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 8, 2020

We wandered over to our dinner reservation at 50's Prime Time, we hadn't eaten there in a couple trips so we were looking forward to it. I was looking forward to a chocolate peanut butter milkshake (we shared) and Brad was looking forward to fried chicken. It took a loooong time about 20-25 minutes after check-in to get seated. B was starting to get mad with the restaurant and a little with me. I had taken my blood sugar and it was very low but I was sure we would get called soon and that milkshake would get it up quick, but we weren't getting called and I finally had a small piece of candy to pop it up so I wouldn't pass out.

We finally were seated and ordered our food. Both of us were ready to relax and enjoy our meal and some air conditioning. We got the milkshake and onion rings to share. We also both got the mom's sampler (meatloaf, pot roast, & chicken) for our entrees. The waitress seemed very confused about our chocolate peanut butter milkshake, she thought it was the PB&J (gross) one but she said she was new there and we did get the right milkshake. The milk shake was delivered to us a couple minutes later, great, now could we get some water? Maybe utensils too? We got a couple sips into our milkshake and the onion rings arrived. Still no water or utensils. But less then a minute after the onion rings were set down another guy dropped off our entrees! What?!?! Can't we even enjoy our appetizer first? Annoying, plus we still didn't have water or utensils. Our waitress stopped by as the guy was setting down our entrees and asked if everything was okay. We didn't say anything about the food timing but did ask for utensils again and she looked at us confused like we were hiding the utensils or something but she quickly got them. The food overall was good, not as good as I remembered but maybe I was a little annoyed at the timing of everything and the family fighting at the next table over. As we were finishing our meal, literally the last bites, we realized that we still had 20 minutes until park close, great! Plenty of time to go on Mickey's Runaway Railway again right? Well we did get to ride it again but got in line 1 minute before park close. So 50's was very quick to give us our food but when it came time to pay they were super slow. Ugh.

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This is the look of "hey we finally got our utensils, I'm hungry, take your darn picture I want to EAT!"
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Ugh, why bother taking pictures that August heat and humidity always makes me look like a sweaty mess. Plus I still can't look correctly at the camera.
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It has rained while in the 50's and was still slightly sprinkling but there was a pretty rainbow.
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Turned out to be a beautiful evening.
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This looked a little spooky while we waited in line for the bus. Skyliner was closed because of the rain/lightning still.
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Coming up: golf, Kona, and Epcot!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
I’d love to see your Marceline photos.

(And the color of that ToT photo is really fantastic!)
Yes to the Marceline photos, please! And I love that ToT picture!!

I'll post a few of the Marceline pictures tomorrow. :)

Sorry your experience at 50's was rough....

Spoiler alert: towards the end of the trip we decided to give the 50's another go and had a much better experience with just a touch of drama.
 

fractal

Premium Member
Wow, Guardians of the Galaxy breakout must really be a great ride!

I have been working on my selfie game lately myself; trying to find the camera lens and look into that. Not the easiest thing; too many shots looking off into space. lol!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Wow, Guardians of the Galaxy breakout must really be a great ride!

I have been working on my selfie game lately myself; trying to find the camera lens and look into that. Not the easiest thing; too many shots looking off into space. lol!

Guardians has the drop elements of TOT but it is a little more bouncy and while it still has the big drops there are some small bounces as the ride pauses in front of some screens sometimes. Brad gets motion sickness and can ride TOT without his meds and sometimes even back to back rides but refuses Guardians without meds and even with won't go back to back rides because of the bouncing. You might want to check out a POV video, it would give a good idea because I think my description might be lacking. I think it would challenge your phototaking skills a little too, so maybe California should be on the Fractal travel plan (Disney for you other sites for Val) . ;)

I believe that's called looking pensive 😉

Pensive is what we will all go with now! Or thoughtful. :happy::hilarious:
 

Schweino

Active Member
Hi Amy! I am new here (and my name is also Brad! :)). I just wanted to say thank you for your detailed trip report! We went in August '19 and being from Nebraska, that heat down there was brutal! I am so glad to see y'all did it and with masks to boot! It is really refreshing to see you both experience the magic and joy even during current conditions. I proposed to my wife at MK August 30th 2019, first night of MNSSHP:

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The above was actually taken by some random guy with an iPhone that air dropped us the photos afterword - really nice guy! We are going back 11/27-12/5 this year after sooo much debate with covid. Seeing you enjoy everything really is making it a little bit better of an idea. Thanks again!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Hi Amy! I am new here (and my name is also Brad! :)). I just wanted to say thank you for your detailed trip report! We went in August '19 and being from Nebraska, that heat down there was brutal! I am so glad to see y'all did it and with masks to boot! It is really refreshing to see you both experience the magic and joy even during current conditions. I proposed to my wife at MK August 30th 2019, first night of MNSSHP:

View attachment 495839
The above was actually taken by some random guy with an iPhone that air dropped us the photos afterword - really nice guy! We are going back 11/27-12/5 this year after sooo much debate with covid. Seeing you enjoy everything really is making it a little bit better of an idea. Thanks again!

Hi Brad! Welcome to the Magic boards and to my trip report! So cool that you proposed to your wife at WDW and I'm glad someone was able to capture the moment for you.

I'm not going to lie the heat was a little much from time to time, especially since we have had a pretty mild summer. But we were able to have a lot of fun even though we missed experiencing of few things. We are planning on heading back in November, we have some overlap with your dates. So if you see us around please say hi!
 

Schweino

Active Member
Hi Brad! Welcome to the Magic boards and to my trip report! So cool that you proposed to your wife at WDW and I'm glad someone was able to capture the moment for you.

I'm not going to lie the heat was a little much from time to time, especially since we have had a pretty mild summer. But we were able to have a lot of fun even though we missed experiencing of few things. We are planning on heading back in November, we have some overlap with your dates. So if you see us around please say hi!
Definitely!! Seeing WDW during Christmas season will be a first for us both and we are super exited :) Thanks again!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
I found a few more pictures from Marceline.

At the Barn area
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In the museum there were benches they had for people to sign at the last couple D23 Expos, we had signed them but of course couldn't find our names.
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I wanted to go into the elementary school to see the murals Disney artists had painted but it looked like summer school was in session and I didn't want to be the creeper with the camera at a school with young kids.
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In the town square park. With the gazebo it reminded me of DLP and that I had read there was supposed to be a gazebo in Disneyland's town square but it was removed before opening because Walt didn't like it blocking the MS and castle view.
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I guess the Marceling post office is the only federal building or at least post office named after a regular citizen (but maybe that's wrong). We were told that when the Post Office issued the Walt Disney stamp it was the only stamp release of a person in which they didn't receive any complaint letters after its release.
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A pond that was popular for recreation in Walt's day and the museum in the background
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Info about the old and new dreaming tree and a look down Main Street.
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Inside the barn, we were encouraged to sign and this time we took pictures of where we signed, when we found a spot!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

This morning Brad was planning on golfing 18 holes at Magnolia and I was planning some time on my own. I booked a Kona Cafe breakfast at the Polynesian. Then I remembered I might have some transportation issues using WDW transport so early, I figured I would take an Uber. But when B called for his tee time it was about 30-40 minutes before my breakfast and there is a walking path from the golf course/Shade of Green area to the Polynesian. He gets a free taxi to the golf course so I could just hitch a ride along and walk to the Polynesian. Perfect!

It was a beautiful morning for a walk and I was able to see some wildlife along the way. I actually was able to get really close within a few yards of the deer before they ran off.

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I will admit that I stayed maskless (it was at the ready though) on my walk after I left the golf parking lot. I didn't encounter another person (well I saw a guard at the Shade of Green check in gate but he was several yards away from the walking path) for at least another 20 minutes.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

Some more pictures from my walk. When I got to the pathway entrance to the Polynesian there were 3 orange cones blocking the path. I was a little nervous moving forward because they probably had it blocked off because they didn't want people entering there but I didn't see a walkway along the road to the main entrance so I had to move forward. This section of the Poly was where the regular rooms are and not being used so it was a little creepy and peaceful in that area.

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At this statue I had a decision to make, should I head towards the Grand Floridian or wander around the Polynesian?
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

I decided it was so peaceful at the Polynesian I thought it would be nice to sit on the dock and relax and zen a little. And It was very peaceful down there, the boats weren't even running yet although I did see the monorail circling around. I set a timer on my phone as a reminder to get moving and just sat on a bench and enjoyed the few (after taking pictures of course). About 5 minutes before I was going to leave another person came out there but they stayed far away, after he asked me if I had seen the dolphins yet. I guess he was trying to be funny so I just hahaha'd and turned away. He left about a minute later leaving me to enjoy a few more moments alone. Then it was time to head to the Great Ceremonial House to check in for breakfast and I didn't see another human on my way there until I was close to entering the building. It was strange not to see people bustling around but very pleasant too.

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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

Time for breakfast! I did the mobile check in for Kona and once I got called my temp was taken and I was seated. I scanned the QR code and was in for a big disappointment. I came for the loco moco with the delicious chorizo gravy on top (and some extra I order on the side). But the only loco moco on the menu was a plant based one! It certainly didn't have the chorizo gravy. Well I guess this was my opportunity to finally get the macadamia nut pancakes that I think about when I go. Sorry no tonga toast for me, it is okay not something I want to waste my carbs on. So when my waitress came to take my order I ordered my press pot coffee and I asked "Is it really only the plant based loco moco on the menu?" I don't even think I got out the "on the menu" part when she cut me off with "Oh honey if you want the regular can get you the regular!" I was ecstatic and knew she was already getting a big tip! So I had a very pleasant breakfast with my loco moco with hamburger and extra chorizo gravy! I just just order a bowl of that and be happy honestly.
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No busy Ohana for breakfast today.
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I had been seated at a four top table and I kind of got the feeling from my waitress that she wanted me to eat quick and get out. I mean she wasn't rude, but when she cleared my plate she did bring me a to go cup without asking for my coffee. But it was fine, I was still happy about getting my off menu selection so I just sat with my coffee in the empty Ohana waiting area.
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After that I still had a lot of time before heading to Epcot since it didn't open until 11. So I decided to wander around the main building and actually look at the displays and art work. It was fun to spend a little more time looking at the Mary Blair art work.
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