If you have been following my Twitter or Instagram (you should be!), you will know that I have two trips to Disney World booked for next year. This was absolutely not how I planned on doing my trip announcement, so bear with me. Disney have previously announced this magical date of September 26th which is when all the current COVID related changes were planning on ending. This was until last week when I got an email from them.
As you can see from the small snippet from the email I received on August 14th, Disney are no longer offering the Disney Dining Plan though the entirety of 2021. I got emails about this relating to both my September and November trips, suggesting Disney either see current restrictions lasting until the end of 2021, or they are being cautious. Both emails gave me until August 21st to make a decision on whether to still go ahead with my trip or to cancel and have any money I have already paid refunded. At this point, I have only paid my £50 deposit on both trips with my balance not being due until late next year. I hadn't waited for the free dining to be released (because I am too impatient and couldn't get it on my November trip regardless) and had paid for the Quick Service Dining Plan as part of my trip.
What I do find interesting is on my renewed invoice, this statement is printed on both. It did cause a teeny panic when I wondered if they had released Park Pass reservations for arrivals after September 26th, so I had a quick look and it turns out they haven't. I can only assume this is a standard clause now on the invoice, or they are planning to extend the Park Pass days. If that is the case, wish me luck trying to get Magic Kingdom for the 50th! I need The Oracle (otherwise referred to as Nathan Staker) to do some digging!
Obviously, the cancelling of the DDP did raise the question of whether I cancel my trips or not. I haven't been to WDW without the DDP in a very long time so it was a case of "oh my god, I have to pay for food now?". I went to Disneyland last year without any dining plan and managed it perfectly fine, so after a brief freak out, I wrote back to Disney and confirmed that I would like to continue on with my trips. I think my need for a Disney fix is going to be much greater than my need for the DDP!
Current plans over both trips have changed significantly because of the DDP no longer being available. Luckily, I have some amazing friends who have offered to help! Obviously, airlines and airports are still completely up in the air and I have no idea what is going to happen with that.
So, for trip one I am due to fly out on 30th September for a week staying at Pop Century. I will be there for Disney World's 50th anniversary, which, if I am honest, is the whole reason for a quick one week trip! I will be all Disney all day for this trip, not going offsite and trying to get all the new things done that weren't there when I was last in Florida in 2018. I will potentially take a trip to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios if Beetlejuice is a HHN house next year....and I aim to do Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party too. It is definitely going to be a busy one and I don't think I will get much sleep over that week!
For my second trip, I am due to fly out on 6th November for two weeks staying at Art of Animation. Both two new Disney resorts for me to tick off my list. This trip will be equally as chaotic but will include a lot of new experiences! I will be going back to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party which I haven't done since I was tiny, as well as visiting Mall at Millenia again for a Bath and Body Works fix. My fabulous friends at Team O'Sullivan (you should subscribe if you haven't already, they are the best!) are also out there at the same time as me and have offered to take me to some off-site restaurants, join me for some Disney meals and we have discussed a few other plans too so watch this space! I will also be venturing back over to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure because I can't go all the way to Florida for Christmas and not visit Grinchmas!
I am hoping to meet up with a lot of my Disney friends on both trips and I will finally be starting my YouTube channel with both trips being filmed, thanks to the continued efforts of my lovely friend Nathan for his bullying and nagging! So if you want to get ahead of the game, you know where the subscribe button is!
I will share more details of my trips as they get fully confirmed or changed closer to the time and will of course share my planning tips.
All I will say is stand by and please keep your arms, hands, feet and legs inside the vehicle at all times, it is going to be a great time!