney Experience app to factor these changes into your park plan.
2. Do Take Advantage of Walt Disney World Planning Tools
With the My Disney Experience app Disney planning is as seamless as ever. Use the app to book resort rooms, schedule dining reservations, gather Photo Pass images, and check attraction wait times. Be sure to consult the app before setting out for a meal or snack across the park. With fewer guests, some eateries have varied openings or altered operation hours. A quick swipe through the app can ensure you choose a yummy dining spot when you need it.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Splurge on Extras for Convenience
Sure, saving money is great, but sometimes splurging makes for a more relaxing and fun experience. While I love to save money on drinks by skipping sodas in favor of water fountains and reusable water bottles; paying for convenience is a vacation no brainer for my family. If a grocery delivery of snacks to your resort room is easier than packing up the kids and heading to the store, do it. If sliding through a rainstorm to the bus stop and waiting for a resort bus with your crew sounds awful, splurge for a Uber or Lyft for a quicker ride to your resort. Take the time to understand what little splurges are worth the convenience that will make your vacation more fun.
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4. Do Feel Free to Make a Savings Strategy
After you have figured out what items on vacation are worth the splurge, feel free to make a savings plan if you are looking to save money. There are simple ways to cut corners on price during vacation. Booking a Value Resort for your stay is a great way to save cash, as is skipping table service dining in favor of quick service meals. Don’t feel shy about saving money if budget is a focus for your family.
5. Don’t Take Off Your Mask
We know the Florida heat can be brutal, you are tempted to snatch off your mask for a quick park photo and you don’t see the harm in removing your mask for a few minutes in a ride. Still, resist the urge and follow the rules to keep everyone safe. Guests are allowed to remove masks while eating or drinking while stationary and socially distanced. Guests are also allowed to take masks off briefly for outdoor photos. Need to take time do decompress without your mask and enjoy a cool spot? No worries, Disney has you covered with relaxation stations around the property. Indoor and outdoor socially distanced areas can be found in each of the parks to give guests an opportunity to unwind and unmask. Cast Members can direct you to the nearest relaxation station. To name just a few, there are relaxation stations in Tomorrowland Terrace in Magic Kingdom, Pizzafari at Animal Kingdom and Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios.
6. Do Listen to Cast Member Instructions
Now more than ever it is so important to listen to Cast Member directions at Walt Disney World. From line spacing and temperature checks to mobile dining ordering and revised seating on attractions- be cognizant of instructions from Cast Members. Stay positive and kind, Cast Members are doing their best to keep you safe while you have fun.
7. Don’t Grumble About Park Changes
Some pandemic park changes are tougher to roll with than others. Sure, masks in the Florida heat are stuffy. Spacing out guests on attractions adds to wait times and some awesome dining options are closed. Still, try not to grumble about park changes or Cast Member instructions. Visiting Walt Disney World looks different these days but grumbling about the way things used to be is a bad idea.
8. Do Follow Social Distancing Guidelines
Please do get serious about following social distancing guidelines. The excellent care the Disney Company has taken in regard to health and safety is the reason Walt Disney World Resort was able to open this summer. Please do yourself, Cast Members and your fellow guests a favor by following the social distancing guidelines exactly as they are written. Keep your mask on, follow spacing guidelines in attractions to maintain distance and find a seating area when eating or drinking.
9. Don’t Forget to Update Your Family
Communicate the Walt Disney World changes with your family. As the family planner it is easy to get sucked in and forget to update your crew on details like park hours, safety guidelines or other factors that will make your upcoming Disney vacation different from past visits. Be sure to brief the family on the shorter park hours, no park hopping format, temperature checks, mask requirement and the other important details. Remind the family that Character Greetings have evolved into Character Sightings and that each person needs to bring multiple masks for backup options during park days.
10. Do Look On the Bright Side
As odd as it may sound, visiting Walt Disney World currently will be an unforgettable experience. Especially for seasoned Disney Fanatics, going at the parks differently to maintain safety and follow Disney guidelines will make favorite attractions feel new. After a few months without Walt Disney World it feels good to know Cast Members are back at the magic making. Look on the bright side during your vacation and stay positive through any mishaps or inconveniences. Remember Cast Members are doing all they can to make the Walt Disney World fun and safe for everyone, stay positive and have fun!