Trip Report It Wasn't Quite the Trip We Had Planned..June 2020

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello everyone! We got back from our trip last week, and as you can all surmise, it didn't include much Disney :( !
First, let me introduce us in case you don't know us.
20200609_133500.jpg
Me (Amy) and my husband Brian.

20200606_130131.jpg
Our kids, Logan (17), Lily (15), and Owen (12).

Our original plan was to leave our house early in the morning on Tuesday, June 2 and spend 2 night at Staybridge Suites which is a partner hotel for SeaWorld and included a free tour in the park and free Quick Queue passes for our visit to SeaWorld on June 3. We were then set to check in to Caribbbean Beach Resort on June 4th and attend the Villains After Hours on June 5th. We had ADRs at 'Ohana, Boma, Beaches and Cream, and Whispering Canyon Cafe. Then we would transfer to Hard Rock Hotel on June 7th to spend the 8-11 at the Universal Parks and drive home on the 12th.
Well, we all know what happened to those plans!! First we learned that Disney wouldn't be open and we were forced to cancel our CBR stay. Then Universal announced that they would be opening on the 5th, and, finally, SeaWorld announced they were opening on the 11th. We went back and forth for quite awhile on whether we would go or not. We finally decided to give it a try because we all just needed a break! We decided to move Universal up a day so we could fit SeaWorld in at the end of the trip since they wouldn't be open for our original day. Our new plan: leave early morning on June 6 and drive to Hard Rock to start our Universal days on the 7th through the 10th, switch to Staybridge Suites and visit Disney Springs on the 11th, visit SeaWorld on the 12th, and drive home on the 13th. Still didn't work out that way, but we'll eventually get to that!!

I know that Universal and Disney World are two totally different beasts, but I am writing this in the hopes that something we experienced or learned at Universal will help some of you on your Disney trips that may still happen this year! (Sorry to the CKC peeps that have already heard some of this!)

Ok, let's get started!
We left Dayton, Ohio at about 1 am and made it to Hard Rock at about 4pm. We stopped at a Chick fil A in southern Tennessee for breakfast. The dining room was not open, so we had to eat in the car which we totally expected. We made it to the Florida Welcome Center at lunch time and ate a picnic style lunch that we had packed. Rest stops were about 50/50 with people wearing masks as compared to not. We always had ours on!
20200606_155905.jpg
20200606_155918.jpg

Check in at Hard Rock was super easy! You had to have a mask on to enter and they check your temperature right away and give you a wrist band that is good for the whole day so you don't have to have your temp taken each time you enter a park or your hotel. The color of the band changes every day. They had hand sanitizer in lots of places throughout the hotel and they had signs requesting only one party in the elevators at a time. The actual check in was the same except they had plexiglass between you and the team member and they didn't give you a paper map. They did not have daily housekeeping, but they text you shortly after check in and you can ask for anything you need by texting back and they take care of it for you.

We arrived in time to run to CityWalk for dinner. Security was the same to get in other than needing a mask and the hand sanitizer available. They did actually go through my bag instead of just running it through the machine which I thought was funny since that involves touching multiple people's things without changing gloves in between (we later found out that the scanner was not working). Most people kept masks on, but we did see some with them hanging from an ear or pulled down under their chin.

I love the walk over from Hard Rock! We took a quick break off the main pathway to get a pic without masks:
IMG_0495.JPG

We hit NBC Sports Grill and Brew for dinner. We sat at a foosball table and got to play while waiting on dinner. We got a soft pretzel to share for an appetizer and it was huge! (and delicious!!) They give you a bag to put your masks in to set on the table and the wait staff always wear masks. It was very enjoyable!
20200606_183154.jpg
20200606_174841.jpg
20200606_174407.jpg


We then turned in early to prepare for our first day in the park!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Advertisement
Of course I’m here....the preview left me wanting more. :happy:
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone! We got back from our trip last week, and as you can all surmise, it didn't include much Disney :( !
First, let me introduce us in case you don't know us.
View attachment 477756
Me (Amy) and my husband Brian.

View attachment 477755
Our kids, Logan (17), Lily (15), and Owen (12).

Our original plan was to leave our house early in the morning on Tuesday, June 2 and spend 2 night at Staybridge Suites which is a partner hotel for SeaWorld and included a free tour in the park and free Quick Queue passes for our visit to SeaWorld on June 3. We were then set to check in to Caribbbean Beach Resort on June 4th and attend the Villains After Hours on June 5th. We had ADRs at 'Ohana, Boma, Beaches and Cream, and Whispering Canyon Cafe. Then we would transfer to Hard Rock Hotel on June 7th to spend the 8-11 at the Universal Parks and drive home on the 12th.
Well, we all know what happened to those plans!! First we learned that Disney wouldn't be open and we were forced to cancel our CBR stay. Then Universal announced that they would be opening on the 5th, and, finally, SeaWorld announced they were opening on the 11th. We went back and forth for quite awhile on whether we would go or not. We finally decided to give it a try because we all just needed a break! We decided to move Universal up a day so we could fit SeaWorld in at the end of the trip since they wouldn't be open for our original day. Our new plan: leave early morning on June 6 and drive to Hard Rock to start our Universal days on the 7th through the 10th, switch to Staybridge Suites and visit Disney Springs on the 11th, visit SeaWorld on the 12th, and drive home on the 13th. Still didn't work out that way, but we'll eventually get to that!!

I know that Universal and Disney World are two totally different beasts, but I am writing this in the hopes that something we experienced or learned at Universal will help some of you on your Disney trips that may still happen this year! (Sorry to the CKC peeps that have already heard some of this!)

Ok, let's get started!
We left Dayton, Ohio at about 1 am and made it to Hard Rock at about 4pm. We stopped at a Chick fil A in southern Tennessee for breakfast. The dining room was not open, so we had to eat in the car which we totally expected. We made it to the Florida Welcome Center at lunch time and ate a picnic style lunch that we had packed. Rest stops were about 50/50 with people wearing masks as compared to not. We always had ours on!
View attachment 477757
View attachment 477758

Check in at Hard Rock was super easy! You had to have a mask on to enter and they check your temperature right away and give you a wrist band that is good for the whole day so you don't have to have your temp taken each time you enter a park or your hotel. The color of the band changes every day. They had hand sanitizer in lots of places throughout the hotel and they had signs requesting only one party in the elevators at a time. The actual check in was the same except they had plexiglass between you and the team member and they didn't give you a paper map. They did not have daily housekeeping, but they text you shortly after check in and you can ask for anything you need by texting back and they take care of it for you.

We arrived in time to run to CityWalk for dinner. Security was the same to get in other than needing a mask and the hand sanitizer available. They did actually go through my bag instead of just running it through the machine which I thought was funny since that involves touching multiple people's things without changing gloves in between (we later found out that the scanner was not working). Most people kept masks on, but we did see some with them hanging from an ear or pulled down under their chin.

I love the walk over from Hard Rock! We took a quick break off the main pathway to get a pic without masks:
View attachment 477763

We hit NBC Sports Grill and Brew for dinner. We sat at a foosball table and got to play while waiting on dinner. We got a soft pretzel to share for an appetizer and it was huge! (and delicious!!) They give you a bag to put your masks in to set on the table and the wait staff always wear masks. It was very enjoyable!
View attachment 477765
View attachment 477760
View attachment 477761


We then turned in early to prepare for our first day in the park!
Is that a Harry Potter bag I spy on the table in that last picture??
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Following along! That pretzel looks tasty and huge. I love the idea of sitting at a foosball table to play with and eat. Not that I'm good at playing the game, but it would be a fun way to wait for food.
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Is that a Harry Potter bag I spy on the table in that last picture??
Yes, they handed that to us when we were seated to put our masks in while we ate.
Following along! That pretzel looks tasty and huge. I love the idea of sitting at a foosball table to play with and eat. Not that I'm good at playing the game, but it would be a fun way to wait for food.
We were definitely not good, but we had a lot of fun! The kids ended up beating the pants off of us!
I'm here!! Looking forward to the expanded version!! :happy:
Thanks for joining in!
Glad to have you along!
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sunday, June 7

We got up and ate a quick breakfast in the room so we could make early entry at 8:00am. We had our temperatures taken in the lobby so we wouldn't have to worry about it later and walked over to Universal Studios. Quick pic in front of the globe before entering the park:
20200607_075640.jpg

Entrance to the park was a little different this year, they had you go through a winding queue in front of the closed ticket windows before you came to the main gates. Then they directed you to the turnstile they wanted you to use. Scanning your ticket was the same, but they weren't using finger scanners, so Brian and I had to show a photo ID every time we entered. Due to the low number of people present, it worked well and we were quickly in the park. Not sure how that's going to hold up once they increase their attendance numbers. Despicable Me and Diagon Alley are the only things open for early entry, so we headed back to Diagon Alley. A few pics on the way:
IMG_0506.JPG
IMG_0507.JPG
IMG_0508.JPG
IMG_0511.JPG
IMG_0513.JPG
IMG_0516.JPG
IMG_0518.JPG

IMG_0522.JPG
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We made it:
IMG_0528.JPG
IMG_0529.JPG

We chose to ride Gringott's before looking around today. I was very curious to find out how the lockers were going to work since they are usually a big clustered mess. You had to wait in a line (luckily it was short) and they ask how many lockers you will need and only that many people are allowed to enter the locker area. Once you reach the entrance to the locker area, they direct you to which section you are to go to and use your ticket to open the locker. They were only allowing one group at each locker section at a time. This mostly worked out, but occasionally you would end up with someone getting their stuff out of a locker at the same time they directed you to that section to put your stuff in a locker. You just needed to pay attention and be respectful of everyone's space.

The wait was minimal once the line started moving. They had tape on the floor to advise you where to stand. Sometimes it was 6 feet, sometimes it was a lot more than 6 feet depending on how the tape landed based on the where the people beside you would end up standing. They tried to stagger it so no one was standing right next to you or too close ahead of or behind you. Overall, it worked well. It was hard sometimes when the line would be moving quickly and then stop all of a sudden and you would have to scramble to find the nearest tape mark, which you may have already passed if you weren't paying close attention! It was difficult too sometimes when going around corners or through doorways! There was definitely a learning curve! Most people picked it up quickly, but there were always a few who never did!! Once you reached the area to be placed in the ride vehicle, they made you use hand sanitizer. You absolutely were not given the option, and they were very generous with it! They were putting parties every other row and not using single riders. Usually, they kept all 5 of us together, but on Gringott's, they made had the kids sit in the front row and Brian and I skip a row and sit in the back row. No big deal, but just different than every other ride. It was tough to find a good way to wear the mask and the 3D glasses together. We each eventually figured out what was best for each of us, but the first ride was not very enjoyable because of the fogged glasses!

After exiting the ride, it was time to start watching for the virtual line for Hagrid's to open up. It opened every morning between 8:45 and 8:55. Brian and I both had the app downloaded and were each able to get passes for us that morning. I liked the way that they didn't release all of the passes at one time. The initial release was just through late morning, then they added more times throughout the day.

We had a little time before we had to switch to Islands of Adventure for our ride time, so we strolled around Diagon Alley for a few minutes while we waited for the rest of the park to open.
20200607_084051.jpg

This pic shows the tape marks they had on the ground for spacing, and the stickers for where to stand for the stage performances:
20200607_084112.jpg
20200607_084115.jpg
20200607_084204.jpg
20200607_084213.jpg
20200607_084227.jpg

We made a stop for a ride on Rip, Ride, Rockit before walking to IOA. The locker situation was the same as Gringott's. Here they allowed us to ride in rows right next to each other, but one row between us and another party.
 
Last edited:

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Then it was time for us to switch parks. We decided it would be fastest to just exit at the front and walk over to IOA.
20200607_092314.jpg
20200607_092321.jpg
20200607_092443.jpg
The pavement looks wet because there was a major thunderstorm the night before. There was even a tornado that hit part of Orlando. Luckily, we only got the rain and some thunder and lightning!


Entry was the same as it had been at Universal Studios. We wound through the queue and were directed to a turnstile where we had to show our ID. It was very quick and easy! We were soon on our way to Hogsmeade to ride Hagrid's.
20200607_092805.jpg
20200607_092933.jpg
20200607_093038.jpg
20200607_093127.jpg
20200607_093244.jpg
20200607_093259.jpg
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There is an entrance nowhere near the entrance to Hagrid's where you have to scan you virtual line pass. You then get lockers if needed before entering the actual queue entrance. This is the area that was the most congested. People showing up early that had to step aside and wait, people who had no idea what the virtual line was about or how to get one, and people trying to get past the virtual line queue to get to the train station. Not sure how they could have done it better, but definitely needed some reworking!
20200607_093653.jpg

You can't get close to the train or conductor for pictures because of the virtual line queue. Once again, not a big deal, but I could see how it would be frustrating for someone visiting for the first time.

Here we were waiting to get our lockers:
20200607_093659.jpg
It's hard to tell, but the parties really were spaced 6 feet apart.

Finally in the actual queue for Hagrid's:
20200607_093854.jpg
20200607_093909.jpg
20200607_093934.jpg
20200607_093937.jpg
20200607_093941.jpg
20200607_093958.jpg
20200607_094004.jpg
20200607_094020.jpg
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One last set of queue pics from this time through:
20200607_094306.jpg
20200607_094354.jpg
20200607_094556.jpg
20200607_094620.jpg
20200607_094650.jpg
20200607_094809.jpg

This is the only ride they were loading every row on because of the already limited capacity. They were sure to announce that your mask was to be worn throughout the entire ride!

Brian rode this with us because it was advertised as a family ride and I had heard others comment on what a smooth ride it was. OMG! It was intense! The kids and I loved it, Brian not so much! He was done with coasters after that!
 
Top Bottom