Since I asked a lot of questions on the forum, and people were so kind as to answer, I thought you all deserved a quick after trip overview. We used the optimized touring plans for each day, and were able to get everything done (with minor deviation) by mid afternoon. This is our first trip to WDW, so it is hard to compare apples to apples in regards to Covid-19. It felt busy most everywhere, even with a crowd level of 1 during the entire week. I think this is because many restaurants, character meets and smaller shops are closed. Those serve to disperse the larger crowds. With all that closed, everyone is riding what remains open, so there are lines at major attractions. The lines now go well outside the normal maze to accommodate people social distancing. It works pretty well, and people observed the rules with just a few exceptions. There is a cast member with a sign at the ‘end of the line’, which is very helpful. We had a table service lunch on M, W and Fri - which is about right. Notes:
• At MK, the fastest way from the parking lot to the park is by bus - though we took the ferry one day.
• We averaged 15,000 to 20,000 steps per day. Parks closed each day at 5:00 or 6:00.
• As they space visitors on the ride itself, you will notice if a person is alone (which is surprisingly frequent), they take up a whole space. Same of course for two people. So a ride like Pirates, which has a boat which can hold about 20 people, might leave the dock with 3. At the Millenium Falcon, the capsule holds 6, but only one socially distanced group at a time, so my wife and I took up one entire capsule. This is why the lines move slowly. The staff at Disney does a really good job of directing traffic and making this work as quickly as possible. They also make sure your mask is on.
• If you are touring with a large group, say 6 plus people - please split your group into two to go through the maze. Disney is trying to social distance properly, but 8 to 12 people can not stand on the same mark in the line. Take two or three marks instead.
• Also, to check on a reservation at a restaurant, or to pick up a mobile order - maybe just send one or two people from your group in. You don’t need 9 family members to ask about lunch reservations in an already crowded restaurant lobby.
• With Covid and the early park closings, there are no parades or fireworks, which is disappointing.
• If I write x2 it means we went back later, after completing the tour plan (unless noted)
The week went like this:
SUNDAY afternoon - Disney Springs. We activated our military paper tickets at Guest Services, and after looking around for an hour or so, went to our anniversary dinner at The Boathouse, with a reservation. There is an insanely long line at the Disney Store.
MONDAY - Hollywood Studios - rope drop at 10:00. The park actually opened earlier, so by 9:55 were were at the Millenium Falcom, looking at all these people standing outside the maze, phones in hand. A MF cast member confirmed these people were waiting for RoR queue at 10:00. No one was entering the maze, so at 9:59:15, my wife and I just walked right into the maze and just before 10:00, stopped to try for RoR (which we did not get). Then we just continued on ahead of all those other people. Maybe a 5 minute wait to do the ride. Continuing…
Toy Story Mania x2
Mickey’s Railroad x1
Star Tours x1
lunch at the Backlot Express (with mobile ordering)
Walt Disney Presents
R&R roller coaster x2
Tower of Terror x2
back to Star Wars to look around more and ride MFSP another time.
(we did not ride Slinky Dog, which always had a very long line)
TUESDAY - Magic Kingdon, day 1 of 2 - rope drop 9:00. We got to the parking toll at 7:58, and they made us drive the loop around.
Haunted Mansion x2
Peter Pan Flight x1
7 Dwarfs Train x1
Winnie the Pooh x1
Its a Small World x1
Under the Sea x1
Big Thunder Mtn x2
Splash Mountain x1
lunch at Jungle Nav Skipper Canteen
Tom Sawyer Island (waiting for boats was WAY TOO LONG)
Country Bear Jamboree
Hall of Presidents (which is much better than expected)
WEDNESDAY - MK, day 2 rope drop 9:00.
Space Mtn x2 (no line at all, rode twice back to back)
Buzz Lightyear x1
Gaston’s Tavern for huge cinnamon roll and coffee
Pirates of the Caribean x2
Jungle Cruise x1
Enchanted Tiki Room x1
with the MK plan complete by about 1:00, we went back and rode…
Carosel of Progress x1
Astro Orbitor x1
7D train x1
Splash Mtn x1
Big Thunder RR x2
Haunted House x1
Then we hit some shops along Main Street and left the park by 4:30 or 5:00. With no lines, we rode the Express Monorail back to the car.
THURSDAY - Animal Kingdom - 9:00 rope drop. The info at Touring Plans said the parking lot would open at 8:30, but based on all the cars before us, it must have opened earlier. We walked a long way across the parking lot. My wife really really wanted to go straight to Pandora, but we stuck to the plan…
Expedition Everest x2 (back to back)
Its Tough to be a Bug x1
Maharajah Jungle Trek x1
Kali River Rapids x2 (back to back, without even going into the maze again - no line)
*** There were NO LINES for these first attractions **
Navi River x1 (45 min)
Avatar Flight of Passage x1 (45 min)
we just made it at 12:45 for our table service lunch at Yak & Yeti (which is good, but pricey)
Gorilla Falls Exp Trail x1
We bailed out on the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch - it is a LONG WAIT.
We also skipped Kilamenjaro Safari, and headed back to Valley of Mo’ara
We did AFOP x2 more, back to back with a 25-30 min line.
We definitely felt like we needed more time in Animal Kingdom, and that is without kids along. We were among the last to leave the park.
FRIDAY - EPCOT - The park opened at 11:00, but since they extended the closing from 6:00 to 9:00, we decided to arrive in the afternoon. This was our first opportunity to be in any of the parks after dark. We also arrived very very hungry, so skipped the plan and went straight for the Food & Wine Fest - and the long walk slow around the lake. As we circled back to the main entrance area, we did the following with minimal or no lines:
Space Mission - Green x1
Spaceship Earth x1
The Seas Aquarium / Little Nemo ride x1
Living with the Land x1
then a second long walk around the lake after dark, where we did
Frozen x1 (the longest line at Epcot)
At Epcot we noticed many (most) of the small shops and restaurants are closed. I would like to go back and do this again after Covid. It will be more crowded, but a better overall experience.
So, kudos to the Touring Plans, we got everything done and more. Still walked a lot, but saved time not having discussions about what to do next or where to go. Gotta run. Thanks for all YOUR help in our planning. Craig