Trip Report Well, I guess this is happening... July 12-28 Trip Report - Pre, Live, and Post

Hello and welcome to another Brifraz trip report. If you traveled with us before you know how it usually works - a brief pre-trip outline of plans, lots of live trip reporting, then after the trip some poorly completed scattered posts to try to wrap things up. Well, I'm doing a legit pre-trip this time. Why? Because there are some issues right now. Maybe you didn't realize that?

Which means I'm going to lead off this thread by opening it up to the debate. It's my thraed and I'm okay with that. A little debate will keep things lively - now I'm not talking about something like the thousand plus pages of debate on the mask/precautions/COVID threads, but a little discussion is totally fine and all opinions are welcome. Now, let me be clear I'm not asking I 'what you would do?' But, after reading things below, I welcome opinions on 'what do you think we would or should do.'

Obviously, you can't get into those kinds of discussions without knowing who we are and what we are all about. Here goes. Feel free to steal our identities if you need to.
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Our crew is a trio. Two nearly-50 year old adults and a 16 year old rising senior in High School. The two adults are high school teachers and have been since the 1990s. Obviously that means our only potential vacation times are summer and Christmas. Two teacher salaries have by no means made us rich, but we prioritize travel. We feel it 'broadens the mind' even if it is somewhere we've been before - always trying new experiences and interacting with new people (heck, we've driven across the USA 3 times and Canada once). You can see in my signature, we head to WDW often and try very hard to make each trip unique in different ways. We had trips in December (with extended family) and January (as leader of over 100 high school kids plus families) and were planning a summer totally away from the World. We had a vague plan to travel to Europe for a few weeks driving through multiple countries. It was going to be the last big family trip before our daughter goes to college. But we just couldn't afford it - there was just no way to make it work. Since we are DVC and have some family-owned timeshare, we can stay at WDW (or that area) for pretty much nothing more than our expected annual fees and we drive from Maryland, so transportation is pretty cheap. Airfare and hotels around Europe was cost prohibitive. Our daughter already has a senior Disney trip planned with friends for next summer and we were possibly doing a couple trip as well, so buying an AP for late this summer through early next summer is also an expense that we expected (although we didn't expect it until next year). Thus, some time in late January, we decided that we would do some smaller trips (including college visits) around the country and then spend a week at WDW.

Sadly, the smaller trips are pretty much all gone due to the current health crisis. But our WDW trip is not until mid-July, so it might still be happening. Health-wise we are all in pretty good shape. Sure, we've got the usual little things that tend to happen as you get close to 50, but nothing that makes our immune systems compromised and certainly nothing that puts us in a higher risk group. As a pair of high school teachers, we get exposed to pretty much every bug that shows up in our communities and in general we weather things pretty successfully. Our daughter currently works at the local grocery store which similarly puts her 'in harm's way' on a regular basis. While the concern over the coronavirus is certainly in our minds, we also are used to taking precautions and have very little innate fear of getting sick. We also have no problem wearing masks or taking other preventative measures if we are traveling.

Why would we even consider still heading to WDW? Well, just like everyone, the past couple months have been tough for us (obviously, far less difficult than for many). We have been relearning how to do our jobs, we've had to cancel 11 major shows/performances (we both teach performing arts), and we're facing the prospect of our jobs/roles changing dramatically in a few months. Our daughter has (again, obviously) missed out on a number of usual things for HS Juniors and is quite concerned about the prospect of her Senior year being very altered. The stress and uncertainty of these things makes the idea of ANY kind of escapism very appealing - even if it is limited and changed from our usual expectations.

There's a little background on us and some elements of where we are coming from with this (possible) trip. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that WDW will be relatively fully open by mid-July, but with significant precautionary measures in place. I'll be back soon with some of our thoughts on the trip and what we might or might not be planning and doing if it happens.
 

brifraz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I didn't know the GFC does breakfast food every day!! !This totally makes me want to book it for our fall trip! All of it, including the orange butter, looks amazing! My hubby wants the key lime pie.

They officially have a 'Blunch' menu available from early morning until 2pm. The dinner menu doesn't have the breakfast items. Also, the menus there (and everyone on site right now) are in a bit of flux as different things become or cease to be available. For example, the French Toast is not on the menu because they haven't been doing it... until today.
 

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
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We got back to the room around 7:30pm (boy, taking the bus is a heckuva lot quicker than driving and monorail/ferry). Right after we got to the room, the third heavy rain of the day hit so we waited out the heaviest stuff and then went up to Goods-to-Go (the OKW quick service) and picked up some dinner. And that brings us up to the present.
They officially have a 'Blunch' menu available from early morning until 2pm.


Okay, so you didn't end up at the Gurgling Suitcase but I'm glad the OKW QS was a good stop for you!

Fingers crossed BLUNCH is there in November! :) :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :p Thanks for the info!
 

brifraz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Happy Friday everyone! Can't really believe that we have now been here for almost two weeks. Tomorrow morning we pack up our one bedroom and move to a studio for our last three nights (4 days). Today was a whole lot of Hollywood Studios! Up this morning and doing laundry early and making some decent breakfast for everyone (eggs, potatoes) to get us ready for our day. We drove over to Studios and once again waited a little bit before the parking area opened at 9:30am. Today's temperature check lines were much longer than last time, but we still found ourselves in the park a little before 10am.

Instead of joining the throng of humanity headed for Galaxy's Edge or Mickey/Minnie's, we headed down Hollywood Blvd and started our day with the Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster. Did have to wait a few minutes in line for Rockin', but not very long (maybe 15 minutes) so once those were done, we headed back to Toy Story Land and did our best to get over 200,000 on Midway Mania (not so much for our daughter and I, but @MeffysMom did is as usual). And then over to Alien Swirling Saucers for the girls. Sorry I don't have any pictures before this one, but once the ride shots come from PhotoPass (or whatever they are calling it now) will eventually come along!
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After that, we just wandered through Galaxy's Edge for a little bit and then met up again with our friends for a quick drink at Baseline Taphouse and then a ride on the Millennium Falcon. Since there were 6 of us, we actually had a full ship working together! Sadly we didn't manage to get the 'bonus' feature of having Chewbacca with us (looked it up and tried to get it to happen, but failed) but did easily get two coaxium capsules and a pretty darn high score. As soon as that was over, we headed over to Rise of the Resistance as our BG had been called a bit earlier (group 20 at 11:40am for those keeping score).
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We got off Rise right at 1pm and that coincided nicely with our ADR at Sci-Fi Dine In. Haven't been there in a few years and forgot how much fun those trailers are. Had some fun with them (and enjoyed our burger, buffalo chicken salad, and chicken tenders).
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After lunch, we headed back to the room to relax, get some naps, and start getting packed to move tomorrow. For the first time in a few days, we had no storms during the afternoon! After naps, we had a mini-dinner and then headed back to Studios and got there right about 5pm. We headed right for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway and since I now had the SLR camera, got a couple 'action' shots during the ride. If you haven't ridden yet, I'm going to put them in a Spoiler block (click on Spoiler to check them out).

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Really is an amazing ride - visuals and effects are out of this world. Next up was a visit back in Toy Story Land where we rode Midway Mania again followed by Slinky Dog Dash. Did have to wait about 15 minutes for Mickey Minnie, but then walked onto Midway Mani and only had about 10 minutes wait for Slinky (most of which was due to cleaning the trains). It was still just about 7pm, so we headed to a couple with definitely no wait - Star Tours and Muppet Vision. This time on Star Tours we got a bit of an Ep 8/9 mix with visits to Crait and Endor (wreck of the Death Star), and Kylo Ren and Lando. And, our daughter was the rebel spy (always knew she had it in her!). Muppet Vision was it's always entertaining self, although I was a little sad that we missed the entire pre-show.

Next up was a return to Batuu for another ride on the Millennium Falcon. This time, with just the three of us, we had absolutely zero wait and managed to get two capsules PLUS an ending section where we were in an asteroid belt continuing to shoot down tie fighters - pretty cool! And a great sky when we exited the ride.
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Just wandered a bit through the Outpost until our Oga's ADR at 7:40pm (actually didn't get called in until almost 8pm). Got drinks with fun glasses tonight!
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brifraz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A very good start of a trip report with similar thoughts to ours. Only difference is we did not see any mask enforcement at Universal.

 

brifraz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Happy Saturday afternoon. We spent the morning at Animal Kingdom (until about 11:15am) and then headed to Disney Springs for some lunch. As you saw, I was exploring around the Tree of Life while the girls were doing this:
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Obviously, that is from their fourth ride of the morning. They did a fifth, but it wasn't until later in the day. In addition to the fun Tree of Life angles, I also found some friends in the paths around the Tree of Life. During my time back there, I didn't see another person - now, I know that AK isn't very crowded these days, but since most people don't even know about the paths around the Tree of Life (both in front and behind), it was a very private time to hang out with some kangaroos and Galapagos tortoises.
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Also had some fun taking pictures of different spots around the (now defunct) Rivers of Life area.
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Once we had met back up together, we once again joined up with the family that we have now shared a decent bit of the past week with. We headed to the Safari first and then a Flight of Passage on Pandora with them, got a group picture along the way, and ended with another ride on Everest. It was a... (sorry to do this) Wild Time!
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After that last ride on Everest, we decided to head out to get some lunch. But not without catching a couple of character boats cruising along the river.
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This afternoon we had planned to get back to OKW and grab some food and then get moved into our new room. Well, the Disney gods had something else in story for us. This morning, when I woke up, I checked the app to see if perhaps our new room number was already available and if we could maybe (even though it never happens) move things over early in the morning. Much to my shock, we had been upgraded for our last three nights from a Studio to a 1-BR... and it was the same 1-BR that we are already in. So... NO MOVE! How great is that?

With much more time free in our afternoon, we decided to head to Disney Springs to get lunch at the Boathouse. As always, excellent food and drinks, and incredibly quality service. The duck drink returned, as did a Moscow Mule and then the halibut special and their chopped salad.
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After lunch, we did just a little bit of shopping and then headed back to our room for a couple hours at the pool. That brings you right up to the moment! Tonight is low key with dinner at Olivia's and otherwise just relaxing in the room or maybe even back to the pool again.
 

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
Catching up on the last two days....

We got off Rise right at 1pm and that coincided nicely with our ADR at Sci-Fi Dine In. Haven't been there in a few years and forgot how much fun those trailers are. Had some fun with them (and enjoyed our burger, buffalo chicken salad, and chicken tenders).

The Sci-Fi is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in WDW! I think I appreciate it more when we don't go there every trip. We skipped it in 2017 and 2018 and we haven't been there since 2015, I think. We're looking forward to it in Nov!

Really is an amazing ride - visuals and effects are out of this world. Next up was a visit back in Toy Story Land where we rode Midway Mania again followed by Slinky Dog Dash. Did have to wait about 15 minutes for Mickey Minnie, but then walked onto Midway Mani and only had about 10 minutes wait for Slinky (most of which was due to cleaning the trains). It was still just about 7pm, so we headed to a couple with definitely no wait

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh, to enjoy TSL with short waits and a 15 minute wait on Mickey and Minnie ...Livin' the dream!

Next up was a return to Batuu for another ride on the Millennium Falcon. This time, with just the three of us, we had absolutely zero wait and managed to get two capsules PLUS an ending section where we were in an asteroid belt continuing to shoot down tie fighters - pretty cool! And a great sky when we exited the ride.

ZERO WAIT FOR MF??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :geek: :geek: :geek: :geek: :geek: :jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop: What a wonderful world! Yes, that sky is incredible! Your nighttime shots of Batuu are fantastic!

The girls are riding Everest for the 5th (or more) time in a row so I decided to get some Tree of Life pictures from different angles.

I wish I had the body chemistry that they have so my brain doesn't say "too many g forces" after ride 3 in a row! But congrats to them! I know you'd said earlier in the trip they wanted to break their previous Everest ride records! What is their official Everest ride count up to on this trip so far?

since most people don't even know about the paths around the Tree of Life (both in front and behind), it was a very private time to hang out with some kangaroos and Galapagos tortoises.

Two of my fave animals! I'm surprised more people don't hit up the walking path to see those incredible creatures! I love the pic of the kangaroo looking right at you and the other one laying on the ground. ;) Great shots!!!


Much to my shock, we had been upgraded for our last three nights from a Studio to a 1-BR... and it was the same 1-BR that we are already in. So... NO MOVE! How great is that?

Lucky you! No move is super special! Your trip report shows there is still plenty of Disney magic to be found on these unusual trips, if you know where to look!
 

brifraz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
First off, let's get caught up on last night. After 20+ trips to Old Key West and 16 years as DVC members here, we finally had a dinner at Olivia's. Reviews are always great and when we walk by it always looks like an atmosphere that we would love, but we've never actually eaten in the restaurant... until last night!

And I definitely feel bad that it took us this long. Dinner was great! Service was excellent and the food we got was delicious. It was a very late dinner (for us), so we were pretty famished by the time we were there, so I didn't get good food pictures. Just our drinks (of course) and the crab cake appetizer. Drinks were our usual Turtle Krawl (the local speciality) and Sunset Ale.
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For dinner, our daughter had the scallops in polenta (she loved it, and I really enjoyed one of the scallops as well), @MeffysMom had the prime rib (which she loved) and I had the salmon (fish of the day) which was excellent. Our daughter also got a strawberry milkshake - love that their milkshakes are milk, ice, and flavoring instead of just blended milk and ice cream - it much more 'old school' soda shop feeling. After dinner, we headed back to the room and were pretty quickly to sleep.

This morning, we got to sleep in a little bit, but then headed to the Riviera for the only character breakfast around, at Topolino's. We toured the new hotel last year, but this was our first time in Topolino's and we really enjoyed it.

First, the characters. In our current times, they don't visit the tables, but make their rounds around the restaurant and will pose for appropriate distance pictures if you want them. Their outfits match the 'story' that they are artists in Italy studying painting (Mickey), writing (Minnie), sculpting (Donald) and dance (Daisy). We rotated seats to get each of us with someone!
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And the food was excellent, too. From the fun bread plate to the quiche and the waffle, everything was very good!
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And after you dine, you get to go outside and enjoy the view from the terrace (pretty awesome view).
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Next up, the Skyliner to Epcot and some Epcot time and then fun with transportation and weather... but right now, it's time to head to dinner!
 

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
Dinner was great! Service was excellent and the food we got was delicious.

Olivia's seems like a real gem, being so tucked away at a resort that isn't on the monorail line or AKL. Glad the dinner was AMAZING for you all! :geek: :geek: :jawdrop:

this was our first time in Topolino's and we really enjoyed it.

First, the characters. In our current times, they don't visit the tables, but make their rounds around the restaurant and will pose for appropriate distance pictures if you want them.


Awww, character dining! Love how they are making it work in these crazy times and good to know that Topolino's has great food. Purely on the food aspect: GFCafe or Topolino's for brunch?
 

brifraz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
To continue with yesterday's adventures... we headed to Epcot at about 10:30am on the Skyliner. Which means, I have to post the obligatory pictures of Remy's - coming soon, but not soon enough.
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That's the main ride building with the entrance on the left of the photo.
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The Paris street looking toward the ride building all the way at the top right corner.

Once in Epcot, we headed right over to Norway to ride with Elsa and Anna. About a 5 minute wait. Didn't have the entire boat to ourselves, but with just us in the front row and another party in the back row, we were still more than adequately distanced. We also stopped in the shop for @MeffysMom to pick up the perfume there, which is her favorite. Then it was over to Mexico to check out the 2 Caballeros. If you didn't see the other discussion, Jose had a little trouble a few days ago and was face down at the end of the ride for a bit. He is gone now which makes it a little weird in the last scene when he is singing and talking and Panchito and Donald look over to an empty space. I felt it necessary to take a picture at the beginning of the ride because the pavilion was pretty much totally empty and almost silent.
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Sorry for the fuzziness, but it is quite dark and I adamantly refuse to use flash in that pavilion! When we walked through to get on the ride, we noted that there were about 12 CMs in the building and us and that was about it. Definitely doesn't feel right!

Since the line for Test Track was showing at 40 minutes and Soarin' at 10 minutes we headed to the Land pavilion next. And before heading to Soarin' we stopped to watch the Awesome Planet film. It really is quite beautiful footage and a huge improvement over the Lion King movie that had been in there (IMHO) - also, great to just sit and relax in nice AC for 15 minutes. Then over to Soarin' where we just walked right on to the pre-show video and then the ride. Next up was a short visit to the DVC lounge in the Imagination pavilion to get a drink and figure out our plan for the rest of the day.

Then we headed over to Canada for the movie there. We saw it right after it opened in January, but not all together and that was before we had binged Schitt's Creek, so our daughter got much more of a kick out of the narrators now (for me, Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy will always been SCTV but I willingly admit I may be a little older). Then a quick pit stop for a snack at the Shimmering Sips kiosk because our daughter has been really craving soft serve ice cream for pretty much the whole trip.
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Our original plan at this point was to head back to the room and then back to Epcot in the evening, but instead we opted to have another hour or so in Epcot and then dinner at Disney Springs. So, over to Test Track we went. The line now was at 10 minutes and really took even less than that. Then we did a loop of World Showcase. It started off as a slow, leisurely walk but as storms were coming, the pace increased greatly as we went. Before heading out at the International Gateway exit to get back to our car at Riviera, we made a pit stop at the ice cream shop in France. It always has an outrageous line when we are visiting, but not on this trip!
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And, yes, that is a macaron stuffed with ice cream.

Here's where the transportation adventure started! With storms coming in, the Skyliner was not running so the CMs there directed us to the Boardwalk bus stop to catch a bus labeled "Skyliner Route" which they said would be running at least every 15 minutes. So we speed walked over there, dodging the first few raindrops as we went. And then waited. 20 minutes went by with no Skyliner Route bus - they did have busses to each of the parks and two for Disney Springs, but none for us. By this point, there was a pretty large crowd gathered behind us and one other family in front of us. Finally a bus shows up for the Skyliner route, but it already has people on it AND a party with a wheelchair got to load first (they were about 5th in the line). The other family in front of us loaded and then the driver told us it was full, but that the next Skyliner bus was right behind him. Another 10 minutes go by with lots more park busses. By the third one for Studios, I ask the driver if there is any way to check the status of Skyliner busses and he says... seriously... "They are getting the Skyliner fixed and it will be running again in a few minutes." To which I said that I thought it was down for weather and likely wouldn't run until the storm was through and he said "No, it'll be up again soon." I asked if we should all (10+ families at the bus stop at this point) be headed back to the Skyliner (knowing full well that we were in the middle of storms and it wouldn't be running again for a while) and he said "No, stay here and they will get you." Now, I know bus drivers are notorious for their lack of accurate information, but this was bringing things to a whole new level of disinformation. I asked if he could check on when that transportation might arrive and he said "I work for Animal Kingdom, this is an Animal Kingdom bus, I'm just picking up people for Hollywood Studios as a favor to them" and finally he said that he would call in that people were waiting. I would be willing to bet my entire retirement savings and pension plan that he did not call anyone. About another 15 minutes went by and finally a Skyliner bus shows up. Since there is another bus (I think it was a Disney Springs one) already at the station, it stops a little before the station and the crowd begins to descend upon it. We aren't quite the type of folks willing to get into confrontations with other guests and since we were at the front of the line, there was no chance we would make it onto this bus. Luckily there was a woman from a family (about 4th in line) who had no problem with confrontation and yelled at everyone that there was a line and that those at the back of the line needed to back off and let those at the front get on first. Very glad for her intervention! 5 families got onto the bus at this point and we headed off to Pop Century first, then Caribbean Beach (why did they have to stop at a resort that isn't open yet???), and finally a little over an hour from when we had gotten to the bus stop we were at the Riviera. All in all, not a huge issue, but definitely some frustration with Disney about this scenario (and also with one particular bus driver who appeared to be just making stuff up and with some guests for not understanding how queues should work). No worries though - off we went back to Old Key West for a little down time before dinner.

And dinner was at another new place for us, Wine Bar George. We had taken a look over the small plates menu and thought it would be a good fit for us. And it definitely was. Didn't get pictures of all the food, but had to take a couple shots of the cheese on fire (Saganaki on Fire). And while the depth of field in the picture makes it look like that other table is pretty close, they really weren't and we were very impressed with the spacing out of groups (on the second floor where we were, at least).
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It was absolutely delicious. As were the mac and cheese bites, the frise salad, and another new thing for us, the Iberico Ham. Definitely had some trouble believing that it was pork and not roast beef! And here's the drinks from the evening!
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After dinner we did a little more wandering around Disney Springs, but did find that last night (Sunday), the mask compliance was down a little bit. Not quite alarmingly so, but definitely was making us a bit wary of things and causing our walking path to veer a bit erratically to avoid the folks who couldn't seem to follow the simple rules. It was after 9pm at this point, so we headed back to OKW and got a late night relaxation at the pool before getting to sleep.

Today, we are going to have one last trip to Hollywood Studios (morning and then evening with a break between to get packed) and then tomorrow we finish up at Magic Kingdom and then with the long drive home.
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
To continue with yesterday's adventures... we headed to Epcot at about 10:30am on the Skyliner. Which means, I have to post the obligatory pictures of Remy's - coming soon, but not soon enough.
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That's the main ride building with the entrance on the left of the photo.View attachment 486759
The Paris street looking toward the ride building all the way at the top right corner.

Once in Epcot, we headed right over to Norway to ride with Elsa and Anna. About a 5 minute wait. Didn't have the entire boat to ourselves, but with just us in the front row and another party in the back row, we were still more than adequately distanced. We also stopped in the shop for @MeffysMom to pick up the perfume there, which is her favorite. Then it was over to Mexico to check out the 2 Caballeros. If you didn't see the other discussion, Jose had a little trouble a few days ago and was face down at the end of the ride for a bit. He is gone now which makes it a little weird in the last scene when he is singing and talking and Panchito and Donald look over to an empty space. I felt it necessary to take a picture at the beginning of the ride because the pavilion was pretty much totally empty and almost silent.
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Sorry for the fuzziness, but it is quite dark and I adamantly refuse to use flash in that pavilion! When we walked through to get on the ride, we noted that there were about 12 CMs in the building and us and that was about it. Definitely doesn't feel right!

Since the line for Test Track was showing at 40 minutes and Soarin' at 10 minutes we headed to the Land pavilion next. And before heading to Soarin' we stopped to watch the Awesome Planet film. It really is quite beautiful footage and a huge improvement over the Lion King movie that had been in there (IMHO) - also, great to just sit and relax in nice AC for 15 minutes. Then over to Soarin' where we just walked right on to the pre-show video and then the ride. Next up was a short visit to the DVC lounge in the Imagination pavilion to get a drink and figure out our plan for the rest of the day.

Then we headed over to Canada for the movie there. We saw it right after it opened in January, but not all together and that was before we had binged Schitt's Creek, so our daughter got much more of a kick out of the narrators now (for me, Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy will always been SCTV but I willingly admit I may be a little older). Then a quick pit stop for a snack at the Shimmering Sips kiosk because our daughter has been really craving soft serve ice cream for pretty much the whole trip.
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Our original plan at this point was to head back to the room and then back to Epcot in the evening, but instead we opted to have another hour or so in Epcot and then dinner at Disney Springs. So, over to Test Track we went. The line now was at 10 minutes and really took even less than that. Then we did a loop of World Showcase. It started off as a slow, leisurely walk but as storms were coming, the pace increased greatly as we went. Before heading out at the International Gateway exit to get back to our car at Riviera, we made a pit stop at the ice cream shop in France. It always has an outrageous line when we are visiting, but not on this trip!
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And, yes, that is a macaron stuffed with ice cream.

Here's where the transportation adventure started! With storms coming in, the Skyliner was not running so the CMs there directed us to the Boardwalk bus stop to catch a bus labeled "Skyliner Route" which they said would be running at least every 15 minutes. So we speed walked over there, dodging the first few raindrops as we went. And then waited. 20 minutes went by with no Skyliner Route bus - they did have busses to each of the parks and two for Disney Springs, but none for us. By this point, there was a pretty large crowd gathered behind us and one other family in front of us. Finally a bus shows up for the Skyliner route, but it already has people on it AND a party with a wheelchair got to load first (they were about 5th in the line). The other family in front of us loaded and then the driver told us it was full, but that the next Skyliner bus was right behind him. Another 10 minutes go by with lots more park busses. By the third one for Studios, I ask the driver if there is any way to check the status of Skyliner busses and he says... seriously... "They are getting the Skyliner fixed and it will be running again in a few minutes." To which I said that I thought it was down for weather and likely wouldn't run until the storm was through and he said "No, it'll be up again soon." I asked if we should all (10+ families at the bus stop at this point) be headed back to the Skyliner (knowing full well that we were in the middle of storms and it wouldn't be running again for a while) and he said "No, stay here and they will get you." Now, I know bus drivers are notorious for their lack of accurate information, but this was bringing things to a whole new level of disinformation. I asked if he could check on when that transportation might arrive and he said "I work for Animal Kingdom, this is an Animal Kingdom bus, I'm just picking up people for Hollywood Studios as a favor to them" and finally he said that he would call in that people were waiting. I would be willing to bet my entire retirement savings and pension plan that he did not call anyone. About another 15 minutes went by and finally a Skyliner bus shows up. Since there is another bus (I think it was a Disney Springs one) already at the station, it stops a little before the station and the crowd begins to descend upon it. We aren't quite the type of folks willing to get into confrontations with other guests and since we were at the front of the line, there was no chance we would make it onto this bus. Luckily there was a woman from a family (about 4th in line) who had no problem with confrontation and yelled at everyone that there was a line and that those at the back of the line needed to back off and let those at the front get on first. Very glad for her intervention! 5 families got onto the bus at this point and we headed off to Pop Century first, then Caribbean Beach (why did they have to stop at a resort that isn't open yet???), and finally a little over an hour from when we had gotten to the bus stop we were at the Riviera. All in all, not a huge issue, but definitely some frustration with Disney about this scenario (and also with one particular bus driver who appeared to be just making stuff up and with some guests for not understanding how queues should work). No worries though - off we went back to Old Key West for a little down time before dinner.

And dinner was at another new place for us, Wine Bar George. We had taken a look over the small plates menu and thought it would be a good fit for us. And it definitely was. Didn't get pictures of all the food, but had to take a couple shots of the cheese on fire (Saganaki on Fire). And while the depth of field in the picture makes it look like that other table is pretty close, they really weren't and we were very impressed with the spacing out of groups (on the second floor where we were, at least).
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It was absolutely delicious. As were the mac and cheese bites, the frise salad, and another new thing for us, the Iberico Ham. Definitely had some trouble believing that it was pork and not roast beef! And here's the drinks from the evening!
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After dinner we did a little more wandering around Disney Springs, but did find that last night (Sunday), the mask compliance was down a little bit. Not quite alarmingly so, but definitely was making us a bit wary of things and causing our walking path to veer a bit erratically to avoid the folks who couldn't seem to follow the simple rules. It was after 9pm at this point, so we headed back to OKW and got a late night relaxation at the pool before getting to sleep.

Today, we are going to have one last trip to Hollywood Studios (morning and then evening with a break between to get packed) and then tomorrow we finish up at Magic Kingdom and then with the long drive home.
What a hassle with the busses! At least you got to have a good beer at the end of the day. I really like the left hand brewing milk stout.
 
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