It has been one year since Walt Disney World re-opened during the Covid-19 pandemic. I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at my trip in July 2020. This was probably the least crowded I have ever seen the parks. The only other time I can recall it being similar crowd levels was in September 2001. Jon and I went to Walt Disney World just 2 days after 9/11 and the parks were also empty. This time was just as surreal because we were in the middle of the pandemic and things were only getting worse at that time so the future was very uncertain. There was definitely a feeling of…are we supposed to be here? It felt like we were doing something we weren’t allowed to do but were somehow getting away with.
Our first stop upon arrival was the Magic Kingdom. We arrived 2 hours before closing and the park was a ghost town. It was both exciting and a little un-nerving. As you can see here, Fantasyland was very quiet. There were only a few people walking around and even fewer people on the rides. In the picture you can see one lonely stroller here parked outside of Prince Charming Regal Carousel. We made our way over to see what the wait for Peter Pan looked like and to our surprise there was nobody in line.
The line was empty for both Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small world. We walked right on to both of those attractions. You can see below a group of two guests exiting the boat as we made our way through the queue.
After waiting in the longest line of the day for 7 dwarfs mine train (5 minutes) we decided to walk back over to the storybook circus area to see if anyone was back there. This section of the park tends to get pretty quiet towards the end of the day during normal times but on this day it was empty.
You can see another lone stroller parked near the entrance to Under the Sea-Journey of the little Mermaid. We walked right onto this attraction and yet again saw one group of guests exiting the ride as we were boarding. We had the whole ride to ourselves. After our journey under the sea we walked over and rode Dumbo and Barnstormer multiple times. By the time our kids were tired of Barnstormer the park was about to close.
There was a good 20 minutes or so where we didn’t see another guest while we were back in Storybook Circus. We only saw the cast members who were operating the attractions and the custodial cast members that were preparing for nightly cleaning.
Once we made our way towards Tomorrowland the park was closed. We started our slow walk out of the park because we had a dinner reservation at California Grill and it was only a short walk away.
As we walked out through Main Street we encountered the biggest crowd of the day. The remaining guests were walking out with us as Mickey and friends waved goodbye. I snapped this picture looking back towards Cinderella Castle.
Episode 301: In this episode this we discuss the latest Disney news and give a construction update on the various construction project going on at Walt Disney World. Jason, points out that his favorite attraction, The Tom Sawyer Island Rafts. The Soul of Jazz exhibit is now open at Epcot and Annual Passholders will get a 30% discount on merch again for the next month. The park hours have been extended for the President’s Day holiday week. There has been a new record for the Points challenge this past week. Can someone beat the new record next week with the longer hours? We wrap the show by giving a collection of the different tips that we have learned over the past several months traveling to Walt Disney world during Covid-19.
Episode 297: Today we say our goodbye’s to 2020! We also do some predictions about the next 10 years and what attractions do we think will see major changes and which ones won’t see much at all. We do discuss some of the latest news also like, we totally spoil the ending of Mandalorian season 2 so if you are the person that hasn’t seen it yet…ye’ve been warned. We also discuss the news of Snow White’s Enchanted Wish being revealed at Disneyland. This episode ended up being a little all over the place but we really enjoyed making it. We hope you all have a safe and happy new year…Here’s to 2021!
Episode 295: We discuss some of the latest Disney news and rumors. Jon and I are a two man crew this week as Jason was unavoidably detained. We talk about Bob Iger leaving the Disney, The actor behind the Darth Vader suit, David Prowse passed away. The Mandalorian has cracked the top 10 for streaming shows. Rise of the resistance continues to have issues as it celebrates its one year anniversary. Disneyland continues to have more closures due to rising cases of Covid-19. There will be no fireworks on New years eve. We also give an update on some of the progress of various constructions projects that are going on at Walt Disney World.
Episode 294: Today we hear Jon’s thoughts on his recent trip to Walt Disney World. First we cover some news headlines. McDonalds temporarily halted the distribution of the Runaway Railway Toys. Legendary Disney Imagineer Joe Rhode announced his retirement…We wonder if it is just the timing for him or was there any pressure for him to step down. Disney Springs will get a highspeed rail station in the coming years, where will it go and how will that impact travel to Walt Disney World? Park Hopping is going to return to Walt Disney World in January, we talk about potential strategies for hitting multiple parks. We also give some more construction and refurbishment updates. Jon talks us through the good, the bad and ugly of his trip to Walt Disney World. There were some issues with food service and room maintenance at Caribbean Beach but overall the convenience of the skyliner was a big plus. He got to do Runaway Railway and it was a big hit with the family but there was some disappointment with Rise of the Resistance. Crowds were also an issue at times. Will he go back again anytime soon?
Episode 289: Jason just got back from a busy holiday weekend and Walt Disney World. He gives his full trip report but first we do discuss some of the recent Disney News. The drama out of California is continuing to develop. We discuss the latest with the status of Disneyland and when they might be able to get some guidelines on re-opening. Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to Disney’s CEO asking for a details on why they proceeded to lay-off 28k workers while executives full salaries were re-instated. She also questioned the stock buyback policies that Disney has been taking part in over the past few years. Disney did respond but not directly answering her questions. In other news, There’s a new pop-up store for Annual Passholders at Epcot and Ratatouille will have a single rider line. The people mover refurbishment will be delayed yet again and the trailer for the new Pixar film Soul has been released. Jason then goes through his trip report from Walt Disney World over the holiday weekend. He let’s us know what the crowds were like and if Disney enforced the mask policy. He stayed at the Yacht Club and gives us his review on the resort and Stormalong Bay. He also got to experience Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the B-mode for Kylo Ren in Rise of the Resistance.
Episode:279. Today, we reveal that one of us has tested positive for Corona-virus. We also discuss the latest Disney News. The movie release of Mulan is coming to Disney+ for an additional fee. The Disney 3rd quarter earnings call happened this week and there’s some good and bad things that came out of it. Annual Passholders are continuing to see some extra love and attention these days with extended discounts and of course a new magnet! (one per household). The average wait times for 3 of the 4 Walt Disney world parks has gone up week by week since re-opening but one park has seen wait times go down. Could you guess which one? Splash mountain had a boat sink as well this week and had to close for a couple of days. Isn’t that the attraction to have a boat sink this year?
Episode:277. I talk about my recent trip to Walt Disney World! I go through the safety measures that Disney has in place and if it made me feel safe. We also cover the recent news like the fact that Disney has officially announced the closure of three attractions. Could more closures be on the horizon? What other attractions could be at risk? We also talk about the annual pass options for cancelling or extending your pass. During my trip report I talk about the crowd levels on each day and my first ride experience on Mickey and Minnie’s runaway railway. At Epcot I got to experience what I call the Flower, Food, Wine and Garden festival, I give my pick for best dish at the festival. I also had great dinning experiences at California Grill and Olivia’s. Overall if you are considering going to Disney in the near future I would say that you should use extreme caution and make sure that you are OK with the risk but also know that Disney has done a lot to make things as safe as they can.
Episode 270: Today Jason returns to the show and fills us in on the work that he has been doing to help combat the spread of Covid-19. He also gives us his thoughts on what the parks will be like once they reopen. We also discuss Disney’s statement regarding the unjust murder of George Floyd by a police officer. We later go into some other news around spaceship earth and what it will be like when Epcot reopens. Annual Passholders will have the option of partial refunds or date extensions when the parks reopen…but what will the restart date be? Shanghai might be an indication the extension being longer than expected.
Episode: 269. Walt Disney World announced their re-opening dates and we go through all of the details. While it is good to finally know an opening date for the parks and resorts. It was a little surprising at first that they are going with July 11th & 15th. However, after we start going through the details it does start to makes sense. Also, DVC resorts are set to re-open on June 22nd and with likely soft openings of the parks. We break down what some new requirements will be in order for guests to visit the parks this summer. We also discuss some of the other news like what is going on a Disney springs now that they Disney operated stores are open for business…It’s pretty much how you would expect.
Episode 268: Disney Springs is now open! We discuss this and the recent promotion of Josh D’Amaro to Chairman of Parks & Resorts! We will miss him as president of Walt Disney World but as Chairman of Parks and Resorts I have a feeling that we will still see him around. We discuss the positive impact that we think Josh will bring to the guest experience in the coming years. We also talk about the other cooperate shuffling that has gone on this week at Disney. We also noticed that things seem to be picking up over at the Star Wars galactic Starcruiser construction site. Also, we now have masks in our spreadshirt store! check them out.