If you are asking me personally, I would tell you, "Yes!," it is still worth going back to the parks despite there not being any large scale parades or fireworks. Are those things missed? Of course they are, but there is still soo much to enjoy, experience and opportunity for making new memories with your family and friends like a new way of seeing your favorite characters in mini parade type experiences called "cavalcades," lower park crowds due to operating at a reduced capacity level, and shorter wait times for rides. Depending on the day of the week the wait times for those more popular attractions can get a little long, but a 45 - 60 minute wait for AVATAR Flight of Passage or the NEW Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios is still a heck of a better wait than a 180 minute wait on a normal pre-COVID day. Did we choose to wait in a couple of longer lines to do certain things, yes, and at the end of the day we did all the major rides without a FastPass. That's still a win in my book.
It's all about perspective. Is the glass half full, or is it half empty...the age old question, and the answer varies from person to person. It is your choice. So let's talk about it.
But all the shows aren't happening right now???! That is 100% correct, and are they missed....yes they are because shows add another layer of things to experience when you're in the parks.
If you are debating whether or not if you are ready to plan a trip back to Universal Orlando Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, you may need to adjust your expectations a little bit from what you may have experienced in your prior vacation experiences, but not quite as much as you might think, and here's why.
Glass Half Full: 99% of all attractions are open for guests to enjoy, Disney's and Universal's bus and water taxi/boat and monorail transportation is up and operational with proper safety and social distancing measures in place to transfer you from your resort to the parks. Resort options at varying budget levels are open along with resort dining and pool amenities for your enjoyment and relaxation....who can't use a little R&R hanging by the pool for a couple of hours, right? The new, and safe way for now, of meeting your favorite characters actually means no standing in a super long line waiting, and we think that some of the interactions are better and more personal than they were previously. This is one thing I really hope they keep around long after the world returns to normal. You can get some really great Photo Pass pictures of you and your family done with your favorite icon in the background and less crowds of people in your picture. Gradually, as time continues to move forward, we are seeing more things open back up....additional dining locations, the First Time in Forever FROZEN Sing-Along show has returned, more character dining options are slowly opening up. AND....all the MAGIC and feels of the holiday season can still be enjoyed at both Walt Disney World® Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Neither of these locations have skimped this year in creating the magic of the season through boughs of garland, wreaths, bows, oversized decorated trees, seasonal treats, music and family FUN activities!
Is this the right time for you to plan a trip anywhere? I cannot answer that question for you, but I can help you to try and figure that out if you would like. How safe are the parks? I have been back down there twice since they reopened this summer, and I felt very safe. The Cast Members are doing a great job of enforcing that ALL guests follow the rules of properly wearing their face covering, keeping people socially distanced in the queues and on attractions, and there are hand sanitizer stations everywhere all around. However, there was nobody at my local Costco on Sunday telling all those with no face covering on or below their nose to please pull them up so....
Even though not all the shows are back up operational right now and yes, we miss those spectacular end of night fireworks shows, I still had four great days spent with my kids away from the distractions of home, off our digital devices, enjoying some new experiences in the parks, finding new places we like to eat, and being together. So for that, my glass is definitely half full! :)
The month of November is a time we hear a lot about being grateful. I am grateful that I have this choice to make with everything else this year has brought. What are you grateful for?