Op-Ed: Should Disney Honor Original Child Age on Rescheduled Bookings?

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Disney Tickets Header

Credit: Disney

Disney is closed until further notice and guests worldwide have been having to deal with this unfortunate reality.

Related: It’s Official: Walt Disney World Resort Extends Park Closure

The entire world has been shaken by the current health pandemic. And although there are many things that take priority to a canceled vacation, this is still an additional stressful situation that some of us are having to deal with.

Cinderella Castle Construction Halted

From having to cancel a magical vacation, to dealing with rebooking it, the details can be overwhelming. And for some parents, this unexpected dilemma can also have a negative financial impact because of Disney’s guidelines on children’s age and pricing.

Rebooking Challenges

From tickets to dining plans, if your child was younger than three when you booked your visit but will be three when you are finally able to take that dream vacation, it will cost you.

So, this begs the question… should Disney honor the age of the child from the original reservation IF your visit was canceled due to this current situation that is out of everyone’s control?

Disney’s Child Age Policy

Disney’s policy for children is that children under the age of 3 are “hosted by Mickey” to enjoy the magic of the resorts. The policy doesn’t require proof, as it runs on an honor system. However, most guests do abide by this rule, making these cancellations even more frustrating and difficult.

Kids riding Big Thunder Mountain
Credit: Disney

One of our Inside the Magic readers that was affected by the resort closures shared with us how this is directly impacting her.

We had a trip planned for mid-end of May. While I am very happy that Disney is being responsible and closing the parks I think there are some things that they could do better. By the time the parks reopen and we go our now 2 year old will be 3. When I asked if they will be honoring the age of 2 so we don’t have to pay for the dining plan for her they said no it is the age they are when they come. They are also offering a “free” dining, which really isn’t free because it is for us the quick service, but we had booked the Disney Dining that included table service and you can’t stack discounts. This means we can either take the deal on the hotel price for when we go or the dining plan that is below what we wanted. Not really the customer service that Disney is known for and it isn’t really helping me rebook my trip. Disney you can do better!

Related: Disney Gives Free Dining Plan to Guests with Vacations Impacted by Park Closures

Disney is offering several discounts that are exclusive for these affected guests, but as you can see from this guest’s specific example, it might not be enough to make up for the added cost of her child now having to pay for all the additional costs.

Related: Disneyland Resort Issues Special Offer For Guests Impacted By Park Closure!

What are your thoughts on how Disney is handling this specific hurdle with vacation cancellations and re-bookings? Do you think they should honor the child age from guest’s original bookings, or do you feel the exclusive offers are enough to offset the added expense? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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