Felicity Pipe and her Mom Reflect on What Closing the Disney Parks Means to Them

Felicity Banner

Felicity Pipe, also known as Tink, is one of our kid contributors to The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. Her mother, Jeanine, tells us how the current news about park closings has been so heartbreaking for the entire Pipe family.

Felicity Pipe
Felicity, aka Tink, holds The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids and her beloved Mickey at her home in the United Kingdom (March 2020).

Currently, all theme parks, cruise lines, and other attractions are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We at The Unofficial Guides hope all our readers and their loved ones, as well as all attraction employees, remain healthy and safe. Without intending to trivialize the current crisis, we will continue to post positive stories about the parks, in hopes of bringing their magic into your home as a welcome distraction during these trying times. For the latest updates, read our guide to cornoavirus and the theme parks.

In many ways we have been lucky, as we have been to WDW on several occasions. No matter what happens now, we feel that we will always have those wonderful memories. But in our own personal, selfish world, we are devastated. I sat cradling Tink in my arms as she wept when the news came that Walt Disney World was closing. Disney is our Happy Place. Mickey is her hero.

Felicity Pipe
Felicity, together with her mom and Liliane Opsomer, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids, meet Queen Elsa (August 2018).

In the past, when times have been rough, we have said, “Just think about Disney.” When she has a bad dream, “Just think about giving Mickey a hug.”

We are due to travel at the start of May. We haven’t been told the holiday has been canceled by the travel company as of yet, but we await the news with bated breath. It seems inevitable.

We KNOW it is the right thing to do. We KNOW it is not just us—the entire world is affected. But the Pipe household is nevertheless heartbroken that the holiday we’ve saved so hard for will likely be postponed until who knows when.

Felicity Pipe
Dressing up as Belle before attending Enchanted Tales with Belle (August 2018)

Since we booked the trip last summer, we have reached the milestones such as ADR day and Fast Pass day with joy. “Oh, in 180 days we will be eating breakfast with Pooh Bear!” “Yay, in 60 days we will be on Smuggler’s Run!” It is things like this that now really feel like a kick in the teeth. We are sure that we will be able to return to WDW (thank goodness for travel insurance), but when we do, so will all the other people who have had to postpone. Will I still get the ADRs and the coveted FPs? 

Felicity Pipe
Felicity visits Belle with mom and Liliane Opsomer, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. (August 2018)

And yet, I also feel guilty about feeling so blue. People are dying. They’ve lost their jobs. Weddings have been canceled. I know of at least one person who cannot travel to the country their family lives in to attend a loved one’s funeral. These things matter. Us not getting to The Magic in the next couple of months shouldn’t really…

But explain that to your kids. As Tink cried real tears of utter disappointment and overwhelming sadness, I realized it does matter to us. It is all relative.

We will do what we can to continue to bring a little bit of Disney Magic into our everyday life. Disney Plus starts streaming here in the United Kingdom fairly soon, so that is very exciting. We will do what we can to keep safe and healthy in these uncertain times. Felicity and the entire Pipe family are sending love and pixie dust to all. 

We hope that once this is all over, we all will be able to return to the place where dreams come true. And we will be hugging Mickey extra tight the next time we see him.

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