Oh, Covid. You have completely turned this world upside down.
If you've been following my Instagram account or even my blog posts, you know that my family and I are avid travelers. We have a hard time staying in one place for more than a few weeks at a time before we get the itch to travel again.
Last year my family and I were traveling between California and Maine on the regular. We explored most of So-Cal and many of the surrounding states. We became Disneyland Passport holders and visited the parks 4-5 days a week.
And then Covid hit.
We were forced to cancel our once in a lifetime mid-April trip to Disney's Aulani in Hawaii. We left California towards the end of April 2020 (as things were getting a little too crazy out there for our liking) and made the 47 hour road trip home to Maine.
After being in Maine for a month or so, we were going stir crazy. We booked an incredible house in Kissimmee, FL for the end of September 2020 and crossed all our fingers and toes that things would be back to "normal" for our trip. We had ZERO plans to go to Disney. Our intention was to fly to Florida and just hang out at our incredible rental property for the week. We have a three year old. He does awesome with a mask when it comes to flying, but knew he (and ourselves for that matter), would have a difficult time wearing a mask in the very hot and very humid Florida climate.
After arriving to our house and settling in, we looked at the weather for where we were staying and we were in shock. The next three days for our trip showed a daily high of 79 degrees and near 0% of humidity. It's like all the stars aligned and the Disney gods answered our prayers.
We immediately booked our tickets and reservation for Magic Kingdom for the next day.
Disney's safety procedures and precautions were above and beyond anything I've ever seen. Temperatures were taken upon entering the park. Cast members were extremely friendly and reminded people to make sure their masks were over their noses at all times. All cast members that had direct contact with guests wore both a face mask and a face shield. Social distancing was ALWAYS enforced. All rides were constantly sanitized and janitorial staff were sanitizing areas around the park non-stop. Hand sanitizing stations were everywhere in the park along with social distancing markers and instructions on the ground for when you were waiting in line for any ride or concession.
I wouldn't say that Disney lost it's magic, but it was definitely different. The low crowds were 100% worth the trip. The longest line we had all day was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, We waited in line for 25 minutes. I personally had never seen the wait time for this ride below 80 minutes during any of our visits.
The huge drawback for us was we weren't able to really get any great photos of our family because everyone was in a mask (no, you are not allowed to lower them for photos even if you are 6 ft apart from other guests). I love photography and capturing the joy on my son's face at Disney is one of my favorite things to do. So for us, this was the #1 drawback.
We never stay for fire works, so we weren't missing that. We LOVED the mini pop-up parades around the park! They were amazing! We did miss being able to meet and interact with characters. That was also another drawback.
My final opinion: We will likely be back at Disney World again within the next year - Covid or no Covid. We are trying to keep things as normal and fun for our son as humanly possible in this crazy, messed up world. Our little vacation was the most fun that we have had as a family in MONTHS and was also the first time we felt some sort of "normalcy" in our lives since mid March. We made countless memories with friends that are absolutely priceless.
We have zero regrets.
And P.S. -- for all of those saying the new pink on the castle is ugly, ya'll are blind. It is beautiful, especially in person.