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Trip Report Clappy Clap.....Welcome Back!! The Many "World Firsts" TR

Hello all & welcome!! I'm so happy to finally be able to do another TR!! It feels like forever since my last one--probably b/c it has been(at least that's the way I feel)!! So, I don't want to dwell on the negative b/c let's face it, we've all had a crappy year. 2020 has not been kind to us. But, along with the obvious I had 3 relatives pass within 3 months of each other. Then I knew I was losing my job of almost 28 years in July. We had a Disney trip booked in May that never happened. E rescheduled for June(I couldn't b/c of work) but we all know what happened there--access denied. I knew I wouldn't be able to go until August so she & J booked for then. Since I no longer had an existing reservation she figured she would add me on to her's. Little did we know that nothing would be that simple....

I'll fill you in on the drama as we go along....

WHEN: Tuesday, August 11th - Tuesday, August 18th

WHERE: Saratoga Springs(Spoiler--we really ended up enjoying our stay there. Of course, it's not our beloved Riverside but we agreed it had kind of the same "vibe". Being on the Sassagoula kind of helped with that also.)


E & J may have had a reservation but there was no room at the inn for me. E purposely got a 1 bedroom villa & thought it would be easy to add me to the reservation. Yeah, that wasn't happening. They were not accepting any modifications to existing reservations. It was getting down to the wire. She was able to make park reservations & I still couldn't be added on. Finally, all's well that ends well. After many weeks of trying she was able to add me on & I was able to get the same parks. Never fear though, as a few of my magic friends know I had a "Plan B" ready as a backup but fortunately didn't have to go that route.

Then there were the many flight changes Southwest kept imposing on us. Here was one they did for me that was particularly scary. What happened to Pittsburgh to Orlando? :oops: They had my return flight correct but that didn't mean anything b/c it didn't look like I'd be making it there to begin with!!

The loss of my job was weighing on me all year(I've known since January). Here's my desk during my final days.

The reason for the dates was I knew I would be done with my job by then. I figured I'd take a few weeks off. One week to get situated then the next week to go to Disney. After that I would come back and search for work. Sounds like the perfect plan, right?
While still employed the new company taking over was encouraging us to apply. I did but didn't think it would really go anywhere for a number of reasons. Lo & behold they made me an offer on July 30th & asked me if I could give them an answer the next day. They were planning on reopening the store August 16th--while I would be away!! I broke the news that I would be away then. The company was very receptive to it when I explained why I had planned it the way I did. I also figured I should totally come clean & mentioned that I had an October trip booked also!! At this point I thought for sure they wouldn't want me. I called the next day & accepted their offer. Originally the plan was that I would start on the 19th when I got back. They called me on the 1st & asked me to start on the 3rd so I could get some training time in before I went away. I was fine with it & did it but was scrambling to pack etc.

I'm happy to be back in the place I've worked all my life that is so much a part of me. I'm still learning to do things the way the new company does them but overall I'm happy with the way things are going.

E & family were very sweet to give me a good luck present when I started my new(old:hilarious:) job.

With not much time to pack I made sure to do it early. I actually packed 6 days before the trip. That's amazing for me!!

I also made sure to bring a large supply of masks. They would get gross in a hurry!!

THE TITLE: I have to start out by giving credit to @Rista1313!! I got the "Clappy Clap" part from a comment she had made in my last TR. So many magicians loved the saying & I thought it was quite catchy. The "Welcome Back" part is b/c I truly felt like we were really welcomed back by the CM's. They seemed genuinely happy to have guests there. Also, that song had been in my mind for quite some time. Has anyone seen the Applebee's commercial with that song in it? The first time I saw it I had tears in my eyes. It's very fitting & says a lot with little words. And, there were many "World Firsts" you'll see as we go along!!

WHO: I'm sure you've figured it out by now but we're back to the "same old" crew!! My sister E, my nephew J & myself, Patti!!

No, I don't really care for pictures of my backside but I did think this was a neat picture--minus the castle colors. I'm still not a fan!!:cautious:

To all my friends out there reading, "Welcome Back"!!
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Well-Known Member
@slipperalwaysfits new Tables in Wonderland memberships are not being sold presently, but guests who have existing memberships (that haven't expired) can still get the discount.

So I guess I could save money by not going to WDW this year, but I really, well, I just can't NOT go.


Well-Known Member

Upon leaving The Plaza we ran into a cavalcade. I was never much of a parade person to begin with but I really liked these. Short & sweet and they add some fun to the day!!
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E wanted to do some shopping so J & I headed to The Confectionery. One guess for what??
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This was it for the jelly beans for the week!! We didn't finish that bag or the one we got the night before.
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We sat on a bench to enjoy our treats.
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I got a peanut butter cup that I shared with J.
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The lack of people was still amazing me!!
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One of my lovely selfies!!
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Wow, J is getting big!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Between yours and @Tuvalu 's reviews, it seems like The Plaza is very underrated.
I wouldn't say it's the best food on Disney property but it's good & worth visiting every now & then!
So I read on the official WDW page that the TIW discount isn't being offered currently, how'd you get so lucky to be able to use it?
We bought ours in November last year which means it expires at the end of December 2020. I believe there is an extension on it also for the amount of time that Disney was closed.
Traditions are important but @Darstarr knows: Eating at WDW is hard...
🤣 🤣 🤣
I have the Epcot charm, too! It's lovely!
Yes it is. I have it also!!
But why purchase if E hates them? Or does she collect them?
Oh, heck no--she doesn't collect them. I think I now buy them more to irritate her!!🤣 Actually, it is a good value if you take advantage of the $2 refills. I don't get mind getting them b/c we can put it in the stroller & don't have to carry it. Soon, once the stroller days are over it may be a different story!!
Did you ask for cheese on your Plaza Club sandwich? Because cheese isn't listed in the description and I didn't know you could add it (otherwise I would have done so!)

@slipperalwaysfits new Tables in Wonderland memberships are not being sold presently, but guests who have existing memberships (that haven't expired) can still get the discount.
I did not. Actually, I didn't notice that cheese wasn't in the description until you pointed it out. Maybe that is a mistake? I've never had a club sandwich without cheese on it.

I'm so glad we purchased it when we did. We really have saved quite a bit with it!!
Same advice coming to ONE TR near you!
This ONE can't wait to hear all about it!!
Wow, J is getting big!
Yes he is!! He is very tall. E is only 4' 11" but JSR is 6' 4" so he definitely is taking after his dad!!
It’s interesting how different Disney parks have different measures in place - I assume because of ride designs - because the stretching room is operational at DLP.
Good point!!
I know it's not a Disney park but your statement about different measures made me think of something I saw earlier today. A friend of mine lives in Poland. She posted some pics on FB of an amusement park she & her family were at. Tons of people & not a single one wearing masks. I noticed where some were carrying them or had them at their tables. But everyone was walking around without them on. I know every city/state/country etc. rules are different but it was really surprising to see that. At least to me it was.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster

I must say that it's nice taking a bit leisurely pace in the morning to get to the parks with the later opening times & no EMH. Today we were heading to HS & since the park didn't open until 10 we took our time getting ready & having our coffee.

A little scenery shot while we waited all of 2 minutes for a bus.

At 10:13 we had arrived!!


The temperature screening is really quick & efficient.

Of course, something in my bag set off the metal detector & I was given yet another expert opinion as to what set it off this time🤦‍♀️

At 10:24 we were in!!

First order of business, to find a mailbox. Our niece, H(you may remember her, she's been in a few of my TR's) was leaving for college that day! The day before I bought a post card & the 3 of us signed it. When I told J we were sending H a post card & he needed to sign it he asked me if it was her birthday!!:hilarious: I explained that it wasn't but since she was going away we wanted to send something to her at school to say hello to her.

Seeing these pay phones made me think of the time my niece, A, saw them when we were going to the bathroom at Sci-Fi & asked me what they were all about!! She was probably 7 at the time(a few years ago) so really kids that age don't know what a pay phone is!!

We headed up Hollywood Blvd & attempted to head to.....

The line was a bit long at that point & someone in our group(the one who will probably be taller than E & I soon🤣) was afraid to go on!!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster

We asked J what he wanted to ride first & A.S.S. won so off we headed to TSL!!

This land is always so crowded so this was a nice change of pace from the norm.

The group in front of us spent the whole time in line eating frozen lemonades & totally not distancing from other parties. It became a bit annoying.

This shocked me more than anything. The water fountains are still operational!! Talk about a germ pool!! I wouldn't drink out of them if you paid me--even pre-covid. Let's face it, we've all seen that kid/adult that goes to take a drink from a water fountain & totally wraps their mouth around the spout:hungover::hungover::hungover: Enough said.

As I'm sure you can tell, E is responsible for this selfie!!

After hanging with the aliens J & I wanted to resume our crayon battle!!

And I was creeping again!!

I also rode solo!!

Not an impressive score, as usual.

But I was Best In Vehicle!! Even though J claims he won!! We let him think it....it's easier than fighting the battle;)


Well-Known Member
Original Poster

We headed back to Hollywood Blvd to get Starbucks. I saw a lot of these around but never anyone using them.

Still pretty light crowds.

We looked through some stores which didn't take too long b/c unfortunately quite a few of them were closed. I usually wear bigger earrings but had been getting frustrated over the last few months b/c they end up getting caught when I'm putting my mask on/off. We had 2 days left to take advantage of the extra AP discount so I ended up buying these. Smaller than what I normally wear but saves me a lot of hassle!! Also, notice my metal straw!! Much better than the paper ones!!

We headed up Sunset Blvd to look around in the Hollywood Tower gift shop. J got a little nervous thinking we were going on the ride!




Like quite a bit of the stores there was a lot less merchandise than normal. It was also lacking people. The best part was "the bell" wasn't there!! That thing drives me crazy in short order. I feel sorry for anyone who works in there & has to listen to that all day!!

It was time to leave to head to our lunch destination.

I'm sure it will not be a shock as to where we were headed!!


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Original Poster

Yay!! So excited to eat here again!!

It's a limited menu but all of our favorites were still on there!!

We had to wait outside. While waiting we were entertained by this CM. She was having a blast dancing away to the music!

Another CM told us a "little parade" was coming by & we should go over & see it. E stayed in the event our table got called while J & I went over.






We got back & said hello to Gertie!!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster

It's too bad they can't put up some tables so people could stop in for a drink. They're not even using it as a waiting area right now.

We got a TV table!!

We scanned the QR code to bring up the menu but we pretty much knew what we wanted!!

J made my drink decision for me. He decided that I should get the Magical Star Cocktail so that he could have the glow cube. I agreed!!


Little did we know that his drink came with one so now he had 2(along with the other who knows how many from previous trips!!)

J got his usual salmon. I'm sorry--that portion is pitiful. 2 pieces--that's it. He loves salmon & always eats all of it when we go there. He even noticed the small portion. If a 5 year old notices it that is pretty bad.

E got her usual.

As did I!!

The food was great there as always. Unfortunately, there were no antics at all. We didn't have to set the table, no scolding, nothing along those lines. But, with that being said, we will be back next month!! Hopefully, poor J won't leave hungry next time!!

$17.20 in savings!!


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Original Poster

After lunch we stopped for a few PP pictures 😮 I know, who are we??


The photographer asked us to salute b/c of J's mask.

Then he told E & I to step aside!!


Then we(E & I) decided that the time had come. Someone wasn't too happy with us. While waiting in line we had to answer a ton of questions. The biggest one being "Are there any hills?" Hills are J's biggest fear. He says he doesn't like the feeling he gets in his stomach from them.

E & I were finally excited to ride it though!!

The music while waiting is quite catchy also.

Here we go!!



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Original Poster

We loaded quickly & off we went. J wanted to sit between E & myself-another sign that he is scared.

It started out ok.

Then this happened. He freaked out over this tornado thing & even with as noisy & loud as that ride is we could hear his screams & cries over it!!

Fortunately he was only upset for about 10 seconds but did get a little nervous here!!

Coming to the end!!

It's cute but E & I said we could take it or leave it. We both prefer GMR. J however decided that he liked it & wanted to go on it again our next HS day!!

I snapped this pic on the way to our next destination.

No, this wasn't it.

We went to pay Kermit & the gang a visit!!

Unfortunately, another closed store.


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Original Poster

J wanted his picture with this snowman.

With that we decided that we had done all that there was for us to do at HS. Not having the shows really is a bummer. J was disappointed that we couldn't see Indiana Jones.

Another lowly bus directory.

Still so surreal.

There was a Saratoga Springs bus waiting!!

We got off at The Springs & waited for a DS bus.

Which came right away!!

Again, who are we?? This was our 2nd trip(of quite a few more) to DS. I know I've mentioned in previous TR's but we're not big fans. But, given the subpar food choices at SSR it was pretty much this or starve!!

We browsed some shops for awhile. I would love to buy this but it would collect dust. I don't have the time to build it!!

I did buy this though--& so did E!!


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Original Poster

I can't recall why I took this picture but there has to be a reason why. Therefore, I figured I'd still put it in here so that if I remember why I'll let you all know!! Chances are it was something funny!!

I walked around Basin but didn't buy anything.

I thought this purse was cute.

No, we didn't stop in.

I saw this in the Christmas store & thought it was cute!!

This was in the Art of Disney store. I liked it also!!

I really liked these!!

This is pretty impressive(says the non Star Wars fan!!)

We decided to get Blaze Pizza & take it back to the resort. What a nightmare that was & it wasn't even crowded. They ended up giving E's pizza to someone else & when he realized it he brought it back to them but since it had been in someone else's hands they had to make her a new one. They did give her a coupon for a free one also but it can only be used at that location & it expires in January so we'll make sure to use it next month!!


And with that we decided to walk back to Saratoga Springs!!


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Original Poster

Keep in mind this was our first time walking back from DS...

Again, no one but us around.

Oh, how I love that boat ride.

Some DS scenery shots along the way....



And this, my friends, is where things started to go south. Even though I was using the app I am a bit directionally challenged so we were lost. Keep in mind the time was 6:50.

We(read I) really got confused at the main pool area. I'll know better next time--I'll text @Darstarr for help!!

We finally made it back at 7:20. A half hour, not from DS but from SSR along the Sassagoula. Needless to say the pizzas weren't all that warm!! We just hung out for the rest of the evening. I had to pick my new health insurance so I spent time doing that.

E mentioned, as others have in their TR's(@Tuvalu I believe you did) that this "enhanced cleaning" seems like it should be standard so what did they do/not do before??😰


Omnia mutantur, nihil interit
Premium Member
We decided to get Blaze Pizza & take it back to the resort. What a nightmare that was & it wasn't even crowded. They ended up giving E's pizza to someone else & when he realized it he brought it back to them but since it had been in someone else's hands they had to make her a new one. They did give her a coupon for a free one also but it can only be used at that location & it expires in January so we'll make sure to use it next month!!

DH loves Blaze but we’ve had similar experiences at the ones around us. They always seem surprised/overwhelmed that people want pizzas. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 We have another chain here called MOD pizza which I prefer.


Well-Known Member
It's too bad the food court didn't have much of a selection. :( You must have felt like you were virtually the only guests there at times! I do find certain resorts have better pillows than others.:rolleyes:
It was so surreal!! It was a nice experience but very sad in so many ways. He's too much with those things!! Yes it is!! We're excited. Just like last month it will only be for the first few days of our trip so we know to get our shopping in early!!

We were going to be moved to the GF at no charge. We decided to go back to Saratoga Springs(really reminds us a lot of Riverside) but this time we are staying in a Treehouse Villa. It was actually quite a huge savings from what we were going to be paying at the Poly for individual rooms!! J's excited about the bunk beds in there & we're going to have plenty of room b/c there's only 4 of us going!!

There were so many things that were sad. I do hope for a little more life next month!!
The Treehouses look very nice and J is going to have so much fun there! Being directional challenged myself, I can totally understand how things went South. ;)

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