For the First Time In Ever: Our Relaxed Disney Escape

It is the 1 day countdown. Bags are packed, no going back.

As with so many Liners, my original plan did not survive first contact with the enemy (COVID). Originally, this was to be our first all-family Wilderness Lodge/Copper Creek stay with our new DVC WL/CC membership. I had Dec 10-18 booked in a one-bedroom and hoped to persuade DH and DS26 to join myself and DD22 for a week of Christmas season joy at Wilderness Lodge.

But DS26 cannot travel from CA, and DH is at-risk so shouldn’t travel, and cannot get away from work (he says).

DD22 was very skeptical about WDW under pandemic conditions, but eventually agreed that we could go if the vacation were shorter, if we drove instead of flying, and if we will not do rides/attractions if the crowds/conditions make her uncomfortable. Of course, my daughter!!! Anything to go to Disney with you!

So I changed the reservation to Dec 10-15, booked one park for each day (Dec 10 and 15 are driving days), and promised we would not rope drop, we would focus on WL/CC and wandering the parks rather than the usual RD/maximum-rides battle plan, and have ADRs that we may not keep if DD22 doesn’t like the look of indoor dining.

So yes, this may be the trip we all often say we want: for the first time, we may spend few hours in the parks, do few rides and attractions, and take time to explore.

Oh, plus since we are driving I can buy as much as I want without having to worry about fitting it into my luggage :slight_smile:

In addition, I’ve had A Crazy Idea because I have so many DVC points expiring with cancelled plans, and this morning my trolling of the DVC website paid off: I was able to switch our reservation to the first night in a Studio, and 4 nights in a Cascade Cabin (that consumed a lot of not just expiring but also 2021 borrowed DVC points, but this pandemic has taught me that there is value in living in the moment…). I told DD22 the news this morning and her eyes lit up – this is going to be magical.

So I won’t be posting much about RD, rides, lines, wait times, or steps per day. But I will share the experience for what it is, and there will be lots and lots of Disney Christmas photos.


:scream: wow!!! Bucket list accommodations for sure!! Please share lots of pics!

Sounds like you have an excellent perspective going in. I hope you enjoy this special time with your daughter!!!


Woot Woot!! Brilliant!!
Safe travels!!! That’s one long driving day!! :scream:


How long of a drive is it? I can’t wait to read more!


12 1/2 hours. When I am driving DD22 crazy at about Hour 3.5, I will remind her that if we had flown it would have been 2 hours :wink:


I love your positive attitude and look forward to following your trip report again. Reading trip reports while working from home everyday since March 17th, gives me great joy. So thank you!

I totally agree! By golly, you will find a way to fit everything in your car to get home and you don’t have to worry about things breaking!

I’m upset that DS can’t join you, especially if he works remotely and can easily quarantine himself upon return. Your kids sound totally responsible for themselves and others. The CA restrictions have and continue to leave families in dire financial situation and upend people’s lives. I think the travel restrictions are on an honor system. I highly doubt anyone is going to enforce the ban to travel within the state. Flying though, may be different.

I really understand CA is quickly losing ICU capacity. I think a few areas in CA have already lost ICU capacity within the past 36 hours. The reality is that some are tired of the restrictions that are not data driven and make zero sense. They go about their lives, protecting themselves and others with masks and sound judgement. And some people don’t care about transmission or getting COVID.:roll_eyes: I know of 3 doctors that had their children and grandchildren over for Thanksgiving dinners indoors. They are front line health care workers and one would think they would know better…

So, wear masks and go to places where masks are required and enjoy yourselves!


Its ok, I made him promise that he and I would do our own separate mom-son thing when this is over. But thank you for your annoyance on my behalf!


I love a road trip! It’s 18 hours for us to get to DLR.


I guess I shouldn’t dread a 6.5 hour road trip to get to DLR.


No! :joy: Although, honestly, 18 hours is a little much. I will be making that drive mid-January to take DD20 back to college. I’m pondering a side-trip to visit DD and Buena Vista Street …


If I was in the area and could eat there, I would go. I really enjoyed being there to shop and eat in September and now CA Adventure is open, too. But Indoor and outdoor dining closed with the current lockdown. Take out only and you have to eat in your car, home, or hotel. You cannot eat on property.

If you just want to get a bit of Disney and wander around and you are in the area, well, why not? But DLR is not that close to San Bernadino (Did I remember the college location correctly?) or even really on the way to San Bernadino…

On the up side, you will be on Disney property!

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Her college is in Redlands which is actually east of San Bernardino on the 10. You’re right, it’s not that close. But when you’ve driven 18 hours, what’s a little more? We’ll see what the restrictions are like at that time. I think I might be sad if we can’t even eat outside at Smoke Jumpers Grill. But I would love to set foot inside DCA again. My DD20 was there the last day they were open …


Have the best time!! That is amazing you had the points to stay in a cabin. Please post pictures!!


Ready to go at 6:15am, and then discovered frost on the car windows. after a search for where we had put the windshield ice scraper last spring, i scraped the ice and we are on the road!


Have a safe trip. Admire the dedication, I struggle with the 10 hrs drive we have.


Safe travels!


We are here!

Arrived at 6:45pm. we hit a bit of traffic in Jacksonville and in Orlando, but arrived as Google maps prddicted

I had done a room request via TP when we had a one bedroom reserved but I think we got the studio next to my original request!!!

Our arms were filled with luggage so i couldn’t take photos but the lobby is Beautiful. We have dinner adr at Whispering Canyon but first we are going to go walk around the resort


Beautiful view! Glad you made it safely.


How did I miss that you were leaving for a trip?! I hope you have an amazing time!


We are loving our wander