Not sure when you can book dining reservations, or when Disney Park Passes open up in the morning, or if you will even visit Disney World this year? Join the club as countless others struggle to understand the vague and confusing world of Disney World in 2020.
Trying to follow along all of the news updates coming out of Disney Parks Blog can be a full time in and of itself, because it is for us. And they aren’t making it easy for anyone, and that could be on purpose.
If you have seen that the Disney dining reservations were finally released at the 60 day mark, but you still couldn’t make yours for late August, that’s on purpose. Things are changing day to day, minute to minute and it can be overwhelming but we are here to help you navigate the new changes and why Disney is so confusing in late 2020.
Why is Disney so confusing?
As a rule, Disney has always be consistent and that is what guests and planners depend on. With months, if not years of planning ahead of time, we depend on Disney to be consistent in their reservation dates, snack locations and overall park policies.
Because Disney is such a huge company, and so many things are up in the air, it’s hard to have faith in a company that can’t give guests a straight answer. Unfortunately, these vague responses is exactly what we expect in the coming months as they also try to navigate how to adapt to the current health situation.
While guests may be super disappointed that we are suddenly seeing an end to Fastpasses, Park Hopping and no more Disney dining plan.
Disney isn’t announcing specifics until the 11th hour, they are giving out very general information. It’s hard to make any type of change within such a large company when you have locked yourself into specifics and made promises to the public.
Once Disney locks into a plan or policy, this is when guests start to make plans. And while not knowing what is happening to your vacation 3 months from hard is uncomfortable, at best, it is a better situation than being promised something only for it to be taken away just before arrival.
This can be seen in the 2020 Park reservation dates. Disney announced the night before that they would be opening their calendar to new reservations. Until then, it was only “later this summer” and new reservations are “temporarily paused”. This is a very vague statement meant to absolve themselves from promising a date they can’t meet.
Part of the reason, we believe, that Disney waited so long to release new reservations, was because of their limited capacity once they reopened. Now that Annual Pass holders have made their Park Pass reservations, and guests with current reservations have been allowed to make Park Passes for the duration of their resort stay, Disney now has an idea of who many more guests they can allow to stay on property or enter their Parks before hitting their new limits.
The exact capacity within each park, however, is still very hush hush and no one knows exactly how many are allowed into each park.
Disney is also not updating their website with specifics on every situation, in order to take every question on a case by case basis. Instead of blanket-statement “refunds for everyone”, Disney is hoping that guests will call their local Travel Agent or Disney Guest Relations and have a conversation about their options. While internal policies may dictate what a Cast Member can and can not offer, these are probably also left to the Cast Member’s discretion since there is nothing set in stone on the website.
This is both welcoming, and frustrating, at the same time. The Disney policy of Park Hopper tickets, Resort Hopping, Annual Passes and Resort Upgrades is another example of vague statements that is never actually confirmed by Disney.
Is it even worth visiting Disney World in 2020?
The short answer… no. We don’t recommend you visiting Walt Disney World in 2020.
It’s fairly easy for us to make that decision because the Canadian border is currently closed and they don’t think it will reopen until later in 2021. No open border, no Disney vacation.
For Disney fans that can access Florida by car or plane, we don’t know enough yet about how Disney is going to react to contact tracing, or maintaining social distancing in the rain. So far, Disney has been open for 4 days and there have been mixed reports on social media regarding how Disney Cast Members are handling the whole situation.
The morning rush to rope drop the parks is not a place you want to be, for sure. A handful of bloggers and Theme Park Journalists have reported longer than expected lines for Guest Relations that end up impeding traffic to those attempting to social-distance. While this isn’t indicative of the Parks attitude once guests have passed the gates, this is something to be concerned about.
And don’t worry, my standing on Disney’s good-graces is not in jeopardy here. Disney themselves is actively encouraging guests to reschedule or cancel if guests don’t believe it is safe to visit. This can be seen in Disney’s waiving of cancellation fees and changing the final payment dates from 30 days in advance to 7 days in advance. They are giving guests as much time as possible to think through their options and make an informed decision.
The moral to this story...call Disney and ask all of your questions. Then keep up with news updates either through our Blog email or Disney Parks Blog twitter account… or both. Because there is no such thing as too much Disney.