As most Disney fans know, Walt Disney World is coming up on their 50th anniversary. This occasion will be marked by a spectacular amount of celebrating at all four of the resort’s parks in the fall of 2021 with an 18-month celebration. For this reason, many people are planning a trip during this time. While there definitely are pros to visiting during a big anniversary year such as this upcoming one, it’s important to note that there are also cons to consider. In this article we will touch on those cons—as well as some of the pros you might find—when visiting during 2021. By keeping these in mind, you’ll be able to decide whether a trip during 2021 is ideal for your family.
Why You SHOULD NOT Visit During the Anniversary
Let’s begin by discussing the cons of visiting Disney World during an anniversary year. None of these is enough to ruin an entire vacation, but they are all things to consider when planning, and then keep in mind going into a fall or winter 2021 visit.
Con #1: Why Wait?
If you’re trying to decide between going to Disney next year or going this year, we recommend this year. Why? Well, as diehard fanatics, we like to go every time an opportunity pops up, as soon as that opportunity pops up. You never know what might come your way between now and the anniversary celebration, so going sooner is the safer bet, and many of the new things being added for the anniversary are available now anyway.
Con #2: Possible Increased Crowds
Because a number of new attractions will open for the occasion and because there will be fans arriving to celebrate the anniversary of the most magical place on earth, you can expect the crowd levels will be much higher that what we’ve been used to with the limited capacity since reopening. We aren’t sure what COVID-19 will look like in late 2021 or early 2022, but this will be a factor to consider.
Con #3: Higher Ticket Prices
Disney has been raising ticket prices at least once a year for several years in a row now. Considering all the new entertainment options they’ll be offering, we think it’s reasonable to guess that they will be doing this yet again before the 2021 festivities begin. In fact, they may even choose to hike their prices extra high for the anniversary year—or at least the most popular times of the anniversary year—and bring them back down after.
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Con #4: Breaking-in Time
New shows, restaurants, and rides all require “breaking-in” time. This is a period of time after the initial opening during which kinks are worked out. Sometimes this can last weeks or even months, and we’ve even seen new rides close multiple times a day during the first months after opening. Because the anniversary celebration will feature a number of new attractions, we can expect many of these to be going through their own breaking-in periods, something that could be quite disappointing. Most kinks will be worked out by the summer of 2022 though, meaning you could choose to wait and avoid these disappointments.
Why You SHOULD Visit During the Anniversary
All of the things mentioned above may make a visit during fall 2021 sound like a total bummer. Fortunately, the news isn’t all bad. In fact, we think the pros of visiting during this anniversary year might just outweigh the cons.
Pro #1: Awesome Updates
Each and every park is getting some pretty awesome updates for the anniversary celebration. For instance, Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle has been completely repainted, and we expect to see many more little tweaks throughout the parks. It’s this attention to little details that makes Disney World truly magical. Of course, the big updates will be pretty fantastic as well. Epcot will look like a totally different park once the renovations there are complete.
Pro #2: New Transportation
Getting from point A to point B while on Disney property is always an adventure. Buses, monorails, and boats offer fun transportation all over property, meaning driving is never truly necessary. The newest and most exciting addition to the Disney World transportation lineup is the new Skyliner system. This awesome mode of transportation uses gondolas that “fly” through the sky to get you to your destination. It opened very recently, offering transport between several resorts, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
Pro #3: Exciting Entertainment
Of course, with awesome updates comes some amazing new entertainment. We expect to see the Tron Lightcycle Power Run Coaster open in time for the anniversary. The new nighttime spectacular in Epcot will be up and running by then, as well the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster and the Ratatouille ride. Of course, the newer Star Wars, Toy Story, Avatar/Pandora, and Mickey-and-Minnie rides in the other parks are also available for your enjoyment.
Pro #4: Yummy Foods
Finally, we must mention the food that will become available. With the opening of two new lands, Hollywood Studios has really upped their food game, and they are planning to open a whole new BBQ joint in Toy Story Land to round things out. Space 220—the upcoming space station-themed eatery in Epcot—should be opening soon, the new creperie in the France Pavilion will open shortly after, and the new Regal Eagle Smokehouse in the America Pavilion already opened recently. Of course, there will also be plenty of special and exclusive anniversary treats sold at various locations throughout the parks.
Are YOU planning a visit for the 50th?