Trip Report Mask up for the August Alternate 2020 Trip

Hello friends! My husband and I just got back about a week ago from our WDW trip, it was strange, hot, fun, and in a way unexpected. I'll start with some quick details:

Who: Me (Am) and my husband (Brad)
When: August 6-20, 2020
Resort: Pop Century (was scheduled for All Star Sports)

Let me explain my title a little: We were scheduled to travel to WDW in June the 21st through July 5. It was going to be epic.....we would be there over our birthdays, 15th wedding anniversary, and had a couple of Magic meetups planned. That trip didn't happen. While planning our trips at home I always come up with some sort of title for our trips to give it a little excitement. Well, shortly after the shut down in March, about 2 weeks after the parks closed I had a feeling that my June trip wouldn't happen so hubs and I looked at the calendar and figured out a date when we could go to WDW, we had to plan around some of his church activities (all got cancelled) and a girls trip to California for me (cancelled too). So in late March I booked a two week stay at the Sports. But all while planning including the frustrating day in June to get park reservations and the day I cancelled June/July I was never able to build up much excitement for this August trip. So I always stayed labeled in my planning things as the August Alternate trip, how generic! So I had hope that the trip would happen but I was convinced something would happen and we wouldn't be able to go.

Fast forward to the first week of August, days before leaving. I get an email from my boss (principal) asking what my travel dates to Florida were so they could be consistent on teachers traveling and returning back to work. My return date was 4 days before I would start back to work for inservice so no time to quarantine if he asked me to! Ugh! I couldn't lie to my boss and I couldn't ignore his email. Well he didn't ask me to quarantine but he did ask that I get a Covid test upon my return and then quarantine if needed or until my results came back. He asked if I wanted to come in an work a day so that if something happened I would have had time to work to get my classroom ready and he said I could bank it as a day worked so I wouldn't have to use a day if I did quarantine. So that's what I did. In a way it was surreal to be back working in my room, which was the day before we left for WDW. As I was working in my room that day I had a flash, the last day I worked a full day in my classroom was before I went to WDW in March! Whoa! So with a fully day of work banked, suitcases packed, it looked like our Alternate trip was really happening!

*Spoiler alert: my Covid test came back negative, it was probably too early to take it when I came back but it satisfied my boss. Also neither of us have had any symptoms of Covid upon return so looks like we might have stayed safe.

Okay, let's begin......

August 6, 2020

Our flight out of Minneapolis left at 8:20 am so our plan was to wake up around 4 am get ready and drive to the airport. Who sleeps before a trip! We were up around 3am but we didn't leave until around 4:15am. I got a great parking deal at a Park n Fly for our two week park that was like $7 a day so much cheaper than the small airport lot at $15 a day! Does anyone remember the old WDW information station that used to play the song "I'm Going to Disney World"? I have that song and usually play it on the way to the airport and I played it as we pulled into the Park N Fly lot. I didn't play it before I didn't want to jinx us!

The airport was really strange, usually it is such a hub bub of activity but today it was so strange because there weren't many people. Security was a walk up and we were through in less than 2 minutes! We got breakfast at the Caribou Coffee near our gate and spent time just relaxing in our masks waiting. Our flight was on Delta and they did a great job on the flight. When we boarded we were handed wipes to wipe our area, they reminded people about masks, and during flight we were handed a snack pack in a plastic bag with water,chocolate covered pretzels, cheez-its, napkin and hand sanitizer. The middle seat was empty so we had our own row and Brad watched Star Wars something and I watched the Downton Abbey movie (I'd rewatched the series before leaving so this pleased me to rewatch movie too).

The airport in Minneapolis.
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Flights on time, and plane is here! It's happening! It's really happening!
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Waiting at the gate
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On the plane, looking out! Different from my last flight in March. No snow on the ground this time!
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Ready for flight!
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And we've made it to Orlando!!! Again the airport was pretty empty and we had to retrieve our own luggage this time.
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And here we are at Magical Express, not too many people in line. I think when we came in March this is where we started our line up to check in.
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There was a sign that said our wait could be an hour and the ME agent said that too but from check in to the bus pulling away it was less than 20 minutes which is shorter than some of the pre-Covid trips we have had.
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Coming up: arrival at WDW and will there be tears?
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 11, 2020

I loved how the light was hitting the waterfall on the ride, after a few attempts this was my best shot. After five times we decided to move on and enjoyed seeing the monkeys/apes out. And as we passed the Joffrey's stand I was a little in need of a sugar boost so we shared a donut and they are huge almost as big as my hand.
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After our sugar rush we meandered over to the safaris. The line moved a bit slow for awhile, maybe there was an animal on the road or a cleaning cycle. Not too bad of a wait though and we eventually got on with the lovely plastic dividers.

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Rhino!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
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August 11, 2020

Our safari was good and the driver was pleasant. I remember seeing a lot of animals but I wasn't too into taking pictures I guess. After the safari we walked the Gorilla Falls trail which was enjoyable. Has anyone been watching the Nat Geo show about Animal Kingdom on Disney+? We've been enjoying it and it makes me itchy to go back to AK and observe the animals a little more, especially after this week's show and the gorillas.

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A fun little encounter on the river.
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Next up Pandora!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 11, 2020

Nomad Lounge time! Our timing was perfect there were two tables left, one inside and one outside. We picked the one inside, it turned out to be the huge table in the middle of the room. We had only planned to get drinks but then we saw the bread service and how could we pass that by! It was all delicious!
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Then we took a leisurely walk to the bug theater and enjoyed the show. I always enjoy the end when the bugs crawl under my bum.
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And we spied Mickey through the trees.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 11, 2020

Even though we had bread service at Nomad we were still hungry so we mobile ordered Flame Tree and shared the ribs and the pulled pork mac and cheese. Both were super good. I ended up picking off most of the slaw from the mac and cheese (sorry not a slaw fan). The view from the Flame Tree is always amazing too.

Empty Tree of Life area in the afternoon.
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After lunch we wandered the stores and then out of the park to have our nap time at the Pop. After our nap we headed to Disney Springs and did some shopping. I always like wandering through the art stores.
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And the Christmas shop.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 11, 2020

Dinner tonight was at Art Smith's Homecomin'. As usual it was super tasty. I love their devilled eggs but B doesn't, I didn't want to order all 6 but our waiter said we could order as many as we wanted. I think he said they were $2 an egg. We also shared the hush puppies. I'm not going to lie, we were pigs at this meal and we each got our own order of fried chicken too. B got dark meat and mac and cheese and I got white meat and the mash potatoes. We left stuffed and did a bit more wandering before we went back to the Pop for the night. But with a little bit of a detour. The line for the Pop line was huge! In counting groups we estimated at least 7 buses since only 6 groups are allowed on. I noticed the Beach Club and I think Riviera bus stop was near by and virtually no one was in line. So when a Beach Club bus pulled up a couple moments after our count we hopped over there and got on their bus and took the Skyliner back to the Pop. Maybe it was shorter, maybe it was longer but it was a little more scenic! And the walk from the Beach Club to the Epcot Skyliner station was very pleasant and a little eerie without as many people as normal around.


The beer was fine, but I regretted it a bit later. It took up space in my tummy in which more of my meal could have occupied.
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Chicken!!! I am always a little disappointed in the biscuit there though, it is a bit dry.
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A closer look!
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Coming up soon: Magic Kingdom!
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
Thankfully I had already eaten dinner before reading your posts 😉.

And I totally get your point about taking the skylines even if it might not have been any quicker; I prefer to be in movement than waiting around. I pretty much know how long it takes me to walk between two bus stops many city lines and if I can get to the next stop quicker by walking, I‘ll walk from stop to stop. Numerous times I’ve made it to the second to last stop walking, and by that point it seems silly to wait just to “gain“ a maximum of 2 mins so I’ll continue walking the rest of the way; usually I am only surpassed by the bus just before I reach the last stop and at least I get some exercise in.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Thankfully I had already eaten dinner before reading your posts 😉.

And I totally get your point about taking the skylines even if it might not have been any quicker; I prefer to be in movement than waiting around. I pretty much know how long it takes me to walk between two bus stops many city lines and if I can get to the next stop quicker by walking, I‘ll walk from stop to stop. Numerous times I’ve made it to the second to last stop walking, and by that point it seems silly to wait just to “gain“ a maximum of 2 mins so I’ll continue walking the rest of the way; usually I am only surpassed by the bus just before I reach the last stop and at least I get some exercise in.

yep I would rather be moving somewhere that standing around waiting. I never understood the people who would stand and wait for the next bus rather than stand on the moving bus to their resort. Well unless they had some sort of balance problems on a moving vehicle then I guess that is understandable.

all that food was really wonderful. I wish I had some of it now.
 

DisneyGigi

Well-Known Member
August 11, 2020

Nomad Lounge time! Our timing was perfect there were two tables left, one inside and one outside. We picked the one inside, it turned out to be the huge table in the middle of the room. We had only planned to get drinks but then we saw the bread service and how could we pass that by! It was all delicious!
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Then we took a leisurely walk to the bug theater and enjoyed the show. I always enjoy the end when the bugs crawl under my bum.
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And we spied Mickey through the trees.
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Excellent pics Amy! I love the bugs at the end but no matter how many times I do the show, I lean forward during the wasp sting part. The anticipation of it kills me, lol
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Loved your photos, especially during the storm! Our favorite park is AK, so enjoyed those pictures too. It seemed weird to see the park so empty.

Thanks! AK is continuing to grow on me, I think it is just becoming more pretty and I appreciate that.

Excellent pics Amy! I love the bugs at the end but no matter how many times I do the show, I lean forward during the wasp sting part. The anticipation of it kills me, lol

I actually like the wasp sting part, I try to shift a bit so it pokes in an achy part of my back. Like acupuncture! :joyfull: Non-Disney related I actually got stung by a wasp this past spring. It was the first time I had ever been stung by any bee-type creature in my life. It did not feel like the sting in Tough to be a Bug!

Not getting struck by lightning and dying is always a good plan!

Yes not dying is always a good plan at the parks! We went to Joshua Tree National park last summer and they had signs up in the information centers that said DO NOT DIE TODAY! and had a whole list of things not to do and what to do in the park. They even sold sticker in the gift shop with the DO NOT DIE TODAY logo on them, and yes we bought one.
 

93boomer

Well-Known Member
August 11, 2020

Nomad Lounge time! Our timing was perfect there were two tables left, one inside and one outside. We picked the one inside, it turned out to be the huge table in the middle of the room. We had only planned to get drinks but then we saw the bread service and how could we pass that by! It was all delicious!
View attachment 502854View attachment 502855View attachment 502856View attachment 502857View attachment 502858

Then we took a leisurely walk to the bug theater and enjoyed the show. I always enjoy the end when the bugs crawl under my bum.
View attachment 502859View attachment 502861View attachment 502862View attachment 502863

And we spied Mickey through the trees.
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I don’t like the bugs crawling!! 😬 🤣
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Has anyone been watching the Nat Geo show about Animal Kingdom on Disney+? We've been enjoying it and it makes me itchy to go back to AK and observe the animals a little more, especially after this week's show and the gorillas.
We love it! When we watched the most recent episode with the gorillas, we looked through our old AK pictures to see if we could find one with Gino. J said we just need to be bold next time we're there and ask the CMs the names of the animals.
 

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