When Disney Parks Re-Open, What Should We Do First?
We know you miss the parks, and we do, too. We’ve spent a lot of free time daydreaming a day at Disney. And we’ve come up with a plan. When Disney parks re-open, here are several things we should all do!
Appreciate the Weather
Most of us have spent our time indoors lately. Anyone who isn’t deemed an employee in an essential business knows what I mean. Unless you’re a fan of playing Russian roulette, you’ve self-isolated a lot.
So, you may not have noticed that the seasons have changed. For that matter, depending on where you live, you may not have warm weather yet. Some of my friends have posted snow pics in the past few days.
I’m happy to tell you that the weather at Disney theme parks is beautiful right now and will remain that way until at least the end of fall. When you roam the parks, you’ll recall the glory of sunlight. You might even get that thing that came before the Great Shut-In. I think it was called a “suntan.” Remember those?
Do the Classics
Every Disney theme park attraction is special in its own way. However, some of them possess an inimitable level of prestige.
I’m talking about the classics like Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, and Splash Mountain. I could add five or six more, depending on which theme park you’ll visit first. That’s not the point, though.
We’re talking about the activities that we should rush to do the instant that the parks re-open. And I strongly encourage all of you to throw together a list of the Disney rides that you view as the classics.
Then, when you book your FastPasses, eschew the new stuff. Your mission should be to celebrate the timeless majesty of Disney, a place where attractions that are as much as 65 years old still entertain guests today.
Get a Special Snack
Disney parks sell at least four genuinely iconic snacks. I don’t care which one of them is your favorite, either. All I ask of you is that you put that snack in your hand within minutes of re-entering the park for the first time.
Grab an oversized Turkey Leg and post a picture on social media as you smilingly devour it. Take a Mickey Ice Cream Bar out of the freezer and bite into it.
Carry a Dole Whip around in the hot California/Florida sun and let the pineapple cream drip everywhere. Eat a churro with a featured flavor that defies all logic and reason.
DO IT ALL, MY FRIENDS!!!
This is not the time to count calories. A time like this is one that you will remember for years to come. The best way to re-tell an entertaining story is to make it ridiculously over-the-top in the first place.
Commit the sin of gluttony this one time. Both your deity and your Uncle Walt will look the other way on this one. Everyone knows that you’ve earned this treat! Savor every bit.
In fact, go ahead and buy/eat all four! And throw in some weird popcorn concoction, too! You’ll burn enough calories while the parks to counteract the calories.
Go Resort Hopping
While the temptation to spend time at the parks may overwhelm you, don’t overlook the resorts! All official Disney hotels are majestic in terms of theming and amenities. They also host some of the best restaurants on Disney campuses.
I’m always a proponent of hanging out at a few resorts during a Disney vacation At Disneyland, all three are close enough that you can experience all of them in a few hours. At Walt Disney World, you can focus on areas like Magic Kingdom/monorail resorts or Epcot/BoardWalk hotels.
While you’re at these properties, you can shop, eat, and wander the grounds, admiring the impeccable themes at each place. Plus, Disney pipes scents into each hotel’s lobby, making for an unforgettable olfactory experience.
Best of all, spending a few hours resort hopping will guarantee that you don’t overdo it during your next park visit. And let’s be real here. The moment that Disney unlocks the gates at its theme parks, some of us are going to lose our minds trying to do everything that we’ve missed over the past few weeks.
Join the Resistance
Before Walt Disney World and Disneyland closed, both parks struggled to satisfy the demand for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Guests would show up hours before Rope Drop, hoping to receive a Boarding Group for the day. Sometimes, the early bird didn’t get the worm, as the number of guests trying to get into the virtual queue overwhelmed the system.
In the earliest days after the re-opening of Disney’s American theme parks, guests should enjoy a better chance at Boarding Group access. I’m not making any promises, but the odds will undeniably improve.
Disney was on pace for a record-setting year for attendance. That’s sadly not going to happen now. However, the upshot for those of us who return quickly is that we’ll get to spend more time at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!
Show the Cast Members Your Appreciation
Too often, park guests think of their interactions with cast members as one-sided. The customer is always right, right? Well, let’s think about the other side of the equation this time.
Cast members have spent the past few weeks in a state of confusion. They haven’t known when they will work again, whether they’ll get paid, how their insurance coverage will operate, or what the next step is. Yes, Disney recently added a bit of clarity about salary and insurance. Still, it’s undeniably been a stressful time for cast members.
At the moment, while you’re not doing anything else, you could download cast member thank you cards. Print out a bunch of them and pack them for your next trip. Then, whenever someone provides that particular burst of Disney employee magic, reward them with an appreciation card!
Cast members treasure these items anytime, but they’ll mean even more after everyone has endured the park closures. You’ll make someone feel valued and help them forget the aggravation of the past few weeks.
Walk around the World Showcase
Walt Disney loved traveling the world, and he also adored reminders of international customs. After all, his plans for EPCOT hinged on some of his multicultural experiences at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
And the one thing that Imagineers got right after his death more than anything else was the World Showcase at EPCOT. It’s a stunning blend of several societies spread out across 1.3 miles of waterfront space.
Frankly, many of us take the World Showcase for granted. We don’t spend enough time at the pavilions, admiring the arts and entertainment available at each locale. That should change the next time we visit.
Right now, overseas travel is strongly discouraged. So, nobody can visit the Eiffel Tower or wander through pagodas in Japan. At EPCOT, we have that rare opportunity to enjoy reminders of the places we haven’t been able to visit lately. It’s a comforting way to remember that the world is smaller in the age of air travel, even though we haven’t gotten to do it lately.
Watch the Fireworks
I don’t live in Orlando or Anaheim. Something that I wonder is how quickly people have adapted to the silence at night. Friends who live close to Disneyland and Walt Disney World comment on how much they’ve accepted that loud fireworks are an accepted part of each evening.
For theme park guests, Disney’s nightly shows function as the dessert that perfects a delicious meal. A few notes from Happily Ever After combine marvelously with flaming lights in the night’s sky to make a park day feel more magical.
The moment that the parks re-open, we’re all going to watch every possible nighttime presentation that we can. And we’ll appreciate them more, too.