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Old 09-18-2020, 02:50 PM   #1
brp
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Default A Very Different Kind of Trip...Report

We just got back from our standard-length 4-day, 5-night trip to the Boardwalk. Of course, as anyone who's been there recently, or read here, knows, this was not the usual trip by any means. I'm going to highlight the more interesting facets of this trip.

Travel Experience

Normally this is not an interesting aspect, but it is these days. We had cancelled paid flights and booked using miles, pocketing the cash. First class award tickets for $11.20 each plus some miles. We stayed at an airport hotel (free night award that we had to use), arrived and went through very short Pre-Check security to walk to our gate just as boarding began, and right onto the plane. Don't usually cut it that close, but with no lounges open...

Airports had like 100% compliance, even DFW, despite things that I've read about mask rebellion in Texas. Rality trumps media. Planes were great. People had masks except when eating. I felt very safe.

Rental car made things easy. And we had met up with mrs. brp's brother at DFW for for final leg and all went in together.

Resort

Well, didn't get the 5th floor Boardwalk View we wanted, but two adjoining 4th-floow studios were nice. Resort uncrowded and clean. Taking trash every day was not necessary, but the presence in the room was very lowkey, so appreciated. A little too much taken away/replaced on the 4th day, but that's just us. Overall, very well handled. Again, felt very safe. The few times we went to the quiet pool in the morning no one else was there.

Boardwalk

Much was closed, and the Boardwalk was very empty for the most part. seemed ghost-townish at times. We expect that at 6:30AM when running, but not like 10AM.




Cheers.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:01 PM   #2
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Disney Springs

We went twice, once for ADR at CityWorks, once for Happy Hour at STK. Parking in Orange was easy. Mask adherence was great. CityWorks was very nice. We caught the tail end of their HH and he Kungpao cauliflower was great. Plus $2 off local drafts. Good beer.

HH at STK was fabulous, as usual.

Parks

Of course, the parks were the big difference. One park per day is a no-go for us, but I can live with it for now. Lines looked long, and posted times could be long, but real times were routinely about half what was posted. With the lines spaced, a long line just wasn't (more on this in the Coronavirus section).

One lowlight was failing RoTR queue twice on the same day. Their implementation is inferior to, for example, Ticketmaster for a virtual queue. For TM, one can join the queue waiting room maybe 10-15 minutes early and then get a random spot when the queue opens. Don't have to be poking buttons at the exact second. Less impact on people and the system, same result. Likely still would have failed, but the system could be better

Highlight- on our leaving day we went to Epcot. Posted opening was 11AM, but every park had opened at least 30 minutes early other days. So we were in-line at IG about 10:15. Let in about 10:25ish. maybe 20 folks ahead of us. Many went to Frozen. We went for test Track and we walk fast. We were first in line and first to ride that day. Minor highlight.

Overall, parks seemed reasonably full, but lines were short. Even FoP was maybe 25 minutes and we got to see all the things in the Standby line that we had missed by always having FP.

We go back in 3 weeks, so I know what I expect to find in the parks. Again, we can deal for one more trip with the current scenario.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:13 PM   #3
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Customer Service

Back when we were planning all of this, we were going to parks 5 days (arrival was supposed to be at 3:30PM, and Epcot is open until 10). Also, mrs. brp's brother got a non-Hopper, but I said he needed a Hopper for F&W. UT, where he'd gotten the ticket, were very accommodating, gave a refund and sold the new ticket.

Fast forward to the Year of Suck. Flight coming in at 6:30, Epcot closes at 7. No Hopping. UT says to talk to WDW CS. Well, this was great! They were able to refund both the Hopping and the 5th day. To the tune of about $129 back on his ticket. And fast. Kudos to WDW CS here.

Coronavirus

Well, this is the big one. Overall impression: Great changes, great enforcement, even better compliance. Masks everywhere. Even on the Boardwalk in many cases when people were well-distanced. We typically do not wear masks when out walking and distanced, but I did some of the time when on the Boardwalk (and not others).

In parks, it really looked like 100% (except for one guy who was being escorted out by security as he yelled about Jesus and A Bug's Life in the context of his (and all of our) freedoms to not wear masks). I was having a beer at the taproom at DHS, so I was just amused.

Line spacing was well done, well-marked and people followed. Even the few cases where we were out beyond the stripes people distanced. naturally, it seemed. So a long line just wasn't. A 55-minute posted at RnR, for example, had us on in 25 minutes. So, I just didn't look at lines in the same way. Overall, very impressed with Disney and my fellow guests.

The one place I saw some lack of rigor was with some construction contractors. They are building a large very-much-glass building on Epcot Resorts Blvc. across from Swan. When running on the sidewalk in the early morning, the construction folks were coming to the site. On the sidewalk. In groups. Maybe 15-20% with masks. My second day there I did see some donning masks as they crossed the street to the construction site, so maybe there was better enforcement there. But this was really the only large exception I saw.

Cheers.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:14 PM   #4
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Thank you for sharing. i"m going back Oct 30 weekend and will be first stay at Boarwalk. Looking forward to it.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:29 PM   #5
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It's funny you say that about seeing things in the standby line that you normally wouldn't. I said the same thing to my son when we were there. I was taking pictures in lines like Peter Pan because I honestly don't remember ever going through standby unless it was ages ago when I was a child and just don't remember.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the trip report and photos. We will be doing our annual F&W trip in early November at BWV so your experiences are very relevant.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for the notes. We were there 3 weeks ago and I'll say that your observations mimic ours, with the exception of anything out and about at 6:30 am. (I applaud your efforts to stay in shape.)
Looking forward to going back in 2 weeks and spending a little more time there.

Also, thanks for the pictures! I truly love a trip report with pictures!
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:29 PM   #8
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Speaking of pictures, this is apropos of nothing, but very cool. There's a fountain near the BWV and there is often a bird standing on it when it is not on. This one was posing.



Cheers.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:12 PM   #9
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Thanks for your insights. Sounds like a good trip even with the craziness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brp View Post
Much was closed, and the Boardwalk was very empty for the most part. seemed ghost-townish at times. We expect that at 6:30AM when running, but not like 10AM.
So as a runner- I have to ask-did you wear a mask on your jog on the boardwalk? I'm not anti-mask but I don't wear masks on my runs (although in fairness there may be less chance to socially distance around the lake). I usually go for early morning runs on the boardwalk. If I have to wear a mask, I may opt to skip my boardwalk runs next trip.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmark View Post

So as a runner- I have to ask-did you wear a mask on your jog on the boardwalk? I'm not anti-mask but I don't wear masks on my runs (although in fairness there may be less chance to socially distance around the lake). I usually go for early morning runs on the boardwalk. If I have to wear a mask, I may opt to skip my boardwalk runs next trip.
No mask while exercising. Part of the run is on Epcot Resorts Blvd. and there are no people generally (the aforementioned construction workers this trip), the canal and Boardwalk have a few, but very few.

In California, masks are not required during exercise provided that one can physically distance. That guideline makes sense and that's the one I follow.

Cheers.
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