Trip Report No parks, no problem! - Completed

Hello everyone!

It's been quite the spring season. Our normal lives have been disrupted, but we are hanging in there as best we can.

What's happening with us:
  • We've been working from home since mid-March. We're slowly returning to work.
  • Our daughter graduated high school and participated in a drive-thru graduation ceremony.
  • Our April and September cruises were cancelled.
  • We did alright with our toilet paper supply. Two squares per person.
We have many trips planned, starting in September (fingers-crossed) with Disneyland. We extended our trip when our September cruise out of Vancouver was cancelled. We can't travel in July and August, so our only option before the fall is June. Yes, this June.

Let's get down to business (and defeat...the Huns!):

Who: Myself and @lostpro9het
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What: A resort-only stay
Where: Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village
When: June 25 - 29, 2020
Why: WE NEED A VACATION, that's why

We've been following the Disney developments for a while. We saw a unique opportunity to use our points for a resort-only stay. We've been throwing around the idea of this type of stay, but never acted on it. We're ok with the parks not being open and dining being limited.

A lot of thought went into this trip. We're flying, so I had to change our flight to MCO. We needed a car because I'm not sure 100% about DME (it was offered when I called DVC, but not taking that chance), so I rented from National (we like the ability to just go pick out our car without visiting the counter) and we plan to pick up our beverages and snacks on the way. We discussed the pros/cons of DVC resorts. We had originally booked for Beach Club Villas to use Stormalong Bay, but reports indicated only DVC pools will be open. I had to call DVC to change the reservation and the wait times are long. Kidani has one of the best DVC pools. Also, according to the list of cast members recalled, the pool at Kidani will be open, but with no bar service, hence the grocery store side trip.

We have one dining reservation so far, Homecomin', and I'm waiting for resort dining to open up for reservations. We will try to eat at Il Mulino as well if open.

So here we are, a DVC resort-only stay, no parks, and limited dining. I'm super-excited!
 
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Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Not gonna lie, I don’t envoy you wearing a mask in August heat/humidity all day. I hope like heck you have a blast but 20 minutes in 95/80 degrees/humidity while wearing a mask is something I don’t care to experience anytime soon again.
We're "training" we live in middle TN so here it's not and steamy to begin with. We're going to hit up our zoo likely next weekend so we can start getting a bit more used to it. It's nothing we want to do, but if the mouse requires. The mouse gets.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Ohh love that Poly pin! Where did you find it?
And it's so odd to see everything so deserted. Do you think they opened the hotels with this low occupancy as sort of a "soft opening" for the resorts? I would think they have to be losing (more) money.

I found the pin at the main pin place in Disney Springs.

Not sure about the soft opening, but I think I read dvc had to reopen. Don't quote me on that.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Contemporary was predictably deserted. I had to produce an ID for them to let us in. There was zero CM presence in the lobby and NO signature scent.

We went up to the store level and had a look around. Stores were open, but not busy. The quiet was kind of eerie.

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imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I always check out the DVC merchandise and every once in a while something will catch my eye. There's a new shirt, a mix between a very light sweater and sweatshirt. It's pink and grey and slightly fitted. I loved it.
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On an unrelated note, I just purchased Feb 2021 park tickets and reserved park access. I think I double checked the availability calendar at least 100 times before I purchased the tickets. It's a bit of a nerve-wracking process to purchase and scramble to secure park reservations because Disney has heavily emphasized making park reservations immediately after purchasing tickets. After you figure out what you're doing, its a fairly easy process.
 

LAM378

Well-Known Member
The Contemporary was predictably deserted. I had to produce an ID for them to let us in. There was zero CM presence in the lobby and NO signature scent.

We went up to the store level and had a look around. Stores were open, but not busy. The quiet was kind of eerie.

Eek. Now that I’m thinking about it, I feel like the Contemporary would be the eeriest resort of all when empty like this. And no signature scent?! That’s crazy! Do the other resorts smell how they’re supposed to?
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
I always check out the DVC merchandise and every once in a while something will catch my eye. There's a new shirt, a mix between a very light sweater and sweatshirt. It's pink and grey and slightly fitted. I loved it.
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On an unrelated note, I just purchased Feb 2021 park tickets and reserved park access. I think I double checked the availability calendar at least 100 times before I purchased the tickets. It's a bit of a nerve-wracking process to purchase and scramble to secure park reservations because Disney has heavily emphasized making park reservations immediately after purchasing tickets. After you figure out what you're doing, its a fairly easy process.
I really like that DVC sweatshirt. And I wish I could get the Disney face masks I ordered back when they first went up on the site! It’s crazy (but nice for you all) that they haven’t fulfilled orders but have them available.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Eek. Now that I’m thinking about it, I feel like the Contemporary would be the eeriest resort of all when empty like this. And no signature scent?! That’s crazy! Do the other resorts smell how they’re supposed to?

Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Beach Club had their familiar scents.

I really like that DVC sweatshirt. And I wish I could get the Disney face masks I ordered back when they first went up on the site! It’s crazy (but nice for you all) that they haven’t fulfilled orders but have them available.

What we bought was what they had left. There were practically no smalls or mediums of most of the prints. I couldn't believe how quickly they were sold out of sizes.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The last full day.

We woke bright and early for the pool. It opens at 7 am. We grabbed a cabana and proceeded to grab a cabana. We were the first ones at the pool. The water was nice in the morning. The pool didn't really get busy all day. Maybe people were checking out or maybe it was just too hot and the pool wasn't that refreshing. I think the temp in the shade was cooler than the water in the pool.

For lunch, we placed a mobile order with Roaring Fork restaurant at the resort. I failed to get a picture of our turkey sandwich and housemade chips. They were both very good, especially the turkey. We stayed at the pool until approx. 5 pm. Afterwards, we used the showers at the pool because they had the wall-mounted soaps. The room only had the single-use products.

We hopped in our rental car and headed off to Disney Springs.

Side note: We picked up a rental from National at the airport. We've used National in the past. We like National because you can just pick your car from the Emerald or Executive Aisle, scan, and go. I have status with a credit card, so I was able to choose from the Executive Aisle. They had a cute little Audi that we choose and it was really nice. We dropped it back off this morning and it was a very easy process. You just follow the signs.

We had originally been parking in the Orange garage because access had been blocked to the Green garage. Terralina was closest to the Green garage. We finally found a roundabout way to park in the Green garage.

Temperature screenings in both garages are on the DS entry level. It's clearly marked and an easy process.

We made our way to Terralina's. I has made a reservation, but it really wasn't needed.

We were handed paper menus and little bags for our masks. The menu was pretty much what we saw online and had a pretty good idea what we were going to get. We also opted for a bottle of wine and chose a Malbec. We ordered the barrata and parmesan due, which was eggplant parm, chicken parm, and spaghetti with a light tomato sauce.

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The food was on par with Olive Garden. We don't like Olive Garden. The server clearly didn't know anything about wine. He said it's a Malbec, showed us the front, and then twisted the top off.

Final thoughts - we will never eat here again.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After dinner, we headed to Sunshine Churros. I have been raving about the strawberry cheesecake churro to pretty much anyone that would listen.

We arrive at the kiosk and there's no line. We're off to a great start! I order the strawberry cheesecake churro. She asks if I want chocolate or some other flavor. I asked for the cream cheese icing. THEY NO LONGER OFFER CREAM CHEESE ICING! I personally thought that was what really made the strawberry CHEESE cake churro. Without the icing, it's just strawberry. No thanks.

So, I ordered the classic cinnamon churro. It was warm and perfect texture. If you like churros, and will visit Disney Springs during your trip, Sunshine Churros is a must. They are 100X better than anything you can find in the parks.

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After inhaling the churro, we made our way back to Wilderness Lodge. I've mentioned before about the lack of traffic. There is really only a few people on the road. It has been really nice. Here's some bus parking in the TTC parking lot, plus a view of driving into MK.
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imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I gave a sad face because I was hoping your review of Terralina would be better. We were hoping to hit this one in August but maybe we will do something else instead. Thanks for you updates!

Honestly, I would skip it. It you have Olive Garden around where you live, then you can get the same food. There's so many choices at DS with some great food. I was equally as disappointed. I wanted to find something that was on par with Il Mulino.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm wrapping this up. Sean said I should have written more, but I wanted to be finished before we head home. We are currently sitting in the airport waiting for our flight.

As I mentioned before, we had been kicking around the idea of a resort-only stay for a long time. This was the perfect opportunity to accomplish this and we were not disappointed. I heard people around me complaining a bit, but we really didn't have any negatives.

This was also our first time staying in Wilderness Lodge and it was very nice. We would definitely stay here again. The rooms were comfortable (except the pillows) and we had easy access to the pool. We heard a lot of DVC conversations around the pool because I'd say 99% of us were DVC owners. We all talk about the same things. Where do you own, how many contracts do you have, and what we like and don't like about DVC. I also noticed that quite a few guests were locals.

For the most part, everyone was doing their part with social distancing and masks, except for those wearing them below their noses. I know it's not comfortable to breathe in a mask, but for the sake of everyone, please do it. I also mentioned before that if you already don't like the mask and it's uncomfortable, I'd wait on visiting. Heat + masks = misery.

We had a great time and this was definitely a unique experience.

I hope this was entertaining and informative and feel free to ask questions.
 
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