Ya’ll. I am looking at our Memory Maker pics from our trip last summer. It is hitting me hard that SO many of those memories captured will not be possible with a trip this July-August. Right now I’m staring at a picture of me, DH, and our DS beaming like crazy at midnight on Main Street after doing 3 parks in one day, in our ponchos, in the rain, and looking like we just won the lottery. It’s hitting me hard tonight everything we will be missing. The magic of MK after dark. The crazy concentrating expressions on our faces on Buzz Lightyear. The character interactions and how the CMs made so many things personal at the meet and greets. The sheer bliss on our faces while on SDD and 7DMT. The looks of surprise on our faces as we stared at some unknown object for a magic shot. The magic of MK after dark. PPO at BOG. Pluto grabbing DH out of the crowd at AK for a dance off. Jedi training. Pandora at night. Have I mentioned the magic of MK after dark? Nearly all of our pictures capture the JOY of our trip through our facial expressions, and they all bring back special memories because of that. I consider myself to be a “glass half full” kind of gal, but tonight I’m swinging the other way. Aside from the growing risk because of virus numbers in Florida and the states along the way, I’m seriously considering canceling our epic mother-son trip this year because of so much we will be missing out on. DS is now 11, and right now he still loves Disney as much (almost) as I do. Reality is making me very sad right now, and I know what I “should” do, but I just can’t seem to pull the plug on this trip yet…
This is temporary. We will come through this. Things may be a bit different on the other side, but there will be another side. It just feels like eternity right now.
Putting the virus aside (since health and safety are a personal call), personally I think of all the little things that will soon be available in Disney that I will cherish all the more now knowing how precious they are:
The music piped in over the loud speakers, the smell of popcorn and baked goods, the amazing architecture and Imagineering at every turn, the epic snacks, riding the monorail, watching the Skyliner cars go by, hearing the bell and whistle of the steamboat, listening to the jokes on Jungle Cruise, scanning a magic band and seeing the green Mickey light up, eating a churro or a Dole whip, walking right under Spaceship Earth, seeing the Eiffel Tower, finding new animals on the Tree of Life, seeing the spit turn at Ronto Roasters … and I haven’t even gotten to the rides yet - almost all of which will be open!
None of that is going away and will be ready to welcome guests home in just a couple weeks!
Nope, those memories are for last year. As they should be. I submit you and DS have plenty of new joyful memories waiting, even this year. And maybe especially this year. No 2 visits are ever the same.
You and your DS can research the hidden fun things at the parks and resorts and then go look for them. Some are still there but may not work, like the red phone booth in the UK which used to reduce calls and some aren’t, like PUSH the talking trash can at MK. But you can still try to pull the sword from the stone. Or eat your way around the World - Food and Wine Festival is to be open. Find the lamppost at HS. If Kali River Rapids is running, squirt water at the boats.
Together you can figure out the best ways to keep safe. And help each other remember in the parks.
Unfortunately for the kids in my life I’m always looking for the teachable moments. This year at Disney is full of them. How to figure out solutions. One of the best skills to have.
Right up there with how to make it fun, regardless.
This is a good point. Everytime we go to Disney, something has been different. Rides change, experiences modified, parks added, and whole sections of parks gutted and redone.
This year will be more of the “same”…the same being change!
It sounds like you are willing to use your good-attitude-side and will make it the best you can. Go with it.
I’m no where near that yet. If I were heading into a park I fear my bad-attitude-side would be what I packed.
Accepting what it will be is the first step in having a good ROI. Not looking back is probably a strong second.
I greatly appreciate all of the replies, and everyone has brought up valid points to consider. . I’m still leaning towards canceling. DS has never been on SM, EE, ToT, Or TT-all rides I’m sure we could easily do more than once this trip with the low crowd anticipated. But, there’s only ever one first time on a ride, and his expression won’t be captured by MM behind a mask. I also just looked at the list of shops that will be closed (for now). But then I consider how little wait there might actually be for most rides, and we’ve haven’t seen GE yet. Low crowds and a focus on riding as many rides as possible are still the draws to keeping the trip. Guess I’ll just keep an open mind about it all over the next 3-4 weeks before I HAVE to decide.
Your son will only be 11 once. Even if it isn’t the same, I am guessing he will remember the positive time at WDW more than he would staying at home. It can fuel interesting future stories that start with, “Remember that one crazy time we went to WDW when I was 11…?”
That is so true…judging by my older sons my DS11 will soon be “too cool” or too busy to have simple fun. At least with mom and dad. Now they only want to go if their GF go too, which is fine with me, the GF’s have both been around for 2 years and are pretty much part of the family. My DS11 is presently teetering between making fun of me but yet really wanting to go…I want to savor that latter part as long as possible! However I will say reality is rearing it’s ugly head in those numbers today. I want to say we will go if it is open but I’m starting to see that as less of a guaranteed likelihood. And if they do end up shutting down indoor dining, Florida in July/August just became a lot tougher.
I completely feel all your feels in your post. I am going through the same emotions as I contemplate what I “should” do with what I “want to do”.
I had a long talk with DH, and DS’s 7&9. Explained how we won’t have the meets as we are used to, no autographs, no pin trading in its traditional form, no parade, fireworks, or water parks, and add a mask on top of it all.
I was definitely ready to get the “that stinks I don’t want to go” reply.
But you know what??? It was DS’s who convinced ME that it will all still be great and magical. They convinced me that we can wear a mask all day. They told ME how fun it will be to “finally have time to find all the Pascal’s”!
Knowing we get to make new memories, (plus say we’ve been to Disney during a pandemic) is helping me get over the sadness of the “what we won’t haves”.
We live in an age where we’re used to capturing every single moment in picture or video. But the truth is, a vast majority of our Disney experiences we have no photographic record of.
To me, it isn’t the Memory Maker images that matter, but the MEMORIES themselves. What if you could only go to Disney, but only if you couldn’t take any pictures at all?
I’d still go. I’d still want my children to go and experience it. Because, truth is, I have NO photos of my trip to Disney when I was a kid. But I have the memories.
Of course, you CAN get photos, so you’re still better off, even if they have the mask in them.
And I know I’ve mentioned on these forums before…but during one of our Universal trips, one of the memories that stands out strongest to me wasn’t what we did, but the fact that we got rained out and had to be holed up in a condo for 1 1/2 days as a tropical storm blew over. If you had asked me BEFORE hand would I want to go if I knew there was going to be a tropical storm? I probably would have said no. But we didn’t know, and we loved our time there. Including the rain.
Yes, you’re right about being so used to living in an age now where everything is captured by a photo. There are so many things we had planned for this trip that either he hasn’t done before at Disney or that neither of us has done before at Disney. With expected low crowds, we quite possibly will have time to fit everything in and then some.
We are scheduled to go the first week of August, so that gives me a few more weeks to decide and also to to see what wait times are like and how crowded (or not) it really is. Being moved to Pop really makes this a harder decision because well…the skyliner! That’s a game changer as I had planned to drive to all the parks to avoid the buses-no way to be socially distant in reality on the buses. I think the skyliner will likely be the “safest” mode of transportation and am excited to try it out. Will still drive to AK and MK (and then via ferry boat) if we do still go.
First week of August should be good to know if closing bars helps numbers decrease.
This week my sister and her granddaughter are in Austin. Much happier this week about the trip since bars are closed and masks are mandatory.
very well said
Take the time to mull it over a few times before making any decision. The choice you make will be the right one. No matter what any of us say, the decision you make is the correct one,
Numbers do look out of control in FL right now, but keep in mind there is close to a two week delay to see if any changes they make have made a difference. Bars closing may have been the right call, a few weeks from now will let us know.
Have a heart to heart with DS and see how he feels about it all. Walk through all the changes in the parks and see how he feels about it.
Here are some positives that I have been mulling over myself:
- I guess the high numbers right now will lead to FL getting to heard immunity quicker.
- Photos with masks will be great. It will be a way to document the reality we are all going through when the memories start to fade. I can imagine many a picture will be overflowing with gratefulness and happiness.
- I am sure any memories you make during these times will be cherished.
- I can imagine the parks being les crowded…like when I went back in September 1999…the streets were not crowded and everything was almost a walkon. Should be great!
- I am almost 100% certain that if I was to go anywhere, I would want it to be Disney. It is in Disney’s best interest to make sure WDW becomes the safest place on Earth. (I would like the to modify their slogan for the fall/winter to be “the Safest Place on Earth” instead of the happiest.
What ever call you make, we are all hear for you.
What I’ve noticed is that true herd immunity (60-80% infected) is not necessary to have most businesses reopen with social distancing. About 20% infection seems to be sufficient to reduce R below 1 in combination with other measures. Look at NY, CT, Detroit, etc. All those places have declining cases even with protests and reopening. Add in masks and you may get there even without anyone infected, like in Asia.
I’m not sure where Florida is right now but several months into the pandemic I think they’ve got to be much better off than NY was in March. Let’s hope the new mask requirements and bar closures will be enough to stop the recent spike.
Thank you for bringing up these points. I am definitely weighing everything out and will see how things go the next few weeks. DS and I have been keeping an open dialogue about it, and he understands the pros and cons about traveling this summer. He is very “ride oriented” right now and would be perfectly content with an all ride trip. We have seen all the nighttime fireworks shows, and in our trips spread out over the past six years have met most of the characters and have seen a lot of the shows. For many reasons we both “need” this trip together this year. The two main concerns I have when it comes down to it are of course exposure to the virus (even though I know I could get it being out in public here at home but what would happen with DS if I get sick while we’re in Florida or if he gets sick; I know there is a risk of getting sick with anything contagious anytime we travel not just this particular trip), and the other concern is the missing of the extras I mentioned in my original post. That practical logical side of me is saying to wait until next summer, yet my heart is still telling me to go. So, I’ll give it these next few weeks and continue to monitor everything.
I heartily agree with all of this. I especially like the idea of our photos from what we do these days, including vacations if we are able to take them, include our masks. I want to remember! And I think you can definitely see joy on masked faces. To me it says, yes the times were very hard, but we persevered, we did our part to help, we cared for others, and, though we grieved much, it made the moments of joy all the sweeter.
We took graduation pictures w/ and w/o masks of our DS because the class of 2020 is unique.
When orthodontists re-opened here, the trendy thing to do was to take the “Braces off!” picture…with mask on!
Followed by the real “Braces off!” picture a day or two later.