Trip Report It was the best of times in the worst of times...

Hello All!
We're back from our October 2020 Disney trip, and a crazy time it was!

Like so many others whose trips were cancelled/delayed and changed, ours was too. A year ago before the world collapsed my husband wanted to have a big family blowout trip in November 2020. Our usual companions are my son 20, occasionally daughter 32 and her new husband. He also wanted (for whatever reason) to invite my mother and husband who profess to despise Disney, despite never having been there. His brother and wife, who live in NC and are so reluctant to travel they don't know the restaurants in their own town. He wanted to invite my sister, her husband and son, that he doesn't really spend any time with.🤷‍♀️ I said, "whatever dude" you invite and I'll figure it out.

Invitations went out and 2020 arrived. Our 2020 like many others has been a big pile of 💩 with one shining exception. So, I'm going to list from January to now in a purposely run-on sentence (paragraph) to get the years crap mentioned here and out of the way. It's meant to read fast and forget. The reason I'm going to go into our family's woes is some of this impacted our trip planning/scheduling.

January Scooby (our crazy loving dog) had to be put down and it was very traumatic February Gary's cancer worsened (those of you that have read my other reports know he is fighting stage 4 colon cancer) and they had to increase his chemo Gary gets both cataracts out right before Covid hits February I schedule the Poly for a crap ton of people that of course aren't coming March Seth gets kicked out of his college dorm in Savannah with the Covid shut down and in 48 hours finds an apartment we drive down 12 hours with a Uhaul trailer with donated furniture to help set him up looking like the Beverly hillbillies Aleisha my oldest gets laid off from her job as an interior designer in California due to Covid April we start volunteering at the local food bank because increasing volumes of people are hungry May Aleisha gets her job back and then looses it again due to Covid July I fall in the yard fracturing in multiple pieces my right (dominant) wrist requiring surgery September the day my daughter and her husband are getting ready to put a down payment on a house in California he gets laid off from his job as a lawyer due to Covid.

What, you say, could possibly be the shining exception? In the middle of that mess in April Aleisha and Julio called to tell us that we will be first time grandparents mid December! We're going to have a baby girl!

So, all of that crazy above resulted in my daughter and husband bailing on us for the November trip, and of course none of those in-laws, outlaws etc. were ever going to come, so we rearranged dates around my sons school schedule and planned for a trip in October, and said pooh to the rest of the invitees!

The people who actually ended up going were: Myself-Cindy, Husband-Gary, Son-Seth, Seth's friend from school-John
When: October 21-26th
Where: 1 night Rivera 1 bedroom Villa, and 4 nights at the Polynesian in a Bungalow
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MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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October 24th-Day 4!

Animal Kingdom Day!

We started our day with a beautiful sunrise and coffee on the deck. It just doesn't get much better than this!
When I got up Gary was already out on the deck having coffee and enjoying the view.
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The boats were already out and I know some people do not, but I love the sound of their horns. To me that is a such a Disney sound!
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I went in and got the ornaments I bought to show Gary. I got this for the baby. My daughter can yell all she wants about too much Disney stuff.
(Hope the kid comes on time)!
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And I got this one to add to my Mickey tree. It was nice too because the entire time we were there AP's received 30% off of all merchandise and the usual 10% off dining costs.
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This guy came over and hung out for awhile, I think he was curious what the shiny objects were.
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I want to warn all readers that the story below is a little sad, if you want to scroll past please feel free. I'm posting it because it impacted our trip, and I suspect will in future visits. But as you will read, it turned out to be Disney great.

It was right about now that confession time began.
Gary casually tells me that yesterday afternoon after he left us that he started to not feel well at HS. He became lightheaded/almost passed out, and apparently actually got very disoriented and could not find his way out of the park. He wandered all the way back to Galaxy's Edge before he stopped to ask for help. He finally made it to the bus and felt better after he sat down in the air-conditioning.
I was so upset with him. He said if I had called you, you would have made a big fuss. You think?! :mad:
He has been having episodes that might simply be decreased blood pressure, or related to the chemo, and I definitely think the fact that his lunch was an alcoholic beverage and 3 potato chips didn't help anything, but....

I laid down the law. I said you are going to give in and let me get you a wheel chair today or you are going to let me inquire about what a DAS pass is and see if it will help you. Up to this point even though we had a few problems on the last trip he's adamantly refused any assistance. He continued to refuse a wheel chair, I think because it is a visible sign he is having problems? I don't know.

So everyone got ready and we headed over to AK on the bus. I told the guys about my conversation with Gary and we needed to stop at guest services.
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I went in and talked with a female CM. Probably the nicest person I've ever met (forget being a CM). This is where the story gets hard for me, because I explained I had heard of but didn't know how a DAS pass works. And as I started to explain the day before I started tearing up, (I felt ridiculous, I do NOT cry, but couldn't stop myself). Having to deal with a stubborn guy with problems will get to you once in awhile. She said it would be very appropriate for him and explained that how it works is anyone of the group can go to a ride entrance and whatever the wait time is, will put that return time on the magic band to come back.
She asked where he was because they have to take his picture and I said he was on the bench and I told Seth to go get him. She said, "no I'll go out". And she went out and took his photo. I must of still looked like a mess, because she said, "do you like FOP and icecream"?
I looked at Seth who was as confused as me, but we said yes. And 2 minutes later she said all you have to do is walk over to Pandora, take your time, and you can ride because I already put it on your bands. And hands Seth a certificate for 4 Mickey bars. So I started crying tearing up again.
AMAZING woman, and once again I didn't get her name. I was thinking maybe if I contact customer service they can find out her name as the person who gave Gary the pass and I can thank her properly.

So for us this pass served to decrease standing and walking time for Gary and yet allowed him to participate. We ended up using it on 2 rides that day because he was fine to walk the shorter queues or ones in more shade or with AC. He didn't get lightheaded and as stubborn as he was about it before, he said at the end of the day he didn't feel tired or ill and it was a good idea! As I shared with @riverside and @Darstarr via txt, I didn't know whether to cry or punch his lights out!!

After that was taken care of we finally headed into the park.
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And up next, we're off to Pandora!
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
I really feel for you - dealing with a stubborn (prideful?) family member can be very stressful, so I’m glad you let yourself cry (I try to remind myself when necessary of Rosey Grier singing “It’s alright to cry” on my “Free to Be You and Me” album). And I’m really glad he finally agreed to appease you and take the help, because it sounds like it really made the day easier for him. 😘
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
October 24th-Day 4!

Animal Kingdom Day!

We started our day with a beautiful sunrise and coffee on the deck. It just doesn't get much better than this!
When I got up Gary was already out on the deck having coffee and enjoying the view.
View attachment 513940

View attachment 513941

The boats were already out and I know some people do not, but I love the sound of their horns. To me that is a such a Disney sound!
View attachment 513942

I went in and got the ornaments I bought to show Gary. I got this for the baby. My daughter can yell all she wants about too much Disney stuff.
(Hope the kid comes on time)!
View attachment 513944

And I got this one to add to my Mickey tree. It was nice too because the entire time we were there AP's received 30% off of all merchandise and the usual 10% off dining costs.
View attachment 513945

This guy came over and hung out for awhile, I think he was curious what the shiny objects were.
View attachment 513946

I want to warn all readers that the story below is a little sad, if you want to scroll past please feel free. I'm posting it because it impacted our trip, and I suspect will in future visits. But as you will read, it turned out to be Disney great.

It was right about now that confession time began.
Gary casually tells me that yesterday afternoon after he left us that he started to not feel well at HS. He became lightheaded/almost passed out, and apparently actually got very disoriented and could not find his way out of the park. He wandered all the way back to Galaxy's Edge before he stopped to ask for help. He finally made it to the bus and felt better after he sat down in the air-conditioning.
I was so upset with him. He said if I had called you, you would have made a big fuss. You think?! :mad:
He has been having episodes that might simply be decreased blood pressure, or related to the chemo, and I definitely think the fact that his lunch was an alcoholic beverage and 3 potato chips didn't help anything, but....

I laid down the law. I said you are going to give in and let me get you a wheel chair today or you are going to let me inquire about what a DAS pass is and see if it will help you. Up to this point even though we had a few problems on the last trip he's adamantly refused any assistance. He continued to refuse a wheel chair, I think because it is a visible sign he is having problems? I don't know.

So everyone got ready and we headed over to AK on the bus. I told the guys about my conversation with Gary and we needed to stop at guest services.
View attachment 513948

I went in and talked with a female CM. Probably the nicest person I've ever met (forget being a CM). This is where the story gets hard for me, because I explained I had heard of but didn't know how a DAS pass works. And as I started to explain the day before I started tearing up, (I felt ridiculous, I do NOT cry, but couldn't stop myself). Having to deal with a stubborn guy with problems will get to you once in awhile. She said it would be very appropriate for him and explained that how it works is anyone of the group can go to a ride entrance and whatever the wait time is, will put that return time on the magic band to come back.
She asked where he was because they have to take his picture and I said he was on the bench and I told Seth to go get him. She said, "no I'll go out". And she went out and took his photo. I must of still looked like a mess, because she said, "do you like FOP and icecream"?
I looked at Seth who was as confused as me, but we said yes. And 2 minutes later she said all you have to do is walk over to Pandora, take your time, and you can ride because I already put it on your bands. And hands Seth a certificate for 4 Mickey bars. So I started crying tearing up again.
AMAZING woman, and once again I didn't get her name. I was thinking maybe if I contact customer service they can find out her name as the person who gave Gary the pass and I can thank her properly.

So for us this pass served to decrease standing and walking time for Gary and yet allowed him to participate. We ended up using it on 2 rides that day because he was fine to walk the shorter queues or ones in more shade or with AC. He didn't get lightheaded and as stubborn as he was about it before, he said at the end of the day he didn't feel tired or ill and it was a good idea! As I shared with @riverside and @Darstarr via txt, I didn't know whether to cry or punch his lights out!!

After that was taken care of we finally headed into the park.
View attachment 513957

And up next, we're off to Pandora!
Yay for awesome CMs!! There are some really great ones! And the DAS pass can be such a life saver!! My son is autistic and can't handle unpredictable lines. He needs to know when he is going to get to ride his favorite ride and how long he is going to have to wait to ride other things that we want to do. It's such a small thing, but it makes a huge difference. And no one needs to know that you have it...no one can tell by looking at you that you need a little helping hand, so it's not so embarrassing. I get the not wanting a wheelchair thing...I had one for about 3 weeks while I was pregnant with my son because I could barely walk from the couch to the bathroom...it was excruciating. But we didn't go many places and I felt so self-concious when we did, because if I needed to go to the bathroom, I'd have to use the handicap one, but I'd have to stand up long enough to get into the stall while my husband waited outside with the wheelchair and I felt like people were thinking I was a real baby needing a wheelchair just because I was pregnant, not being able to see that I was actually in pain and couldn't walk more than a few steps. You don't want to feel judged, or have someone call you a liar or faker, etc. And I hated inconveniencing my husband, having to push the wheelchair all over, up hills, etc. I'm glad the DAS worked for Gary and that it's something he won't mind using again. Yes, it might change the way you do Disney, but it's better than not being able to go at all, or worrying about him all the time.
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
OMG it‘s dinnertime here and it was REALLY difficult to see those mouthwatering food pictures 😉
I can almost smell that chicken!
I really feel for you - dealing with a stubborn (prideful?) family member can be very stressful, so I’m glad you let yourself cry (I try to remind myself when necessary of Rosey Grier singing “It’s alright to cry” on my “Free to Be You and Me” album). And I’m really glad he finally agreed to appease you and take the help, because it sounds like it really made the day easier for him. 😘
Thank you for your kind words. Most of the time we handle this with probably inappropriate humor, but once in awhile something happens that jolts you a little and we both get a little teary!

He is so flamin stubborn! But, if I could share a quick Disney story on why I understand a little about not wanting assistive devices.
Disney 2015, he had one knee replaced the other was still bad. I had torn ankle tendons and had to wear a boot during our trip.
I fell in the morning riding the car thing up Mainstreet. Did a face plant. Developed a blister hobbling along all day. Next day is Epcot. I realized I needed a wheel chair. We rented it and I lasted 15 minutes, hated being in it. So we tried to get Gary to use it. We're near France and my daughter pushes him in the chair and he crosses his arms across his chest, and in a fairly loud voice says, "I hate you SOB's"!:eek:
It was like the Griswolds do Epcot!

And yes, once he acquiesced, and we made sure to only use the pass a few times, he chilled.
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Very sweet of that CM to be so kind and compassionate. A little compassion goes a long way. I sure hope that Gary got to feel better as the day went on.
She was amazing!
It was very interesting that once he accepted the help, and I think because it wasn't obvious to others, he did really well. He even felt well enough that he wanted to go shopping before dinner!
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yay for awesome CMs!! There are some really great ones! And the DAS pass can be such a life saver!! My son is autistic and can't handle unpredictable lines. He needs to know when he is going to get to ride his favorite ride and how long he is going to have to wait to ride other things that we want to do. It's such a small thing, but it makes a huge difference. And no one needs to know that you have it...no one can tell by looking at you that you need a little helping hand, so it's not so embarrassing. I get the not wanting a wheelchair thing...I had one for about 3 weeks while I was pregnant with my son because I could barely walk from the couch to the bathroom...it was excruciating. But we didn't go many places and I felt so self-concious when we did, because if I needed to go to the bathroom, I'd have to use the handicap one, but I'd have to stand up long enough to get into the stall while my husband waited outside with the wheelchair and I felt like people were thinking I was a real baby needing a wheelchair just because I was pregnant, not being able to see that I was actually in pain and couldn't walk more than a few steps. You don't want to feel judged, or have someone call you a liar or faker, etc. And I hated inconveniencing my husband, having to push the wheelchair all over, up hills, etc. I'm glad the DAS worked for Gary and that it's something he won't mind using again. Yes, it might change the way you do Disney, but it's better than not being able to go at all, or worrying about him all the time.
I agree about the CM's for sure! This trip through my fault and not, I needed them several times and they were amazing. I'm especially appreciative of them in this completely unpredictable time. They could be very sour but I did not find that to be the case at all. (Well except for evil Liz)!

And thanks for sharing your story. Lot of judgey people out there that don't understand why someone might need some assistance but not necessarily all of the time.
 

Back!Elbow!Shoulders!

Premium Member
With my healthcare provider brain it’s easy to view not wanting help or to bother anyone as being stubborn. (You’ve got a problem? Here’s a solution. What, you don’t want that? Ugh. Why can’t you be compliant?)

With my patient brain I totally get Gary’s thought process. When your sick there’s often so little that you have control over and it makes you very reluctant to give up any control that you might still have. And when your illness/condition isn’t easily visible it’s really tough to out yourself. When everyone else thinks you’re ok it’s easier to convince yourself that you’re ok too.

I’m so glad that you and that CM were able to help Gary and in such that he felt comfortable. 💙
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
With my healthcare provider brain it’s easy to view not wanting help or to bother anyone as being stubborn. (You’ve got a problem? Here’s a solution. What, you don’t want that? Ugh. Why can’t you be compliant?)

With my patient brain I totally get Gary’s thought process. When your sick there’s often so little that you have control over and it makes you very reluctant to give up any control that you might still have. And when your illness/condition isn’t easily visible it’s really tough to out yourself. When everyone else thinks you’re ok it’s easier to convince yourself that you’re ok too.

I’m so glad that you and that CM were able to help Gary and in such that he felt comfortable. 💙
I totally get what you're saying. People ask for help then argue with you.

And you're correct, I should remember the control issue. I've had to remind staff at my nursing homes often enough. They get frustrated with a patient and I remind them, control over little things is all they have left. Their concerns seem minor, but to them they are very important.

And yes, he was in very good spirits for the rest of the day. And when he found out we were allowed to use it the next day he was like a happy little kid.
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Animal Kingdom day continues-

After getting our requisite Tree of Life photo, we meandered over to Pandora.
As we were crossing the bridge we were entertained by these guys, so fun!
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As we made our way to FOP there were so many neat sights to see.
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We stopped for a PhotoPass Pic that was cool!
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And we rode FOP which we all love. It's one of Gary's most favorite rides in all of the parks.
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We stopped in the gift shop and Gary saw this shirt he liked but since we were going to come back over here to eat, we thought we would get it then. I was bummed when we got home and I realized we forgot to go back and get it for him.
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And after that we looked, and the line for the Safari wasn't too long so we headed over there.
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This was the beginning of the line, but it was one of the few that looked long but wasn't. The line moved the entire time and we were on the ride in 15 minutes.
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Next up, some animals to see!
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Animal Kingdom Day continues-

These photos are out of order of how we really saw the animals. Because of the plexiglas Gary took photos on the left and me on the right.
Does anyone know what's the purpose of this building?
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White on black, black on white?
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After that we decided to head back to Pandora to eat at one of our favorite quick service spots.
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But since the line for Navi River was about 20 minutes we decided to ride that before lunch.
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We placed our order on the app, and waited, and waited, and.....
You get it. It was probably 20 minutes waiting outside in the heat with no benches in sight. It was nuts. If they're not going to let you inside they have got to get some seated waiting areas. The same thing happened the next day at MK. Lack of bench seating at the parks is probably one of my biggest gripes. I do not understand the philosophy of keep em moving. All it does is tire me out, make me irritable and I don't shop or spend money because I just want to get out of the parks. I don't get it. Rant over for now.
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
I understand what you went through with a stubborn mate! My husband needs to use an ECV due to major back surgery and nerve damage. Will he? Heck, no, he just uses a cane and limps along. It's difficult to deal with, but I try to remember he needs to feel somewhat in control, and I know if it gets too bad he will reluctantly let me get him an ECV.
Being a retired RN, we don't admit that we need help, LOL :rolleyes: . But I have had to use an ECV and wheelchair at disney before, and you feel like a "non" person. People ignore you like you arent even there. I don't know why. It's like you are invisible. However, the CM's are the greatest! They always talked to ME, not my husband, and I felt like I was being acknowledged, even in a W/C or ECV.
Anyway, I'm glad you had a great time to share with your family:)
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I understand what you went through with a stubborn mate! My husband needs to use an ECV due to major back surgery and nerve damage. Will he? Heck, no, he just uses a cane and limps along. It's difficult to deal with, but I try to remember he needs to feel somewhat in control, and I know if it gets too bad he will reluctantly let me get him an ECV.
Being a retired RN, we don't admit that we need help, LOL :rolleyes: . But I have had to use an ECV and wheelchair at disney before, and you feel like a "non" person. People ignore you like you arent even there. I don't know why. It's like you are invisible. However, the CM's are the greatest! They always talked to ME, not my husband, and I felt like I was being acknowledged, even in a W/C or ECV.
Anyway, I'm glad you had a great time to share with your family:)
It's quite irritating when they clearly are having difficulties, frequently complain and look uncomfortable and then refuse to fix it. This is pretty much what @Back!Elbow!Shoulders said also. Maybe it is that health care provider brain.
And a retired RN will always be an RN!🥰
And yes, medical people stink at receiving care and help!🤣
And I found the 15 minutes I was willing to use the wheelchair to be the opposite. I felt like everyone was staring at me and it was an uncomfortable feeling.
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
I guess I'm lucky, with my husband back surgery and nerve damage, he gladly took the ECV, and he was happy to get a DAS pass. We usually end up sharing the ECV because my back starts screaming mid-day, but he likes to walk, he just can't do it all day. Daily he walks with a cane, so I guess he's gotten use to the idea. I would take an ECV over a wheelchair because I know that I don't need anyone to push me. Maybe the next time you can talk him into that?
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I guess I'm lucky, with my husband back surgery and nerve damage, he gladly took the ECV, and he was happy to get a DAS pass. We usually end up sharing the ECV because my back starts screaming mid-day, but he likes to walk, he just can't do it all day. Daily he walks with a cane, so I guess he's gotten use to the idea. I would take an ECV over a wheelchair because I know that I don't need anyone to push me. Maybe the next time you can talk him into that?
I'm sorry he has problems, but glad he's reasonable about solutions!
We had talked about an ECV and maybe at some point he will give in. We probably won't be going back for awhile, so I have some time to work on it!
 

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