I love planning and going on a Walt Disney World vacation. Like many people I too had to cancel a trip to WDW the summer of 2020. I actually had to cancel two. One because the parks were closed (May) and one because I just wasn’t too sure on how everything would be (early August).
My May trip was only five days and that was for my daughters birthday. August was my normal summer trip to Florida which is usually about 2 weeks long. We had 12 days planned at Disney staying at All Star Sports, All Star Movies and POP Century. Plus I would have visited Tampa and Titusville, FL.
With all the restrictions in place and the virus count increasing in Florida towards the end of July. I didn’t want to take the risk plus it is a lot of money. We had free dining for our August trip that we booked as a bounce back offer in 2019. I also got free dining for my cancelled May trip that I just added to the end of my trip.
With no dining plans offered all of my food would have to come out of pocket (I know if you get the dining plan you are still paying for it). I know many people think they save money and many probably do save money by paying out of pocket instead of getting a dining plan. My family really enjoys the dining plan and I feel paying out of pocket cost me more. Plus I am getting what is cheaper instead of what I would really like to have.
So let’s get to it. Lets find out everything that sucks about WDW right now in 2020.
Let’s just say I have a love hate relationship with the transportation at Walt Disney World. The skyliner and monorail I love. The buses I hate. I wasn’t a big fan of the buses before Covid and I really am not a fan of them now.
Due to the current environment and social distancing requirements the buses are only being loaded at what I can only guess is half capacity. They are broken down into 6 different sections of 5 seats each. Most groups are between 2 and 4 people so you can see how few people are on the buses.
It is being done to keep guest safe which is a good thing. Just stinks when it’s been a long day and all you want to do is get back to the resort and see that you will be group 13. Now you have to wait for two buses.
Don’t worry they aren’t sending extra buses either. At least that’s the impression I got when I visited. Animal Kingdom buses took a lot longer for pick up at the resort and the theme park. Magic Kingdom buses seemed to come a lot faster. In fact on my last day there I noticed a bus waiting in the pick up area every time we came out by the buses.
The buses also don’t seem to run as long as they did in the past. I can remember the buses for Magic Kingdom starting at least 2 hours before the park would open. So some days the buses would start running around 6 or 630 am. Now they start about an hour before the park opens.
With the limited capacity and a lot of resort guest trying to get to the same park. Good luck on making that early dining reservation. Just be prepared to get an Uber.
The buses to Disney Springs were also bad. We waited one day around 04:30 pm till after 5 for a bus to come. What made this worse was it started to rain heavily. We got soaked because you didn’t want to get out of line and lose your spot.
Like I said I really dislike the buses. I am almost to the point where I am going to rent a car the next time I fly down just so I don’t have to deal with them. I hated them before the Covid-19 Pandemic and I hate them during.
Much like the transportation at Walt Disney World the food is both good and bad. The food that is available and that I tried was good. However, the taste of the food isn’t the issue.
It’s the lack of food options. I can understand not having a buffet around at this time. A place near me has opened their buffet up and to this point haven’t had any issues. They make you wear gloves (new pair they hand you as you go up) and a mask.
Utensils are changed a few times an hour and of course you have to use a new plate. Now Disney has changed at least one of their buffets to an all you care to eat style of meal. Chef Mickey’s is now an all you care to eat family style meal. The other buffets are still currently closed.
A few of the quick service restaurants are also closed. One of my favorites, Columbia Harbor House in Magic Kingdom is not open at this time. Fan favorite Casey’s Corner is also closed at the moment.
Oh and most of the food carts and small food stands are also closed currently. I guess it’s because most of those places offer hand held foods that are easy to walk and eat. That’s a big no no right now. You need to be standing still and out of the way before you can remove your mask to eat or drink.
Having a huge turkey leg makes many people want to walk and eat. I know I wanted to walk and drink a bunch of times during my visit. And that was just to drink some water.
At the resorts it really feels like the food choices are lacking. Definitely at POP Century. I was never a big fan of what they offered but I do feel like they offered more before.
The biggest thing they are lacking is snacks and desserts. Plus you can’t pick which one you want a cast member will do that. I don’t know about you but if I am grabbing a muffin for breakfast I am looking for the biggest, fattest one I can find.
Also dealing with food you have to use mobile order on the Disney App. Now I personal love using mobile order. However, right now it seems to be really hit or miss. I ordered on the app breakfast one morning at the resort and after 30 minutes it was still being prepared. I ended up cancelling that order and waited till we got to EPCOT at 11 to eat.
I have heard many people having the same issue as me. Luckily, it only happened the one time for me. However, some people it seems to have happened a few times. Maybe they didn’t know what they were doing. I do know I know what I was doing. I used mobile order before the coronavirus pandemic and it worked nicely.
Too bad more and more people know about it. I kind of liked only a limited number of people knowing about it. It was like this nice little hidden hack not many people knew about. Now you have to use it. They are really forcing everyone to use it.
Right now Disney has suspended the Dining Plans. I understand them suspending the table service plans but I think they should have had the quick service dining plan available. To me I feel the dining plan saves me money.
Plus I don’t have to decide if I want to add a drink to my meal or pay attention to the price of those meals. Paying out of pocket is a pain to me. Now I know many people don’t feel the dining plan is a good value.
For me it is. I’ve spent so much money on this recent trip on food. Normally it is already paid for when I book my package. Plus I missed out on some things because of the price.
To me, I feel Disney should have offered the quick service dining plan. But maybe if they did the parks would have more people in them. The parks never felt very crowded but the resorts did.
Park hopping is a big part of my Disney vacation and right now you can’t do that. I like hitting one park up in the morning and a different one in the afternoon. However, right now you have to make a reservation to ONE park.
You can’t park hop and you can’t even enter a park without a valid ticket and a reservation for that park for that day.
I can’t even think of how many rides someone could do in one day if you were able to park hop. If you had your own car you probably could do ever roller coaster at Walt Disney World in one day with time to spare. Hopefully park hopping will come back.
I am sure it will, just we don’t know how long that will take. Hopefully it comes back soon but I really don’t see it coming back till late 2021 or 2022.
Another victim of the current situation due to Covid-19 is some of the different shops are closed. Sure many of stores all sell the same stuff but sometimes you can find different things. This wasn’t a complete deal breaker but it was a bit of a bummer.
Now as far as I could tell all of the different shops in the World Showcase at EPCOT were open except for the ones in the United Kingdom and one in Canada. Not being able to go in the shop at the UK did suck for me. I always enjoyed walking around those couple of stores. Don’t worry though if you are a fan of tea. The tea shop was still open.
Some of the different stores were closed at the Magic Kingdom but you could find just about everything in the Emporium on Main Street. Animal Kingdom too had a few stops closed. But the Discovery Trading Company has just about everything in there too.
Hollywood Studios too had a few closed shops. However, all of the shops in Galaxy’s edge were opened. Just remember that they are limited the amount of guest are in each location. Once they hit the max amount of guest you will have to wait in line for a group to leave.
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