Just returned yesterday from a 7-day trip. I was really back and forth about going, but I am so glad we did! Here are my thoughts…(this is my first post, so I apologize for how long it is!)
Arrived Sat morning. First time at Pop. Not impressed. Our room was ready early, but it was TINY! 2 adults + 2 teenagers and we were tripping over each other all week. But it was super close to the Skyliner so that helped.
Day 1: Epcot. It was pretty busy being a Saturday and with the food festival going on. It was nice trying a few different food items (nitro cake pops and lobster Mac & cheese were awesome!) but we didn’t want to fill up before our reservation at Teppan Edo which was fantastic as usual! We got some pixie dust while waiting for Frozen Ever After. We struck up a conversation with a cast member after I thanked him for reminding someone to wear their mask properly. Turns out he was from a town close to us, so we chatted for a while. Then he surprised us by sending us to the front of the line for the ride!
Day 2: MK. Got an early start with breakfast on Sunday at Whispering Canyon Cafe (took a Lyft…about $11). Food and service were good but it wasn’t the same silly environment i remembered from a dinner we had a few trips ago. Got to sit up front on the boat to MK. The park wasn’t as busy as I expected and lines weren’t bad at all. The longest was SDMR at about 80 minutes. Touring Plans wait times were very accurate…about 15-20 shorter than posted wait times. We seemed to miss all of the cavalcade by just a few minutes. We were either coming out of or going into a ride at the wrong time! I was also a little disappointed by the lack of Photopass photographers, especially down Main St. We really had to look hard to find them.
We were really impressed with the cleanliness of the parks and the social distancing. I would say there was about 99% mask compliance, and cast members did a great job reminding people if their mask “slipped.” Only a handful of people seemed to think they didn’t have to follow the rules. We loved seeing the projections on the castle although it was pretty crowded. Overall a good day.
Day 3: HS. Bummed we didn’t get a boarding group for ROR but have another chance on Friday. Love love love the new M&M Runaway Railway ride! So cute! DS got to build a lightsaber and Smugglers Run was great, even if the kids are terrible pilots!
Again, very impressed with masks and cleanliness of parks…lots of wiping down everything and social distancing. It would have been nice to have more QS food options, and I felt all of the stores had the same merch…not a lot of variety. Really missed Fantasmic! this trip, but hopefully we’ll catch it next time.
Day 4: DS. Started the day by sleeping in a bit and then the boys took a swim (guess who forgot her swimsuit?!). Intentionally planned DS for mid-week after hearing all of the comments about how crowded the weekends are. It was still VERY busy, and hard to keep distance, especially in World of Disney.
Had a fantastic dinner at City Works. Will definitely return. We enjoyed many of the Christmas trees but didn’t do the actual “Christmas tree stroll.”
Day 5: AK. Arrived prior to park opening only to find out that the line for FOP was already 80+ minutes. Decided to do the Safari first and basically walked on in less than 10 min. Got a quick bite at Starbucks and got in one for FOP…once we could find the end of the line. Distancing makes it hard to find the end. FOP was all the way past Tusker House and then went inside the Lion King theater where we walked back and forth like sheep before we emerged and walked another mile or so to the actual queue. In total it took 1 hr 40 min but was worth the wait. DD had never ridden before so it was nice to experience it again with her.
Kali River Rapids (one of our favs) was a bit of a letdown. They must have changed it up because it was much shorter and not very “rapid” like we remembered. Expedition Everest was shut down for a while so we waited for it to open back up and were seated in the first car, only to be told it was shutting down again. They gave us fast passes to come back and ride later if it reopened (luckily it did before we had to leave the park for our resv at Beaches & Cream).
Let me tell you that B&C was one of the best meals we have had at Disney. I had a burger, DD and DH had French dips, and DS had chicken sandwich. The onion rings were fantastic! We wished we had shared sandwiches though, because we almost didn’t have room for ice cream…almost! Such big portions and great flavors! Definitely need to come back here!
Day 6: MK. 2nd day at MK…on Thanksgiving…with a crowd level of 8. Not gonna lie, I was afraid of this day. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t shoulder to shoulder crowded, although it was definitely busier than our earlier day. We managed to see a couple of cavalcades, which were adorable.
The highlight of the day was our early dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern. I was happy to have a traditional Thanksgiving feast topped off with their amazing ooey gooey toffee cake dessert. We also met a nice young woman on a solo trip from MN who gave us some great tips on getting a boarding pass for ROR. (Go to time.gov for an accurate clock-apparently iPhone time is off by like .003 seconds. At 6:58 am, open the MDE app, and start trying to join the virtual queue. If you can’t, go back and forth until you get in)
Day 7: HS. Last day at Disney. Back to realty tomorrow. And it’s my birthday!
We scored Boarding Group 2 for ROR! Thank you MN girl! It was a laid back day, re-riding our favorite rides (Smugglers Run, MMRR, RNRC). Ended the day with a great birthday dinner at Brown Derby. (FYI, you can order off the kids menu. Also, DD found out that the Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad isn’t really a salad.)
Headed back to our room early. The boys took a swim and DD and I started packing. Find out that a lightsaber is an approved carryon item. Also learned that bags of dirty laundry make great cushioning for coffee mugs and ornaments!
The flight home on United was the worst I’ve had in a while. Very full plane, a lady next to me who couldn’t keep her mask (gaitor) up, and lots of turbulence. We were glad to land safe and sound. Now back to reality!