TP alerted me to some huge park hour changes this morning. July 16-20 are our dates. Epcot is now opening at 11 am every day, HS at 10, with closing times all moved earlier. AK closing at 6! These are all making a bad trip even worse. I was just surprised at such a late opening time. I mean, it’s Florida in July, I was hoping to be wrapping up the morning by noon for an afternoon break and coming back later in the evening. Starting at 11 was never on the table.
My planning heart is all discombobulated. And I’m so sad to admit this trip isn’t going to happen.
The theory is that they are moving the start times so that they can better accommodate the crowds getting to/from the parks but with reduced bus capacity.
Of course, it might backfire, because it will mean pretty much everyone is trying to arrive at the parks at approximately the same time now. But it is safer to be in close quarters with others outside waiting to get into the parks versus in close quarters in a bus.
I thought they might make the reservations timed to spread the arrival times. It may be that they have decided instead to do what @ryan1 suggested and have the four parks open an hour apart.
And with the park reservation system, I think people are going to need to be more flexible. You may not get the park you want on the day you want, regardless of what FPs you already have lined up. It’s going to be a frustrating time for many people, but especially liners.
I hate to say it, but I think Disney will be hoping some people cancel / rebook, so they can reduce the number of guests staying at the resorts and also going to the parks by “natural wastage” to use a business term. Otherwise they’re going to have to decide how to cancel half the ADRs that have been booked for months, to give just one example.
Hopefully details will come out soon for those with resort reservations, so people can finalise plans.
You know…this makes me wonder something. (Not sure why, but your post made me think of it.)
Several months ago, my son had booked a single night at Port Orleans and then Disney called because they wanted to move them to the Grand Floridian for free for whatever reasons I’m sure Disney had.
So, with Disney wanting to reduce number of guests, I wouldn’t be surprised if they also would like to be able to move people out of certain resorts to leave them closed…so, will they, for example, upgrade those who are in All-Star Sports and haven’t canceled to whatever is the next closest resort…let’s say that’s Pop Century. This would result in not only not having to open up a few of the resorts, reducing staff requirements and costs, but could also mean needing to have to service fewer resorts with transportation.
It seems like shorter hours would bring the crowds together vs spreading them out. That said, I’m also sure there is a lot going on behind the scenes like extra cleaning, new cast member requirements, etc. that need more time.
Well sure, I get the safety precautions. I live in New York, believe me I get it. I just never imagined my trip would fall ONE DAY after reopening. The hour changes just tipped me from “questionable” status to “there’s no way this experience will be worth X thousands of dollars” status.
It looks to me like everyone is going to head to Epcot at the end of the night. What else can you do?
We’re still on the fence about our August re-booked trip. I have another back up in December that looks a whole lot more appealing right now.
For the fun of it (wait…is this actually fun?), I went into my existing reservation to see if I could CHANGE my existing reservation. Yesterday the system wouldn’t allow it. Today it did.
But what was interesting was that when I tried to change the resort (currently at Pop Century), half of the resorts are no longer available. I can still change to the following:
Pop Century (current choice)
Art of Animation
The Cabins (For Wilderness)
Polynesian Villas and Bungalow
Bay Lake Tower
What is interesting, however, is what ISN’T available:
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Polynesian Village Resort
Old Key West
Now, I know that SOME of these were probably already filled up. But others were NOT filled up before this.
So, this has me wondering further on this point.
First, closing off All-Star resorts may mean they intend to move those folks currently with All-Star bookings into another resort. This would be either to close off the resort, or leave it available for NBA.
The other resorts are closed off not necessarily because they are full, but to leave room availability for those they need to MOVE from other resorts into.
I cannot see NBA players staying at the all stars. Their CBA requires the league to place them in 5 star resorts whenever available. I could see them going into the tower at Coronado before the All Stars.
Truthfully, I can’t either. But I was not discounting that is the possible reason the All Stars are all listed as unavailable now when they weren’t a couple days ago.
And if NBA isn’t going to stay there, it leads me to think that they will be moving the All Star guests to other resorts. With Port Orleans now unavailable (again…it wasn’t a couple days ago) I could see them offering All-Star guests upgrades to Pop, AoA, or PO rooms. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Yeah. Although, in the case of the monorail resorts, I see the possibilities are that they have already filled them to the capacity they want during this time period, or that as part of the theoretical effort to move guests, they might now reserve those rooms to move other guests into. For example, if they want to move All Star guests into PO, they might also offer to move PO guests into Poly or something? Don’t know. Again, just conjecturing based on what I’m seeing in terms of room availability compared to a few days ago.
Actually, it occurs to me that both Bay Lake and Contemporary would alleviate the need to use the Ferry or Monorail altogether, so allowing guests into those versus the other monorail resorts kind of makes sense.
It could also be that they want to keep the resorts at 40% capacity or less, and they are already over that so they shut them off and will be reaching out to guests to either move or reschedule.
Some people will undoubtedly have to be “bumped” for lack of a better term.