Benefits of Going to Walt Disney World Now
What’s the one thing that holds us all back from visiting Walt Disney World frequently? It’s the price, right?
We don’t have unlimited vacation budgets, but we love Disney and wish we got to visit more often.
Even during the pandemic, our hearts are at the parks. What you may not realize is that you have plenty of good reasons to go right now…and the price is definitely one of them.
Now, with Walt Disney World re-opened, here are several benefits of going to the parks.
Do you ever read one of those sites that track Walt Disney World wait-times? These places have operated for years and have plenty of historical data about the average amount of time you’ll spend in line for an attraction.
Over the past six weeks, wait-times have been so low that they’ve blown the curve, so to speak. For example, Touring Plans employs a 10-point scale to estimate crowd size on a given park day.
When I visited in late January, crowd sizes were either an 8 or 9 out of 10, depending on the day. And this was a full month after Christmas. Disney officials have acknowledged that the company was pacing for record attendance in 2020 before the pandemic shut down the parks.
This week, the same site shows estimated crowd levels at 1 out of 10…every day at every park. Disney has limited attendance to ensure social distancing practices, and the current vacationers benefit mightily from this tactic.
During a typical park day, park strategists expect the average guest to experience nine attractions. Experienced park guests can reach that total in three hours right now. I’m not even joking.
Some popular vloggers have tested the upper limits of a full park day. They’re surpassing 20 attractions in a single visit despite the reduced park hours. During my last Disney vacation, I went on a Disney VIP Tour one day and had Disney After Hours tickets on another. I maxed at 19 attractions.
So, the Disney potential this summer matches the levels for paid tours and ticketed events during a regular vacation. You’re not paying extra for the opportunity, though. In fact, Disney has even discounted some tickets recently, depending on where you live.
By visiting the parks this summer, you can do more than you’ve ever managed in a park day before. And you can accomplish this every day of your trip. Crowds aren’t returning to normal anytime soon. Take advantage of this rare chance!
Limited Engagement Performances
You’ll receive another serendipitous benefit by going to the parks now. You’ll experience limited-time offerings that probably won’t be around in a year.
Park officials recognize that standard parts of a Disney visit aren’t feasible during the pandemic. You won’t get to watch the fireworks or a daily parade, and personal character interactions would jeopardize you and the cast member.
The management team has planned for this problem. Disney has populated each park with original entertainment. Think of these amenities as stopgap measures until Coronavirus subsides.
The one that’s received the most attention is the Cavalcade. You can think of it as a mini-parade, one that Disney hosts for you almost exclusively. To maintain social distancing, these events are random, thereby preventing crowds from forming.
The setup of the Cavalcades varies from park to park, but the gist is the same. Disney sticks a few beloved characters on a boat, float, or car. They ride around popular parts of the park, waving to guests and putting on small shows.
At Magic Kingdom, Cavalcades happen on floats, with characters like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and the Disney Princesses hosting the proceedings. You’ll hear these floats before they arrive, giving you plenty of time to find a spot to watch.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom does something even better. Disney has stuck many of the characters who previously performed character greetings here on motorized boats. They sail around the park, waving to guests. Some of these characters, like Launchpad McQuack, are rare, too.
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Imagineers have stylized some vehicles for Cavalcades. Some of the Disney Junior crew ride around in cleverly themed cars, presumably because they’re not old enough to drive. Occasionally, The Incredibles and Edna Mode make the rounds, too.
Unique Band Performances and Character Interactions
Elsewhere in the parks, you’ll encounter other oddities. The JAMMitors cannot roam through Future World, but they’re still banging the drums. You’ll find them at the America Gardens Theatre in the World Showcase, the place where famous musicians ordinarily play during Eat to the Beat concerts.
Disney cannot host those during the pandemic, and so cast members pick up the slack. Mariachi Cobre also plays some shows here. You have two different opportunities to watch Disney performers in a new venue.
Some character interactions are similarly unique. For no apparent reason, Winnie the Pooh has grabbed his fishing net and headed out to the forest at the United Kingdom pavilion. He’ll desperately try to net some butterflies, but he’s doomed to fail. This joyous bit of entertainment will delight children…and kids at heart, too.
Other parts of Walt Disney World host different interactions. Above the entrance train station at Magic Kingdom, some characters will either perform a show or wave and talk to the guests beneath them on the ground floor. Obviously, you cannot approach for safety reasons, but you’ll have no trouble hearing each other.
At Cinderella Castle, some characters hold court. The most entertaining ones I’ve seen are Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella. They didn’t win Prince Charming’s heart, but they act like they run the castle. They’ll crack wise with any park guests they spot roaming the courtyard. It’s Disney improv at its best.
None of this stuff is likely to survive after the pandemic. So, your only hope of experiencing is to go while you can.
DVC Members Save Their Points
Hi, I’m a DVC member, and I rented points just the other day. Yes, I’m serious. I spent my annual points allotment back in January, which isn’t great since I have a December Use Year.
From October through the end of January, we needed every point that we had plus one-time usage points to schedule our trip. My family then decided that we wanted to go again this October for many of the reasons I’m explaining right now.
Lacking the necessary points, we entered the rental points market. And I mention this because most DVC members sometimes find themselves in this position.
Since DVC added the monorail resorts to the library, the cost of a week’s stay has increased dramatically. Guests who want to spend Christmas Week at a DVC resort are looking at 200+ points…for a studio.
According to an industry expert I quizzed, the average DVC member owns roughly 250 points. Should you want to stay on the monorail, you’ll need even more DVC points, especially if you prefer one- or two-bedroom villas.
Sure, you could add on, which many DVC members do. However, you may just want the points as a one-time-only purchase. Yes, Disney sells one-time use points, but the maximum is 24. You won’t get the vacation that you want with 24 extra points. I’m speaking from recent experience here.
That’s where DVC rental points shine through as the perfect solution. You’re not wasting your own points but rather renting someone else’s for the same hotel stay. Everything else will work identically to booking your own DVC reservation.
You get to visit Walt Disney World now without impacting any future DVC plans you may have. In fact, once you’re used to renting points, you may prefer this method instead of buying more points. With rental points, you’re not locked into any long-term obligations. It’s a quick fix.
Despite the pandemic and the current state of the economy, outside of some regional marketing efforts, Disney hasn’t discounted its room rates yet. I can prove this with some math.
I’m going to Walt Disney World in late October. I checked what my hotel stay would cost if I paid cash instead of utilizing DVC rental points. The answer is $3,928.52. Oh, and that’s a discounted rate since I’m a DVC member. Non-members would pay even more.
Sure, I could pay that, but it’s a lot smarter to look at the Confirmed Reservations page here at DVC Rental Store. That same hotel room’s price drops to $2,335.
You don’t have to be great at math to know you’re saving a lot of money. It’s just under $1,600 less for the same room! With that extra money, you can pay for all your souvenirs and possibly have enough money left over to buy a new HDTV when you get home.
Also, bargain shoppers should be aware of the Discounted Points section for Guaranteed Reservations. Sometimes, this site offers DVC discounts for as little as $10 per point!
I’m looking at the inventory right now, and there’s a Bay Lake Tower studio available for three nights. All it would cost you is $650! You don’t even have to pay sales or tourism taxes on that price! It’s $650 out of pocket. Period. You’d spend less than $220 a night to be five minutes away from the front entrance to Magic Kingdom.
If this fact alone doesn’t cause you to sift through the Confirmed Reservations page, you and I are very different people.
Think about this entire situation. You can go to Disney now for less than you’ve paid in many years. While there, you’ll get to experience one-of-a-kind amenities that are only available for a limited time.
Best of all, you won’t have to fight the crowds while you’re there since Disney carefully controls attendance. What are you waiting for? Rent some DVC points and go to Disney!