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Trip Report Shrouded In A Daft Disguise *COMPLETED*

Two weeks ago today, I returned home from the most surreal Disney vacation I have ever experienced.

During my last visit in February, I couldn’t have imagined having to wear a face mask and have my temperature taken before being allowed into a park. “Social distancing” wasn’t part of my vocabulary. Hand sanitizer was something I carried in a little bottle in my purse, not something in giant containers at the entrance/exit of every attraction.

No park hopping? No Fastpasses? No FIREWORKS :jawdrop: ?!! Not even on my radar screen.

Like a bolt out of the blue, the pandemic struck and life was dramatically altered. For everyone. And there is no Magic Mirror to tell us when it will be over. For me the pandemic has been a reminder to take nothing for granted ~ and that there can still be joy in the darkest days.

My name is Tuvalu and I have been a WDW annual passholder for nearly 25 years. I was raised on Disney and so were my children. The parks have always been my “escape” from real life. Could they still be an “escape” in the midst of a pandemic? After months of quarantine, I was ready to find out.

My daughter Em was my travel buddy. My husband Woody had reservations, but not for our safety. He was concerned we’d struggle with the restrictions and disappointment with all the changes. He wanted us to come back happy and wasn’t sure we would. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure we would either. After much research and due diligence, Em and I felt prepared to embark on a vacation with few expectations.

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Full disclosure ~ I‘ve wrestled with writing a report of our trip. The pandemic and subsequent events have caused much division on this Disney fan forum. I’ve always considered the trip reports section to be a “safe space” and hope it stays that way. My goal is to provide entertainment to the reader, nothing more.

With that in mind.....

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Songbird76

Well-Known Member
I don’t even want to think of the increase in cases we might have come February break since it it one of the few European countries which has not closed the ski areas. And your post made me look to see whether travelers from Belgium were on the list of mandatory quarantining upon arrival here, but not since before November. In fact, the current list is quite short.
I don't know what the rules are in any other countries...we have a mandatory quarantine for ANY foreign travel
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
I don't know what the rules are in any other countries...we have a mandatory quarantine for ANY foreign travel

Here it is only for the countries (or regions of countries sometimes) that are on the most current list; the list get updated as needed - based on the number of cases per a certain number of residents (can’t remember the specifics). My employer imposes the quarantining list on all staff as well, even though a large portion of staff live in France, which has different restrictions/quarantining lists: if it’s on the Swiss list and you’ve been there, you are excluded from setting foot in the office. It can get very confusing; the Dutch way seems simpler and clearer.
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Here it is only for the countries (or regions of countries sometimes) that are on the most current list; the list get updated as needed - based on the number of cases per a certain number of residents (can’t remember the specifics). My employer imposes the quarantining list on all staff as well, even though a large portion of staff live in France, which has different restrictions/quarantining lists: if it’s on the Swiss list and you’ve been there, you are excluded from setting foot in the office. It can get very confusing; the Dutch way seems simpler and clearer.
Oh, see the Netherlands just put the entire world on the "no unnecessary travel" list. There are some that are no goes at all, but the majority are "no unnecessary travel" and there's not a single place that's not restricted. Even the countries where they have pretty much eliminated covid. We just aren't supposed to travel, and if we have to, we must quarantine for I think it's 10 days. I don't travel for work, so it's moot for me.
Matt Leblanc Friends GIF
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
OMG, that story about the boy touching everything in line and then the father puts gloves on him inside the ride.
oh man facepalm GIF by NetCologne


I'm a germaphobe even in normal times but with COVID, we are super careful when visiting WDW!!! I do give the evil eye to people behind me if they get too close to me. ;) The views are so beautiful from the Poly that it would be tough to leave and go to the park.😊The MK felt crowded to us the evening we arrived back in December, so we literally walked around the park once and decided to head to the Contemporary to have drinks and appetizers at the California Grill which was a great decision! So sad that your TR is coming to an end soon! Are you going back anytime in the next few months?
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
The MK felt crowded to us the evening we arrived back in December, so we literally walked around the park once and decided to head to the Contemporary to have drinks and appetizers at the California Grill which was a great decision! So sad that your TR is coming to an end soon! Are you going back anytime in the next few months?
Adjusting plans on the fly seems to be best during Covid times. I have two trips planned in the next few months. But I also had three trips planned on this day last year, none of which occurred. So....

well see schitts creek GIF by CBC
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Saturday, con’t

There was a light but steady rain as we walked from Haunted Mansion to our second (and final) attraction in Tomorrowland.

Fantasyland was crazy crowded....made worse by people trying to get out of the rain. (It’s August! Some sprinkles aren’t gonna kill ya!)

Carousel of Progress was posted at 30 minutes in the app and I thought, surely it won’t be that long.

Due to the convoluted nature of the queue, we ended up near Buzz Lightyear’s meet and greet location.

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CoP is about 21 minutes in duration, with rotation occurring every 4-5 minutes. With five seating areas, it is a large people-eater attraction.

Except (apparently) during a pandemic.

After joining the line we never moved. We watched the theater make its usual rotations. It began to rain harder.

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There wasn’t really anyplace for us to go so we didn’t bail out of line. Plus it had been awhile since our last CoP visit and we wanted to check in with John, Sarah and the rest of the fam.

At just under 30 minutes we’d made it here.

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The app was right. I was wrong.

Seating inside was well spaced out (expected) but not all the seating areas were being utilized (unexpected). Hence a very long wait in a short-ish line. (Keep this in mind if you have a trip soon.)

I was enjoying the show until the Christmas scene. I happened to glance at my watch and noted we were now late for our dinner ADR. I couldn’t laugh at John’s burned turkey because I was fretting we’d lose our table.
 

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
I was enjoying the show until the Christmas scene. I happened to glance at my watch and noted we were now late for our dinner ADR. I couldn’t laugh at John’s burned turkey because I was fretting we’d lose our table

That is so weird that they weren't using all the five seating areas....when we were there over Thanksgiving, it was about a 30-minute wait, too. Even with row distancing, you'd think they could use all 5 areas!

I'm guessing your ADR was Liberty Tree Tavern...
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Saturday, con’t

There was a light but steady rain as we walked from Haunted Mansion to our second (and final) attraction in Tomorrowland.

Fantasyland was crazy crowded....made worse by people trying to get out of the rain. (It’s August! Some sprinkles aren’t gonna kill ya!)

Carousel of Progress was posted at 30 minutes in the app and I thought, surely it won’t be that long.

Due to the convoluted nature of the queue, we ended up near Buzz Lightyear’s meet and greet location.

View attachment 525965

View attachment 525967

CoP is about 21 minutes in duration, with rotation occurring every 4-5 minutes. With five seating areas, it is a large people-eater attraction.

Except (apparently) during a pandemic.

After joining the line we never moved. We watched the theater make its usual rotations. It began to rain harder.

View attachment 525966

There wasn’t really anyplace for us to go so we didn’t bail out of line. Plus it had been awhile since our last CoP visit and we wanted to check in with John, Sarah and the rest of the fam.

At just under 30 minutes we’d made it here.

View attachment 525968

The app was right. I was wrong.

Seating inside was well spaced out (expected) but not all the seating areas were being utilized (unexpected). Hence a very long wait in a short-ish line. (Keep this in mind if you have a trip soon.)

I was enjoying the show until the Christmas scene. I happened to glance at my watch and noted we were now late for our dinner ADR. I couldn’t laugh at John’s burned turkey because I was fretting we’d lose our table.
Oh my goodness! I don't think I've EVER had to wait longer than a few minutes for COP. E and I LOVE this attraction and go several times per trip, but we always get right in. We have only ever had to wait for the next seating to open up.

I hope you still got a table for your ADR!!
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
Wow, that was a long time to wait for COP! :oops: I would have been a bit panicky too if I was running late for my ADR and couldn't escape an attraction. Hope you were able to get seated fairly quickly once you arrived. BTW, I'll be at WDW 2/20-2/27 and if you are there then by chance, I'd love to meet up to say hi!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
While Woody and I didn’t break any speed records exiting CoP, we did walk briskly to dinner. In the distance was the princess cavalcade ~ utilizing that nearly 25-year-old float from the Remember the Magic parade for MK’s silver anniversary.

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This is the float that won’t die. Just when you think you’ve seen the last of it, Disney resurrects it for another parade.

(Makes me wish it had been left out in the elements and rot to scrap like all the Spectromagic floats. Yeah, I’m still bitter about that!)

At least the cavalcade wasn’t accompanied by the inane Remember the Magic chorus....which, as I type, is playing on an endless loop in my mind. But I digress....

Sorry @slipperalwaysfits but your restaurant guess was wrong.

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@Songbird76 we did get a table and @lindawdw we were seated fairly quickly. Best of all our table was in the “little room” (as our family calls it) with a view of the castle!

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The Plaza didn’t have many tables pre-pandemic and now....wowza.

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The Plaza was our hidden gem go-to for years. Reasonably priced food and fabulous milkshakes. It fell out of favor with us several years ago when prices skyrocketed and fave items were eliminated. One constant was cast member Wei, who’s a very tall man. He’s been a server there for as long as I can remember. Wei is soft-spoken and we’ve never heard the correct pronunciation of his name.

Until tonight.

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It’s We. And he gave us excellent service.

I requested an extra-thick chocolate shake and that’s what I received. What I didn’t get was the stainless steel mixer cup which always held the remaining shake. Sigh.

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I can’t say that Woody got my other half of the shake since his was the thinner consistency he ordered. I can’t help but sob at the thought that the remnants of our yummy shakes were poured down a drain....

I’m fairly certain I had a cheesesteak. I guess I was too focused on my shake to write it down. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Photographic evidence that Woody had the club sandwich.

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(However looking at that picture I think I had a club too....🤣)

Woody and I talked about our week as we dined. Woody said it was one of the most relaxing Disney vacations he’s had in a long time. My heart was happy!

I don’t know which of us noticed the magician waving outside the window but I’m glad one of us did!

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Sure, she’d brought rain with her. But @Darstarr can shower me with her presence any time!
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I can’t help but sob at the thought that the remnants of our yummy shakes were poured down a drain...
As a former employee of Baskin Robbins, I can assure you it did NOT go down the drain. It went down Wei’s throat to make him weigh more😂
Sure, she’d brought rain with her. But @Darstarr can shower me with her presence any time!

giphy.gif
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
That is so weird that they weren't using all the five seating areas....when we were there over Thanksgiving, it was about a 30-minute wait, too. Even with row distancing, you'd think they could use all 5 areas!
Uh Huh Reaction GIF by Brett Eldredge

I'll be at WDW 2/20-2/27 and if you are there then by chance, I'd love to meet up to say hi!
sorry oscar isaac GIF

Next Time GIF

As a former employee of Baskin Robbins, I can assure you it did NOT go down the drain. It went down Wei’s throat to make him weigh more😂
Pulp Fiction Milkshake GIF
action bronson milkshake GIF

Just catching up and love your TR, as always. We certainly need it at these times:)
Happy Pop Tv GIF by One Day At A Time
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Saturday, con’t

Woody and I left The Plaza about 45 minutes prior to park close. More rain looked imminent. Rather than tempt fate by squeezing in one last attraction, we said goodbye to the castle....

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....and headed towards the train station.

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Once we’d made it to the top of the monorail platform I took yet another pic of the “temporary” walking path, which was never utilized. I do like this pic for the sunset sky and the monorail, however.

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As our monorail departed the MK station I glanced out the window and saw @Darstarr, her son and his GF running to their resort bus stop. I remembered she had two sons with her that day.

“Aren’t you missing a child?” I texted her.

“He went back a few hours ago,” she responded.

We had a brief text exchange and @Darstarr lamented that since MK had been so crowded today, she was unable to get her beloved Dole Whip.

I received her complaint at the perfect time. I quickly snapped and sent the following pic.

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“Should have ridden the monorail over with us,” I teased.

I did not get a Dole Whip though. That would have been mean. 😉

It was raining again. Woody and I popped open our umbrellas on our walk from Pineapple Lanai to Tokelau. But in typical FL summer rain fashion, it had stopped by the time we were back out on our balcony.

This would be our final daylight view from the trip. While not the best, the lit tiki torches were a nice touch.

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Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Conclusion

We were up before dawn to shower and pack for home. There wasn’t much of a sunrise, only lots of dark rain clouds. Even Disney was sad we were leaving!

Thanks to all who patiently followed along with my summer adventures. :happy: I’m sorry it took me so long to finish. #Blame2020.

While visiting WDW during a pandemic certainly was unique and had some advantages, I had hoped my vacations in 2021 would be back to “normal.” But we all know there’s a still a long road ahead and “normal” will be different going forward. I anxiously await the day I can watch Happily Ever After, mask free, at the Most Magical Place on Earth.

There will be tears.

Until then I will observe all safety protocols both at home and at *home*.

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RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Conclusion

We were up before dawn to shower and pack for home. There wasn’t much of a sunrise, only lots of dark rain clouds. Even Disney was sad we were leaving!

Thanks to all who patiently followed along with my summer adventures. :happy: I’m sorry it took me so long to finish. #Blame2020.

While visiting WDW during a pandemic certainly was unique and had some advantages, I had hoped my vacations in 2021 would be back to “normal.” But we all know there’s a still a long road ahead and “normal” will be different going forward. I anxiously await the day I can watch Happily Ever After, mask free, at the Most Magical Place on Earth.

There will be tears.

Until then I will observe all safety protocols both at home and at *home*.

View attachment 527129
Another amazing report! Looking forward to your further adventures in 2021!
 

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