I read a piece from USA Today indicating that Polynesian Village resort isn’t going to reopen until next summer.
The Orlando Sentinel adds that this is due in part to some theming changes to the resort, giving it a Moana makeover.
“A Disney World spokeswoman on Monday said changes to the rooms will include a move to a Pacific Ocean-inspired color palette as well as details, patterns and textures from Disney’s “Moana,” an animated film that takes place partly on the Polynesian island of Motunui.”
Now is the time to make these changes, for sure!
The USA Today article also mentions that The Boardwalk Inn and The Beach Club have no opening dates set yet. Though the Beach Club Villas and Polynesian Villas are open right now.
(Have I mentioned yet today how much I miss Disney?)
As changes to the Disney Parks happen and many Disney fans take to the Internet to announce that “Walt is rolling in his grave”, I draw on my mantra: I trust Disney. Let’s be real for a second- I don’t trust them as a multi billion dollar corporation, I trust them as purveyors of magical experiences, because magical experiences have made them a multi billion dollar corporation. And they have a LOT to lose if those experiences go wrong.
I watched an interview this morning from The Dow Report with Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products. It is short, you should watch it and then come back to have a conversation.
One of the points he covers is that some of the technologies developed to reopen the parks are here to stay. Pre-pandemic recent visitors to the parks likely noticed the availability of Mobile Ordering, and many were using it, I was never alone waiting at the mobile order windows. D’Amaro suggests that the expansion of mobile ordering is going to continue and I’m all for that! Once the world opens up to more international travel, however, a credit only payment required could be a problem for guests from out of the country who don’t want to pay exchange fees with every transaction.
Another new post-Corona innovation introduced is the Park Reservation System. D’Amaro indicates that in some form that is here to stay.
<record scratch, cue momentary panic>
What will this mean for Annual Passholders? My brain and my heart momentarily switch places. What will be the point of living near The Magic if I can’t have dinner at Epcot on a random Wednesday after work? Is this the end of Park Hopping? Why did I watch this dumb video before I even got out of bed this morning? <deep breath> The limited information that can be gleaned from the Disney World website eases my concerns about Park Hopping disappearing. Tickets purchased for next year can have the Park Hopper option added. So that’s at least something.
No information has been released about Disney’s long term plans for Annual Passholders, and as yet it is not possible to purchase new Annual Passes, but it IS possible to renew existing passes. (I let mine expire in February and might be panicking a little bit, not knowing when I’ll be able to buy a new one.)
I have noticed that when booking a Park Pass Reservation I’m presented with a single clickable option that reads:
Select Arrival Window — show up any time during this timeframe to enter the park.
this makes me think that eventually THIS is how we will Park Hop. Pick Magic Kingdom for the AM, pick Epcot for the PM. This may also expend somehow to accommodate more spontaneous park visits for Annual Passholders. (fingers crossed!)
A third technology adoption mentioned in this brief interview was the Ride Queue Reservation System. Having been to Disneyland a couple of times I’ve been hoping that they’ll implement in Florida the MAX Pass system that they use in California. It is easy, and makes it possible to do so many more things than can be done on the WDW FastPass system. Fingers crossed for something like that with a different pricing structure, the additional cost would be prohibitive for many visitors, the $20 per day might not work as well in a park where people tend to go for 5-7 days or more per vacation.
This could also just mean expanding the Rise of the Resistance style reservation-making to more attractions, especially as they open new ones like Guardians of the Galaxy or Ratatouille in Epcot.
Now with all of this Disney talk I need everyone to calm down, stay home, and wear masks for the next 30 days so that we can all go back on vacation!
Yesterday as part of the GISH event I made a 20 second film of filling a tiny piñata with negative self talk and then lighting it on fire and this morning I felt like anything was possible.
I spent some time thinking about ways to have a Disney career that wasn’t necessarily working FOR Disney, I think being a personal Disney shopper would be pretty amazing. I could combine two of my favorite things – shopping and Disney. Annnnnyways, here I am. 44 and figuring out what I want to do with my life. Setting goals as early as I can is now. Inspired as HECK by the wisdom of Walt and crossing my fingers that October 30th sees us in WDW for some Halloween shenanigans.
Florida – you are ON NOTICE. Get your shirt together, momma needs a Dole Whip Float.
and you guys, I’m going to make an effort to write with more frequency. I have been reading non-stop but I can’t be a writer if I’m not… writing. So- I’ll be back soon. There’s a pair of MASSIVE lobster tails in my refrigerator that we need to discuss.
In 2006 I was at Austin City Limits music festival with my kids, the youngest of whom had turned 6 days earlier. During Tom Petty’s set it started pouring rain and G got really upset, we packed up and headed out, my tiny, frightened, child crying not-so-quietly beside me in the large crowd of people leaving the event. A woman gave her her umbrella- “it’ll be ok” she said “we’re all in this together”.
her kindness, and those words specifically, were so powerful – I can’t get enough of them.
Here we are, three years into caged kids, separated families, klan marches, love letters to dictators, alternative facts, fast food award lunches, judge threatening, lawlessness. And we are here in part because 17,000 people in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania forgot that we are ALL in this together and voted like they were alone.
Maybe we can get those people back, maybe we can’t. The goal should be to reach the people alienated by those votes, by votes in years past, by gerrymandered districts, by racist voter ID laws, by purged voter rolls. We have to show them that WE know that we are all in this together.
Am I going to stop trolling the current resident of the White House on twitter? HELL NO. He stands in opposition to EVERYTHING that makes us WE.
I’m getting off track… Disney.
I was in Disney last month and even when I’m in my happy place my anxiety about the world doesn’t go away, if anything it intensifies. Surrounded by the cutest happy babies, the most cranky overtired toddlers having 6pm meltdowns, grumpy adults who missed their naps… Surrounded by tourists from all over the world who still want to spend their money and their time in our country despite everything going on here. While America is working on becoming as tribal as possible Disney is the melting pot.
aside: Unfortunately the Disney melting pot excludes the poor and less privileged. We need a living wage, universal healthcare and child care! We need to stop insisting that our baristas have bachelor’s degrees with 100,000 in student loans, and start encouraging people to explore the trades. We need to make it ok to completely change careers in midlife, if we can’t course correct we are lost.
Getting off track again – back to Disney. We were in EPCOT and I was standing in line in a restroom. A stall had come empty and the lady at the front of the line didn’t notice, a woman who was headed outside did notice and walked the lady to the empty stall. A little girl in front of me said “that was really nice!” and the woman said “sweetheart, we’re all in this together”.
I walked out of there and said to my husband: “remind me to write a blog post about all being in this together”
so here we are.
If we’re all in it together in the BATHROOM, and we’re all in it together in the rain, can we all please be in it together when we go vote? When we talk about people who are different than us? When we talk TO people who are different than us? When we think about educating our kids, or keeping them safe with gun laws that make damn sense? When we talk about immigration and refugees and the homeless and our treatment of veterans? (and in the most wealthy country on earth we CAN take care of all of them) Or when we think about the climate crisis?
Say it- every day- to yourself or to someone else, make them believe you, believe it yourself: “Sweetheart, we’re all in this together.”
Ok I don’t have a vision board but if I did *Live Near Disney* would be on there, just after *pay for the kids’ college* and *write a book*.
I got distracted by a Johnny Was dress. If I could be a style of clothing it would be whatever Johnny Was is. Lots of black with very interesting and beautiful details in brilliant colors- usually embroidered. Anyways- this is the dress.
I went so far as to put it in a shopping cart. Then I closed the window because who am I kidding?
Then I went to Facebook where it showed up in my sponsored advertising. Thanks for that.
And the next thing I saw was this cake from Hollywood Studios which is turning 30 today. And I thought, if I lived there I could go eat this today. (That was my favorite part of the 5 weeks I spent there this winter- the instant gratification was spectacular.)
And then (all of this happened in about 7 minutes.) I took that awesome dress out of the shopping cart and took another 15 things out of my closet to put on poshmark.
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been working on a poshmark tutorial for you, it is coming. I am easily distracted, and lately have been incredibly anxious. Like Xanax & cbd chocolates at the same time, anxious.
In related news- I think I need a vision board.
What would you put on yours? Do you already have one? Teach me your ways.
a glorious month of sunny, sugary, delicious, friend-centric, disney, disney, disney, disney, disney comes to an end on Saturday morning when my husband – who I miss so much, and I, drive home.
I have wanted to blog this entire experience, but it all feels so braggy- and I’m not trying to brag, or to gloat, or to rub anything in anyones’ faces- and so I’ve kept my adventures pretty much on the DL. (until now I guess because no man is an island, or something…) I have been INSANELY LUCKY. I have (had? had.) a financial situation that allowed these once-in-a-lifetime shenanigans, I have a husband who is so fricking cool and who takes my crazy ideas in stride, my kids are old enough to handle my extended absence, and I found myself without a job, but with enough money to do something crazy stupid fun.
so here I am, with my giant sliding door open to a body of water posted with a sign about not touching the alligators and watching out for poisonous snakes, the sun was brilliant all day, it has been the warmest day since I got here, I finished reading my first book of vacation and started my second- which I plan to finish tonight while the State of the Union is going on. Feel free to text me when I should take a drink. I’ll open a bottle of rosé.
thirty seconds of honesty – I didn’t watch the super bowl this year. I’m feeling conflicted about football and it’s racism and the exploitation of black athletes and the brain damage it inflicts and I love my sports teams but I wasn’t feeling it this year.
what I *am*, however, is in Disney World. where Tom Brady and Julian Edelman were yesterday. with Mickey Mouse. on a parade float that shot confetti. so OBVIOUSLY I had to go to that, and it was awesome.
I highly recommend living in Disney World – it is the shit. a couple of weeks ago a new frozen drink came out in Norway, I read about it online and the next day I was drinking it. 10/10 would recommend.
part of my thinking behind this whole vacation was to see if I would get tired of Disney. the answer is no. I would like to live here all the time please. I’m not good at a lot of things, but I am really forking good at Disney. making that a career somehow would be ideal, whatcha got? I need ideas.
here are some photos.
my oldest daughter drove down with me, two of my besties just spent last weekend with me, my sister came for a week – we met Edna Mode, and went to Gasparilla, and did an after hours party.
in the last month I’ve been able to attend After Hours events in the 3 parks where they are available – and they are AMAZING. you get the park to yourself, which is pretty much the dream, right?
I don’t even remember where I was going with this – and I ALREADY want to write another whole thing about more of the fun things I have been able to do. We’ll see.
I’ve got to go find some dinner, and then I have to find a warehouse space, and an inventory, and a plan for the next phase of my life that will allow me to pay for my kids to go to college and maybe one day to be able to retire to Florida with my cute husband. nbd.
I have been in Disney World- Traveling My Feelings with a large side of Eating My Feelings- and celebrating my birthday. When things at work get crazy, or when I’m sad, or I’m happy enough to be experiencing a break in the clouds of depression that makes me want to DO ANYTHING… I plan Disney weekends. It gets me out of my head, it gives me something to focus on and to get ready for. Making dining reservations and fastpass+ ride plans is a concrete step forward while giving me something bigger to look forward to. Plus it is really fricking fun.
And there’s packing. I start packing in my head and on paper weeks before I go. I have an entire Disney wardrobe- clothing I would never wear during my day to day in Massachusetts where I have always worn black, even in summertime. (I’m working on that right now but that’ll be another blog post for another day.) The quest for the perfect park shoe is never ending- if you have a suggestion I’m open to hearing it! I’ve found that my old school Fit Flops work the best. Skechers GoWalk sneakers with the yoga mat soles are also awesome, but the INSTANT my feet get sweaty it is all over for me, so I can’t wear things that require socks. Your mileage may vary on that.
In the photo at the top of this I’m wearing a LulaRoe Carly dress, I think it is a size Small, which cracks me up every time- I wear Small and Medium in that style interchangeably and find them to be some of the best park dresses I’ve got. My shoulders are protected from the sunburn I would otherwise get and it is a swing style, giving me lots of room for Mickey Waffles and Dole Whips. I’m also crazy about the bag I’m wearing – it is a Kavu sling bag that I got from Amazon and I will never go back to another style bag for the parks. The Kavu fits 3-4 of the thicker Disney ponchos, a bottle of water, phone, a cord and a fuel rod. Plus the other little necessities of the day- sunglasses, cool towel, advil, sunscreen… they’re also cute and easy for security to look through as I enter the park. So. A Kavu Bag. The way to go for sure. I have the Black Topo style but see Space Pop in my future! (the link to Amazon is an affiliate link- if you buy it- and you should!- I’ll make a tiny bit which I’ll put towards my next one.)
Disney trip planning gives me an excuse to do all of the things I love all at once – shopping, list-making, thinking about food… and the payoff is a trip to a place I love with people I love.