Disney World through 2021

Disney World through 2021

by Andy
(St. Louis, Missouri)


"Dad, my family and I are planning on taking our new son to Disney World for his first trip in June 2019." That's so cool. "With Disney's efforts seemingly ramping up in preparations for the Walt Disney World's Anniversary, is guest satisfaction destined to be overlooked until the anniversary arrives? What do you anticipate the impact on crowds to be between now and the anniversary?"

The construction at Disney's Hollywood Studios is part of getting Disney World ready for 2021

The Backlot is looking a little rough these days - Photo by Brett Svenson

Andy, you're correct. Disney is ramping things up for 2021. They even said this at the D23 Expo, when they made all of the announcements about what's coming. They said they are doing a big push for the 50th birthday of Walt Disney World in 2021. October 2021, Walt Disney World turns 50. It's going to be a big party.

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It's something that has needed to be done for years. Epcot, poor Epcot, has needed a revamp for probably 15 years. Disney's Hollywood Studios, they're just totally redoing Disney's Hollywood Studios for the most part. I think there aren't now any attractions left that were there on opening day at Disney Hollywood Studios. Everything seems to be torn up over there.

Guest satisfaction? Yeah, it's probably down some, especially at Hollywood Studios. It's obvious there's major construction going on. They closed the Backlot, they closed all of that back in the back for a good reason. Yes, temporarily, it's going be a little rough.

I saw some pictures of the Caribbean Beach Resort this week, and it's pretty bad. I don't think I would suggest staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort right now. The main building has been destroyed. I mean you're eating meals in a temporary buildings. The gift shop is now a food truck.

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I think I would avoid Caribbean Beach Resort until the main building gets redone. There's a reason why Caribbean Beach Resort's price is all the way down. Customer satisfaction at Caribbean Beach Resort way down, absolutely.

Now, on the other side of that, what's coming is super-exciting. Super-exciting. You've got the Disney Skyliner (gondolas). Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Toy Story Land. You've got the Ratatouille Ride. You've got the Guardians of the Galaxy ROLLER COASTER in Epcot. You've got the new Missions Space Restaurant in Epcot. You've got Pandora already open and Animal Kingdom. You've got TRON coming to the Magic Kingdom.

We've got all this stuff that's been announced that's coming and there's more announcements to come. So, yeah, there's going to be a lot of construction going on at Walt Disney World, but most of it, Disney is real good at hiding construction. It's going to be tough in some places.

Hollywood Studios is about to get a lot better. By the time you go in June of 2019, Hollywood Studios will be pretty much transformed sometime around that. Sometime in 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is going to open. In 2018, Toy Story Land will open next summer. So even though Hollywood Studios is down, by the time you get there, it's going to be up. My guess is by the time you get there, it's possible that the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride will be open in Epcot. Maybe not because they've got some building construction to do, so maybe not, but there will be significant progress made by the time you get there in 2019 on the parks.

Now, I will say crowd-wise, like when Pandora opened, Animal Kingdom this year has been slammed. Crowds are way up in Animal Kingdom. Overall crowds, not so much, but the crowds in Animal Kingdom are up. That will happen next summer when Toy Story Land opens. Crowds will be up in Hollywood Studios. My guess is crowds overall next summer will be up, and that's going to start a trend. The year after that, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens. Sometime in there, Ratatouille will open. Guardians of the Galaxy will open, so you'll see bigger crowds in Epcot. Then you got the TRON roller coaster in the Magic Kingdom... You got all of these things opening over the next two years in Walt Disney World that is just going to ratchet up the crowds. 2021, going to be huge. It's going to be huge.

I'm going to be there on October 2021. I know a lot of people will be. I will be making my hotel reservations the first day I can because they're going to sell out. There are going to be people staying in Tampa and driving over just because there's no hotels left in Orlando. It's going to be huge. But 2019, the crowds won't be much bigger than they are now. Might be a little bit, but I don't see it being a big problem.

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Dad's Bottom Line

The bottom line is, yes, there is construction going on. Disney is very good about separating construction from people, so customer satisfaction, I don't see it going down a lot, except for in a couple of places. But what's coming is big, huge. It's going to be great. Crowds are going to bump up just because there are big things happening. That's just the way it's going to be.



Comments for Disney World through 2021

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Mar 23, 2019
2020 0r 2021
by: Mike

We are planning on taking our son, his wife and 3 kids to Disney World. What are your thoughts on crowds for February of 2020 or 2021?

Dad Answers

With the Star Wars crowds in 2020 I think I'd wait until 2021.

Mar 21, 2019
Disney Dining 2021
by: Rebecca

How would you go about booking a Disney package with the free Disney Dining for the 50th Anniversary? Surely by the time the free dining comes out all availability will be gone if it is released in April 2020? Or maybe they will block those dates out anyways!

Dad Answers

You will be able to book a 2021 package (the 50th Anniversary is in 2021) in June of 2020. As for Free Dining, I'm not confident that it will be offered in 2021. In fact, I really doubt it. We'll have to see what happens in 2020. (I don't expect it in 2020 either.)

I can say that if you want to be there on October 1st (the 50th Anniversary date) Free Dining will not be offered.

Feb 19, 2019
March 2020 Crowds
by: Ali

Thoughts on possibly "lighter" crowds on a trip March 22-28, 2020? After most college spring breaks and before Easter (April 12). Of course with the opening of Galaxy's Edge the term "lighter" is relative.

Dad Answers

Lighter is a real relative term when it comes to Galaxy's Edge. Yes, bookings are a little down (3-5 percent). That doesn't translate into much when it comes to crowd levels.

Typically crowd levels stay high from the second week of March through Easter week. I don't expect crowds to be down much at the end of the month.

Feb 07, 2019
2021 crowds
by: Anonymous

Do you think that there will still be the typical "lower crowd" periods in 2021 like mid January- February, September early December? We're wondering if we could go that year see the celebration but avoid the crowds.

Dad Answers

I do expect the crowds in the first half of the year to follow the typical patterns, but after September it will be a little crazy.

Feb 06, 2019
Solo Trip
by: Kate

Hello, please can you advise me when the best time to visit the flower and garden festival would be in 2021?

I am planning a 16 day solo visit and this will be my 1st visit to the festival.

I'm aware the dates have not been released but i'm struggling to find info advising on this matter.

Any advise would be gratefully received!

Thank you 😊

Dad Answers

Kate, I think anytime you can go would be a good time. That being said, I would avoid spring break time which is around the first of March through Easter week. I think the best time would be late April and early May.

Feb 02, 2019
October or December?
by: Anonymous

We've decided to go to Disney for the first time in 2021 to coincide with our sons big 10 birthday. We are just realizing it will be the year of the 50th anniversary. His bday is early December. Do you think there will still be celebrations going on then? Or will we miss the crowds? For a first trip do you think we should try and go in October for the celebrations or stick to the first two-ish weeks in December as originally planned?

Dad Answers

Disney liked long celebrations. The last one at Disney World lasted 14 months. My guess is the 50th will go on for a year or more so you should be fine in either October or December.

Jan 31, 2019
WDW in July 2020
by: Anonymous

We are going to be book for July 2020 week after the 4th. When is the best time to book with Disney? Summer 2019 or the winter 2020? TIA! We are a family of 4. My kids will be 9 and 6 when we go.

Dad Answers

There really is not best time to book, but the earlier the better. Package bookings will be available in mid-June 2019 for 2020. That's when I would book.

Get in touch with our partners at Destinations to Travel and get started. They can help you get everything all set up.

Jan 28, 2019
WDW 50th Birthday
by: Anonymous

I would like to plan a trip to WDW in May 2021.
Do you think the 50th Birthday celebration will begin by then?

Do you think Tron will be open then?

Thank You

Dad's Answer

Tron, yes. The celebration... I don't know. Probably, but we won't know until late 2020 or so.

Jan 20, 2019
2021 trip
by: Crystal N

With us already knowing we are going to Disney in 2021, I am trying to get the best time to go set. I just went for my 1st trip ever in 2018, the week of July 4th. Surprisingly I didn't think the crowds were horrible. We will be taking my 5 year old (in 2021) step-son. Since we have set times with him. In 2021, Easter is April 4. Would you recommend 2 weeks prior to Easter or 2 weeks after Easter?

Dad Answers

After Easter for sure. Crowds before Easter are crazy (Spring Break) then they go away after Easter.

Jan 19, 2019
2020 trip with young kids
by: Krista C

We are hoping to plan a trip to WDW in 2020. We will have 3 kids between 2 and 6 years old. When is the best time we should try to go? We don't have to work around school. It my hubby can’t travel in the fall.

Dad Answers

If you can't travel in the fall, I'd say go in February but not President's Day week.

Dec 11, 2018
Family trip
by: Anonymous

What week is best for Jan 2020 to Feb 2020
Thank you!

Dad Answers

it's a little early for my 2020 predictions, but any week except for Martin Luther King or Presidents Day week should be really good.

Nov 27, 2018
2020 Trip?
by: Chrissy

When do you recommend we start planning for our Thanksgiving 2020 visit. We'll be staying 8 nights and there will be 11 of us in the group.

Dad Answers

I'm always planning, but you can book your trip starting next June-ish. So I would start in earnest, around April or so.

Oct 12, 2017
when do I need to start planing -going in 2021?
by: judy newton

My daughter and myself are going to Disney in 2021. We are going to plan a 14 day visit there, we know the park only has a 9 day park ticket.

Daughter will be 31 myself 72. and planning to stay at the All Star Sports.

We went to Disney in 2016 by accident we went when it was 45 anv. so we said we are going in 5 yrs. for the 50th.

So wondering do I need to plan more that a yr. away to make plans to attend. Is there going to be all the information ready more that a YEAR AWAY?

Dad Answers

Judy, it's a little early to start actual planning for 2021. That being said, it's not too early to think and dream about your trip.

This is going to sound a little self serving but buy some of the good Disney Guide books (like Dad's" and enjoy.

Check out WDW Magazine where we've started a countdown to 2021.

Basically, dream and think for a while. You can't make any reservations until sometime in 2019 (for room only). The package reservations will be announced in 2020.

You've got a couple of years to dream before it's time to do anything planning wise.

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