Will Your Next Disney Holiday Be The One You Paid For?
The current Coronavirus pandemic is far from over. Even when countries start to open up, things are going to look much different until infection rates are drastically lower or there's a vaccine. I'm optimistic one of those two things will happen in the medium term. However, in the short term, the question is how it will change travel for the rest of 2020.
Many people are itching to go as soon as Disney open their doors (and when governments allow you to fly again), while other people are wary and rescheduling. There will be some people who won't care at what capacity Disney is open at, but others may feel even if it is open, will it be what they want?
The question of this article is will your next Disney holiday be the one you paid for?
There's no doubt that when the parks open, things will be different. They'll be social distancing measures put in place (how that is going to realistically work at a theme park, your guess is a good as mine), perhaps no fireworks shows, as well as a number of other experiences that will be altered.
If you're due to go in 2020 (like we are) after booking in 2019, you might feel you didn't signup and put your deposit down for a Disney holiday with no fireworks, no character meals, etc. With government guidance saying only 50% capacity is allowed at restaurants in the first phases, what happens if it's you that gets your dream reservation at Be Our Guest snipped?
Hong Kong Disneyland hotel character restaurant "Enchanted Garden Restaurant" has just reopened, but characters stay at a distance. There's no hugging, and no photos with them. They just walk around, and you can take photos of them from a distance. Remember, Disney are doing what they can to make things as normal as possible but as safely as possible, but I for sure would struggle to want to pay $60 at Chef Mickey for a character experience like that, but others might be fine with it.
Disney's plans for reopening must be extensive, and while in a perfect world they could test every guest on entry and leave the parks as normal as possible (as everyone inside will be COVID-19 free), but it does run into problems that if you've caught it and not allowed in, are you entitled to a refund? Can you imagine paying all that money and not allowed to do anything.
The next year or so is going to be tough. Just remember, although this is not your fault, it's not Disney's either. They're going to do what they can to open as fully as safely as possible, as quickly as possible. But, at what point is the Disney holiday you're paying thousands for, not actually be that holiday at all?
The reason for the question is that we would have forfeit deposits or pay rescheduling fees if the holiday expectation (maybe even "promise") we put our deposit down on isn't going to be what we thought, if travel is open again.