• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

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.

MVIMG_20191224_220836-XL.jpg


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.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180816202048133_COVER-XL.jpg


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;

DSC00630-XL.jpg


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).

20200706-DSC06336-X2.jpg


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.

20200616-DSC05993-X3.jpg


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!
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
Here's his links he posted. You can see it above also.
And not to make @fractal blush or anything, but I ordered some printed photos off of his site and they are stunning. Very bright and colorful (and don't tell him but he doesn't charge enough)!! 🤣 I feel the need now to order some larger sizes than I did in my first order.

I‘ve gone to his site a few times (I bookmarked it a couple of years ago) and now that I’ve just moved into a new apartment with a lot of blank wall space, I think it is the perfect time for me to finally narrow down my favorites 😊
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
Here's his links he posted. You can see it above also.
And not to make @fractal blush or anything, but I ordered some printed photos off of his site and they are stunning. Very bright and colorful (and don't tell him but he doesn't charge enough)!! 🤣 I feel the need now to order some larger sizes than I did in my first order.
So happy you like them!

Awesome! Thank you!!!
Thanks!

I‘ve gone to his site a few times (I bookmarked it a couple of years ago) and now that I’ve just moved into a new apartment with a lot of blank wall space, I think it is the perfect time for me to finally narrow down my favorites 😊
Thanks!
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Outside the bubble WDW magician meet up with @coachwnh is on! Crystal and Val and starting to lose their patience.😄View attachment 526206


I've been neglecting this subforum and one of your family's trips is JUST what the doctor ordered! Also, did anyone else say that your son looks like Paul Walker in that first post, or is it just me? As always, it's great seeing your family having a great time at WDW!
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
I've been neglecting this subforum and one of your family's trips is JUST what the doctor ordered! Also, did anyone else say that your son looks like Paul Walker in that first post, or is it just me? As always, it's great seeing your family having a great time at WDW!

Hey @draybook ! Nice of you to check in. We had a great time during a unique period at WDW. He hears a lot of Harry Styles (without the dress) and Shawn Mendes which just flames his ego but not Paul Walker - but I can see that.

Hope all is well with you and yours and you get back to WDW one of these days!
 

ShookieJones

Never let your fear decide your fate.
Premium Member
Hey Chris! @fractal Super late to the show, but in my defense I haven't been around for a while.

Just wanted to say, I just read through it all. Another great report glad to see you had great time with your beautiful family, and of course to pile on to the compliments showered ad nauseam and yet still deserving: AMAZING pics!

The added epilogue of your boozed tinged WDW Magicians meet up with @coachwnh looked like fun and was an added bonus.

 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
Hey Chris! @fractal Super late to the show, but in my defense I haven't been around for a while.

Just wanted to say, I just read through it all. Another great report glad to see you had great time with your beautiful family, and of course to pile on to the compliments showered ad nauseam and yet still deserving: AMAZING pics!

The added epilogue of your boozed tinged WDW Magicians meet up with @coachwnh looked like fun and was an added bonus.

Thanks Enzo @ShookieJones !

Great to hear from you! - I still look at the Epcot book you sent me from time to time. Hope all is well with you and yours. Any Disney trips coming up?
 

ShookieJones

Never let your fear decide your fate.
Premium Member
Thanks Enzo @ShookieJones !

Great to hear from you! - I still look at the Epcot book you sent me from time to time. Hope all is well with you and yours. Any Disney trips coming up?
Glad you're still enjoying it! Yeah man, that's why I am back 'slumming' around here again..;) We're heading back in May. First time back in a few years with both kids (my daughter has missed the last couple of trips)....plus their significant others.

My daughter said that because 'she's back' and we have a 6 pack instead of the regular Shookie Family 4 Pack that I HAVE to do a trip report. I told her I will if she helps. So there may be a father daughter Shookie Family Vacation TR coming your way soon. Let's see what happens.
 

Gurt

Well-Known Member
Great report @fractal I have been away from the boards for a very long time for several reasons one being like many people our trip last year got cancelled. Its been a joy to come back and read about your trip, your family bond is amazing, your kids remind me of me and my cousin on our trips to wdw when we were younger and yes I am also one that through your wonderful pictures feel like I have watched them grow up, thank you for sharing with us.
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
Great report @fractal I have been away from the boards for a very long time for several reasons one being like many people our trip last year got cancelled. Its been a joy to come back and read about your trip, your family bond is amazing, your kids remind me of me and my cousin on our trips to wdw when we were younger and yes I am also one that through your wonderful pictures feel like I have watched them grow up, thank you for sharing with us.

Thanks @Gurt! Last year was a tough year for many. Hoping this year will end up much better and you get to WDW. :)
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
Val and I are heading down to the Tampa area next week to visit her parents. We are thinking of doing a day trip to EPCOT on the 25th (the only park still open for reservation that day).
I'm not convinced it's worth the hassle and cost for just one day, especially in the state Epcot is in right now. I would definitely do either of the other 3 parks.

Help me make a decision. How are the crowds and waits right now? What would you do?
 

Billy6

Well-Known Member
Val and I are heading down to the Tampa area next week to visit her parents. We are thinking of doing a day trip to EPCOT on the 25th (the only park still open for reservation that day).
I'm not convinced it's worth the hassle and cost for just one day, especially in the state Epcot is in right now. I would definitely do either of the other 3 parks.

Help me make a decision. How are the crowds and waits right now? What would you do?
I’ve noticed that crowds are higher at park opening until round 3-4pm. Then waits start to lessen. Been watching MK and HS especially as I have them scheduled next week. I’ve seen HS at low waits around 6, park close at 8. Tonight, Mickey and Minnies was 15 min around 7. I haven’t paid much attention to EPCOT but they are open until 11pm so it may not be a waste for you.

Maybe the Breakers go back to resort and get some sleep for a night on the town... or when park hopping starts crowds seem to lessen.

Me and my son have a free day on the 25th if you head over. We can have a beer by the pool or 7 like @Darstarr does. VIP at BLT!
 

pkkurz

Active Member
Val and I are heading down to the Tampa area next week to visit her parents. We are thinking of doing a day trip to EPCOT on the 25th (the only park still open for reservation that day).
I'm not convinced it's worth the hassle and cost for just one day, especially in the state Epcot is in right now. I would definitely do either of the other 3 parks.

Help me make a decision. How are the crowds and waits right now? What would you do?
I’m here now and even at capacity waits are not bad. Epcot is probably the best place to still be able to spread out. Flower and Garden is in full swing and the grounds are gorgeous (can’t wait to see some of your fantastic photos with your camera eye). Lots of great food and drinks available at the booths around the world and even a fun one in front of Test Track. Come on over, you both will be glad you did.
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Don't forget, you can now park hop to another park starting at 2pm. I don't know if you need a park reservation for the second park, but if you don't, then you could potentially go to another park if Epcot is a bust, or if you are done there.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Val and I are heading down to the Tampa area next week to visit her parents. We are thinking of doing a day trip to EPCOT on the 25th (the only park still open for reservation that day).
I'm not convinced it's worth the hassle and cost for just one day, especially in the state Epcot is in right now. I would definitely do either of the other 3 parks.

Help me make a decision. How are the crowds and waits right now? What would you do?
Last weekend we were at the Boardwalk so lots of Epcot time. Saturday night it was crowded for a minute around 5pm. Sunday at 5 I walked into a crowded France but it was empty right after that.
And at 2:00 you can park hop.
The parks seemed to thin out from 1-4ish.
I would say do it!!
do it jewish GIF
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
I’ve noticed that crowds are higher at park opening until round 3-4pm. Then waits start to lessen. Been watching MK and HS especially as I have them scheduled next week. I’ve seen HS at low waits around 6, park close at 8. Tonight, Mickey and Minnies was 15 min around 7. I haven’t paid much attention to EPCOT but they are open until 11pm so it may not be a waste for you.

Maybe the Breakers go back to resort and get some sleep for a night on the town... or when park hopping starts crowds seem to lessen.

Me and my son have a free day on the 25th if you head over. We can have a beer by the pool or 7 like @Darstarr does. VIP at BLT!

Thanks for the info and offer. If we go I'll definitely reach out!

I’m here now and even at capacity waits are not bad. Epcot is probably the best place to still be able to spread out. Flower and Garden is in full swing and the grounds are gorgeous (can’t wait to see some of your fantastic photos with your camera eye). Lots of great food and drinks available at the booths around the world and even a fun one in front of Test Track. Come on over, you both will be glad you did.

Thanks for the recon! Forgot it was Flower and Garden! Haven't seen that since 2007.

Don't forget, you can now park hop to another park starting at 2pm. I don't know if you need a park reservation for the second park, but if you don't, then you could potentially go to another park if Epcot is a bust, or if you are done there.

Park hop would be great - I'll have to check if I can still do that if other parks are closed for reservations. Thanks @Songbird76 !

Last weekend we were at the Boardwalk so lots of Epcot time. Saturday night it was crowded for a minute around 5pm. Sunday at 5 I walked into a crowded France but it was empty right after that.
And at 2:00 you can park hop.
The parks seemed to thin out from 1-4ish.
I would say do it!!
do it jewish GIF

Getting close!
 

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

Top Bottom