I love October – leaves changing, cooler air, recipes reserved for autumn temperatures, pumpkin chai lattes (that’s a personal preference), Halloween, and this year, a family trip to Disney World.
We usually take the trip to Disney in January, but, as with a myriad of things, COVID made for a postponement. Will it be the trip we are all used to? We all know it won’t be, but my family has been making this biyearly trip for a long time, and we need this getaway. All of the adults, and the one child that is eligible, have been vaccinated. We will wear masks, socially distance, and keep hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes with us. Those items are almost the norm anyway, so the changes will be driving instead of flying, the crowds, and some rides, but mainly our perceptions. However, the important things are being together, seeing the grandchildren’s faces, and watching them experience all Disney World has to offer for the first time due to age, height requirement, or new-found bravery.
We used to fly to Orlando so that the younger children wouldn’t have to be in a car seat for long periods of time. Now, with the uncertainty of flights departing when they are scheduled or departing at all, and with the children being older, it is fine to drive. We will take our time, and stop for the night. Truthfully, by the time we drove to Raleigh to make the flight, went through security, waited for the flight to board, the flight itself, and waiting for transportation to our resort, it took about as much time as driving.
The atmosphere may be a little different – right now they are not having any parades – instead they are having cavalcades. This means that the main mouse Mickey and his cohorts, the princesses, and other Disney characters can be seen here and there riding in large vehicles – not the up close and personal children are used to. Many of the rides have plastic barriers separating the rows of seats. Other rides are not being filled to capacity so as not to have strangers sitting next to each other. This may make for a longer wait, but is a safety feature we won’t mind.
These changes will most likely be noticed by the adults and not the children. They will rejoice in being at “the most magical place on Earth,” going on their favorite rides and finally being old enough to try some new ones, taking in all of the four parks, likely several times while we are there. Disney World does have a new reservation system to get into each park. You have to reserve a park that you want to go to in the morning for each day you are there. In the afternoon, if you have a certain ticket, you can hop to another park, but only if it is not at capacity. That will be an interesting twist, but I haven’t read any complaints about this so far.
For me, this traditional trip is one I adore. We started going when our daughters were young and now seeing our grandchildren loving it is the best. Our vacation club membership lasts until I am 90. God willing, I hope to still be riding the rides, and maybe seeing my great-grandchildren each having the time of their lives!