I’m not a fan of uncertainty. I’m a control-freak. I need to feel that I’m in charge of things.
So the effect COVID is having on WDW has been, er, quite challenging for me.
And so I’ve wrestled back control.
Before you people all entered my life and I became a fully-signed up member of your cult, I used to go on little drives to the country with my dog. We’d stay in country house hotels or woodland cabins. It was nice. We’d do this four, five, six times a year.
Then WDW happened and I went all in. Five trips in three years. No holds barred. I even sold my car — partly through non-use and partly through the need to pay down my Disney debt.
Well, today I announce that I’m reversing all that.
I bought a car. (I don’t recommend buying cars. It’s the most hideously stressful business. I hate it. I will be having a drink tonight.)
I’m going back to staycations.
There are a number of reasons.
First, obviously, COVID. WDW — and to a lesser extent — UOR are not the places I have come to love. And they won’t be for a while. And, yeah, I’m one of those anti-mask people. It’s not a political stance. It’s a personal, practical one. I hate wearing them. And — as the crazies on the internet like to point out — “if you don’t want to wear a mask, don’t go to Disney World ”. Yeah. I know. I’m fine with that. I won’t go. Happy?
Second, my dog, Calvin. He’s ten this year. Leaving him behind to fly to the States for a week is tough. When I got back after my last trip in December he was pissed at me. Literally as well as figuratively. I’m not even joking.
I’ve managed to cancel and refund almost everything that I’d booked and paid for my June and October trips. (Thanks again to @kerrilux for helping me out with this )
All that is left are these.
I have a flight voucher for Virgin Atlantic that can be used up 30th September, 2022. So maybe I’ll be back in June 2022. Things should be sorted — one way or the other — by then. And the new stuff should be up and running by then.
I have a non-refundable, non-cancellable, non-changeable flight for October. Unless we get a second wave and that flight is cancelled, the money is gone. There is a temptation to use the flight rather than lose all that money (we’re talking four figures here). But it’s a sunk cost.
I have a hotel reservation at UOR in October, which will guarantee me entry to the parks. It’s fully cancellable.
I have an AP for UOR that will be valid in October and, if UOR plays nice, a couple of days worth of Express Passes and dining plan credits.
So an October trip to UOR is possible, though it runs counter my claim that I don’t want to leave my dog behind. And I really don’t. It would be tough. I’m not sure it’s worth it. UOR had better be running real nice by October. Masks on the nine hour flight? Not keen. Masks in the parks? Not keen.
I also have a non-refundable MNSSHP ticket for October. Though if Disney cancels it, I’ll get the money back. So if I did come in October, I’d at least see MK.
(I have a friend who can get me free day-tickets to the other WDW parks, so that could be a thing.)
I don’t know. My heart is really against going in October. My head is more in favour. We’ll see.
Whatever I decide about October 2020, that’s it till June 2022. It has to be. I just bought a car. Were you not listening? I spent all my Orlando money on it. There’s no going back. Literally and figuratively.
We all have choices to make, and other people would make different choices to me.
But my choices feel right for me. I’ve gorged on WDW and UOR in the last three years. I can’t go back to a lesser experience. And maybe I need to stay away for a while so that I stop taking it for granted and really appreciate it again next time I go.
Whether I’ll still hang around here is an open question. There is the question of that October trip and needing to stay in touch with developments. Equally, it may be good to forget WDW for a while. Focus on other things.
I’ve had my ups and downs on this site. But on balance, it’s been a massive positive and I’m hugely grateful to you all — and to @len and the team — for making it all possible.
I’ll be back. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe in 2022. We’ll see.