Trip Report Making Lemonade out of Lemons Fractal Family Trip Report

I think we can all agree that so far 2020 has been one big sour lemon.

For those that did not read my Pre-Trip report; my entire family (Val-wife, Alex - oldest daughter, Sterg - son, Toni - youngest daughter) has recovered from the Covid-19 virus. Myself, Val, Sterg and Toni got it in March and Alex in April while working as a nurse. Val had it worse with a fever for a couple days and flu like symptoms for about a week. The rest of us were either asymptomatic or had minor symptoms.

Add to that the mental stress of living in a society dealing with this pandemic, Toni missing out on a big chunk of her High School Senior Year and her last dance recital (where she was going to take on a major role as Jasmine), work reductions for Sterg and high stress work conditions for Alex on the front line. Yes, 2020 has sure been one big sourpuss.

But, as the saying goes; "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

It just so happened that last year I made a reservation to attend the annual AHEPA convention in Walt Disney World, just as I did in 2017. We were going to stay at the Grand Destino Towers but that seemed very much in jeopardy when AHEPA (which is a charitable organization I'm involved with. Like a Greek version of the Knights of Columbus or Lions Club.) cancelled their convention. Soon after however, I received an email that Disney would honor our reservation in July. This was pretty tempting since we had convention rates and discounts on tickets. Long story short, we decided to go. We felt that having already had the virus gave us an extra level of protection and we knew that Disney would handle the health risks properly. In addition, we later found out that our rooms were moved from Grand Destino to the Contemporary in order to accommodate the LA Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. Sterg's and my dream of playing Marco Polo with the Greek Freak and LeBron James in the pool were quickly dashed. But who could say no to staying at The Contemporary for $175 a night?

We were a go! It was frustrating however because although we had a resort reservation we did not have park tickets. We also didn't have a "park pass" which was needed during this reopening of WDW. We had to wait for all that to open and I had serious doubts it would by the time our first day at the resort (July 20th) rolled around. I decided to book flights without tickets or park passes. Southwest had roundtrip flights from Philly to Orlando for $90 plus if you had to cancel you got that credit for a future flight. No brainer. This was turning out to be the cheapest Disney trip we have taken as a family! Soon after I was open to buy tickets and book Park Passes. We had started to squeeze that lemon and add it's juice to our pitcher of cold water.

Now for the Cast of our adventure.

Myself - Chris/Fractal. A lover of Disney Parks for the many memories it has given me over the years with my family, the way it helps me completely unwind from my job, and how it taps into my creative side and challenges my skills as a photographer.

Here I am with my crazy kids at Christmas.



Val - my beautiful wife. Not the biggest fan of Disney but in the end she was on board. I think secretly she likes it more than she lets on. I will make it up to her with a trip more to her liking.

Here she is with Alex.



Alex - our oldest. Now a traveling nurse. Alex is like me in many ways but as she's getting older and more responsible I'm starting to see her take on a number of Val's traits. She's a good mix and always a delight to be with.

From a trip to Colorado we took last year;



Sterg, aka Fractal Jr. One word to describe Sterg - catalyst - he just makes things happen. He creates reactions both good and bad. He graduated last year from Penn State. He was a captain on the Swim Team but not without drama. He had to miss his promising senior year of swimming when a series of concussions (all outside the water) forced him to medically retire. PSU handled it very well as he helped the team from the sidelines. He now works as a digital marketing consultant as well as helping his cousin get his music career off the ground. Never a dull moment when Sterg is around!

with our dog Prince (Charming).



Toni - For long time readers of my reports you know that Toni and I have a special Disney connection. Many times she would be the only one up early with me to tackle the parks at opening. We have had many great adventures together in the Disney bubble. She's now technically an adult (how did that happen?) so I was going to find out this trip if the magic was still there. She's going to attend Clemson University starting next month and I couldn't be prouder.

Toni in front of the Theater her Recital was supposed to perform at.



So Covid-19 made our family suffer in many ways, but we took that lemon, squeezed it's juice out into our water pitcher, now we just needed a little Disney sugar to make our Lemonade complete.

Coming up - Our trip begins with a WDW meet-up before our flight even leaves the ground!
 

dclfan

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
Loved reading your trip report and getting to see all of your wonderful pictures. Thanks for taking us along. Hopefully we cross paths in Disney World again real soon.
 

Sillysidewalker

Well-Known Member
We were back in the Hub. The center point of WDW. I was happy to take photos of the castle but at the same time sad knowing our time in "the bubble" was quickly ending.



This was a trip that was very unlikely to happen in June and even early July. The reopening and uncertainties made me feel it wasn't going to happen. I'm thankful that it did despite all the restriction and rules.

Alex and Sterg were happy to be there!





I really feel the story of this trip was making Lemonade out of Lemons. The summer of 2020 was tough for all of us. We were fortunate enough to escape one week from the insanity of the real world to the Walt Disney World bubble.
It wasn't the same bubble we are all used to but Disney did it's best to make it an oasis from the reality of the "real world".

I took a page from Sterg's book in this selfie.



I know things are different now in WDW. The lines are longer and the busses fuller. I feel very fortunate to experience the "World" during a very unique time. As initial visitor during the reopening we were rewarded with empty
parks and little waits. I will never forget this trip because of that. The lemonade spillith over! I honestly could not have asked or expected more from Disney.



We started to make our way out. Exiting Main Street has always felt for me the proper way to leave Walt Disney World on your last day.





I pray that before long things are back to normal. So much needs to be done; the Tron Coaster, the Guardian's coaster, the Space Restaurant and more. I want to see all of that in the next few years.

But still enjoy the nostalgia of Main Street.



I think they agree. With or without tick-tock.



One last look...



Leaving Magic Kingdom.





Before long we were back at The Contemporary and found Alex's car in the parking lot. After a series of hugs and goodbyes she was off - heading west to Clearwater to meet up with Val's parents.

Those blue skies😍
 

Longers

Well-Known Member
What a fab trip report.
It had everything beautiful photos, an empty park, laughs, memories, meet ups and even a surprise for me.
Thank you for sharing it all with those of us who look like we won’t get to Disney in 2020. :(. It at least gave me a little Disney magic in these difficult times.
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
Oh boo . . . (close to Halloween, so I'm using boo ;) ). It's sad when your TRs end. So many of us could read more, as your TRs are so enjoyable! Thank you so much for sharing another wonderful TR.

Always look forward to your photos, as you continue to come up with different techniques, etc. What amazes me are all the unique angles, etc., that you discover when photographing some of the similar locations, that you've covered in the past. That's why I never tire of your photographic skills, as I know there is always some nuance in a location, that you'll discover "new" with each time you visit WDW.

Enjoyed your commentary as always. Glad that your family is healthy and can enjoy a nice group vacation. It's fun to see the photos of the kids from past years, right up to the present. You and your wife have some great kids, and that certainly reflects on some awesome parents! :happy:
 

Zipitidoda

Well-Known Member
Fractal, that was the best one yet!! Just when I think you've outdone yourself you give another great report. Thank you for all the time you put into your pictures. They are always the best!
 

danyoung56

Well-Known Member
Fractal, this was the first of your trip reports that I've ever read, and of course I really enjoyed it. As a video engineer of long experience, I also really appreciated your photography. As you know, a good picture is the result of several things - good equipment, a skilled eye, and many hours with the editing software. You obviously excel at all these aspects, and your ride photography is the best I've ever seen. Thanks so much for taking the time to post, and please do so again!
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
First, thank you. Your humor and wonderful family make a great read. Your pictures...they make me want to go back and look at it all again. Absolutely the BEST!

thanks so much @BuckyMom ! Happy you followed along!
Your storytelling - both verbal and visual - is always a real treat. Thanks for sharing it with us ! 🙏
Thanks @Swissmiss! I really enjoyed all your comments!
Thanks so much for sharing your trip! So fun to see. :)
Thanks @ajrwdwgirl ! Likewise.
Thank you! Such a fun trip review to read! I envy you the time you had...ours was not fun the first week in July before all partially reopened. Cheers! Cindy
Thanks @Tink86! Sorry it wasn't as magical for you. Hopefully next time!
Loved reading your trip report and getting to see all of your wonderful pictures. Thanks for taking us along. Hopefully we cross paths in Disney World again real soon.

Thanks @dclfan! So much fun running into you and Jeromy! Love to do that again and take you guys up for a night out!
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
Thanks for an awesome report. I so enjoyed your journey and the fabulous pictures. The play by play was epic, “Hi - Mickey Ears” and gave me more than a few chuckles and maybe even a LOL. See ‘ya real soon.
Thanks @pkkurz ! Pleasure to have you aboard!
Amazing as always. Thanks for taking us along and making us feel like family.
Thank you @LSV! It's from the heart!

You really outdid yourself Fractal! Thanks for taking the time to share with us!!
(Next time I am in Philly I will bring you a proper lemonade😉)
Thanks @Darstarr and yes, I will take you up on that offer!
Those blue skies😍
👍
Awesome stuff Chris!!
Thanks brother!
What a fab trip report.
It had everything beautiful photos, an empty park, laughs, memories, meet ups and even a surprise for me.
Thank you for sharing it all with those of us who look like we won’t get to Disney in 2020. :(. It at least gave me a little Disney magic in these difficult times.
Thank you @Longers! Glad I could help. You'll be back before you know it!
Oh boo . . . (close to Halloween, so I'm using boo ;) ). It's sad when your TRs end. So many of us could read more, as your TRs are so enjoyable! Thank you so much for sharing another wonderful TR.

Always look forward to your photos, as you continue to come up with different techniques, etc. What amazes me are all the unique angles, etc., that you discover when photographing some of the similar locations, that you've covered in the past. That's why I never tire of your photographic skills, as I know there is always some nuance in a location, that you'll discover "new" with each time you visit WDW.

Enjoyed your commentary as always. Glad that your family is healthy and can enjoy a nice group vacation. It's fun to see the photos of the kids from past years, right up to the present. You and your wife have some great kids, and that certainly reflects on some awesome parents! :happy:

I'm blushing! 😊 Thank you @MinnieM123 - you were always there with a nice comment which helped keep me going!
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
It was a great trip report! Thanks for taking the time.
Much appreciated @coachwnh ! Now let's get down to drinking some beers!


Thanks for following @krisri18 !

First trip report I've ever followed. Thanks for the positivity during the last few weeks!

Wow! thanks for following @Trentster05 !


Fractal, that was the best one yet!! Just when I think you've outdone yourself you give another great report. Thank you for all the time you put into your pictures. They are always the best!

Thanks @Zipitidoda ! Very much appreciated! 🙂

Thank you so much for sharing!!! It was such a joy to be able to live vicariously through you and your family! So glad you had such a great time :)

Very much appreciated @fizzieee ! So glad you followed along and shared comments along the way!

Sad to see this end, so much fun! Thank you for letting me tag along!

Thanks @KellBelle ! I really appreciated all your comments!
Once again you outdid yourself with this trip report! Thank you for sharing!! Now let's get together for one of those Fractal beers!!

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/loXZQA8hxGh3fSxgFi" width="480" height="270" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="
">via GIPHY</a></p>

Thanks @DisneyJeff ! As you know - the plans are in motion with @coachwnh !
Fractal, this was the first of your trip reports that I've ever read, and of course I really enjoyed it. As a video engineer of long experience, I also really appreciated your photography. As you know, a good picture is the result of several things - good equipment, a skilled eye, and many hours with the editing software. You obviously excel at all these aspects, and your ride photography is the best I've ever seen. Thanks so much for taking the time to post, and please do so again!

@danyoung56 thanks so much! That really means a lot coming from you - very much appreciated and yes, many hours in Lightroom!
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom