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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Beach Club Villas March 3-5, 2021

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    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Beach Club Villas March 3-5, 2021

    Who/When/Where:

    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member
    Dates: March 3 5, 2021
    Resort: Disneys Beach Club Villas Resort
    Experience: Very Experienced 53rd stay at BCV

    INTRODUCTION:
    The last trip was in January, where I canceled the separate studio Id booked for a friend (Holli) before having her join us in the treehouse. Since my use year is April, I needed to use those points for something else before they expired on 3/31/21 (it was past the window to bank them into the next year). I looked for something in mid February since Chris & Amanda were back with her mom that weekend, but nothing worked out. I ended up booking late February somewhere. Shortly after, I realized my reservation was in the dead zone after Festival of the Arts but too soon for Flower & Garden. I kept checking, and stumbled across Wed Fri nights at Beach Club Villas in early March, which I assumed would align with Flower & Garden, so I moved the reservation to those dates. As it turned out, Flower & Garden was announced to begin on my arrival day! I wouldnt want to be anywhere other than BCV or BWV, so this was perfect.

    Unfortunately the normal concert series will not be happening, but I will have the food booths and hopefully nice weather (nicer than Gainesville). There will also be a local band performing Friday Monday nights, so I hope to catch that on Friday. My priority for the trip is pool time and doing Epcot later in the day, but it looks like it will be a little too cool for the pool time. I booked Epcot park reservations for arrival day (Wednesday) and my last full day (Friday), mainly because I had no desire to bother with some of the other parks. I did book Animal Kingdom for Thursday, hoping to enjoy the pool in the afternoon and hopping into Epcot later. Saturday is my departure day and Im not one to hang around for Epcot to open at 11, so most likely Ill drive back to Gainesville in the morning. Last trip Epcot was so mobbed on Sunday of a holiday weekend Im really glad this trip doesnt include weekend days. Its gotten to where the only nice time to visit any parks is on the weekdays.

    I havent booked any restaurants, since I typically enjoy the festival food at the kiosks. I do miss my oooey gooey breakfast sandwich from Boardwalk Bakery (during covid they cut 2 of the 3 breakfast sandwiches out, including that one). Big River Grill recently reopened, so I might wander over there. March is a nice time of year to sit outside on the boardwalk. Theyre still doing the noisy exterior maintenance work at Beach Club Villas, which means the quiet pool is probably not going to be quiet. Im sure Ill give it a try, but if its too bad Ill have to switch over to Stormalong Bay. Despite these negatives, just being away from work will be a huge plus!

    The plans so far are:
    Wednesday 3/3: Drive to WDW, Epcot
    Thursday 3/4: Animal Kingdom, Pool, Epcot
    Friday 3/5: Pool, Epcot
    Saturday 3/6: Drive to Gainesville


    DAY 1 Wednesday 3/3/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Epcot

    Actual: This morning I came to work and learned one of our residents had tested positive for COVID during a pre-medical procedure test. This person has never had it before, and received his second dose of the vaccine on Feb 18th. Its possible the lab made an error, but we cant take that chance, so we had to activate the usual plan & move him into an isolation home. Hes totally asymptomatic, and when we tested the other residents in the home this morning, they all came back negative same with the staff tested thus far. Thats good news, but its frustrating to have a positive test result I hope the next test we do in a day or 2 comes back negative.

    Thankfully the rest of the morning was pretty routine, and I was on the road by 12:15. I got a couple alerts from Disney notifying me the room wasnt ready yet, so I parked at Beach Club Villas and decided to walk over to Epcot for a quick visit before returning to get settled once the room was ready. I stopped at the rest room by the quiet pool, figuring theres no line in there <g> and when I came out I heard a new notification pop up. I checked, and my room was ready!

    Epcot got put on hold and I went to the car to get my stuff. The exterior work being done at the resort is now away from the quiet pool mostly, but they have the stairwell by the parking lot and the door by the single elevator blocked off with no access for guests while theyre working. Of course my room was closer to that elevator, but I had to walk the long way around since the only entry was the one by the little lobby. I made 2 trips, only because the ice packs and stuff in the cooler was too heavy.

    Once I unpacked and checked the weather again, I changed to warm weather clothes and was out the door just after 3. I knew my friend Annemarie was planning to go to Epcot today, which I assumed would be AFTER she posted her trip report. It had not arrived for a few days now, so surely shes hunched over her computer (typing away) at Art of Animation & I would probably not see her.

    I was really glad I changed into a skort & tank, because it was really warm in the sun! Previously I had a pair of jeans and a length sleeve top, and I would have been miserable in this weather. My light DCL jacket was rolled up and in my bag, so I wasnt concerned about being cold as the sun went down.

    Entering Epcot was a breeze, but I set off the metal alarm even though I had nothing metal or magnetic in my bag. I held my metal water bottle and both cell phones in my hand, although according to the sign I could have left the phones in the bag. The search didnt take long, and when entering I noticed the band reader says out loud welcome home because it knows Im dvc. I hadnt noticed that before. It also turns purple for us, rather than green.

    As expected, Epcot was pretty busy for a weekday since today was the opening date of the Flower & Garden Festival. Technically its Taste of Flower & Garden Festival, but Im too lazy to type that all out every time I might mention it. I turned right towards France, and was dismayed to see a crazy long line at the food kiosk. I decided that could wait France is always popular at any festival, and maybe Id find something of interest with a shorter line.

    Being a picky eater, most of the food items are things I wont eat but I can understand why most people would enjoy it. Theres very little wine but lots of beers, ciders and ales. Several countries have a cocktail mostly frozen, coming out of one of those slush machines. For someone wanting just a glass of white wine, the pickings are slim a pinot grigio in Italy, a chardonnay in France, or a couple really sweet-sounding options that had no appeal to me at all.

    I continued walking, and pretty much every food kiosk had lines that were snaked around. Even the little merchandise shop had a wait to get inside. I figured Id check out the merchandise later when I went to World Showplace, but that didnt exactly work out. The few things I might have tried had lines that were longer than I wanted to deal with today, so I kept walking until I came around to World Showplace. Along the way I enjoyed seeing many of the food items either on the boards with pictures or being carried by other guests. The topiaries were out but I didnt really bother with them. I like the real stuff like the flowers planted around the lake going into Future World. Thats more impressive than some fake bush with creepy eyes <g>.

    Inside World Showplace the first thing I noticed is theres no merchandise shop just a big empty area with a couple tables where the merchandise had been for all the previous festivals. There are 3 food kiosks here, and the stage where the piano player performs, plus a minor display in the very back of the venue.

    The first food kiosk was Festival Favorites, so I joined the queue and got the watermelon feta salad that I always loved in previous years. I took it to a table where I could watch Carol Stein play the piano, but although I was there quite a while nobody ever played. The salad was excellent, and cut up enough that I could eat it with a fork easily & didnt need a knife. I hung around a bit longer, then decided to go check out the back wall of the venue before leaving, and who do I run into but that trip report slacker Annmarie! We hung out inside for a while, catching up on stuff.

    Eventually I decided to continue walking around outside, and she got in line to get the key lime tart at the food kiosk. Once outside I ended up sitting on a bench and was checking emails . I look up at some point and Annmarie comes around the corner and sits down with her key lime tart. What are the odds, lol! We talked some more, and then I noticed Id missed a call from my friend Michael at work. I called him back & he was in the middle of something, saying hed call me right back.
    By now Annmaries friends had finishing up on the attraction theyd gone to, so I headed off towards France to see what the new Ratatouille area looks like. The line at the food kiosk was still crazy long, so I walked past that. I no sooner got close to the new area when Michael called, and it was a big issue with our agency that nobody else could handle and couldnt wait until Monday. We talked it out, agreed on a plan, then I sent him to my office to find something Id need (that fortunately Id printed) & he scanned it & emailed it to me. I then had to make several other calls to a couple of my staff and my counterpart at the other facility, agreeing on what they needed to do. It ended up being over an hour on a bench in France getting this stuff going. By then the sun was getting lower and it was actually a bit chilly, so I was glad to have my jacket!

    Another friend was eating at Beaches & Cream, but with the work delay I knew I wouldnt be back to the resort before they finished & headed out. I put on my jacket, checked out the rest of the area (theres really nothing here yet) and then went back to walk around World Showcase again. By now it was probably close to 6:30, and some of the food kiosk lines were shorter. I decided to try China for the chicken skewer, but when I got there the food kiosk line ended in Norway! I guess thats only fair since the Frozen line always ends in China, lol! I watched it and it wasnt moving really fast so I skipped the chicken skewer.

    I thought about Lotus Blossom Caf for the orange chicken, but that was really more than I wanted. I turned back towards France figuring maybe I could get the chocolate macaron and then find food at the resort, but as I approached America I remembered Aris mac & cheese from Sam Eagles Regal Eagle Smokehouse looked really good. When I got there I remembered they do mobile ordering here, so I decided to play by the rules and do that.

    After placing my order it told me the payment was processed, and they were preparing it, but then after a while I never got a notification that it was ready. It should have taken a minute or 2 at most, so eventually I went up to the cast member and he could not find my order in their system. No wonder I didnt get a notification. He searched, to no avail. I checked my credit card and the charge was there as pending. I also had an email but didnt see that until later. After going back & forth when he learned my order was only a side of mac & cheese, he took me inside, went up to the window, and came back to hand me a side of mac & cheese. I thanked him now Id paid for 1 order and received 1 order, so we were good. I was reluctant to try another order and end up being charged twice, and he understood.

    I took the food outside to a picnic table and it was very good! I think its a lot of food to eat as a side along with other stuff, but by itself it was just right. Its a twisty pasta, and theres some bread crumbs and oven-browned cheese on top yummy! After eating I continued walking towards France and the line didnt look too bad now so I joined the queue. It moved steadily, and probably didnt take more than 5 minutes or so (it was about half filled-in).

    I got the chocolate macaron lollipop and the chardonnay. Im not really a chardonnay fan, but I wanted the plastic glass and this was half the price of the pinot grigio ($5 vs $10). As expected, the chardonnay was ok at best to me. Maybe a chardonnay fan would think differently. The macaron I saved until I got back to the room. Since you have to be stationary while eating or drinking, I stood over here for a few sips, over there for a few sips, then walked a bit before stopping again, then eventually settled on a bench by International Gateway to finish the wine before exiting the park.

    The Skyliner line was ridiculous and it was barely 7:30. Annmarie said she typically had a 30-minute wait to get on. In my opinion, while limiting it to 1 party per gondola, they shouldnt have opened both those gigantic value resorts and Caribbean Beach. Its too many people, and it really negatively impacts the people paying big bucks at Riviera.

    I walked back to the resort, taking the stairs up since a slow-moving couple was ahead of me and Disney asks for 1 party per elevator. The stairs were a lot faster than waiting for a 2nd elevator. I got some ice, poured some wine Id brought from home (hence the chardonnay purchase for the plastic wine glass), and settled into bed to finish up the report. I still need to check some of the work stuff Id had emailed to me, since I have an early morning planned at Animal Kingdom. But, Im not changing my plans or skipping anything Ill fit it in sometime tomorrow.

    Today was a great start to the trip even though it was pretty crowded. The weather was terrific, and I love being back at BCV. I realized this is a dedicated studio it doesnt connect to any other room.

    Tomorrow its supposed to be pretty cool for much of the day, so I kept my Animal Kingdom park reservation. I can do a couple things over there, then hopefully take care of some work stuff before hopping into Epcot after 2. Id love some pool time, but it doesnt look likely before Friday.


    DAY 2 Thursday 3/4/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member

    Plan: Animal Kingdom, Pool, Epcot

    Actual: Last night the more I thought about Animal Kingdom today, the less appealing it was sounding. With an 8am opening, that would mean leaving here around 7 (to get in with the initial people let in before the official opening time), and it would be cool (50s) & humid out then. The only 2 things I was interested in were Flight of Passage & the safari, both of which would have waits. Ill also be going there with SB & others next month, so in the end I decided to cancel that park reservation and book Epcot instead. With the morning expected to be cool I wont be out by the pool, so might as well take advantage of Epcot at opening when the lines will be the shortest.

    With that done, I turned in just after 10 and didnt get up until nearly 6 the next day. Ive said it many times Disney beds are so comfortable! The room was nice & quiet, too. I made my cappuccino and took it back to bed. I spent time online doing my usual morning stuff and also looking at the work stuff a bit. I can make more calls a bit later, but before going to Epcot.

    Just before 7:30 I made breakfast egg and slice of bacon. I was also going to toast half a bagel but the toaster didnt work! I wasnt dressed so calling for one now was not convenient. Then I got started with work stuff, finally getting off the phone at 9:45 to take my shower. I think we have a plan now, which Ill need to write up later. The half bagel will have to wait until tomorrow, lol. I did eat some of the macaron last night and had another bite before drying my hair. Its ok good but not spectacular.

    I called about the toaster and they sent another one up within 10 minutes. I was out the door at 10:30 to walk over to Epcot. Quite a few people were arriving, but it wasnt too busy and there were no delays, other than setting off the metal detector again. Inside the park the food kiosks werent open for business yet, so I turned left and headed into Future World. The attractions werent a priority for this trip, but I had seen the festival passholder merchandise online last night so I walked over to Mouse Gear. I had a short wait outside, which gave me time to call work briefly, but that call ended just as I entered the shop.

    It wasnt busy in there at all, so Im not sure what the line was all about. Only one set of registers was open, and there was a fairly short line of people waiting there. I walked around until I spotted the passholder section then went over there and remembered what I had seen online a passholder face mask. They only come in S, M & L, and I talked with the cast member by the exit to see if she had heard anything about how they run size-wise. She claimed it should be slightly bigger than the one I was wearing, so I decided to go ahead and buy the large.

    From there I exited the shop and walked back out to World Showcase, headed for China. This early in the day the line for Frozen actually ended in Norway (just barely, lol) and there was no line at the China food kiosk! I ordered the chicken skewer, and took it to a table near the bridge. It was a pretty big portion, but part of it was kind of fatty. I was glad Id grabbed a few napkins so I could discretely get the bad pieces out of my mouth and into the nearby trash can. Its disappointing when you pay $6.75 for whats basically 2 small pieces of chicken on a skewer, and theyre not top quality. The taste was good, but I wont be risking this again.

    After eating I put on my new mask, and the size was fine. Its made from spirit jersey material, and I would soon learn its hotter than my other mask. When I continued walking to Germany and took my mask off my face was almost sweating, and thats not a long distance! In Germany I ordered the warm cheese strudel w/berry stuff on top. This year it looks smaller than in past years, but thats a good thing. It was hard to eat solo before, and I was able to do it this year. I sat at a shady picnic table and the strudel was excellent as usual.

    While there I heard the music for a cavalcade to come by so I put my mask back on and walked to the edge of the road to see the princesses being pulled by a horse. Once they While there I heard the music start and knew a cavalcade was coming. I put my mask back on and went to the edge of the road to watch the princesses being pulled by a horse (not literally they were riding in a trolley thing). Once they passed I threw away my trash and continued walking. It was still comfortable outside, but getting warmer in the sun.

    In Italy I stopped for a glass of prosecco nobody in line at all. I took it to a shady bench near the train village in Germany, where I set the prosecco on the ground next to me and removed my mask. Id reach down to take a sip every now and then, while checking work emails. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a Disney manager who was walking around veer towards me, but then he saw the prosecco next to me and moved away. I assume he was going to address my maskless state, which would have been fine if they have a mask rule I expect them to enforce it.

    In the shade it actually got a bit chilly, but its too much trouble to mask up to move across the street into the sun <g>. Once the prosecco was gone I put my mask back on, put away the phones and continued walking. I was done with food for now, but I decided to check World Showplace to see if Carol was playing. As I approached the door I could hear the piano, so I went inside.

    They have a pretty festival display on the right as you enter for some reason I dont recall seeing that at all yesterday, so not sure if its new or if I was just blind. It wasnt terribly busy in there, which was nice. I went up near the rope and took her photo, and she spotted me & waved. The show was almost over, and she waved again before going backstage. I moved over to where shed normally come out but then saw her coming out across from where Id been, looking for me. With the small crowd it was easy to catch her attention and we stood around chatting during her break between sets. I did find out the performance times are on the app now, and shes hoping when she returns next week theyll be adjusted to eliminate the long gap I noticed yesterday (it was 2 hours long).

    We said our goodbyes and I walked back to Beach Club Villas. By now it was starting to feel hot in the sun, although it was barely above 70! I guess it was the long pants. I got back a little before 1 and updated the report. This comes before work wish Annmarie would give priority to her reports <g>. Once it was caught up I started writing up the work project before calling in for our 1:30 COVID call.

    I was out by the pool before 2, and it was delightful out there! The maintenance workers arent doing anything noisy, so that was a huge improvement over last trip. There was one toddler who started screaming (tantrum) behind me but thankfully her dad didnt wait too long to bring her up to their room. Perhaps it was nap time. I stayed out there for just over an hour, then went back up to the room to cool off. The humidity is low, but even still the upper 70s feel really warm in the sun.

    I finished up some work stuff, updated the report again, and was starting to feel hungry again by 4:30 (remember lunch was 11 <g>). I gathered up my stuff, put on my sneakers and was out the door. Once again getting into Epcot was very quick, and this time I didnt set off the alarm. Id found a small umbrella in my bag and left it behind today, so maybe that was the problem yesterday.

    Id checked the menus before leaving the resort and knew exactly where I was going for dinner the Honey Bee-stro booth, which is right where Future World comes to World Showcase (on the Canada side). As I was walking there I noticed the lines at the food kiosks were significantly shorter today, even though there were plenty of people walking around. In Canada the wait was only 2-3 people, which really shocked me.

    When I got to Honey Bee-stro of course that had a long line that completely filled the queue. But since picky eaters dont have many choices, I joined the queue. It moved pretty well and probably didnt take more than 10 minutes to order my food the honey lavender mustard chicken flatbread. Ive had the flatbread in previous years but they change it up a little each year. After getting my food I lucked into getting a table when the previous couple went to throw their trash away and leave. I took the necessary food porn photo, got my water out of my bag, and tried the flatbread.

    The review on Disney Food Blog wasnt stellar, but I liked it. Again, being a picky eater I dont have much to choose from, but I would definitely get this again at some point. It looked really small but it turned out to be plenty. That said, SB would scoff at the portion size, so its not going to be a meal for most people!

    After eating I put my mask back on and walked up to the front of the park in case there was anything worth seeing in Future World. Turns out there wasnt much <g>. There are more topiaries, but not any that looked new to me. I thought about doing Spaceship Earth but the line wasnt moving and extended outside the queue, so I passed on that. The new mask feels a little smaller, in the sense that it pulls on my ears more. Ill have to try to stretch the ear loops out a bit. I switched to the other Disney mask, which is the same size but doesnt pull on my ears. Part of the problem is probably the plastic thing I put under the mask to keep it off my lips & skin, but I like having that pocket of space under the mask.

    I headed back out to World Showcase, and walked around the countries starting with Mexico. As usual, the line to enter the pavilion was ridiculous. This morning there was no line at all. In Norway the Frozen line ended well into China again. The China food kiosk line wasnt too bad, but the one in Mexico was crazy long as was the line for the margarita stand (back onto the bridge) and even that counter service cantina had a long line of people waiting to get in. That one really shocked me!

    As I approached America I heard the announcement saying Voices of Liberty would start in a few minutes. I thought their last show was at 4:45 but the sign showed one at 5:50. It was now 5:48 so I went into the American Gardens Theater and took a seat. They have entire rows blocked off, and sections of rows blocked, so when you watch something there youre not packed in with a bunch of other people. Its actually pretty nice!

    The Voices of Liberty performed for 15 minutes and were really good no wonder theyre so popular with so many people. They did classic Americana songs. Once it ended I checked out Magnolia Terrace, which is the food kiosk in America. I was considering the pecan cake, but think I may have tried it last year and it was just ok. I saw it on one couples table and it looked good, but also a little familiar. In the end I decided to go for the chocolate raspberry tarte from Cider House in the World Showplace.

    I continued walking, enjoying the beautiful evening, and entered World Showplace as Carol was finishing her last song. I joined the Cider House queue (one party ahead of me), ordered the tarte, and took it outside since its too dark in there to get a decent picture. There was a table along the lake, behind the Kermit topiary, so I used that to enjoy the tarte and my water. I was expecting it to be just ok, but it was actually very good. Im glad I got it!

    By now it was cooling off rapidly, but I had my jacket so it was no big deal. I put that on and headed out via International Gateway, then walked around the Crescent Lake area taking pictures and enjoying being there. This is my overall top pick for places to stay Beach Club Villas first, Boardwalk Villas second. Being able to walk in the back door of Epcot so easily is a huge plus for me. I hate the front entrance, and the skyliner is a nightmare so that pretty much kills Riviera for me (not that I can get in there very often its tough to get). For someone like me, who can happily spend the entire trip only going to Epcot, this is the ideal spot.

    I was back at my resort by 7:30, and settled in for a relaxing evening at home. I poured some wine, got comfortable and knocked out the trip report before going on to do other stuff online. The work project Id written got submitted this afternoon, and hopefully tomorrow well learn if our positive resident is really positive or if it was a false positive. We repeated PCR tests on him and the guys who live with him (all but 1 are fully vaccinated like he is), so itll be interesting.

    Today ended up being a terrific day, despite losing a few hours to doing work stuff. Epcot was fabulous earlier, with no waits or crowds anywhere I went. Although the chicken in China was just ok, the strudel in Germany was outstanding. Pool time was very nice and returning to Epcot was great as well. Im glad the opening day crowds didnt come back again, lol!

    Tomorrow it looks like the weather will be slightly warmer than today, so Im leaning towards not doing Epcot at opening in favor of doing pool time first, then Epcot later in the day. Well see if I change my mind by then <g>.


    DAY 3 Friday 3/5/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member

    Plan: Pool, Epcot

    Actual: Another good nights sleep it was lights out by 10:30 and again I didnt get up until almost 6 since I didnt need to be anywhere early. This is really nice! I made my cappuccino and took it back to bed & got online while watching the morning news. I found last night the new toaster works, and it must have just come out of the box since it had the new smell when heating up.

    Around 8 I made my egg and bacon, then headed out for a walk. Were having an emergency COVID call at 8:45, but I can call in while walking. Its a beautiful morning, but warming up quickly. I did the call from the path to Hollywood Studios, and as expected the follow-up pcr tests on the positive resident and the other residents he lives with are all negative. Well treat the earlier one as a false positive, and move him back to his home this morning.

    As I was walking I saw photographers and a wedding party on the bridge that comes down from the Swan to Boardwalk. The groom was standing near the bottom, with his back to the bridge. On the bridge were the bride and her maid of honor. It was going to be one of those things where the bride will come up behind him, hell turn around, and theyll see each other in their wedding clothes. I didnt stick around to watch, not wanting to seem like a busybody.

    Coming back, I ran into them doing more photos (with masks ugh) outside the Screen Door at the Boardwalk. I assume their wedding will take place later this morning. After my walk I went up to the studio, talked to a friend, had half a bagel (the toaster didnt stink this time), and did some online stuff until it was time to go down to the quiet pool just before 10:30.

    There was a little more construction noise today, but it was minor and didnt detract from my enjoyment. There were no kids, either. I loved being out there relaxing, and wish my trip was much longer (but skipping over cold & rainy tomorrow <g>). I stayed out there for just over 2 hours today, enjoying every minute.

    I went back to the studio, and theyd already come to empty the trash. It would be a while yet before I went to Epcot for food, so I toasted another half bagel and ate that & a couple bites of the macaron while updating the report. Next on the agenda was a much-needed shower.

    Around 3 I gathered up my stuff and walked over to Epcot. It was pretty busy, but Ive seen it much worse. It wasnt as bad as it was the Sunday afternoon of Martin Luther King weekend! I decided to head right, towards France. I ended up doing 2.5 loops around the countries. The lines at the food kiosks mostly werent bad at all. Occasionally Id see a crazy long one, but then Id see a popular spot with nobody in line (Canada again).

    I think my first loop I just walked around without any stops, checking things out. Frozen was ending in China again, and there was a line to get into Mexico. The margarita line was shorter than last night, but the queue was entirely filled.

    When I came around to World Showplace I went in there to try the burnt ends & smoked pork belly slider with a little sausage and garlic pickle. It sounded good, and I was hungry. Its at the Festival Favorites stand, so I joined the queue and before long (faster than Wednesday when I got the watermelon salad here) I was at the register.

    I took the slider outside to take a pictures, since its so dark inside. Then I brought it back inside so I could eat it at a table. It wasnt as big as I thought it would be, but thats ok. The taste was good, until I got a huge portion of the meat that was all fatty. Luckily I caught the edge of it, then pulled it out of the bun with my finger. That was disappointing, but I guess thats the risk with this type item. I ate the rest of it, and I think the best item was the pickle go figure! The little sausage was just ok but the inside of the slider would have been good if there hadnt been that fatty section. I doubt Ill repeat it.

    I went back outside and continued walking, this time stopping to sit at a table on the porch of Tangierine Caf (still closed). I had a glass of wine, and that was the longest lasting wine Ive ever drank since I was really enjoying sitting there without a mask so I took infrequent tiny little sips <g>. It was so relaxing sitting there, feet up, playing with my phone, watching people go by, etc. Im not sure how long I was there, but eventually the glass was empty so it was time to move on.

    In America I went inside to see the new Soul exhibit, which wasnt a whole heck of a lot. I thought it would be in the museum type area to your right as you enter, but it was on the left. They had a couple exhibit boxes and perhaps 6 large framed displays talking about jazz from different parts of the country.

    From there I continued walking, and once in Canada I ran into another of my email friends Kristin. Shed just arrived from California for the week, and had walked over from Beach Club Villas where shes also staying. We stood there talking for a while, and then went our separate ways. So, I got to see 2 out of 3 this trip (the other I missed due to the work stuff on the 1st night).

    In France I decided to join the queue and get the goat cheese onion tart. I think Annmarie mentioned liking it in her report, so I was willing to give it another try. Id had a similar item 2-3 years ago and wasnt impressed but this one was slightly different. The queue was almost all filled in, but it moved quickly. When I went to pick up my tart the guy who had just left the counter with a couple macarons came back saying hed dropped one. Sure enough a big ole macaron on a stick was laying on the ground. Gee buddy, think you can pick it up??? The cast member gave him another one and he left.

    I got my tart and wandered around looking for a spot to first take a picture and then eat. I found a table being vacated in the new section of France, and grabbed it. The onion tart was ok nothing bad, but not something I really love. I really didnt like having the lingering onion taste, either. I drank some of my water, but that didnt really help much.

    My next stop was in Japan, where I walked through Mitsukoshi (the big store), and then noticed an exhibit of Japanese pop culture stuff through a set of doors off to my right. Id never seen that before, so I went inside. I took a picture of the big opaque plastic girl filled with toys, combs, and assorted trinkets. They had other exhibits behind glass, but I didnt stay to really look them over carefully. With no trips to Japan planned, I figured I could get by not knowing about this stuff.

    In America I went to Magnolia Terrace, where the line moved slowly because they only had 1 cash register open. On a Friday night really?? I got the pecan cake, and then had to hunt for a place to eat. The Regal Eagle is so much more popular than the old Liberty Tavern that those tables werent available. I ended up on a bench between America and Italy, which worked out fine. People were already in line for the 7:30 concert (it was just after 6:30) more on that later.

    The pecan cake was like a bar cake very dense and somewhat crumbly. The pecans, sauce, and maple whipped cream really made it! Otherwise, it would have been just ok. I was very full by the time I finished this, but you cant waste pecans and maple whipped cream! I finished my water, and after taking my stuff to the trash cans decided to join the line for the concert.

    Disney isnt doing the usual concert series, but they have hired some local bands to perform Friday Monday nights during the festival. This is a huge first step, and something I was thrilled to see. I saw the schedule online and unfortunately all 3 of my trips are in weeks that the band will be the same one here tonight (each band gets 3 weekends). Theyre called Epic Live and play somewhat pop music.

    They let us into the theater a couple minutes after 7, and all the distancing is still in effect. Its nice to have plenty of space, and not have a bunch of big heads blocking my view! Cast members were very good about catching guests who might try to sit with another party and redirect them to the nearest available seats.

    The band consists of 3 vocalists and 7 musicians. I wasnt crazy about their first song, and it was very loud! I thought about leaving, but then they did a Journey song that was much better so I stayed. The next couple songs were just ok and I left after about 20 minutes or so. I could still hear them when I was in France! So, I wont need to stick around for this in April, and in May well have the faux concierge lounge.

    Nothing beats being able to walk out International Gateway and be back in my room in 5 minutes or so! My April trip is at Saratoga, so whatever time I spend in Epcot will mean trudging up to the front entrance and out to the bus stops not convenient at all!

    I packed up what I could, then finished up the wine while finishing the report and watching HGTV. SB called to see if Id seen his post on facebook, so I took a look and he made some smart alec comment about the wife is coming home tomorrow and its been a nice quiet 4 days, lol! Hey, Ill stay longer if Disney would let me!!

    Today was yet another great day I really loved having the down time to just kick back at the pool and enjoy the nice weather. Since the parks arent a priority for me, its easy to do that when Im here solo.

    Overall I loved this trip, despite it being shorter than I normally like, and the work intrusion. Beach Club Villas is the perfect resort for me, and I love the easy access to World Showcase from here. This time of year the weather is generally very good, and each of my days was very comfortable. The food was mostly very good the warm cheese strudel was outstanding, as was the watermelon salad and chocolate raspberry tarte. Even the mac & cheese from Regal Eagle was really good. Mask compliance was generally very good I didnt see any blatant disregard on the part of adults. I saw a handful of kids with noses poking out, and maybe 1 or 2 adults. Im fully vaccinated, but I wouldnt have worried about it before the vaccine either. Passing someone in a theme park doesnt seem high risk to me.

    My next trip is in mid-April, and was booked as a solo trip but has changed somewhat since then. Originally I was at Bay Lake Tower, but then I switched to Saratoga Springs. Its a good thing I did, as availability there is easy and I was able to add a room later for 1 of the nights for Tiana & Jonell (theyll bring SB down too). So, I have 2 days that will be the 4 of us, then on my last full day Chris, Amanda & Ari will be up for a day trip and Ill spend time with them. It should be fun heres hoping for comfortable weather!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

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  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Its so nice to read one of your reports again. They help make the wait for my October trip bearable. My new bucket list place to stay is somewhere on the boardwalk area. Your report confirms why I want to stay there. Just the idea I could walk right into Epcot at the international gateway seems like fun. You put so much info into your reports for your readers. Thanks for taking time to post them


  4. #3
    MousePlanet Columnist
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    Apr 2001
    Location
    Florida

    Thanks - and hope you enjoy the boardwalk area when you stay there. Can't beat it, in my opinion!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

  5. #4
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    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Gulf Coast of Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Holland View Post
    Thanks - and hope you enjoy the boardwalk area when you stay there. Can't beat it, in my opinion!
    Hey Sue, thanks again for taking the time to give us vicarious pleasure with your trip reports. Very envious that you have stayed 54 times at the Beach Club. We love the Beach Club. Very interesting that WDW is so busy but it is also hopeful to me. Disney is all about the numbers and if they were having cases of Covid they sure wouldn't be back to normal with attendance. And the prices of the hotel rooms are through the roof, so the demand is there.

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