You might be wondering if it’s the right time to visit Disney World.
A LOT has changed in Disney World over the last 50 years and especially since 2020. There have both good and not so good things about visiting at this time.
If you haven’t made up your mind about going back to Disney World, we’re here to go over all the pros and cons and help you decide whether it’s the right time.
Let’s start with the pros.
50th Anniversary Celebration
Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration is happening now! This celebration will last 18 months, with all kinds of new merchandise, character costumes, cavalcades, and decor that you might want to see in person before it’s gone. Plus, it’s a momentous occasion. Disney World’s 50th birthday! You can only experience this sort of thing once.
You can find gold character statues in every Disney Park, and Cinderella Castle looks especially beautiful with the EARidescent 50th details. And don’t forget that all four park icons have become Beacons of Light, with new nighttime projections and lights.
If you want to experience this celebration before it’s over, it’s time to plan a Disney World trip.
Fall into winter can be such a great time to visit Disney World! It can still be warm, but not quite the sweltering heat you’ll find during a Florida summer, and sometimes you’ll even catch a day with a really comfortable temperature. Hurricane season ended November 30, and we generally see a little less rain, too.
If you don’t particularly enjoy sweating all day, fall is THE time to visit Disney World. Or, if you don’t mind cooler weather, winter is also a good time to visit as long as you remember to dress for the cold!
Holiday decorations have arrived, and it’s safe to say Disney is ready to celebrate the holiday season early this year. If you want to experience a magical time at Disney World, the holiday season is one of the best times to visit.
Cooler weather plus holiday decorations equals a time you won’t forget in Disney World. You can also visit EPCOT for the Festival of the Holidays for special holiday dishes and cookies. Plus don’t forget the importance of snoap (aka soap snow) in Disney World!
Click here to learn more about holiday happenings at Walt Disney World!
New Fireworks Shows
There are not one but TWO new fireworks shows in Disney World! Disney Enchantment, in Magic Kingdom, features a new original song with fireworks, projections on Main Street, U.S.A., and a new series of scenes.
And over in EPCOT, the nighttime spectacular Harmonious on the World Showcase Lagoon is a new medley of songs and scenes with lights and projections and fireworks! Harmonious also features water effects that spray from permanent barges on World Showcase Lagoon.
New shows are always a fun reason to visit Disney World, especially if you had already seen the previous fireworks shows many times.
So what are the cons?
A trip to Disney World already costs a pretty penny, but recently we’ve seen increases in prices across the board, from restaurants to Annual Passes and After Hours parties, to the new Genie+ system (which we’ll get into).
Even Disney World ticket prices have increased substantially over the past six years. And now that Magical Express has been discontinued (effective January 1, 2022), transportation from the airport will cost you via Mears Connect or whatever transportation method you choose. When you factor in all the price increases, Disney World is not the most affordable vacation spot right now.
Social distancing is mostly gone in Disney World, and we’re pretty much back to shoulder-to-shoulder crowds for events like fireworks shows. If social distancing was a pro for you in the past, you’ll have to add crowds to your cons list now.
And inside ride queues and throughout the parks, you won’t find social distancing markers anymore, and some guests seem to be back to standing a bit too close for comfort. If you visit Disney World right now, make sure you plan to expect crowds.
Where’s the entertainment?
As of now, parades have been replaced by character cavalcades (with the exception of the Christmas parade during Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours), which are basically mini parades featuring favorite Disney characters. You can still catch many of your favorite Disney characters, but it’s just not the same.
If you’re a fan of the BIG Disney parades with many different floats and performers, you won’t find that in Disney World right now. You can choose to enjoy the character cavalcades (which we do think have some pros — namely that they happen more frequently than a parade) or wait until parades return before visiting Disney World.
Modified Character Interactions
Character meet and greets are returning, with some modifications. It won’t be quite the same without hugs and autographs, but it’s better than nothing, right? Now known as “character sightings,” the modified meet and greets will feature a more distanced meeting experience.
And when it comes to dining, character dining has returned in select Disney World locations, but it does look a little different. Characters can’t get quite as close as they used to, and depending on the space you might not see them as often as before.
If you’re looking for a traditional character experience in Disney World, you won’t find it right now, either at meet and greets or character dining. So again, if that’s a really important Disney World experience for you, keep this in mind as you plan your next trip.
Could be a Pro OR a Con:
The Disney Genie service, a “personal assistant” built into the My Disney Experience app, debuted in Disney World in October, and with it comes two new paid services known as Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selections (pay-per-ride). These paid services replace the previously free FastPass+ system and allow guests to bypass standby lines and enter the faster Lightning Lanes.
If you were a FastPass+ fan who’s willing to spend money for shorter attraction waits, these services might be worth it to you, but if paying for something that was previously free irks you, it could be a big con to be stuck with standby lines.
Disney World’s current mask policy requires facial coverings worn in all indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status. That means everyone ages two and up have to wear a mask inside all indoor locations, including stores and attractions in Disney World. Depending on your perspective, this might be either a pro OR a con.
It’s important to take this into consideration for your visit, especially if you have young kids who aren’t used to wearing masks.
And that’s our list of pros and cons for planning a Disney World visit right now! Keep reading All Ears for more Disney World news and tips.
Are you planning a Disney visit right now? Tell us in the comments!