Is it all spiralling out of control?

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I had fallen out of love with WDW.

But then I’ve started seeing the Christmasification (yes, it’s a word) of the parks and I started yearning to go back. (Regular fans will know I’m all about projections and the Castle projections are awesome!)

But even more recently I’ve started worrying — genuinely — that the US is spiralling out of control. Necessarily there is some element of politics to the examples I’m about to give, but my point is more: Do I really want to travel to the US any time soon?

First, the refusal to start the formal transition process worries me because the 9/11 commission specifically held that the delay to the formal start of the George W Bush transition in 2000 played a role in the vulnerability of the US to terrorist attack.

Second, this COVID business. The numbers aren’t looking good and I read just now that Scott Atlas, an adviser to President Trump, is urging the people of Michigan to “rise up” against the new measures there that have been instigated by Governor Whitmer.

This is all moot right now anyway because I’m not allowed to travel to the US. (The UK won’t let me leave and the US won’t let me arrive!) But I’m still booked for April, which is feeling weirdly soon given how much craziness needs to settle down before I’ll feel comfortable returning.


FWIW the peak cases here for this wave are supposed to be around January 1. It’s possible April might work out for you!

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Is it all spiraling out of control? Yes. Should that stop you from enjoying a vacation to WDW / Universal? Hell no.


Is control an illusion?


At this point I think April is so far away that it’s impossible to predict. It’s hard enough to predict next week :slight_smile: but wonderful that you’re starting to feel excited about it again.

I tend to agree with you. These were factors in us moving our December/January trip to May. We didn’t want to be in the US in January with post-election issues and rising COVID numbers. We hope to see improvement by end of April and we will just quarantine for 2 weeks when we return.


OMG, what a coincidence your post is. You are not alone genuinely feeling this way.

My entire family backed out of a WDW trip in January that grandma & I provided, for many of the same reasons you mentioned. Despite our non-refundable costs, I simply said okay and decided not to even try to talk them out of it. But then last week I also did something I’ve never done before as a US citizen. I wrote letters to my government representatives. One went to the governor of Iowa (whom I know and met once) about her staunch no-mask policy when news of a gas station owner in Arlington, Iowa near my home town went viral after putting a sign on the door actually telling customers to remove their face mask before entering. I asked the governor your same question, do I really want to travel … back home? Ironically, a couple days after mailing that letter, my wife got the call she has been dreading. Her mother in a nursing home in Iowa tested positive for COVID. She is still okay, but none of the concerns you bring up in your post are theoretical to me. They are all real. Then I wasted more perfectly good 1st class postage stamps with letters to my congressional representatives in Washington pleading with them to do their jobs and help end this transition madness. But since few in government are as realistic or disciplined as Disney is about COVID (among other things), my letters will end up in government waste baskets somewhere. Still, I feel better for at least trying.

And I hope that some day soon you too will feel more comfortable returning to WDW to satisfy that yearning. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, it’s a bit out of control right now. It’s going to be a very rough winter, both with the pandemic and politically.

I sincerely hope that the combination of vaccine distribution and inaugurating a new president starts to turn the tide, because I have no faith that the anti-mask, COVID is a fraud, etc government leaders are going to do much to actually enforce meaningful policies to limit the spread. Even with a new president, I wouldn’t count on the federal government for too much help, given the obstructionist nature the Republican led Senate exhibited with the last Democratic president.

What all that means for WDW? No idea. But I do think it should give international visitors some pause.




We watched the Governor’s press conference last night, and…it ended up being exactly what I suspected. The most significant cause of spread happening in Michigan (and I expect in other states as well) is due to the opening up of schools…and, in particular, high schools. They said that 49% of cases are due to spread within the high schools.

So, she’s enacting a 3 week closure of certain indoor gatherings to help stop the spike. It is probably a good idea, all around…particularly for the high schools to return to at home learning. But in 3 weeks time, even if we see a turnaround, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to open back up schools for in-person learning for much longer than that, otherwise the spread will just increase again.

At this point, the hope is to keep the numbers down enough to spare the hospitals (“flattening the curve”) again. So, I think the decision to encourage people to forego Thanksgiving gatherings is likely a wise one…but definitely painful. Our Thanksgiving is now just going to be our immediate family. Grandparents aren’t even coming over.

Regardless, I think, when you look at various peaks that happened to date, the average span was hovering around the 75 day mark, from beginning to end. If that’s the case, it would, at least in Michigan, put this current spike ending around the Dec.15 to 25 timeframe. Although, what complicates things at this point in time is that there is far more indoor gathering happening now than was happening at earlier spikes due to the weather, plus the holidays. So that 75 days average is probably on the low end.


I’ve always struggled to separate the politics of a country from its people and natural beauty and all else it has to offer. I have never visited Dubai, for example, despite its thrilling (to me) architecture and I can’t imagine that I ever will. The same goes for St Petersburg and, quite likely, China — which I’d love to visit but the regime there is monstrous and terrifying. Alas, the same is now true of Hong Kong.

If it weren’t for the fact that I have non-refundable flights to Orlando I wouldn’t even be thinking of a trip to WDW. The US was a country I once adored — I fell in love the very first time I visited, in 1977, and I fulfilled the dream of a lifetime when I moved there in 1999. Now, I’ve never felt more distant from it. I barely recognise it. Has it changed? Have I changed? Was it always like it is now but I just never noticed?

DLP is not the same. It’s much smaller for a start. But I’ve started to reappraise its advantages. It’s much easier and cheaper to get to. It’s “Magic Kingdom” is better than the one at WDW. And you can take a side trip to actual Paris, unlike the fake one in Epcot.

What did keep calling me back to Orlando was UOR — and WWOHP in particular. But it occurred to me only today that there is an entire Harry Potter attraction in London: One way to travel to DLP is via London — why not stop off along the way?

I keep thinking that I should postpone my April trip if I can — perhaps to October, or even December, next year. Things may be very different then.

It’s probably ridiculous, but the political situation in the US right now has literally caused me to lose sleep with the anxiety of it all. It doesn’t make me want to rush back, however beautiful the Castle projections are. DLP has a Chateau and it has projections, too. When I’m allowed to travel again, it may be my first port of call.


The answer to both those questions is yes. You’ve changed, because we all change as we grow and get older and learn more.

But yes, America has changed also. Some of this has always been there, but it was an ugly secret underbelly isolated to certain areas. Now, it’s out in the open. Our politics over the past decade or so (I’d say post 9/11 honestly) has become increasingly polarizing and gives people the legitimization to be open about their ugly beliefs.


This is one I personally struggle with. I love the world of HP, and so do my two older kids…
But in light of recent statements and actions by JKR, I’m no longer willing to give her any of my money. I’m not judging anyone who does, but I’m a parent to at least two queer/gender non conforming people and seeing the hurt in them that someone they admired thinks they are less than… Nope. I’m out.


These decisions are really tough. I wish I didn’t care about that sort of thing.


I’ve found a great deal for the last week in August, first week in September — seven night stay at CSR plus $200 gift card for less than my current six night stay at Pop plus $0 gift card.

I’m looking into whether I can change my flights.


I was concerned when we planned this trip… that I leave on for tonight. But I’m going to go, enjoy it, and then figure out next steps on when I may take a vacation again :slightly_frowning_face: I can’t believe some of the stuff politicians and their minions say down there. No wonder it’s so bad.

Winter in general is making it worse…but we have had no flu cases thus far :crazy_face:


I have lost a lot of sleep in the last few years with this exact same anxiety. I keep telling myself that real change is difficult and painful and I hope like hell that this upheaval will result in something good. The out-pouring of genuine joy on the election results is because so many people here (the majority really) have felt this anxiety for the last four years. Unfortunately, our system has some major flaws. I almost said fatal flaws, but I hope that isn’t true.


oh the dreaded fruedian slip :joy:
Yes, the past five years have been dreadful as the cockroaches take over the daylight.


Feeling pretty hopeful the further we get through 2021…hopefully by Fall we see some good progress with the virus. Then hopefully return of things at WDW.

Agree - the US has changed. But then, it always does. Think of the 1918 flu, eugenics movement, various isolationist eras, McCarthyism, polio, if Kennedy gets elected “we’ll all have to convert”, RM Nixon, a military conflict so unpopular DH did not share his being a veteran for decades, so long that he was moved to tears the first time he was thanked for his service.

Taken all together, I don’t feel we’re in the worst era I’ve personally experienced. I’m more hopeful for diverse kids, especially.

Thank you for your posts.