Rehabs, Refurbishing and Special Events

The expansion of Fantasyland.  Soap Opera Weekend.  Star Wars Weekend.  Big Thunder Mountain closed for refurbishment.  Tutto Italia in the Italy pavilion closed for refurbishment.  Fantasmic in Hollywood Studios temporarily closed.

These are just a few of the closing/rehabs/special events planned for the coming year at the Walt Disney World Resort.  What do each of these mean to you in terms of how/when you plan your trip?  My family, for example, really enjoys going to Walt Disney World during the first two weeks of December.  We love the Christmas decorations and all that goes with it.  We skipped a possible earlier trip one year because Space Mountain was going to be closed.  On another note, we chose to not go during big-attendance events like Star Wars weekend or Soap Opera weekend because we didn’t want to deal with the large crowds.

I’m still a “value” season or “off” season traveler at heart.

Are you one of the masses that thrive on being part of a big ticket or high attendance event at Disney?  Did you run in the marathons?  Were you there in the Magic Kingdom on the same day as our president?  I tend to avoid these things like the plague, although we have attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party several times and were pleasantly surprises by how UNcrowded it was.

While I’ll admit that when I start to plan a trip, I don’t look at ride closings and refurbishments right away; I probably should.  There are certain rides that, should they be closed, we would miss immensely and our trip would somehow seem less than perfect without them.  This is why we had to re-think the no Space Mountain deal.  We’re big fans of Big Thunder Mountain and the thought of it being closed for several months would be a real bummer to miss out on.

With the expansion of Fantasyland, however, I find myself postponing making any vacation plans until that is open.  It’s funny because I no longer have small children; they are 12 and 20 and yet the thought of a new and improved Fantasyland thrills us all!  Personally, the thought of going in the Beast’s castle is almost more than I can stand; I’m so excited by it!  The magic and excitement of seeing something at Disney for the first time is just as awe inspiring to me as the feeling that I still get when I walk down Main Street U.S.A.  It’s a feeling that only Disney can inspire.

We were there during the 100 Years of Magic celebration (even there on Walt’s actual birthday!), we went during the Year of a Million Dreams…all during the off-season.  I’ve been to Epcot and Animal Kingdom in their opening years.  We do participate in the Extra Magic Hours and we try to book during the free dining offers.  For the most part, we are traveling creatures of habit; we know what we like and we stick to it.  We’ve never been in Disney for the grand opening of anything.

So how do you feel about special events, closings and rehabs?  Do they truly affect your vacation plans or do you just plan your trip and whatever comes with it is fine with you?

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