Fellow liners… I am concerned about the possible lack of seating (and protection from the sun) when we have our SAB pool day in July. Should we plan on being one of the first ones in the gate at 10am? Does a line form to enter SAB before it opens? Are there umbrellas for all chairs? And if one person out of the party leaves the pool area they will need to wait to get back in (if SAB is full)? As always thanks for your insight.
I have been watching comments on this since we are staying there next week, and can only relay what I’ve heard:
- caveat: the non-DVC part of BC is opening May 31st so crowds could change significantly then. However, distancing may also be decreasing so maybe that will compensate
- there is generally a 5-10 min line to get into SAB in the afternoon (1-4pm) but it is wide open in the morning. Not sure about evening as I haven’t seen many reports from then.
- if you arrive after your party or leave to get something, i believe they are letting you in without a wait
- there are not umbrellas for all chairs, but some are in the shade
@DeepInTheHeartofTexas is there now so may have more insights.
Also @eeeevah was there last week.
Have seen reports of capacity increases at pools since mask thing on Friday night.
Yep - we got there right at opening (10am) and there were a handful of families looking to get in, but everyone seemed to get their choice of seats. Definitely space in the shade - some by trees, a few umbrellas. They give you a wristband when you first check in so if you leave (to go for lunch or something), you can return. We were rained out in the afternoon unfortunately so I can’t tell you if a line would form then. I should also mention we were there on a Wednesday (as opposed to the more popular check in/out days of Saturday/Sunday).
I presume though that you’ll have to wait to get back in (if it is full), even with a wristband, if your entire party leaves?
I cannot add much about afternoon experience regarding the afternoon. We swam around 7 pm the first night, 4:30 pm and 11 am. We never had a wait and there was always a ton of open chairs. But I never tried to get in to the peak afternoon time…
In my experience they made you enter into one entrance (the one next to B&C) initially to get your wristbands for the day but after you had those you could enter into whichever gate was open.
Again, no wait when we were there so I’m not sure exactly the procedure when you leave and your party is still there but I would imagine they would let you back in. DH and I left to pick up a pizza from the BW pizza window and brought ourselves and the pizza back into SAB no problem.
This was not the case for us in October. The pool “closed” to capacity from I think noon until 2pm and we all had wristbands from earlier in the day and could come and go as we pleased. The main entrance across from B&C is the only place to get a wristband, but if you already have one you can enter via one of the peripheral doors along the walkway. You may or may not know that you actually have to leave the main pool to get to the slide, so I was coming and going 50 times walking my son back and forth.
Just my 2 cents. If you are going in July, I don’t think there are going to be many (probably ANY) distancing still in place outdoors around pools. I think by July 1st WDW is going to be so much closer to normal than we even think sitting here today. I think indoors/queue masks will remain. Anything outdoors by July is going to be normal and really close to normal. So I don’t think there will be waits for pool by then.
good call out, I did not think about that. Thanks for the info.
You’re probably right, although the new “normal” will look different (still some physical distancing practices still in place, no FP+, etc.). I was actually looking forward to a 35% capacity at the parks in July.
Same here. 35% capacity, social distancing, and masks-for-all were the reasons that we booked in July. I am not going to complain about no masks in the open spaces, but how wide-open are they really going to be by then?
I think that was a little bit unrealistic. I too agreed to book over 7/4 week because I do expect it to be lower than usual times but I fully expected, even before the vaccination campaign became so successful, that we’d be to about 50% by then.
But remember that 35% capacity is relatively the normal day-to-day number of people in the parks, except at the very most peak times (Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas).
They were reportedly at 35% when I was there in April. Honestly it felt pretty normal/usual most of the time to me. It was not at all what I would consider very low crowds.
Back now to close the loop on this…
Our visit to SAB was surprisingly disappointing. Granted that we went at the peak afternoon time, and perhaps my high expectations were unrealistic, but here are my thoughts and observations:
- previously tried probably no less than 10 times to get a Cabana but there was never any availability, even at 60+
- no wait to get in to SAB, plenty of open chairs (good); but all available chairs were without any shade (bad)
- no available tubes for the lazy river, and several guests were already waiting for these before us. I presume there is a tube limit (side note: that is one deep lazy river, is that intentional, to keep most lazy river walkers out?)
- good service from Hurricane Hannah’s CMs, but the food and drink were below average
- the slide was just ‘okay’. The kids liked it but were not ‘wowed’ by it
Even though SAB missed the mark for us, I thought BCR was fantastic for other reasons.
You’re making me even more glad we went at night! Evening SAB is fantastic.