WWYD - To cancel or not to cancel?

Okay friends…here is a What Would You Do to ponder? We have a trip the week leading into Christmas. We haven’t been to WDW for almost two years and originally planned this trip as a way to soothe our spirits since we knew we couldn’t risk being around family during the holidays.

As crowds begin to return and wait times increase, we are growing more concerned about our December trip…whether we will be comfortable with holiday crowds, whether the benefit to staying onsight is as good given there are no fast passes or EMHs…whether we will miss the magic that comes from the things that are no longer there, most specifically the fireworks.

We are toying with punting the trip to summer 2021 and saving more money so that we can do annual passes and try for a trip in late June 2021 and December 2021 (and maybe even early June 2022…but I haven’t mentioned that to the hubs yet!). We miss WDW so much and really, really want to go but my gut is telling me this December isn’t the right time. Would love to hear your thoughts!

I’m big a big believer in listening to your gut.


We have an early December trip and are undecided whether or not we will go. ADRs next week, balance due in about 36 days, so hard to know the right thing to do.

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It’s so hard. I have cancelled trips in July, September and October this year. I did wait until the very last minute on all of them. I think like a week out. I felt more comfortable cancelling when I had reasonable expectations of what I was letting go of instead of speculative ones two months beforehand. All that to say, I’d probably wait to cancel. So much could change between now and then!

Maybe make yourself a little mental flow chart to help you navigate any changes they make between now and then. Like, if FPs come back I make this decision or if capacity increases to 75% or something I make this one. I don’t know…

I miss Disney so much too! Have May 2021 on the books and really hoping we can take it!!


I have an early Dec trip booked. I fully intend to keep as long as Disney doesn’t make masks optional. Its all about ur comfort level. The Disney pull is strong. But if u expect the normal Disney, u may be disappointed. U will have crowds, just because ur going at the busiest time of the year. Will that be as bad as years past, maybe not. But it may feel that way because there are fewer things to disperse crowds. I think right now you have to be very realistic in what you expect. If your ok with the situation from a public health perspective and are ok with longer lines, I say go for it. Me personally, I would rather be in the world than not. But we go often. So its not a once in a 5 or 10 year vacay. If Disney is that for u, I say wait. Wait till summer next year. Then plan all the Disney fun. I dont think visiting right now is great for anyone that isnt happy just being in the world. Just my opinion. Hope it helps just a bit. :grin:

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I won’t make a recommendation since I think that’s up to you, but I will say if you go, just make sure to have low expectations about how much you will be able to get done, how crowded it will feel, and how much will be open or available.

If you are ok with a “stop and smell the roses” pace while also being willing to be ready for rope drop and return to be at the park for the last few hours before closing, then you can probably have a very fulfilling and enjoyable trip.


Agree, really up to you… I’ve cancelled two this year, my kids didn’t know we had planned them. Do yours know? How old? Made it easier from that perspective.

I agree you could wait and see what it looks like. Your three trip plan also sounds amazing. Kind of what I’m thinking once our family feels comfortable— ALL THE TRAVEL!

I’d keep an eye on what’s happening and if pictures or video you see makes you comfortable or uncomfortable.

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I would give it a little more time to see if Disney makes any changes to address these recent issues.


Though I rarely take my own advice on this point, I think it’s always wise only to take an effectively irreversible decision when that decision actually has to be made. I don’t like this advice because you feel trapped by uncertainty.

My instinct given your circumstances is to switch to next year. Unless, as others have said, you heavily recalibrate your expectations. WDW can be pretty magical at Christmas. They do visual spectacle so well. But be ready for long lines and crowds. And a lot of the regular magic to be missing.


My question is: What is your husband’s gut telling him?

You mentioned your gut. To me, that weighs heavily in any recommendation I might give.

If your husband’s gut is telling him it will be fine, but yours isn’t, then I think you’ll have to talk it out.

If your husband’s gut is also matching yours, it sounds like your decision is made and you really want confirmation of that gut feeling, maybe?


I would not go. Not because I am concerned about my safety, but I’m not sure that the return on the investment is there. There are still so many pieces of a Disney world vacation that are missing: fireworks, character meet and greets, character dining… If you add in large crowds and no FP or EMH I know that I would feel very frustrated. Just my two cents since you asked opinions.


The consensus from a lot of people who’ve gone recently is basically this -

If you go regularly, like with an Annual Pass, then you might have a good time with lower crowds during midweek. (not weekends / holidays when it’s gotten to capacity.)

But if this is something you only do every couple years or even the first time then it’s not worth it as so much of the “Magic” is turned off right now (Plus, WDW is still charging full price for that limited experience)"


Lots of good advice already given here. I can relate to this question, as I have an opportunity to go in December now, but my wife and I are going through the same thought process on whether to pull the final trigger. I’m somewhere in that middle ground of not being a frequent goer, but also plan on going at least every 2 years roughly. If your gut tells you it’s not the right time, then it’s not the right time, and there’s nothing wrong with that conclusion. WDW will always be there, and more and more things will come back to normal is they are able to. I’d rather second guess myself for not going when I could have versus going and thinking I shouldn’t have. As others mentioned, it’s about getting enough value for the cost and effort and setting expectations appropriately.


The crowds wouldn’t bother me.

Half the experience for full price…that’s what has kept me from going back this year.


Ride attractions are directly related to running rides as low capacity (empty seats for social distancing).
The only way WDW could address this, is to fill the ride. Then guests have to decide if they can live without social distancing. Tough balancing act, but easy math.

I’d keep reservations and ADR’s, if you can live with FULL rides, and hope that WDW actually does that.

From what I’ve seen about the fall/Halloween decorations (and bear in mind this is only from blogs and stuff) they scaled WAY back on the decorations, I’d be nervous they’d be doing that at Christmas as well.

I personally would cancel, both because of the COVID numbers and because it seems like you’re paying the full price for a lot less Disney. And unlike others, I might cancel now, but that’s an even more personal decision - I would just rather make the decision and come to terms with it then spend the next few months agonizing over it.


We’re in the exact same situation… trips for this Dec and in late June 2021. I was literally just mulling this over in the open thread this morning. With the recent trip reports showing larger crowds, the recent shifts in policy in the state, and the unknowns that winter brings re: covid, I’m really feeling the pressure to cancel Dec. Last month, I was more optimistic, even excited, seeing this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go with minimal crowds, but the days of low crowds already seem to be over.

It pains me to cancel yet another WDW trip, especially since it means my AP may go to complete waste this year. But it seems like the right decision for our family. I’ll probably ride it out and make the final decision in early Nov when I have to pay off the balance of the trip.

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Aren’t people getting AP extensions? That’s sad.


yes, but it won’t extend out to our June trip. Mine will expire sometime in March with the extension. So sad. If I were solo, I think I would just go. But I’m concerned about the boys. I’m also concerned about the slim chance I bring it back to the office and how catastrophic that could be. I’ll just make up for it next year or the year after with an extra trip or two :wink:

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I want to thank you all for your responses. They were very thoughtful and helpful to me as we worked through what to do about our December trip. Sadly, we have decided to cancel. While I am terribly sad about it, I know that it is the right thing for now. Looking forward to continuing to save for our next epic trip!