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?
 

93boomer

Well-Known Member
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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We won’t tell him! Shhh.😉 Maybe you had something fly into your eye.🤣
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
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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:)

Thanks, the report is a bit of an escape. Having virtual and in class students at the same time is such a different experience. It's tough to give full attention to both at the same time when they have questions. Last week I had a virtual kid trying to ask a question on the assignment but was having internet issues and then the in class kids had questions too. We have a half an hour at the end of the day devoted to the virtual kids as a help time so I had to tell the virtual kid to wait until then. I felt bad but I had to take care of the kids that were physically with me. Sometimes at the end of the day it feels like I've failed all the students but I know I've tried my best. A lot of my colleagues are feeling that way and that's not a great way to start the year.
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
Thanks, the report is a bit of an escape. Having virtual and in class students at the same time is such a different experience. It's tough to give full attention to both at the same time when they have questions. Last week I had a virtual kid trying to ask a question on the assignment but was having internet issues and then the in class kids had questions too. We have a half an hour at the end of the day devoted to the virtual kids as a help time so I had to tell the virtual kid to wait until then. I felt bad but I had to take care of the kids that were physically with me. Sometimes at the end of the day it feels like I've failed all the students but I know I've tried my best. A lot of my colleagues are feeling that way and that's not a great way to start the year.

I told my daughter that she can only do what she can do at the time. It's not going to be perfect or ideal. She won't be alone because everyone else isn't sure of what to do or how to do it at this point. I think hybrid is an awful choice by our school system, as it has too many moving and changing parts to navigate. You are not alone in your feelings, but it will get better over time, and when we change back. We could change back to full time in school as the numbers continue to decline. I hope for the best for you and the other teachers:)
 

Laurensl

New Member

First off...I :inlove: this guy! It's nice to see CM's still being able to interact with the guests even if it is from a distance.

Secondly...I soooo miss Pleasure Island. Bring back the Adventurer's Club! Kungaloosh!!! The CM's there were always top notch. I went one year with a friend of mine on a girl's trip, and we ended up going a couple of times. The bartender we had the first night was there the second time we were there when he wasn't working...we got some extra ribbing because the CM's knew him, but it made the experience even more special.
I miss it too. It was so much fun. Always a unique experience.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

Continuing on with our day at Epcot

We rode SSE and I got a ride photo that didn't make me look like I had demon eyes, but a little blurry.
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We decided to head back into World Showcase and stop at some Food and Wine booths for dinner. We got the soup and fillet in Canada which was good as usual. I decided to get the beer, blackberry I think. My sister had raved about it to me when we saw her at the Pop pool a few days prior and said it was the best beer she'd ever had. I was skeptical because 1. I thought a beer beer would be too sweet for me and 2. my sister doesn't really drink or like beer. I should have gone with my instincts and not gotten it, it was too sweet and not enough beer taste. I drank it anyway so I wouldn't waste it.
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It started to sprinkle so we ducked into the World Showplace and it was busy in there with people heading in to escape rain. We were lucky to spot a table with chairs and grabbed that before getting some food. First up was the Guinness & Baileys shake (yum), sausage & pierogies (yum), and spanakopita (yum). The lighting in there was off so it didn't make for good photos.
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Then we decided to try some of the other mac and cheeses. Brad got the lobster, he said it was ok. I don't like lobster so I didn't try it. And we got the Macaroni and Cheese with House-made Italian Sausage and Peppers (Plant-based). This was really gross! The noodles were mushy and the taste was just off. We both ate some of the "sausage" on it's own which was slightly tolerable but it was just trash. It was disappointing because we had enjoyed some of the other plant based meat dishes like the meatball and the slider, I guess I'm glad we tried it but what a waste.
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I did go and get the normal mac and cheese, no picture and we rounded out our time in there with the Twix nitro cake pop. The cake pop was good, although I think I liked the plain one a bit better.
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Next up was a showing of Impressions de France but we had some time to kill so we looked around at the shops.
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The show was as beautiful as ever but I had the "honor" of seeing the family near us pull down their masks as soon as the show started. :confused::mad:
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9th, 2020

When we exited the theater in France it was raining but lightly and it was fun to see a rainbow. As we wandered we were also able to see the last show of the day of Mariachi Cobre which was wonderful but a little sad because there were at most about 12-15 people in the theater area.

But it turned out to be a lovely evening in World Showcase and we enjoyed wandering over Norway and got in line for Frozen before then park officially closed.

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Looks like a faint double rainbow.
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 9, 2020

It was nice to see some of the queue details again in the Frozen line but we still moved at a decent pace through the line. We were in the back of the boat so we didn't get too splashed and it was cute as usual. Then we made our way over to the Skyway but took in some of the night time scenery of the park on our way out for the night.

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Saw Oaken in the sauna window but my camera decided to keep him mysterious!
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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 10, 2020
Today was a Hollywood Studios day and since we had heard the Skyliner hadn’t run for a couple mornings we decided to try the bus. B and I were first at the bus stop and he went to go get me coffee. While I was waiting the transportation guy came over and told me that there would be no Hollywood Studios bus and that the Skyliner was “for sure” running today. I had my doubts but when B came back with coffee I told him what the transport guy told me and we headed over to the Skyliner.

Mistake! We should have split up and waited in both spots because as we waited at the Skyliner station we were told it would not be running. By then there were a lot of people waiting and it was chaos at the bus stop. The MK line was long and now HS mixed in with that.

We gave up and ordered a Lyft but only got out of line when the Lyft driver got to the Pop gatehouse.
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guess we won’t be riding you today...
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so we got into our Lyft and our driver says it is too early to be dropped off at HS that they won’t open parking until around 9:15am. Ugh. So he offered to drop us off at the Swan or Dolphin so we could use the walking path. And that’s what we did. We ended up at Hollywood Studios around 9:00 and the entrance line was long since the temp check and security wasn’t open yet. But once it opened we moved quick and were soon on our way. Nothing could stop us now!

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ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
August 10, 2020

After MMRR we probably would have had time to go on another attraction, but B is superstitious and since we had luck the previous time getting a boarding group while waiting in the relaxation station in Galaxy's Edge that is where he wanted to try for it again today. Sure Brad.

Well he had success again! After that we wandered around GE and shared a breakfast Ronto wrap. I like the breakfast one a lot more than the regular, probably because I'm not a huge fan of slaw. I also like the sauce that is on the breakfast one, which might be the same as the regular one but I don't remember. The marketplace was weird to be in because it was so empty and only a couple people could go into the stores.

Look how please Brad is with himself for his boarding group strategy.
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Rey looks a bit board and ticked off. She wasn't very interactive with guests.
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The view from our table.
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As we finished our breakfast we took a quick opportunity for a maskless selfie before masking up again.
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Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
Looks like you had a great day at SWGE! I think you are very brave to wear the mask in that heat and humidity! I get short of breath while in the grocery stores at times, don't know why. Other times I can go for an hour or so? We used to live in Tennessee and I Know what high humidity and heat feels like. I am so glad we live in a colder climate now:)
SWGE looks so deserted! We saw it last March right before the covid outbreak. I have to confess that I am not a fan of the area, or the new star wars movies. It was fun to see but kind of difficult since we couldn't read the signs, so just bypassed alot. We did see Chewie! out and about once, and that was fun. Love Chewie!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Original Poster
Looks like you had a great day at SWGE! I think you are very brave to wear the mask in that heat and humidity! I get short of breath while in the grocery stores at times, don't know why. Other times I can go for an hour or so? We used to live in Tennessee and I Know what high humidity and heat feels like. I am so glad we live in a colder climate now:)
SWGE looks so deserted! We saw it last March right before the covid outbreak. I have to confess that I am not a fan of the area, or the new star wars movies. It was fun to see but kind of difficult since we couldn't read the signs, so just bypassed alot. We did see Chewie! out and about once, and that was fun. Love Chewie!

Yeah, wearing a mask wasn't the most fun. The disposable masks were a lifesaver though because they weren't as hot or feel as heavy as the cloth ones. Wearing a mask there was good training for working at school though, sometimes I actually do forget I have it on. There have been a few times when I'm alone in my room during my prep and I've been alone for about 15 minutes when I remember that I can take off the mask!

I like Star Wars but I'm not as big of a fan of it as Brad is. But it is fun and it was nice to explore it at WDW when it wasn't crowded like it was in March before the shut down. It reminded us of the first time we experienced it at Disneyland during the reservation time, but even then it was more crowded than in August!
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
Yeah, wearing a mask wasn't the most fun. The disposable masks were a lifesaver though because they weren't as hot or feel as heavy as the cloth ones. Wearing a mask there was good training for working at school though, sometimes I actually do forget I have it on. There have been a few times when I'm alone in my room during my prep and I've been alone for about 15 minutes when I remember that I can take off the mask!

I like Star Wars but I'm not as big of a fan of it as Brad is. But it is fun and it was nice to explore it at WDW when it wasn't crowded like it was in March before the shut down. It reminded us of the first time we experienced it at Disneyland during the reservation time, but even then it was more crowded than in August!
I know there are alot of star war fans, and that area must be alot of fun for them. I do want to try the ROTR sometime because it looks fantastic!
Hope your school year is going okay? There are cases of covid at our schools, but no plans to shut anything down yet. We are doing hybrid, and it is very difficult for the teachers, let alone the kids. I really feel sorry for them with all the extra planning they have to do. Our district has given them Wednesday off from in school or online school so they can set up lessons, troubleshoot. Also no learning for the kids either, which is not going to help!
Can't wait for the rest of your trip report:)
 
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