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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Beach Club Villas, October 17 - 25, 2020

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    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Florida

    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Beach Club Villas, October 17 - 25, 2020

    Who/When/Where:

    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    SB (62), my husband
    Chris (33), son
    Amanda (31), daughter-in-law
    Ari (4), grandson
    Tiana (50s), friend
    Jonell (60s), Tianas husband
    Dates: Oct 17 26, 2020
    Resort: Disneys Beach Club Villas Resort
    Experience: Very Experienced 51st stay at BCV

    INTRODUCTION:
    This is another trip that got all turned around thanks to covid. Originally friends Linda & Wiston from the Boston area were going to join us for part of the trip, but theyre exceptionally cautious when it comes to the pandemic and decided they didnt want to be on an airplane. Its probably just as well, since so much is different at WDW right now (not worth full price tickets in my opinion), and there may have been tension over the whole mask/sanitizing issue. Ill wear a mask where its required, but where its not required it will come off my face. Linda had ordered face shields for them, so when we were eating Food & Wine outdoors theyd have the shield for protection which just seems crazy to me. I also dont believe in sanitizing stuff after millions of cases of covid theres not yet been a single case tied back to touching a surface, and I prefer to let my immune system work naturally without being destroyed by all the anti-bacterial crap and sanitizers you see out there. Linda would have come with sprays, wipes, etc and fussed (for my safety) when I didnt do the same. We have a 1-bedroom villa so wed be able to host them in the evening, but I certainly wouldnt be wearing a mask or sanitizing in my villa. So, well hope for a future pandemic-free year to get together, and for Disney to be back to a more normal state in terms of whats being offered. That may be late 2022!

    We were at Tiana & Jonells home in late July and invited them to come down for a couple days. At first it was going to be Sat/Sun and I snagged a tower studio at Riviera for them for Saturday night. Beach Club of course was sold out. Later Tiana changed jobs, and her days off are Wednesday/Thursday so I moved them into that time slot. Lindas reservation was Tues/Wed/Thurs at Beach Club Villas so I dropped Thursday and changed the names to Tiana & Jonell. She gets off work at 4pm, so Tuesday theyll pick up SB and drive down. Theyll get here too late for any parks, so Ill have food and drinks in our villa for everyone. The priorities are Food & Wine on Wednesday, then Animal Kingdom (for Flight of Passage) Thursday, then they head home.

    The beginning of the trip is solo, which Im looking forward to. To save points I have a studio for the first couple nights, then move to the 1-bedroom villa for the rest of the trip. I booked the villa a day earlier than needed, thinking this way Id already be settled when Linda & Wiston arrived and they would be able to drop their stuff in our villa while waiting for their studio to be ready. Now thats not a factor, so Ill be rattling around solo in the villa the first night. My only priorities during the solo part of the trip are relaxing by the pool and enjoying Food & Wine. I have Epcot park reservations for each day no interest in going to the other parks.

    Chris, Amanda & Ari come up for the weekend, arriving Friday evening. Its always fun to spend time with them. The priorities for that leg are Food & Wine Saturday (they also have lunch at Coral Reef) and Magic Kingdom Sunday.

    I booked one dining reservation Beaches & Cream, since its one of SBs favorites. I can take it or leave if usually leave it. Being limited to one park per day really puts a crimp in my style, as this time of year Id head to a park in the morning but end the day in Epcot for Food & Wine. This trip its not possible to do that, unfortunately. Plus, I really enjoyed the concert series but thats not happening this year either.

    I was hopeful for nice weather, but it doesnt look like Ill get my wish. I did NOT want to be here this week, as its still very risky in terms of the weather being too hot for my liking. However, when Linda & Wiston were coming, he wasnt able to get the week wed agreed on, so I moved the trip up to accommodate them. Never again if others cant make it when were planning to go, then we simply wait for another trip. This week the temps are supposed to be mid-upper 80s each day. Next week, when I originally planned to be here, the temps are supposed to be low 80s, possibly even upper 70s. Darn!

    Lastly, right now although were planning to head home Monday morning, I have jury duty that day. If by some stroke of luck when I call Friday night I learn I dont have to report, that will be wonderful news! Assuming that doesnt happen though, our choices are getting up really really really early to get home in time for me to get dressed & ready for jury duty, or leave the paid-for and not able to be canceled villa empty Sunday night and drive back Sunday. Neither scenario appeals, but well see what happens.


    The plans so far are:
    Saturday 10/17: Drive to WDW, Food & Wine
    Sunday 10/18: Pool, Food & Wine
    Monday 10/19: Move to 1br villa, Pool, Food & Wine
    Tuesday 10/20: Pool, Food & Wine, Floyd Tiana & Jonell arrive
    Wednesday 10/21: Epcot
    Thursday 10/22: Animal Kingdom, Beaches & Cream lunch
    Friday 10/23: Hollywood Studios, Pool
    Saturday 10/24: Epcot, Pool, Food & Wine
    Sunday 10/25: Magic Kingdom
    Monday 10/26: Drive to Gainesville


    DAY 1 Saturday 10/17/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Food & Wine

    Actual: This morning I woke up at Chris, Amanda & Aris place, having arrived Thursday afternoon for a Friday dental appointment. This morning Ari has t-ball at 8:30, so I was happy to get to see that in person. Hes clearly the athletic grandson, and enjoys any sport. Chris plays on a recreational league, and grew up at the ballpark, and of course Aris grandfather is a former MLB player. SB is thrilled at the prospect of working with Ari as he gets older.

    Since I have a bottle of white wine for Tuesday night (something I think Tiana will like), there was no point in getting on the road too early, as white wine doesnt belong in a hot car. The wine can spoil. As it turns out, the wine is on sale at Publix this week for less than I paid for it at Total Wine, so I could have just left it home and bought a bottle after being moved to the villa. Oh well. After t-ball we stopped at Dunkin Donuts and then went back to their home. Ari & I made a few Disney jigsaw puzzles, then we loaded my car and I was on the road by 11:30.

    The drive was easy, other than some congestion on I-4. Since my studio wasnt quite ready yet, it didnt matter. I arrived at Beach Club before 3, and the security guy at the entrance said they were waiting for me at the front desk. I asked if that was in the main building or in the villas, and he assured me straight ahead in the main building. I thanked him and of course turned left into the villas parking lot. Grabbing a couple things, I walked through the quiet pool area and into the villas lobby, where I found a cast member stationed there for check-in. She confirmed the room wasnt ready yet, and said with the extra crap (my word not hers) theyre doing for covid now, rooms arent being ready until after 4.

    I decided to go sit in the room with the pool table, which is now covered up and off limits due to covid. Playing pool is a surefire way of getting infected I guess! Who knew?? I had my laptop, so I sat on a sofa and read email to pass the time. By 3:45 I was still waiting, and getting a bit irritated. Just then, I got the text with my room number, lol! Im in the short hallway, overlooking the jacuzzi and quiet pool, so Im definitely happy with my location.

    I made another trip to the car, then quickly got settled into the studio. Since Im only here 2 nights theres no need to fully unpack, and stuff I wouldnt need until Monday or Tuesday is still in the trunk. Once settled, I walked over to Epcot.

    Entering the park wasnt busy at all no wait for temperature, security or entry. Once up in World Showcase though it was very busy. With the physical distancing, the queues at several of the food booths was really long! Since Im not just here for this weekend, I chose not to bother with anything really busy theres time for that tomorrow or the next day, etc.

    I turned left towards Canada and skipped that booth when I saw the line. Instead, I headed towards Future World in hopes of finding the Flavors from Fire booth. Sure enough, it was easy to find over near Test Track. There may have been 1 person ahead of me in line, or maybe not. I know I had my chimichurri steak in no time flat. Some other time Ill try the whoopie pie, when I have someone to share with. There were plenty of tables in the shade nearby, so I grabbed one (standing) and enjoyed the food. It was a really big portion for some reason, and quite tasty! Its a good thing I didnt wait in line for the cheese soup in Canada before getting this.

    Once it was gone I continued over to Mouse Gear, where I had to wait in a fast-moving line to get inside. They had some merchandise marked as 30% off, but nothing that appealed to me. Right now passholders and dvc members get 30% off everything anyway, and I found a couple items that were purchased w/SBs gift card as holiday gifts for me.

    After exiting the store I went back to World Showcase, and did a loop around the countries, starting with Mexico. You could definitely tell it was the weekend, and most booths were very busy. The wait times on the attractions were too long for me to bother with any of them like I said, this isnt my only day here. When I came back around to the International Gateway I continued on and went into the old Millenium Village between UK and Canada.

    Today I got the potato pierogi w/kielbasa & caramelized onions, with a glass of a dry Riesling both from the Festival Favorites booth. That was the only one without a line, lol but Id wanted to try this food anyway. I took the food and wine to a stand-up table along the wall, and enjoyed both. The pierogi always gets cold too quickly, but it still tastes good. There were 4 slices of kielbasa, which surprised me because back in the old days I think we were lucky to get 3 some times I think it was only 2. This was plenty, and enough to share.

    Before I got the food, I shopped the Festival merchandise just inside the entrance, and ended up with a gift for SB and a Figment trivet for the kitchen. It has 2020 on there, but sadly Figment isnt wearing a mask <g>. Guess they didnt see all this coming when they ordered it.

    After finishing the wine I continued walking part-way around, then turned around and headed back to exit the park via International Gateway. It was warm today, but there was a nice breeze that kept it from feeling too hot. It wasnt a sweaty day, thank goodness! It was now around 6:30 or so, and it was beautiful outside. I decided to ride the skyliner, since it had no wait.

    As a party of 1 I get my own gondola, and once out of the station took off the mask. There was a great breeze blowing through, so it felt great! I got off at Caribbean Beach and there was no wait here either I walked around and got back on the same gondola Id just left. After another nice ride back to Epcot, I got off and walked home to Beach Club. I made a detour to Beach Club Marketplace, but didnt buy anything today. No doubt well get food from here once SB arrives.

    I got up to the studio around 7:30 and took the laptop out to the balcony to update the trip report. Several people were enjoying the pool and the jacuzzi it was a great night to be outside. I poured a glass of wine, put my feet up, and relaxed!

    Today was a great start to the trip, and Im very happy to be back, and happy that it doesnt still feel like hell on earth in terms of the temperature so far. Im not looking forward to Monday, knowing with the longer time to get rooms ready that means Ill be homeless pretty much all day, but thats the price of saving some points with a smaller room for the first couple nights.

    Tomorrow I plan to enjoy time at the pool, which means the leisure pool since that opens at 7am and Stormalong Bay doesnt open til 10. Later Ill spend time in Epcot again, and hopefully by Sunday evening itll be getting less busy.


    DAY 2 Sunday 10/18/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member

    Plan: Pool, Food & Wine

    Actual: I turned in fairly early last night and slept well. It was silent in the room, which is the way it should be. I got up just after 5, and puttered around the studio doing some online stuff. Around 8 I made my egg and slice of bacon for breakfast, then hung out a bit longer to give the sun the chance to reach the top of the building. I should have gone for a walk this morning, but will remember to do that tomorrow. I figure if Im out walking before sunrise, and not near anyone else, I can carry the mask rather than wear it (assuming joggers dont have to jog in their masks).

    Around 8:45 I changed into a swimsuit and headed down to the quiet pool. A family was already there, with the mom walking around without a mask. The man and daughter were in the pool, and there were a couple other solo guys on the other side. The sun takes a while to clear the top of the resort, so it was cloudy out there until about 9:30. I sat there reading, and noticed when the lady went inside (without her mask), she got sent back to get it - a cast member inside must have said something.

    She put the mask on and went back inside, then started to do the same thing later but caught herself and turned around to get the mask, lol. I moved back, into the first sun, and enjoyed the rest of the morning out there, getting up to use the shower once to cool off. There was an occasional breeze, but as the day wore on the sun was feeling hotter. I left just after 1, and went up to the studio to shower and get dressed.

    By 2pm I was walking into Epcot, and no sooner did I turn left towards United Kingdom than it started to rain. I had a little umbrella, but decided to duck into the big air conditioned building that used to be Millenium Village. Several others had the same idea, but it wasnt overly crowded. I took a table in the back, got some wine, and spent time texting or messaging with a number of people. I hardly ever spend time on facebook (except when on a trip), and I posted a comment on one of Carol Steins vacation pictures about looking at her pictures while listening to her play Disney songs at Epcot. When her set was over she saw the comment and messaged me to see where I was, then came out before her next set to say hello.

    I left during that set, having been in there almost and hour. The rain had passed by, and everything was dry again. It was pretty breezy, but that was welcome as it kept it very comfortable! I turned left toward Canada and joined the fairly long queue at the food booth. It moved constantly, so it wasnt bad at all. I got the cheddar cheese soup w/pretzel roll and it was excellent! In true Food & Wine Festival style, I used a trash can for my table. There used to be several more tables in this area (along the lake), but they were removed to make room for a long queue at the Citrus booth. Although, I never saw that many people in line over there.

    After eating I walked over to the Land and did Living with the Land (boat ride). It had a posted 5-minute wait, and thats probably what it took to get on a boat. Again, the queue moved constantly. They have plastic flaps separating each row, which seems a bit much. If were wearing masks, why do we need this too?? It reduces visibility, and Im not a fan.

    After my ride through the greenhouses I went back to World Showcase, and turned towards Canada to do 2 loops around the countries. I stopped here & there to look at stuff, but didnt get anything until the final loop. At the Alps stand (which I think may be only open on weekends) I got the blueberry & almond frangipone tart that was so delicious last year. Its different now, and not really a tart (its not in crust), but its still very good and it's warm! Its also big enough to be shared easily.

    At this point it was 6pm and I didnt really have anything else I needed to do. The wind was still blowing and there were lots of clouds. I figured I might as well head back in case it rained again. I skipped the skyliner and just returned to the resort, where I sat on the balcony to update the report until it started raining lightly. With the breeze, it was blowing onto me, so that was my cue to go inside.

    Today was another wonderful day, but its shocking how quickly it went by! It feels like I just got here, and tonight I pulled the suitcase out to get packed up to move tomorrow. I am not looking forward to being homeless, and havent fully decided what Ill do, but whatever happens Ill deal with it <g>. Itll be nice to get into a more home-like villa for the rest of the trip!


    DAY 3 Monday 10/19/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member

    Plan: Move to 1br villa, Pool, Food & Wine

    Actual: Once again I slept well. At first I heard some faint noise from outside, and when I got up I discovered I hadnt fully closed the sliding glass door (open about half an inch). Once I closed it, the room was silent. I was up at 5 to make my cappuccino, then spent the time relaxing online. The local weather forecast let me formulate/finalize my plan for today.

    It looks like another windy/breezy day, which is a good thing. That keeps it more comfortable! The high is only supposed to be 85, which is better than upper 80s. Theres a 50% chance of rain this afternoon, mainly the 2nd half of the afternoon. Thats not good for moving into the villa, but its not the end of the world I may be sitting in the room with the pool table by then, as I dont need to trudge around Epcot in the rain.

    I decided to get my shower done this morning, so I did that and then dressed in a swimsuit. A change of clothes went into a plastic Publix bag so I could change later and wander around Epcot, assuming its not raining. After breakfast in the studio I brought stuff to the car, keeping the laptop with me rather than having it sit in a hot car all day. Its light enough I dont see it as a problem.

    Around 9 I stopped by the cast member in the villas lobby to let them know Id left my studio and was waiting for the 1-bedroom. Not sure that will do any good, but it cant hurt and it lets them start getting my studio ready so someone else doesnt have to wait until 4pm. From there I headed out to the pool to do some reading while waiting for the sun to clear the building.

    Surprisingly, it was complete overcast until about 10, when suddenly there wasnt a cloud in the sky! Clouds rolled back in later, which wasnt necessarily a bad thing since the sun was a little too warm. I stayed out there until 11:30, and decided that was enough. The pool was anything but quiet, thanks to a team of construction workers pressure washing the building, and using one of those portable bucket trucks that goes beep beep beep when it moves. Plus, rain was due as early as 1pm, so I figured I might as well get some Epcot time & do lunch over there.

    I changed in the restroom at the pool, and since this morning Id moved the car to a shady space, plus it was cloudy out, I left everything in the car and just took my usual small backpack. Getting into the park was easy, and it was much less busy than it was this weekend! I decided to check out the passholder pop up shop first, so I turned right towards France and headed to Germany.

    The line waiting to get in extended halfway through the train display, but it moved pretty steadily. Once I got inside I saw the line to check out extended back nearly to the entrance, and this shop takes the space of 3 regular shops. That was a bit of a deterrent, but in the end I found a few things and joined the back of the line. The wait wasnt really too bad it looked worse than it was. They had several register stations set up at the end, and a cast member kept everyone moving. I bought one of the reusable Epcot bags since it was cute.

    Once outside I continued in the same direction and decided to see if Flavors from Fire was open. Most of the new booths (Spain, Alps, Waffles, Donut place) are only open on the weekend, but I was hoping this one would be popular enough to be 7 days a week. I cut through near Test Track, and was happy to see people getting food!

    I ordered the chimichurri skirt steak (charred chimichurri skirt steak on a smoked corn cake with pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aioli $7.00) again, and todays was a smaller portion (more normal). It was very good, and I took it to a table near the donut place since thats where the only shade could be found. After I finished eating it started to rain, and I realized although I had shade, I had no shelter from rain. The rain just came through the roof, and was bouncing off the tables. Very quickly it was pouring and blowing at an angle, and people came running thinking it would be dry under there (then quickly putting on their ponchos). I opened up my little umbrella and kept my back to a wide column that blocked some of the blowing rain.

    At one point I checked the weather on my phone and saw these storms are supposed to end at 6:30! That sucks, since the park closes at 7pm. Once it let up (or passed over one side was blue sky & the other was dark gray with thunder noises) I walked back to World Showcase. Not knowing if Id make it back today, I walked over to France to try the little cake they have there.

    The line was short, but the registers were closed you had to order & pay where you get the food, so it was pretty slow. I ordered the cake (brioche cake filled with light pastry cream and raspberry coulis $3.00) and the chardonnay (Le Vieux Manoir $5.00). Im not a big fan of chardonnay, but you never see wine for $5 at Disney anymore so I was curious. It was ok definitely not a favorite for me. The little cake was pretty good it looked more like a cream puff. Im glad I tried it, but I dont need to get it again.

    After finishing the wine I headed to International Gateway and exited the park. Id received a notification to stop by the front desk about my room. The skyliner was not running, so there must be lightning within a certain area. I walked back to Beach Club Villas and the cast member was not in the villas lobby so I went to the front desk at Beach Club. There a cast member checked my magic bands to make sure theyd work, then gave me the room number.

    Im not over the pool this time, but have a view of trees. I am in the short hallway that has the ice machine room on one corner and trash/recycling on the other about midway between the single elevator and the set of 2 elevators. Its fine I only really dislike the rooms beyond the single elevator.

    I checked out the villa, turned on General Hospital, and then over the next 30-40 minutes made a few trips to the car to bring stuff up a little at a time. During most of the trips it was raining at least a little, so that slowed me down. When I went out for the final bag I left the umbrella in the room and discovered once outside that it was nearly pouring. So, I got another umbrella from the car, and re-entered the building at the stairwell out by the parking lot. All this rain is ridiculous!

    Id backed some clothes for cool evenings, but we unfortunately wont have any of those this trip, so that stuff stayed in the suitcase. I sat at the dining table and updated the report, waiting for the 4pm news to catch the latest local weather. Although the showers werent supposed to end until 7:15 now, the radar looked like it would be ok for a while around 5.

    I decide to travel light cell phone & umbrella. I pulled out my Disney Vera Bradley phone crossbody and noticed something wadded up in the outer pocket. I pulled it out and was surprised to see it was a $20 bill. Id been thinking of trying a bottle of the Once Upon a Vine sauvignon blanc and I took the $20 as a sign it was meant to be. I went down to Beach Club Marketplace and bought a chilled bottle with tax it was just over $18. The only cork screw in the villa is one of those cheap ones, so I may have to wait for SB to get here before I can open it.

    After putting the wine in the refrigerator and seeing it wasnt raining, I grabbed an umbrella and walked over to Epcot a little after 5. Since I had the umbrella it didnt rain at all, lol but the mugginess was through the roof! It was terrible! It was still fairly busy too, so the rain hadnt sent people home earlier. That said, lines at the booths were small or nonexistent.

    I turned left towards UK and made one loop. I thought about the crispy chicken from the Citrus booth but decided to get the bratwurst in Germany instead. In Mexico there wasnt a line to get into the pavilion so I went inside thinking Id ride the boat ride. However, people were queued up in the lobby area, and when I checked the app I saw the boat wait was 15 minutes, so I decided not to bother. Spaceship Earth was only 5 minutes, but I didnt feel like walking up there.

    I continued around, and stopped in Germany for the bratwurst. The pretzel rolls are definitely bigger this year, in both Canada & Germany. Now the bratwurst pretty much fits, rather than hanging out a lot at each end. I took it over by the lake, to a stand-up table. Everything was still wet, so sitting down anywhere was out of the question. The bratwurst was good, as usual.

    After eating I continued walking, and there was still a line of people waiting to get into the passholder pop up store. In Italy I thought about the cannoli but decided to skip that in favor of trying the baklava in Morocco again. I wasnt crazy about it last time, but it may have been because I carried it around in the 100 degree heat for quite a while before getting it in the fridge. If this one also tastes different than it did for the last several years, then its time to start skipping it.

    At this point Id had enough of the dampness & humidity, and it was so overcast there wasnt going to be a pretty dusk/sunset so I decided to head out. I left via International Gateway and the skyliner was running again. I walked back to Beach Club, and put the baklava in the fridge. Although it was early (6:30) I was in for the night, so I got comfortable, pulled the extra blanket down from the closet, and sat out in the living room (better tv there) with the laptop and a glass of wine.

    Today also flew by, and being homeless for much of the day wasnt as bad as I thought it might be. The clouds helped, but the rain was a pain! That really messed up the afternoon & evening. This time of year it should have been so nice, but I ended up with the wrong week I guess. I also forgot to go for a walk this morning realized that around 2pm, when it was raining. It was nice at the pool, and I enjoyed Epcot except for the weather. I love being in the 1-bedroom villa for the rest of the trip!

    Tomorrow Ill head to Publix early to do our grocery shopping, then hopefully enjoy time at the pool. Its supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon, possibly starting late morning, so well see how the Epcot time pans out. Tiana, Jonell & SB arrive tomorrow evening, and well have snacks in our villa.


    DAY 4 Tuesday 10/20/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    SB (62), my husband
    Tiana (50s), friend
    Jonell (60s), Tianas husband

    Plan: Pool, Food & Wine, Floyd Tiana & Jonell arrive

    Actual: This morning I woke up at 1:30, but fell back asleep until 4:30. Next thing I knew it was just after 5, so I got up and made my cappuccino. After relaxing in the villa for a while, I got dressed & headed to Publix a little before 7. I wanted to get there and get back before the traffic got started.

    Publix (the one by Premium Outlets) wasnt busy at all, and I found everything on my list. At checkout I learned they cant sell wine before 9am, so that got left behind. Its not worth going back, so hopefully SB will remember to bring what I ask for (and hopefully I remember to ask him, lol) when he comes down tonight. I returned to Beach Club and was able to make just a single trip from the car.

    After putting away the groceries I went down to Beach Club Marketplace in search of butter or margarine. They didnt have any packets out, and I couldnt find any in the coolers either. A cast member asked if I was looking for something, and apologized that they were out of butter because it hadnt come in yet, but she could give me packets. That was fine with me she took a bag and put a LOT of butter packets in there and asked me if that was enough, lol! I said yes, and she told me if I need more later to just come back and ask for them. That was very nice!

    Back in the villa I fixed my breakfast egg, slice of bacon and piece of toast (with butter). Its so nice having the stovetop instead of just the microwave. Its another overcast day, with rain possible around noon. I decided to take a chance the sun might come out briefly and went down to the pool around 9:30.

    It was completely overcast until 11, and the construction crew with the noisy bucket truck thing were back. It wasnt very peaceful. There were a lot more people there too, but most didnt stay very long. I wasnt exactly sad when the bucket truck engine started billowing out smelly (burning) smoke in a big cloud that blew past. That bought a decent period of quiet time <g>.

    At 11 the sun was shining, so I stayed out there until noon. The rain now looks like it wont happen today, although it will remain completely cloudy. Just in case, I took an umbrella with me! I decided to hold off on my shower until later, so I got dressed & ready for Epcot. Last night Id tried some of the baklava and it was very good that last time must have been a fluke, or I ruined it by carrying it around in the extreme heat. I took another bite and then began walking to Epcot.

    I love the low crowds right now, but it was very warm out there. I hate that I switched my trip to this week, but the plus side is I will be back in early November for another short stay hopefully the weather is more comfortable then. I turned right towards France and made a loop around the countries. Some places had no lines at all, but Frozen was backed up to China and the queue to enter Mexico was wrapped around outside the building. Perhaps that was people waiting for the tequila bar? The boat ride only had a 5-minute wait per the app. Along the way, I ran into radp friend John Hayes near America he was with his daughter and adorable granddaughter Addison.

    I was torn between the citrus chicken or mac & cheese, and in the end mac & cheese won because it has air conditioning! I went inside, and browsed through the festival merchandise again before heading further into the pavilion. Carol Stein came onto the stage and started playing a set. Id decided to try for a seat this time, so after getting my mac & cheese and chenin blanc I headed towards the short tables & ran into dvc friend Rhona Grumet, who had seen me & called my name. Her husband Mark was off buying a bottle of water, so I joined them at their table and we had a nice time catching up.

    Shortly after Carols set ended, she came by and stopped to chat. Rhona and Mark have been fans of hers but I dont think theyve ever met, so today was their lucky day. Carol cleared up a big misconception thats floating around on the internet Disney did not get rid of all the entertainers they recently let go (Yee Haw Bob, Grand Floridian Orchestra, etc). Bob works at Port Orleans, and neither of those resorts are open. Basically all the entertainers let go are let go as of January 1, but once Disney can bring the entertainment back those people get to come back without any auditions or anything. Of course, if theyve found something better in the meantime, then its Disneys (and our) loss. Carol spoke very highly of what the Disney company has been doing for everyone, and keeping guests and cast safe. It was good to hear, and made me more optimistic about the future. I want my club level services back, and the entertainment <g>!

    Mark, Rhona & I stayed a bit longer, then decided it was time to head on out. Theyre going back home tomorrow. I left Epcot and walked back to Beach Club, arriving just in time for General Hospital (2pm). After GH I stepped out onto the balcony and saw it was raining lightly. It didnt last long, so after about 5 minutes I decided to take a walk around the lake/Boardwalk. I wanted to be sure to catch SB when he got off work at 3:30 so I could tell him what I wanted him to bring from home. Only after that was taken care of would I finally take my shower!

    Before heading out I noticed I had a message, which was from dvc. They mentioned having a 2-bedroom villa open for viewing downstairs and Id receive my welcome home gift (lithograph). I decided to do that first. In room 134 I found 2 very nice cast members and spent time chatting with them about assorted destinations. Fran, Holli & I are sharing a 2-bedroom villa here next month, and Id planned to take the sleep sofa, but I may rethink that given that Id have to walk through the bedroom to get to the bathroom. Ill talk with Holli & find out if she snores then figure out how best to handle the sleeping arrangements.

    I dropped the lithograph off in my villa, then headed out to walk around the lake. SB called when he got off work, so I was able to tell him what he needed to bring. Just then it started to rain, and soon it was pouring. I was close to the marina so I ducked under cover there. Within 5 minutes the rain stopped, and I continued on my walk.

    At Boardwalk I decided to tour the model and pick up a lithograph to give to Amanda. Once again the cast members were great to chat with, and I know Amanda will like the lithograph. The Boardwalk was so strange with hardly anyone out there, all the booths closed, some of the restaurants closed, etc. Boardwalk Inn hasnt reopened, so its just the dvc side right now. I continued walking back to Beach Club, and once in the room called housekeeping for an extra blanket. It came within 15 minutes. After storing it in a drawer in the living room, I went in and finally took my shower!

    SB and the others were on the road just before 5, so they should be here by 7. I finished the baklava while waiting, and talked to SB on the phone. He said Tiana had gotten a notification their room was ready but didnt have the room number. I think the email gives the number, but the notification sends you to the app and for me its always a nightmare trying to get that to show me the number. I decided to walk downstairs and see if the cast member in the villas lobby would tell me their room number.

    As expected, she wasnt able to give me the number but she did confirm they were in the same little hallway as us and so will Chris & Amanda when they arrive Friday. The cast member works til 10 and will take her dinner break at 7:30, so if Tiana cant get the room # from her email she can get it here at the villas lobby.

    In the interest of not having to stay up late to finish the report I decided to cut it off here and write about the rest of the day tomorrow morning. The others should be here by 7, and well need to get them settled. They seem to be hungry, so if the snacks here arent enough well get something from Beach Club Marketplace. Tomorrows an Epcot day and its supposed to be crappy weather (not good for pool time either), so we dont have to get up early.

    Today the weather was somewhat disappointing, but otherwise it was a great day. Its sad the trip is almost half over already though.


    DAY 5 Wednesday 10/21/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    SB (62), my husband
    Tiana (50s), friend
    Jonell (60s), Tianas husband

    Plan: Epcot

    Actual: Last night the others arrived around 7:30, having run into some traffic but also taking a detour to show SB the house Tiana & Jonell were having built. They have the final walk-through this Thursday and close the following Thursday. SB showed up at my door alone Tiana had been able to check her email and theyre a few doors away. SB only had a few things to unpack, since Id brought most of our stuff with me.

    This morning Id bought a DiGiorno 3-meat pizza, and set about trying to figure out the oven so I could bake it properly. There was a bit of trial and error, as I clearly dont understand any relatively new technology. Thankfully I kept track of the time so it wasnt over cooked or under cooked. In the meantime I also had some buffalo chicken breast dip that I portioned into a bowl and heated in the microwave. With some plain pita chips for dipping, it was very good everyone really liked it.

    Tiana & Jonell arrived as I was finishing up the crackers and cheese platter. The guys settled on the sofa, since the World Series was on. Jonell made himself tangueray (sp?) and cranberry juice, which I topped off with a frozen mickey ice cube. SB had beer. I gave them a bowl of the chicken dip and a bowl of pita chips, and did the same for Tiana and I at the dining table. The pizza turned out excellent I couldnt believe a frozen pizza would be so good! The guys ate the pizza (5 out of 6 pieces that one is in the fridge) but I had some of SBs crust.

    For cheeses we had a couple variations of cheddar, manchego, and wesleydale w/cranberry. There were cheddar cheese triscuits, a multigrain round cracker and a flatbread, plus sliced salami. Tiana and I shared some Kung Fu Girl Riesling, which she loved. I brought that knowing she prefers sweeter wine, and this one is not too sweet for me. It was a great evening of eating, drinking, talking & laughing. Around 10 we wound down everyone was getting tired. Tiana helped me clean everything up, then they went to their room. SB stayed up to watch the rest of the game, and will undoubtedly fall asleep out in the living room. I brought the coffee maker into my bathroom so I wouldnt disturb him in the morning, but if he makes it to bed then Ill just take it back out to the kitchen in the morning.

    I should have been tired, but I watched a little HGTV before turning in around 11. It was just after 5:30 when I got up, and SB was already up. We did some online stuff and watched the local news/weather for a while. It wasnt quite necessary yet, but since we had time we did a load of laundry. Its convenient having the washer & dryer right in the villa.

    SB got the bounty breakfast from Beach Club Marketplace, and everything was good. I ate his Mickey waffle, along with my egg and slice of bacon. A little after 10 Tiana & Jonell came over, and we headed to Epcot at 10:30. Tiana said their room was very comfortable, and they were both very pleased with it.

    This was my first time entering a park at opening since the pandemic, and Epcot was a lot busier than it has been on any of my previous visits when the park had already been open for hours. However, the lines were constantly moving, generally pretty quickly, so it was very easy getting into the park. Temperature check was quick, Tiana got pulled over for a bag check but the rest of us sailed through, and at entry Tiana was denied but the rest of us were let in. They let Jonell go with her over to Guest Relations, where she learned her pass was denied because shed recently gotten a new debit card and forgot to update the new number on her monthly payment contract for her annual pass. Once that was fixed, they were back in the park.

    Although the park opens at 11, they let people in starting at 10:30. We were in by 10:45 and walked over to Future World. Id forgotten Jonell did Soarin last year, or we would have gone to Test Track instead. Soarin had a 10-minute wait posted and we didnt really slow down until the boarding area. We were in the first row on the left side, and once seatbelted in Tiana started getting anxious. We called the cast member over and she decided to wait for us at the exit. The rest of us enjoyed it, even with the warped/leaning scenery in the movie.

    We picked up Tiana at the exit and went upstairs for the Amazing Planet movie. Im the only one who had seen that before, and everyone enjoyed it. They took social distancing to an extreme every other row was blocked off to remain empty, and the open rows only had certain seats open in order to separate parties. Id estimate there were 30 or so guests in the theater.

    After the movie we headed back outside and walked over to Nemo, where we walked right onto a couple clam mobiles. After the ride we walked around looking at the manatees and then the fish in the big aquariums. From there we headed towards Future World, and since the others were interested in Test Track I checked the app and the wait time was 50 minutes. Soarins wait time was also 50 minutes at this point, and Frozen was 60. Thankfully they decided it wasnt worth waiting almost an hour, so we stopped briefly in Odyssey to see the presentation on the new Epcot and then continued into Mexico.

    The 3 of them wanted margaritas, and the line was really short (2 parties ahead of us) at the margarita stand! SB got a strawberry margarita and Tiana & Jonell each got the fiesta (layers of strawberry, mango & lime) margarita. Im not a big margarita drinker, so I passed. We found a spot to sit/stand near the exit, and hung out there while they drank their drinks.

    Once that was done we continued walking, stopping in China for Tiana & Jonell to each get a Mongolian beef in bao bun and the crispy shrimp. The beef bun was really good Ill have to get one at some point. The shrimp came on French fries, which was kind of strange. Noodles would have made more sense in China! Plus, the fries were barely warm, so Tiana didnt even bother to eat hers.

    Continuing on, SB was going to get the bratwurst in Germany but decided the line was too long. The line to get into the passholder pop up shop was almost non-existent so the guys sat on a bench while Tiana & I went inside. I bought another Christmas gift, and Tiana got the same item for herself, then we met the guys back outside. SB had gotten a beer, so once that was mostly gone we continued walking.

    Our next stop was America, where Tiana & Jonell grabbed a picnic table while SB got the southern seafood boil and I got the chardonnay. The seafood boil had quite a bit in it, and I ate his piece of corn on the cob. The chardonnay was ok typical tiny portion, but thats Disney these days.

    We continued walking to the old Millenium Village building, where we went straight to the back and scored a table with 4 chairs. The guys went up to the mac & cheese stand and each came back with the lobster mac & cheese, and the chenin blanc for us. Tiana liked the wine, and both guys like the mac & cheese. Carol Stein was playing when we came in, but after her set I caught her attention and she was excited to see SB since it had been quite a while. She chatted with us a bit, then headed off for her break.

    I went up to the Festival Favorites booth and got the pierogi and kielbasa again, while SB went to the desserts for a couple of cake pops. He got the one with m&m and got the twix one for Tiana. I was back at the table and had finished my food before SB got back (much longer line). Jonell doesnt like chocolate, so Tiana was on her own, and couldnt finish the whole thing. SB ate most of his, but I ate the rest.

    Before leaving the building we stopped at the festival merchandise, where Tiana got her annual Food & Wine Festival shirt, the same trivet I bought, and a shirt for Jonell. I gathered up the guys and we met at the exit and left Epcot. Theyd never ridden the skyliner, so we rode that over to Caribbean Beach and transferred back to Epcot. They both really liked it.

    Once off the skyliner we returned to Beach Club Villas for a rest, agreeing to meet in 2 hours (5:45) for one last Epcot visit. It may consist of walking to get them margaritas again and thats about it! I doubt anyone will be hungry for food, although SB has mumbled about the foot long chili cheese dog at Beach Club Marketplace and Jonell seemed interested as well.

    Back in the villa SB went to lay down on the bed and I thought he might nap but he ended up doing online stuff and watching tv. I hung out in the living room, catching up the trip report. I tried opening the Once Upon a Vine sauvignon blanc, but with the crappy corkscrew it simply wasnt happening. I dont want to lug a bottle of wine home, so maybe Ill see if Chris & Amanda can bring a real corkscrew when they come up Friday. If I love the wine (which is probably not likely, as its California and CA isnt a top spot for sauvignon blanc), Ill have to pack a real corkscrew going forward.

    At 5:45 we picked up Tiana & Jonell and walked over to Epcot. As we approached the entrance SB realized hed forgotten his mask, and none of us had noticed. Luckily I had a surgical mask in my bag, so he wore that. Entry was a breeze, and the park was not crowded at all.

    We turned left towards UK and were headed to Mexico for their margaritas. Along the way it started to rain, but didnt last more than a few minutes. I was glad I at least had my little umbrella in my bag. At Mexico there were a few people in line at the margarita stand, so the others joined the queue while I waited for a spot to open up near the exit. Soon a big party left, so we were able to take over the space.

    They repeated the same margaritas as this morning, but this time Tiana couldnt finish hers. Jonell dumped it into his glass, which was now full. We decided to head back, and as we passed Canada SB asked if Jonell was going to be able to leave the park with the margarita, and of course the answer was no. I had a plastic Publix bag for my wet umbrella, so I gave that to Jonell to wrap the margarita and put it in his shorts pocket (like a cargo pants style). We got out of the park just fine, and he had the margarita with dinner.

    We stopped at Beach Club Marketplace, where SB got the half chicken dinner and clam chowder and Tiana & Jonell each got the foot long chili cheese dog. We took it all up to our villa, and I fixed myself a few crackers and cheese. Tiana finished the wine we started the night before, and SB was able to open my Once Upon a Vine wine. The wine ended up being ok as expected, being from California it wasnt anything spectacular.

    SB loved his chowder and the chicken dinner. Jonell thought his chili dog was ok, and Tiana could barely eat half of hers. She left the other half for SB, so we put it in the fridge with the little bit of chicken he had left. We watched Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune while eating and chatting. The left for their room around

    Today was another great day and we were so lucky not having rain much at all! Everyone had a really nice time, and enjoyed everything we did. Tomorrow were headed to Animal Kingdom, where the priority is Flight of Passage. Tiana & Jonell need to be on the road by 11:45 tomorrow so well drive over to the park and they can leave from there.


    DAY 6 Thursday 10/22/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    SB (62), my husband
    Tiana (50s), friend
    Jonell (60s), Tianas husband

    Plan: Animal Kingdom

    Actual: We slept well and were both up around 4:30. The early morning was spent doing online stuff, watching tv (news for me, sports for SB) and relaxing. I took my shower first, and then made us breakfast eggs, sausage, grits & toast for SB and the usual egg/bacon/toast for me. I also boiled an egg for Ari since theyre arriving tomorrow. I figure with Mickey waffles available downstairs, hes not going to want a boiled egg every morning <g>.

    Tiana texted to confirm theyd be ready to go at 8:15, and we were ready as well. Im not sure if Animal Kingdom lets guests in early like Epcot does, so we figured the worst that can happen is we end up standing around for a bit this morning. We picked them up at their room, then went out to Tianas car.

    We arrived at the parking area at 8:28 and they were letting cars in. We were pretty far back, and every lane was being used. Ours was the only line that seemed to not be moving much, so we chose poorly. At one point this scruffy old man from the car behind us got out and walked up to the ticket booths to find out why it was taking so long. We were too far back to hear anything, but eventually he was sent back to his car, this time wearing his mask.

    Eventually we made it through, and learned the problem was most likely due to 1 of the 2 cast members scanner (to read the magic bands) was not working. She tried to scan Jonell and it wouldnt work, so she got the one from the other cast member and it worked fine. We ended up with a good parking spot at the close end of the row rather than all the way down the end. The trams arent running, so we walked in. I was on the phone with a work call at the time they needed to set up a conference call for later today so I picked the time choice most convenient to us.

    There was a long line for temperature checks, but it moved quickly. Security was a breeze and once again Tiana set off the alarm. This time she learned what was causing it, so she knows to leave that behind in the future. Entering the park was also very quick, and we were heading to Pandora shortly before 9am (park opening).

    To my absolute horror, the line for Flight of Passage ended by Festival of the Lion King! Im not kidding. It was posted as 50 minutes immediately after 9, and by 9:10 it was 65 minutes, then went up to 95 minutes shortly after that. We were on in just under an hour that is a very long queue once you get inside! Wed never seen any of, since we always do fastpass. I dont plan to ever see it again, as Im not doing this until fastpass returns (unless by some freaky reason the wait is 10-15 minutes).

    Jonell had never ridden before, and he loved it enough to say it was worth the wait! We all really enjoyed it this is most likely everyones favorite attraction. Once we got back outside I checked the app and the safari was now 65 minutes!!! It had been 5 minutes for quite a while earlier. This really sucks, and makes me not even want to bother going to the parks. We headed over there, and the wait had dropped to 45 minutes by the time we arrived.

    The queue keeps moving, but it was probably close to 45 minutes before we got onto a truck. They were only loading from one side, too. The safari was excellent, with pretty much every animal out & about. We had a couple cheetahs close by watching the truck (awake), the male lion was asleep in the open and both females were with him (one got up and jumped up to the level he was on), several white rhino were in the road on either side of the truck (in fact blocking the truck behind us), lots of giraffe everywhere, etc. The driver was a great guide too, so overall it was a wonderful safari.

    At this point it was 11:15. Weve been in the park 2.25 hours and managed to do 2 things, thanks to no fastpass. I checked the app for wait times but there wasnt anything with a short enough wait to fit with their desired departure time (11:45), so we headed out. They offered to drop us at the resort but SB & I decided to take the bus and not take them out of the way. We said our goodbyes and SB & I headed to the bus stop. The Boardwalk bus was there so SB suggested we take that and walk back to the resort. That was fine by me, so we boarded the bus. We were the only passengers, and after sitting there for a while we were on our way to Boardwalk.

    SB found the boardwalk almost eerie the way it was so empty of people. Right now the Villas are open but the Inn is still closed. With barely half the normal number of rooms, not everything else is open either. We walked back over to Beach Club and went up to the villa.

    It was warm and had some sunshine at times so I decided to go down to the pool. SB thought he might join me later, or go tonight. Since we chose Animal Kingdom for our park today, in order to do Flight of Passage, this means we cant go anywhere else the rest of the day (like Epcot). As I got to the construction zone/pool, a cast member confirmed I was going to the pool and then let me know theres another quiet pool I can use if the construction noise is a bother. Id forgotten all about the quiet pool on the Beach Club side, and of course theres Stormalong Bay too. There was only 1 other couple at this pool, so I decided to stay put.

    I lasted an hour when the sun would break out it was very hot! The clouds felt better. At one point I felt some misty little drops of rain, and the sky was overcast, so I went up to the villa. SB was surprised to see me, and hadnt noticed it was now pouring. Like the other day though, it would rain for 10 minutes, be sunny for a while, rain again, and repeat.

    He ate the other half of Tianas chile cheese dog, and the leftover slice of pizza. I ate some of the crust, and had a slice of cheese on a cracker. Our lunch reservation is 3:35, which was less than 2 hours away. By 2 I went into the bedroom to watch General Hospital, and at 2:30 dialed in for my conference call. Before the call I was able to figure out how to turn on the captions on the tv so I could mute GH but still see what they were saying <g>.

    The call lasted just over 30 minutes, and then I talked with one of the other participants for a little bit. SB & I left around 3:15 for our Beaches & Cream reservation, arriving a bit early but getting seated right away. The restaurant is more spacious now, and tables are spread apart. In my opinion its lost some of the atmosphere, though. Our server was not very friendly or engaging, although she got the job done. A young girl and her dad were sharing a Kitchen Sink (made for 4 people) at a nearby table we werent sure what was up with that, as there was no way they could eat it all. A family of 4 has trouble eating it all.

    SB got a chocolate milkshake and its now in one metal cup milkshake topped with a lot of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles & a cherry. It used to come in a bigger metal cup, where theyd pour most of it into a tall glass and then you had what was left in the metal cup. So, that was a negative change in his eyes.

    For food he got the angus cheeseburger with fries, and I got a bowl of the tomato bisque. The food was all excellent, but so filling! The soup was very thick and I couldnt finish it (partly due to sharing some fries, a couple bites of the burger, and some of the shake). I assume when people order the grilled cheese it must come with a smaller cup instead of the bowl, because it would be hard to finish. We passed on dessert, both stuffed to the gills. We got 10% discount for DVC, and the check came to just over $31. We added the tip and got that taken care of, then headed back up to the villa.

    We both agree that this one park per day really sucks, and that it would have been better to just have booked Epcot for every day. Ive been watching the wait times on the app, and I am NOT looking forward to going to Hollywood Studios tomorrow. Magic Kingdom Sunday doesnt sound much better.

    We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening just puttering around the villa. Its nice having the separate areas so we can each watch what we want (or not have to watch what the other wants to watch). Ill be happy with HGTV tonight, while hell probably be interested in the presidential debate (gag me), football and world series.

    Today was some fun, but also very disappointing and frustrating with the line situation in the parks. I did not enjoy standing in line for an hour for something I always used to ride with fastpass, and then that time in line meant by the time we could do the safari (also usually a fastpass) the wait was 45 minutes! Waits like that are not acceptable to me I simply dont want to bother. Ive heard nightmare stories about Hollywood Studios being worse than the other parks, so Ill see what happens tomorrow. I may leave before the others, and cancel any future Studios reservations for me. The Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway stayed close to 90 minutes all day long today doubt tomorrow will be any better.

    But, other than bitching about how the parks suck right now, the rest of the day was nice and we enjoyed the time with Tiana & Jonell. We REALLY missed being able to pop over to Epcot this evening. What a waste of the Beach Club location under these circumstances.

    Tomorrow morning Chris, Amanda & Ari arrive for the rest of the trip. No doubt their studio wont be ready until mid-late afternoon but they can use our villa. I think were planning pool time for the morning, then using the Studios reservations later in the afternoon. Well see how it goes.


    DAY 7 Friday 10/23/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    SB (62), my husband
    Chris (33), son
    Amanda (31), daughter-in-law
    Ari (4), grandson

    Plan: Hollywood Studios, Pool

    Actual: This morning I woke up really early at 3:30. Thats too early to get up even for me, but I did get up at 4:30. SB had stayed up really late watching tv, so he didnt get up until 6:30. We followed the usual morning routine, and I made breakfast for us around 7:30. Earlier I did a load of laundry, to get that out of the way. Chris & Amanda were on the road by 7, so they should be here by 10.

    We went down to the quiet pool at 9, figuring wed see them when they came in. It was quiet at first, but then the construction crew arrived, lol. It wasnt too bad I sat on my chaise lounge and SB alternated between the jacuzzi and swimming pool before joining me on his chair around 10. Once again it was overcast quite a bit this is getting a bit annoying, but not something under my (or Disneys control).

    They were at the charging station by 10, and arrived at Beach Club Villas just before 10:30. Ari had his Cars suitcase and Mickey Mouse umbrella, but they forgot to bring his baseball stuff so he could work with SB. We went up to our villa, and they changed into swimsuits. SB decided to stay back in the villa he was intent on online horse racing today. On the way through the villas lobby we stopped and let the cast member know they were here, and asked for a note to housekeeping to please do the room as soon as possible. I didnt have much faith that would make a difference, being a skeptic.

    Chris, Amanda, Ari & I continued to Stormalong Bay, got our wrist bands, and easily found a group of 3 chaise lounges over by the lazy river. I sat on my chair while they made a loop around the lazy river, then I joined them for the next loop. After that Ari wanted to do the slide, so Chris took him up there and Amanda & I waited where the slide ends. This is by far the longest water slide at Disney (200 feet??), and it was Aris first time but he loved it! He wanted to do it again, right away, so Chris took him back up.

    We eventually returned to our chairs and Chris went to use the restroom before they were going back into the pool. While he was gone it started to sprinkle, then it was raining hard. We jumped up and moved over under a tree, and when it let up we moved under real shelter. Of course Chris was back in just a few minutes and the sun was shining then, so he was wondering what our problem was, lol. Thankfully the ground was wet to prove it had rained.

    We decided to just go have lunch in the villa, and then see if Ari would nap. Hes at the age that its becoming questionable, but hopefully between the drive and time in the pool hed be tired. We stopped at Beach Club Marketplace on the way up, and I called SB to see what he wanted (pulled pork sandwich). Ari got a lunchable, Amanda had the kids macaroni & cheese, and Chris had the pulled pork sandwich and chowder. Mine was ready first, so I took Ari and went up to the villa since he was complaining about being cold.

    Upstairs SB was in the bedroom playing the horses, but he came out to the dining room. Ari changed into dry clothes, and then I threw a towel in the dryer to warm up for him. Chris & Amanda arrived shortly, and we got lunch set up. I heated up some of the buffalo chicken breast dip, which Amanda ate with her mac & cheese. She said the mac & cheese was just ok didnt have a lot of flavor. The pulled pork sandwich was a big hit with SB along with the cole slaw that came with it. It also came with their house chips, but he ate his regular Lays chips.

    Just before 2 Chris & Amandas room was ready! I was shocked! An even bigger surprise is its the connecting studio next door! Unfortunately none of their magic bands (they had around 8-10 of them with them) worked, so Chris had to go down to the villas lobby to get 3 of them reset to open the room.

    Once he returned we opened the connecting doors and slid their stuff over to their side. Ari settled onto the kiddie bed for a nap, and Amanda must have done the same. Chris came back over to our side and spent time there. I was approving a bunch of payroll actions and once I finished I got up and took my shower. We decided to head out at 3, so SB took his shower around 2:45.

    At 3 Chris woke his family up and we headed out. We walked over to the skyliner and rode to Hollywood Studios after changing lines at Caribbean Beach. There wasnt any wait at either station. Getting through temperatures, security and entry was very quick as well there wasnt anyone around but us. Everyone was inside in the long lines, lol!

    At home Amanda had been having trouble getting the extension on their annual passes. Finally it worked for hers and Chris but not Aris. The cast member on the passholder line suggested she go to guest relations at one of the parks, so thats where she headed. The rest of us waited for her, and the cast members werent having any better luck so Amanda told us to just go to Toy Story and shed try to meet up with us.

    We walked back to Toy Story Land, pass the 90-minute line for Slinky Dog, and walked into Toy Story Midway Mania with a posted 30-minute wait. That turned out to not be accurate, as we were getting in our vehicle in 10 minutes. At the end the cast member sent us down the empty line on the right, so we probably saved about 5 minutes that way. Ari rode with Chris, and got 46,000 points. Once again I beat SB, getting 141k to his 86k.

    Ari also loves Alien Saucer Spin, which had been posted as 35 minute but looked like it would be much shorter. When we got there the wait had changed to 10 or 15 minutes lucky timing! Amanda was still stuck at Guest Relations, with multiple cast members trying to figure it out. We joined the queue, and Ari enjoyed the ride. Its real jerky, but fun for kids. After the ride we checked the wait times again, and Mickey & Minnies Runaway Railway was still alternating between 90 and 80 minutes.

    Just then Amanda let Chris know that we all had fastpasses for that attraction! Shed wasted so much of her time at Guest Relations (and it still wasnt fixed theyll work on it without her) they offered a fastpass for her entire party. The only thing not included was Rise of the Resistance, so she picked the railway. We met her there, and were directed into a side entrance where we bypassed almost the entire line.

    This was the first time riding for SB & me and we both liked it but wouldnt ever wait in a long line for it. That said, Im glad we got to ride it, and especially glad we were able to do so without waiting in line! After this we saw Millenium Falcon Run had dropped to 35 minutes so we walked over there and that wait was pretty accurate. Id ridden it once before and wasnt impressed at all, but SB had never been. Hes not a Star Wars fan either he saw the first movie and thats it, despite having seen almost every other movie made.

    We decided to have Chris & SB be the pilots, Ari & I were the gunners, and Amanda was our engineer. This time I actually enjoyed it much more, and SB liked it quite a bit as well. Of the 4 attractions we did, this one was his favorite. We got a lot more done than we did in Animal Kingdom yesterday, which surprised me.

    While we were in line I called the jury duty line and learned I do have to report for jury duty Monday morning. Most likely well leave Sunday, rather than leaving in the middle of the night.

    We headed out of the park and rode the skyliner back to Epcot, then walked to the resort. Chris, Amanda & Ari went to Yacht Club to get the Cuban from their Marketplace at Ale & Compass, while SB got the roasted half chicken dinner from Beach Club Marketplace and I went up to the villa to cook a frozen pizza for everyone.

    SB was back first, and I ate his corn on the cob. He couldnt finish his dinner, so the rest is in the fridge. Over at Yacht they were really slow, so the pizza was finished cooking by the time they got back. After all that wait, Chris said the Cuban was just ok. Ari had some instant macaroni & cheese Amanda had brought, and everyone tried some of the pizza it was pretty good. We had some left over, so that went in the fridge as well. Thank goodness for full kitchens!

    Around 8 it was time for Aris bath and getting ready for bed. I think I was ready earlier than Ari, lol! Today was another day that flew by, but it was a lot of fun. We were very fortunate to do all we did at Hollywood Studios. Tomorrow is Epcot day, so well be making a couple trips over there. In between maybe I can get some pool time.


    DAY 8 Saturday 10/24/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    SB (62), my husband
    Chris (33), son
    Amanda (31), daughter-in-law
    Ari (4), grandson

    Plan: Epcot, Pool, Food & Wine

    Actual: Last night Amanda texted asking if I could hear the brats running around unsupervised by parents in the room upstairs. I could tell people were up there, but it wasnt bad on my side. She said it sounded like they were playing tag, and she could even hear their voices. You dont normally hear voices except via a connecting door, so that tells me these people were RUDE people. She ended up using the chat feature through the app to talk to someone at the resort hopefully she got some resolution and was able to get to sleep. The noise had woken Ari up, but he fell back asleep.

    I slept well, and got up just before 5 to relax with my cappuccino. SB was up by 6:30, and I made my breakfast around 7 he wasnt hungry for anything and was planning to wait for Food & Wine. The others were up around 7:30, with a nightmare story about the noisy people last night. Turns out it was the people on the other side of them, not upstairs. After repeated calls to the front desk, over a couple of hours, Chris went out into the hall to go upstairs and thats when he discovered it was next door. Its a dedicated 2-bedroom villa and Amanda could occasionally hear the mom yell at the kids, then theyd be right back to being wild and jumping all over the place. Around 12:15 he went next door and the woman answered. He asked her if they could please keep it down, and she replied F you and then slammed the door in his face! Nice piece of trash we have staying here!

    Amanda gave Ari the hard boiled egg Id made him, and some instant apple cinnamon oatmeal. She made some bacon, eggs & toast for her & Chris. Ari was taking forever to eat his breakfast even though he likes this food and its what he asked for. At least not having an early start means were not stressing about trying to get out of the room while he dawdles. SB changed his mind about breakfast and made a ham sandwich with chips and finished the rest of the chicken. So much for saving his appetite for Food & Wine sigh.

    We headed over to Epcot about 10:15, and walked right in. Chris wanted to look in the shop at International Gateway so we all went inside. I noticed the Food & Wine print of the Dooney & Bourke purses was really cute, and it was 30% off plus another 30% for passholder or dvc. We ended up getting me one as a Christmas gift from SB couldnt beat the bargain. Its a different style from my others, and it will go with everything.

    We started touring the countries, heading towards Canada first. There was nobody in line so Chris got a beer and SB & I shared the mushroom filet and the cheese soup with pretzel roll. It was all delicious! Continuing on, we went into Mexico and rode the boat ride Ari always likes this. He sat in the front row with SB & me, and his parents behind us. They left the next 2 rows empty and had a party (a couple) in the last row.

    After the boat ride they continued to Norway to meet Elsa & Anna before going to Coral Reef for an 11:45 lunch reservation. SB wanted a margarita so I secured shady seats for us while he stood in line to get his strawberry margarita.

    Our next stop was China, where he got the shrimp with street fries and I had the Mongolian beef on the bao bun. Both were pretty good. After this we stopped in America for the Hops & Barley stand. I grabbed a shady picnic table and SB came back with another seafood boil and the warm carrot cake. He really likes the seafood boil, and feels its the best value out here. I ate his corn on the cob and it was very tender and sweet. The carrot cake was good, with chunks of pineapple added for moistness.

    At this point we were done, as it was getting really hot! We walked back to the villa, where I changed into a swimsuit and went down to the quiet pool. Well see if he leaves the air conditioning and tv to come down at all (he didnt). My dvc friend Anna from New York came over to chat shes here with her husband, kids & grandkids as well. It was great seeing her, and nice having a chance to talk in person!

    I went back upstairs around 2:30 or 2:45 it was really hot out there. Ari was still asleep, and his parents were over there with him. SB was still watching tv I never watch with him unless its sports, as he likes all the violent crap I refuse to sit through. I took my shower and got dressed, and Ari was awake by then. SB started asking about a place to get spaghetti, which annoyed me. He knows were here for Food & Wine the last thing Im doing is sitting in a restaurant on or off property, especially for spaghetti! I told him he can have it at home (yes, mean wife). I think having him here this long is a little too long for him, which isnt surprising given how long Ive known him. I asked him about it and he agreed it was a bit too long for him. Looking ahead to next year, I asked if 4 or 3 nights would be better, and he said 3. So, Ill rework the plan to do 3 nights in a villa with both of us, and then add 5-6 nights for a glorious solo stay in a studio (less points) for me!

    Chris, Amanda & Ari decided to head back to Epcot and get Ari on a few of the attractions. As hot as it is, I didnt look forward to sweating to death over there so I decided to join them later. SB will either go over with me or join us all later I did mention the Regal Eagle Smokehouse as a possibility for him. That way we can order his food (and any else if they want something) but the people who dont want a meal dont have to get one.

    We left by 5 to meet the others in Epcot. Once again entering was very quick, with no wait. They were headed to Spaceship Earth and then were going to Mouse Gear, so SB & I headed to the Flavors from Fire booth and grabbed a table there. Unfortunately it was in the sun, but it wasnt as bad as before. Eventually the others arrived, and Chris & I went up to get food from the booth. He got the chimichurri skirt steak and the corned beef item. I got the steak and the smores whoopie pie.

    The steak was great, but the corned beef wasnt as good as that. We shared the whoopie pie, which seemed kind of dry but it was pretty good. Again, Im glad I tried it but dont need to get it again.

    Our next stop was Hawaii, where Amanda got some of the pork sliders, and Chris got a bloody mary from the Refreshment place next door. We continued around to America, and I wasnt able to get the app to let me place a mobile order. I had a spinning circle from UK to America. I told the cast member outside and she was not very pleasant at all just kind of rude and unfriendly, like she didnt want to be there. That was the first strike for SB. We went around to the side and a nicer cast member let us into the building to go order at the register.

    SB wanted the ribs, and I was concerned the quantity might be less than he expected and hed be bitching so I asked the cast member how many were in the order. He said two (2)! That was strike 2 for SB. He said forget it he wasnt eating. The cast member tried to explain it wasnt 2 bones, it was 2 pieces, but it sounded like 4 bones total not what SB thinks a rib dinner should be.

    We went outside to join Amanda at a table, and a large group of drunk young people were screaming and climbing up on benches to scream some more. Amanda said it had been going on for a while. A couple sheriffs deputies came over to talk with them, and they ended up moving on. Chris had gotten mac & cheese for Ari and the baked beans with burnt ends for himself, and SB mentioned just getting a hot dog. Amanda pointed out that hot dogs were in the building right next to us.

    He went over and ordered a hot dog and a beer, and after a wait came back with an ordinary size $9 hot dog. That was strike 3, although it shouldnt have been a surprise. At this point he was done with Disney, and claims he doesnt want to come back for a year. I should have known better than to include him for this long, as it never works and I refuse to have someone being pissy on my Disney trips, so he can stay home for quite a while and Ill enjoy myself!

    After eating SB decided to go back to the villa, and the rest of us continued making a loop around World Showcase. It was pretty busy, and as the sun went down the temperatures were great. The lines at all the food booths were very long, though. Good thing we were pretty much full, so we didnt need to stand in any of them.

    Ari hadnt liked the mac & cheese in America, so we stopped at the festival center place and got him the regular gourmet mac & cheese, which he ate. Amanda got the non-alcoholic frozen smores drink and Chris had the one with vodka. I got the chenin blanc at the mac & cheese stand. We had a table with chairs, which was very nice! Unfortunately, 2 women came to a nearby table with about 4 kids and let the kids go running and screaming in and out of the curtains/sheets hung to create fake walls. It was ridiculous, and we wondered if maybe they were our neighbors, lol!

    After eating we headed out, and walked back to the resort getting in a little before 8. Today mostly was a very nice day, except for SBs mood. I loved the Food & Wine time, and it was good enjoying the pool.

    Tomorrow were headed to Magic Kingdom, mainly for the stuff Ari wants to do. Well see if SB decides to join us or not. Sometime tomorrow he & I will head home, since my jury duty is Monday morning. It sucks cutting a trip short, but thats life.


    DAY 9 Sunday 10/24/20
    Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
    SB (62), my husband
    Chris (33), son
    Amanda (31), daughter-in-law
    Ari (4), grandson

    Plan: Magic Kingdom

    Actual: This morning I was up at 4:30, and relaxed with my cappuccino. Were heading out around 8, so this was our earliest morning. I packed up one bag yesterday and will do the rest later today. The internet was up and down this morning, and frequently slower than usual. Disney internet isnt the greatest to start with, so this was a bit frustrating.

    SB was back in good spirits this morning, and we were all ready to head out around 8. Chris, Amanda & Ari got breakfast from Beach Club Marketplace and ate in our villa. I had the last egg, along with a slice of bacon and piece of toast. SB didnt want anything hope he doesnt get hungry/cranky later.

    We were out the door around 8 and walked over to the bus stop. The Magic Kingdom bus was sitting there waiting for us, with 5 parties already on board. We were directed to the back, as the 6th party (we had the back row). Once we were seated the bus left, and a party arriving after us had to wait for the next bus.

    We got to Magic Kingdom by 8:30 and they were already letting people into the park. I guess theres no way to hold the crowds at the train station and still social distance. Temperature, security and entry were all very quick, and soon we were in the park. We detoured through the Emporium, where Chris bought the last size XL of one of the Halloween masks. When he put it on he said it was so much more comfortable than the other ones!

    We continued down Main Street and went to Tomorrowland to ride the Speedway. It was 10 minutes before 9 and they had the queue chained off. Chris, Ari & SB waited for it to open, while Amanda & I went to Space Mountain. They were already running that attraction, and we pretty much walked right onto our rocket. Amanda hadnt ridden it in a while, so it was almost like a new experience. I always enjoy this, and first thing in the morning it didnt hurt not having a fastpass.

    We went to the speedway thinking wed catch the guys coming off, but we had missed them. Theyd already moved on to Barnstormer. Amanda and I met them coming off Barnstormer from riding 2 times in a row (without getting off). Ari wanted to go again, and SB decided 2 was plenty for him, so SB sat in a shady area (or should that be shaded it wasnt dangerous, lol) while the rest of us rode it 3 times in a row without getting off.

    Next Ari wanted to skip Dumbo and go to Astro Orbiter, so we walked over to Tomorrowland. SB decided to find something to put in his stomach, so the rest of us got in the queue (5 minutes) while he wandered off. Ari rode with Chris, and Amanda & I each took our own rocket. Its a quick ride, and the best part about it was the breeze! When we came back down we saw SB on a bench, and he came to join us. Hed gone to the Jeoffreys stand and got a hot chocolate and an apple fritter. I sat with him at a table under Astro Orbiter while the others got in line for Buzz Lightyear. I dont really care for that attraction, so I didnt mind missing it.

    Buzzs queue was getting longer and longer, and when they returned Chris said hed achieved the 999,999 score again. Wait times everywhere were getting long, and it was barely 10am. Ari wanted to do Pirates, which had a 20-minute wait posted, so we walked over there. The line was extended outside the building, but it moved pretty well. The wait was probably closer to 15 minutes. Once again, getting into the boat we noticed it was very wet, and Chris actually sat in a puddle. We escaped a splash down the waterfall, but later a cannonball got us mostly SB & Chris.

    By now it was just plain HOT and getting more crowded than I like to put up with. Amanda was looking for some cup that had recently come out but in typical Disney fashion was sold out everywhere. We followed her around the park and ended up near the hub. She had been told it might be at Sleepy Hollow, so she got in line there. Chris went to the egg roll cart while she did that, and SB & I stood in the shade.

    Amanda came back with a green monster popcorn bucket and instead of popcorn she had 2 churros with chocolate sauce. I tried a bite of a churro, and didnt like it same thing happened last time I was in Disneyland (20 years ago) and bought one because everyone loves them and I didnt like it then either. Chris came back with a pizza and a cheeseburger egg roll.

    While we were in the hub area a Halloween cavalcade came by, and later another one led by Gaston. Amanda was hoping to catch a specific one Ari likes, so they stayed in the park to wait for it and SB & I left. It was too hot, and the day was ticking away. We left the park and found our bus waiting at the bus stop again! It sat there a while longer, then eventually left with us as the only passengers. After a stop at Yacht Club, we were home at Beach Club.

    We went up to the villa and changed into swimsuits, then brought a load of already packed up stuff to the car before settling at the quiet pool around noon. SB spent all the time in the pool, and I went back and forth. Anna and her husband arrived, so we spent time in the pool chatting with them SB really liked them. We left to go upstairs just before 1, and the others were already back. Ari was slowly eating lunch, then went down for a nap. We got SB a roast beef sandwich from Beach Club Marketplace, which he said was good. I ate some of the buffalo chicken breast dip that was left, and Amanda finished it off. Chris went to the super charger place to charge their car.

    I poured what was left of an open bottle of wine and updated the report while SB watched football and online horse racing. I also got the photos into the album and got them renamed its on Snapfish at https://www.snapfish.com/share?via=l...66060/SNAPFISH

    We were torn between leaving today vs middle of the night, and in the end went with today. This way I can wake up at my normal time, follow my normal routine, and leave the house pretty much when I would have left for work anyway. Itll make tomorrow more normal. I did ask SB if he planned to join us in December for the next family trip to Disney, and he indicated he wanted to come for a couple days. That would mean 2 cars, but Im ok with that and Im ok if he only wants to stay for 2 of the 4 nights.

    We relaxed in the villa until just before 4, and Chris, Amanda & Ari helped bring our stuff down to the car. We said our goodbyes (until December), and we were home by 6 even with a stop at Russell Stover for a caramel apple.

    Today was a much better day, although I dont like that its been so hot! Overall I really loved this trip, and the length of the trip. SB would disagree, but thats fine different strokes.

    Beach Club Villas remains my favorite overall resort you cannot beat the location for ease of strolling into Epcot. When everythings open you also have access to the entire Boardwalk area, as well as taking the skyliner to Riviera. I dont consider access to Caribbean Beach, Pop Century or Art of Animation to be plusses those resorts do nothing to make me ever want to stay there or spend any time there. Next year for Food & Wine well start in a 1br while SB is with me, and then Ill enjoy my solo time in a studio at the end of the trip I think that will work better.

    The parks definitely feel busier, so more of the 25% of capacity is being met by people making park reservations. With the heat, I find being in a park absolutely miserable, and I wouldnt have done it if not for Ari being with us. That said, we have some upcoming trips where I will probably wish them well as they go off to a park without me, and Ill get to spend time with them later.

    I think Disney did a great job on the Taste of the Food & Wine Festival. No, they didnt have the extra-cost items, but I never did them anyway. No, they didnt have as many booths, but they had plenty. I missed the concerts! I loved that they put 4 booths plus a pianist in the old Millenium Village venue, and for the Festival of Holidays theyre doing the same. Theyll be alternating the pianist doing a set with the gospel group Joyful doing a set during that season. Perhaps theyll use the venue again for Flower & Garden Festival its really nice to have a place out of the elements to sit or stand and enjoy the offerings.

    This trip I bought a lot more stuff than usual, and was especially impressed by the deal on the Food & Wine Festival Dooney! Last years print was ugly and impractical, but this years is something Id carry.

    Running into a few friends is pretty typical for this time of year, and it was nice to see people. Hopefully next year Ill catch some of the others, depending on how our dates line up. If Disney is still doing this silly 1 park per day nonsense, my entire trip will probably be Epcot, except for 1 other park 1 day when Chris/Amanda/Ari are with us.

    We did encounter a few cast members who quite honestly acted like theyd rather be anywhere other than at work. Thats disappointing, since so many of their colleagues have been laid off and dont have the opportunity to suffer through a day at work right now. It left a really bad taste in my mouth, to be truthful. Many others were delightful, as it should be.

    Most guests were fine as well, but we did see more examples of poor parenting. Parents would be ignoring the kids while they were tearing up something, or jumping over railings, opening emergency exit doors in attraction queues, and of course the nightmare group in the next villa. There was no excuse for their behavior, especially cursing at Chris when he asked them after midnight to keep it down. We pay a LOT to stay here, and shouldnt have to put up with that crap or be the noise police.

    SB had his cranky pants moment, but thankfully it was brief and most of the time he seemed to enjoy being there. He says he had a great time and is glad he came. He didnt even complain when it looked like he was walking with some difficulty it was just the food prices/size that pushed him over the edge, which is why I gave up going to Disney table service places with him. Its just not worth it. The ironic part is he can barely finish the too small portion, so not sure why he needs more, lol!

    My next trip begins in 11 days, on November 5th. My friend Holli & I are coming back to Beach Club Villas to join cruise buddy Fran for a few nights. Then, in December SB & I have a family trip at Saratoga plus Holli & I are going to Hilton Head. I guess Im definitely making up for all those months of canceled trips!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

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  3. #2
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA

    Oops...I had missed this when it was originally posted last month! Thank you for taking the time to write your trip reports...I always enjoy reading them and I know it takes a lot of effort!

    I'm returning to WDW in late February 2021 after an 8-year hiatus (I've been going exclusively to Disneyland in the meantime, and who knows when they will reopen), but it worries me when I read about such huge queues for some of the rides when capacity is supposed to be capped at only 25%! Do you find that it's only the most popular or newest attractions that have these waits or does it matter?

    Pam
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



  4. #3
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Florida

    The more popular attractions have the longest waits, but everything seems to have a wait longer than I like once you get past the first couple hours of the park being open. Maybe it's good again right before it closes - I have heard that but not gone over to experience it myself. I just want fastpass to be brought back!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

  5. #4
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Holland View Post
    The more popular attractions have the longest waits, but everything seems to have a wait longer than I like once you get past the first couple hours of the park being open. Maybe it's good again right before it closes - I have heard that but not gone over to experience it myself. I just want fastpass to be brought back!
    Thanks for the info Sue...I also agree with bringing back FP and also park-hopping as soon as they can...I know I will miss both of those perks when I visit.
    Pam
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



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