WDW 2020...glad we went!

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! :slightly_frowning_face:


Im happy to hear you had a great trip and made it back home safely! I appriciate all your detail. I thought planes weren’t allowing gaitors, hmmmm.


That’s what I thought too, but there was no mask enforcement going on anywhere around the United gate or onboard the plane. After having such a great experience at Disney, it was very unsettling to have to sit next to this person for two hours in a very cramped space


Thanks for the great report! A lot in there that’s quite helpful to me, as I’ll be heading down there in a couple days. Sounds like the FOP line can build pretty quickly at RD, so I might need a Plan A and Plan B depending on when the bus gets us there. Glad you had a second HS day to get that BG.
I’m also flying United (usually use SW but rates were too low to resist), so I hope I don’t run into the same experience you did. Thanks for the heads up there. Sounds like it was a great trip all around.


Untied is the worst. When they killed the puppy by forcing the woman to put in in the overhead bin I was pretty much done. But I have the stupid credit card for two reasons 1) It used to be Continental which was the best airline until the dumb merge and 2) United is the sister airline to Air New Zealand and guess where my only brother and only nephew live?

I’m going to fly SWA for my next trip because I read they are still doing open middle seats and because of their flexibility to change flights and two free checked bags. I am feeling glad of my choice after reading this. I won’t get to use my Untied perks but I just can’t. They are so awful. American is also terrible. The rudest people ever are always the American employees. They must treat them terribly for them to be in such a horrendous mood every time I fly with them.


I believe this ends tomorrow

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Oh no…well fingers crossed the vaccine is available in April so I can have both doses and time to get immune before my end of May trip. And at least I can always cancel the trip and keep my credit and drive if I don’t feel safe.


That’s one reason we are going by Amtrak. A roomette is private and seating much more accommodating for Pooh sized folks. Though if we have to, we can drive but I’d rather not. We are both in the 2nd tier of vaccines due to being high risk so hoping to have them in time too.


I’ll be last for vaccines so it’s cutting it close for me but I’m hoping for a fast rollout. It’s still looking possible. I read an article recently and I can see if I can find it if someone is interested but it was about dummies they put in a plane and simulated breathing with masks and they were all fine at the end of the test with no virus particles captured. However, they didn’t move their heads side to side which isn’t realistic and it didn’t account for surface virus, just airborne.

Also, for grins went and looked at our dates @mathhound and it seems they are getting popular. Some of the DVC rentals that were there when I booked a month ago ago are gone gone gone. The news of the vaccine must have got people booking!

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Oooooooh, I wish we could do Amtrak.

One time I had a weekend during a business trip to get from San Jose to Portland, OR, so I took the train. Last minute reservations and all they had left was the ADA rooms so they gave me one. Apparently it was spacious with a wheel-in shower in the room. I never saw it because they gave mine to a women on oxygen that had gotten a deluxe room who hadn’t realized there were stairs involved. The employees fawned over me because I didn’t make a fuss, so it must have been awesome. I ended up with the Deluxe room for the price of a regular so I was happy.

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Love Amtrak. :heart_eyes: We call the roomettes ‘knee-knockers’. Occasionally amsnag is up and running and I check for sleeper deals. Since the meals are included, as well as special in-station lounge with snacks and luggage storage, and separate boarding* sleepers are my preferred way to travel. Seats are so much better than airplane seats.

*nowadays I’m old enough for a ride even to a coach car, and if I’m traveling with a smaller companion, I don’t mind coach, at all.

We had a karate tournament in Miami the weekend of the start of a group WDW visit. My grandniece and I boarded Amtrak Tuesday morning, disembarking Thursday evening. The teen never tired of napping and I never tired of watching scenery while pretending to read. Took Amtrak to Kissimmee where we were met by some of the group, just arrived by mini-van after 2 days driving. Had to go home by van rather than train. :smirk:


We book 2 roomettes so we both can have a bottom bunk. It’s about the same as a room. We tried that once and my feet hurt using the ladder to the top bunk. Have not had an ADA room @shawthorne44 though have seen pics. 2 roomettes across from each other is nice we can chat but also be by ourselves :blush:.

Just need to have the time and the $$. Which we are budgeting for.


Maybe I should go ahead and make preliminary park reservations! :scream:

Um, yeah? To APRs.

I’m strictly a bottom bunk person also. DH is amazingly agile altho lately I’ve traveled with the karate kid, who could probably leap into the bunk in a single bound, but climbs anyway.
And the knee knockers are conveniently close for across the aisle chatting. Oh wait, they’re not knee knockers in your case.

We have on occasion reserved two bedrooms, which have a connecting door. Wonderful space for traveling with kids. But pricey unless lucking into a deal.



APR? Not familiar with that one. Annual Passholder Rewards Reservations???

Advanced Park Reservations

Easily confused with ADRs when speed reading or in low light. :smirk:


It’s wide open right now but I did it too just in case. I tend to be a bit of a planner about these things though and usually overboard! I may change reservations when I can get ADR’s and fingers crossed bring back the Fastpasses+


Thank you for sharing! Good info in your report.

Yikes! Did you Uber/Lyft or take a bus to AK? I am trying to figure out if the first buses really start leaving resorts an hour before park opening or if they come sooner. I’d like to be on the first bus to AK :slight_smile:

If you notice BCR opening let me know please, though I’ll probably be checking every few days lol, might want to switch from YC to save some $.

I’ve made my APR now too. Just in case.

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We took the bus. Thought the park opened at 8:00, it when we arrived at about 7:45 the sandwich board sign said they opened at 7:30. :slightly_frowning_face: