While planning for Disney, I absolutely loved reading trip reports to help plan but also to enjoy the magic! Especially in planning for a Covid-era trip, it was so helpful to read the reports out there. I posted our pre-trip report which actually varied from what we actually did…who knew Disney with a 3 year old meant changing up plans
Logistics: DH, DS3, and myself. We stayed at AKL Kidani Village in a Savanna view studio. We went to Epcot, MK twice, and AK. We also had a resort day. This was DS first trip and it was pushed back from an April trip (when he would’ve been 2 years old, so yay for having to buy park tix for him ). Growing up I went to WDW frequently, DH has only been a couple of times. Our most recent trip was in 2013. We rented points through DVC rental store, they were mostly great with the pandemic stuff and crediting us. We ended up booking a confirmed reservation, it was just less of a hassle for us rather than matching with a member.
We drove down from Virginia, originally we were to fly, but still not comfortable with all of the unknowns. Google maps said it would be around 11 hour total. I have come to the conclusion that everything we do is just plain slow. We left our house at 4:45pm (planned on 3) and didn’t leave our area until 5:50 as we got dinner here rather than on the road. We drove half way and stopped over night at a Marriott in SC. I was super worried about this for cleanliness, but it was great and we will always do this going forward, assuming we drive. The next morning we let DS wake us up, grabbed Starbucks and got on the road. We only ran into traffic at one point in FL and it slowed us down by an hour. We finally got to AKL Kidani Village right at 4pm.
We did not use bell services and our room was really close to the elevator so DH brought everything up. He and DS enjoyed animal watching on the balcony while I clorox wiped every single surface. The room was actually really clean before I cleaned it. I am definitely a germ-a-phobe and have a crazy eye for detail and didn’t see anything blatantly gross or nasty. Even wiping weird locations (I have a 3 year old, he touches everything) the wipe came back clean! We had brought our own blanket to use, but upon inspecting the bed, it seemed Disney was washing/replacing all linens and not just sheets, so we felt safe using their linens. I don’t know if this is covid-specific or has always been done. We also brought our own pillows because breathing into a common pillow is not something I’m here for but all of their pillows were double-cased.
DS3 had a little blow-up toddler mattress that worked perfectly. We thought of requesting bed rails and having him sleep on the pull-out, but this worked out better for him overall.
This post is getting really long, I’m a bit of an over-describer. I’ll try to leave take-aways at the end of each post to help anyone else looking to plan. Next post will be on our Disney Springs experience! I’ll try to post later today during naptime.
Some notes on our travel days:
- Breaking the drive up was really nice and we actually enjoyed the excitement of driving down. Social distancing made travel more difficult, but that was really only noticeable on the drive home. I’m glad we ate dinner in our area as many of the states we drove through were not stringent on face coverings or distancing. We took DS little potty in the car and didn’t even have to get out if only he had to go. DH and tried to stick with places that felt “safer.”
- For renting DVC, we would definitely do this again, but probably only for last minute trips unless we did the point protection plan; we’ve been covid-burned in the longterm planning department. For this trip, we booked about 2 weeks out. You really don’t need more for that especially since we didn’t do many TS meals, but more on that later.
- Throughout the week we kept rediscovering how amazing it was to have a kitchenette with a little kid. We brought our own Keurig and some snack groceries and this little space was the perfect size and made it so easy to wash DS cups/water bottles/etc. I will never not book a studio or even 1-bedroom again, it truly made our stay feel more like home.