It’s the most common thing I hear as a travel agent….”when will dining plans/fast passes/character hugs etc. etc. etc. come back? That’s when I’ll book!” Well….let’s talk about whether or not you should continue to wait or just book that dream trip now!
I’m not one for putting things off because it might be better some day (unless it’s cleaning or something at work…but I digress), but I’m not you. So let’s get started with something simple, like character interactions. There is nothing I love more than hugging a character, even though it’s kind of creepy when you think about it, but the honest answer is that we have absolutely no idea IF these interactions will ever come back, let alone when. Character Cavalcades now offer countless opportunities to see more characters than you could possibly see at dining and meet and greets. Furthermore, you no longer have to waste time in your day in line just to hug Tiana or Mickey Mouse. That means more time for rides or even more time to head back and enjoy the resort you meticulously chose for all those amenities you never enjoy because you’re in line to hug Mickey Mouse. The bottom line is that we just don’t know. Cavalcades and distant waves may be the new normal. I, for one, wouldn’t want to wait to see the joy on my child’s face for the first time because they won’t get to hug Mickey, which is something that child has no idea is even a possibility. Just SEEING Mickey Mouse is enough for me!!
Next up: dining plans. Real talk: I LOVE the dining plan because then I can eat guilt-free at Le Cellier or California Grill without being mad about that $50 steak. (For $50, I should get the whole cow, not just a 4 oz cut of it….but again, I digress.) It would be super nice if they brought them back, like yesterday, but there are just no updates about them yet. HOWEVER, some tips to plan AS IF you have the dining plan. For starters, you know the dining plan would cost you X amount of dollars, yes? And you’re already committed to paying for it, right? So just take that money you would spend on the dining plan and buy Disney Gift Cards. MONEY SAVING TIP: If you purchase Disney Gift Cards through Target with your RedCard, you save 5%! Another tip, does your grocery store offer fuel perks with their loyalty program? For example, where I live, Kroger offers fuel perks for gas discounts based on dollars spent using your Kroger Plus Card. So if we buy our gift cards from Kroger, we get our money for our trip AND (currently) 4X Fuel Points. That could save us a ton of money on gas, and let’s be honest, we all need that!! The other benefit to not having a dining plan is that you wouldn’t necessarily ALL get both an appetizer AND a dessert, so the final total may actually end up being much less than you originally budgeted for. Many complaints about the dining plan is that it is SO. MUCH. FOOD. and “we just don’t eat that much.”
FastPass+ real talk: it might not be coming back. OR it might be coming back but it will no longer be free. The lines do actually move faster without the interruption of FastPass+ users. Usually, they allow 1 stand by guest to each 10 FP+ guests. Now, you don’t need to be a mathematician to realize that is a bad ratio if you’re in the stand by line! It would not surprise me to see them bring MaxPass from Disneyland to Walt Disney World, where you will pay to use the option or have to grab the old-fashioned paper fast pass when you get in the park. If you can remember those “good ol days” so many people seem to long for (until you bring up the lack of FP+), you didn’t plan every second of your day 9 months in advance. You just showed up and did stuff. It was great. I, for one, have thoroughly enjoyed UNDERplanning our post-COVID trips!
In my opinion, there’s no time like the present to plan AND BOOK that trip you’ve been dreaming about. The truth is, something new will ALWAYS be looming on the horizon. Things are constantly changing, closing, opening, updating, refurbishing, etc. You will not know what you’re missing if you do it right. There is always something new you can try. It may be fun, it might not be fun, but how will you know unless you try it?
And did you know that I book more than just Walt Disney World? I book ALL Disney Destinations! Here is a list of the current special offers available:
- Walt Disney World: Summer Room Offer – up to 25% off your room. Valid 7/11/2021-9/29/2001
- Disneyland: 25% off Room offer. Valid 7/5/2021-10/2/2021 (offer expires for booking 9/16/2021)
- Aulani: 30% off rooms for a 5-night stay 8/14/2021-11/21/2021 and 11/27/2021-12/18/2021 (offer expires for booking 10/8/2021)
- Adventures by Disney 2022 Land Adventures: book by 7/15/2021 for $500 off per person for select land departures
- Adventures by Disney 2022 New England Land Adventures: book by 9/2/2021 for $400 off per person for select 2022 New England departures
- Adventures by Disney 2022 Montana Land Adventures: book by 9/2/2021 for travel between 6/19/2022-8/31/2022 for $500 off per person
So take the trip! Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland (excludes transportation, where masks are currently still required), fireworks return THIS WEEK on both coasts, and we’ve been inside for 18-months! Contact me today to get your vacation planning started!!