Reflecting On Our New Walt Disney World

I’ve often found that whenever I find myself deep in thought, sitting down to write them out often helps me focus. So, I apologize in advance if this seems to be incoherent rambling, but with so much emerging in the past few days about Walt Disney World, I felt there was no better place to write than on a blog. 

I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past few days reading posts and comments from fellow DVC Fan’s. My heart truly aches for those that have spent so much time planning an amazing trip for family and friends only to see it ripped apart due to our current pandemic.  

That being said, I feel it is worth remembering the situation our country and our world is facing and how difficult some of these decisions are for even a company as large as Disney.

Even I will admit my heart sank when it was announced that Walt Disney World would not be opening until July 11th. What I have realized since though is that this is bigger than just me. This is bigger than a single vacation. This magical place holds true to its core a key value of safety to its cast members and guests, which will be the pillar on which any reopening is built. 

Shortly after the announcement, my wife, Amy, spent a good part of the day “reinventing” our Summer vacation plans to Walt Disney World. New dates, new resorts, new dining reservations, new Fastpass+ reservations, new everything. Those were then upended by the new policies that will be implemented for the foreseeable future.

Do I want to be angry and upset? Sure, I do. But then I refocus on the fact that this is all bigger than my single trip.  

The decision to cancel Fastpass+ reservations was something I felt was coming and truthfully am not overly upset about. Despite the concerns many have, I feel we will walk into the parks and be shocked at how low some wait times now are as a result of this system being removed. In all honesty, I hope they take this opportunity to re-evaluate Fastpass+ and perhaps make changes that allow it to function in a manner that emulates MaxPass at the Disneyland Resort. 

I would have to agree with many who have found the compensation given due to the cancellation of the Free Disney Dining Plan offer too low. Regarding the cancellation of dining plans in general, however, I believe it was the right decision at this time. The bottom line is Disney can’t promise you a restaurant, they can’t promise you a reservation, and even if you get a reservation, they can’t promise you’ll get into the park or dining area to get to the reservation. When you take this into account, I think this was the only option they really had.

Many will disagree with me, maybe even say I don’t understand because I’m not affected enough. To that, I agree… but I would go back to what I said above that this is bigger than any single vacation.  

In trying to bring this all home today, I was reading through Disney quotes and stumbled upon this:

“Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows.” – Walt Disney

We are in one of those shadows right now. But there is a light… and it will be here soon.

If you are like me and just want to vent some thoughts and help calm your mind, feel free to share your story in the comments below or join us over on the DVC Fan Facebook Group for more discussion.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings!

Paul Krieger

Amy and I are new Orlando, Florida residents where we live with our dogs Odie the greyhound and Hermès the Spanish galgo. We are DVC owners at Animal Kingdom Lodge, BoardWalk Villas, Grand Californian, and Grand Floridian, Disney World Annual Passholders, and love educating Disney Vacation Club members on how to both use and maximize the value of their DVC points!

13 thoughts on “Reflecting On Our New Walt Disney World

  • I think no matter what would Disney would have decided, people would be upset. And they have a right to be. But you’re absolutely right- this is much bigger than just one vacation or one trip. And I think we have to remember too, Disney isn’t going away, it’s just changing, for now. I’m choosing to remain hopeful and go with the flow. There’s simply nothing else to do at this point anyway!

  • It is frustrating. I am sad. But what really put into perspective for me the fact that by early May 700 plus Give kids the world trips were cancelled. I’ve been many time and will go many more. Those families and kids may have lost the only chance to experience the Magic. With the current situation I do not see many of the families getting a chance with children who may have a physical ailment. That’s the tragedy in this. I can miss my who knows how many trip it would have been. The GKTW families may have missed the only trip.

    • Such a good point, Daryl… Thanks for sharing!

    • Ugh. This fact makes everything else a non-issue. Thanks for sharing this perspective. Let’s send healing thoughts to those affected.

  • I get it all except canceling quick service dining too. That doesn’t make sense to me, am I missing something?

  • All I can hope now is that 1) the AP that my son and I have will hopefully be extended even longer due to the fact, even through they’re open, we won’t be able to use it as we normally would due to no fast passes and the fact we may not be able to get into the park, and 2) for dining, if we can’t get to the reservation due to maybe not being able to the venue, even after redoing the reservation when they tell us we can make new ones, that they won’t charge any fees.

    If this wasn’t going to be one of the last vacations I would get with my son for a while ( he’s starting his full time job in Pittsburgh early August), and if I didn’t make all reservations with previously banked points that would expire by the new November date, and since, due to my job, I can’t freely change any vacation time to other days like maybe others can, I probably would have canceled. Right now the only thing I can hope for is maybe September will be a little better and a little more to normal? At least I can hope, but also can at least bank all those points to the next year and have a blowout with 1,500 or so points to use next year!

    Just my rant too and needed to vent a little… thanks for letting me do that!

  • Thank you for these words! We got served a whole lotta lemons, and making lemonade will have to be a slow and steady process, but the results will be just as sweet if we give it time, trust, and a little pixie dust!

  • Well put. I hope you’re feeling better! Personally, I’m not at all angry about any of the decisions they’ve made. I’m sure my perspective is different than most -been visiting regularly for 30-years or so. I get that there are some families that this was THE year that was going to be the Disney vacation, especially if with young children. So I feel for those families and understand the frustration. But I believe Disney has handled this as well as they possibly could and don’t understand any anger thrown in their direction(although I’m sure there are specific cases that might qualify). I’ve moved one vacation to December and have another in October …I’ll probably cancel both. I look at it as a lost year which is sad -I’m not getting younger at this point. But for those of us lucky enough to move on, we will soon enough be able to do what we love for years to come. Nothing is ever guaranteed. Stay well…

  • I was deeply focused on selecting our ADR selections for Thanksgiving week
    when the system shut down. Nothing more I can say.–Linda

  • We have reservations for the first week it opens. Since I’m on the west coast, I had to get up at 4 AM at the 60 day window a few weeks ago to make the fast pass reservations I just lost. Of course I’m not thrilled, but I have no doubt Disney is doing everything they possibly can to make our experience this summer as good as it can possibly be. Yes it will be different, but I’m convinced it will still be fun. And with hugely reduced capacity, we might very well see substantially reduced attraction wait times.

    At this point I’m just hoping that the new park reservation system doesn’t crash. Considering past experience, I think our chances are 50/50.

  • As my health declines, and after 2 cancellations of a trip originally planned for March, I pray to see WDW again when it is safe. I have to remember that Disney has never done this before, so I expect bumps and detours along the way, but oh, to ride my ECV through a park and enjoy the sights , the smiles, the smells, just being there would make my day. I can’t imagine having to re evaluate and re imagine a new way to keep us all safe. My prayers are with all the folks doing this daily.
    May we see each other real soon.

  • A lovely post. I wish everyone would just slow down and be patient. Things will get back to some semblance of normal eventually. Shouldn’t we all be more concerned about the CM’s who’ve lost jobs, income, health benefits? Rather than our canceled ADR’s? Let’s let Disney get things up and running in its own research-based way, and those guests in the mindset and health situation who can go and enjoy will be helping the entire re-emerging process for everyone: CM’s, future guests, and the company (although hey, Disney higher ups – how about cutting your ginormous salaries and perks for a year or 2?)

  • What a fantastic blog. I have been greatly affected by this closure. My daughter graduates High School this month. She and I were going on a father / daughter celebration to WDW on June 14. What a bummer this has been. But, I completely understand where Disney is coming from. They have ALWAYS been at the forefront of safety for all involved. The other issue everyone seems to forget is that Disney is not just opening one park. Essentially, they are opening five, including Disney Springs. This is a huge feat. I envy their planning, their forethought and there caution. I know that we will all get to go back to a safe, well thought out and magical place once again. I look forward to it.

    Thanks again for a great blog.

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