I know Disney is always a hot topic in travel circles for families with kids. There are MANY websites, blogs, etc. entirely devoted to Disney, written by hard core Disney enthusiasts. Some people are seriously almost cult like in their Disney obsession. Let it first be known here that we are not that type of Disney family. We like Disney, it’s great (GREAT) fun, but I’m certainly no “expert” or Disney fanatic, either. We take a pretty even, level-headed approach to our Disney trips.
I just wanted to share some of the reasons that we (mostly I, as it was primarily my idea) decided to take this last minute Disney trip. I realize it might have seemed rather sudden or odd to some people (especially given covid and all). Although it was a pretty quick decision to go, that doesn’t mean I didn’t think HARD about it. I am an over-thinker to the nth degree, so rest assured, pretty much any decision I ever make has been hashed out a million times in my head first.
Here are some of the main reasons (in no particular order):
🔷 First, we usually never, ever travel over the holiday season. I like to be home for Christmas, and I typically wouldn’t pull the kids from school the first week after break. But, since school was still virtual anyway and this year is already so wacky, I didn’t really care about pulling them out.
🔷Also, Asher usually is in the height of his swim season this time of year, so pulling him out for a week+ never feels like the best timing right now. However, swim has been totally on hold right now & there is no State competition coming up or anything to be “missing” anyway. Felt like a good opportunity to actually travel at this time of year, given this unusual circumstance.
🔷I have always really wanted to see Disney decorated for Christmas!!! But, as I said in #1 and 2, we normally would never travel this time of year. So, this seemed like our chance to do it. We have been there in October (2016) for Halloween season, and again in March (2019), but never with holiday decorations up.
🔷The rest of our 2021 travel plans feel all very up in the air. I’m not convinced (at all) that things will be back to anywhere near “normal” even by this summer. I toyed with the idea of maybe doing Disney over spring break, but I actually was worried that as spring approaches more and more people will start traveling again….meaning, more crowds, more potential covid issues (?) and higher prices. I liked the idea of going during the post-Christmas lull. If the vaccine IS somehow magically and widely successful and Covid goes poof and disappears (we can hope!!), I feel like travel will EXPLODE with people dying to go places again.
🔷Disney parks are currently capped at 30% capacity- and probably never will be again in the future. This is a very rare chance to experience lesser crowds (and shorter lines!) at an ALWAYS CROWDED place. Also- there are practically zero foreign tourists right now, which right there cuts down on tons of people.
🔷We’ve already been there twice with the kids and have done the full “Disney experience”. We’ve done the character meet and greets, the fireworks shows, the parades, etc. Due to covid, many/ most of these “extras” are not happening currently (not even character meet and greets) in order to avoid crowds gathering and close contact. So for someone visiting for the first time, this might not be the ideal time. (The fireworks and shows are AMAZING!!!) But in our case, we just wanted to go to re-do our favorite attractions- and at 11 and 12 years old, the boys mostly just want to do RIDES.
🔷Speaking of their ages, they are kind of on the cusp of “aging out” of Disney. Not really, because Disney is awesome for ALL ages, but if we go back to Orlando in their teen years, I think they might be better suited to go back to Universal Studios at that point. (More thrill rides/rollercoasters). IMO Disney is prime time for ages ~6-12 or so.
🔷Repeat trip + don’t care about creating the “perfect Disney experience” = easy. No planning required and perfect for last minute.
🔷Finally, I personally know of at least 3 families that have been to Disney in the past month- and they all raved about the cleaning protocols, distancing accommodations, precautions in place, etc. These are all families I know well and TRUST and that are careful and cautious about Covid. Talking to them/asking questions first made me understand it all better and feel more comfortable. (Although of course- nowhere/ nothing is fool proof!)
I am grateful for a quiet evening last night and reading in the sunroom after dinner.