3/12-3/19 Live Trip Report (Well, that was the plan....)

Today, the day before my solo trip is due to start, has been a crazy day. So, I thought I would start a trip report to document what should be an interesting trip, to say the least.

I am hunkered down in my hotel room near Bradley Airport in CT. I fly jetBlue to Orlando first thing in the morning. Upon arrival, I will jump on Disney’s Magical Express and be delivered to Disney’s Riviera Resort. The first three nights of my trip will be in a Tower Studio here. I am hoping for a high floor room with a good view of multiple parks’ fireworks.

Initially, my plan was to pick up a rental car (at WDW Dolphin) and upon checking out of Riviera on Sunday, I would be moving on to four nights at a hotel in Davenport. The plan for these final four days was to split my time between WDW and watching college baseball. My local college baseball team, which I have connections with, was going to be playing games during their spring break trip to FL and I was going to be a spectator there for 4 or 5 of their games.

Alas, the dreaded coronavirus caused the college to pull the plug on that trip. So, with 24 hours to go before my meticulously planned trip started, I made major changes to my itinerary.

I booked a room at Pop Century for 3/15-3/19, and cancelled my Davenport hotel and the rental car. Later, I decided to upgrade and changed from Pop Century to Beach Club. I find it very interesting to see the hotel availability that has suddenly appeared!

So, that’s where I stand at the moment.

Hopefully, I will get a good night’s sleep here at the hotel in CT. It all begins in the morning!

To be continued…


Good for you! You are an awesome Liner — flexibly and You Can Do This!


I thinkI it will be fun to document this as I go, but I make no promises. I have enough pool time / resort time / nap time built in to my days, so hopefully I will be willing to put aside some time to do this. We’ll see if I stay motivated.

Oh, and with two unique Disney reservations that now make up this trip, we will have two new opportunities to report Room Request Results to that thread. To those who follow that thread, you will recall that I am now 0-for-4 in the last two years. Wish me luck at Riviera and Beach Club this trip. I don’t want to be 0-for-6!


Hope all is going well! What’s the vibe there today? Is it busy? Are people still carefree or is COVID on everyone’s mind?

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Following! Safe travels.

hope you have a great trip!

Well, I have arrived. It was an uneventful flight from Hartford. Magical Express delivered me to the Riviera and I was here around 10am. My room was not ready, but just after noon I was able to get into my room.

I am happy to report that, for once, I got what I requested for a room. I am in 8721 – 7th floor in the middle of the three Tower Studios on the floor. I should have views of the fireworks from all three parks from my balcony.

Hard to tell just from activity in and around the resort this afternoon what the crowds are like. I know my flight was only a little over half full, and that’s not typical. I will get a better handle when I make it out to the parks later.

I will be heading out shortly to Hollywood Studios. I do have a FP for Mickey and Minnie’s RR. I am looking forward to that. Otherwise, it will be a quick visit there because I will be heading over to Epcot for a dinner reservation. It’s a package for the Garden Rocks Concert tonight (The Guess Who).

I will report back sometime later …

By the way, it’s partly sunny and in the low 80’s.


It looks like the title of this thread was a goal and not necessarily a fact. Now that WDW is closing, I am spending my morning trying to change my travel and lodging plans. Instead of moving from Riviera to Beach Club on Sunday, I am looking to cancel that second portion of the trip entirely.

My initial problem is that I refuse to wait “greater than 60 minutes” on the phone on hold for jetBlue. My reservation can’t be modified online. I am hoping that if I try later this morning, maybe the call volume will have subsided.

Luckily, I am on-site here at Disney, so my hotel reservation can be dealt with here. I can only imagine what the wait times are to reach Disney by phone today.

So, my game plan for today is for some pool time and resort time until later this afternoon, then Epcot.

More later…


I am fascinated by having “boots on the ground” through this. If you are able to share photos and remark on crowds, the vibe, extra signage, anything that is not typical and that would be related to this event that would be most appreciated.

I hope you’re able to enjoy some park time and not just be stuck trying to rearrange travel.

I might be inclined to make the call, go on hold, and keep an earbud in my ear for when my call was finally answered. And otherwise go about my business.


I finally got through to jetBlue and was able to change my flight to Sunday. I then cancelled the Beach Club portion of my vacation. I am heading home on Sunday.

Now that the stress of trying to make these arrangements has been taken care of, it’s time to go enjoy Epcot.


I will see what I can do. Hollywood Studios was fairly crowded yesterday (I would guess a “7”), but Epcot was noticeable slower.

There are sandwich board signs all over the park reminding people to wash hands frequently, etc. There are numerous additional hand sanitizing solution everywhere you look.

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Here’s the sign that can’t be missed. It’s all over the place in the resorts and parks.


Where you at? What is happening? Are you still there? Are you home??

I am still here at WDW, but leaving later this morning.

The crowds have been thinning noticeably during my stay. But the “vibe” was not any different that it normally is. It’s not as if there was a giant dark cloud over the days here. It seems like business as usual.

I won’t be around here tomorrow when the day dawns and the parks don’t open. That’s when it will truly be surreal.

Well, I started this thread because I had a feeling when I began my journey that the trip would provide surprises. Like everything else in life these days, “normal” is undergoing major changes!

I think that when I get home, the new reality will be readily evident.

I am due to travel to Aruba two weeks from today. I will have to play it by ear and decide in the coming days whether or not to cancel that trip.

Thanks for coming along on my journey, and I hope you enjoyed these observations.


I am back home in Massachusetts and back to reality – whatever that is now…

But, to put a bow on this trip report, here are a few more observations:

All in all, it was a fun trip. I was able to keep a smile on my face, and despite having to “roll with the punches”, I didn’t stress out too often.

The one time I did also makes for an interesting story. On Friday morning, after deciding to cancel the second portion of my trip, I needed to change my jetBlue flight. Well, jetBlue’s website had crashed and was down all morning, so you can guess what the phone lines were like. I spent the morning rejecting staying on for wait times “exceeding 60 minutes”. In the afternoon, they estimated a wait time of 25 minutes, so I patiently waited.

45 minutes had passed, and I had an appointment for a DVC tour at the Riviera. I apologized to the DVC rep, but explained that I would have my phone to my ear during the presentation. I was NOT going to end the call.

After an hour-an-a-half, a live jetBlue person came on. And she couldn’t hear me! This went on for about twenty seconds of sheer terror, fearing that she was going to hang up. Finally, she heard me and the day was saved. That was the only time during this whole journey that I felt the stress!

I just realized that this trip report hasn’t featured any reporting about fun things I did.

On Thursday, I rode the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. I had the been lucky to grab a FP+ the day they came out. I enjoyed it very much – it probably went straight to the top of my “favorite rides” list – but I also agree with the criticism I have seen in regards to the over-reliance on projection and the different-looking animatronics.

Thursday night, I enjoyed classic rockers, The Guess Who, at their Epcot Garden Rocks concert. I did the dining package at Biergarten, the first time I had ever eaten there. I enjoyed it.

In fact, I very much enjoyed all three nights dining. On Friday, it was my favorite WDW restaurant – Le Cellier. Their Filet Mignon never disappoints, and the Cheddar Chesse Soup is unbelievable!

After the initial shuffling of plans before my trip even started, for Saturday night, I got a reservation for the Hoop Dee Doo Revue at Ft. Wilderness. Great time and great food. I enjoy this every time I go – and I have gone between 15 and 20 times over the years. It’s always good to see the banjo player, Smilin’ Jack. I forget this guys name, but I know he’s been there since day one of the show over 40 years ago.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, my Riviera room afforded a great view of fireworks. Here’s a pic showing the Epcot fireworks straight ahead, and the Magic Kingdom fireworks visible over Spaceship Earth. The Hollywood Studios fireworks are not in the camera frame, but they could be seen from my room as well.

The resort is beautiful. I love just about everything about it. I had the opportunity to interact with numerous cast members at the Riviera, and they were all wonderful. From picking up packages, to canceling my resort reservation, even cancelling my Keys to the Kingdom tour, the helpful and friendly cast members were up to the task!

Speaking of the Keys to the Kingdom tour, I am disappointed that this didn’t happen. It had been scheduled for this Wednesday morning. Too bad it couldn’t have gone on anyway, despite the parks closing. That would have made it about as surreal and historic (not to mention spooky and haunted) as it gets!

Well, that’s all folks. My next trip to WDW is likely coming up in October. It will be nice – and, hopefully, a little more normal!


It’s now seven full days since I finished my trip back home. I am happy to report no signs or symptoms of anything – except maybe a touch of the dreaded “Disney withdrawal”…


Touch base in 7 more and we’ll be convinced. Until then, stay the heck over there!

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