What It's Like on a Walt Disney World Vacation Right Now
In this episode we share a trip report from Walt Disney World for Spring 2022. Hear what it's like to visit Walt Disney World right now and how is it different using Genie + and Lightning Lane. This story plus the latest Disney travel news.
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Things are Slowly Returning to "Normal" at Walt Disney World, but it's Not Quite There Yet
Walt Disney World is getting closer to being back to normal in many ways, but it still has a way to go until everything is fully opening and functioning at pre-pandemic levels. Some things may never come back.
Masks are, for the most part, a thing of the past. In fact, we felt like the only guests wearing masks most of the time. We still required a negative Covid test to board a plane home, so we had to be extra careful (although this mandate for Canada is set to expire on April 1, 2022). It's very rare to see a mask on guests at Walt Disney World, except on monorails and buses, where they are still required (although we feel that this mandate won't be here for much longer.
As Walt Disney World continues to emerge from the pandemic, there are still some things that are not back to the way they were (and may never be). For example, there are not boats running from Disney's Contemporary Resort. This is because Disney World lost a large number of boat captains over the pandemic and they are currently trying to hire and train new captains as quickly as possible. On a related note, we were told that the SeaRaycer mini speedboats would not be back. Apparently, the boats sat around for too long over the pandemic and simply got gummed up and required too much service to make the fleet worth keeping. We don't believe they will be replaced based on our discussions with Disney Cast Members.
Is Lightning Lane Better than FastPass+?
In short, no.
Disney's Genie+ and Lightning Lane make visiting the parks at Walt Disney World much more challenging and frustrating versus previous methods of FastPass and FastPass+. We share full details in the episode, along with some tips and tricks for how to make the most of the current Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane.
Disney World Rides and Attractions Continue to Experience Downtime
Consistent with what we had been hearing before this visit, many Disney rides and attractions continue to experience more downtime than was previously "normal" for Walt Disney World. Once again, we believe that this is due to staffing challenges and hopefully this will be remedied once Walt Disney World returns to more robust Cast Member staffing levels.
This was particularly noticeable on things like the Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic Special Event. When you only have three hours in a park (in this case, Epcot), having Ratatouille down and Spaceship Earth down and Frozen Ever After experiencing issues etc., it's not a good thing. It led to longer lines at the few attractions that were open and overall was a poor experience as a result.
A VIP Tour is a Good Way to Make the Most of the Magic
We did another VIP Tour on this trip and it proved (as always) to be a great way to get on a ton of rides and attractions with virtually no wait time. Yes, VIP Tours are expensive, but if you're looking for a way to beat the challenges put in place by Lightning Lane and other new implementations, a Walt Disney World VIP Tour is still a good way to go.
Thank You for Listening to The Disney Travel News Podcast
Thank you for joining us at 1923 Main Street, Amelia and I hope that you enjoyed the show. If you did, we would be very grateful if you could rate, review and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcast player. A brief review about what you liked most about an episode truly helps to keep the show going by exposing it to new listeners. We look forward to continue producing new episodes and the latest Disney travel news on our Disney podcast each week.
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Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic
About the Editor
Mike Belobradic is the founder of the 1923 Main Street® Disney Travel Podcast and the Luxury Disney Travel Blog.