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Old 10-25-2020, 02:13 PM   #1
CathyS
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Default Pandemic get-away

Like everyone else, our plans changed multiple times with the pandemic. We decided we were comfortable going to Disney, but not with a 3yo (or almost 3yo). We were also not comfortable taking her on a plane. So driving was necessary. Then, DS has virtual school which of course can happen anywhere, but I didnít think the car was a good place. So...

We drove to my sisterís house much farther south than Orlando on a Saturday. Got the kids settled into a routine, then we left the kids there and drove to Disney on Wednesday for a 3-day adult only trip. We had a lake view studio room at VGF.

Wednesday: AK. We started driving at like 5am to get there by 8:30. I think we were in the line to go park by 8:10. I think they started letting people park at 8:30. We had a great day. We rode FoP and EE twice. We also did the Safari, dinosaur, walked the gorilla trail, and had a good meal at satuíli. There was no wait at Starbucks. We hit up a bunch of the picture spots. We almost always walked up and asked, can you take our picture? Because they were all standing around bored. Almost always someone else queued up after us. We didnít quite make it to 5pm, but it was already a long day. Plus we had dinner at 7:30 at Narcoosseeís which was excellent. Iíve read some ďmehĒ reviews of this restaurant. What is up with that? The view was great. The food was great. Service happened to be great too.

Thursday was our HS day. Since the park is open so late, we had time for breakfast at the GF cafe. We both decided that the steak and eggs were the best idea. It was nice to get a good breakfast that wasnít 90% carbs! And DH was quite charmed by the tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce. We took them with. (Not his favorite, but better than nothing).

HS was the low point of our trip. We were on the first bus from VGF, but we didnít get into the park until after the queue for MMRR was full. Then SD broke down after we had waited at least 20 minutes. While waiting, our phones were so slow that by the time we got through the pick your party, rotr was full. Then I had picked brown derby for lunch because I Knew they had an out door area, (in case indoor dining was making me nervous, it didnít) but DH didnít look at the menu beforehand... he wasnít a fan and the service was OK. We did manage to ride slinky dog, TSM twice, TOT, aerosmith, MMRR, and The falcon. But we were in the sun in a line all day. We went back to the hotel and ordered from gasparillaís. Since our phones are old, mobile order didnít work. We tried. DH waited for the food and drank as much Diet Coke as the CM would pour him. Bringing the food back to our room was very comfortable.

Friday was our last day and we went to MK. We packed up all of our stuff to take to the car, and I discovered that I could mobile order from our room while connected to the WiFi. Score! I think I said I was there and waiting when I left the villa, and just as I was getting over there it said it was ready. Our plan was to take the monorail to the contemporary and walk, because the monorails were not supposed to stop at MK before 8:30. We were told that our monorail was actually going to stop at MK the next time around for 8am, but .... weíve changed plans on the fly before sometimes with disastrous results. So we stayed the course. There was quite the line of people all socially distanced on the walkway over! But we were still among the first into the park, and possibly in the first 100 to ride 7dmt. Since they started operating it so early, and we werenít sure what else was running, we got in line a second time. We were still off by about 9:05! We rode Pooh, HM, pirates, BTM (twice?) Splash and space mtns, did some shopping, lots of pictures, and got in line for 7 dwarves at 7:50pm to cap out the night. We tried to catch the calvalcades, but we missed the villains when we were in one of the stores. I wanted to hang out to try to catch them at the end of the night, but someone thought that might be waisting time. Oh well.

We had to drive back to my sisterís house at this point, but we were still back by 12:30 or so. I have other thoughts about the experience too... but it was too much writing a post with both.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:40 PM   #2
CathyS
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We decided on our way home from Florida, since we would drive through Orlando anyway... we decided to spend a night with the kids at kidani village. We got a 10:55am reservation at Topolinoís, we rode the skyliner because we could, we went over to check out the open house at BLT, and then we headed to the resort.

The breakfast was great. Highly recommend. The characters hammed it up, the food was great. While I donít feel like they forgot about us this time, service was super slow. Donít go there hoping to get out fast!

My intention was that weíd go swimming before dinner, but someone fell asleep in the car and DH thought it best not to wake him. It turns out the 3yo is very afraid of elevators. I made the rookie mistake of not paying attention to where we were parked vs what elevator vs what the sign said about where to go... the text said 5th floor, so up we went. Oops. We also had our first experience with the magic bands not working. Fortunately the unlock the door with the phone worked! My phone is not totally useless. It was going to ruin my day if I had to get back on the elevator with the 3yo one more time with all the stuff I carried up.

I can definitely see the appeal to that resort. The theming is great. We saw so many animals. We stopped a few times to look at the animals during the mile long walk to our room. Iím pretty sure you can park healenabearís new mini in that bathroom!

We then had dinner at Sanaa. That was an excellent meal. We had the bread service, DH had the briyani, I had the ďpick twoĒ with the seafood curry and coconut veggies. Itís been on my list to check out for awhile, and weíd be happy to go back.

DS has told me that he was not amused that we didnít go to the parks. My kids are also out of practice eating at a restaurant. At least there was no getting out of the chair and dashing off. DD is too big for those smaller high chairs.

They wore their masks like champs. We have been working up to it though.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:41 PM   #3
CathyS
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Other weird things: Starbucks. At AK at lunch time it was a walk up. At the other parks it was only half open and I probably had my drink in half the time that it usually took. We were warned about the traffic getting in and off I-4. There was no traffic.

I really missed the preshows.

DH really liked VGF. The food options: we ate at Narcosseeís and breakfast at The cafe and really enjoyed both. Gasparillas is quite acceptable. The transportation worked really well. Well, except for HS but I think thatís a HS problem. The room was nice. The view was great. The couch was comfy. (To sit on..).

The mask wearing was not a problem for us. In the morning our face would get sweaty. But then it was fine. I wear the gap ones, the fitted ones allow for a filter which we used. DH had a set of masks, he wore darth Vader, boba fett, and dead pool. If you wear a black mask, with a black hat and the light is just so... you canít see the eyes in the pictures. Oops.

Like others, there was one line with one party that infringed on the social distancing space. It was better after I said something. Also a little girl was eating popcorn on the bus home. I thought that wasnít a good idea, but It didnít bother me enough to do something. We were wearing our masks with the filters so .... Otherwise we also would grab a drink of water while in line. (While stopped and appropriately distanced!)

This is super disjointed. Sorry about that.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:22 PM   #4
Simba's Mom
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You mentioned that you stayed at VGF. How was it? Any recommendations or room requests? I have my first stay in a 1 BR in a few months and will be calling for room requests tomorrow. Any other GF tips?
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:23 PM   #5
Brian5581
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Nice summary, thanks for taking the time to share. Glad you enjoyed your getaway.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:53 PM   #6
ajc
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Boy you packed a lot in your trip. DH & I just returned from an 8 day split stay :CCV - BWV ( my longest ever trip to WDW) and we were so lazy ( sleep to 8 or 9 and in bed by 10 pm). I really didn't miss the park hopping like I thought I would.
We were at CCV and after checkout we went to VGF to shop at the Basin so I bought soaps for my coworkers and family. Very cute options and 30% off was a plus!
Pin trading was very limited but I had fun with the penny presses. I am making dangle earrings out of them with lobster claw clasps so i can change them out.
Glad you got some time with your DH.
Covid has everyone so tightly packed and wrapped you need to be able to unwind.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:56 AM   #7
Jedimom3
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Thanks for sharing the TR! Good for you for getting away for a break .We've not done a kids free WDW trip yet....Universal once, but not Disney yet, but I see that on the horizon.....
I agree w HS.....it's so different with the BGstress, heat, and all rides having crazy lines. I"m hoping in Nov we get on MMRR at some point.and DH and kids LOVE all the rides there.
Good to read all the positives about food at GF. Ha, I had to laugh about out of practice in restaurants. I get that. There was a phase where Disney was the only place I felt good bringing the kids out. There were actually louder/crazier kids than mine in there. Funny too, because the wild child is complete opposite now, would never know it's the same kid .
Our last Kidani stay was also WAY out in BFE. last room in the second to last building. CRAZY long walk from the bus stop.
Thanks again for sharing the fun!
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:12 AM   #8
CathyS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba's Mom View Post
You mentioned that you stayed at VGF. How was it? Any recommendations or room requests? I have my first stay in a 1 BR in a few months and will be calling for room requests tomorrow. Any other GF tips?
Nope! Weíve only stayed there this time. Youíll have to ask a veteran

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian5581 View Post
Nice summary, thanks for taking the time to share. Glad you enjoyed your getaway.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajc View Post
Boy you packed a lot in your trip. DH & I just returned from an 8 day split stay :CCV - BWV ( my longest ever trip to WDW) and we were so lazy ( sleep to 8 or 9 and in bed by 10 pm). I really didn't miss the park hopping like I thought I would.
We were at CCV and after checkout we went to VGF to shop at the Basin so I bought soaps for my coworkers and family. Very cute options and 30% off was a plus!
Pin trading was very limited but I had fun with the penny presses. I am making dangle earrings out of them with lobster claw clasps so i can change them out.
Glad you got some time with your DH.
Covid has everyone so tightly packed and wrapped you need to be able to unwind.
I love the shops at GF... I havenít checked out the basin though. Is it strong smelling? We canít go into bath and body works... instant headache.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedimom3 View Post
Thanks for sharing the TR! Good for you for getting away for a break .We've not done a kids free WDW trip yet....Universal once, but not Disney yet, but I see that on the horizon.....
I agree w HS.....it's so different with the BGstress, heat, and all rides having crazy lines. I"m hoping in Nov we get on MMRR at some point.and DH and kids LOVE all the rides there.
Good to read all the positives about food at GF. Ha, I had to laugh about out of practice in restaurants. I get that. There was a phase where Disney was the only place I felt good bringing the kids out. There were actually louder/crazier kids than mine in there. Funny too, because the wild child is complete opposite now, would never know it's the same kid .
Our last Kidani stay was also WAY out in BFE. last room in the second to last building. CRAZY long walk from the bus stop.
Thanks again for sharing the fun!
Thank you! The thing to remember is everyone will survive the separation. For us, this was a great normalizing experience during Covid. Maybe life can resume, carefully, with masks on.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:38 AM   #9
ajc
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Basin smells of soap and my DH cant walk down the detergent aisle in the grocery store or visit a candle shop without complaining. He happily joined in the shopping experience.
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:13 PM   #10
disneyteach
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Thanks for sharing! So nice you got to get away!
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