Trip Report Just returned from the World! POP Century 7/15-7/19/20-Completed!

cgersic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello everyone! Long time reader and some time comment leaver here. I live in Southwest Florida, about 3 hours from the World, single female and 54 years young. I wanted to give a quick verbal update (I didn't really take many photos) to let you know my experiences in Walt Disney World last week. I stayed at POP for 4 nights with 4 days of park passes. I came solo for 3 days and my niece joined me for the last park day. This trip was originally booked for February, but rebooked 4 times until I gave in and went. I'm so glad I did, but the current experience may not be what everyone is looking for.

My first park was Animal Kingdom on 7/15 and I felt like I had the park to myself! I took the bus from POP (only person on the bus that was pulling up as I was walking up) and got there an hour after opening. I left almost an hour before closing, doing all experiences once, and several of them multiple times. If you have ever waited on the bridge from FoTLK to FoP, I was the only person on that bridge several times. Just me and some wonderful CM's that made the walk very entertaining. If you are someone who goes to Disney World for the extra entertainment, you should probably wait to return. I love coming to the parks solo as I am able to wander around and just look. The music is always playing in the background, but you will definitely miss the "extras" of the live entertainment. There are also less carts open so if you are looking for snacks, you may have a hard time locating them. Most of the food is mobile ordering, including at POP. That got a little irritating if you are getting back from a park and want to eat right away, as there were wait times of about 20 minutes after park closing. Absolutely 100% enforcement of mask wearing, and I did not see anyone trying to get away with not wearing one. It was actually quite refreshing to be out in public where everyone wants to play by the rules! The characters would float by randomly with music playing and them dancing. Watched several fun interactions between the characters and kids, including a few myself! I walked out with a great big smile on my face, thankful for the quiet walk around Animal Kingdom and still able to feel all the the Disney magic.
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
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Before I continue with the next park day, I forgot to mention that temp screenings and bag check (screening) were both a breeze. Walk right through, never a line!
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
Good morning! This is my first trip report, so bear with me as I will probably go back and forth. When I arrived at POP at 8 am, my room was not ready, but I picked up my Magic Bands (only person in line) and walked out to get a bus to AK. One pulled up as I was strolling up and I ended up being the only person on it. The busses feel more comfortable to me since there are dividers between parties and there is no standing. Which means no one with their behind in your face and knocking knees! When I got back from AK around 6, my room was ready so I unloaded and unpacked. I was in the 50's section (one of my favorites as I was raised on that era of music and it's playing all day long!) 2nd floor of building 3 and pool view. Fabulous. I put on my suit, walked over to the lobby and filled my cup and headed to the bowling pin pool. I was the only person for awhile until about 8 when 3 others arrived. If you're not familiar with the pool, it's a big area, lots of tables with umbrellas and chairs. It started to sprinkle, so I finally went up to the room and showered to get ready for day 2 which is EPCOT!
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
My word for my 2nd day is SKYLINER!!! I would book POP for this reason alone. My room was basically walk around to the back of the building and I was on the walkway to board my flight at 9 am. This was my first time riding the Skyliner and I do have vertigo, but as long as I just look out and not down, I'm normally ok. This was not a problem at all. Smooth flight to the first station where you choose HS or the EPCOT line. The EPCOT line was not open yet so I asked if I could ride to HS and take the walkway. Not a problem! So I took my time on the Boardwalk peeking in windows and passing maybe 3 people on my way to EPCOT. They no longer open WS earlier to be able to walk around, but the did finally open the gates at 10:30 and there were maybe 20 people ahead of me.
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
I got into EPCOT and starting walking left toward Future World. Got to Soarin' and rode twice, then did the new movie inside the Land. It was cute and informative. Did Seas and starting getting really hot so I headed to WS to get something to drink. (TT was down and everyone was in line at MS so I skipped it too). The walls in that area along with no shade made me run to Mexico and the boat ride. I looked at some of the booths, but nothing was reaching out to me and I was getting really heated so decided to take the Skyliner back to POP at about 2 pm. Went to the pool for a couple of hours and returned to EC (again, SKYLINER!!) in the late afternoon. Walked WS again, this time stopping for a few bites and drinks, and headed back out just before park closing. It was a wonderful morning/evening stroll around my favorite park. I did miss the entertainment and fireworks, but the low crowds were really making it a much more enjoyable trip so far!
 
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Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Hi! Thanks for posting. Mind if I ask a few questions?
You mentioned using your cup at the food court, have the refillable station rules/procedures changed at all?
Also, I hear Disney talk a lot about contactless payment. If you use your magic band does this mean you dont enter a pin? Can you still pay cash?
Thanks!
 

cgersic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hi! Thanks for posting. Mind if I ask a few questions?
You mentioned using your cup at the food court, have the refillable station rules/procedures changed at all?
Also, I hear Disney talk a lot about contactless payment. If you use your magic band does this mean you dont enter a pin? Can you still pay cash?
Thanks!
Hi there! Not at all! If you just want a drink refill, you go to the entrance to the food court and tell them. You are then sent to some tables that have been set up by the drink stations. There are dots to stand on in line. They will fill whatever drink you want into a paper cup and hand it to you to put in your cup. For magic bands, you do have to enter a PIN. I do think it's strange that there are no hand sanitizers next to card readers (I see this everywhere, not just at Disney) but you can usually find a dispenser close by. At the food court and most restaurants, you have to mobile order, so no cash. At EPCOT, you can pay with cash at the booths. That's the only time I needed to use it.
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
Thanks for following along and for your questions. It's nice to feel helpful! 😁 Park Day 3 is Hollywood Studios. Opening is at 10 and I didn't want to be around a big crowd, so I waited until 9:30 to board the Skyliner. Temp screenings and bag walk through had no lines, nor did the tapstiles. I strolled up the street gazing in all of the windows as I went, as well as reading the names on them. Something I don't normally get to do at HS since there is always a ton of people. I went to the brick wall by Echo Lake and sat to get the RoTR virtual booking. It was me and one other person in the whole area. I would tell you to open the app 5 minutes before 10, go to the Virtual Queue tab, follow the prompts for the ride and sit on the screen that has the "join" button (do not refresh). I watched my phone clock and as soon as it turned to 10, I hit join and got group 11!!! It tells you approximately how long the wait should be, but they will also send a notification when your group is called. So I went ahead and walked back to Galaxy's Edge since I haven't seen the area yet. Hardly anyone back there so I was able to really take it all in. Went to Millenium Falcon and basically walked onto the ride. Since I am Solo (see what I did there?!) I got the ship to myself. I took the gunner position after the CM explaining the ship would indeed fly itself so I didn't have to the be the pilot. Let me just say I'm horrible at video games, so they also offered to put my gun on "auto" so I didn't have to keep pressing it. Just hold it. So off we went and I am soooo glad I didn't do the pilot. Super intense stuff happening outside and it would have been way too much to be sitting in that front seat for my first ride of the day! I had a successful flight and continued to wander towards TSL as they seemed to be running slow for RoTR.
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
Following your post as we were down around the same time. You said you rode the Skyliner while there. We thought about it, but I didn't notice any AC units on the top of the cars. It was a brutal three days at the parks. Heat index was 100 to 108 degrees each day. Were the cars comfortable or very stuffy ? The FL humidity is another beast that I'm not quite used to being from PA. We've been known to wear shorts to the parks in December when it was 62 degrees 🥶
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
Following your post as we were down around the same time. You said you rode the Skyliner while there. We thought about it, but I didn't notice any AC units on the top of the cars. It was a brutal three days at the parks. Heat index was 100 to 108 degrees each day. Were the cars comfortable or very stuffy ? The FL humidity is another beast that I'm not quite used to being from PA. We've been known to wear shorts to the parks in December when it was 62 degrees 🥶
Hi there and thanks for following! The Skyliner has vents all around the top, so there was air movement the whole time. It seems like there may be some type of fan in the top as well? It was really nice - better than the busses that can get really cold! :cyclops: It really is the best transportation option in my opinion! Yes, the heat was definitely brutal this trip and I've lived in Florida for 25 years. I took really nice breaks at the pool which helped a ton! I hope you had as good of a time as I did!
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
I continued my day in HS and did all the rides I wanted except MMRR as the line was always at around 50 minutes and the queue was in the blazing sun. I got my text to return for RoTR at around 1:30 so headed back to GE. I'm just gonna say that this was SO MUCH FUN!! I was the only person in my car and had a great interaction with the CM about me being the only person to get the job done. I assured him I could and his response was "good luck with that!" as he walked away. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't been on it, but I can tell you that at one point, my jaw dropped to the floor when I realized what was going to happen. At the end of the ride, the CM could see the big smile in my eyes and when I told him it was my first time, he said he could tell. 😁 It's truly a bummer that you can only experience this once per day as I would go around and around on that one! After that I went to TSL and pretty much walked on SDD. Headed towards the front of the park and by this time, it was close to 4 and super hot, so I went back to POP to await the arrival of my niece who would get there around 8. She was staying the night and we are doing MK for the last park day tomorrow. I hit the pool but it started to pour rain so I just changed my clothes and waited for her in the room. I did notice that my room had not been cleaned, nor had it been done the day before. I was told before I checked in that I would not be able to opt out of cleaning and they were no longer giving the credit. That was fine since I brought my own cleaning supplies, but I needed towels and coffee. They brought them to me and I had to change them out myself. I wasn't too happy about not having service plus not getting a credit for not having it, but at least I had coffee refills!
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
We stayed at Old Key West for 3 days. We went to the pool on Thursday afternoon, and I must say those FL pools are way too warm for me. They're more like hot tubs. We stayed at a hotel in Wildwood, NJ a few years ago where the pool was the same way...about 96 degrees. Our pool in PA rarely gets above 84 degrees which I find refreshing on these hot days. Disney should implement a chiller system for some of their pools, although my friends from FL in Ormond and Palm Bay say that's their preference for the water to be in the 90's.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
We stayed at Old Key West for 3 days. We went to the pool on Thursday afternoon, and I must say those FL pools are way too warm for me. They're more like hot tubs. We stayed at a hotel in Wildwood, NJ a few years ago where the pool was the same way...about 96 degrees. Our pool in PA rarely gets above 84 degrees which I find refreshing on these hot days. Disney should implement a chiller system for some of their pools, although my friends from FL in Ormond and Palm Bay say that's their preference for the water to be in the 90's.
Chiller systems are too expensive. Pools in the summer time are hot indeed.
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
I guess now I know why I don't do trip reports - it's hard to keep up! 😁 My niece arrived around 8:30 so we took a walk around the resort to get her familiar with the layout and to show her the Skyliner. We would be going to MK the next day, so we wouldn't be taking it. She let me know when she got there that she is pregnant and expecting in February!!! Soooo exciting! Went back to the room for chatting and watched Brave and Tangled. She had the pull down murphy bed and said it's one of the most comfortable beds she's ever been in! We woke up around 8 and took our time getting ready since we would spend the entire day in MK. Walked to the busses and there was a short line. The bus was almost full but another right behind it, so within 5 minutes we were on our way - arriving to the park right at 10. My niece hasn't been to MK in 15 years and never ridden Pirates, so we were headed to Adventureland first. She had never walked Swiss Family Treehouse, so we were able to take our time (we let one other couple pass us so we could take it all in, including the views of the park from up there). Walked onto Pirates and she loved it! She wanted to see the splashdown of Splash Mountain to decide if she wanted to ride as a pregnant woman. Definitely was fine and after we went to Big Thunder. She waited in line with me and just crossed over to the other side when I loaded. Had a wild ride in the back of the train! It may just be me, but with less weight in the ride vehicles, some of these rides seem to go faster. Next we did the flying carpets and were then hungry so mobile ordered from Pecos Bill's. We both went with nachos and found a seat indoors to take advantage of the A/C. I think we had been in the park for just an hour and had already completed most of Adventureland and Frontierland! We grabbed a Dole Whip and headed to Haunted Mansion. We had just missed the Hall of Presidents starting and it was starting to rain so the Liberty Belle wasn't running. We started Fantasyland rides and had all of them done within another hour. We did a quick walk through of New Fantasyland since she's never seen it and continued on to Tomorrowland. I did SM while she did COP for the first time and the People Mover wasn't running, so we headed to Main Street for shopping. Have to mention the short parades they were doing throughout the day. You knew they were coming due to the music, so there was plenty of time to get somewhere social distanced to see them come by. Every CM and character seemed so happy to see us and you were able to make eye contact with the majority of them since you had no crowds around you. Such a great addition to the day and good to know that Disney magic is still there!
 

MissViv

Well-Known Member
Enjoying your trip report - I went solo in early March of this year and my niece from Tampa drove up and stayed with me. We had a blast!
 

cgersic

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Original Poster
Enjoying your trip report - I went solo in early March of this year and my niece from Tampa drove up and stayed with me. We had a blast!
I have been to Disney World many times, with the majority of them being solo for at least part of the trip! I guess I am a leader and I don't like having to follow anyone else's itinerary! :cool:
 
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