Trip Report Shrouded In A Daft Disguise ~ PART TU

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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Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Kevin and I just lived through Labor Day Weekend in the parks... oy! I swear EPCOT on Sunday and Magic Kingdom on Monday were almost as crowded as the parks were this time last year. It was nuts! I thought there was a pandemic happening... The line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train STARTED across from Under the Sea. I get that the lines are longer with the 6' spacing, but that was crazy.

Today at Animal Kingdom was much more relaxed. I'm jealous seeing your photos of all that people-free space!!
Uggh....sorry for that crazy crowd stress. In my mind I knew it was bound to happen, just never suspected so soon. There was a marked increase in MK crowds when comparing my July and August trips. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your vacation.

There's really only one good thing here, can you imagine if you got stuck in the stinky part of the ride (and that feature was working)?!
You'd really need one of these 😷!
The smell-o-vision wasn’t working. However ever since someone posted, “it smells like burnt coffee”, that’s all I can imagine. Problem solved!

Thankfully you avoided being trapped with this too:

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This on the other hand is the sight nightmares are made of. I avert my eyes every time.

I really like this shirt on you @Tuvalu! Mickey/Disney, yet still very feminine and cute :)
Thanks. Purchased last summer at the America gift store in Epcot....which is now an Art of Disney store. :cautious:

So. much. plexiglass. But those muffins sure did look good.
Muffins = :hungry: :hungry: :hungry:
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
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Finally caught up!


Thank you for solving our mystery! We had declined room service at Poly, but one day me and C were at the pool, and K had returned with L to put him for a nap. As he was sleeping in the 2nd bathroom, she got in the shower and heard a soft knock. Thinking it was me and my magic band wasn't working, she quickly got dressed, opened the door and found a housekeeper in our room emptying the garbage. Needless to say the combination of a stranger being in the room with a baby sleeping and being in the shower did not sit well.
Wait...did she hear a knock on the bathroom door, or the door into the room? Do you usually knock before entering your own room? And if the CM discovered someone was in the shower, why didn't they just back right out of there?? That would be creepy, in my opinion, to be in someone's room while they are in the shower!! I don't take my clothes into the bathroom with me....I wait to get dressed until I'm out and not in the misty bathroom. It would horrify me to step out and find a stranger in my room! And if I were the CM, it would horrify me to be caught in the room while someone was showering!

Tip ~ Always latch the door with this when privacy is paramount.

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Unfortunately it did not cross my mind that day!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Hi girls!👋🏻👋🏻
Hi Aunty Sis! 👋🏼

Where oh where did Tuvaleen's socks disappear to? 🤔
Funny you should mention that....

Both girls were wearing sandals when I picked them up. Tuvalette was making her own fashion statement by wearing socks with her sandals. 🤣

I usually fast forward through the commercials😁
Careful....you might miss something adorable. 😁

Homeschooling at Grandma's? Too cute.
Can never start too early!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Wait...did she hear a knock on the bathroom door, or the door into the room? Do you usually knock before entering your own room? And if the CM discovered someone was in the shower, why didn't they just back right out of there?? That would be creepy, in my opinion, to be in someone's room while they are in the shower!! I don't take my clothes into the bathroom with me....I wait to get dressed until I'm out and not in the misty bathroom. It would horrify me to step out and find a stranger in my room! And if I were the CM, it would horrify me to be caught in the room while someone was showering!

The knock was luckily just on the room, not the shower door at least. But I agree, and that's what both of our reactions were.

Tip ~ Always latch the door with this when privacy is paramount.

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Unfortunately it did not cross my mind that day!

If we are all in the room then we will latch, but this time was just because I wasn't back yet. But after this, it was always on, and if someone was out, they would text first to ask for the door to be opened!
 

LisaBelle

Well-Known Member
There was only one choice for dinner. Amiright, @LisaBelle?
You got that right @Tuvalu! One of my favorite Disney meals!
I promise I wasn’t ignoring you! The beginning of the school year has kept me so busy I haven’t had time for any trip report reading. Hope Em’s school year got off to a good start! Now I am going back to properly catch up on all your adventures 😊!
 

Yellow Shoes

Well-Known Member
Okay, Okay!

I was going to save the gift card stipulation for later in the report but I hate to leave y'all hanging.

Good news: You can use a Disney gift card to pay for your mobile order.

Bad news: The gift card number is not stored in the app (like a credit card). So each time you want to pay by gift card, you must enter the 16 digit number AGAIN. Which is a pain. You also cannot charge a mobile order to your room. Another pain. So it was just easier to use my stored credit card as the default payment.
This is SO good to know. I have a gift card with $$$ that was for our on-site purchases. Looks like I'll just leave my credit card on file and pay it down periodically with the gift card.
THANKS!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Wednesday, con’t

After exiting LWTL Em and I joined the Soarin’ queue.

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Sorry, Regis...no trivia game on the big screens.

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More plexiglass for ya, @newhorizons1!

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The arrows don’t meet distance requirements. Let’s use a circle instead!

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The next two pictures truly reveal the brilliance of WDW Imagineers.

How to make a glider safe during a pandemic?

Put in plexiglass dividers.

But how to secure the plexiglass divider?

With a child’s booster car seat!

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Disney really did think about everything before reopening.
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
There was only one way in and one way out of the Land pavilion.

Upon entering, you had to veer right and use the escalator/stairs which deposit you at the entrance to LWTL.

Upon leaving, you must take the escalator/stairs by the Soarin’ exit ~ which poses a slight problem if you need to use the Soarin’ restrooms, as you can no longer get there from the Soarin’ exit. :in pain:

Thankfully I remembered the restrooms on the upper floor, to the left of the Garden Grill. :cool:

There just isn’t an easy way to get anywhere in Future World now. But at least there’s signage.

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Em and I wanted to ride SSE next.

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But Epcot was struggling today. SSE was down. So was Test Track due to the weather.

Time to cut our losses and head out.

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New signage makes the exit super obvious.

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It was drizzling on our walk to the bus stop.

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Minnie bus pic for Tuvaleen (and @MinnieM123).

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Em and I had another private bus ride (our luck would change tomorrow.)
 

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
But how to secure the plexiglass divider?

With a child’s booster car seat!

Impressive!:bookworm:o_O

Upon leaving, you must take the escalator/stairs by the Soarin’ exit ~ which poses a slight problem if you need to use the Soarin’ restrooms, as you can no longer get there from the Soarin’ exit. :in pain:

Thankfully I remembered the restrooms on the upper floor, to the left of the Garden Grill
Good tip! I'll need this in the Fall!

Minnie bus pic for Tuvaleen
Did Tuvaleen absolutely love that bus? You should try to find her a Minnie bus replica toy!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
We relaxed in the room for about an hour before driving to our dinner destination. (If you can call a 4:50 pm ADR “dinner.“ It was the only time I could get.)

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Stormalong Bay was empty as it always is during inclement weather. Only it wasn’t closed due to weather. The feature pool had not yet reopened for guests.

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Em and I were eager to check out the newly refurbished Beaches and Cream. We’d had reservations for our canceled trips in April and June (both at a more normal dinner hour.) Snagging an ADR for this vacation was my first priority when I was able to book our dining. We wondered would the restaurant retain its charm? Would the food still be good? Would we get to listen to California Girls repeated ad nauseam on the jukebox?

(Okay, the last pondering point was a joke. But it did really happen on a previous visit!)

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The new take-out window eliminates the need to go inside for ice cream treats.

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I checked in via the app and we waited for the “Your table is ready text.” We didn’t wait long.

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Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Entering Beaches and Cream felt familiar, yet different. Gone was the intimacy of a tiny ice cream parlor (it’s at least 2x bigger) but the seashore charm remained intact. I smiled when I glanced around the room. The atmosphere still made me feel happy.

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Em and I loved the colors and the tiles.

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If there was music it was very subdued. I assumed the jukebox had been a casualty of the refurb.

We scanned the QR code on the table before our server Matt came over to greet us. He asked if we had any questions regarding the menu. I am “that person” who requests her B&C chicken sandwich a particular way, one that is not on the menu. Over the years I’ve had only one server (after first saying no) begrudgingly agree to it. (She no longer works there. Coincidence? I think not.)

However Matt was like the other 99% and exuberantly said, “We can absolutely do that for you!”

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Em ordered the Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Chicken sandwich. It may look like my sandwich (minus the bacon), but it also has sautéed onions and ranch dressing, and is served on a different flavor bun.

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I was practically giddy when I saw that steak fries were back. I’d read they’d been replaced by the thinner fries that Disney serves everywhere else.

Our food was just as hot, fresh and tasty as we remembered. We ate as much as we could (we wanted to leave room for dessert.) But Em was still wary of ordering her favorite No Way José.

“I’ll never be able to eat it all.” (She and Woody usually share it.)

“So what?” I said. “Eat only what you want. Splurge. You’re on vacation!”

A good mother would have offered to split it with her, even if she doesn’t like peanut butter with her ice cream. A great mother would pay for the No Way José and order her own sundae. Which is what I did.

In hindsight I should have skipped ice cream altogether. Had I known that my marshmallow sundae would be topped with marshmallow FLUFF, not marshmallow SYRUP, I would have passed. Not only was it a weird consistency, it was impossible to eat without making a mess. When I asked Matt if FLUFF was a new change he said, “I think they were out of syrup.”

FLUFF AND SYRUP ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE! :banghead:

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The oddness didn’t end with my sundae. This was Em’s No Way José.

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WHERE’S THE GOBLET?!! :jawdrop:

Here’s how a No Way José is usually served:

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I inquired of Matt, “What happened to the goblet?”

“Oh the glass goblets were very heavy,” he said. “So we tried acrylic goblets, but they cracked in the dishwasher. So we had to order more.”

Whether the new goblets will once again be glass or a sturdier acrylic, Matt did not say.

Em did comment that her sundae was easier to eat in the banana split dish.

On our way out we discovered the original jukebox next to the exit door.

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Maybe next time it will be playing California Girls.
 

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