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.

6603EDC0-8856-4CF0-9F82-3A98E965AA50.jpeg


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.....

DE01E0D7-DEFD-4267-AEA4-9339E1E1B4A7.jpeg
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Advertisement
I’m glad the steak fries are still there! Hopefully we can snag a reservation for our December trip. Love Beaches and Cream!
Fingers crossed for you!

I wonder if they’ll keep the plexiglass in the queue lines permanently?
I suspect the plexiglass will be here for awhile. But I hope it’s not permanent, as it really tightens the space in the queues.

Glad to see. The glass goblets have been around for as long as I can remember. The “glass goblets were very heavy” comment perplexed me ~ like did they recently hire weak-wristed scoopers and servers? 🤔
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Thursday, July 23

We could have gone back into Epcot after our dinner at Beaches and Cream.

We couldn’t think of a reason to do so.

Instead we enjoyed a quiet evening in our villa, hoping to get more pool time in the morning.

But morning began like this....
05FAFF41-3CB1-44F3-AEAE-B9E7B4063EE6.jpeg


....and the chance for early rain was pretty high. High enough to cause us to rethink our plan.

“Getting rained on at the park will be better than sitting in the rain at the pool,” said Em. I agreed. After a while we dressed and headed for the bus stop.

0670CC1E-7DA1-4C44-9D36-895727C6CED4.jpeg


Looky which bus arrived to pick us up! Minnie!

59AC8D41-A2C6-49D2-A474-3BF6702F8D5F.jpeg


We hoped to be at the park before rope drop, but we scanned in at 10:02 am. Like the others in the picture below, no BG for us.

AB503BD4-BCC4-46CA-858A-470821E4C1F0.jpeg
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
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.

View attachment 497571

View attachment 497570

View attachment 497569

Em and I loved the colors and the tiles.

View attachment 497572

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!”

View attachment 497574

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.

View attachment 497573

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:

View attachment 497576

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

View attachment 497575

WHERE’S THE GOBLET?!! :jawdrop:

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

View attachment 497612

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.

View attachment 497577

Maybe next time it will be playing California Girls.
I was going to say I'd prefer the banana split dish because it would be easier to eat....also easier to share. My daughter and I had a hard time with that last Summer.

Which California Girls? Beach Boys or Katy Perry?
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
We decided to get in line for Slinky Dog Dash before any weather issues shut it down. Em and I took note of new details we found while waiting. We did feel toy-size!

88C350E6-71D1-47D5-AF4B-80932A1F1826.jpeg


D1ABE879-7705-4972-9AB7-73D1406E5B63.jpeg


8E84438C-820C-4999-A132-48E9837499D2.jpeg


It took a little over 5 minutes to reach the actual entrance.

72B0D8F7-0539-4981-B20C-877F11962527.jpeg


78DD1A1D-B57A-4E02-A941-4D72A659C842.jpeg


Fifteen minutes later we were onboard and ready to go!

FEC6016F-EAA7-4B84-AEB6-7285F71087C4.jpeg


I used to consider the back of Slinky my favorite place for riding. Today Em and I were in the front and whoo boy....the part where you climb the final hill felt exactly like we were about to blast off into the sky....it was awesome!!

5E61BF7A-928A-467B-930F-38754D015DD3.jpeg


After we’d left the unload area there was the sound of rolling thunder, which promptly closed the attraction.
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Thunder would not affect the operation of our next ride.

It’s Saucers time!

798B0F74-7D08-4ED9-A9AA-A29F69380370.jpeg


Alien Close Up. No toothpaste necessary.

5AFA406B-DDC3-4E09-B1B5-205666FFEBED.jpeg


Someone needs to mow this section of Andy’s yard!

997A74F8-8ADB-4FF0-803E-E571FDA64A6B.jpeg


Finally nailed a selfie!

D3F0C114-E44E-4A1E-BA97-B50F1F5CD88E.jpeg


We planned to do Toy Story Mania our spin but the wait was too long for our liking. We continued on to Thrill Ride Sunset Blvd.

E40552A4-6FF5-4072-A355-ED5120231620.jpeg


For the second time this morning, Em had a front row seat!

AA5D9A16-044C-461D-8128-0DD70376586D.jpeg

(My favorite part of this picture is the people with raised phones, attempting to capture the next launch.)

Em had difficulty obtaining her ride photo. I’ll let her share the story if she wants to.

DA9DC721-2A11-496D-8B34-12114125AB64.jpeg
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Thrill ride #2.

07256C02-5F6C-4F0B-85BB-418D71D0086E.jpeg


0364C18A-7819-4084-B1F8-28C7C5A9303B.jpeg


You know the drill by now. More plexiglass!

B709CDEC-8934-40D7-BBEE-67AC92267D59.jpeg


0565088B-3835-4C77-8C07-0F585EEABB9E.jpeg


I like Tower of Terror, but it doesn’t always like me. I sensed today would be one of those days. I told Em I’d be riding the chicken elevator and she was in full support.

The CM manning the 🐔elevator gives instructions on where to wait for your party but I knew where to go.

64ABC441-737F-4570-B13C-3FA50362EF90.jpeg

As I watched for Em’s photo to appear, I thought I would take a closer look into this area. ^^

So. Many. Details!! ❤

DBCFE222-F88D-4807-826E-2B388345B253.jpeg


Poor invisible Em. I promise she’s in this photo!

7749DABC-308F-43CA-B0EB-5293AEDCCA0E.jpeg
 

93boomer

Well-Known Member
Thrill ride #2.

View attachment 497753

View attachment 497752

You know the drill by now. More plexiglass!

View attachment 497754

View attachment 497755


I like Tower of Terror, but it doesn’t always like me. I sensed today would be one of those days. I told Em I’d be riding the chicken elevator and she was in full support.

The CM manning the 🐔elevator gives instructions on where to wait for your party but I knew where to go.

View attachment 497756
As I watched for Em’s photo to appear, I thought I would take a closer look into this area. ^^

So. Many. Details!! ❤

View attachment 497757

Poor invisible Em. I promise she’s in this photo!

View attachment 497758
I have never been on this ride. I may have to check out the chicken elevator!🤣
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Thrill ride #2.

View attachment 497753

View attachment 497752

You know the drill by now. More plexiglass!

View attachment 497754

View attachment 497755


I like Tower of Terror, but it doesn’t always like me. I sensed today would be one of those days. I told Em I’d be riding the chicken elevator and she was in full support.

The CM manning the 🐔elevator gives instructions on where to wait for your party but I knew where to go.

View attachment 497756
As I watched for Em’s photo to appear, I thought I would take a closer look into this area. ^^

So. Many. Details!! ❤

View attachment 497757

Poor invisible Em. I promise she’s in this photo!

View attachment 497758
the exit area of ToT is one of my favorites! With small kids we’ve done a fair number of trade offs and waiting in there. So so many cool things to look at. It’s what MGM used to be like.
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
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.

I'm always more attracted to smaller venues, and the intimacy of a tiny ice cream parlor.

That said, the venue was always so popular, that I suppose they really had no choice but to expand it I went over there once (few years ago), and it was mobbed; and many people were waiting to get inside. So I never got a chance to check it out, but have heard so many great reviews about it down through the years. I love the photos of the ice cream masterpieces! :hungry:
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
I have never been on this ride. I may have to check out the chicken elevator!🤣
The ToT queue is worth seeing even if you don’t ride. Just tell the CM loading the “attraction” elevator that you aren’t riding and they will send you to the CM manning the 🐔elevator.


the exit area of ToT is one of my favorites! With small kids we’ve done a fair number of trade offs and waiting in there. So so many cool things to look at. It’s what MGM used to be like.
Sigh.....


I'm always more attracted to smaller venues, and the intimacy of a tiny ice cream parlor.
That said, the venue was always so popular, that I suppose they really had no choice but to expand it I went over there once (few years ago), and it was mobbed; and many people were waiting to get inside. So I never got a chance to check it out, but have heard so many great reviews about it down through the years. I love the photos of the ice cream masterpieces! :hungry:
Beaches and Cream was a hidden gem before the social media explosion. Sigh.....
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Lunchtime.

87FB3C5D-8634-46FE-995F-902EC658D8C6.jpeg


Remember these earlier comments from me?
Mobile ordering is now being heavily pushed (more on that later) and I was excited to see that I could finally use a gift card as payment. However I would learn of a stipulation a few days later.....:bored:
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 lunch was the meal I was alluding to....and our initial encounter with Mobile Order Nazis.

Before arriving at PizzeRizzo, I attempted to mobile order. I encountered two issues that raised my blood pressure.

1) Each pizza came with a side Caesar salad (which neither Em nor I eat.)Typically we ask the CM to hold the salad, which not only saves us a couple bucks but prevents food waste (since we don’t pitch uneaten salads in the trash.) There was not an option to “hold” the salad on mobile order. (Fact is you can make very few modifications to a mobile order at any restaurant....picky eaters, beware!)

2) I wanted to use my gift card for payment....and discovered the gift card number had not been stored!

Two CMs blocked the entrance to PizzeRizzo. There were lots of confused guests standing around, some on their phones, others attempting to talk to a CM. At first I thought the restaurant hadn’t begun letting in guests. I peered inside and saw a few guests with trays of food. I attempted to bypass the CMs and enter.

“YOU MUST MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled at me.

I was stunned. Immediately I understood the confused looks on the faces of other guests.

“YOU CAN’T GO INSIDE UNTIL YOUR MOBILE ORDER IS READY!” Nazi CM #2 yelled at another guest.
“USE THE APP TO MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled to the crowd in general.

Where am I? I thought to myself.

Yet (to Em’s chagrin) I was persistent. A manager had arrived and I approached her. “I can’t mobile order,” I said.
“You don’t have the app?” she asked.
“I don’t want the salad,” were the first words out of my mouth.
“Oh, no salad? I can help you inside!” she sweetly chirped. “Follow me.”

I followed but Em got stopped by Nazi CM #1. Em had to plead her case that she was with me before she was allowed inside.

The manager took me to a register far from the door and took my order. Two Cokes, two pizzas, no salads. I paid with my gift card. I was happy. My blood pressure returned to normal.

BD8E08FD-9236-4E86-8B60-4A67F9FA5B06.jpeg


Em was just happy the ordeal was over!

108092A0-5C24-4333-A86C-5A28A87466EF.jpeg
 

Nunu

Wanderluster
Premium Member
Lunchtime.

View attachment 497815

Remember these earlier comments from me?



This lunch was the meal I was alluding to....and our initial encounter with Mobile Order Nazis.

Before arriving at PizzeRizzo, I attempted to mobile order. I encountered two issues that raised my blood pressure.

1) Each pizza came with a side Caesar salad (which neither Em nor I eat.)Typically we ask the CM to hold the salad, which not only saves us a couple bucks but prevents food waste (since we don’t pitch uneaten salads in the trash.) There was not an option to “hold” the salad on mobile order. (Fact is you can make very few modifications to a mobile order at any restaurant....picky eaters, beware!)

2) I wanted to use my gift card for payment....and discovered the gift card number had not been stored!

Two CMs blocked the entrance to PizzeRizzo. There were lots of confused guests standing around, some on their phones, others attempting to talk to a CM. At first I thought the restaurant hadn’t begun letting in guests. I peered inside and saw a few guests with trays of food. I attempted to bypass the CMs and enter.

“YOU MUST MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled at me.

I was stunned. Immediately I understood the confused looks on the faces of other guests.

“YOU CAN’T GO INSIDE UNTIL YOUR MOBILE ORDER IS READY!” Nazi CM #2 yelled at another guest.
“USE THE APP TO MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled to the crowd in general.

Where am I? I thought to myself.

Yet (to Em’s chagrin) I was persistent. A manager had arrived and I approached her. “I can’t mobile order,” I said.
“You don’t have the app?” she asked.
“I don’t want the salad,” were the first words out of my mouth.
“Oh, no salad? I can help you inside!” she sweetly chirped. “Follow me.”

I followed but Em got stopped by Nazi CM #1. Em had to plead her case that she was with me before she was allowed inside.

The manager took me to a register far from the door and took my order. Two Cokes, two pizzas, no salads. I paid with my gift card. I was happy. My blood pressure returned to normal.

View attachment 497817

Em was just happy the ordeal was over!

View attachment 497816
"Ordeal" is the right word! I'm so thankful for your input about how mobile order is being handled these days. I can see myself being even more nervous and confused than you in that situation. I get anxious when I hear people, specially CM's, yelling at folks. 😳

I'll be there solo soon, the more prepared I am, the better. Thanks to you, I now know what to expect.
 
Last edited:

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
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.)

YAY! sTEAK FRIES! ONE OF MY favorite things about Red Robin! Don't worry, @TrolleyFollower91 I can't eat the NWJ all by myself, either. I actually ask for a second empty bowl to scoop out the extra ice cream I don't want. I liked the dish you had but it seemed severely lacking on peanut butter, which is like the entire point of the sundae!

“YOU MUST MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled at me.

I was stunned. Immediately I understood the confused looks on the faces of other guests.

“YOU CAN’T GO INSIDE UNTIL YOUR MOBILE ORDER IS READY!” Nazi CM #2 yelled at another guest.
“USE THE APP TO MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled to the crowd in general.


This is extremely frustrating to me (and about a million other people, probably). I have zero problem with the IDEA of mobile ordering, the chance of having my cell phone and the mobile order app work perfectly each time I want to do this, is very slim, that's why I'd have to go to the counter. So I guess I'd just tell a CM that the app isn't working since we can't wait in line anymore?
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Lunchtime.

View attachment 497815

Remember these earlier comments from me?



This lunch was the meal I was alluding to....and our initial encounter with Mobile Order Nazis.

Before arriving at PizzeRizzo, I attempted to mobile order. I encountered two issues that raised my blood pressure.

1) Each pizza came with a side Caesar salad (which neither Em nor I eat.)Typically we ask the CM to hold the salad, which not only saves us a couple bucks but prevents food waste (since we don’t pitch uneaten salads in the trash.) There was not an option to “hold” the salad on mobile order. (Fact is you can make very few modifications to a mobile order at any restaurant....picky eaters, beware!)

2) I wanted to use my gift card for payment....and discovered the gift card number had not been stored!

Two CMs blocked the entrance to PizzeRizzo. There were lots of confused guests standing around, some on their phones, others attempting to talk to a CM. At first I thought the restaurant hadn’t begun letting in guests. I peered inside and saw a few guests with trays of food. I attempted to bypass the CMs and enter.

“YOU MUST MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled at me.

I was stunned. Immediately I understood the confused looks on the faces of other guests.

“YOU CAN’T GO INSIDE UNTIL YOUR MOBILE ORDER IS READY!” Nazi CM #2 yelled at another guest.
“USE THE APP TO MOBILE ORDER!” Nazi CM #1 yelled to the crowd in general.

Where am I? I thought to myself.

Yet (to Em’s chagrin) I was persistent. A manager had arrived and I approached her. “I can’t mobile order,” I said.
“You don’t have the app?” she asked.
“I don’t want the salad,” were the first words out of my mouth.
“Oh, no salad? I can help you inside!” she sweetly chirped. “Follow me.”

I followed but Em got stopped by Nazi CM #1. Em had to plead her case that she was with me before she was allowed inside.

The manager took me to a register far from the door and took my order. Two Cokes, two pizzas, no salads. I paid with my gift card. I was happy. My blood pressure returned to normal.

View attachment 497817

Em was just happy the ordeal was over!

View attachment 497816
Eating at WDW is hard...
 
Top Bottom