Adjust Expectations?

I have only been to WDW twice. Once in 2001 with DH and once In January 2016 with DH, DS (11), and DD (8). Since the trip on 2016, where we tried to do it all, I have been dreaming of going back in late August for a relaxed pace and water parks. Planned on 2018, but we bought a house. 2019 DH and DS had a 2 week boy scout trip so DH didn’t have vacation time. 2020 COVID-19. Trying to plan for this August, but am struggling with so many things I had planned for not being there. (Fireworks, entertainment in World Showcase, Waterparks, Ohana…the list goes on) DS is 16 now, Dd 13. Want to do this before DS graduates. Help me get excited in spite of what isn’t happening.

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With your children at that age, you should really consider Universal Orlando.

Definitely a Waterpark or two?


I don’t want to be a “dream crusher”, but if you’ve only ever been twice and really want to experience “The Magic” 2021 is probably not going to be the year to go.

All the rumors / reports are that physical distancing & masks + closed attractions / restaurants will still be happening well into Fall 2021 - Early 2022. Plus, the expected crowds are supposed to be insane. This is due to all the cancelled 2020 trips getting rescheduled & more people wanting to do something “normal” ASAP.

As previously mentioned, Universal is a good option. I love it there. However, it is still really crowded there too - just not “Disney crowded”. They do a good job with COVID precautions, but not as great as WDW from reports.

Right now the consensus is - if you’re a local and can “pop in” and leave WDW is great. If it’s your annual trip / once or twice in a lifetime then you really won’t be getting full value / all the Magic.

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Thanks. We did both WDW and Universal in 2016. Been racking up Disney points ever since, but maybe we should just save the points and book a flight elsewhere since we need to use the credit from our canceled flight within a year.

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I’m confused by these reports. People are saying restrictions are staying through the year (which they may be, but I’m not convinced it will be as restrictive with the 50th anniversary occurring and vaccine distribution increasing). But how are the crowds going to be insane if restrictions are in place? I would think that Disney would continue to restrict the number of people permitted in the park if physical distancing is still needed. Even at 50% capacity, which is what most amusement parks are working with, that is closer to what I have experienced pre-pandemic during non-holiday time periods. To me that was not insane.

OP, I have a trip planned in November/December 2021 and plan on moving my trip to 2022 if there are heavy restrictions in place. But if you want to go, I’m sure you’ll have a great time regardless.

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The problem is that the ride capacity and dining capacity is both also lowered. So, if crowds are 50% of capacity with restrictions, that is like 100% of capacity without.

ETA: I originally thought like you.


That’s assuming that is what is going to actually happen, which we don’t know. They have already started to increase ride capacity and are starting to open up shows this summer.

I took a survey about a month ago from Disney about my booked trip in the fall. One of the questions asked was if I booked for that time period because I thought restrictions would be lifted. I answered yes (I think they will be mostly lifted). I’m sure I’m not the only person who has done this. It’s obvious Disney knows this is something that people are using to decide on when to book or cancel a trip.

That survey also asked about what benefits and activities need to return for you to take your trip and it asked about on-site benefits as well, in case anyone was curious.


Do you think Ohana will still be closed in August?

I don’t know. That’s what is so difficult. Half the fun for me is the planning and so much is still unknown.

I mostly agree with @darkmite2 - if this is your “once in a lifetime” trip and you can wait till 2022, I would wait.

If you are planning to come back again in a couple of years either way, I say go for it, but just keep your expectations in check. Be happy for whatever is open and whatever you can experience. Try UOR or Busch Gardens or something else you wouldn’t normally try. Take a slow pace and smell the roses. You can still have a fabulous time if you plan appropriately.


We were at WDW 3rd week of December 2020.

Not our first trip, or trip of a life time. But still magical. Enough to make the mascara run.

I’ve been visiting the World since before Extra Magic hours. Before buses. Pretty sure before fireworks. Definitely before fast passes. Before dessert parties and Halloween parties and even Wine, Garden or Art festivals.

Quite possibly we had a good time last month because, like the lady might have said in the movie, the World is what you make of it.

Even less than a week before Christmas we did not feel there were excessive line waits and most of our dining difficulties were our inability to simply realize we’ll be hungry at a certain time and do mobile order.

My grandson doesn’t call me the dumbest smart person he knows for nothing. :joy:


I have a DS16 and a DD13 too, and we’ve been going back and forth for awhile about going forward with our rescheduled trip for spring break because of the restrictions and limits. We finally decided to go because (1) they’re not getting any younger or less busy, (2) we all desperately need something to look forward to, (3) we intend to go back in the next few years when things are normal again, if time allows, and (4) we feel like we can make the best of it. If your objective is to have a leisurely trip and enjoy the water parks, I feel like you could definitely do both, as I think Blizzard Beach opens in March. I’ve seen a lot of people say they had one of their best trips recently because of the more relaxed feel. There’s a small part of me that wonders if we’ll feel weird or bummed once we get there, though, I’m not gonna lie. But as long as we all stay healthy and don’t have to quarantine, we’re going!


I’d say be prepared to adjust. Disney seems to be adding and adjusting stuff frequently lately.

We noticed walk up waits for table service restaurants. Since we were morons about mobile ordering, we started asking at restaurants even when a walk up wait wasn’t indicated.

And the cavalcades pop up - not so unexpectedly after you’ve been there a few days.

Be flexible. Try to keep up with current info. It’s kinda like a big quest - what treasures lie in wait . . .

Just remembered: you could figure out reasonable daily prizes: to go to the kid that spies the most end of line places, the quickest.
Because sometimes, often times?, you’ve been unknowingly walking along the line you wanted only to retrace your steps baaaack to the end of line.
It can either be a hoot or an annoyance. :wink:


I think Disney will likely keep mask restrictions in place but increase capacity and start filling the rides to capacity. They did it over the holiday and have added much more line barriers since the last time I was here.


Well, we went ahead and booked for late August. Here’s hoping some of what’s been missing will be back by then. We’re staying at Swan so hopefully can minimize need for Disney transportation. If things don’t look good on that front, we’ll explore a car rental, but hoping not to need one.