I have some good news for you: Disney isn’t the sad, empty dystopia it appeared to be during most of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few months ago, I made a trip there with my husband and our kids for the first time in more than a year, and it’s still the happiest place on Earth!
My family missed out on a lot of things during the pandemic, but Disney was one of the biggest. In the past, every year between Christmas and the New Year, my husband and I would load our kids into the car and drive to Disney World. We’d buy FastPasses and plan each trip down to the minute. Usually, we put in 14-hour days exploring the parks that were as fun as they were exhausting.
Every time we go to Disney, I love watching the kids run around like wind-up toys after we pass through the park gates. They’re always thrilled to see the characters and scream through their favorite rides. But in 2020, we put our annual trip on hold. It just seemed too risky to see that many other people in one place, even with masks and social distancing.
Our kids were really bummed out about the trip, though, and so was I. So, I started doing research to ease my worries. I was nervous about what Disney would be like during COVID-19, but the more I looked into it, the better I felt. So, on President’s Day weekend, we did it — we grabbed our masks and hand sanitizer and went back to the happiest place on Earth!
Against all odds, the trip was amazing. It was definitely a different Disney experience than we’d had in years past. FastPasses weren’t an option, some of the rides were closed, and you couldn’t meet the characters. We had to make reservations to visit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios because the parks had limited capacity, and there were hand sanitizer machines everywhere.
Still, I really appreciated the change of scenery, and it was nice to be outdoors in the fresh air with my family. I actually enjoyed the slower pace and shorter days, too! This was our first trip to Disney with our 6-month-old baby, Amir; 8-year-old Rami and 5-year-old Hanna were so excited to see Disney through his eyes. I could tell they felt like the cool kids on the block every time they showed their little brother something new.
On the practical side, it was amazing how smoothly the trip went. We got into all of the rides we wanted in 50 minutes or less, even the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios, which is Rami’s favorite. Because we live within driving distance, we had no problem getting to the park safely, and once we were there, we found plenty of places to eat with cordoned-off areas where we could remove our masks. Social distancing, sanitizing, and mask-wearing were strictly enforced, and we felt very safe.
So, why am I telling you all this? Well, I wanted to share my experience just in case you and your family have been considering a trip to Disney. If no one in your group is high-risk or feeling sick, I’d suggest you go for it! Spending a day or two in the parks can be a great bonding experience, and you can do it safely thanks to Disney’s precautions. If you do plan a trip, our team would love to see your photos. Don’t hesitate to email them in!