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Trip Report The "This is a relaxing and resorting trip, not a running trip!" Trip

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We're back!

Basic info:
Cast: Bee (me-32), M (my wife-32), Jay (my brother-26), MIL (M's mom), FIL (M's dad)
Dates: August 16-25
Resorts: Contemporary and Swan split stay (M and me), offsite (Jay, MIL, FIL)
Tickets: 4-day, no hopper, plus DAH Boo Bash
Park plans: 8/17 Boo Bash, 8/19 MK, 8/20 Epcot, 8/22 DHS, 8/24 Epcot

PTR here.

This was a rather different trip that what we're used to, for various reasons which will be explained throughout the TR. Lots of things went really well, and a few things didn't go so well. Keep reading for food, drinks, surprises, and DRAMMA!
 
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bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1: Monday, August 16

Our day started with a 6:00am Lyft pickup for our ride to Newark Liberty Airport. Our driver was named Jason and he was more chatty than we're accustomed to (especially at 6am lol), but we had a nice conversation about life on the way to the airport. He asked how long we had been married and when we told him almost seven years, he asked if we got married as teenagers because we don't look old enough to have been married that long. :hilarious: We said no, we were 25 when we got married, and now we're 32, and he said we must be happy because we look so young. :joyfull: This will be a recurring theme.

The ride was quick but when we arrived the airport was chaos. There were multiple, VERY LONG lines to drop off luggage according to destination, and no signage to indicate which line to get in. We found a JetBlue employee to ask and he sent us in the correct direction, but we saw several travelers who had to leave their current line and go to the end of a different long line. :banghead:

While we were waiting we witnessed a family with several teenagers at the counter arguing with the JetBlue agents trying to collect their bags. I'm guessing their bags were too heavy because they then started opening them and trying to rearrange things. One of the teenagers, a blond boy around 17-18, was especially rude and said he was calling his dad to help. We ended up calling him Draco:

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Everyone on line was getting rather frustrated with this group. Finally dad showed up, maskless of course, and continued to argue. The poor agents somehow managed to resolve the situation and the jerk family finally left the line and it got moving again.

We also saw another family with a HUGE and VERY overweight bag having to repack everything. I don't know why more people either 1) don't know what the limit is or 2) don't weigh their bags before they try to drop them off. :facepalm:

After FINALLY dropping our bags we stopped for breakfast at the Dunkin' before security. Our terminal has very few options for food once you're inside security and we knew they would be crowded so Dunkin' is usually a better choice.

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Iced tea

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Egg and cheese sandwich

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Hash browns

After breakfast we found the security area for JetBlue and entered the TSA Precheck line. There was ANOTHER rude family here; the dad RAN to get in line in front of us then the whole rest of the family skipped us to meet up with dad. Um, maybe, wait for your whole family and don't hold up the line???

The boarding pass/ID checking part of the TSA Precheck line was fast, but Newark (this part of the airport at least) doesn't have enough room or equipment to set up an actual separate Precheck line, so we were just funneled in with everyone else. WHY DID I PAY FOR PRECHECK IF IT BARELY SAVES ANY TIME??? We did make it through security without incident (except that I still had to take out my laptop when that shouldn't be required with Precheck).

Once we made it to the gate area we filled up our water bottles and looked for somewhere-ANYWHERE-to sit. It was a total madhouse. I guess the "revenge travel" thing is real! Since there were very few seats available we decided to just find the gate and stand nearby, since there wasn't that much time left until boarding. Our gate was 20, and we found 15, 16, 17, 18...and then nothing larger. M asked a gate agent at gate 18 where gate 20 was, and she said it was in a DIFFERENT secure area and we would need to leave the secure area and go BACK THROUGH SECURITY! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: I know it's mostly our fault that we didn't check the actual gate numbers BEFORE getting in the security line, but I found it VERY surprising that someone can get past security in the wrong area of the airport!

Up next: RUNNING!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1, cont.

With less than half an hour before boarding, we exited the wrong part of the area and RAN to find the correct security checkpoint. The hallways leading from one area to the next at EWR are LONG and narrow so we literally had to run past other travelers to get there. We also had JUST filled our water bottles so we had to either drink or dump. I managed to drink all of mine en route but M had to dump most of hers.

On the bright side, this time security went a lot faster. Since we were told to take our large electronics out the first time I asked about it this time and a TSA agent yelled, "NO, YOU HAVE PRECHECK!" Ummmm okay, sorrryyyyyyyyyy. I was randomly selected to go through the body scan machine this time instead of the basic metal detector, and apparently I had a suspicious crotch so I got a VERY thorough and lengthy patdown from a lady TSA agent. :oops: She asked beforehand if I wanted to go to a private room for screening, but somehow that sounded worse than just doing it then and there. I guess she determined my private region was not a threat, because she let me through.

FINALLY we were in the correct gate area with just enough time to refill our water bottles and line up to board the plane. It was evident that our flight would be FULL and of course everyone from every boarding group was blocking the path of everyone whose group had actually been called. I know this always happens, but all of the bad/annoying/rude behavior seemed much worse than before. Again, I blame revenge travel, plus people forgetting basic etiquette after not being around other humans for much of the last 18 months.

Luckily for us, we were in group A. We boarded quickly and found our seats in row 8. M had the window and I had the aisle. As soon as I sat down I was amazed at how comfortable the seat was. M and I are *ahem* not small people. We never have trouble actually fitting into a seat, but we tend to *ahem* fill it out. This seat had more legroom and seemed wider than most standard seats, and we were in the most basic seat type.

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Look at all that room!

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I have permission to post this one since we are masked!

Even when our row-mate arrived in the aisle seat, I never felt squished or like I needed to make myself more compact to avoid touching him.

Our plane had screens on the back of each seat so we had plenty of entertainment choices.

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Ehhhhh, no?

We took off on time or close and we were soon on our way!

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JUST Diet Pepsi

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M was very proud of her Aurora nails. The iridescent topper is called "Aurora Unicorn Skin."

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Snack time!

About half an hour before landing I put in my trusty EarPlanes. If I don't use these I get TERRIBLE pain in my ears during descent and sometimes it lasts for days. If you tend to experience ear pain on planes, I HIGHLY recommend EarPlanes!

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Oh yeah, and here's a small glimpse of my Snow White nails!

M watched something on her screen, but I entertained myself with the free onboard WiFi.

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U ok??

Soon we could tell we were above Florida!

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"Keep a healthy distance."

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Up next: DME Drammmmmmma
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
happy snowman GIF by Disney


Cheers to relaxing and resorting!
(My kind of vacation. 😁)
🥂

Yay! I can't wait to hear all about your trip! The beginning of your trip sounds like it was a nightmare! Hopefully it got better!
Spoiler: It did get better!

I’m here for the DRAMMA 😉
You've come to the right place!

Can't wait to hear about it
Welcome!

I'm in too!
Hooray!

I'm in and can't wait to hear more!!
Welcome!

I'm in for the full fun story!
Yay!

was there CHEESE in those hash browns?! egg & CHEESE sammich. CHEEZITS. This sounds like a good trip already!!

We leave in SIX days!! sorry to miss you again...
No cheese IN the hash browns, but there will be plenty more cheese to come! Have a great trip!

pop tv sarcasm GIF by Schitt's Creek's Creek

to read more of your report!
Hooray!

Oh The Drama GIF by MOODMAN

Here for it all!
Let's go!
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
I live in NJ and always take our flights out of Newark so I know exactly how chaotic this airport can be!!! It seems to have gotten a lot worse with COVID and the airport staff isn't exactly informative when it comes to what lines are for what purpose! :rolleyes: I never understand why people feel the need to stand on top of each other right away when the plane parks at the gate. If everyone just waits until it's time for their row to exit then it would be so orderly. Glad to hear that things got better when you reached Florida!
 
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bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1, cont.

Once we were off the plane we made our way to baggage claim. Can I just say that having to DRAG our own luggage to the DME is really a DRAG???

There was a sign near the DME check in desks that said the approximate wait for a bus would be 45 minutes. Would this turn out to be accurate?

The initial check in process was quick enough and we were sent here:

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There was a man in front of us in line, but he eventually bailed?? No idea where he went. 🤷‍♀️

Okay, here's the DRAMMA. While we were waiting, a guest managed to circumvent all of the barriers and go straight to the area by the doors where you actually go outside and get on the bus. If you are familiar with the setup you know it is not easy to get there without going the proper way. CMs told her she had to go to the check in desk and scan her MagicBand like everyone else and wait. She left, but then returned shortly with another woman. I couldn't hear exactly what they were saying but the CMs once again sent her away despite her arguing.

During all this our line was filling up. There was a big, multi-generational family behind us of about eight people, obviously from Long Island judging by their accents and NY sports team attire. Grandma was suuuuper tired and dad sent her to go sit on a bench so she could take a nap. One of the kids (maybe 5?) was getting really antsy from having to wait for so long for a bus. He kept asking his parents when the bus was coming, when they were going to Disney World, how long would it take for the bus, WHEN WOULD THEY GET ON THE BUS??? He was also crawling all over the floor and ducking under the barriers into other lines. Then he was hungry but didn't want the snacks his family had to offer. Whatever, he didn't bother us.

It really was sad to see the DME area in its current state. We are used to seeing a lot of busses constantly coming in and out, but we rarely saw more than two busses at a time while we waited. Every time a bus pulled in the kid behind us asked if it was OUR bus. Not gonna lie, we were thinking the same thing.

At some point the line skipping lady came back but with THREE others this time. Again I have no idea what anyone was saying but they were eventually taken to a bus. They had no luggage so I really don't know what was going on. 🤷‍♀️

Finally a CM came over to scan our bands and send us out to the bus! We hadn't been to Disney since the new boarding changes so we were surprised when we were told which seats to take. We didn't mind of course. Since we were at the front of the line we were assigned to the back of the bus.

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Our bus departed almost exactly 45 minutes after we first got on line to check in. Shortly after we departed I got the "room not ready" alert.

The entire way there the antsy kid who was behind us (who was now seated in front of us with grandma) was moving around in his seat, trying to take off his mask, and asking incessantly, "WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD???" Grandma made a valiant effort to get him to sit still. I can't blame him for being excited and squirrely, especially after sitting on a plane for a long time and then standing in the line for awhile.

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I think I took this because there was a roach on the floor? But it moved before I actually got the photo.

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Racing!

Pretty soon I got the "room ready" alert! Hooray!

We stopped at Saratoga Springs first. Little boy was not happy that we were stopping and he wasn't getting off.

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The next stop was Wilderness Lodge, and again little boy was NOT happy that this wasn't his stop. "WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD???" Grandma tried to explain that we were IN Disney World at that moment, but he was not having it.

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Monorail tracks! Getting so close!

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Grandma is pointing to the castle. "YAY, DISNEY WORLD!!!!"

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What a beautiful sight!!

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We're HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!

It turned out that the large LI family was staying at Bay Lake Tower, because it was the last stop and they didn't get off at the Contemporary.

When we got off the bus I handed the driver a tip. I'm not sure if this is related, but he got our bags from under the bus first even though others were waiting. :joyfull:

Up next: Eternal hallways and the search for an elevator!
 

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