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  1. #1
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    Default Iím just finishing up a week here... hereís some WDW during Covid advice

    Hope this helps everyone, please ask if I donít cover what you need below.

    I stayed at Pop, did all 4 parks.

    Arriving at the parks:
    All resort transportation starts 1 hour prior to park opening, as opposed to 2. All passenger cars are held at the toll plaza until 1 hour before park opening... Iíve heard cars are turned back up until a certain time. I honestly have no idea, but this might be different for magic kingdom as you have to take the monorail or boat to the park. Those were VERY backed up at park opening and closing. One group per monorail bench, be it one or 4 people. No standers. I kind of think they should have either not opened the monorail resorts or provided bus transportation from them so they could use both Monorail lines exclusively for TTC passengers. Also going to note Epcotís Monorail is not operating at this time, the reason I was given was that there is no park hoping. Also no Parking Trams, and during the Park Opening rush they only fill every other spot, and will go back and fill the rest sometime later.
    Resort transportation:
    Iím really not a fan of the Skyliner, at least not right now. I went into a rant about It on the accommodations forum. But Iím told that for a 10am Hollywood studios opening, the queue at Pop starts building at 7:30, and the Skyliner to Caribbean beach opens at 9:00, and then you get off and get back in line again to transfer to Hollywood Studios. You will need to allow over an hour to get to Hollywood Studios. If you have a car, I strongly recommend driving to all parks except magic kingdom. Busses have either a number (1-6) or a not available sticker on the seats, I think there were 4 of each number, and the driver will tell you which number to head to. They send many busses around opening/closing times. Expect to wait for several. Again, no standing allowed.
    Rope Drop:
    Hereís a game changer. There is no rope drop. Rope drop essentially occurs an hour before posted park opening time at the toll plazas. Hereís where it gets interesting. The park is then pretty much open. The main attractions open as soon as guests get to them, so like 50 minutes before park opening time. If you can get there, this is a GREAT time to knock out Frozen, 7 dwarfs Mine train, Avatar, and Mickey and Minnieís runaway railway. Youíll have your main priority done before the park even opens. Also donít forget... you can still jump in line for something with an hour wait 1 minute before park closing and be allowed to ride, so you can more or less extend your park hours by 2.
    Single Rider Lines, FastPass+, and Park Hoping:
    Letís make this quick, No, no, and no. Next...
    Seating on rides:
    I think this is the one most people are probably curious about. It really varies by ride, but Iíll give some examples, note a group is defined as any number of people who are visiting together, bet it 1 person or 100, if there are 2 single riders each one is his own group, they wonít be paired together and spaced out.
    Tower of Terror: Up to 4 groups per elevator, 1 on right of rows 1 and 3, and 1 on left on rows 1 and 3... no seating in row 2.
    Test Track: 1 group per car
    Mission Space: only every other pod operating, 1 group per operating pod.
    7 dwarfs, Space Mountain, Slinky Dog, Big Thunder, Runaway railway, Expedition Everest, Rock n Roller coaster: 1 group per car (a car contains 2-3 rows.)
    Star tours: No seating in rows 2 and 4, up to 2 groups each in rows 1, 3, and 5.
    Soarin: 2 groups in all hang gliders, except for A-3 and C-3 where itís one.
    Splash Mountain/Forzen: This one varies, if there are 2 groups of 2 they will put one in the front and one in the back, a larger group (3+) is probably going to have their own boat.
    Pirates: for the most part 1 group in row 1, row 3 and Row 5
    Dinosaur: 1 group in row 1, 1 group in row 3.
    Midway Mania was interesting, as it wasnít too affected by this, just no grouping of single riders together, so this one had very short waits.
    Wait times/lines:
    This is another think I think many are curious about. I think in the Magic Kingdom Most posted waits were grossly over exaggerated. Space Mountain was posted at 40, but I spent more time walking through the tunnel to the loading area then I did waiting in line, it was like 5-10 minutes. Big Thunder showed 70 and I waited 15-20 minutes, when I got off it said 45, feel free to think of your own theory there. Splash was always posted around 50-70, but always seemed to be around 30. Peter Pan posted 30, it was a walk on.
    I waited 5 minutes in the queue after my boarding group was called for Rise of the Resistance.
    Hollywood studios was still pretty bad for the most part though, RnR, ToT Smugglers run weíre usually 45-60 (posted and actual) and runaway railway was 90-105. I think they close the queue off around the 105 marker.
    A general note, all lines are physically long due to social distancing, and many extend well beyond their normal areas. ToT and RnR start well out into Sunset Blvd. 7 dwarfs wrapped around to across from the circus entrance. Frozen went into the next country. Everest started around the bridge that connects Asia with Dinoland, and despite its ďnormalĒ queue being full, it was a 20 minute wait. Remember that even with many seats not being utilized, fast pass takes up 80% of the rides capacity, so the lines still move very fast.
    Personal Safety:
    Before approaching security, you will have your temperature checked via forehead. This occurs at the front gate for Epcot, AK, and HS. For Magic Kingdom, they do it at the Front gate for those who arrive via resort bus. If you arrive via boat or monorail, itís done where you board that, be it the TTC if you drove or your resort if the monorail or boats stop there.
    Masks: well you already know you need to wear one, but I will say they are very strict about this, which is good. If you remove yours at a park or hotel and are not eating you WILL be confronted. Supposedly itís treated like smoking outside a designated smoking area.
    Food/mobile ordering:
    I used this a few times, I typically didnít need to order that far ahead. You order in half hour time slots, and when you get to the restaurant you press a button on your phone to let them know you are there, and when youíre orders up itís direct you to a numbered pick up window. Tip: tell them you are there a couple minutes before you will arrive, itís not instant.

    Well I think that about covers everything. Let me say that I echo the opinions of that reporter who said she felt safer at WDW then a supermarket. I saw more people without a mask on my last trip to Walmart (which has a mandatory mask policy) than I did in a week at WDW.
    1988- Off site
    1989- Off site
    1990- WDW Hilton & Swan
    1997- Dixie Landings (now Port Orleans Riverside)
    2005- Shades of Green
    June 2006- Pop Century
    Jan 2007- Disneyland- Disneyland Hotel
    Jan 2010- Disneyland- Double Tree Orange
    Oct 2010- Disneyland- Off site
    Sept 2011- All Star Sports

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  4. #2
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    Hereís something I forgot. Iíll put it here since my last post was so long.
    Preshows:
    Many rides donít have them.
    NO: RnR, ToT, Haunted Mansion Stretching room, Test Track, Runaway Railway (this looked like it was supposed to have one, but Iíd never been on it.) Dinosaur you were routed through the room and it did play every now and then, but no effort was made to get everyone to see it.
    Yes: Rise of the Resistance, Mission Space, Star Tours, Soarin.

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  6. #3
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    Thanks for the report. There are tidbits in there that I will have to consider for our January trip.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  7. #4
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    Thanks for the information. We have 2 park days in October but I am thinking the Studios won’t happen. I think Epcot should be ok but will decide when get there. Planning to get to parks 30 minutes after opening by Poly bus and we have dinner reservations around park closing time. The only inside dining I have is Kona and SciFi. Epcot night we have Rose and Crown which I am hoping is outside dining.
    We'll Go On....Off To Neverland

    Wishes!

    It's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow....Where Dreams Really Do Come True

    Never Forget It was All Started By A Mouse....TTFN

  8. #5
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    Wow, thanks. Disney now sounds so much more complicated than it was pre-Covid when trying to just plan an ordinary trip there. Going to Orlando in November and was going to stay an extra day just to go to Magic Kingdom but now rethinking that.
    * 2003 - Beach Club
    * 2004 - Downtown Disney
    * 2004 - ASS
    * 2005 - ASS
    * 2006 - Disneyland
    * 2008 - CSR
    * 2009 - CSR
    * 2010 - Beach Club
    * 2012 - CSR - (2)
    * 2013 - POP
    * 2013 - ASM
    * 2014 - Pop (2)
    * 2015 - CSR
    * 2017 - POP
    * 2019 - POP
    * 2020 - POP

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozman View Post
    Hope this helps everyone, please ask if I don’t cover what you need below.

    I stayed at Pop, did all 4 parks.

    Arriving at the parks:
    All resort transportation starts 1 hour prior to park opening, as opposed to 2.
    It sounds like it's quite possible not to be able to get to the park by park opening if using Disney buses. Suppose a family goes to the bus stop for park opening, then the bus for their park finally arrives, but it's "Full" (because each bus takes fewer people to be full now) When a bus with room finally arrives and the family gets to the park,the hour has been eaten up.

  10. #7
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    Thanks for the update based on recent park experiences!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  11. #8
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    l really appreciate you posting such a thorough report. We are going in Nov. and I'm struggling with the planning since everything is so different. Your trip report helps tremendously! Thank you!
    ~Maureen

    "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."~Walt Disney

  12. #9
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    Thanks for all this great information. I have a trip with just my son planned for 10 days from now. Iím very anxious. Your post helps to illuminate whatís awaiting us. Should be interesting trip to say the least.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simba's Mom View Post
    It sounds like it's quite possible not to be able to get to the park by park opening if using Disney buses. Suppose a family goes to the bus stop for park opening, then the bus for their park finally arrives, but it's "Full" (because each bus takes fewer people to be full now) When a bus with room finally arrives and the family gets to the park,the hour has been eaten up.
    They have a long line of busses waiting for the pre park opening times.
    But thereís a reallllly long line of people waiting to get on them. I would show up at least 30 minutes before they start running, but remember a 10am park opening should be thought of as a 9am park opening. I still strongly recommend driving if you have a car (remember you donít pay for park parking as a Disney hotel guest) By 10am, everyone is throughout the park and in the lines, not on Main Street USA waiting for a rope drop.
    I will tell you that on Monday HS ďopenedĒ at 10am, and at 9:30 Runaway Railway was already at 105 minutes with the queue closed off. But itís great if you can get there early.
    I didnít try it, but if you are at Pop, you might consider walking over to Caribbean Beach,
    and board the transportation there. If you can get there before 9am it will help immensely with the Skyliner, not sure about the busses, but as a moderate thereís a lot less people.
    Also worth mentioning that Pop is a lot bigger than most of (or all?) the other Disney resorts. Translation: more people
    1988- Off site
    1989- Off site
    1990- WDW Hilton & Swan
    1997- Dixie Landings (now Port Orleans Riverside)
    2005- Shades of Green
    June 2006- Pop Century
    Jan 2007- Disneyland- Disneyland Hotel
    Jan 2010- Disneyland- Double Tree Orange
    Oct 2010- Disneyland- Off site
    Sept 2011- All Star Sports

  14. #11
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    Are the ferries operating from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom? We usually drive to all of the parks rather than take Disney transportation. Just trying to figure out how to do the MK the day we have scheduled.

    Thanks for that post. VERY informative.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - Dec 2020 OKW, May 2021 offsite

  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Are the ferries operating from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom? We usually drive to all of the parks rather than take Disney transportation. Just trying to figure out how to do the MK the day we have scheduled.

    Thanks for that post. VERY informative.
    They seemed to be running when we stayed over at the Grand Floridian in July - they were regularly going back and forth from the Transportation and Ticket Center.
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozman View Post
    Here’s something I forgot. I’ll put it here since my last post was so long.
    Preshows:
    Many rides don’t have them.
    NO: RnR, ToT, Haunted Mansion Stretching room, Test Track, Runaway Railway (this looked like it was supposed to have one, but I’d never been on it.) Dinosaur you were routed through the room and it did play every now and then, but no effort was made to get everyone to see it.
    Yes: Rise of the Resistance, Mission Space, Star Tours, Soarin.
    Thanks for the extensive details on what it's like in person. That's disappointing to hear that there are fewer pre-show sequences. For me, that's what always set Disney apart from the likes of a Six Flags is the immersion. Not to mention that the storying telling was Walt's legacy. All the more reason for us to hold the line until 2021 I suppose, but it sounds like your time was good!
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL

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  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Are the ferries operating from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom? We usually drive to all of the parks rather than take Disney transportation. Just trying to figure out how to do the MK the day we have scheduled.

    Thanks for that post. VERY informative.
    Yes they are, all guests are very spread out, they have dots to instruct each group on there to stand. Youíll likely be waiting a bit whether you choose the ferry or monorail.
    1988- Off site
    1989- Off site
    1990- WDW Hilton & Swan
    1997- Dixie Landings (now Port Orleans Riverside)
    2005- Shades of Green
    June 2006- Pop Century
    Jan 2007- Disneyland- Disneyland Hotel
    Jan 2010- Disneyland- Double Tree Orange
    Oct 2010- Disneyland- Off site
    Sept 2011- All Star Sports

  19. #15
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    Very helpful information. Thank you for posting!
    Jeff

  20. #16
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    Thanks for the advice. As hope others follow that. As it will be very important. Fair and square!
    Ready for Halloween is Here!

  21. #17
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    Where do the Minnie Vans drop people off for Magic Kingdom? I was wondering if Ubering to breakfast and then getting a Minnie Van to MK would cut down on some of the craziness of the TTC.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  22. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    Where do the Minnie Vans drop people off for Magic Kingdom? I was wondering if Ubering to breakfast and then getting a Minnie Van to MK would cut down on some of the craziness of the TTC.
    That's a really good idea, if they're running. Getting to the MK early enough to avoid some long lines is always in our plans, and we've been trying to figure out how to do this if we can't get through the toll booths until an hour before opening.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - Dec 2020 OKW, May 2021 offsite

  23. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    That's a really good idea, if they're running. Getting to the MK early enough to avoid some long lines is always in our plans, and we've been trying to figure out how to do this if we can't get through the toll booths until an hour before opening.
    Uber is running in Phoenix, so hopefully they are up and running at WDW.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  24. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    That's a really good idea, if they're running. Getting to the MK early enough to avoid some long lines is always in our plans, and we've been trying to figure out how to do this if we can't get through the toll booths until an hour before opening.
    Unfortunately, the WDW website says they are temporarily unavailable.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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