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 9, 2020

Here a few pictures from around the Poly in the shops and in the display cases. Someday the little shruggy statue will be mine. Not this trip though.
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It wasn't signed but I'm about 99.9% sure this was a Marc Davis sketch, it looks similar to stuff I've seen of his before and in my Marc Davis book. I like his art work so this was fun to examine for a bit too.
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Oh the old lobby, so retro fun.
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Again it wasn't signed but I'm pretty sure the picture in the top right of the case was by Herb Ryman and I really like his art work too especially his Epcot stuff and his paintings in the American Adventure lobby.
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Swissmiss

Premium Member
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So cool that the deer let you get so close. And you got some good shots of a couple of birds (herons?)
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 8th, 2020

It was time to leave the Poly and there was still plenty of time for getting to Epcot so I meandered to the bus stop. As I sat on a bench with the monorail beam basically overhead I wondered why in the world I wasn't taking a spin on the monorail since I still had so much time to get to Epcot. I knew the monorail wasn't going to Epcot but I could ride it for a bit an get off at the Contemporary, check out the situation and the beautiful Mary Blair mural there and take the bus from there to Epcot. So I got up and did exactly that! A couple selfies with decent eye placement and some without! :happy:


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Monorail blocked!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

I made it to Epcot and entered about 20 minutes before opening. I liked the new trees in front and did a quasi-hidden mickey ear shot with the trees and SSE. And while I liked the trees and was excited to see progress, nothing beat my excitement (and the tears that followed) when I saw the lucite pylons for the fountain that were placed and peeked over the construction walls later on in the trip. I took a zillion pictures of SSE and got in line for the attraction which wasn't open yet but opened about 5 minutes after getting in line, a little bit before park open.

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Ok, so I may have problems with where to look during a selfie but now SSE makes me have DEMON eyes! A little too funny for me.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

After Soarin' I headed over to the Seas because I still hadn't gotten a text from B saying he was done with golf and he doesn't like the Seas. It was fun to watch the manatees playing with each other.

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As I left the Seas I got a text from Brad saying he was on the Skyliner and headed to Epcot. So I had to skip Journey and headed over to America to meet him for lunch.

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Not too busy at mid day in the UK.
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fractal

Premium Member
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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Love these shots!
 

PacNWTigger

Well-Known Member

KellBelle

Premium 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!
Hi Brad! I am also in NE and have a tentative trip booked for almost identical dates. Small world. Love the proposal pic!
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
I
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.
I love all of the Marceline photos! Ty for posting them!
And I found these at a local flea market I haunt, I think these are from that 9/11/68 stamp release. (Not positive).
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newhorizons1

Well-Known Member
Your husband’s Dapper Dans shirt and mask are incredible!

The original ToT will always have my heart, but I do like that when I visit DL I will get a different experience. I wanted to hate Mission Breakout so much, but it is just really darn fun! The Tokyo DisneySea version of ToT is fantastic too.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9th, 2020

Sorry for the delay in updates. I have been so tired no that I'm back to teaching full time I just want to crash at the end of the day. So here we go....recap I was at Epcot and Brad had golfed and was on the Skyliner to meet me at Epcot.

The plan was to meet up at the America pavilion but around the edge of Morocco & Japan I heard some different music start to be played and it was the start of a princess cavalcade. So I stopped in a shady area to watch and ended up just waiting for Brad there. I liked the character cavalcades at all the parks it is something I really hope continues. In a way they are a little better than parades because there isn't a lot of time spent waiting around for them but then again the cavalcades are supposed to be spontaneous so who knows when to watch out for them?

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Here come the Princesses!
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Sometimes when I see the Guardians building I'm just astounded at how big it is! I can't wait to experience this attraction I think it is going to be fun!
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And we are reunited! And this man was HUNGRY! I wanted a picture of him in the empty Japan area and he was pretty grumpy about it. To be fair he had only eaten a granola bar (maybe 2) and played 18 holes of golf, while I had eaten a big Kona breakfast.
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Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
I can only imagine just how tired you are, trying to teach under the C-19 rules!
Our grandkids go back next week to a hybrid schedule. The teachers have to figure out how to handle three different types of teaching!!!!
They have the full time at home students, the hybrid students with one week on at school, and one week learning at home. They have to figure a way how to do in room tests while the home students are also watching??? It is a logistical nightmare for them. There is so much stuff for the school staff to do for this. I know, as my daughter works in the school system.
So, I kind of understand what you are going through with this "new" system. Hopefully, all will change back to in school learning with the option to do online at home fulltime.
I hope doing this TR helps bring some of the magic of disney back to you for a while:)
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

We finally made it to our lunch destination: Regal Eagle Smokehouse! B is a BBQ fan and loves smoking his own meats so he was super excited for this restaurant in March and he (and I) were not disappointed with our meal there in March. So it was an automatic must do this time around too and we were not disappointed at all.

We shared the ribs, chicken, mac & cheese and fries.

A picture of a happy boy ready to eat!
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After lunch at the Smokehouse we encountered the Jamitors performing in the theater across the way so we enjoyed their performance.
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Then we went back to watch the American Adventure. I took this picture mostly because I wanted to see what National Parks the posters were for behind these guys.
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Hi Ben! Hi Mark!
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Upon exiting the American Adventure we heard some mariachi music and we were just in time for the start of Mariachi Cobre! So far our after lunch time consisted of 3 great shows! Excellent!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

After the great performance by Mariachi Cobre we continued wandering around World Showcase and browsed through the shops that were open in Germany. This was a fun shirt, I thought about purchasing in but a picture sufficed. Maybe next trip though since we are planning on eating at the Biergarten again then.
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Eventually we made our way to Norway and we decided to check out the relaxation station since it was in the Akershus restaurant and we had never been in there. We liked the design inside and Brad quickly found his throne. I would not call him king though!
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I beleive we rode Frozen after we left the relaxation station but we also stopped at the Hawaii Food and Wine booth. It was good but a disappointment all at the same time. We got the Kaula pork slider and it had excellent flavor but the bottom bun was mushy, we got it again later in the trip and it wasn't mushy so it must have just been that day. We also got the Spam hash which we had eaten at a previous F&W and enjoyed a lot, full disclosure we like SPAM especially when it is fried. But this dish, the Spam was diced teeny tiny it was tough to tell it was even there and it was sparse in the dish. Also the potatoes were hard. Blah! I got the pineapple beer too, it was tasty.
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Then we had a visit with Figment. Brad was really happy with the mask I was wearing, he bought it for me as a surprise to wear at Epcot. He was so excited to give me a Spaceship Earth themed mask to wear, and I never (and still haven't) had the heart to tell him it is themed after the purple wall at the MK.
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Then B really wanted to go on Living with the Land so since its one of my favorites I was game. We got the front of the boat which is the best spot all the time but especially now with all the plexiglass dividers.
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I don't know why I'm making this face, maybe it was my secret response to being in my "Spaceship Earth" themed mask at SSE.
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