So much info to share. Hopefully it will help others plan. Decided it would be best to divide report into topics. Starting with the new safety practices and the impact on the trip.
Party was Mom/Dad/4 adult children (one with autism) and a small dog. Cabin at Ft. Wilderness for 7 nights and 6 park days (2 each at MK and HS, 1 at AK and Epcot.
Checked in online and used phone to access room. Lots of evidence enhanced cleaning as expected. Bc of dog we unloaded and the kids and I (Mom) went to the front desk. Social distance markers and plexiglass were in place. I registered the dog and kids picked up golf carts. Noted 2 tubs of pens for paperwork, one marked clean and one marked used. Masks were to be worn at all resort areas and even while jogging or riding on the carts. Majority didn’t wear masks if they were on the cart, running, or outside in the immediate area of their cabin. With the distance from others at those times I didn’t consider this an issue. No temp checks at any point in the resort area.
Day 1-AK. It was hot, really hot. Heat index 105. When we decided the trip was a go the wait times were 20 min. for FofP. Post Labor Day I watched times with some concern hoping for them to go down more in line with usual late Sept/early Oct. Still was not prepared for the crowds on that Sunday. Started with temp check which went smoothly. Spacing was good, and cms manned the trails to prevent bottlenecks. As the day went on, I saw more masks under the nose and I’d say about 50% of the cms that saw would call them to pull it up. Hand sani was everywhere, but only about 50% used it before/after rides. The biggest issue was the heat. Because of spacing and wait times, a lot of time was spent outside waiting in the sun. With mobil order you couldn’t sit at inside/shaded tables while waiting for food/drinks but had to wait outside for that too. The tables were spaced and as a large party (6adults) it was a hard to find a table, and once we ended up crowded around a table with 2 of us standing.
Day 2- MK More of the same with the heat. Smooth temp check, but the spacing was a much bigger issue in this park. Lots of places with bottlenecks, but the lines were formed in a way that they weren’t the cause of the bottlenecks. Space Mountain’s line was the exception. It started back by the DVC booth and snaked around the Stitch/Buzz stage and past the bathrooms and back. The comings and goings from the bathroom were mingled with the que and was congested. Most followed the rules, although they had cms stationed in photo spots and they seemed to constantly have to ask people to put masks on while taking photos. Mask use overall was about the same as AK and honestly better than at home (Arkansas). And hand sani was about 50% there too.
Days 3&4-HS Temp check process is super quick. With afternoon rains came cooler temps and the crowds lightened with the rain. Masks were down under the nose more in this park than any other. Hate to sound judgmental, esp. with my kids being 23-29 yrs, but the young adults (late teen-college age??) were the big offenders. In other parks it seemed to be men in their late 40s-60s. We all agree that we experienced other groups crowding into our space in lines in this park more than any other. I expected this to be the most crowded park and rain likely kept crowds down but for some reason we often had the next party directly behind us . We also ran into empty hand sani containers here more than anywhere else. We had brought our own and had to bring a new bottle the second day and ran into the same thing.
Day 5- Epcot The lowest crowds we encountered. A Thursday so a few booths weren’t open but the spacing of tables and seating was good. Love the silverware dispensers, and we were usually able to find a clean table as we snacked around the fest. We had Clorox wipes in our bag and we did use them sometimes to ensure the surface was clean. Sani was available at each booth and entrances and exits for rides and pavilions. Surprised that we saw little walking and eating with masks off. Some, but not as much as I expected, maybe because of the availability of tables near each booth. Most cms did not call them out on it which was disappointing.
Day 6- MK Friday at MK expected to be as crowded as Monday. Ran into empty sani machines again. This was the only time during the trip we were in line and had to wait through a cleaning cycle on a ride. As the day went on the masks dropped under the nose again although the heat was gone. Saw the only cm of the trip wearing a mask under his nose at Jungle Cruise. Another cm called him on it. Many more cms around the castle on photo mask removal watch. Same with cavalcade group distancing.
Transportation- spacing was seriously observed on buses and boats. We did not take the monorail or the skyliner. Sani was available at most of the departure and entry points.
Disney Springs- Saturday and Sunday night were a little scary. We had ADRs there for a birthday celebration or we would have canceled Sunday after seeing what we were up against on Saturday night. Stores for the most part monitored capacity and used virtual lines. Seating for food/drink was socially distanced, and there were temp checks and hand sani. What was disconcerting was the large groups of locals that seemed to free float through all of the open spaces with no regard to distancing and very lax mask compliance. We returned twice during the week and the crowds were much lighter and we felt more comfortable although the mask compliance here was way worse than anywhere else.
Next post I want to address visiting now with a special needs person and DAS.
Hopefully my descriptions of a very recent trip will help someone prepare for theirs.