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Old 10-18-2020, 06:24 PM   #1
jtdancy
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Default Trip Report: Fun, but different

Returned today (10/18) from a Fall Break trip with DW and DD. I'll try to keep this brief and add more later, after I've had time to process the trip a little more.

Who: Me and wife (late 30's) and our 7 year old twin daughters.

When/Where: Flew in from Charlotte late Wednesday night (10/14) for one night at Pop, then three nights at the Poly. We visited HS on Thursday (10/15); MK on Friday (10/16); AK on Saturday (10/17).

Background: This is me and the wife's first time back since the marathon this January. We've averaged two to three trips per year for the past five years or so. Originally, I had booked our rooms last year with the thought of daddy-daughter Fall Break trip where I could take the girls to their first Not So Scary and enjoy letting them experience Galaxy's Edge for the first time. Obviously things changed with Covid, and I thought about cancelling the trip up until this summer. When the parks re-opened and everything went well, I decided to keep the trip, and my wife decided to come also. I'm generally more excited about upcoming trips than her, but she made the comment before we left that she was really looking forward to going and getting away from everything.

Overall: We had a good trip, not a great trip. Disney is doing the best they can, but with crowds that increase each week and only Standby offered it makes touring difficult. This may not apply to someone who takes a more laissez faire approach (and we were definitely planning on a more chilled out trip) - but with children or for people who like to "do" a lot of things it is not an ideal time.

I took for granted just how many things are not currently offered and how that affects the parks. Example - on our day in AK, Expedition Everest was down the entire day and Kali Rapids also went down for a while. That left the number of "rides" available at some times as only five - Navi, FoP, Safari, Dinosaur and Triceratops Spin (I guess you can also count A Bug's Life, maybe?). No Lion King show, no Nemo show, no entertainment or other "relief valves" for the crowds. This translated into super long lines at all attractions (but we did really enjoy the bird show and the Animation Experience at Rafiki's).

Highs: MMRR first ride - we loved it! Got a good boarding group for RotR. Good dinner at Kona. Poly pool was not super crowded. The Animation Experience at Rafiki's was great and we all enjoyed learning to draw Dumbo.

Lows: Some unfortunate ride downtimes and overall long lines. The cast members were great, but it was also sad thinking about all the people not working as so many restaurants and attractions/experiences remain closed.

I'm still glad we went on our trip, but it's made me think harder about when will be our next trip. More to come ...
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:46 PM   #2
Jedimom3
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Originally Posted by jtdancy View Post
Returned today (10/18) from a Fall Break trip with DW and DD. I'll try to keep this brief and add more later, after I've had time to process the trip a little more.

Who: Me and wife (late 30's) and our 7 year old twin daughters.

When/Where: Flew in from Charlotte late Wednesday night (10/14) for one night at Pop, then three nights at the Poly. We visited HS on Thursday (10/15); MK on Friday (10/16); AK on Saturday (10/17).

Background: This is me and the wife's first time back since the marathon this January. We've averaged two to three trips per year for the past five years or so. Originally, I had booked our rooms last year with the thought of daddy-daughter Fall Break trip where I could take the girls to their first Not So Scary and enjoy letting them experience Galaxy's Edge for the first time. Obviously things changed with Covid, and I thought about cancelling the trip up until this summer. When the parks re-opened and everything went well, I decided to keep the trip, and my wife decided to come also. I'm generally more excited about upcoming trips than her, but she made the comment before we left that she was really looking forward to going and getting away from everything.

Overall: We had a good trip, not a great trip. Disney is doing the best they can, but with crowds that increase each week and only Standby offered it makes touring difficult. This may not apply to someone who takes a more laissez faire approach (and we were definitely planning on a more chilled out trip) - but with children or for people who like to "do" a lot of things it is not an ideal time.

I took for granted just how many things are not currently offered and how that affects the parks. Example - on our day in AK, Expedition Everest was down the entire day and Kali Rapids also went down for a while. That left the number of "rides" available at some times as only five - Navi, FoP, Safari, Dinosaur and Triceratops Spin (I guess you can also count A Bug's Life, maybe?). No Lion King show, no Nemo show, no entertainment or other "relief valves" for the crowds. This translated into super long lines at all attractions (but we did really enjoy the bird show and the Animation Experience at Rafiki's).

Highs: MMRR first ride - we loved it! Got a good boarding group for RotR. Good dinner at Kona. Poly pool was not super crowded. The Animation Experience at Rafiki's was great and we all enjoyed learning to draw Dumbo.

Lows: Some unfortunate ride downtimes and overall long lines. The cast members were great, but it was also sad thinking about all the people not working as so many restaurants and attractions/experiences remain closed.

I'm still glad we went on our trip, but it's made me think harder about when will be our next trip. More to come ...
Thanks for sharing the TR/experiences. Sounds like y'all did have some great 'highs', glad y'all got on RotR!!!! also I'd forgotten about the drawing class at AK, might have to look at that in Nov. We missed MMRR, so hope to do that in Nov too.
Yeah, with limited rides, if/when 1 or 2 go down, that can really make the other few crazy busy. We never did any shows much at all, but appreciated them taking some of the crowds away.

Thanks again for sharing the fun!
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing, glad you were able to enjoy. Definitely way different without the shows.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:08 AM   #4
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Glad you were able to make it!! Thank you for sharing!!
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:48 AM   #5
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Some other observations...

** This is not a debate about mask efficacy or anything of that nature **

I work in surgery and am used to wearing a mask all day. However, I under estimated how unpleasant it would to wear a mask all day, standing in long, hot queues. We did not experience any issues with guests outright refusing to wear masks, but in literally every queue we were in, people would drop their masks for varying amounts of time. Most often it was people who were hot and/or hungry and taking a quick drink or bite of snacks. People would also do this in various areas of the parks when they were out of line. Again, this is not a condemnation on anyone. CMs reminded people to cover their nose with their mask and people would comply. It did not make our family feel unsafe or anything, and obviously you did not have to wear a mask while swimming at the pool.

Queues - Obviously the attractions were not designed with social distanced queues in mind. At one point we were in line past the Lion King theater for the Safari. Lines did move quickly though, and Disney did a good job routing things to get as much shade as possible. Even though the parks were not truly "crowded," when the majority of people are in long queues it makes pathways feel crowded. It is what it is.

The monorail is still open at Poly (until Nov 2nd I think) - and it was nice going through screening and taking a short trip to MK. Riding back at park close we had to wait for an extra train, due to the reduced capacity, but was a pretty short wait.

First time seeing the new paint scheme of Cinderella Castle in person. You either like it or you don't. We all thought it was an improvement.

Character cavalcades were cool. We saw several at MK - when the villains came by (Gaston, Maleficent and a few others) Gaston was riding a horse who was marching to the beat of the music. A nice touch. They also were playing the Boo To You music from MNSSHP.

Finally, one thing I noticed was that very rarely you would see a family go through the Fastpass line (I'm guessing they were doing rider swap?) and it was like the old days when FP+ was new - everyone in Standby would murmur "I thought they weren't doing FP+" or something like that. We also encountered a few Plaids doing VIP tours, so if you have the $$$ that is still an option.

I'll continue to be interested in how WDW evolves with the pandemic and increasing capacity and all that goes with that. For us, we may wait to return until park hopping returns or more things re-open to help disperse crowds a bit.

Thanks for tuning in.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtdancy View Post
Some other observations...

** This is not a debate about mask efficacy or anything of that nature **

I work in surgery and am used to wearing a mask all day. However, I under estimated how unpleasant it would to wear a mask all day, standing in long, hot queues. We did not experience any issues with guests outright refusing to wear masks, but in literally every queue we were in, people would drop their masks for varying amounts of time. Most often it was people who were hot and/or hungry and taking a quick drink or bite of snacks. People would also do this in various areas of the parks when they were out of line. Again, this is not a condemnation on anyone. CMs reminded people to cover their nose with their mask and people would comply. It did not make our family feel unsafe or anything, and obviously you did not have to wear a mask while swimming at the pool.

Queues - Obviously the attractions were not designed with social distanced queues in mind. At one point we were in line past the Lion King theater for the Safari. Lines did move quickly though, and Disney did a good job routing things to get as much shade as possible. Even though the parks were not truly "crowded," when the majority of people are in long queues it makes pathways feel crowded. It is what it is.

The monorail is still open at Poly (until Nov 2nd I think) - and it was nice going through screening and taking a short trip to MK. Riding back at park close we had to wait for an extra train, due to the reduced capacity, but was a pretty short wait.

First time seeing the new paint scheme of Cinderella Castle in person. You either like it or you don't. We all thought it was an improvement.

Character cavalcades were cool. We saw several at MK - when the villains came by (Gaston, Maleficent and a few others) Gaston was riding a horse who was marching to the beat of the music. A nice touch. They also were playing the Boo To You music from MNSSHP.

Finally, one thing I noticed was that very rarely you would see a family go through the Fastpass line (I'm guessing they were doing rider swap?) and it was like the old days when FP+ was new - everyone in Standby would murmur "I thought they weren't doing FP+" or something like that. We also encountered a few Plaids doing VIP tours, so if you have the $$$ that is still an option.

I'll continue to be interested in how WDW evolves with the pandemic and increasing capacity and all that goes with that. For us, we may wait to return until park hopping returns or more things re-open to help disperse crowds a bit.

Thanks for tuning in.
Perfect observations. Especially the lines and masks. We were there 2 weeks ago and the heat/humidity was awful. We too noticed various degrees of not wearing masks, but most violations were out of CM's sight in line. Again not fully off but more nose or chin showing. Only 1 time did I have to remind a family to stay on their line. And after that they stayed 2 lines back, haha.

As for FP line, I too was like WTF, only to find out that was for the DAS card, and they have a specific time frame to return to ride.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtdancy View Post

Finally, one thing I noticed was that very rarely you would see a family go through the Fastpass line (I'm guessing they were doing rider swap?) and it was like the old days when FP+ was new - everyone in Standby would murmur "I thought they weren't doing FP+" or something like that. We also encountered a few Plaids doing VIP tours, so if you have the $$$ that is still an option.

Thanks for tuning in.
We went in early September and used rider swap. They had us go through the fast pass line.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:59 AM   #8
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Thank you for sharing!
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