She's masking up and taking on the World

Wood Nymph

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Your trip is really coming soon. We just got back from WDW yesterday and Wilderness Lodge is just as beautiful as ever.

We miss not having airline luggage service. It was really nice to have the luggage delivered to the room. I hope they bring it back again. It is nice that you have a washer and dryer in the villa to use. :)

I can't wait to hear about your trip. :)
 

GrandCalifornian

Can't Wait To Go Back
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Enjoying all of the pre-planning updates. Looking forward to reading about your trip - but not too quickly, hopefully the time will slow down while you are there and not fly by.
Yeah, we are all just looking forward to being there. We are all a little scared about getting sick and not being able to go do anything, but we still would love to hang out in a Copper Creek room. I'm sure that the days when we are there will go by too quickly, but that's ok, we are glad to get to go and know that we will be back again.

Baggage claim in Orlando is just fine. :)
Yeah, we have walked right by so many times, but have been spoiled by not having to stop. It shouldn't be a big deal, especially since we will be arriving on the B side anyway. Thanks for the reassurance. :)

Your trip is really coming soon. We just got back from WDW yesterday and Wilderness Lodge is just as beautiful as ever.
Ahh, we can't wait to see it again. It may be a little odd having no guests in the hotel side, but I'm sure it won't be a ghost town.

We miss not having airline luggage service. It was really nice to have the luggage delivered to the room. I hope they bring it back again. It is nice that you have a washer and dryer in the villa to use. :)
Yeah, we have been spoiled by doing the luggage delivery for all of our trips, but I can see that it was an expensive proposition and an relatively easy cost for Disney to cut. I fear that it won't be coming back anytime soon, since they have removed the resort airline checkin desks, and not just closed them.
We are planning on using the laundry in the room quite a bit, and will bring less clothes with us accordingly. We may have only one rolling carry on between all of us, which should be nice.
Also with today's announcement this will likely be our last trip with Disney's Magical Express, so we will have a new plan for next year...

I can't wait to hear about your trip. :)
Thanks, we are really looking forward to it. My parents are super excited to get to go too, and there is so much open that I think we will be able to have a great time.
 

GrandCalifornian

Can't Wait To Go Back
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
So, while I was typing a reply to Wood Nymph on the PTR this morning I saw the news about MDE and EMH being discontinued.

I told Paul it was a sign that we should just get a limo next trip.

It might take some of the sting out of going home... We did do that when we left the Grand Californian after our wedding for the airport to WDW, and it was cool.

I think it would be fun sometime. Anyway, we may consider renting a car or van for 2022 but Mears also released a statement that they would still be offering transportation services from the airport to resorts.

Yeah, that makes sense to me, I expect that Mears would be able to offer resort transportation at a better rate than any other option, since they have the infrastructure in place. I hope that it stays "Disney nice", but I'd be willing to pay something for it next year. How much is a big variable, but we will have to compare it to renting a car, taking a Taxi, or Melissa's Limo.

I guess I just wasn't as surprised as many people about this change. Even though it has been a free service for so long, it has to be a big cost for Disney, and without luggage transfer it isn't as big of a guest benefit as it used to be.

The news of EMH ending doesn't hit us as hard. We aren't rope drop people and in general we would try to avoid the parks with EMH to get away from crowds. I think the new flexible early entry is a better option for right now.

Discontinuing EMH makes a lot of sense to me, since they used to cause higher crowds in parks on given days, which is exactly what Disney is trying to avoid. Being able to get into any park a half hour (or some other time amount in the future) early makes sense, and will help keep the benefit of staying onsite while not causing more crowding at any one park.

Overall, things are changing and Disney is not offering the perks that it once did, but we still have faith that they will still offer an excellent guest experience, and one that we will look forward to for years to come. Who knows, we might even rent a car and actually visit elsewhere in Florida besides Disney one of these years, but we're in no hurry for that.

In home news, we got all of the Christmas stuff put away this past weekend but still haven't gotten the suitcases out. We did hit Target up for some travel size things and airplane snacks.

I got our schedule .PDFs all put together today, and it was easier than normal without fastpasses and extra magic hours to list on them. The park hours are interesting, and a little shorter than last year, but interestingly they get shorter during the second week of our trip, so perhaps they are expecting lower crowd levels. We can hope...

Fingers crossed for that! We are bringing something we never thought we'd consider bringing for this trip in anticipation of more time in the room.

Well, that and because it is the new toy... We got a Nintendo Switch for the whole family for Christmas, and we are bringing it along. If we do get stuck in the room, at least we can have some epic Mario Kart competition.

or some Dance Party action.

Or hopefully we will maybe just use it on the airplane, that would be fine with me too.

No dance parties on the plane though.

That's probably true. Although so far there's nobody in the middle seat next to me, so we have a whole row to ourselves minus a window seat.

That would be amazing, being packed in on the plane is a little scary for me.

Yeah, it is one part I am not looking forward to. I flew in March right as COVID ramped up, and I am glad to have one flight with minimal crowding. The kids are good about mask wearing, and it is just something we have to make it through to enjoy our Disney this year.

Yes and we're used to my sanitizing germaphobic ways so we'll be fine.

Now let's start packing the hand sanitizer!

YES!
 

Wood Nymph

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
We noticed that the pools have been very busy in the evening as a result of the early closings, even when the nights were cool. The return of park hopping helps to give guests more options. :)

I like having the option of early morning hours for all parks. We always try to avoid the parks that have EMHs and now it will be easier to plan a trip. :)

I will miss the Magical Express. It may not have always been the most convenient way to travel, and definitely not the fastest. But it was free and that is a plus for me. :) And it felt very safe to use ME rather than an unknown ride share driver.

We used to rent a car before they began the Magical Express service. But we found that once we made a stop for snacks on the way to the resort, we never moved the rental car the rest of the trip. The parking fees that they have now make it a little less likely that we will rent a car just to get to and from the resort in 2022. We'll see how it all shakes out. After all, Jan 1, 2022 is a long way away. :)

We had a full flight down to Orlando last week and I kept my mask on the whole time. I didn't eat or drink anything. But our flight was only 2 1/2 hours long. It would have been harder to do that on a longer flight.
 

GrandCalifornian

Can't Wait To Go Back
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
We noticed that the pools have been very busy in the evening as a result of the early closings, even when the nights were cool. The return of park hopping helps to give guests more options. :)
Yes, we figure that people need something to do other than going to Disney Springs... If we do swim, I am thinking it will be midday even though we'd be missing out on park time. We are glad to have the option to hop into a different park, and my parents upgraded their tickets to be able to do it as well.

I like having the option of early morning hours for all parks. We always try to avoid the parks that have EMHs and now it will be easier to plan a trip. :)
Yes, me too. Even though we probably won't take advantage of it very often, it is nice knowing that we could, and having a perk of staying onsite at Disney.

I will miss the Magical Express. It may not have always been the most convenient way to travel, and definitely not the fastest. But it was free and that is a plus for me. :) And it felt very safe to use ME rather than an unknown ride share driver.

We used to rent a car before they began the Magical Express service. But we found that once we made a stop for snacks on the way to the resort, we never moved the rental car the rest of the trip. The parking fees that they have now make it a little less likely that we will rent a car just to get to and from the resort in 2022. We'll see how it all shakes out. After all, Jan 1, 2022 is a long way away. :)
We will miss it as well, since it is all we have done for our Disney World trips. For us it was really nice to just be "in the Disney bubble" the whole time and to not worry about transportation. I could see renting a car, and then leaving it parked the whole time as well. Perhaps sometime we will get one and explore more of Florida, but that would be a different trip for us for sure. I agree that Jan 2022 is a long time away, and there clearly is a demand for airport transportation, so there will be options available. The big question is how much they will cost, but time will tell that.

We had a full flight down to Orlando last week and I kept my mask on the whole time. I didn't eat or drink anything. But our flight was only 2 1/2 hours long. It would have been harder to do that on a longer flight.
Yeah, we thought about whether having a layover would make things easier, but we are glad to only have to deal with one set of seats on one plane, so we have fewer overall people to interact with. We probably won't sleep like we did on the red eye, but we can tolerate four hours to make it to Disney.
 

GrandCalifornian

Can't Wait To Go Back
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Hey all! We are headed to Disney in less than 10 days!

Yes it is officially our single digit day! We spent the weekend hanging around the house and packing, and doing a ton of laundry.

So much laundry! Paul brought the suitcases in and we started pulling out stuff for Disney. The kids are pretty easy to pack and they're almost done.


Our strategy of going with fewer bags, but therefore two checked bags seems to be working out well. Our plan is to have less pieces to deal with at the airport, even when we have our checked bags with us.

We are really trying to pack light. We also made a parking decision for the airport and we're just going to bite the bullet and park in the terminal parking.

It is what we have done the last few trips, but we had Jon and Brandy to share the cost with. This time they are flying separately, but we don’t want to deal with a shuttle and a remote lot, so we figure it will be cleaner and safer to just walk from the car to drop off the bags and then right up to security. Maybe next year we will park somewhere cheaper.

We also have our TSA Pre-check so that will hopefully help us easily speed through security.

Yes, I am looking forward to that. Today we also decided to eat breakfast before we get to the airport, so we have one less potentially unmasked airport situation.

I can't believe it was a year ago that we thought the people wearing masks in the airport were crazy.

Yeah, exactly. Now we are talking about taking a variety of different kinds so we can switch them like shoes.
We have been watching reports from people who are at Disney World and the DFB videos and it sounds really neat. Despite the mask restrictions and limited Quick Service availability, it is still Disney and we can’t wait.

We have gotten so used to wearing masks around here, it's not that big of a deal. Our kids are good mask wearers too.

While watching DFB videos this morning Marshall came up with the idea of wearing his mouse ears, and came out wearing them. I think he’s excited too.


We're all very excited and looking forward to the trip. In other news Paul and Allie picked up this ancient Disneyland Pennant at an estate sale a couple weeks ago. We bought a frame for it today and it looks fantastic.


It looks really neat. We have been going to estate sales since she hasn’t been in school, and we saw this penant in the pictures advertising a sale and went in search of it. We found it, and with a frame from Target it looks nice. We also got our Mickey Mail this week, and laughed at the fact they are still using the old envelopes that say luggage tags are enclosed.


I'm sure it's super confusing to people who aren't staying up to date with the latest. I wonder how many calls they get about their lugage tags being missing.

Yeah, I can relate, I got one of those calls. It is tough explaining to everyone that it doesn’t work like it used to, and it is going to change even more for next year. Oh well, I’m sure we will all find a way to get there with our bags.

We also spent Saturday trying to figure out what to do about water delivery. The last two trips we've not been super happy with Garden Grocer, they substituted our preferred brand of Dasani water twice without telling us, and now they don't offer Dasani at all. So we started looking at other options.

I was concerned about having to be there to pick up a delivery in person.

We've been doing Instacart at home for the past year and have really been happy so we're going to try it this year for water and a few groceries.

It will be something different, but will save a lot and still work like Garden Grocer did as far as having Bell Services bring it to us. We’ll let you know how it works out.

That's about all for now. Wish us luck this week as Marshall starts homeschool pre-K and we try and prep for the trip!

It will all be fun, and we’ll let you know how the final stretch of preparation goes.
 

suse66

When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true!
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Discontinuing EMH makes a lot of sense to me, since they used to cause higher crowds in parks on given days, which is exactly what Disney is trying to avoid. Being able to get into any park a half hour (or some other time amount in the future) early makes sense, and will help keep the benefit of staying onsite while not causing more crowding at any one park.

Overall, things are changing and Disney is not offering the perks that it once did, but we still have faith that they will still offer an excellent guest experience, and one that we will look forward to for years to come. Who knows, we might even rent a car and actually visit elsewhere in Florida besides Disney one of these years, but we're in no hurry for that.
I feel the same way. As DVC members, we are in it for the long haul. Yes, things will change but change means growth. I also believe that guests are responsible for making the magic too
We've been doing Instacart at home for the past year and have really been happy so we're going to try it this year for water and a few groceries.
I used Instacart on our 2019 anniversary trip and it was excellent. They got everything on my list and it was packaged perfectly. :)
 
  • lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    I've been following along but don't think I've commented yet.

    Your trip is so close- how exciting!

    We've used Instacart on several Disney trips and always been happy. If you can, be near your phone while the person is doing your shopping. If they don't have items you want, they'll notify you and you can make decisions on the spot about substitutions or canceling them!
     

    NancyLuvsMickey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2009
    There is a group on FB called Ear for Each Other ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/earforeachother ) and it's for laid off/furloughed CM's to advertise side hustle to help pay their bills until they get called back to work...

    In the group are CM's that will do your personal shopping for you, just like Garden Grocer did...

    And there are other CM's that will make food, munchies, sweets, just about anything you can think of or want, and will deliver them to your room...

    This group has so much cool stuff!!! I ordered some of my Christmas presents from them...

    Go check them out!!!
     

    Wood Nymph

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2012
    I can't believe it was a year ago that we thought the people wearing masks in the airport were crazy.

    Yeah, exactly. Now we are talking about taking a variety of different kinds so we can switch them like shoes.
    When we went to WDW in October it seemed as if a lot of people were wearing Disney-themed masks. But we saw people had branched out to a bigger variety of masks and less of them Disney themed, during our recent trip. They still sell a lot of Disney themed masks in the giftshops, though. I sew my own masks because they look and fit better. :)

    Wish us luck this week as Marshall starts homeschool pre-K and we try and prep for the trip!
    Good luck with homeschool pre-K. :)
     

    GrandCalifornian

    Can't Wait To Go Back
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2012
    I feel the same way. As DVC members, we are in it for the long haul. Yes, things will change but change means growth. I also believe that guests are responsible for making the magic too
    I used Instacart on our 2019 anniversary trip and it was excellent. They got everything on my list and it was packaged perfectly. :)
    Yes, being surrounded by people who are happy to be there is a big part of the magic. We trust that Disney will keep things going in the right direction, and are looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

    I've been following along but don't think I've commented yet.

    Your trip is so close- how exciting!

    We've used Instacart on several Disney trips and always been happy. If you can, be near your phone while the person is doing your shopping. If they don't have items you want, they'll notify you and you can make decisions on the spot about substitutions or canceling them!
    Great, thanks for joining in! We are glad to see positive WDW Instacart experiences. We have been very happy with it at home, and it does save a bunch of time and having to go to the market (not to mention avoiding the extras that we always throw in when we all go to the market ourselves), but we just have never used it for WDW.

    There is a group on FB called Ear for Each Other ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/earforeachother ) and it's for laid off/furloughed CM's to advertise side hustle to help pay their bills until they get called back to work...

    In the group are CM's that will do your personal shopping for you, just like Garden Grocer did...

    And there are other CM's that will make food, munchies, sweets, just about anything you can think of or want, and will deliver them to your room...

    This group has so much cool stuff!!! I ordered some of my Christmas presents from them...

    Go check them out!!!
    We will! We might be able to use them for something here at home, since we are fairly close to DLR and Anaheim. Thanks for the suggestion.

    When we went to WDW in October it seemed as if a lot of people were wearing Disney-themed masks. But we saw people had branched out to a bigger variety of masks and less of them Disney themed, during our recent trip. They still sell a lot of Disney themed masks in the giftshops, though. I sew my own masks because they look and fit better. :)

    Good luck with homeschool pre-K. :)
    Melissa has sewn up some Disney masks for us as well. In general we prefer some of the disposable ones, but Marshall's favorite mask is a Cars one, and I have a matching one to it. We will bring them all to have options.

    So far his homeschool preschool is going well. We are only two days in, but he is like a spionge and enjoys reading and learning new things. He's not a fan of coloring though, but he gets through it. We are using a curriculum set that we got from bookshark, and find their plans to be very nice. We may use more of their stuff for Allie in the future.
     
  • eliseisawkward

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2019
    I’m so excited for your trip!

    I also prefer the disposable masks recently. I have a bunch of cloth ones, but wear surgical masks at work and really prefer them.

    I’m so sad about magical express. We loved using it as a big family group (10 of us all together) and our last trip we used it because we arrived separately from my sister and BIL. It’s just so nice to not worry and I really hope the Mears replacement that seems inevitable is just as easy.
     

    GrandCalifornian

    Can't Wait To Go Back
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2012
    I’m so excited for your trip!

    I also prefer the disposable masks recently. I have a bunch of cloth ones, but wear surgical masks at work and really prefer them.

    I’m so sad about magical express. We loved using it as a big family group (10 of us all together) and our last trip we used it because we arrived separately from my sister and BIL. It’s just so nice to not worry and I really hope the Mears replacement that seems inevitable is just as easy.
    Thanks, we are really looking forward to the trip too. Just over 5 days to go.


    We have used DME for every trip, starting with our honeymoon in 2007. It is just so easy and emphasizes that we are there visiting Disney and not anything else In Florida. I would not have thought I would enjoy not having a car, but it always has worked great for us. If the new service is as good as DME has been, we would be willing to pay something decent for it, but we will compare the cost to renting a car. Since we get free parking with DVC, it might be an option. We have had 10 of us on the same DME bus before, and it was neat. This time we arrive in three different groups, but will all use DME. Time will tell what will work best for us in the future, but we have fond memories of DME, which we hope to add to on Thursday!
     

    Sophie Rose

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 10, 2017
    I’m joining in late, but it seems to be just in time. Looking forward to reading about your trip! We are also a west coast family who loves Disney and it will be great to follow along with your family’s adventures. Thanks for sharing with those of us who are stuck at home 😊
     

    Wood Nymph

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2012
    Your trip is getting really close. It turns out that my sister will be staying at WDW next weekend for a quick trip. She needs to use her airline credits before they expire. :) I hope you both have great weather. :)

    It will be nice to have the full kitchen in the villa, especially during the Covid restrictions. We only dined at a few restaurants during our most recent trips because we wanted to limit our possible exposure to the virus. I would have loved to have the full kitchen during those trips. :)
     

    GrandCalifornian

    Can't Wait To Go Back
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2012
    There is a group on FB called Ear for Each Other ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/earforeachother ) and it's for laid off/furloughed CM's to advertise side hustle to help pay their bills until they get called back to work...

    In the group are CM's that will do your personal shopping for you, just like Garden Grocer did...

    And there are other CM's that will make food, munchies, sweets, just about anything you can think of or want, and will deliver them to your room...

    This group has so much cool stuff!!! I ordered some of my Christmas presents from them...

    Go check them out!!!
    Just a quick update on this. Thanks for posting. Because of your suggestion, we found Marcy’s Magical Deliveries, and she is going to do our shopping for us. She is a 19 year cast member who is currently furloughed from Disney. She had been super responsive, and we are looking forward to using her services.
     

    GrandCalifornian

    Can't Wait To Go Back
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2012
    I’m joining in late, but it seems to be just in time. Looking forward to reading about your trip! We are also a west coast family who loves Disney and it will be great to follow along with your family’s adventures. Thanks for sharing with those of us who are stuck at home 😊
    Thanks for joining in. We will post the trip report link once we get home and start writing it, and the actual trip reports are always more interesting than our pre-trip ramblings. We enjoy going back and seeing some of our prior trip reports, especially since things kind of blend together in our memory.
    We do love visiting WDW from the west coast. It feels like a real vacation, even with the new xtra effort of having to deal with air travel.

    Your trip is getting really close. It turns out that my sister will be staying at WDW next weekend for a quick trip. She needs to use her airline credits before they expire. :) I hope you both have great weather. :)

    It will be nice to have the full kitchen in the villa, especially during the Covid restrictions. We only dined at a few restaurants during our most recent trips because we wanted to limit our possible exposure to the virus. I would have loved to have the full kitchen during those trips. :)
    That is neat that your sister gets to be there for a quick trip. So far the weather looks nice, but we’ll take anything to get to be there. For once Orlando is dryer than CA today, since we are finally getting some rain.

    We are excited to have the full kitchen, and while we don’t have specific meals planned in the room, I’m sure that will be what we do for most breakfasts. With the later park opening times we will have more down time at the resort in the mornings, especially on our Epcot days. My parents will have the small kitchen in their studio too, and that will be a first for them.
     

    NancyLuvsMickey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2009
    Just a quick update on this. Thanks for posting. Because of your suggestion, we found Marcy’s Magical Deliveries, and she is going to do our shopping for us. She is a 19 year cast member who is currently furloughed from Disney. She had been super responsive, and we are looking forward to using her services.
    So happy to help you and furloughed CM's!!!! It's a win-win situation!!!! Hope you have a magical trip!!!! pixiedust:
     

    GrandCalifornian

    Can't Wait To Go Back
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2012
    So happy to help you and furloughed CM's!!!! It's a win-win situation!!!! Hope you have a magical trip!!!! pixiedust:
    Thanks, we are looking forward to it, and working with Marcy should make it even better.
    It is really a neat group, with such a variety of services offered by talented cast members.

    Have a great time! We were supposed to arrive the 28th also, but have postponed a year due to Covid.
    Can't wait to read about your trip!
    :earsgirl:
    We’re sorry to hear about your delayed trip. We were very fortunate to get to go in February 2020 before everything changed, and then now during this craziness. We are excited about the restaurants that are open, the park hours, and the option to park hop, so there will be some normalcy there. Avoiding crowds and deciding whether we want to wait in crazy lines will be different, but we’ll see how it goes, and we will write about it once we get home.
     



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