I feel that sometimes my view of Walt Disney World is a little biased. I’m mostly friends with people who are obsessed with Disney like me. We go for a day and have a great time. If we get on a lot of rides, great, but we know we’ll be back soon. So there’s no pressure to do everything. But that’s not how the majority of visitors to Orlando’s great destinations plan their vacations.
For most families, a trip to Walt Disney World is something they save for over the course of months or years. They obsess over planning and when they get here, they’re focused om making memories that will last a lifetime, because there’s a good chance this is their only visit for at least a few years.
So how should a family that only plans to visit once, maybe a couple times while the children grow up, decide if they should visit now or wait until Star Wars land is open before visiting? It’s a good question.
Let’s look at the arguments…
Star Wars land may not open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios until 2020. Will your children be the right age to enjoy some family time exploring the new land together? If they’re getting toward the teens already, you probably want to go now and get in one last trip where the kids still want to hang with the adults. On the other hand if the kids are 5 and under maybe it will be okay to wait and when you do come they’ll be the right age and height to enjoy the E-ticket attractions.
That said, Disney has already rolled out a lot of new Star Wars experiences. With Star Wars Launch Bay, the movies, a new Star Tours destination, and the amazing fireworks, it’s almost like Star Wars Weekends, except for the missing celebrities. The Star Wars fans in your family will really enjoy these “Star Wars Awakens” offerings even if the new E-ticket is still a galaxy far, far away.
Finally, I hope families keep in mind that Walt Disney World is more than a collection of theme parks. It’s a family rite of passage. You journey together through ‘it’s a small world,’ huddle together to see the fireworks, an alarm clock set for break of dawn just to get the Princess breakfast buffet. You only get a few chances to make these memories as a family unit.
My advice? Come now, fall in love with Walt Disney World and all the amazing rides, shows, and magical experiences there are now. You’ll be back again, perhaps as soon as next year when Pandora: World of Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. By the time 2020 rolls around, we’ll have new rides at EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will finally be an all day park, Magic Kingdom will be a year away from its 50th anniversary, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have also added Toy Story Land. That’s a lot of stuff to see on one trip, better to spread it out over multiple visits.
What would you tell a family who is considering whether to visit now or wait until Star Wars Land opens?