JoAnn's September 2020 Trip Report

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JoAnn C's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6678
JoAnn's September 2020 Trip Report

Day 1 - arrival day

After canceling two trips this year (April and May), I finally made to Walt Disney World. My flight down was pretty uneventful. There were less than 50 people on the flight (this includes crew members). Southwest boarded the flight in groups of 10. I found a seat with no one in front or behind me. A couple then boards sits behind me and the woman sounded like she had a cold (could have been allergies). I wasn't taking any chances. I moved a few rows back. As luck would have it, the emergency exit row was available. There was a gentleman sitting across and one row up from me. He started out in the window seat. Then after the snack & water service, he went to the restroom. When he came back, he sat in the aisle seat. It was then that I noticed he wasn't wearing his mask. I waited for one of the flight attendants to say something. They walked by him several times. No one said a word which I found disappointing. I received a survey from Southwest and expressed my disappointment.

My flight landed about 10:00am. I had my checked bag by 10:30 and went to get the Magical Express. When I got in line, I saw a sign stating the estimated wait time was 1 hour. I got checked in and was directed to lane 7. As I started walking down, they opened it up to allow people to start boarding. My timing was perfect, I got the last open seat on the bus. With the Magical Express, they are assigning seats starting at the back of the bus going forward. We left within 10 minutes.

I got to Pop Century around 11:15. My room wasn't ready to I left my bags at luggage services and headed to the Skyliner. I walked right on. The transfer station at Caribbean Beach was much busier and naturally everyone was going to Epcot along with me. I found the process to be very organized to keep social distancing. My wait time at the transfer station was about 30 minutes. While waiting for the Skyliner to Epcot, I got the text that my room was ready.

I made to Epcot around 12:15 and started making my way around the world. I had reservation for a late lunch at 3:30. I was starving. I got my favorite Food & Wine festival item, the teriyaki chicken bun from Japan. I also had cheese tortellini from Italy. The American Adventure was starting at 1:30. I was interested in seeing how they were set up for social distancing plus I enjoy the show. Every other row was blocked off. In the rows that were open, they 4 seats that were open followed by three that were unavailable, followed by 4 open, etc. After the show, I sat and watch the JAMMitors in the American Gardens theater for a few minutes.

I walked though World Showcase, stopping in a few stores to browse until it was time for my reservation. I arrived at Biergarten and waited a few minutes to be seated. It is now served family style and they don't skimp on the food. I started with the salad course - beats, macaroni salad, cucumbers & tomatoes and potato salad. I also got a basket of pretzel rolls. Then the entrees came out - schnitzel, chicken, meatballs, spatzle, mac & cheese, green beans, bratwurst (I think), frankfurters and sauerkraut. I tried a little bit of everything. It was all good. The desserts (apple strudel, German cheese cake, black forest cake and chocolate chip cookies) were the star of the meal.

After dinner, I waddled to the front of the park. I wanted to go to the Contemporary. I'm moving there the end of the week. I booked it last month and ordered a snacks magic band. Due to the timing of the order, it was being sent the resort. I was hoping to pick it up early but it won't arrive until a day or 2 before check in (never hurts to ask). I walked over to Magic Kingdom to get the bus to Pop.

After getting to my room, I unpacked and relaxed for a bit before going to the Petals Bar to meet up with Jen for a drink.

Since I've been working from home since the middle of March, I have not been very active. I wanted to track my steps on this trip.

Daily steps - 18,521

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JMed's picture
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Joined: 02/16/2014
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YAY for trip reports!!!!!!!!!!!

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"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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JoAnn C's picture
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Day 2 - Jsquared goes to Epcot

I slept in until 7:00 and got ready for the day. I ordered breakfast before leaving my room. While I was waiting for my order I looked around the store. After I finished eating, I went back to my room making plans with Jen to meet up to go to Epcot along the way. I left my room around 10:00 to walk to hers. Our rooms were in opposite ends of the resort.

We got to Epcot when they opened at 11:00. We walked to the Land and rode Soarin, Living With the Land and watch Awesome Planet (it was the first I've seen the show since it started). Awesome planet was also set up the same way as the American Adventure. We went to the DVC Lounge to get something to drink.

We started making our way around the world, stopping to eat along the way. I started with crispy citrus chicken at coconut key lime ale from Citrus Blossom. The events building between Canada and UK had a couple of booths inside. I got the gourmet mac & cheese from the Mac & Cheese booth and liquid nitro cake pop and frozen s'mores from Desserts & Champagne. I got another teriyaki chicken bun. We sat in the relaxation station in Norway for a bit. Jen's husband, her daughter and I went on Mission Space, while Jen went shopping.

We thanked the Phoenicians on our way out and drove to Disney Springs. Jen and I went to Wine Bar George while her husband and daughter went to Chicken Guy. I got the frisee salad which was really good. It started raining while we were in there. As we walked back to their car, it started storming. It all my years coming here, I don't think I've ever been here during a storm. Rain, yes but not thunder and lightening. It finally stopped raining just before 9:00pm. We talked about meeting for a drink at the Petals Bar when they dropped me off. By that time, we were both wiped out and called it a night.

Daily steps = 17,468

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JoAnn C's picture
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Pictures to be posted later

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Day 3 - Magic Kingdom

My plans for this week changed pretty often. For example, I had planned on MK yesterday and Epcot today but switched when Jen booked her trip. I made two reservations for this week for breakfast Topolino's, one for today and one for Thursday. When I booked my reservation at the Contemporary starting Thursday I decided to cancel that breakfast since I would have to get my stuff packed up and change resorts. Well.... I canceled the wrong one and canceled today's. I thought I would try the new walk up wait list option. I got in line for the skyliner around 8:30. They weren't loading passengers until 9:00. While waiting, I checked the app and saw the wait list was at capacity. I got out of line and took the bus to MK. There was a line of people for the bus. There was at least 1 bus waiting to pull in the stall after a bus pulled out so it didn't take long at all for me to get on.

It was more crowded than past Mondays since re-opening. It is a holiday after all. But not pre-COVID crowded. Actual wait times were less than posted wait time.

Below are the rides I went on with posted and actual wait times:

Jungle Cruise - 35 minutes / 20 minutes
Pirates - 45 minutes / 20 minutes
BTMRR - 50 minutes / 20 minutes
Haunted Mansion - 30 minutes / 20 minutes
Peter Pan's Flight - 35 minutes / 16 minutes
Small World - 30 minutes / 25 minutes
Buzz Lightyear - 10 minutes / didn't time this one but I would say it was under 10

I got in line for Magic Carpets but it broke down while I was in line so left.

I also saw the Enchanted Tiki Room which I pretty much walked right in (2 minute wait time), Country
Bear Jamboree (waited a few minutes but got in the first show at 11:00) and Carousel of Progress (walked right in).

I can get used to mobile ordering. I didn't eat breakfast so I had an early lunch. I ordered while in line for Pirates with a pick up time slot of 11:05 - 11:35. I had time after Pirates before my slot opened up so I went to Country Bear Jamboree. As I was walking out, I hit the "I'm here" button and my salad was ready within 5 minutes.

I had dinner at Tony's. I hadn't been in a few years. When I went the first time, I order chicken parm. The chicken was good, but I didn't care for the sauce. Not that it tasted bad, I am not a fan of chunky tomato sauce. I always said I wanted to try it again but get something different. Being a creature of habit, I got the chicken parm again. The sauce was much better this time.

I needed to walk off some of the food so I went to Tomorrowland and did Buzz Lightyear and Carousel of Progress. I stopped for a couple of photo pass opportunities before going to bus around 6:00. I wanted to beat the post closing bus crowds.

Daily steps = 17,351

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JMed's picture
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YAY for changing plans, glad you got to hang with us!!!

__________________

"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

Jennifer Huotari | Create Your Badge

The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too

JoAnn C's picture
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JMed wrote:
YAY for changing plans, glad you got to hang with us!!!

Me too

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Looks like you had a good time!

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scrappy wrote:
Looks like you had a good time!

I did. Hope you have a great time on your trip.

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Day 4 - Disney's Hollywood Studios

I got up earlier to try to get over to Topolino's. I knew the skyliner wasn't running yet, I was going to get an Uber. The walk up waitlist was at capacity at 7:35 (the restaurant opened at 7:30). I got breakfast at Pop and then went down to the skyliner. The line long and it hadn't started running yet. I decided there was no reason to stand there. I walked up to the lobby and paid off my room charges to date and went back down. I found a bench to sit and wait for the line to start moving " no sense standing if I didn't have to. I wanted to get a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't get one. I got in the park shortly after 10:00 and passes were all gone. I started walking towards Star Tours first. I walked by the little theater and they were showing a short called Mickey & Minnie on vacation. It was super cute. Star Tours was next, followed by Muppet Vision 3D.

I walked through Galaxy's Edge to get to Toy Story Land. It was hotter today than yesterday. The wait for Slinky Dog was about an hour and the line was almost to Woody. I'm sure it would have gone faster than the posted time. The thought of waiting in the sun didn't thrill me at that time. I went on Toy Story Midway Mania. It was a 30 minute wait time but I probably on in less (I didn't track the time). I then went to watch the Mulan preview in Walt Disney Presents. It looks really good. Before the preview started, I placed my order for lunch at Backlot Express. I sat in the Indiana Jones' Theater while I waited for my food. I took my time eating lunch.

At 2:00, I got boarding group 87 for Rise and then got in line for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. The posted time was 60 minutes, I was on in about 30. I absolutely loved it. I wanted to ride it again. My phone battery was getting low. I went to the relaxation station in Launch Bay (I know there is an outlet next to a bench). Someone was sitting there so I set on another bench and moved once they left. Then it started pouring. After getting some juice in my phone and the rain started letting up, I got back in line for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. It started pouring again just as I got under the awning. After my second ride, I watched the Mickey and Minnie short again followed by Star Tours. I have ridden Star Tours numerous times. Today was the first time I saw they posted people's names and towns where they live. Mine came up. I was so excited.

The park was opened for a couple more hours at this point and I had a shot of having my boarding pass called. I wanted to ride Slinky Dog but it was down so I got in line for Smuggler's Run. I looked at the app again and Slinky Dog had a 30 minute wait, so off I went. It took about 15 minutes to get to the boarding area of Slinky Dog. They stopped boarding to clean the cars. I got to see the cleaning process in action. After riding Slinky, I went to Alien Swirling Saucers. By this time, Rise was on boarding group 81. The park was closing in 45 minutes. I had a decision to make. Do I stick around and see if I get on or do I leave now and avoid the park closing crowds? I asked a CM working Rise what my chances were. I knew she couldn't give me a definitive answer. The ride was down (again) and she didn't know for how long or if they would call anymore groups at this point. I made my way out of the park and was having a drink at the Petals Bar at 6:54. They called my group at 7:05. I ordered dinner and ate it before coming back to my room. Since I did everything I wanted to do (except ride Rise), I changed my park reservations for tomorrow to Epcot. I felt it was a waste of a park reservation to keep it for HS if I couldn't have a guarantee that I would get to ride Rise of the Resistance. I rode it when it first opened (the second day) in December so no regrets for not riding it this trip. I will try again in October.

Daily steps = 22,319

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Kristen K.'s picture
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JoAnn C wrote:
Day 1 - arrival day
There was a gentleman sitting across and one row up from me. He started out in the window seat. Then after the snack & water service, he went to the restroom. When he came back, he sat in the aisle seat. It was then that I noticed he wasn't wearing his mask. I waited for one of the flight attendants to say something. They walked by him several times. No one said a word which I found disappointing. I received a survey from Southwest and expressed my disappointment.

Oh no! I'm so sorry that your flight crew wasn't on the ball with this. I was very happy with how Southwest was managing everything on my flights. We had several strict reminders about masks over the speakers, and on my flight home the man in the row behind me got yelled at twice regarding his mask. Once to cover is nose and once to tighten it beneath his chin. Eventually the flight attendant gave him a disposable mask because his was just not cutting it. In general I thought that most people were pretty respectful in regards to the airport and airplane.

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It sounds like you had a really good time in the Parks. Was it weird? How did you feel with the overall covid changes experience of the Parks? I struggled with trying to resort hop, it was really dead and depressing in some of the places I visited.