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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford - Riviera Resort, Aug 14-18, 2020

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    Sue (Holland) Rayford - Riviera Resort, Aug 14-18, 2020


    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    Dates: August 13 16, 2020
    Resort: Disneys Riviera Resort
    Experience: Very Experienced but only 2nd stay at Riviera

    I had my first Riviera stay in early March, just before the world shut down over COVID-19. The trip had a rough start, and my preferred view studio was a huge disappointment for the number of points (crappy view of timeshares off in the distance). At some point shortly after that trip I saw availability for a tower studio, and grabbed it, figuring Id give the resort another try.

    The tower studios should have a decent view, although now there wont be any fireworks to see sigh. These rooms sleep up to 2 people, with a murphy bed that folds down over the sofa. For a solo, they should be fine, but well see what I think after getting there <g>. The biggest drawback is they are tiny 5 square feet smaller than a value resort room! The bathroom is huge (and gorgeous), so that means the rest of the room is even smaller than something at All Stars or Pop.

    When I booked, I was pretty sure my silver annual pass would still be blocked out, but I wasnt really interested in the parks in this heat/humidity anyway. This is a short trip, so I planned to enjoy the pool each morning (for some sun Gainesville living means pasty white skin, similar to a corpse) and with the Skyliner I can easily travel over to the Boardwalk area. Eventually I learned my pass is NOT blocked out during this trip, and since the Taste of Food & Wine Festival is going on at Epcot, I decided to book park reservations over there for all three days. Ill stick with the morning at the pool plan, then head to Epcot later possibly waiting until early evening/dusk.

    Since I booked a tower studio, I couldnt invite Amanda & Ari to join me, as wed be 1 above the occupancy, and also Im not sharing the only bed. They (along with Chris and Amandas mom) ended up booking a few nights at the Contemporary and will arrive Saturday, so Ill get to see them in Epcot that day. I come in late Thursday afternoon, and leave Sunday morning to get back to work at our temperature checkpoint that afternoon.

    I didnt book any restaurants, since I prefer Food & Wine offerings. I was hoping the skyliner to Epcot runs early in the morning, as I wanted like to get the oooey gooey breakfast sandwich from Boardwalk Bakery one morning. Since Epcot doesnt open until 11:00 a.m. I didnt know when that line will start running. However, many Disney menus are shortened, and when I checked Boardwalk Bakery menu online 11 days before the trip, I saw only the other 2 breakfast sandwiches were being sold - bummer. Nothing at Riviera or Pop Century really appeals (hate Caribbean Beach), so Ill most likely bring bacon & eggs to have breakfast in the studio.

    The last few days leading up to the trip have been even busier than normal at work I leave by 5-5:30 each night, but Im in by 4:45-5:00 a.m. plus shorter days on Saturday & Sunday. The timing of this trip ended up being awful, but I dont want to lose/waste the points. Hopefully the stress of being away & dealing with stuff remotely doesnt offset the enjoyment!

    The plans so far are:
    Thursday 8/13: Drive to WDW, Food & Wine
    Friday 8/14: Pool, Food & Wine
    Saturday 8/15: Pool, Food & Wine
    Sunday 8/16: Drive to Gainesville

    DAY 1 Thursday 8/13/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Food & Wine

    Actual: Work was crazy, as expected. I went in before 5am hoping to leave by 1, but it was after 1:30 before I could get out and get on the road. I was able to take care of some stuff by phone call once out on the highway. Unfortunately, I kept getting room not ready messages, even though I arrived after 3pm (yes, I know check in is 4pm). I parked in the 30-minute spot and went into the lobby.

    A nice cast member went into the back room for a while and when he came back told me my room was ready. He gave me the number and I recognized it could not be a tower studio, which is what Id booked. He confirmed it was a regular deluxe studio, so evidently I was upgraded. Although I was interested to try the tower studio, I guess this is better.

    Remember the headache getting into my room last time I had them make sure my magic band would work, then went and moved the car to the regular parking lot. This time I knew to enter through the closer door rather than trudge up through the lobby, so that helped. I was able to get everything in one trip, and the studio is in the same area as my last one, except on a different floor.

    I got into the studio without any problem this time, with less than 20 minutes until my conference call. I got mostly settled, and finished unpacking after dialing in for the call. Once that ended, I couldnt access my work email from the laptop, so I had to type a long email detailing the calls from the car to share the info with key people back in Gainesville, the other 2 facilities, and our state office. Typing a long message on an iphone is no fun, lol!

    Once that was done it was after 5:15 so I got up and headed to the Skyliner for my first visit to Epcot since last March. As I approached the skyliner I could see it moving, but there was a sign saying it was closed. A couple younger women were standing there and told me it was still closed but they were waiting since they thought it should open soon. We got to talking one was an owner at Aulani, and before long the cast members took away the closed sign. We parted ways and I walked around to board the skyliner to Epcot. Nobody was in line, so I walked right onto my gondola!

    At Epcot there was no wait for anything temperature, security & entry were all done instantly. They no longer touch your bags or go through them, and at entry its just the magic band but no finger reading. The park itself was much less crowded than normal, which was nice. Unfortunately it was also much hotter than normal when Im usually here, so that was not nice.

    I turned left towards United Kingdom and was able to walk right into the old Millenium Village where they currently have the Orchard booth, mac & cheese booth, desserts & festival favorites. Theres also a piano set up where Carol Stein plays Disney music. I went to the mac & cheese booth, getting the traditional mac & cheese. There are plenty of tables (standing mostly) spaced around, so I had no trouble taking my pick of several. The mac & cheese was very good the reviews were right.

    Carol came out & started playing music, so I moved over in that direction, and after finishing the mac & cheese waited until the next song ended to say hello before heading back outside. Soon Ill try one of the nitro cake pops, but didnt it right then and later was too hot to make the brief detour to get one before leaving.

    The food booths had short or no lines, and the festival shops were just carrying Flower & Garden stuff. There were a number of other Food & Wine booths that are opening in fall, so there will be more booths than there are currently thats good news. I walked into Future World, which is mostly construction walls and construction. My destination was Mouse Gear, which of course is about as far away from International Gateway as you can get! The air conditioning felt great, and I found the 2021 calendar, then was able to check out with no line or wait. The low crowds really are nice!

    Once the calendar was purchased I headed back to World Showcase by way of Test Track. I was excited to see the single rider line wait was zero minutes, but then I learned its because its not open. Theres just one line and the wait was 35 minutes, so I passed. I cut through Odyssey for another brief air-conditioned respite, then continued walking around the countries. I had a neck fan and turned it on, but with the sun shining it didnt help a whole lot. It was better than nothing, though.

    While in the park I kept hearing the announcement they play repeatedly every few minutes it seems. It reminds people to wear a face covering, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary and social distancing. Also practice good hand hygiene, cover your cough, etc. Youd be listening to the Disney themed music and then all of a sudden have the announcement instead a bit odd. All the adults I saw (not at tables eating) were wearing masks, and I only saw 1 couple who had pulled their down & were drinking while walking. I only saw a couple kids who were clearly older than 2 who werent wearing masks. Many of the cast members were wearing masks and face shields I cant even imagine that in this heat!

    In Morocco I got a chocolate baklava to take back to the resort, and from there I left the park and headed to the skyliner. Its odd for me to only do 1 loop, but it was so hot and wearing a mask was not pleasant, so Id had enough. At the skyliner once again I walked right onto my gondola and got off at Caribbean Beach to transfer to the line to Pop Century. On the Disney site, the shop or food court sells a half bottle (375 ml size bottle) of sauvignon blanc and I wanted to get one for the room.

    From the skyliner I had to walk through the resort to get to the main building. I am so not a fan of the value resorts. It was just more congested & busy overall, with the pool packed with people & kids. The motel style rooms are a real turnoff, too. I went inside and saw the wines they sell, and the one online was not even listed! They had a different sauvignon blanc on the wine list, but it was a full bottle and they didnt have any of them anyway what a waste of time! Keep in mind its hot, Im wearing a mask & carrying a backpack, camera, calendar in a bag, and piece of baklava, lol!

    The sky was getting really dark so I headed right back to the skyliner. Once onboard they made an announcement that a storm was in the area and they may shut down at any time. Gee, thanks. I made it to Caribbean Beach and it was still running, so I quickly got onto my gondola to Riviera. Once I got onboard I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing if they shut down theyd make me exit at Riviera and that was my destination.

    It didnt shut down while I was there, and after getting off I walked over to the counter service place here. A cast member greeted me at the entrance, asking Id placed a mobile order. I said no, that I just wanted to look around. She looked concerned, and I asked if that wasnt allowed or something, and she said it wasnt. My goodness! Some of this covid crap is just ridiculous. I continued, and asked if that applied to even the little bakery/market area (which is where I was headed). She looked around and let me come in to see what they had it almost felt like being smuggled into a restricted area, lol! I saw the banana bread Id enjoyed on my last visit, and bought that, then headed out.

    I checked out the stuff off the lobby the bar/lounge is not open, and the Petit Caf didnt have much of interest to me. I forgot the gift shop will have to check that out another day. I went up to the studio, happy to cool off! Id brought some cheese, crackers & meat with me, so I prepared a small portion of that and changed out of my sweaty clothes. The best part was taking off the mask!

    Once nice touch here is when you turn on the tv it shows a message welcoming you (by last name). I turned on HGTV and sat down to finish todays report & enjoy my snack. If I want something sweet later Ill eat part of the baklava. Theres no reason to leave the studio thats worth putting a mask back on, lol!

    Today, after I got here and got the work stuff out of the way, I actually started relaxing. Even with it being so hot & having to wear a mask, it is great to be here. Im a little disappointed to not experience a tower studio, but have to admit the regular ones are a whole lot better! Upgrades are few and far between with DVC too, so Im not complaining.

    Tomorrow we have a lot going on at work, but most of it doesnt directly involve me. Ill have a couple conference calls in the afternoon, so hopefully my morning will be free to enjoy the pool area assuming the heat doesnt send me indoors early <g>. Later in the day Ill head back over to Epcot probably no earlier than I went today.

    DAY 2 Friday 3/14/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member

    Plan: Pool, Food & Wine

    Actual: For whatever reason, I didnt sleep as well as I usually do at Disney. The room was quiet, the bed was comfortable, but I was awake a lot. Around 5:30 I got up, which is sleeping in for me these days. I made my cappuccino and brought it back to bed, and did some online stuff while watching the local news. I was surprised to see the results of my latest covid test just done day before yesterday. Thats less than 48 hours turnaround! Im still negative, as expected. Listening to the media youd think youre going to get infected if you step out of your house (ok, some exaggeration there), but its very possible to live life (shop in stores, go out to eat, go to Disney, etc) without catching it.

    Just before 8 I had my egg and bacon for breakfast, then ate part of the banana bread (delicious, with chocolate chunks) before changing into a swimsuit and heading down to the quiet pool. This pool is open 7am 11pm, while the feature pool (with slide) doesnt open until 9am. Without Ari here, I prefer the non-feature pools, as theyre less crowded & generally quieter due to few kids.

    I got down there around 8:30 and the area was totally shaded. One other lady was already on a chaise lounge and a family was eating breakfast at a table. I checked the location of the sun and chose a chaise lounge accordingly, at the end of the row. They have small groups of chairs, separated from other groups, to allow for distancing. My group had 3 chairs, so I knew I wouldnt have anyone near me at all.

    By 8:45 the sun was peeking up over the building, and in no time at all it was pretty hot out there! I spent a lot of time in the pool because of that (sitting on the steps), and used plenty of sunscreen since it had been so long since I was out in the sun. At one point while I was sitting on the steps reading a couple in the pool called my name it was fellow dvc members and HAL cruisers Dave & Rosie, who Id met before in Epcot a few years back think it was the year of the final Merry Mixer. It was so nice to see them & talk with them again!

    Somehow I lost an hour out there on my chair (no, didnt fall asleep, and wasnt drinking anything but water). I thought it was almost 11, but then saw it was a couple minutes before noon! With my first conference call at 1:15, I dried off & hurried back up to the studio to shower & get dressed/blow dried. By 1pm I had some cheese, crackers & salami prepared, and was able to update the report before the call started.

    I did my 2 calls, and worked on another issue by phone with a co-worker. It was still too hot to go out, so I stayed in the studio a bit longer and downloaded my photos. It looks so nice outside, and Id love to be able to go for a walk, but not in this heat/humidity and not having to wear a mask. Maybe Ill try for a weekend here in cooler weather.

    At 3:40 I checked the local weather it was 98 degrees & sunny. Yuck. Thunderstorms were possible at 6pm. Checking the hourly weather, the heat wasnt letting up, due to the thunderstorm possibility being pretty low. Of course any lightning will shut down the skyliner and thats my biggest issue. I wont want to have to walk to the front of the park to catch a bus back that defeats the point of staying at Riviera for this trip.

    I was out the door by 4, and talked to work on the way to Epcot. Once again I walked right onto the Skyliner, but today I had to wait in line at both security and the entry. It might help if they opened more than one lane just saying! The park was also quite a bit busier than last night, although nowhere near what would be normal for Food & Wine on a Friday. The booths were a mix of no lines and long lines.

    I turned right today, since it was so awful walking into the hot sun yesterday I figured it might be marginally better having it at my back. I also figured the air conditioned big place (between UK and Canada) would be a good spot to cool down before heading out. Its a shame to see Chefs de France closed, but not every country has opened their restaurants while the crowds are being kept so low.

    I wandered through the shops in Germany, hoping to cool off but they were a little warm since the doors are kept open. The wine shop didnt seem to be selling glasses of wine, which puzzled me but I didnt ask. I didnt go into the ones at France or Italy to see if it was the same there.

    I was curious to see what the bratwurst in pretzel roll looks like this year, so I stood by the exit, in some shade, and watched for someone to walk by with one. I saw everything but the darn bratwurst, lol! Then to my right came a couple masked guys in fancy clothes walking alongside a team of horses. The horses were pulling a trolley car full of Disney princesses. Each princess was in her own row, and they didnt have to wear masks.

    Approaching Mexico, I was going to ride the boat ride, but when I realized the line was snaked around outside the building (in the sun), I turned around and left. That was just crazy! Im not sure what the line was for, other to get inside the pavilion.

    I browsed through both of the shops at the entry point to World Showcase, mainly seeking air conditioning. From there I thought about the cheese soup & pretzel roll from Canada, but the line was crazy long at that booth. There was no line at the citrus booth across the way, so I got the crispy chicken breast and took it to a table in the shade. It was pretty good, but bigger than some Ive gotten in the past. I ate most of it, but didnt finish it. I think I drank most of my cold water, too it was really hot outside.

    From there I stopped at the Milennium Village place (I know, I need to learn the current name) and since there wasnt any wait to get in, I went inside. It was so nice & cool in there!! They had a guy at the piano, playing Disney music. Carols off Fri/Sat, so its nice they have someone else for those days. I decided to try one of the cake pops, since I was there. I had about 3 people in line ahead of me, but being inside with air conditioning I didnt mind.

    I ordered the one with crushed M&M pieces, and had to wait while they made it. They took the cake pop, dipped it in chocolate, pressed it onto a plate of crushed M&Ms and then put it in the liquid nitrogen container to flash freeze it (or whatever it does). I took it to a table and spread out some napkins figuring pieces would fall and Id want to still eat them <g>. The cake pop was delicious but big! And rich! Omigod, it was more than I needed, but I ate every bite stuffed by the time I finished. This would be good to share bet Ari would have helped me!

    After finishing the last drop of cold water, I put my mask back on and headed outside, leaving via International Gateway. It had been getting dark beyond Spaceship Earth, but didnt look too immediately threatening so I detoured over to the Boardwalk. I walked around there, spending time in the Screen Door for a/c, and then thought Id continue around and go by Yacht & Beach. However, past Atlantic Dance I was met with a barricade saying the bridge was closed, and I remembered the NBA was probably still over there so this was their bubble. I turned around and walked back, and went to Beach Club from the other end.

    The regular Beach Club is not open only the villas. I went into the shop & Marketplace, but didnt buy anything. After that I walked back to the Skyliner and rode home to Riviera, arriving around 7. After dropping my stuff off, I grabbed the camera and went out to take photos around the resort. This time I remembered to visit the gift shop, for the first time. Its cute, and they had some nice things. A new DVC member umbrella caught my eye, and since today is the last day of 30% off I bought it. However, I had left my bag in the studio so I had no dvc card or passholder card. The cast member saw my phone in my other hand and mentioned the app, so he was able to verify I was a passholder from that.

    Since all I had was my magic band I had to pay that way, but it didnt like my PIN. Ive only ever used one PIN in my life at Disney, but it was not taking it. I didnt feel like bothering with the front desk resetting it, since I typically use a gift card or Disney Rewards card, so I ran up to the room to get my wallet. Thankfully my room is pretty close, so it took not time at all. Umbrella purchased, I headed back up to the studio.

    By 7:45 the sky was darkening and there was a lot of lightning flashing off my balcony. Im pretty sure the skyliner was shut down by now. I turned on HGTV, poured some wine, and worked on the report & photos just a relaxing evening at home <g>. Today was a nice day work wasnt a big deal, and I had lots of time to just chill out and not be bothered. The only negative is the weather, but nobody (including Disney) can do anything about I know better than to come this time of year, but I figured it would be just a resort trip. Then they started Food & Wine early, so now I go into the park in this weather, lol!

    Tomorrow Chris, Amanda, Ari & Amandas mom Martha arrive for their trip. Theyre staying at the Contemporary on cash, in the short building (unless maybe they get upgraded to the tower). They hope to get to Epcot around 3, which works for me I can have another pool morning!

    DAY 3 Saturday 8/15/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member

    Plan: Pool, Food & Wine

    Actual: I slept a little better last night but was still awake quite a bit. Once again I didnt actually get up until 5:30. I made my cappuccino and brought it back to bed, watching the local news for a while & doing online stuff.

    Today Id decided to try breakfast from Primo Piatto (counter service place), and let that be my main meal of the day. I placed my mobile order for the 8:15-8:45 time slot and chose the Primo Piatto Breakfast scrambled eggs over mascarpone polenta w/bacon, Italian sausage & a sweet brioche roll.

    After changing into a swimsuit & coverup I gathered my stuff for the pool and went downstairs to pick up my breakfast. Since the sun doesnt clear the building until 8:45 I planned to eat breakfast in the shade at the pool, then move to my chaise lounge. Before leaving the room I used the app to say I was on my way to get my breakfast. When I got downstairs it wasnt quite ready yet, and the cast member told me when all three lines were green to come back. I stepped outside and very quickly the third line turned green and the message said my food was ready.

    I went inside, showed my phone to the cast member, and she directed me to the pick up table around the corner, where my bag of breakfast (with the receipt including my name) was stapled to the bag. I grabbed utensils and napkins, and walked over to the quiet pool. After setting my stuff by my chaise lounge I took breakfast to a table & chairs.

    The breakfast was excellent so much nicer than the usual Disney food court breakfast food! It was huge though, and I couldnt finish anything it was all so good. Reheating this type food wouldnt really work well, so I tossed the leftovers into a trash can. The child meal would have been the perfect size, but that didnt come with the bacon & Italian sausage, and if I add sides of both then Im right back up to the adult price anyway. The Italian sausage was a really nice touch, with sauted onions, red peppers and yellow peppers. The polenta was tasty, but there was too much for me to eat, especially with everything else. Needless to say, by lunch time I was not hungry at all!

    I spent another relaxing morning on my chaise lounge and in the pool. The mystery of how I lost an hour yesterday was solved my Kindle wasnt updated when the time sprung forward last March. Once again I spent a lot of time in the water since it was so hot (at 11:22 the feels like was 104). There were others at the pool but it was quiet and not crowded. Today I moved to the shade just after 11:30 to cool off a bit, then went up to the studio to shower and get dressed.

    As expected, I wasnt hungry for lunch, so I did some online stuff and rescheduled a work thing on Monday. Chris & Amanda had driven up this morning and were sweating their way through Disney Springs, since their room wasnt ready. They had lunch at the Chicken Guy place. At one point I got a text from Chris saying expletive. its hot, lol!

    They finally got their room a little before 3 and they were upgraded to the 12th floor of the tower (Contemporary), where the concierge lounge would be if Disney hadnt suspended all of that. But, if they had the concierge lounge its doubtful they would have gotten the upgrade. Chris was happy they booked the cheapest room at the resort (garden wing) and ended up with a beautiful view of the lake from the tower! We delayed our plan to meet in Epcot at 3, hoping Ari would take a short nap. According to Amanda, he needed it was acting like a pain from being overtired and overheated.

    Since we pushed our meeting time back to around 5 or so, I cut up a small plate of cheese, crackers and salami. Id brought one of those small boxes with 3 glasses of wine, so drank more of that with my snack. Ari did fall asleep, wearing an eye mask so the light wouldnt bother him and the adults didnt have to sit in the dark <g>.

    I checked the weather and the 60% chance of thunderstorms originally predicted had disappeared now the highest percent of rain was 25% and even that wasnt looking too likely. Thats good news in terms of not finding the skyliner shut down due to lightning when I needed to ride it. Thanks to David & Rosie I learned that when that happens, they direct us to buses at the Boardwalk bus stop, and dont send us all the way back through Epcot to the front exit. Thats a plus at least! Just after I typed this paragraph dark clouds appeared off my balcony, lol but nothing like what we had last night! Fortunately these blew right on past, without any rain at all.

    Ari woke up and they were on a bus by shortly after 5. I got up and walked over to the skyliner to get to Epcot. The monorail to Epcot is still not running. They got into the park as I was getting off the skyliner, and Amanda said the app showed Soarin with a 15-minute wait so we decided to meet there. They rode Nemo while I walked over to the Land.

    Once they got off Nemo the wait for Soarin was up to 45 minutes, so we didnt bother. Instead we headed out to World Showcase. Along the way we stopped in Hawaii, where Amanda loves the pork slider. I got one too, and I think Martha also did. Amanda got 2 but theyre very small (seemed smaller than usual this year). Chris got something to drink probably a beer or cider.

    We continued towards Canada, and stopped at the festival center/old millennium village for some much needed air conditioning. Everyone liked it in there lots of space, nice & cool, and several choices for food & drink. At Appleseed Orchard Martha got the apple caramel popcorn in a plastic container shaped like an apple, and a hard raspberry lemonade with mini marshmallows. Amanda got the gourmet mac & cheese for Ari and the buffalo chicken mac & cheese for Chris, and ate a little off both plates. I just got a glass of the chenin blanc from the mac & cheese stand. Chris had some other drink, but I dont remember what it was. We were going to get cake pops, but Ari said he was full and we decided to wait until later.

    Back outside into the heat we continued walking around the countries. In America Chris took a picture of the funnel cake stand and posted it on facebook, tagging SB to say they were asking where he was, lol. Ari decided he was hungry, and wanted a Mickey pretzel so we got one of those in America, and sat at the back of the American Gardens Theater. The mariachi band was just getting ready to start, so we had entertainment. Chris went over to the bar outside the Sam Eagle BBQ place, and came back with some cocktail.

    Towards the end of the show, Ari & Amanda were dancing to the music, twirling each other. When it was time to go Ari didnt want to ride in the stroller, and instead would run up ahead and twirl around. It wasnt crowded, so he wasnt bothering anyone and we could see him clearly. Hed run up, then back, etc. That kid loves to run!

    As we were passing through Germany a cast member came after Amanda & she thought it was because Ari was running so she started apologizing. He was apologizing for upsetting her, saying he just wanted to give Ari one of those giant pretzels for free! He had it in his hands and had come to give it to us. We thanked him and moved over to a table by the lake. This pretzel was much better than the last one, and still very warm! Its too bad wed all eaten some of the last one, lol! We did some damage to this one, and dropped a big piece (picked it up and threw it in the trash), and they took the rest with them to zap briefly in the microwave. Now that I type that, they probably dont have a microwave, since theyre not in a dvc room. Oh well itll still be good.

    Amanda checked on the Frozen ride but the app said 60 minutes. The line was outside, almost to China. Mexico didnt have a wait to enter the pavilion so we went in there and rode the boat ride. There was a line, but it moved steadily. Since we were 5 people they put us in the back 2 rows, left the 2 rows in front of us empty, and put a small party in the front row.

    By now the sun had set and the sky was getting pretty. Amanda & Martha went to browse the shops, and Chris & Ari headed up front to Mouse Gears. I think they were going to ride Spaceship Earth or something on their way out. I said goodbye and continued around to International Gateway, then rode the skyliner back to Riviera.

    I finished up the banana bread and worked on the report, sorry to be leaving in the morning. Today was a nice relaxing day, and although it was hot in Epcot it didnt feel as bad as it had been the previous 2 nights. It was great seeing Chris, Amanda, Ari & Martha again.

    DAY 4 Sunday 8/16/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member

    Plan: Drive to Gainesville

    Actual: My final night of this trip I slept marginally better, and didnt get up until just before 5. I had time to relax with my cappuccino so I made that and brought it back to bed while I got online & watched the local news.

    Around 7 I showered & got dressed, then cooked the last egg and slice of bacon for breakfast before packing up the last of my stuff. Since the banana bread is so good, I used the mobile ordering to pick one up to take home. Finally, I was on the road just after 8, arriving home just before 10. That gave me time to throw laundry in while I unpacked, before going to work.

    This was a nice little trip, and I really enjoyed myself. I like this resort a lot, and hope Ill eventually luck into finding a studio available for some consecutive nights in the future (at 7 months). I like the feel of it, the quiet pool area is great, and I enjoy the skyliner. Hopefully any future stays will be when the weather isnt so horrific but at least I didnt have to deal with storms shutting down the skyliner when I wanted to ride.

    The masks in the parks make an uncomfortably hot experience even worse, but to be honest it would have been hell even without the mask requirement. It is what it is in order to be here we need to follow the rules. For the most part everyone I saw was complying a couple times I saw a fool with the mask below their nose (so the mask does no good), and occasionally someone was actively drinking while walking, but it wasnt a deal breaker for me. I figure I have a healthy immune system, and Im not going to panic about casual contact especially outdoors.

    The big surprises were how good the breakfast at Primo Piatto was, and what a relief it was to have the large air-conditioned space at Food & Wine. They dont have much seating in there, but thats probably to discourage people from turning it into a resting/lounge place while its hot or raining. Although, many parties just sat on the floor.

    There arent a lot of photos from this trip (mostly theyre photos of the resort, and of course some Ari) and theyre on snapfish at

    The next trip was supposed to be a highly valued club level stay at Jambo House, but of course Disney is not doing club level services at this time. Drat!!! That makes 3 club level stays covid has screwed me out of so far next possibility is January. The club level trip was leading up to Labor Day weekend, and I had also booked a studio for Holli for the first few nights and a studio for Chris & Amanda for the last few nights (with us all overlapping one night). Checking to see what else was available, and knowing its still so hot the parks have limited appeal to me still, and at that time feature pools were not opening until 11am, the choices were somewhat limited.

    I talked with the others, cut the trip shorter due to work being so crazy, and booked a grand villa at Old Key West for 4 nights (in Thursday, out Monday). We can create our own concierge lounge in there, and everyone has their own bedroom/bathroom with a bathroom to spare (there are 4 full bathrooms)! Square footage is just under 2400, so well have plenty of room to not feel crowded. It should be fun, and if I am going to stay at Old Key West it has to be in a villa (not a studio hate those). That trip begins in 18 days!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

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    Dec 2007

    Great report Sue! Being from Wisconsin, I could never be able to visit WDW in the summer! Way too hot!

  4. #3
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    Very smart - couldn't agree more!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

  5. #4
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Maryland's Eastern Shore

    Thanks for another enjoyable trip report!



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