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
Do you have a Dario? (blood sugar checker that plugs into your phone) We got 2 for Scott.. one android for his phone and 1 iPhone one for my phone. I like it a lot.. small and convenient!

And don't think I didn't notice that Orange Bird Mask... OMGeee!!!!! Love it!

You and Riverside together... Man we really need a Magicians reunion (or union) sometime!

No I don’t have Dario. But I have a new meter that I need to set up, it has an app I can put on my phone. In early November I’m going to do a 10 day trial of a continuous monitor. I don’t know if I’m going to like it I don’t like things attached to me, I don’t even like wearing a bandaid.

I thought you might like the orange bird mask! I have another one coming through Etsy soon, might arrive by Tuesday.

Magic Meets are always fun! Will you be coming to MN this summer?
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
As Swissmiss noted, you've outdone yourself with your photos!! Loving the scenics, the attractions and the FOOD pictures. :joyfull:

(Reminder to self: Don't read ajrwdwgirl's TR early before breakfast, anymore. I'm starving now, due to your scrumptious food pictures jumping out of the screen at me. :jawdrop: )
 

riverside

Well-Known Member
We shared the loaded pretzel and the wings.
That pretzel looks amazing!!
It turned out to be fortuitous, soon we saw @riverside , E and J. They were headed to the Baseline . I mentioned that there wasn’t any seating but if they couldn’t find anything and wanted our table they could have it . Lucky for us they returned with their Baseline goodies and we were able to chat again for a bit before we had to go to lunch.
I was so glad we ran into you!! So fun!!
You and Riverside together... Man we really need a Magicians reunion (or union) sometime!
That would be awesome!!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
I absolutely loved 💕 all your AK photos !

Thank you! It is a beautiful park so that makes it easy to take good pictures.

As Swissmiss noted, you've outdone yourself with your photos!! Loving the scenics, the attractions and the FOOD pictures. :joyfull:

(Reminder to self: Don't read ajrwdwgirl's TR early before breakfast, anymore. I'm starving now, due to your scrumptious food pictures jumping out of the screen at me. :jawdrop: )


Sorry I'm making you hungry! 😁 :hilarious:
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

This morning we started with a big breakfast, we had a early reservation for Whispering Canyon at Wilderness Lodge. Disney transportation wasn't available yet for getting to the Lodge so we had to Uber.

While waiting for the Uber we looked at the display cases in the Pop lobby. Those are always fun to look at and see some memories.
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Even though this isn't a memory from my childhood it is my favorite box. My mom loved the Mickey Mouse Club, it was one of her favorite things to talk about so I loved it through her memories.
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Our Uber ride was very strange. We had an older gentleman who had the windows down in his Lincoln Continental (fine), but wore his mask around his chin (not fine), and he didn't seem to know where he was going and even though the directions were being told to him by his phone he didn't react or change lanes until the very last second. Luckily there wasn't much traffic. He even drove halfway past the turn to the lodge before turning in. :oops: B and I were just thankful to get there safely, the mask thing was the least of our worries by the time we arrived. He seemed nice enough and as we approached the front of the lodge he said he hoped we saw lots of animals while we at breakfast. I guess he had Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge mixed up. Neither of us bothered to correct him and just thanked him and agreed with him. Even more thankful now that we ended up at the right lodge!

We had a few minutes before the the restaurant opened so I wandered around and took pictures of the beautiful lobby and B settled in on a comfy chair.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

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Time for breakfast and pressed pot coffee!
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We got the skillets, which are all you can eat. I got the one that had the Mickey waffles and B got the meatlovers one and then we shared dishes. It was a very yummy breakfast and I forgot until the end to take any food pictures. So here are some of the biscuits (with cheese) and they were light and fluffy. Then some eggs and bacon. The brisket that was included in the meat lovers one was super good, sorry no pictures.
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Then we had a nice boat ride over to the Magic Kingdom.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

Once in the Magic Kingdom, our friends were out to greet us!
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As we walked past the Emporium I noticed the Halloween display was up so we detoured and went in. I bought the Halloween crocs, which I've been rockin' at work since Oct 1. My middle school girls have been enthralled with them and even more so when I showed them that they lit up.
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Apparently we were boat people this morning: boat to the MK, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates!
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Then we were off to Big Thunder!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

After Big Thunder we checked out the pin shop in Frontierland and decided to sit for a bit with some water and lucky us....a cavalcade came by!
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Next up was the Haunted Mansion and I wanted to take a picture of the changing portrait. No one was around so I didn't have to rush, but my flash was on so then I go super embarrassed (even though no one was around by Brad) and this was my only attempt. Kind of cool I guess to see this so lit up.
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We checked out the Momento shop afterwards. I was hopeful for the Haunted Mansion crocs but they only had ones in big feet sizes. I briefly considered these ears but decided against them. If the shop would have had the crocs in my size I might have bought these ears.
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Next up: small world. The Polynesian room is my favorite, I always feel relaxed here and it reminds me of being a kid and leaving the MK and going back to our room at the Polynesian.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

Look @Tuvalu we went on Pooh! We actually went on twice this trip! It is a cute ride, maybe Pooh isn't so bad.
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After Pooh, B took his spot by the teacups and I took mine!
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We had to do Space Mt at least once, I guess. It was just a couple minute wait. Once was enough. I love the Disneyland one but this one is just too rough.
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Trying to defeat Zurg is more our speed I guess.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

I couldn't leave the MK without a Tiki Room visit, especially in my tiki room mask!
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The tiki room inspired me to want a snack, and since I'm on team citrus swirl I picked Sunshine Tree Terrace!
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B was a "loser" though and got a chocolate vanilla swirl instead of the correct choice.
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To "punish" him I made him go through the treehouse next. Until recently he had never seen the movie Swiss Family Robinson, but I made him watch it during the shutdown. He somewhat enjoyed it, tolerated it. So now he would be able to appreciate the treehouse right? Well he tolerated it too but did admit that he understood what was really going on now.
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As we went through the treehouse the sky kept getting darker and darker. A storm was a brewing! We made our way out of the park to go back to the Pop and it started to sprinkle and as we passed the signed that shows where all the buses are located the sky opened up and was dumping water. UGH! We had just a little ways to go to cover so we ran.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

We had an extra long nap today and then got a little gussied up for dinner. Dinner tonight was at the California Grill. We had a nice bus and monorail ride to get there. We had some time to kill so we roamed around the shops at the Contemporary before checking in for dinner.

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An artsy fartsy attempt.
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Unlike other times we have dined at the California Grill we were not accompanied in the elevator. That was fine with me, sometimes I find that awkward.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

We were the first ones seated in the restaurant and got a plum table!
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Brad got a mai tai and I had the blueberry lemon drop martini. Both were tasty. Our waiter brought us some pixie dust to make our dinner pictures better.
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I love beer and cheese, so I couldn't pass up their version of beer cheese soup. It was very good.
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Good bread.
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Brad started with some sushi.
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When the first drink was done I thought about getting another or a beer. I got coffee, I like to get the pressed pot coffee with my dessert but I end up rushing through the coffee. So this time I got it early to savor it with my meal, it was a good choice. Around this time our waiter and his co-waiter said that they remembered us from other visits! I had recognized them but I didn't think they would remember us, they have so many guests. So that was kind of impressive, especially since we hadn't been there since 2018. I hoped they remembered good things about us! They were very friendly and attentive so we think they must have remembered good things.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

Dinner was great. I got the steak and Brad got pork.
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We shared the dessert, yumm!
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Then we did some pictures on the viewing platform. Sadly no fireworks from here tonight.
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We masked up for one selfie.
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And since it was just us out there we didn't see the harm in a maskless one. I guess it was a bit bright, either that or Brad just wanted to wink.
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Then it was back to the Magic Kingdom for an evening stroll.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 17, 2020

We lingered for quite awhile, as we wanted to to enjoy the beautiful park and the emptying crowds. We were entertained and annoyed by this lady in black. She literally had over a 20 minute photo and video shoot with her family. Complete with costume changes with her daughter and MULTIPLE mask removals. Cast, including managers came over to reprimand her multiple times. One time she even asked them to use her phone to take a picture of the whole group! When he said no she asked if he could use his phone and text it to her! The longer her picture taking went on and her continual disregard for the mask policy unless cast was directly watching her the more annoyed we got. Oh and she often asked other guests to move from the area so she could get her shot. Brad and I ended up taking turns getting some close up castle "pictures". As you can see it was B's turn here. At one point I was standing nearby, I wasn't actually in her picture but she came over and asked me if I could take my picture quickly. And I said I am enjoying the view of the castle, and she rolled her eyes at me and huffed off. I might have accidentally gotten in a few of her shots then. Really lady it isn't just your park and you don't need to disrespect the right of other guests to get their pictures or disrespect all the cast members asking you to follow the mask policy you agreed to by entering the park. (Rant over)

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We finally decided to move on, as she clearly wasn't. You can see her group still back there. But we also wanted to enjoy the rest of Main Street area too.
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I guess this is my go to empty area pose now~
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