‘Revenge Travel’ Could Be Affecting Disney Parks Tourism as Large Crowds Continue

CNN has published a report by Lilit Marcus on “revenge travel,” about tourists booking more vacations and spending more on lavish experiences as COVID-19 vaccines roll out and borders reopen.

Erika Richter, VP of the American Society of Travel Advisors, said, “Revenge travel is a media buzzword that originated in 2021 when the world began to reopen, and people decided to make up for lost time.”

Marcus suggests “revenge travel” can be defined “as getting revenge against the pandemic, or against Covid itself.” People have been mostly couped up for the past two years and are itching to not only travel but get the most out of their vacation that they can.

Richter went on, “It’s another way of saying, ‘Hey, life is short. I want to book that trip. I want to spend more time with family. I want to connect with humanity and with nature. I want to explore the world and seek experiences that make me feel alive.'”

Rory Boland, editor of Which? magazine, called “revenge travel” an “ugly term,” saying, “I don’t think the prefix ‘revenge’ is appropriate to what travel should be about. What it is trying to capture, I think, is the desire many people have to travel again, to see new places and meet new people, after a period that has felt static and dreary.”

Marcus spoke to Deborah Campagnaro from British Columbia, Canada, who had to reschedule a trip to Nepal with her husband after postponing multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have now added extra time to their trip, including a few days in the lakeside town of Pokhara after a mountainous trek.

“That wouldn’t have happened before,” Campagnaro said. “We’re just doing it now because we can.”

According to Expedia, the single highest increase in average travel search traffic (10%) in 2021 was in May, the week after the European Union approved the COVID-19 vaccine for children. Expedia also found that 60% of users planned to travel domestically and 27% internationally in 2022, with many willing to spend more than they would have before the pandemic.

Expedia’s head of public relations, Christie Hudson, said, “Honestly, I wasn’t very surprised [by the survey results] simply because the findings resonated so strongly with the way I feel personally. During my last weekend getaway, I booked multiple spa appointments and upgraded our flights to first class. I felt like I deserved it.”

With many companies supporting remote work more than they did prior to 2020, remote workers are also traveling more. Marcus cites a Pew survey published earlier this year that shows 60% of workers with jobs that can be done remotely said they would like to work from home all or most of the time. Barbados and Anguilla are now offering visas specifically for remote workers who could work and travel at the same time.

We could be seeing “revenge travel” affect Disney Parks around the world. In an effort to control crowds, Park Pass reservations are now required to visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. However, many still have trouble getting the Park Passes they want — at least partially because so many people are trying to visit the parks. Magic Key holders have filed a lawsuit against Disneyland Resort over this very issue, and the suit continues to move forward.

As borders reopen, Disney Parks could see an increase in foreign tourists desperate to visit somewhere they haven’t seen in years or have never been to. Marcus points out in the CNN report that many people have saved up money over the past two years and may be ready to splurge.

Do you feel like you have participated in some “revenge travel”? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Absolutely we did a revenge trip this year. Puerto Rico and stayed in a resort and did everything we could. Partly revenge and partly out of fear of another shut down.

  2. This term is absurd, revenge implies malice when people are just scrambling to grasp any piece of normalcy and escape from their homes finally. I think a smarter term would be “recompense travel” as it acknowledges that there has been suffering leading up to this surge rather than making it sound like people traveling are doing it to intentionally screw over understaffed venues.

  3. April 2022 was my first trip back to WDW since 2019. Just to be safe I constantly donned full hardcore masking (yeah, I was one of the maybe dozen people I saw wearing one), I had every booster available and still went home with COVID! I had been fanatically vigilant about not catching it (compromised immune system) for over two years and BAM! I go to my Mecca and there it was all over the place.
    Beware people-
    this ain’t nowhere near over yet.

    1. My son and I just returned from Disney World on May 8th, 2022 and he got Covid while there also! It’s everywhere there and no one seems to care. Be careful, having fun comes with a price. It was a free for all, so crowded everywhere.

    2. You got the vaccines what did you expect. Only the vaccinated catching and preading the virus among each other.

    3. So that “full hardcore masking” really worked out for you, as well as the vaxes and boosters?? Don’t blame Disney nor the un-masked people. Blame China. COVID here is to stay, but the good news is that is becoming less severe and will continue to do so. Time to move on.

  4. My son and I just returned from Disney World on May 8th, 2022 and he got Covid while there also! It’s everywhere there and no one seems to care. Be careful, having fun comes with a price. It was a free for all, so crowded everywhere.

    1. Catching a cold or virus was always a risk while travelling. It has been that way for many years prior to COVID. And Disney has always been a free-for-all. Please stop contributing to the fear mongering.

    2. Yep. Most of the CMs have been getting sick from it. Especially in bus department.

  5. Like any virus, some people are more prone to get covid than others. My job requires me to enter peoples homes every week. Kept doing it through all of covid. I did not take any shots either as it is not a true vaccine. A true vaccine means you do not ever get the illness. I dont wear masks as they do not work. I have been to Disney twice, the beach twice, new orleans, and several other places since covid started. I also had to live out of a hotel for 3 weeks for work out of town. All of that and I never contracted it. I just got back from a week at disney yesterday. Saw a few mask wearers, but most acting normal. The stories above prove that masks and the shots are worthless as they still contracted the virus. Its like the flu or cold or any other virus at this point. Live your lives folks, you should never have stopped. Enjoy.

  6. I have season tickets and go to the parks once a week plus I golf. I do not have shots wear no mask only if we had to. So far if you healthy and have no illness why worry about getting this Chinese virus. If you not healthy wear a mask but get one from a medical supply. We all take chances, many illegals bring TB and many other sicknesses to America why worry about going to Disney it is clean and you can catch any sickness every where. I will be again in a Disney park tomorrow with thousands of people.

  7. So many places to go and see in this world and theme parks is what people choose to do on a vacation….just unbelievable to me.

  8. I’m not going anywhere near that park, let alone Florida, for various reasons. Have you seen the pics in this article? No thanks.

    We are headed out on two trips this year, Germany in July and Ireland in October. Both won’t be very crowded with tourists. The closest we’ll be to a crowd will be on the aircraft and that’s about it.

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