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I love Disney. For my mom and I it really is the happiest place on earth. Each year we plan a trip together, just us, and we hang out for a whole week. We ride all the rides, visit all the parks, take a side trip one day to Universal Studios, and park hop til' we drop. So, when COVID 19 became a thing early this year, I had it in the back of my mind that things might be different, but honestly, seven months into the changes, I never thought it would last this long. Our original plan was to go to Disneyland over in California, holding off on Florida until they've completed the rides they've got going up (Tron, Guardians, etc.), but when June rolled around and California still had its "closed" sign hanging at the state entrance, we cancelled the plans and rebooked for Florida. (read more)
DISNEY WORLD DURING COVID YOUTUBE
As always if you'd rather hear me talk about this instead of reading the blog post, here you go. It's one of my longer videos, coming in just over 30 minutes. I also don't talk about the pre shows, so if you want to know about that, there are no pre shows before rides anymore.
GOING TO DISNEY WORLD DURING COVID REVIEW
I should start by telling you how much I love to travel. It's the thing in life I save my pennies for, making memories is my jam. I'd rather have a trip with loved ones than a physical item, and I look forward to these trips so much so that I'd almost venture to say getting there is as fun as being there.
All that is to tell you that I consider myself a die hard traveler. I knew I'd be headed to Disney World with a mask. I knew it would be hot, I knew things would be different, but still I figured it would be good. After all, walking around Disney World with a mask on is still walking around Disney World!
Well, it is, sort of.
And also sort of not.
So, from the moment we got to the airport to the moment we bid our goodbye to The Contemporary, here's how it went.
WE'RE REVAMPING OUR KID'S ALLOWANCE WITH THE GREENLIGHT DEBIT CARD JUST FOR KIDS
IS DISNEY STILL FUN WITH A MASK?
I knew I'd be masking up pretty much constantly, so the first thing I did was review Disney's mask rules. Once that was done, I hit Etsy to find a super cute mask that I knew would NOT touch my mouth. I don't wear masks often in my daily life, and never in the heat for any extended period of time, but I knew the thing that bothered me most was having the mask rub on my lips. I found a cute one that had a little outward pucker, keeping my lips free. I bought an extra one for my mom, so sometimes we sort of matched. Other times we did not, simply because she has her own ideas about what kind of masks she wants to wear, including a horrifying one she purchased from Universal Studios.
We also found some super cute shirts to wear one day, announcing to the world that we were MASKETEERS!
I'll link here to the masks I like best and to the MASKETEERS shirts, in case you want to check them out.
Once I had those things in place, I loaded up my backpack with all the things I consider MUST HAVE for any Disney trip, and my husband took me to the airport to meet up with my mom.
Of course, as soon as you enter the airport your mask adventure begins, so I put it on, went through security, and went to meet my mom. It's a part of our routine to get some coffee and a donut when we meet up like this, but I didn't bother with it this time. My mom had gotten me a water and a muffin, but I found it awkward to continually pull the mask down and risk the stares from other people anytime I did so.
On board the plane (we flew Southwest), we were notified that there would be no usual service. They did come by with a small snack (which I declined) and let us know that we could have water on the rocks. Since our flight left at 8:30 in the morning, I wasn't fussed, not being a big drinker to begin with.
We landed on time at MCO in Orlando and immediately hailed an Uber with our handy dandy app. The driver was wearing a mask, we kept ours on the entire time as well, and he had us deposited at The Contemporary within a half hour of picking us up.
This was when we got the first indication that Disney World as we knew it was not the Disney World we were walking in to.
WHEN WE CAN'T TRAVEL, WE FAKE IT WITH UNIVERSAL YUMS, OUR FAVORITE MONTHLY SNACK BOX
DISNEY'S CONTEMPORARY RESORT DURING COVID
The first thing we did was go to our room to drop off our suitcases. Disney has this down pat, giving you access to your room via your phone or your magic band, without ever having to go to the front desk to check in. We had put in a room request beforehand using our Touring Plans subscription, so we knew just about where we'd be staying and headed right over.
The room was nice, very clean with a pretty view. We unpacked, got all of our stuff together, and headed upstairs to the monorail so we could make our 2 p.m. reservation at Coral Reef in Epcot.
However, once we got to the monorail entrance, we saw a big sign letting us know that the Monorail to Epcot was not running. I don't know if this was a planned outage or if it has specifically to do with COVID, but I do know that we were there for an entire week and the monorail to Epcot never ran, not once. You simply could not go from The Contemporary to Epcot via the monorail, and you could not go from Epcot to The Contemporary, either.
It was disappointing, especially since we'd splurged on this hotel specifically because of monorail access.
This was the first of many things that will make us second guess going to Disney World during COVID.
We walked back downstairs (we could not take the escalator because it was broken) all the way from the 4th to the 1st floor, and headed for the busses.
Another big change was ahead.
TY WRITES BOOKS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL READERS WHO LOVE ROBLOX AND MINECRAFT
DISNEY WORLD DURING COVID BLOG POST