Planning a trip next year?

kate81

Active member
I wasn’t sure where to put this post. Didn’t seem like it belonged in itinerary planning since I’m not actually looking for advice, more like commiseration.

Just wondering who else is in the same boat. We had a trip planned for august/September of 2020 that we chose to cancel. In this season of our lives we really only go to WDW about every 2 years for a longer trip. We haven’t been since September 2018. Looking at rescheduling, I think we’ll end up planning for either Feb 2022 or possibly summer 2022 (either June immediately after school ends or aug/sep immediately before school begins).

I feel like if we are going in Feb we should begin planning in earnest, but I hesitate to make a DVC reservation at this point since they are already banked points and I’m not 100% certain. I think I will likely wait until the 7 month mark. But I just feel stuck. I love planning and normally begin to figure out our itinerary/TPs close to a year in advance. But I don’t even know where to start now. Do I plan for the way things currently are? Do I assume things will be back to “normal?” Will FP be completely different once Covid restrictions are gone? What will our resort options be? We had BCV booked for the cancelled trip. Do we have any chance of getting an Epcot area resort at 7 months? I have no idea about any of it.

Ugh. Anyone else struggling with this?
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
All great questions, with no answers and no timeline for answers. They're still making park hours adjustments three weeks out, so there's almost no reliability of what to expect 10-18 months from now. My *guess* is a return to "normal" (whatever that means, right?) wouldn't happen before kids are eligible for vaccines. But that's just my guess. So for our family, I thinking we're going to bank our 2022 points into 2023 and aim for a return then. Spend our vacation time in 2022 somewhere different.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
I agree that a return to "normal" is unlikely until we have widespread vaccination of children. In addition, there are certain aspects to the parks that I don't think will return to the way they were before, some for good, some for ill. For example, I am not sure we will see the return of the large parades. The random small cavalcades seem logistically easier to do and in my opinion are more magical. I wouldn't be shocked if ADRs stay at 60 days for now on as well.
 

RetroCOTfan

Active member
This past weekend we booked a trip for the week between Christmas & New Year. Even with dates selected, I've been asking myself the exact same questions you're asking. Our family is fortunate to have been able to go every year or every other year for some time now (our last trip was January 2020), so we are all going into this vacation with a list of 1-2 must-do items, the understanding that it won't be a trip where we set a record for the number of attractions we do, and that we'll just have to "go with the flow." HA. This is the exact opposite of how our family functions, but we realize there are just too many unknowns. Normally we plan parks, meals, FPs, etc. down almost to the hour. For this trip, who knows? Oh, and this is our first Christmas-time trip in over a decade, and we've never been during "hell week," so there's all of that extra "unusualness" that we'll deal with. As the designated planner for our family, all of this is a bit overwhelming. It's both scary and exhilarating, I think. But we're ready to get back to our happy place, knowing that it won't be a "normal" trip, but also that it's better than being at home.
 

bnoble

he's right
I feel like if we are going in Feb we should begin planning in earnest, but I hesitate to make a DVC reservation at this point since they are already banked points and I’m not 100% certain.
I'm not sure I see what the downside is to making a speculative reservation for February. Would you have to borrow points or do something else that is "not undoable"? If not, I think I'd feel better having one and later not needing it than putting it off and not being able to get one at my home resort by the time I wanted it. I would not rent a reservation this far out, and I would probably not borrow, etc. either. Too much uncertainty. If you aren't looking for a studio, maybe even this doesn't really matter. But if you are looking for a studio and there is a chance that e.g. you overlap with the Princess Run (assuming it even happens) the Home Resort window might matter.

Setting that aside, I wouldn't really do much of anything because (a) there is nothing else you need to do (and barely anything you can do), and (b) everything is changing so fast that plans don't really mean anything.

As for nothing you need to do: he farthest day from now that has any limits on Park Pass availability for a Resort Hotel stay (ignoring the actual 50th Anniversary date of 10/1) is June, or less than 3 months from now. You probably have a *lot* of time to figure out even which park/which day (which means you also don't need to buy tickets.) If you already have tickets, there's no harm in making some speculative Park Pass reservations, but I'm not sure I would bother yet.

There's nothing else you can do. It is too early to make ADRs. There are no FPs. Without FPs, touring plans can be done a day or two before you visit the park, and probably doesn't even need to be "more like guidelines," to steal Barbossa's line.

If you need the sense of planning, reading Your Favorite Disney Bloggers can give you that without actually having to do anything. Any of that information might become useful later, but you won't know at the time which will be which, and can talk yourself into spending that time profitably. :cool:
 

kate81

Active member
All good points. I don’t really need advice just to talk about it where other understand the WDW obsession, lol. (Although advice is appreciated of course!)

As far as points, I have to find out if we’d need to borrow. But I know we banked points from our cancelled trip and if we use those they can’t be rebanked. And it gets tricky because it’s not just us. Technically they are my parents’ points and they have a system to divide them between myself and my brothers’ families. So we kind of have juggle them since we don’t all travel every year.

I’m not really worried about not getting something at 7 months. Home resort is SSR, which I think will still be available. And last trip we stayed at OKW which the kids actually loved and would be super happy with again. We have five kids so no studios for us. Either GV at OKW shared with my parents or 2 BR for us, 1 BR for them elsewhere.

I think part of my emotional struggle with the cancelled trip is that my oldest will be. Senior in high school next year!! It just seems unbelievable to me that there is a chance we won’t make it to WDW again until she’s graduated! Especially since we were supposed to go just before she began her junior year. I do know WDW will still be there and she will still vacation with us.
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
But I know we banked points from our cancelled trip and if we use those they can’t be rebanked.
Got it. I didn't realize DVC was letting people bank unused points a second time from the pandemic.
DVC is not allowing double-banking.

They have been allowing people to un-borrow points and put them back where they came from, but even that isn't something they will do forever.
 

smwisc

Active member
I wasn’t sure where to put this post. Didn’t seem like it belonged in itinerary planning since I’m not actually looking for advice, more like commiseration.

Just wondering who else is in the same boat. We had a trip planned for august/September of 2020 that we chose to cancel. In this season of our lives we really only go to WDW about every 2 years for a longer trip. We haven’t been since September 2018. Looking at rescheduling, I think we’ll end up planning for either Feb 2022 or possibly summer 2022 (either June immediately after school ends or aug/sep immediately before school begins).

I feel like if we are going in Feb we should begin planning in earnest, but I hesitate to make a DVC reservation at this point since they are already banked points and I’m not 100% certain. I think I will likely wait until the 7 month mark. But I just feel stuck. I love planning and normally begin to figure out our itinerary/TPs close to a year in advance. But I don’t even know where to start now. Do I plan for the way things currently are? Do I assume things will be back to “normal?” Will FP be completely different once Covid restrictions are gone? What will our resort options be? We had BCV booked for the cancelled trip. Do we have any chance of getting an Epcot area resort at 7 months? I have no idea about any of it.

Ugh. Anyone else struggling with this?
I feel your pain. We had a trip planned for July 2020 that we cancelled, and we haven't been since 2015. My youngest was 2 then and doesn't remember the trip, and now he's 8, so I'm already a little sad about missing the "peak magic" years. We had 10 day tickets, so they were extended through Sept 2021. And I bought them on a sale, before the last price increase, so it would cost a good bit to rebuy them if we don't go before then. So we're planning to go this summer (end of July into early August). We have a house with a pool in WH rented, although it's fully refundable until 30 days before.

On the one hand, I probably wouldn't choose this summer to go if I were starting from scratch buying tickets, given all of the limitations of what is available. But on the other hand, I don't know when we would go. We have a family trip likely to SD in 2022, so that wouldn't work. And long term who knows what Disney will be like - I do think in many ways it won't return to the way it was, and is likely to continue to get more expensive and more difficult to hack by staying offsite like we do (the early entry, who knows what will happen with FP, etc.). Plus my oldest is in high school already, so we're down to just a couple more summers with everyone at home.

And then there's COVID. We've been very cautious, but not the very-most-cautious. I feel like with driving, staying in a house, not eating indoors, and wearing masks, the risk is within my comfort zone knowing my husband and I will be vaccinated and our kids aren't high risk. Other than camping in our own state, I think it's safer than most other vacation options. But I still second-guess that sometimes, especially when reading things like all the blowback to Emily Oster's article about kids (blowback which is warranted, but IMO sometimes swings too far in the other direction). Of course all this does depend on case rates too. It seems like we've entirely lost the middle ground on risk assessment - either people are doing whatever the heck they want, or they think it's grossly irresponsible to leave your house at all (I exaggerate, of course).

So, there's my pandemic Disney debate, in commiseration with yours. :)
 
This past weekend we booked a trip for the week between Christmas & New Year. Even with dates selected, I've been asking myself the exact same questions you're asking. Our family is fortunate to have been able to go every year or every other year for some time now (our last trip was January 2020), so we are all going into this vacation with a list of 1-2 must-do items, the understanding that it won't be a trip where we set a record for the number of attractions we do, and that we'll just have to "go with the flow." HA. This is the exact opposite of how our family functions, but we realize there are just too many unknowns. Normally we plan parks, meals, FPs, etc. down almost to the hour. For this trip, who knows? Oh, and this is our first Christmas-time trip in over a decade, and we've never been during "hell week," so there's all of that extra "unusualness" that we'll deal with. As the designated planner for our family, all of this is a bit overwhelming. It's both scary and exhilarating, I think. But we're ready to get back to our happy place, knowing that it won't be a "normal" trip, but also that it's better than being at home.
My wife and I are booked for Dec, 2021. We stayed home 2020. We are lucky that COVID is not our only nor even our first health concern. We have been conscientous about masks & quarenteeing since Feb 2020, have been fully vacinated. We are retired but work now at home to save up extra money to make this a first class and probably final visit. We are hoping things will be normal enough that our trip will be as magical as possible so that we won't feel the trip was a waste or disappointment. We visit for the live entertainment, the food, the holiday celebration, the atmosphere, and food. Glad to read weekly that more and more is reopening/opening to mean this may happen. Looking forward to Remy, M&M Railroad, new Cirque (if it opens) hoping Candlelight might take place. We will anxiously wait for more & more news about WDW coming back to full life!
 

BSS

Member
I very much feel your pain. We are scheduled for late Jan/early Feb 2022. DS23 and I typically go every year and went in January 2020. We are skipping 2021 and hoping 2022 will be better. It depends on the day and moment whether I believe it will be or not. We are taking DH, DS21 and a friend of DS23 with us in 2022 and the friend has never been to WDW so, of course, I want his trip to be wonderful and magical. DH has not gone with us since 2011 and DS21 has not been since 2016 so much will be new to them, as well.

At this point, I have a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for multiple contingencies just so I can feel like I'm planning and play with different aspects all while knowing that none of it may matter and I cannot truly plan now for 2022 as there are just far too many unknowns. Many of those may remain unknowns for much or all of this year. Some of the things rolling around my brain:

  • Though we don't stop and watch fireworks anymore, I struggle with the idea of a World where there are none. Atmosphere is important.
  • Bringing back capacity without bringing back FP makes me wary. I've never loved FP+ and preferred the old paper system, but having none gives me pause when capacity increases.
  • FP+ is a good distributor and indicator of crowd movement, so if/when it comes back will park reservations still be required
  • We are a park hopper family. 2:00 isn't the end of the world as we typically take a break, but we have been known to pop over to Epcot for lunch after a morning at Studios.
These unknowns and so many more, make me uncertain. My family's desire to get back to WDW makes me want to go.

Sorry, I have no answers, just commiseration.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
  • We are a park hopper family. 2:00 isn't the end of the world as we typically take a break, but we have been known to pop over to Epcot for lunch after a morning at Studios.
With the early closing times posted for the summer, you're looking at just 3 hours at AK with park hopping starting at 2pm, 4 hours at MK and 5 hours at DHS/EP. It's infuriating.
 
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BSS

Member
With the early closing times posted for the summer, you're looking at just 3 hours at AK with park hopping starting at 2pm, 4 hours at MK and 5 hours at DHS/EP. It's infuriating.
Agreed. Park hours are a major concern for us as we look to early 2022. That is the #1 thing that would make us postpone (aside from health and safety, of course.)
 

kate81

Active member
DVC is not allowing double-banking.

They have been allowing people to un-borrow points and put them back where they came from, but even that isn't something they will do forever.
Yes I guess they were un borrowed. Sorry for the confusion.
 

kate81

Active member
I very much feel your pain. We are scheduled for late Jan/early Feb 2022. DS23 and I typically go every year and went in January 2020. We are skipping 2021 and hoping 2022 will be better. It depends on the day and moment whether I believe it will be or not. We are taking DH, DS21 and a friend of DS23 with us in 2022 and the friend has never been to WDW so, of course, I want his trip to be wonderful and magical. DH has not gone with us since 2011 and DS21 has not been since 2016 so much will be new to them, as well.

At this point, I have a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for multiple contingencies just so I can feel like I'm planning and play with different aspects all while knowing that none of it may matter and I cannot truly plan now for 2022 as there are just far too many unknowns. Many of those may remain unknowns for much or all of this year. Some of the things rolling around my brain:

  • Though we don't stop and watch fireworks anymore, I struggle with the idea of a World where there are none. Atmosphere is important.
  • Bringing back capacity without bringing back FP makes me wary. I've never loved FP+ and preferred the old paper system, but having none gives me pause when capacity increases.
  • FP+ is a good distributor and indicator of crowd movement, so if/when it comes back will park reservations still be required
  • We are a park hopper family. 2:00 isn't the end of the world as we typically take a break, but we have been known to pop over to Epcot for lunch after a morning at Studios.
These unknowns and so many more, make me uncertain. My family's desire to get back to WDW makes me want to go.

Sorry, I have no answers, just commiseration.
Yes, so many good questions! I think no FP+ and the park reservations are the hardest for me to wrap my mind around.
 

Art Vandelay

that's a shame
With the early closing times posted for the summer, you're looking at just 3 hours at AK with park hopping starting at 2pm, 4 hours at MK and 5 hours at DHS/EP. It's infuriating.
This is definitely a first world problem, but since we usually stay at BWV, we like to have the option on our MK morning to hop to Epcot for lunch, maybe do one ride, then walk to BWV for chill time.
 

BSS

Member
This is definitely a first world problem, but since we usually stay at BWV, we like to have the option on our MK morning to hop to Epcot for lunch, maybe do one ride, then walk to BWV for chill time.
To be fair, all of our WDW vacation planning problems are very much first world problems of privilege. They are still our problems. When you are spending this kind of money for an experience, it is reasonable to want that experience to meet expectations and, right now, I am not sure anyone is convinced that the price is commensurate with the current experience.
 

bnoble

he's right
That's not really a problem, though. If I can't adjust my expectations to match what the experience offers, I will do something else. And, right now, that's what I am doing. I do not have any plans to go to WDW before March '22 at the earliest. That's very much written in pencil, because I'm waiting to see how the WDW experience evolves. I have several other post-vaccine things planned instead: a week "up north" in May to do some hiking/kayaking, an extended vacation to Maui/Kauai for hiking/snorkeling/beach time in August, a long weekend in New Orleans for the rescheduled Jazz Fest in October, and a beach week in Palm Beach FL in February.

Some people will still decide that the juice is worth the squeeze, and will go under the current conditions, but not as many as "before." That's a good thing, because with the various precautions in place, the Parks cannot accommodate the same number of people as they could have "before." If the same number of people wanted to go, they couldn't.

Instead, "the problem" might be that I want the experience to be like it "was," and it's not. But, that's not a problem either---because it's not something I can do anything about. It is an unfortunate thing, but it's not a problem.
 
DVC is not allowing double-banking.

They have been allowing people to un-borrow points and put them back where they came from, but even that isn't something they will do forever.
There were a few reports of international owners calling and getting banked points banked once more. I think it’s under very specific conditions tho.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Disney is only extending hours about two weeks in advance now instead of about six weeks. So what you see now likely won't be the reality come __________ unless your trip is imminent.
 
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