Trip Report The Greatest Trip Report in the HISTORY of Trip Reports (or at least in the top 1000).

Long time reader/lurker. I rarely post. Dig looking up trip reports in anticipation of an impending Disney vacation. Figured I’d do one up from my recent experience...with the new restrictions, thought some people of like mind might find this helpful.

Brief Background – Thirty something single manchild who enjoys spending thousands of dollars in sweltering heat surrounded by thousands of (mostly) happy people.

DVC member. OKW is my home resort. Annual pass holder, blah blah...yea, I’m a big time Disney star.

Made the trip with a menagerie of family members...a real hodgepodge of eclectic souls.

This trip report won’t be super detailed. Nor will it contain photographic evidence of my masked travails. I’m not near thorough enough for any of that...I’ll leave those types of reports to the experts.

I’ll basically run down things that stood out to me in this CURRENT COVID world (pun maybe(?) intended).

In fact, let’s do a bullet list. Yea, people like bullet lists...even those who oppose the second amendment.

- Does a dash constitute a bullet? *shrugs* Whatever, I'm going with it.

- The complex as a whole just felt emptier. A lot less traffic than what I’m used to battling upon entering THE WORLD.

- OKW was, likewise, empty feeling. Think I saw one neighbor during my week long stay. I’m guessing they are spreading people out...that or my reputation precedes me and they stuck me way in the back where I wouldn’t bother anyone.

- Golf course was soaked. Seriously. SOAKED. Hit your ball in the middle of the fairway and lose the darn thing because it’s embedded into the soggy ground type of soaked.

- It rained just about every day, but not for long. Just long enough to get a person soaked if they refused to get out of line for a Violet Sake in EPCOT.

- The temperature check at the parks/springs/etc were super quick and efficient. Quick as in… “how can they really check my temperature that fast” quick.

- I thought getting into the parks would be a major headache. IMO, this procedure is more expedient now than before.

- Keep that mask over your nose, people. They do enforce that. I overheard several people being told to fix their mask...the cast members were never rude, though. Very polite.

- In fact, I’d say the cast members were better than usual this trip. Not sure if its a stronger batch of employees or if they’ve cut down on the staff and are only bringing in the ‘all stars’ during these restricted times.

- Parks were far less crowded than last October. You could actually find open bench seats. You weren’t shouldering through people to get somewhere. It was nice.

- Future world in EPCOT is currently butchered. Hate it. I entered via the skyline/world showcase both visits. Those walls, in that heat, are horrible.

- I found almost all wait times were shorter than what was posted. Only exception being It’s a Small World. Not sure if this is how they do it throughout the day, but while I was in line they were running every other boat with passengers. Made for a short line, long wait.

- The night life is sad. Parks close anywhere between 5-7pm which means you’ve got to book it to Disney Springs if you want to do anything before they close at 10pm.

- This trip FELT more hectic. I’m kind of a low key, laid back guy. I like catching the bus around 10 or 11ish and heading into the park without all the early birds fighting and sprinting to get on the rides first. This was basically impossible with the early park closures...had to get in there early if I wanted to achieve all my favorite attractions.

- Cavalcades were cool. A nice random surprise every now and then. Felt bad for all the kiddos that couldn’t hug or interact with the characters, though.

- Wearing a mask in that Florida September climate is ROUGH. Let’s just say I did a lot of stationary drinking.

- I didn’t feel as though Food and Wine suffered much from the restrictions. Still had a great time doing it (twice). Food seemed on point. Although they did change the Ribeye Tacos in Mexico...not for the better.

- A couple of F&W booths are only available on the weekends...Spain and The Alps. There maybe more.

- Speaking of Spain...love the Charcuterie in a cup. Friend of mine managed to coerce a green olive from me...the only one in the entire cup. While joking about this later, a cast mate overheard me and gave me a cup for free.

- Tried Wine Bar George and Homecomin for the first time. Both were great. Fried Chicken at Homecomin is super tasty and a ton of food. Wine Bar George is extremely tasty...a bit pricey, but well worth it IMO.

- Didn’t do much resort hopping...given the nature of things, didn’t want to crash too many parties with my wild self.

- Whoever said Stacy is alive and well on one of the higher channels is correct.

- Rode Toy Story Mania nearly 15 times. My right arm is now considerably bigger than my left arm. People are looking at me weird.

- Rise of the Resistance is BRUTAL...or, well, the online check-in is. We tried both days we were there and the passes were all gone within seconds. You need to get on that ASAP and have multiple people trying if you want to have a chance to ride.

- Felt for the bartenders at OKW. A few of them I’ve known for years (been going there since 1994...not drinking, though. Not sure they allow kids to sit up at the bar drinking Bloody Marys and Turtle Crawls for hours at a time)...they were all pretty put out by the limitations. Feels like they are losing a lot in tip money by not having those all day boozers talk their ears off about random subjects.

- If you’re doing counter service, order online. Most places (maybe all) won’t let you walk up to the counter and order.

- I really missed a lot of food carts/stands that remain closed. Finding places to grab a snack (OR A BEER) can be tough.

- Especially at Hollywood Studios...they seemed to have fewer carts open than the other parks. If you walk by a cart and you want a snack (OR A BEER) I suggest getting it while you’re there.

- Mickey/Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a long wait all day, for the most part. If you want to ride it, you’re just gonna have to bite the bullet and wait about an hour.

- Hollywood Studios did seem to thin out after 2pm (the final Rise of the Resistance check in).

- If you book a restaurant around park closure, the staff will let you hang out for awhile and chat/drink/etc. They are very nice and easy going about that.

- Rose and Crown Pub is open until 8:30pm. You can walk in there, grab a seat, and enjoy a Black Velvet.

- Ragland Road stays open until 11pm. You can head over there and snag a snack (OR A BEER) later than the other places.

- A lot of the carts begin closing up half an hour before park closure. So don’t wait around thinking “Okay, I’m gonna get that snack (OR BEER) just before the park closes”...because, it ain’t happening, man.

- Disney Springs is generally packed at night. Nothing else to do, really. Getting on a bus to Disney Springs between 5-8pm can be brutal. Everyone is heading there. If you have a resort with multiple bus stops, take the extra steps and board at the FIRST stop to ensure you can get on a bus relatively quickly. I don’t know how many times I saw people sitting...growing increasingly angry as each bus would fill up before arriving at their stop. To quote the great...Katiebug ‘NOT VERY MAGICAL’...or something like that.

- One bus driver told me bus capacity was once around 75...it’s now down to something, like, 24. So, yea, they fill up fast.

- Had no issue getting on the Monorail. Everything seemed normal. Same with the Skyliner. The monorail that runs through EPCOT is not functioning.

- They do a great job at regulating how many people walk into stores...esp World of Disney. Unfortunately, once you’re in there, it’s game on. People just kinda meander around without much concern for distance.

- A channel airs the Happily Ever After firework show from 6-10 (I think)...so if you wanna kinda-halfway-experience that, there’s your option.

- Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian opens at 4pm...you can head over there and grab a Lapu Lapu. Sadly, they were out of pineapples...but the drink still tasted great.

- You can find Joy and Winnie the Pooh over in the grassy area near Figment. There may be more that pop up out there but those were the two I saw.

- The park pass system really makes for long days. Aside from post-2pm at HS people don’t really thin out throughout the day. Like, if a rain storm blows through, everyone sticks around. Just can’t go anywhere...once you’re there, you’re there.

- Read it somewhere and can confirm, the having merchandise delivered to the front or to your room is not an option. So if you buy something, get ready to carry it.

- Lines look a lot longer than they are...don’t be intimidated if the Rock n Rollercoaster line is sticking out from under the upside down car.

- Only pre-show I can remember seeing was Dinosaur. Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror...new lines have you bypassing the pre show room entirely. Missed the pre-show...but didn’t miss all the elbowing and jockeying to get into the next room.

- Not sure if this is the case ubiquitously but at OKW the bar closed at 9pm while the rest of the shops were open until 10pm. So, be aware if you want a bar snack (OR A BEER) in the evening.

- Pools seemed to operate normally. Didn’t get to spend much time down there...too busy going, going, going.

- This vacation was like Disney on crack. The structure just made me feel like I had to keep pushing in order to make it worth it.

- Online check in was great...room was ready when I arrived at the resort (around noon).

- EPCOT Experience is a great location to relax, have a snack (OR A BEER) and see what’s to come. Just randomly walked into it looking for a bathroom...wound up hanging out for about twenty minutes. It’s the building kind of by itself beyond Test Track, if you’re heading toward the World Showcase. Sorry, that’s about as good as my directions can get.

- Did I miss anything?

- Hmm...not sure.

- I probably did, but oh well.

Final summary...if you are super concerned over Covid, I would recommend waiting until a vaccine comes out or the virus goes away. Disney is doing the best they can but it’s impossible to regulate all those people. People afraid of the disease are going to be freaked out 24/7. So, stay home. You won’t enjoy it.

Personally, I had a good time but I doubt I’ll be returning until most (or all) of the restrictions are lifted. I just enjoy more time to relax and hop around...do random things. The structure right now makes that impossible. Plus the masks...fine indoors...probably fine in Antarctica...but a pain in that Florida weather.

If you love Disney (as I do) and you are dying to go and aren’t afraid or prone to getting super sick from COVID...then book your trip. There seem to be some good deals available for rooms right now...can maybe sneak a trip in at a discount. Plus, the lines (while longer than I thought they’d be) are still shorter than usual.

And now...because if any of you ran into me you’d likely label me as a ridiculous alcoholic...my top 5 favorite drinks of the Disney 2020 masked tour.

Numbered list. Because people like numbers. Yes, even those who hate math.

1) Lapu Lapu (Tambu Lounge – Polynesian...not Kona Cafe. The one I got at Kona Cafe was weird.)
2) Violet Sake (Japan - EPCOT)
3) Loaded Bloody Mary at Gurgling Suitcase
4) Rum Blossom (Pandora)
5) Lemonade Raspberry Cider (World ShowPlace Pavilion - EPCOT)
 

KellBelle

Premium Member
Thank you for sharing your thoughts/experience. Definitely a different time, but sounds worthwhile to me, even given the possible lesser experience.
 

C&D

Well-Known Member
Good to know that WDW does the best they can with what they've got, and still provide the Disney experience, especially in these challenging times. And I even got quite a few chuckles from your report. Thanks for posting. 👍
 
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