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Disney World during a pandemic

March 3, 2021

We did it. We did Disney during a pandemic. And Finley did not even notice a difference. We noticed but it was still so magical for her. Here are my tips and tricks for traveling to Disney World during Covid.

The Flight

Masks are REQUIRED for every person over 2. (We took our masks off for these photos because there was no one around us.) We flew American Airlines. We prepaid for parking at the airport and parked right next to the terminal. It’s cheaper to prepay online ahead of time! Check-in was easy and there was not a ton of people (We had an early flight). We got there very early because we were not sure how crowded it would be and what precautions were set in place). It was so easy to go through bag check and security! Once we were in we go food (many places are not open due to covid…like Starbucks) So we got Mcdonalds and ate while we waited for our flight.

Boarding was easy and our flight was FULL. They do not social distance on the place. We each had a seat so we had a row to ourselves, thankfully. Finley had no problem keeping the mask on. The flight attendants monitored the masks before take off but I did not see them monitoring during the flight. (I am sure if you had it off completely, they would say something. I have heard horror stories about them making families get off the plane.) They did not come around with snacks or drinks. Instead, we got a little bag when we boarded with a bottle of water and crackers.

Disney’s Magical Express

When we landed, we headed straight to bag claim and then to MME. This is a free service that takes you straight to your hotel! (They are discontinuing this service in 2022). Make sure you have your magic band out and ready to be scanned. They will scan only one of your parties’ bands and tell you which line to go stand-in for the bus. The bus driver will load your luggage and drive you straight to the front door of your hotel. They sat each party every other row for distancing. Definitely a service we will miss A LOT!

Pop Century Resort

This was our first time staying here! We actually got to PC before our room was ready so we left our luggage with the bell boys and we hopped on the Skyliner and checked out other resorts and has lunch at Disney Springs! (more on that later). PC in my opinion was very similar to the All-Star resorts…just more expensive. I actually prefer the All-Star rooms. However, PC has the Skyliner so we will probably only stay in resorts that have access to the Skyliner from now on!

The dining experience was…interesting. You can no longer go up and just order food. You have to order on the mobile app. This is cool because you can order while you are walking up. However, there were VERY limited options. They had the normal meal options but snacks and desserts were definitely limited.

The store and the dining hall are connected and you can not enter unless your meal is ready on the mobile app or you are looking in the store. (We would always say that we were looking in the store so we could avoid the long lines to get in. Not really cheating because we would look around until our food was ready.) Once you get in the store there is someone standing at the entrance to the dining hall and you can’t get in unless your food is ready. However, if you’re getting a drink you can go in early. So we would just go get a drink and then sit at a booth until our food was ready.

They have refillable mugs…that you can’t refill. So, for health precautions, they do not let you refill your refillable mugs. But you do get unlimited drinks. They have cast members at the drink stations pouring drinks for you. Just show them your mug and they will give you a disposable cup with your drink. Then you just pour that drink into your mug.

Skyliner

We loved the Skyliner! Like I said earlier, we hopped on the Skyliner the day we got there to go exploring since we did not have a park day that day. It only takes you to Epcot and HS and a few resorts. So we went to Hollywood studios…we were just testing it out. Then hopped on a bus to the Grand Floridian. (They have busses at every park that go to every resort and all the other parks). I wanted to check out the GF because had never been there…loved it! Then we took a bus to Disney Springs for lunch!

We took the Skyliner to HS on day 2 and it was great! So much faster than the busses! The line looked long but it went really fast! The great thing is that you do not have to fold up your stroller…you just roll it right on! Also, if the Skyliner is running…there will not be busses running to Epcot and HS that day. The only busses running will be to the parks that do not have the Skyliner( AK and MK). UNLESS the Skyliner is so packed….then they will call in some busses.

Disney Springs

DS is one of our fav places! It is so nice to walk around and window shop and grab something to eat! This is also where they have their big Word Of Disney store which has everything! We also grab lunch at D-luxe burger but they have so many options! It is basically a huge outdoor mall. With Covid, there is only one entrance at most stores and one exit. Finding the one entrance at WOD was interesting. They also limit how many people are in each store at a time. The line looked so long at WOD but moved really fast! We ended our DS adventure with a cupcake from Sprinkles.

Magic Kingdom

We took the bus to MK and they actually were letting people in earlier than stated. We went right through temp checks which was SO FAST, then to bag check then to the line to get in. The temp check process was so easy and so fast. They had a third-party service running it and it was so effective! And they were all so kind!

Right when you walk into the park they have characters up on the train station and they are dancing, singing, and waving to guests! It was a nice way to kick off the day since there are no character meet and greets. Finley got to wave to her fav characters and she was so happy! Next, we went to Starbucks before the line filled up. (It fills up fast and it gets so long). Then we headed straight to the castle to take some pictures. We do this early as well to avoid crowds that may accumulate later in the day.

We then headed straight for the rides because there were not a lot of people and we wanted to hit up all of the popular rides before it got too crowded. THERE ARE NO FAST PASSES! At least when we went there was not. So, it was first come first serve. We waited no longer than 5-10 minutes for most rides. We walked on to Voyage Of The Little Mermaid three times…no wait at all! We rode basically eveyrhitng we wanted to before noon.

Since there are no character meet and greets they do Character Cavalcades. These are spontaneous parades throughout the day that are not scheduled as to not draw a huge crowd. We were able to see the princess one and Finely got to see her fav princesses! They also do some dance party cavalcades with Minnie and Mickey that are fun!

We went in November and it was hot but the masks made it even hotter. At times we just needed to go sit inside because it got to be too much. They have relaxation stations throughout the park where you can go sit inside and cool off. Masks are required and they are strict on it. If it fell below Finley’s nose they would say “pull your mask up princess”. There was not a single cast member that would let it slide. They were on high alert.

We ate lunch at our fav quick service restaurant, Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe because it is fast and you have a view of the castle! We debated going back to the hotel after lunch and resting because we had ridden almost everything. We decided against it because it was so hot and we did not want to make the trek. So we stayed and then decided to leave early.

They do not do the fireworks show at the castle at this time…which is my fave show at Disney. We knew this going in though. They did do Christmas projections though which were really pretty. We then headed home early and ate dinner at the hotel.

Hollywood Studios

In order to rise Rise Of The Resistance, you have to get a boarding pass beforehand. Boarding groups open up at 7:00 am the day you are going to HS. You can now reserve your BP from your hotel. You do NOT need to be in the park anymore. Ryan logged on at 6:59 (like 5 seconds before it turned 7:00) and he got boarding group 4. Useful tip: don’t get on Disney’s wifi. Ryan stepped outside of our hotel room to do it because his service wasn’t good inside the room.

We took the Skyliner to HS and got there pretty fast! Like I said before, they were letting everyone in early so we walked right through temp screening, bag checks, and ticket scan really fast. Then we headed straight for ROR. Finley was not tall enough to ride it so I stayed back with her and Ryan rode it by himself. He walked right on and did not have to wait at all.

After that, we walked onto the Alien Saucers. Mickeys Runaway Railroad was probably our longest line. It said 50 minutes but we were probably through the line and done with the ride in 40 minutes. The line looks SO LONG because of distancing. However, we really never stopped moving. It moves pretty fast. Same with Toy Story Mania and Slinky Dog. 

We ate lunch at a QS restaurant and it was a nice break from the heat. We did the Disney Jr dance party and it was a nice break in the AC as well. They have Mickey, Timon, Vamperina, and Doc Mcstuffins live on stage so it was fun for her to see characters that way.

They also do Calvalcades with characters so you can see them without getting too close. That was fun but Finley didn’t understand why she couldn’t hug them. So that was hard. We left an hour before closing and had no line getting on the Skyliner. We went back to our hotel and ate pizza. 

Animal Kingdom

We got to Ak and Ryan ran to Flight Of Passage while Finely and I went to Starbucks. This is how we always start our day at AK. Ryan was one of the first in the park and still said the line was so long but it moved pretty fast. (Again, because of social distancing) We sat outside of Starbucks and enjoyed coffee, muffins, and OJ. Ryan text me and told me that Minnie and Mickey were heading our way on a boat Cavalcade so we ran towards the nearest lake. We caught them just in time and Finley got to wave to them. I was surprised they had a cavalcade that early in the morning! I think Pochahontas was before them and we missed that one. We did not see another cavalcade after that. So that just shows how random they are. You never know when they will be coming. (Or how early!)

AK was VERY HOT. And we were there in November. We took many breaks in the shade. We made our way through AK pretty quickly. Since there are no shows, it did not take a long time. I have always thought of AK as a 1/2 day park. We opted out of the walkthrough zoo because we have done it many times. Plus, I was pregnant and my feet were hurting. So, we did the Kilimanjaro Safari (drive though zoo) for the first time! It was a nice break from the heat and a nice break from walking. We also went on a little bus ride to Rafikias planet watch. We had never done this either! It was a nice break from the heat and from standing on the quick little bus ride. It was cool because you got to see a little behind-the-scenes of AK while on the bus! Once we got there, Finley got a book where she got to collect stickers along the way at different stands if she completed the little tasks. Tasks that involved learning about different animals. She loved this! The planet watch was inside…again, another great break from the heat!

We then headed to DinoLand U.S.A. which is a fun area for kids! We rode the TriceraTop Spin for the first time and Finley loved it! It is just like the Dumbo ride. They also have little carnival games so we played some of those. Finley won once and so did daddy! So, Finley got a little Minnie and Mickey which was the highlight of her day!

P.S. this is the stroller we use when we travel. It folds up and fits in the overhead bin on the plane! It is also easy to fold up when you get off and on the bus.

We then headed back to the hotel and had dinner there. It was a fun day but we were so hot and ready to relax.

I think I covered everything! Disney is still so magical but we said we would probably not go back until masks are no longer required or until it isn’t very hot outside! However, we are actually going back in January 2022 and even if masks are still required the weather should be perfect! So hopefully it’s more manageable! Plus, I want cute pics with no masks!

xoxo, Alyssa

Travel

How to do Disney World in 3 days

April 7, 2020

Disney in 3 days? Yes, it is possible and SO much fun. This was our 4th time to go and our second 3-day trip! I have compiled a list of tips and tricks on how to make it just as magical. (If you want to read about how to do Disney for longer, check out my other post here)

Disney’s Magical Express

We arrived at the Orlando airport and headed right for the Magical Express. There are signs as soon as you get off the airplane that point you in the right direction. We did not check bags so we did not have to wait at baggage claim (praise). Another time-savig trick: we took this foldable stroller so we put it up above out seat on the plane. We did not have to wait for them to bring it to use after the flight.

Have your magic bands ready to be scanned and they will tell you which bus to stand in line for. The bus line goes fast and the bus drops you off right at your hotel.

All-Star Movies Resort

We really enjoy the all-star resorts. We have stayed in all three all-star resorts and they are all very similar. The Moives resort is recently upated. However, our favorite is the All- Star Sports becasue it is the first one the bus goes too. So it picks you up first and drops you off first!

Shuttle Buses

Free transportation! Which is a HUGE reason why we stay on property! These busses will take you to each of the parks, to Disney Springs and to either of the All-Star resorts. If you want to check out the other resorts (which is really fun), you will have to take the shuttle to one of the parks and then take the correct shuttle to the resort you prefer.

Hollywood Studios

We only did two parks this time so I will be reviewing the two parks that we went too. We started with Hollywood Studios becasue we feel like it is a 1/2 day park. We went to HS right when we got there so it was aroud 1:00 pm. We went straight to check out Star Wars. We continued with Toy Story Land, Disney Jr., and The Frozen Sing Along. We also met Minnie and Mickey here. They are located towards the back. We ended the night with Fantasmic. (My favorite show!)

Star Wars: Ryan was only able to ride one ride. He rode it may times becasue it has single rider. He was not able to ride the other ride. In order to ride it, you have to get there early before the park opens and wait in line. Once the park opens and you enter then you can check in for a boarding pass. The boarding pass will give you a boarding group. If you do not get there early enough then you will not get in a baoring group. IMPORTANT: If you get in a boarding group it does not mean that you will get on. You could be in boarding group 123 and they could only make it to group 80. So it is not guaranteed unless you are a very low number. You are able to leave the park BUT you can not miss your boarding group being called or you will not get on.

One of our fav rides is Toy Story Mania! We used a fast pass for ths one! We also used a fast pass for the Frozeon Sing Along. However, it is not needed! Also, a fast pass for Fantasmic is not needed either! There are so many seats!

Magic Kingdom

My favorite park. We used our three fast passes for meeting Mickey Mouse, Meeting Ariel, and riding the Ariel ride. We got there right when MK opened and I highy ecommend it. Main Street opens before the park opens. So we got there about 30 minuts early and we were able to enter Main Street and we headed straight for the castle. The have ropes to rope off the entrances to the rides. They do an opening ceremony that was so cool! It was our first time to see it!

Once the ropes dropped, we headed straight for Peter Pan’s Flight Of Passage. We were not able to get a fast pass for this ride because they go so fast. So, we sprinted and waited no more than 5 minutes! After that, we headed to It’s A Small World After All and walked right on!

We got there early and were able to do all of the rides that we wanted to ride by lunch time. So, after that we just walked around and rode our fave rides, watched our fave shows, ate our fave food, etc!

We ended the night with both of the shows. Yes, there are two shows. Everyone usually leaves after the fireworks, but STAY for the second show!

Disney Springs 

We finished our trip with Disney Springs. This is an outdoor shoping mall. You do not need a park ticket to get in. There are shops, restaurants, a movie theatre, and more! It is out fav way to end our trip! It feels like Disney without actually going into a park. Our fav place to eat is at D-Luxe burger. They also have this huge Disney store called World of Disney that has everything you could ever want!

Well there are some of my tips on how to do Disney in 3 days!

xoxo, Alyssa

Travel

The Littlefield’s take Disney World

December 3, 2018

We did it. We did Disney world with a 6-month-old. I had many questions about what it was like, so after much consideration, I decided to write about it!

(Our matching shirts are from Old Navy)

Airport and the Plane ride

We took Finley’s stroller and her car seat. BEST DECISION. I want to travel with a stroller every. single. time. We put all of our carry-on bags under the stroller so I was hands-free the entire time at the airport. It was amazing! We took two stroller bags to put the stroller and car seat in and we checked them at the gate. (I definitely recommend stroller bags). Security was very easy. I had to take off my shoes but Finely did not. We had to break down our stroller and car seat and put the whole thing on the conveyor belt.  Ryan did this while Finley and I went through the x-ray. (On the way back home they let me take a water bottle through security for her bottle). P.S. I have heard that you need to take a birth certificate when you are flying with an infant. However, we were never asked for hers.

 I decided to feed Finley during take-off so that her ears would not pop. Finley is formula fed so we bought a water bottle at the airport and I had individually packaged formula packets (from Walmart). I made her bottle on the plane and it was incredibly easy. I fed her during take-off and she slept the whole plane ride. When we got off the plane, the man sitting behind us said that when we got on the plane with a baby he was a little worried but he was very surprised at how well she did.

Arriving at Disney

We rented a car because we wanted to have the freedom to drive whenever and wherever. Plus we went to the beach one day. However, if you only plan on going to the hotel and the parks then you do not need to rent a car. The Disney shuttle takes you from the airport to the hotel and to all of the parks (Even Disney Springs).

We stayed at the All-Star Music hotel. This was the more affordable hotel, however, it was still very nice. Everything was Disney themed and gave you all the Disney feels! Once we arrived we checked into the hotel and hung out at the cafe until it was time to check in to our room. We saw Goofy and purchased a refillable soda cup. (If you arrive early, it is completely fine because there is so much to do at the hotel. EX. A Disney store, cafe, TV’s playing Disney movies, a pool, and so much to look at.) We asked for a pack-and-play for her to sleep in and they brought one to our room.

Refillable soda cups

These are $19.99 are you have unlimited refills for a week.  The only place you are able to fill up is at a Disney hotel. However, you can fill up at any hotel, not just the one you stay at. We would always fill up right before we headed out to the parks and fill up as soon as we got back.

Disney Shuttle

These will take you to any Disney park and to the airport. One important thing to know is that you have to fold up the stroller on the shuttle. It was kind of a pain but we got the hang of it.

(My dress is from Francesca’s and her dress is from Amazon)

Magic Kingdom

If you are only doing one park, then you want to do magic kingdom. This park has the most rides and attractions. My advice is to get the app. It has a map of the park and will tell you the wait times at each attraction. My favorite thing to do is to meet all of the characters at this park. I also love the Dumbo ride and the spinning teacups, because who doesn’t 🙂

Animal Kingdom

This is basically a glorified zoo. If you have animal lovers, then you will want to definitely visit this park. This is also the park with the Yeti roller coaster and Pandora. They have a Lion King show that is amazing.

Epcot

This park is geared more for adults. You eat your way around the world. My favorites include the nachos in Mexico and the egg rolls in China. My advice is to get only one of whatever you want and split it with whoever you are with. This way you do not get full as quickly and you can try as many items as possible. My favorite part of Epcot is trying all of the different foods and riding the Frozen ride. You will want a fast pass for this ride. Trust me.

Hollywood Studios

This park is mostly restaurants, stores, and shows. They do have the new Tory Story Land that I have not yet been too. It opened the week after we left last time we went. This park is decorated as old Hollywood which is fun. My favorite part of this park is Beauty and the Beast Live and the Frozen sing-along. Also, this is where all of Disney Jr is located.

Fast Passes

You can book 3 fast passes per person ahead of time. Once those three are out you can book more, however, you can only book one at a time after your first 3. Do your research if there are rides that you really want to ride and book ahead. The rides that usually have a long line are: Avatar, Peter Pan, Space Mountain, 7 dwarfs mine train, and Frozen Ever After.

Dining

We actually have never done a dining pass so I have no knowledge on that. I will say that if you do not want to do a meal plan then you do not have too. For breakfast we just did Starbucks and we ate a lot of Mickey shaped food throughout the day. So we would eat a small lunch at a quick service restaurant. For dinner, we would either find some place at the parks or we would leave (we had our own car) and go somewhere outside of the park. Tip: When dining at a quick service restaurant order ahead of time on the app so that you do not have to wait in line!

Tips + Tricks

Bring portable chargers. Your phone will die.

Bring your own first aid kit.

You can take food and drinks into the parks.

Do not miss the parades or shows. They’re amazing.

Take a stroller or wagon. We took our stroller that is able to fold down so Finley could sleep. We would walk through the park while she slept and it was so easy.

Purchase a spray fan. Especially in the summer.

The stores on Main Street all connect so if it is hot, you can walk through the stores to get some A/C and to get out of the heat.

Mickey waffles are also served at the Disney hotels.

Use the buddy system on rides if you have kids and you and your spouse both want to ride.

SAY YES to the park hopper. It is so nice to be able to go to more than one park a day. We visited every park, so on our last day we went to ALL 4 parks and did our favorite thing from each park. It was so nice to have the ability to go back and do all of those things again! Plus, some parks only take 1/2 a day!

Do not skip out on Fantasia. Trust me.

Freebies

Buttons! Buttons are free so just ask for one either at your resort or at the parks! These are a fun way to add excitement to your vacation!

Boat Ride. One day when we were leaving Hollywood Studios and going to Epcot we took a boat ride instead of the shuttle. It was so nice and relaxing. We got to see many of the resorts that were on the river and we passed by the Disney Boardwalk. It was a very enjoyable break from walking all day.

 Club Cool in Epcot. This is where you can taste sodas from all over the world for FREE.

Magic Bands

These are free if you stay in a Disney hotel. These are how you access your hotel room and your credit card is linked to it. You just scan your magic band any time you want to purchase something. SO EASY! Every time your photo is taken at WDW your photos are linked to your magic band, as well.

Extra Mickey Hours

These are available if you stay in a Disney Hotel. This means that on certain parks on certain days you can get into the park early and leave later. This is great if you want to ride a ride but are not able to get a fast pass for it. My husband wanted to ride the Avatar ride but it was always 3+hours to ride it. He went one morning when Animal kingdom had EMH and beat the line! He only waited 10 minutes!

(My top is from Stitch Fix and my shorts are from Old Navy. Finley’s dress is from Gap Kids)

Disney Springs

Do not skip on this if you have time. It is free to get in so anyone can go. It is owned by Disney so it still feels like you’re at Disney. The shuttle from your hotel will take you here as well! It has a movie theatre, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. It is so much fun. The best place we ate at in Disney was at a restaurant called D-luxe burger in Disney Springs.

AduIt and kid-friendly

We have done Disney with and without kids. It was so much fun both times. I honestly can not rate one time higher than the other. They were both magical. Disney has so much geared for children. However, they have gone above and beyond with making it aduItfriendly too. I will say that Epcot is geared more towards adults.

I hope this helps you plan your Disney vacation!