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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
🥳. I‘m in for the fun 😊

Yay! :)


Glad you are here, and cute meme!

Yay!! I’m looking forward to this!!

Hello there! Hope you are doing well!

Woohoo! An Amy and Brad WDW trip report! Excited to follow along!

Glad you are following along!

Excited to follow along!

Thanks and welcome!

I’m here and excited to follow along!! I just flew down from Edinburgh to London this week on a full flight in a packed airport and I was so anxious the whole time. I would’ve much preferred your slightly creepy empty airport experience!

Hi! A packed flight would make me nervous right now too. I was looking at the seating chart for my November flight which is not on Delta and it isn't too booked yet but there is no guarantee for the middle seat empty. It made me want to switch to Delta but the price different is about $500! Maybe I'll double mask up.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Following along, always enjoy your reports!

Thank you! I'm glad you are here!

Here and accounted for!

Hooray! I've been enjoying your report so much!

I'm here too:)
I know that Gate 4 well, as we always fly out of that airport. Our connector flight is always on the other side of the huge airport!!!
So glad you got to go to disney after all!

If we fly out of Terminal One it is usually on Gate 4 for departure but on return it is at usually back to the furthest gate possible! This time it was in and out of Gate 4. Often though we fly Sun Country so we are at Terminal 2.

I'm anxious to read more! This is the first trip report I've ever read; I'm already hooked!

I'm glad you are here and hooked!

Present and accounted for!!!

Welcome! Nice to see you here!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
At least you got it all done!! Good luck this year! I'm teaching form home but I hope the classroom world goes well for you.



Sooo hoping the Caribou at my airport is open when we go in Nov. It's my one must-stop each time I fly.



I love this series and the movie was as good as it could have been, trying to fit all those characters and a plot in.

I kind of wish I was teaching from home. We have kids in the classroom and kids on Zoom at the same time! It is going to be crazy! I have one more day of inservice and I am going to pair up with some other teachers to do a practice run tomorrow. I love Caribou Coffee I have one about 15 minutes away from my house but I haven't been there since June! In November if you are able to stop in get their Reindeer blend, its so good. I buy at least 5 bags during the holiday season so I can drink it during the off season! I agree with you about the Downton movie, there was a lot to fit in so I think there should be another one! HA!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
That is great of your principal to allow you to bank a day before your trip!

I absolutely remember that WDW info station. We always listened to it on our drive to WDW growing up.

Following along!

Yeah, my principal is a pretty decent guy. A few of my friends that teach in the high school part (I'm middle school) have some beefs with him but he has always been fair to me so I have no problems.

I’m in! Can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

Yay! Glad you are here!

Yay! Can't wait to hear about your trip!

Thanks for joining in!

In, and looking forward to following along!

Hi there! Thanks for following!

I'm here and looking forward to reading about your trip!

Glad to see you following along!

Home now :cry: and ready to follow along!

So sorry you are home now. But I'm glad you are following along and I will be able to see more about your trips too!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Thursday August 6, 2020

We were seated on the Magical Express and soon we were on our way to WDW! For once my resort was the first stop, what luck!

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There it is the gates of WDW! Usually I get teary at this sight and I expected it to be no different now. I had been denied my June/July trip and had been on pins and needles for weeks about this trip so surely there would be some tears or a little mist but nope....nothing! What is wrong with me!?!?!
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So we were supposed to stay at All Star Sports, because for 2 weeks on property that is the cheapest we could go and be on property but All Stars was closed so we got bumped to the Pop Century. We've stayed at the Pop frequently through the years and like it our March 2020 stay was at Pop and I remember wishing our summer stay was at Pop because we liked the Skyliner a lot so this move was just perfect for us. So we arrived at the Pop and hadn't received a room text yet, but that was fine we'd check our bags will bell services and continue on our way. Well, Magical Express arrives and resort cast members (some with Mickey hands) greet our bus and start cheering and saying "Welcome Home", "Welcome Back!" and those tears that eluded me at the sight of the gates came in now. Now I felt like I was finally back home!

After checking our bags we went into the main building and were greeted with cast members doing the hustle! Brad was impressed that one of the cast members (probably a manager) was able to talk on their phone and do the hustle at the same time! I had packed some little meat and cheese trays from home so we headed out to the pool area to enjoy our snack before heading to our first park. Also my sister and niece had been in Florida for the previous two weeks and were ending their stay before heading home at the Pop for a couple nights. We spotted my niece at the pool so we spent some time chatting with them too.

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Also I got a message from my Instacart shopper that she was dropping off our groceries at the Pop at that time too. Cool! I have ordered through Garden Grocer and planned to this time but honestly there wasn't a lot of selection for what we wanted and they jack the prices up so much. So I ordered through Publix/Instacart and got a better selection at normal grocery store prices. I would totally use this again.

Soon we were flying through the air on the Skyliner to Epcot! We were ready for Flower and Garden, I mean Food and Wine, nope Taste of Epcot Food and Wine. First stop France!
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So nice to see the trees back around the fountain.
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Hi Remy! I remember you from March!
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Wow is this really mid-day at Epcot in the summer!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 6, 2020

Both of us had loved the onion tart during the Flower and Garden festival so we agreed that would be our first food purchase of this festival too. We debated on the drinks to get though. I like the Kronenbourg Blanc beer there but I have a 6 pack at home so why get it at Epcot? He thought about the La Vie en Rose slushy he liked in March but was unsure. Then I had a bright idea....the orange Grand Marnier slushy! So he went to get food and I got the slushy. I told the guy when I ordered to give me the biggest ones they had, I couldn't remember if there were different sizes or not but he laughed when I said it so I think he may have been a little heavy handed with the pour of the alcohol part because it was potent!

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Oh yeah! Some tasty goodness right here!
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Next stop Brazilian cheese bread! (I could eat of brazilian of these! haha bad pun). This spring I tried two different recipes for this bread and found one I liked a lot and we both though tasted pretty darned close but the original is the clear winner!
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To be honest I wouldn't mind this job, walking around Epcot sounds fun.
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We also got the pork belly from Brazil but apparently this is the best picture I got of it. The pork belly was fine, not enough of it and too many beans.
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Time to head to the old Millennium Village for more food.
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The tables seemed more spaced out than they look in the picture. We were lucky to snag a table with chairs and relax and snack.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 6, 2020

We got the gourmet mac and cheese from the Mac and Cheese booth and it was really good mac and cheese. It could have been a bit warmer so the scoop of the Boursin cheese would have melted more but it tasted good.
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We got the Nitro Cake Pop and while I was sad it wasn't the normal nitro frozen mousse thing that is at Food and Wine we enjoyed the cake pops for what they were. I had a low expectation but chocolate coated chocolate cake? Yes! The cake was nice and fudgy too. We started with the plain and eventually would try all of the coatings (Twix and M&M's).
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We were getting ready to leave when the lady that plays at the Rose and Crown Pub started playing a set and we had a good view so we stuck around and relaxed and enjoyed the music.
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Next we headed out in the blazing Epcot heat and made our way towards Mexico but first a look at the festival display.
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Then we tried the offerings at Mexico. No beer there they were out of it for the day. :( Both food offerings were enjoyable and we thought going in that the ribeye taco would be our favorite but the pork tostada (on the right) was the better of the two dishes.
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Time to ride through the river of time, oh I mean Grand Fiesta tour.
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Nice to see Jose was back.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 6, 2020

On the way out we decided to stop into La Cava and get an avocado margarita to go. It was strange to see all the table gone and sad I couldn't get the chips with the yummy cheese dip too. The bartender asked if we wanted salt on our glasses and as a rule neither of us like salt on our margarita glasses so we said no but we forgot it was the special hibiscus salt and we missed it on our margaritas but they were still tasty. We enjoyed them from a shady bench across from the pyramid.
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Not really breaking the mask rule because I was right in front of our bench and had just taken a sip of the margarita and after B said okay got it, I took another sip and sat down.
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Then we headed to Test Track and we got stuck with a cleaning cycle, bummer. But it was nice and cool in there, we got stuck in the room in which we would normally design our cars. While in the room we experienced our first mask ruler breaker and her teenage son. There was never a cast member in the room with us so they took off their masks for the whole time we were waiting, a guy next to us said something a few times to her but she ignored him. It was frustrating to see, we probably should have gotten a cast member, I thought about posting a picture of her because she ended up in a picture I took of Brad pretending to design his car but I have decided not too. I will say that throughout our trip mask compliance was about 90% but those few who would break the rules or not realize that the nose and mouth are all part of the respiratory system was frustrating to see. No one likes wearing masks (I'm assuming) and we all agreed to the rules basically by scanning the ticket so follow the rules! As the 2 weeks went on we did say some things to people sometimes or I would comment to Brad a little loudly about the people's clear masks which was a little passive-aggressive but we are rule followers! By the way at the first day of inservice our Reading Specialist shared that she had clear plastic masks if any of us wanted to use while teaching, I almost laughed out loud!
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By the way the lady in this picture was not the one that was the rule breaker
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Test Track was fun but it was a bummer not to design the car. So we each picked a car during the ride after the first test and my car was won more of tests.

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Then we headed for Spaceship Earth. This was one plus of the shut down I guess, we love SSE and were thrilled that we hadn't taken our last trip through time in March.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 6, 2020

A little of SSE blurry because I was just using my phone but still enough to get the idea.
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A podcast I was listening to awhile ago said this guy looks like Jerry Lewis and now I can't not see Jerry Lewis! Hey laaaaady!
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Got an end scenario I don't remember getting before, so of course I ended up with it a couple more times I rode. This was also the only time that my picture didn't have yellow/white boxes over my eyes which made me look like a demon!
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When we got off SSE we checked out the pin store nearby and I ended up buying the pins with all the old and new Epcot logos, they were 30% off with AP discount after all. Then I had to leave the store because B wanted to buy something for me and didn't want me to see, I think it is for Christmas because I haven't gotten it yet. Anyway, I killed some time taking pictures of the area and noticed a storm coming in and it was starting to sprinkle.

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The wind was really starting to whip up.
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We made it over to the Land and said Hi Patrick!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 6, 2020

After riding Soarin' we wanted to do more but the early wake up was starting to drain on us. We thought about getting something to eat but didn't want to eat in the Land and it was still rainy so we didn't want to walk to World Showcase. We knew with the rain the Skyliner wouldn't be running so we headed to the busy. We took a few pictures of the front area of Epcot and we liked the trees.
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By the time we got to the bus stop the rain had stopped and we were the only ones at the bus stop. This wasn't our ride but it looked cool! We had a short wait for the busy, it came in about 10 minutes or less and we had a short ride back.
Once back at the Pop we checked to see if our luggage was in our room and it was so we went down to the food court for a light dinner. We didn't mobile order because we wanted to use our Tables in Wonderland discount. We were able to use our discount at the food court but it was a bit of a hassle and it seemed to take forever to get our chicken nuggets. We only ended up using the discount one more time because it was just easier to mobile order and it wasn't much of a discount for what we ordered there.
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After dinner we went back to our room and unpacked. Turns out our food wasn't delivered with our luggage so Brad went down to get is and a cast member helped him bring it back because we had a thing of water, 2 packs of seltzers with 2 (maybe 3 bags of snacks/breakfast stuff). While unpacking I played the Walt Disney Family Museum fundraiser with Alan Menken (and special guest Lin Manuel Miranda) on my phone and we enjoyed the concert and then spent the rest of the night relaxing before falling asleep around 10pm. It had been a long but fun filled day. We were ready for more.

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Coming up: Magic Kingdom !!!!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Count me in! When we were there we saw only a few clear rule breakers, but I agree some were beyond infuriating. Mostly this was outside when people wanted to take pictures, and as long as a CM was nearby, they would enforce it. But when there was no CM nearby, it was a tough spot wondering whether to say anything or just walk away. I was overall though pleasantly surprised with the general compliance we saw
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Count me in! When we were there we saw only a few clear rule breakers, but I agree some were beyond infuriating. Mostly this was outside when people wanted to take pictures, and as long as a CM was nearby, they would enforce it. But when there was no CM nearby, it was a tough spot wondering whether to say anything or just walk away. I was overall though pleasantly surprised with the general compliance we saw

I agree most was outside and the amount of rule breakers around the castle at close was the most we saw anywhere. We even saw people being reminded by managers and they continued their maskless photo shoot. One guy even set up a tripod for his family’s maskless photo shoot. But yes, In general people followed rules.
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
August 6, 2020

On the way out we decided to stop into La Cava and get an avocado margarita to go. It was strange to see all the table gone and sad I couldn't get the chips with the yummy cheese dip too. The bartender asked if we wanted salt on our glasses and as a rule neither of us like salt on our margarita glasses so we said no but we forgot it was the special hibiscus salt and we missed it on our margaritas but they were still tasty. We enjoyed them from a shady bench across from the pyramid.
View attachment 493972

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Not really breaking the mask rule because I was right in front of our bench and had just taken a sip of the margarita and after B said okay got it, I took another sip and sat down.
View attachment 493974

Then we headed to Test Track and we got stuck with a cleaning cycle, bummer. But it was nice and cool in there, we got stuck in the room in which we would normally design our cars. While in the room we experienced our first mask ruler breaker and her teenage son. There was never a cast member in the room with us so they took off their masks for the whole time we were waiting, a guy next to us said something a few times to her but she ignored him. It was frustrating to see, we probably should have gotten a cast member, I thought about posting a picture of her because she ended up in a picture I took of Brad pretending to design his car but I have decided not too. I will say that throughout our trip mask compliance was about 90% but those few who would break the rules or not realize that the nose and mouth are all part of the respiratory system was frustrating to see. No one likes wearing masks (I'm assuming) and we all agreed to the rules basically by scanning the ticket so follow the rules! As the 2 weeks went on we did say some things to people sometimes or I would comment to Brad a little loudly about the people's clear masks which was a little passive-aggressive but we are rule followers! By the way at the first day of inservice our Reading Specialist shared that she had clear plastic masks if any of us wanted to use while teaching, I almost laughed out loud!
View attachment 493975

By the way the lady in this picture was not the one that was the rule breaker
View attachment 493976

Test Track was fun but it was a bummer not to design the car. So we each picked a car during the ride after the first test and my car was won more of tests.

View attachment 493977

Then we headed for Spaceship Earth. This was one plus of the shut down I guess, we love SSE and were thrilled that we hadn't taken our last trip through time in March.
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Here I am, following along! And FWIW, I actually have a teacher friend with an Etsy shop. Some of the masks she makes have a clear window.
 

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