Reflections on the Last Year as a Disney World Fan

Has it already been a year?

Just about a year ago, March 15, 2020, Walt Disney World closed for over one hundred days. It’s been a year? It seems like yesterday, and on the other hand, it seems like forever ago. While we take time to mark its closing, Walt Disney World has had quite a journey since its reopening.

A year ago, Walt Disney World closed and it bravely reopened in mid-July. Disney’s Hawaiian resort, Aulani, is open for business, too. Our California friends have suffered but a reopening in late April is in sight, our European Disney friends in Paris are on the cusp of reopening as well, and the parks in Asia have been a roller coaster ride. Our Disney cruise ships have been waiting for us on the high seas, and now are expected to resume sailings in the fall. Where have we been, and where do we go from here?

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” – Cinderella

Our Disney community has learned so much about the business, about pivoting and leaning on Disney content, such as Disney+ streaming services and the shopDisney app for merchandise, since March 15, 2020.  They were positive solutions to complicated problems.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

And we’ve been leaning on each other. We have to remember March 15, 2020 because it is a marking point for us to learn and never forget our many friends in our community who have been challenged in so many ways. We took the closure time to help each other in our Disney community, to take a breath, to work on safety and health, and to cope with the unknown. We supported each other. It closed a year ago, but our hearts stayed open.  

The past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.” -Rafiki (The Lion King)

Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, we had so many fears because our parks shutting down was real and also symbolic. It was a loss for our friends and family’s employment, the temporary loss of the Disney College Program and internships; our happy place was gone, and it represented that what we counted on was unstable. Our rock was weak. If we couldn’t count on Walt Disney World being open, we questioned what we could really count on.

Each other. We are still counting on each other and will continue to do so.

A year later, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Give Kids the World Village and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa have reopened, and Disneyland is on the verge of their reopening. Dreams Unlimited Travel is open for business and never closed. And so too will our lives because we have each other. We were unified this year because our Disney and DIS Unplugged community did not give up on each other.

Let’s move forward with good health, happiness and blessings one year later.

Featured image by Dominik Pearce on Unsplash