It’s hard to resist a trip to the parks when so much is going on. You just want to be a part of the magic, you know? But, sometimes the trip that you can take sooner isn’t the best one to take. So, let’s talk about the 2 major reasons you should ditch Disney World in 2023.
Many things have reopened in Disney World over the past year, but there are also several new things in progress that won’t be completed for a while. If you want to go to Disney in 2023, you have to be okay with the fact that a major attraction will not be available — Splash Mountain. The Magic Kingdom ride will be closing on January 23rd, 2023, and won’t reopen until late 2024, at which time it will have been transformed in to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. So, sorry, there won’t be a thrilling log flume ride in the park until that time.
A few other things won’t be opening in Disney World until late in 2023 as well, like major parts of the EPCOT Transformation. EPCOT has been under construction for years now, with some of the transformation completed, other parts very much still in progress, and several things that remain a mystery. But, we do know the general idea of when certain attractions and locations will open.
Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana is slated to open in late 2023 in the World Nature neighborhood of the park. Also opening in late 2023? CommuniCore Hall and Plaza, which are being built in World Celebration and will be new areas dedicated to EPCOT’s famous festivals.
Another major part of Disney World that won’t be opening any time soon is the new Disney Vacation Club tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It should be open some time in late 2024, so you will still have to wait a while if you were hoping to take advantage of the new accommodations.
So, if you’re looking at taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World, you may want to consider waiting so that you get to experience all of these new things when they’re finally open!
Possible Upcoming Economic Recession
You’ve probably heard the word “recession” a lot over the past several months, and it’s not a word that should leave your vocabulary any time soon. Economists have been predicting that we will go into a recession for a while now, and many believe it will start some time in the early part of this year, according to CNBC. “Whether it’s deep or shallow, long or short, is up for debate, but the idea that the economy is going into a period of contraction is pretty much the consensus view among economists.”
A recession could make it more difficult for people to spend money on things like vacations, especially Disney World vacations, which, let’s face it, cost a pretty penny compared to many other trips you could take. And, with all the price increases we’ve seen in the past, they just seem to keep getting more and more expensive.
But how likely is a recession? Well Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said “Usually recessions sneak up on us. CEOs never talk about recessions. Now it seems CEOs are falling over themselves to say we’re falling into a recession…Every person on TV says recession. Every economist says recession. I’ve never seen anything like it.” (CNBC)
Zandi goes on to say “The irony here is that everybody is expecting a recession.” This could mean that just the expectation of a recession could change behavior — the economy could cool off and the Federal Reserve wouldn’t have to tighten so much to choke the economy, he said.
The good news is, the upcoming possible recession is also expected to be pretty predictable. “You have to blow the dust off your economics textbook. This is going to be be a classic recession,” said Tom Simons, money market economist at Jefferies, according to CNBC. “The first place we’re going to see it is in reducing headcount. We’ll see that by the middle of next year, and that’s when we’ll see economic growth slowdown significantly and inflation will come down as well.”
The other good news is that we should be able to recover from the recession quickly, according to Diane Swonk, chief economist at KPMG.
But, that doesn’t mean it won’t affect people. The Fed does forecast that unemployment could go up next year to 4.6% from its current 3.7%. (CNBC). And, economists agree that declines in employment might happen in 2023.
“At the start of the year, we were getting 600,000 [new jobs] a month, and now we are getting about maybe 250,000. I think we’ll see 100,000 and then next year it will basically go to zero…That’s not enough to cause a recession but enough to cool the labor market,” Zandi said.
So, how could this affect Disney? Well, we’ve heard Disney talk about the possibility of a recession in the recent past, with Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy saying that Disney has more “commercial tools and levers” available to them now than they did during the 2008-2009 recession. If they are faced with challenges when it comes to attendance in the parks due to a recession, she said they could turn to new discounts to increase demand and keep revenue high. But, McCarthy did say that Disney would not use discounts to the extent they used them during the 2008-2009 recession.
We’ve taken a look at what Disney’s done during a recession in the past, and Disney CEO Bob Iger (who was also the CEO at the time of the 2008-2009 recession) said that much of the company’s success during that time was due to discounts on hotel rooms, vacation packages, and park tickets.
While the discount on the park tickets was relatively modest, they did give some pretty hefty discounts on hotel rooms, which brought in a lot of guests who might not have booked a trip otherwise.
So, if you were thinking about planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World in 2023, you might want to hold off if you want to make sure you can experience as many new things as possible, like Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and parts of the EPCOT Transformation. And, you also might want to put plans on the back burner due to the likely possibility of an upcoming recession, or at least consider taking a shorter trip than you usually would to save money (although we’ll have to see what kind of deals Disney might offer!).
For more on planning an upcoming Disney World trip, check out the planning tips you need to know about before your next Disney World trip, what to do if you can’t get the Disney World hotel reservation you wanted, and 3 terrifyingly easy ways to ruin your Disney World vacation.
Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney World news, info, and updates.
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When are you planning to take your next trip to Disney World? Tell us in the comments!