Planning the perfect trip to Disney World takes courage, skill, and most of all, A LOT of time!
We’re talking AT LEAST 180 days for those of you who are brave enough to go after those highly-prized dining reservations! That’s why a lot of folks who were planning on being at Disney World right now are feeling especially downhearted. With the parks being shut down so unexpectedly, they gotta start the process of planning their dream vacations ALL over again!
That led us to think — “What would really cheer up the folks who are in this sticky situation?” We’re talking if we could play the role of your DFB Fairy Godmother for the day and grant you some TOTALLY MAGICAL WISHES!
Yes, DFB fam — we’re FANTASIZING here because it’s a fun (and much-needed!) escape from reality right now! While we’d really love to see our buddies who are eager to reschedule their trips get a few “extra enchantments,“ we know that not all of these can happen!
But…let’s be honest, Disney…a few of them sure COULD!
Yep, sometimes, just SOMETIMES, Disney World has been able to “work a little magic” for guests impacted by some of the temporary closures that have happened before. Let’s take a look!
How Disney World Has Compensated Guests in The Past
Yes, before we get WAAAY too ahead of ourselves in this vivid and quite detailed hallucination, let’s examine a few occasions where Disney World has historically closed its doors and what that meant for guests who were visiting at the time.
When 9/11 occurred, guests were cleared from the parks within 30 minutes and it’s reported many were given complimentary tickets at the turnstiles as they exited. Resorts remained open and the parks reopened the next day, September 12th, 2001.
Disney World has also experienced several hurricane-related closures over the years. Typically, these shutdowns have been brief and only minimally disruptive, usually only closing down the parks for a few hours. When Hurricane Irma struck in 2017 forcing the parks to close early, Disney made it up to guests by adding a special Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom for Resort guests.
Disney World’s resorts have remained open during these storms for guests while Cast Members assembled as “Ride Out” teams to keep everyone safe until the storms passed.
Disney World’s staff has truly gone above-and-beyond to protect everyone during these weather emergencies while still offering guests special entertainment such as rare character greetings and activities. Meanwhile, Disney World has a Hurricane Policy. If Orlando’s National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning within seven days of your vacation, you can usually contact guest services to cancel or reschedule your trip with reduced or no fees.
Soooo that’s how Disney World has made it up to guests for closing its parks in the past. This current situation we’re facing will be Disney World’s longest closure in history — which has given us plenty of time to really mull things over!
Let’s put on our pajamas (actually, we’re already wearing ours since we’ve been working from home all week! HA!) and fluff up our pillows to start dreaming BIG! In fact, let’s start dreaming really, REALLY BIG!
Off to Fantasyland WE GO!
Allow Displaced Guests Priority Re-booking Of Advance Dining Reservations
We know a lot of would-be guests had their hopes dashed when their advance dining reservations were wiped out. Some of these reservations weren’t easy to come by — it isn’t uncommon for Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom to book up 180 days in advance!
While we understand each restaurant can only accommodate a certain number of guests, it would be really wonderful if Disney could sprinkle a little magic pixie dust on this situation and allow guests with canceled trips a priority timeframe to re-book some hard-to-get ADRs they lost in when the parks closed.
Will it happen? It isn’t likely. After all, the popular restaurants are likely already booked up, and Disney can’t prioritize displaced guests over others. But we’ll be sending some positive vibes your way (which is the best any of us can do!).
Issue Multi-Experience FastPasses+ To Replace Lost Bookings
And just like dining reservations, if you were lucky enough to score some sweet Tier 1 FastPasses for popular attractions like Slinky Dog Dash or the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, we think it’s pretty unfair you had to give them up. Besides, if you do re-book your Disney World vacation in a window of time shorter than 60 days, all the best FastPasses will most likely have already been distributed!
While Disney probably couldn’t re-issue all of your original choices (but one can dream!), it would be awesome if they could at least give out some Multi-Experience FastPasses+ to guests who lost their initial selections.
These little beauties are like Willy Wonka’s golden ticket and are sometimes handed out by Disney when they make a boo-boo (like when the Skyliner stops running). They can be used on any attraction of your choice! If ever there was a situation that merited makin’ it rain some “golden tickets,” we think you’re looking at it!
Add More Disney After Hours Parties
And due to Disney World’s sudden closure, three After Hours parties were canceled including two Disney Villains After Hours events at Magic Kingdom. We had some big plans to hang out with all our favorite baddies while enjoying party-exclusive treats, reduced crowds, and shortened wait times for some of our favorite rides!
Although there’s a significant number of these parties still scheduled from April to July, we wouldn’t mind having a few more opportunities to hobnob with Disney’s worst villains!
Hey, we totally understand if they’ve got a lot of evil plans in the making. It’s more likely they won’t be able to extend their social calendar for us, but who knows!
Finish Cinderella Castle’s Magical Makeover Early
And even though we told you construction projects were being temporarily postponed at Disney World, maybe “less intensive projects” such as Cinderella Castle’s refurbishment might be able to continue forward at some point?
Aided by the fact that Cinderella Castle’s paint job seemed to be going up very quickly last time we saw it makes us all the more wishful Magic Kingdom could re-open with a completely finished castle! A dream is a wish your heart makes after all! We think we remember hearing that tune somewhere! But we won’t be too bummed if we see the cherry-pickets again as long as it means we’ll get to see the castle! (And, of course, we want all the workers to be as safe as possible!)
Postpone Spaceship Earth’s Refurbishment
But depending on how long Disney World will remain shuttered, many guests might not get to say farewell to the version of Spaceship Earth they know and love.
We’re certainly hoping Disney would consider delaying Spaceship Earth’s refurbishment. (Heck, call us old-timey, but we wouldn’t be mad if they called off the refurb entirely!)
Extend Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival
Speaking of Epcot, one of our favorite festivals had only just begun when Disney World announced it would be temporarily closing. Epcot’s 2020 International Flower and Garden Festival is currently only scheduled to run through June 1st. Since it’s the highlight of many guests’ Disney trips, it would be a bummer to miss out on so much of the festival this year!
Can we all just agree right now to extend Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival well into the summer? That way, we can enjoy all the food and topiaries PLUS get our hands on more of that adorable merch this year including Spike the Bee and Orange Bird! This news would be so wonderful to hear, but this would be a really hard one for Disney World to pull off — especially with no College Program cast members.
Give Annual Passholders Some Love
We know Disney World’s Annual Passholders could also use some lovin’ right now! Disney’s already assured AP members their passes will be extended for however many days the parks remain closed, but we hope they can give APs a couple of extra perks, too!
Since Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival was only in its first few weeks, we know you APs would love to have some extra time to pick up your free AP magnet! Especially because the design is so stinkin’ cute this year!
And we know Florida resident and Silver Annual Passholders have dates blocked from June to August. Folks would really love seeing some of these restraints lifted. So many of you have contacted us about this one, but we’ll just have to take this one day at a time!
Grant Automatic Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups
Okay, all of these suggestions have been pretty nuts so far, but now we’ve got one that’s even CRAZIER! How about guaranteeing guests who had to cancel their vacations boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance? That would certainly help to soften the blow since the attraction is notoriously difficult to get on!
Actually, Rise of the Resistance had several breakdowns the first day it opened. Reports vary somewhat, but it seems Disney gave out FastPasses+ to ride Rise of the Resistance the very next day, and a complimentary 1-day park hopper for guests who were able to join a Boarding Group on opening day but unable to ride.
We were hoping there might be some downtime to work on the attraction since Rise of the Resistance has continued to experience operational delays, but as of now, it looks like Disney World has ceased all construction projects.
Stricter safety recommendations recently issued by health and government officials have advised people not to gather in groups of more than 10 for the next 8 weeks, which has made it nearly impossible for work to continue at the parks. While it’s not likely Rise of the Resistance will be “fixed” we’re still chomping at the bit to ride it again when Hollywood Studios reopens!
Since many of us are stuck at home now (or worse…WORKING from home!) during what was supposed to be our Disney vacation, how about sliding us over a free subscription to the live-streaming service, Disney+? That way, at least we’d have something with which to bide our time until the parks reopen (and take our minds off of this madness!).
Actually, most of us have already lost the little willpower we had left and have signed up for Disney+ already! 😉 It’s just the Disney fix we need to get us through this difficult time!
Well, Cinderellas, that’s it for our little jam session! We had a BALL bringing all of our ideas to you! As for you folks who will be re-booking the Disney World vacations you had to cancel, we’re thinking about you! While we can’t grant you any of these wishes, we hope we brought a smile to your face! And remember — we’ll be here to help you plan your next Disney World trip every step of the way!
Do you have anything you’d like to add to the list? Tell us your suggestions in the comments below!