Trip Report *COMPLETE* Remind Me Again Why We Agreed To Do This...Our runDisney 2020 Trip Report

Matt and Kelly

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Original Poster
:hilarious::hilarious: that cracked me up! Can't wait to hear more
thanks for following! Looks like your training is going well!

Following along. I have been casually running since June. I have been toying with signing up for a race. Excited to hear how both the 5K and half went for you guys.
Thanks for following! I’d highly recommend it. Perfect way to experience a “race”
 

MickeyCB

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All caught up and enjoying your trip report!
And, we stayed at WL, Boulder Ridge in November, and our room was maybe only 2 rooms from the back stairwell! Took a long time and energy to make that walk at the end of a park day! But it was convenient to use that back staircase to head down to the boat dock.
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
All caught up and enjoying your trip report!
And, we stayed at WL, Boulder Ridge in November, and our room was maybe only 2 rooms from the back stairwell! Took a long time and energy to make that walk at the end of a park day! But it was convenient to use that back staircase to head down to the boat dock.
thanks for following!We didn’t even think of that idea for the back stairway! Next time we will be better prepared.
 

PineapplePrincess

Well-Known Member
I'm here and wishing I was a runner. I'm still waiting for them to come up with SwimDisney events! :hilarious: How have I never noticed Kelly's amazing eyelashes before?! They are knocking my socks off!
Looking forward to reading about your run!
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm here and wishing I was a runner. I'm still waiting for them to come up with SwimDisney events! :hilarious: How have I never noticed Kelly's amazing eyelashes before?! They are knocking my socks off!
Looking forward to reading about your run!
swimDisney sounds like fun too but I’m pretty sure that would end very poorly for me!

Kelly was super pumped to get her lashes done before the trip. Not only did she look amazing, it saved her plenty of prep time in the mornings.

Thanks for following!
 

MinnieM123

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We have stayed here more than a few times but no matter how many visits we make to the WL, I am always in awe of the lobby. Every detail is just so well done.
OMG, that lobby is just spectacular. It is my favorite of all on Disney hotel property. (My second favorite is AKL.)

Anyway, following along here, too!

P.S.: I liked the cute photos of Lily that you took, prior to your departure from home. :) Dogs are the best!
 

Matt and Kelly

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Original Poster
OMG, that lobby is just spectacular. It is my favorite of all on Disney hotel property. (My second favorite is AKL.)

Anyway, following along here, too!

P.S.: I liked the cute photos of Lily that you took, prior to your departure from home. :) Dogs are the best!
Thank you for following!

The whole property is stunning but that lobby just takes the cake! We will be staying at AKL (Jambo House) for the first time in September, I can't wait to check it out. I have heard nothing but good things about the Lodge.

Dogs definitely are the best. Kelly was very appreciative of all the photos of Lily that were being sent to her while we were away.
 

Matt and Kelly

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Original Poster
We sent a few messages to Mike and Kerri to let them know we were getting ready to head over to the park and that we would meet them at the entrance. As we bought the discounted Canadian residents park passes, we needed to verify our citizenship before the activate the passes which we were planning on doing at the EPCOT ticket booth. They responded that they had arrived at All-Star Music, picked up their bands and were freshening up in their room.

Kelly and I made the long walk back towards the elevators to head over to the bus stop. One thing I really like about the Boulder Ridge building is how close it is to the bus stop. A quick walk out the door and we found the bus to EPCOT pulling in to pick up guests. Our timing was perfect. We both really appreciated that the bus was equipped with wifi which makes things much more convenient for international guests to stay connected without having to roam or connect to a network. The only downside I realized was WhatsApp didn't seem to connect to the wifi network and since Mike is in the dark ages with a BlackBerry, I lost contact with him while we made our way to the park.

After a stop at Fort Wilderness to pick up other guests, we arrived at EPCOT ready to enjoy some park time. Mike and Kerri were still en route so we thought we would head to the ticket booth to confirm our tickets. We passed through security only to find the ticket booths closed and we were directed to the guest relations building. There didn't seem like a huge line, but with only two CMs working the windows, there was not a lot of movement in the lines.

After about 10 minutes, Mike and Kerri arrived and jumped in line with us. Just as they did, a third CM arrived to assist guests and really sped up the process. We were able to get our tickets activated very quickly and it was finally time to get through those gates!

SSE was looking top-notch as we walked towards the turnstiles.


There were very few people entering the park at this point in the evening and we were able to stroll right through. I have to admit, I forgot how nice it feels to be welcomed home by the CMs after you scan your band and the Mickey head turns purple.


Stepping through the gate, it did not take long to get a sense of just how massive the renovation to this park is going to be. Walls hit you immediately and really made for a congested walk towards SSE. It was very odd not seeing the old tribute monuments greeting you in the main area but based on all of the artist renderings of how the park is going to transform, it should look amazing once everything is done.


It was pretty jarring to walk beyond SSE and not see those amazing fountains anymore. Or the Starbucks, or Club Cool! I was quite disappointed to not have an opportunity to spring the Beverly challenge on Mike and Kerri. They haven't been to WDW in decades so I highly doubt they would have had any idea what Beverly is. Oh well. Opportunity lost but again, the transformation should be well worth it.

It just so happened that we were in our window for the first FP+ we had booked, Frozen Ever After. We decided to head over towards Norway and get on the ride before taking a little time to explore World Showcase. As we walked by Mexico, Mike seemed to recall a boat ride inside the ruins. The last time he was at WDW, the Grand Fiesta Tour was not a three Caballeros attraction so he was pretty pumped to check it out.

We arrived in Norway and were ready for the first attraction of the trip! Kerri was quick to recall the old Maelstrom but she didn't seem to shed any tears that the ride was rethemed. Thank goodness for FP+, I don't think starting our night with a 95-minute wait would have been the way to go.


The queue was packed but the FP line moved very quickly. We were all looking around at the great theming inside the building and before we knew it, we were loading into one row on the boat to take our journey. Tight squeeze for the four of us but we all climbed in.


The ride was really good and enjoyed by all but a few parts were not working properly. Skating Olaf was not skating and was turned around so guests couldn't see his face and Sven stuck to the pole also seemed to be down as his AA was not moving at all. I still enjoy Frozen more than the old Maelstrom but both Kelly and I couldn't help point out how bare some of the walls in the show scenes are. I've said it before, as have many others, but at many points of that ride, it seems like they just slapped it together leaving so much more to be desired.

At any rate, it was a good way to kick off the trip and it checked off one of the "big" attractions right off the bat. With Frozen done, we made our way back to Mexico to explore the pavilion and hit up the Grand Fiesta Tour.

Mexico is one of my favourite areas to browse around. The street market feel inside the building is so cool and Coco themed displays entering the building provide a ton to look at.


Although I have never been here, nor did I really know it existed, having become a dedicated listener of the Happiest Podcast on Earth, one of the hosts is a huge fan of La Cava del Tequila. Looking into the menu before our visit, I can see why this would be a pretty popular place even if it is a bit of a hidden gem. How can you go wrong with authentic chips and guac?


We didn't stop to eat here but I do want to make a return visit to enjoy the food and drinks during an upcoming visit when we have a little more time to try out some new experiences.

Instead, we jumped in line for the Tour and weaved our way through a very busy queue.


The posted wait time was 15 minutes but we loaded in about 5. Mike was all fired up because Donald is his favourite character and his daughter is obsessed with the Caballeros. They took some pics to send back home to make the kids jealous just before we jumped on the boat.

I love those few minutes you ride through the restaurant area, similar to the Blue Bayou in Disneyland. Again, I've never had a meal there but it did smell very good and the ambiance is pretty terrific. Back to back rides, we had something not working properly. One of the screens in the very first show scene was down which wasn't a huge deal but to this point we were starting to feel like we were bad luck or something. Aside from this hiccup, the ride is cute and the music definitely makes you sing along. I was happy to ride it again having wanted to while I was at the Disney Institute training only to find it closed down the day I planned to ride.


We ended up exploring the pavilion a little longer after the ride was over but the smell of the food was making everyone hungry. We had a dinner reservation for 930 but with about two hours before we could sit down to eat, we all wanted to find a little something to keep us going.

We set off to grab a bite before our next FP ride, Mission Space.
 

Matt and Kelly

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Original Poster
Very behind in all TRs lately, but caught up and looking forward to more!
Thanks for following!

Wilderness Lodge looks so pretty at Christmas!
That was what Kelly was really looking forward to but when we walked in, there was very little Christmas left. Thankfully most of the Parks still had a lot of their Christmas decorations up so she was able to get her Disney Holiday fix elsewhere.
 

Matt and Kelly

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Original Poster
A short walk outside the World Showcase was the EPCOT Experience and since we were slowly heading in the direction of Mission Space we decided to stop in and check it out. Plus, there was an essentially deserted snack stand in the building so we could grab a quick bit of fuel to keep us going.


There were a few offerings at the stand but Kelly and I had our minds set on sharing a classic Disney treat. Nothing that would fill us up too much, but something that would curb the hunger as we continued to explore. To my surprise, Kelly was quick to order a drink along with our treat. I believe she wanted to order a Pina CoLava but ended up getting a Pina Colada instead. Not the end of the world but she did say that the drink was a tad too strong and not as tasty as she hoped.

I went with a Miami Weiss as my first Disney drink. What better to go along with a pretzel than a tasty brew?



Leading into the trip I was adamant that I didn't plan on indulging in too many drinks as I wanted to be as hydrated as possible for the big race. Good to know I had enough will power to make it through a bus ride and two attractions. And, of course, we had to order the plastic cheese to accompany the pretzel because why wouldn't we?

Like Kelly, I was a tad underwhelmed by my drink choice. Not the worst beer I've ever had but I guess I was expecting something a little different based on the description at the counter. Oh well, not a big deal. It still hit the spot.

As we were eating and drinking we decided to go and check out the display area to learn more about how EPCOT is going to change in the coming years. For anyone who has yet to see what is in the work, this was an amazing way to get a really good sense of what the Imagineers are working on. They took a pretty mundane space and made it into something interactive and engaging. If the finished product(s) are anything like they show that was put on in the EPCOT Experience, I think guests are going to be very happy, even if some of the changes are somewhat radical.


We stayed and watched the previews for as long as it took us to finish up with our food and drink before exploring the rest of the building which included some very cool EPCOT themed photo spots that were absolutely deserted. Very few people were anywhere else in the building but that gave us a good chance to duck into the different backgrounds to take some pics before moving on.

Sidenote: It may have been a tad chilly in the building, as you may see in the pics. Either that or I am just very excited about the new EPCOT.





And before we left, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to photograph the greatest country in the world!


Feeling patriotic and now full of carbs, we were ready to take on our outer space adventure. As Kerri is an awful flyer, we had to convince her that she could handle the green side of MS. Both her and Mike were a little worried about the confined space but since they truly had no clue what to expect, it was a lot easier to convince them to ride most things and ask for forgiveness later if it was too intense!
 
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