FOMO last minute trip report

Dates: Sat 7/25-Wed 7/29
People: myself, husband, DD5, DS3
Resort: Pop century
APRs:
Sat 7/25: Epcot
Sun 7/26: HS
Mon 7/27: MK
Tues 7/28: AK
Weds 7/29: HS

Background: I went to Disney once as a teenager with my family and enjoyed it but was not a convert—did not consider myself a Disney person and just didn’t get get the draw. Then, in 11/2018, knowing that my mom wanted to come to WDW with my children, I planned a trip scheduled around a conference and got hooked. My DD was 3 yo at the time, my DS 18 mo, and it was the first time I actually felt like I’d had a vacation in years. The planning also became one of my favorite stress relief activity after that. We went again with various family factions in 9/2019 and 1/2020 at which time I bought annual passes since I was planning to be back for a conference 6/2020. Since I had the annual passes, I had then also planned a short trip in late 4/2020 and another in 9/2020. Of course…pandemic…and the 4/2020 and 6/2020 trips were cancelled but that did not stop me from hoovering up every little scrap of Disney news I could find each day and stalking this forum in my leisure time…so, when @DisneyDayDreamin recently posted her trip reports and then @jeremy.dmiller posted his, the fomo and need for a break from reality was too much to resist. My husband and I made some last minute (1.5 weeks ago) changes to our work schedules. I already had DVC rental credits and Southwest credits burning holes in my pockets, I struggled a bit with the idea of taking a vacation during a pandemic but decided to proceed with caution. I wanted to wait until this past Mon 7/25 to book anything because I wanted to make sure my family was all still healthy before doing so. Then the DVC rental store dropped the price of the last minute dedicated reservations overnight and when I went to make my requests, I was too late. I also wanted to use this credit up sooner rather than later because, even though it doesn’t expire until 6/2022, I anticipate there will issues with securing reservations once people start traveling again.
Even though one of my favorite parts of WDW trips is the planning, circumstances make that a moot point right now, so why not plan a last minute trip. Realistically, my husband and I are at higher risk of infection with COVID through work than in a vacation. I had been keeping up with the reopening news and knew what to expect. So, once I got the final confirmation that none of the DVC dedicated reservations were going to come through, on Thursday 7/23, about 36 before my flight, I booked a pass holder discount room at Pop Century, my flights, my APRs and filled out the magical express form. The only pertinent info I needed at that point was whether or not the coffee makers were in the rooms at Pop, which @DisneyDayDreamin answered for me: yes.

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I can’t wait to hear your report!!

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How big are the refrigerators in the rooms at Pop? Enquiring minds … that may be planning a last minute trip in August … want to know!

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Knowing that I would be leaving for WDW the following morning made my last day at work, Friday, 7/24, fly by. After picking up the kids from daycare, we talked a little bit about what we could do the following day since it was “a stay home day” (versus a school day). They’ve had pretty much the same options for the last 6 months so they pulled from familiar script. My DD5 suggested we could take a walk to the fountain (in front of a near by temple). I responded, “Sure, we can go to a fountain.” My son suggested we get a donut. I responded, “Sure, we can get a donut or something like it.” My daughter suggested that we could play on the playground in our back yard. “Sure, we can go play on some type of playground.” Then they noticed that dad’s suitcase was out and half packed. They asked where he was going, he told that he was going to Disney World the next morning and asked if they wanted to come with him. They started running around in circles, shouting and jumping up and down. Then my pragmatic DD5 needed to know how many days so that she could count out the correct amount of clothing. What ensued was a flurry of last minute packing. I let them pack their own bags knowing that I will be repacking them in the middle of the night. My DS3 packed for himself: 10 books (mostly bulky hard back books), one mask (which only lasts about an hour before needing to be changed because he licks the inside until it is soaked), two leftover swim diapers (“one to swim in and one to poop in” he tells me—he has been out of diapers for the last 6 months expect at night), one pair of underwear, two PJ bottoms (no tops), 8 pairs of socks and a small area rug we usually have in the living room. That was it.

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This is so sweet! I love when families can surprise the kids like this. Wish I had been able to do something like that for my kids when they were little. Alas, I am not so good at keeping things hush hush.

You DS3’s packing made me LOL. I love that age. :slight_smile:

Thanks so much for the pic of the refrigerator! That helps a lot!

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So cute!

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I mean, better safe than sorry, right? lol

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That is all so funny!!! Have a wonderful trip!!!

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Love this! Looking forward to reading!

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DS3 has the best packing list ever! I mean, who doesn’t want an area rug in a room with hardwood floors??

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Ha! I snorted.

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Day 1, Sat 7/25
Flew out of Indianapolis on Southwest on first nonstop flight in the morning. Pretty good mask compliance at the airport. Nonstop flight slated to take 2 hours and 15 minutes but only took 1 hour and 45 minutes. Had completed online check in the night before, so luckily, as soon as I took my phone off airplane mode, got the text that the room was ready. Brought carry on only to avoid having to go to baggage claim prior to heading to Magical Express. The way my kids see it, by this point they’d already gotten to ride two rides: 1. Plane 2. MCO team


The corridor to Magical Express was empty and there were only 4 other parties waiting when we arrived. I had filled out the online form for Magical Express 36 hours prior but they did not have any of the return flight information so provided that again. They mentioned several times that the wait might be up to an hour but in the end it was only about 20 minutes (which was great since each of my kids decided they needed to use the restroom at different times once we were already in line). They assigned row numbers for each party on the bus to social distance but the bus did not actually have row numbers posted anywhere. You just had to count the number of rows back from the driver or door. This led to some confusion and people just sat approximately where they thought they’d been assigned and tried to keep a distance from other parties. Upon arriving at the hotel, the cast members were clapping as we got off Magical Express. We headed straight to the room, located in the far 50’s building. I wanted, and got, a ground floor room (stroller) and also wanted to be by one of the larger pools. Otherwise did not go crazy with room requests given the short notice booking. My understanding is that normally you have to show your annual pass holder card at check in if you have booked a pass holder rate/special but wasn’t sure how this applied with the online check in. I went to the front desk to ask and was told that it is not necessary at this time due to COVID. As I type this, I’m not sure why I didn’t just call the front desk. Anyway, we changed into swim suits and went to the pool for an hour or so and then did a mobile order for lunch and sat outside the food court to eat. I like the dining plan and have done this on 2 out of my 3 previous trips. It is always way to much food, the planning around the gobs of character meals is an extra layer of complication and, of course I’ll take an alcoholic beverage with every possible meal because it maximizes the value and why not. I do like the dining plan…but this trip has been more like my typical style of eating. That is, let the kids each order what they want and then finish what they don’t eat after taking three bites and saying they are not hungry anymore. I’m not picky, it works for me, and food does not get wasted. The mobile ordering from the food court is interesting because it is all bagged up in a brown paper grocery bag and taped shut.
After lunch, we took a nap and then around 5 pm headed to Epcot.

We LOVE the Skyliner and this is already ride number 3 for the day in my kids eyes. It just has a very People Mover-esque vibe to it and is a thoroughly relaxing form of transportation. Also love the new security screening system that is in place with no need to empty out all bags. You do have to pull out umbrellas and metal water bottles but otherwise just walk through holding your bags in front of you.
We stopped at the store just inside the Epcot International Gateway entrance and picked up the Remy’s scavenger hunt cards as I’ve always wanted to do one of these but always ran out of time in the past. The pass holder discount made two of these cards $11, one for each kid. We then went to ride my DD5’s favorite ride, Figment…and we all know that pandemic reduced capacity/demand is not necessary for Figment to be a walk-on. When we were here in January, she made me ride it 3 times in a row! I guess I do like the song. DS3, who was up for everything and at 40 inches back in January had ridden TT, Soarin, RotR, ToT and after each exclaimed “I want to go again,” now reports that Figment is too scary for him because it made a load noise. We proceeded to Soarin and waited about 10 minutes, but after this also he claimed it was too scary. My daughter wanted to ride Nemo next but son refused, this time because of sharks, so DH and DD rode while DS and I looked around a very empty aquarium. Next got some Mickey Bars thinking that ice cream might perk him up. It did to some extent but even then, the only ride that he claimed to be willing to ride was 3 Caballeros, so we headed off to Mexico. Once there, he didn’t want to ride so I pulled out the Remy Scavenger Hunt cards and both kids really got into it and loved it. It was 7:15 at this point and it took us right up until 8:55 to find the last one in Canada, it got much harder as the light faded. Funny thing was that all of the people who were back in the WS countries (vs. on the main WS walkway) at that time were all families with grade-middle school age children looking for Remy. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t listening for other kids shouts of “found him!” to help hasten our search. We presented our completed cards back at the store where we’d bought them and each kid claimed their prize: a cute little melamine cup that looks to be left over from the flower and garden fest. The kids loved it. Took the Skyliner back to Pop and called it a night

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Thanks for sharing!! I am on the fence for a trip in August… and reading that others are in the FOMO mood helps LOL
Enjoy your trip!

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Thanks everyone for reading. I am only typing this up when the kids are sleeping. My thoughts on the heat and masks:
On heat:
The heat and humidity here does not feel that different from what we get in Indiana, just more persistent. It has been in the 87-93 range since arriving with 50-90% humidity and supposed heat indexes over 100 in the early afternoons. For the past two days, the afternoon thundershowers have rolled through and dropped the temp to a pleasant 73 degrees. That being said, July is not going to become my favorite time to visit, because…well…swamp crotch.
On masks:
I’m lucky in that my mother-in-law and my mother have both been churning out masks for us and the kids in various styles an designs. My husband and I are both used to wearing masks for work so this has been a non-issue. I find the disposable loop over the ears surgical style mask to be the most comfortable. For the kids, the mask that wins is the mask that they want to wear, stays on and does not require me to constantly adjust it. For my kids, they like the Disney masks the best and they stay in place. I had ordered some in June but still have not gotten those. They have a limited (in size and design) supply in the gift shop here and so I tried a small on first, the goofy one my DS3 is wearing in the photos. It was too small for DD5 but medium fits her perfectly and actually medium is a better fit for DS3 too. Also the masks are 6$ each and no AP discount.

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Spot on, this is how DH and I eat. It works with the DDP as well, you just need to steer them towards the places providing most value and which you want to eat in :wink:

Looking forward to your report!

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Oh. Wow. I didn’t notice before…that fridge has no freezer! :confused:

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Looks like a beer fridge :slight_smile:

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Out of sequence post, but currently on triceratops spin for the 10th time in a row…

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have a great trip! thanks for sharing… i’ve giggled out loud a few times already! :slightly_smiling_face:

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