Disney World Passholders are truly blessed.
Why? We get to go to Disney whenever we want. We get to wake up and decided, with no prior planning, "I'm going to stop by Magic Kingdom tonight." We get to think, "I should check if there are any Flight of Passage Fastpasses," and then go to Animal Kingdom. We get to say, "I need to run by Epcot and get that teapot from England for my mom." We get to send the "Disney tomorrow?" text—super casual. And it's great.
I love being a Passholder because of the freedom and convenience we have to go to the parks. I love that we don't have to stress about getting everything accomplished. I love that we can take our time to enjoy the magic. I love that we get to go often even though some levels of the Passholder program contain block-out dates.
Disney offers Florida residents a monthly payment option for passes, which is honestly the only reason I've been able to afford to be a Passholder for so long. Each level or tier of the passes comes with different perks and are each priced accordingly. I have the Gold level pass—I get free parking and Photo Pass pictures, I can park hop to the four main parks, I get discounts from select places and I have block-out dates during Christmastime and around spring break. Other levels are also blacked out for part of the summer.
Sure, I miss going to the parks during these block-out dates. The Christmas decorations are always beautiful, but I just have to make time to go in that sweet spot after they Christmas magic begins and before my passes blackout. And yeah, spring break is when I actually have more time to go to the parks, but there's usually a weekend around the time before or after break when my courses' homework load is a little lighter and I can dedicate a weekend to my favorite place.
I don't mind my block-out dates because when it comes down to it, I don't want to be at Disney during the busiest times of the year.
It's hot. (Yes, I know I'm talking about Christmastime too, but this is Florida. It's hot.) It's crowded. Everyone is off school or work so everyone is at Disney. People are walking around shoulder to shoulder. Lines are longer than usual. Restaurants are busier than usual.
Sure, I miss going to the parks during these block-out dates, but then I get on Facebook and see people posting in Disney groups about how crowded it is and how stressed everyone is and how miserable the time really is—at the happiest place on earth.
I don't want to be miserable at the happiest place on earth.
I always feel sympathy for families who save up money, set aside time and make a long trip down here to the good old Sunshine State only to fight and be miserable at Disney and at Christmas. That's not what vacation should be even though family drama is bound to seep into the relaxation after enough time. Disney trips are for making cherished memories. Disney trips are for starting that family inside joke waiting in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or laughing about grandpa always finding the ice cream.
Disney trips are not for fighting, stress or insane amounts of pressure to get everything done.
I get that people who have to travel to Florida to finally go to Disney can sometimes only get away from their everyday life at Christmas or spring break or summertime. I understand Christmas or spring break or summertime are some of the only times for a lot of non-Passholders to visit the parks. And that's fine.
But, if you're a Passholder who gets the privilege to visit Disney any time that you'd like, do your fellow Disney fans a solid and stay at home right around the busiest times. Disney chooses these times for block-out dates for a reason. There will be no shortage of guests to fill up the parks.
If you're thinking about getting a Disney Pass, don't let block-out dates deter you. You will still have plenty of days to go, and they will be days when you can stroll through the parks freely without walking shoulder to shoulder like a herd of cows.