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Old 11-16-2020, 12:20 AM   #1
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Default Nov '20 No Excuses, a Vacation's GONNA happen

Inmates: me, DH, BIL (On No They Didn’t) and new SIL

This was supposed to be a cruise sandwich but the cruise, same as the May and September vacations, was cancelled so it became a 3-way split (which we plan to not experience again). We hadn’t planned to enjoy the parks so we had allowed our AP to lapse, which later was a bite. When the cruise became questionable we started to look for a replacement. At the time, the DVC inn was closed so we made a soft landing on the Dolphin. By the time cruise actually became cancelled, I had a bunch of points from 2018 and 2019 UY’s so I upgraded the first 2 nights from a 1br at AKJ to a 2br at Kidani.

Day 1: An inauspicious beginning to our long awaited vacation that had me hoping it was not a portent of coming events. SW decided to make the only NS flight at 5:20p (Strike 1), which made for a long 1st day. I tried to talk DH into flying Frontier, who had 3 NS flights to MCO, but had no luck. We gave up trying to find something to do around the house and headed out to PHL around 2p. We arrived around 2:30p to search and find parking at the PHL garage for $16/day so we were happy to see Chickee and Pete’s were open. We enjoyed our fried protein and stress relievers (beer/wine). Our boarding was delayed due to SW waiting for the crew to arrive on another flight (Strike 2). We arrived early at MCO to be delayed by ME and arrived at Kidani around 9p, an hour and half after our flight arrival at MCO (Strike 3). DH was not in a good mood and SIL (they’d flown Frontier and had been enjoying the room since 2p) joking that they saved us the master bedroom fell flat. As is normal at Kidani, the walk from the lobby to the room was boarding on an odyssey. The only food available was the grab and go at the store. We were lucky to get the last salad and sandwich, which we shared. Thank Goodness, BIL grabbed a 6 pack of beer earlier. Once he’d eaten and drank a couple beers, DH relaxed and we finally tumbled into bed at 11p.

Day 2: I got up around 7a and made coffee for me. SIL must have either heard me making coffee or smelled it so she had BIL out around 8a, which might have been why DH got up around the same time. I ran out to tell BIL that he should remake the coffee, as I know I like a stronger brew than him. BIL made his dishwater coffee, which they all enjoyed. I know SIL was up earlier them me because she was fully dressed and ready to go. We ambled out of the room around 9a to go together to AK. The buses are very well organized and insure distancing. We arrived at AK around 9:30a and enjoyed both Navi River and FoP. BIL was timing the waits. Navi River was suppose to be 50 minutes but it was more like 30 and FoP stated 50 but was more like 40 minutes. We walked around towards the safari and the Dawa Bar was open so the guys had beers, SIL had a coke and I had some water. There was a pop up on the river that was fun and new. Next up was the Safari, which was posted as 30 minutes but more like 15 minute wait and then we walked around to Expedition Everest. EE was a new ride for me. I do feel that ride was intense. I might try it again just because it was so intense I missed a lot of the effects. While we were in line for EE we made reservations at Terralina in DS for dinner because we were worried we wouldn’t be able to find any place to eat without a reservation. We found out later that at DS there was no problem being seated on fly. After EE SIL was done so we headed out of AK. We stopped at Rainforest and found there was open seating at the bar so we ate lunch there. After we spent the afternoon at the Kidani Pool – everyone else swam while I napped on the lounger. We were happy to connect with Laura, who is usually the bartender at the Ukazim bar. She said she’s only been back a couple of weeks and so far she’s the only one called back. After the pool we returned to the room to shower and get ready for DS. We left around an hour before our reservation and it was good we did as the busses for DS were non-existent for the first 30 minutes and then two arrived at once. By the time they arrived both were needed due to the distance seating.

The food at Terralina was plentiful. We were seated immediately, we each ordered a personal pizza and three of us took half the pizza back to the room so if you are in that situation the ‘personal’ sized pizzas are big enough to share. After dinner we went to Enzo's Hideaway for after dinner drinks. Enzo's is cute and we all enjoy the Hideaway theme. We returned to the room to relax and moseyed one by one off to bed.

Side Note: wearing the masks increased the sweat quotient but basically it’s just something that needs to be ignored – kinda like childbirth and/or kidney stones. They need to be worn. They do increase the feeling of security, whether real or not, from become infected. Since returning from vacation, twice I’ve found myself in my car driving along with the mask on. Line distancing was a slight problem only because people would forget occasionally. When disembarking rides we would try and hang back to distance but then people behind us just needed to be somewhere and eliminated the distance. Oh Well, Thank Goodness for the All Powerful Face Protector.

Day 3: We hung around the room talking and enjoying the savannah view until 10a. We tossed all the leftover pizza and left our luggage with BS for transfer to the Dolphin. We decided to hit our hotel first to check in so we took the bus to AK and walked around to the Boardwalk bus for transport, as we didn't see a stop for the Dolphin. Upon arrival at Boardwalk, we walked over to the Dolphin to check in. Our room was ready but BIL/SIL's was not so it was his turn to be irritated. We let them drop their 'pool' bag, gave them a key to our room for access and then we went on our way. We went on to Epcot for the day and BIL/SIL went to DS.

We rambled around WS. Our first stop was R&C but, being Friday, it was a grab and go situation. We relaxed outside in the seating area off to the left. While we were there a popup with all the princesses being driven in a horse drawn cart led by a castle courtier went by – very cool. We ate the bratwurst and cheese balls at the Germany Kiosk for lunch. Most of the stores are closed on the WS.

After a few hours we headed back to our room to rest up and get ready for our dinner at the Homecoming in DS. We stopped at BS's to ask for our luggage. They seemed confused. DH could see it sitting right in the door but we decided to let it go just in case he was seeing someone else’s luggage. As soon as we got into the room BS called to ask if they could deliver our and our relative’s luggage, which we accepted. I think the Dolphin’s a bit in disarray as they just opened that Monday. I took a nap while DH watched TV. Upon waking, we showered and walked over to the Yacht and Beach Club markets to look for room food. We found Coors Light at the newly reopened BC Marketplace. We returned with our supplies, stocked the fridge and headed out to DS via the Boardwalk bus stop. BIL and SIL had tried to use the Dolphin bus stop and reported back that it dropped them at the West End, which required a long walk thru the parking garage to access DS.

Homecoming was our second experience at realizing the DS eateries were accepting walk-ups. DH enjoyed his fried chicken and I enjoyed the fried catfish. I had them replace the fries with a side salad. It was a nice dinner. At the end BIL/SIL wanted to return to the Dolphin to see if they could check into their room. We waved them off and went to the Raglan Road. We put our name on the WL for the bar and moved on to TRex for a drink at their bar. BIL connected with DH while we were at TRex irritated about his room situation at the Dolphin. Luckily DH was able to shake off BIL's need to express his irritation at the Dolphin to DH. About 40 minutes later we received a text from Raglan Road so we settled up. At Raglan Road they tried to sit us at a table but we said we preferred the bar. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the music and entertainment at RR. We returned to the Dolphin around 11p.

Day 4: I awoke just prior to 7a to try for a BG but was unsuccessful. BIL/SIL were also unsuccessful on their HS PR day. After some coffee and a bagel in the room, we headed out for our day at HS. We walked over, thru the temp station and into the park without any wait – not exactly sure of the time but I’m guessing it was around 10a. We rode Star Tours, the Millennium Falcon, Toy Story Mania, glanced at the 2 hour wait for Mickey and Minnie's train ride and walked over to the beverage grab and go at the Brown Derby. We decided to give dinner a miss at the Wave and text BIL/SIL so they knew not to wait for us. After a couple of drinks we ambled out of HS and decided to return to the Dolphin by riding the Skyliner. We stopped at the Dolphin pool bar for a late lunch and text BIL/SIL we were there and they stopped over on their way from the pool to their rooms to get ready for their dinner at the Wave. After lunch we returned to our room – me to sleep and DH to watch TV. Upon waking we ambled down and spend the night in the Dolphin lounge.

Day 5: We returned to Epcot this day. We road Sorin and Test Track and met up with BIL/SIL for a drink at America. They had some shopping to do so we split up again and met at R&C for dinner. While at Italy there was a Frozen pop up that went by. The only trouble with the pop ups is they have everyone move to the side, which eliminates distancing. After dinner the guys went out to the BC bar and us girls went shopping at the Festival Center. We met up with the guys at the Dolphin Lounge and ended our night there.

DH said the BC bartender told him only four of them were called back, both full time bartenders and a couple part time. R&C told us that all of the full time bartenders were called back. Our second Epcot day, we noticed that one of the bartenders was from the ESPN club. He said he was happy to be called back and didn’t care where they placed him as long as he had hours. We also noticed that some of the bartenders at R&C were managers.

Day 6: This day we moved on to Saratoga and BIL/SIL moved to Animations. We decided to take a cab with our belongings because the Dolphin BS couldn’t say for sure they could deliver our luggage. We arrived at Saratoga around 11a. Our room wasn’t ready although for some reason they upgraded us to a preferred location for no extra points (I checked). We left our stuff with BS and went off to our last park day at Epcot. Today being Monday, we were allowed to grab a table at the R&C and hang out. We made the most of our WS experience mainly just drinking in the views instead of the beverages as there’s a good possibly we won't be back for almost another year.

After a bit we returned to Saratoga, enjoyed a drink and conversation at the main pool bar. The bartender there said that he’d been called back but not his wife, who waits at BOG. He said Disney has been paying her base salary plus a percentage of tips but this will stop in December so if she hasn’t been called back they are leaving Florida and returning to live with relatives while they find new employment. He said it sort of worked out as they had their first child and she’s been home. After the huge rainstorm that stranded us at the pool bar, we discovered our newly renovated room in Congress Park. The Murphy bed situation is pretty cool. It would be nice if all the studios had that arrangement. The bathroom situation was interesting. I reached in to turn on the shower and received an immediate face deluge as someone had left the hand held shower on instead of the ceiling rain shower. So after I cleaned up the floor, I wandered around the tub trying to wash my hair with the rain shower. I just didn’t feel like trying to figure out the hand held. Being short is always an issue with a rain shower. Our view was very nice overlooking the pool towards DS.

Day 7: Today was our last day. We walked over to DS, ate at TRex using my Landry card $25 birthday gift, walked over to the Boathouse to enjoy a drink and shop their clearance section. We returned to Saratoga to enjoy the Congress Park quiet pool. I actually entered the pool and then napped for a bit. DH woke me up to say we forgot to check in for SW. We checked in on his phone a got B seating, which was still a surprise as we were about 2 hours late. We returned to our room to shower and ambled over to DS to meet BIL/SIL at George’s Wine bar for a drink and some appetizers. From there we went to RR and sat outside to enjoy the weather and music. BIL/SIL took off early, as they were tired from their day at HS. RR started to close down so we finished up and went back to Saratoga.

Day 8: We packed – truthfully with all the moving around we never actually unpacked. I was able to absorb our purchases into our luggage except for one small bag. We walked over and ME took us back to MCO. We were happy to be going home. If felt like a long time coming to get to this vacation but the vacation also felt very long. Our plane ride was a bit bumpy thanks to Etta but I was just glad we weren’t delayed. Finding our car was interesting as, while we remembered the parking spot, neither of us really remembered how to get to it. But we were home by 5:30p, happy, tired, successful and healthy, with sore ears from our extensive mask wearing .
Janet & Dan

Last edited by bakerworld; 11-16-2020 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:36 AM   #2
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Glad to hear you had a good trip!
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:30 AM   #3
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Glad your trip was a happy and successful one!!!!
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:26 AM   #4
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So glad y'all got to make the trip and enjoy it!!! Thanks for sharing the fun.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sawickipedia View Post
Glad to hear you had a good trip!
Originally Posted by AnnaS View Post
Glad your trip was a happy and successful one!!!!
Originally Posted by Jedimom3 View Post
So glad y'all got to make the trip and enjoy it!!! Thanks for sharing the fun.
Janet & Dan
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:00 AM   #6
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Glad you guys were able to go. Sounds like you had a great and fun trip. Thanks for posting.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:09 AM   #7
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Happy you were able to final make the trip!
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Old 11-16-2020, 02:28 PM   #8
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Curious about your parking at airport garage as we too fly out of PHL. Did you park in E section for SWA and what level did you end up on? Lastly was an elevator available?
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Old 11-16-2020, 02:54 PM   #9
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Sounds like you had a pretty sweet trip! Thanks for sharing..
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:54 PM   #10
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Iím so happy you were able to get away.
Thanks for sharing!
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