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Should I Cancel my 2021 Disney World Trip?

With so much up in the air at the moment is 2021 a good time to visit Disney World?


In today's post I will talk about the pros and cons of a trip to Disney World in 2021.




Parks

Currently park capacity is lower which is a bonus as it means smaller crowds. We have seen incredible photos with very few people around which is amazing! It is super rare to get iconic Disney photos, such as in front of Cinderella Castle, with nobody else in them. This opportunity is a big plus for visiting in 2021.


Smaller park capacity also means the parks are more spacious and walking around is easier, as there are no large crowds to navigate your way through. This makes the experience just so much more enjoyable.


The downside to visiting in the coming months is that a number of attractions and entertainments are currently not open. Some attractions have remained closed, such as Enchanted Tales with Belle in Magic Kingdom, due to the interaction between Guests and Cast Members. There is no indication of when these will be able to reopen.


There are also no shows, parades, fireworks or character meets. With the sad announcement that so many cast members, particularly in performance roles, have recently been laid off this indicates these entertainments will not be returning to the parks for the foreseeable future.


Disney World has introduced character cavalcades where you still get to see everyone's favourite characters either on floats, in cars or on boats! This is a really nice way to still have the characters be a part of the parks but in a physically distanced way.


With their being less available to do in the parks the ride queues can be busy due to everyone queuing for them.


Although queues may look very long in photos this is a bit of an illusion as there is spacing between groups to maintain physical distancing. So the queues are actually shorter than they appear. However the rides themselves have less capacity, as fewer people are loaded onto each ride to maintain physical distancing between parties. So this will add time to the queue.


In the past few months we have seen the ride wait times creeping up with more people now visiting Disney World. The glory days of 5 to 10 minute queues that we saw when the Parks first reopened in July are now long gone. FastPass+ is also not available so there is no way to cut your queuing time.


Disney are expected to raise the park capacity over the coming months. This will mean ride wait times will increase further. This is definitely something to consider for you 2021 trip. With no shows or entertainment to help spread people out throughout the park the only options are to ride attractions or visit shops. If you are visiting in 2021 be prepared for a lot of queuing. Bringing entertainment with you can be a fun way to help pass the time in the queues.


One if the biggest deciding factors as to whether to visit Disney World in 2021 is the fact you will be getting a lot less of the Disney experience for the same, if not more, money. Ticket prices have not dropped to accommodate the modifications and closures. So this is the number one thing to consider. Do you feel you would be getting bang for your buck if you visit in 2021? What are the key experiences that make a Disney trip so special for you and will they be available?


Disney World introduced the Park Pass reservation system this year to help control the amount of guests in each park to ensure they are at a safe level. When you visit Disney World now you have to have valid park tickets as well as Park Pass Reservations to enter. A ticket alone will not gain you entry into the parks.


I like the Park Pass system as it allows you to know you have guaranteed entry to the parks you wish to visit and you can plan your holiday without having the uncertainty of whether the park will be at capacity on the day you want to attend.


I would advise to book your Park Pass Reservations as soon as you can. If you already have a trip booked and have bought your park tickets this should be the number one priority to ensure you can visit all the parks you would like.


If you are yet to book a 2021 trip be sure to check the Park Pass reservation system before booking to ensure your dates have availability.


You can check the park pass availability here.


The introduction of the Park Pass reservation system does require planning an itinerary before you can make your reservations, which is something not everyone likes to do. So this can be a downside to a trip in 2021. Luckily there is Your Most Magical Itinerary Planner for Walt Disney World to help make this simple!


The downside to the Park Pass system is there is very little flexibility. If you wanted to change park days whilst visiting you would need to cancel your reservation for the park you had planned to visit and then make a new reservation, if there is availability for the park you now wish to go to.


If you prefer a flexible trip where you can decide on the morning what you feel in the mood to do that day then postponing your trip would be the best bet. A 2021 trip will need advanced planning to get park and dining reservations and make the most out of your trip.


Park hopping is currently suspended and there are no dates announced for when, or if, this will be returning. Being able to visit multiple parks in one day was a big benefit as you could enjoy part of the day at one park and then go to another for dinner. With this no longer an option this is a factor to think about in regards to your 2021 trip.


At the moment there is no way to know if events such as Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party will happen next year. But with certain special events taking place, such as EPCOT's International Festival of the Holidays and EPCOT's International Festival of the Arts we know Disney are looking at ways to do modified experiences.


Even though Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party has been cancelled for this year a projection show onto Cinderella Castle is happening. This is the first nighttime show that we have seen since the parks reopened. So Disney seem to be trying to see what they can do and what they can't.


Even if these events do go ahead they will most likely be modified in some way. But with Disney testing the waters it seems they are hoping to be able to implement more special events or modified nighttime spectaculars in 2021.


There are a lot of renovation works being undertaken at the moment, to seize the opportunity to do this when less people are visiting. This may continue into 2021, so some additional attraction may be closed during your trip due to this. The plus side to this is that currently a lot of renovations are happening right now. So those attractions will be ready and reopened in 2021!


In March 2021 one of Disney's water parks is expected to reopen. It hasn't been announced yet which of the two parks this will be but this will give people even more options of where they can enjoy their time whilst at Disney World. Being able to cool off in a water park will be a big plus for 2021!


In summary:

Pros:

- Smaller capacity equals smaller crowds

- More comfortable to walk around

- Great photo opportunities

- Character cavalcades allow you to still see your favourite characters

- Park Pass Reservation system guarantees you entry once you have booked your reservations

- EPCOT's International Festival of the Arts will be returning in January with a modified experience

- Park capacity is expected to increase

- In March 2021 one of Disney's water parks will be reopening


Cons:

- No entertainment, shows or fireworks and no date for when these will return

- No character meets

- Ride queue times expected to increase with park capacity increasing