February 2021

Walt Disney World

You MUST HAVE THE APP!!! I say this because, without the My Disney Experience app, you will not eat or get into certain queues for rides at all.

There are four parks at Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.

Having your tickets to the Parks ahead of time is not enough. Using the app, you have to go into the calendar and select which date you will be going to Disney World and which Park you want to visit that day.

We also went to Universal Orlando for one day and were able to get a bus through a transfer company to pick us up at our hotel. It cost extra but was still worth not having to deal with a rental car that we wound up not needing and paying a parking fee each night.

Hogwarts Castle, Universal Orlando

Hogwarts Castle™
Universal Orlando

Animal Kingdom, Pandora: Tree of Life

Animal Kingdom
Pandora Tree of Life
Walt Disney World

We had a free shuttle service with Disney's Magical Express from the airport. However, after this year, 2021, Disney's Magical Express will no longer be available.

The monorail also only goes to Magic Kingdom right now, even if your hotel is on the monorail line. So you have to wait for buses outside your hotel to go to the Park you want to visit that day.

Also, and I cannot state this enough, practice using the app before you leave.

I had the app for a few months ahead of time and got used to finding everything before leaving, but I was still confused. To add to the confusion, the app doesn't tell you everything that you need to know.

For instance, I didn't know that I had to reserve a spot months in advance to get into some of the themed restaurants. To get into the Cantina bar at the Hollywood Studios Park in the Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars area, you need reservations months out. I got really lucky and kept going on the app and found a cancelation. We got in, but it was not easy.

As for the rides, to go on the newest ride, the Rise of the Resistance ride at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios, you must get into a queue the first thing in the morning.

We were there at about 6:55 a.m. to be ready for a 7:00 a.m. slot to open and see if we would even get in. We were fortunate, and we got in the first day. This was great as we had only scheduled two days at that Park.

Hollywood Studios, Galaxy's Edge, Oga's Cantina

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge - Oga’s Cantina Bar
Walt Disney World

Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Walt Disney World

Although Delta airlines keeps the middle seats closed to allow for fewer people and better COVID-19 protection and the Disney Parks have hand sanitizer everywhere, this trip was not our easiest. Still, I can say we felt safe and protected the whole time.

On most rides, they had someone putting hand sanitizer in your hand before you got on the ride and a hand sanitizer station when you got off the ride. There were areas where you could wash your hands as well. All of the Parks had 'Hands-Free' washing in the bathrooms.

The Parks do not have the Disney characters walking around because of COVID-19. Still, in the Epcot and Magic Kingdom Parks, which have a lagoon or such, the characters would come by in a boat and wave. They would have a few daytime parades go through like Santa Claus and such, but still not much.

EPCOT!

Epcot, Walt Disney World

Epcot, Walt Disney World

New Year's Eve 2021

New Year's Eve
Orlando, Florida

Epcot, The Seas with Nemo and Friends

The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Epcot, Walt Disney World

Food

Eating at Disney World is a whole new ball game. You have to go onto your My Disney Experience app, look on the map, see what kind of food is in your area, and order your food online. When your order is ready, you will get a text reminder from the app with a ticket number that you need to show to get your food. There are only a few things, like popcorn, pretzels, and such that you can get without an online order.

If you are an adult and just want to go for the rides and enjoy a more structured vacation, it will work out fine. You must wear your mask at all times, unless you’re standing still or sitting and eating or drinking. You cannot eat and drink in lines while waiting for rides either. No eating and drinking and walking around at all. This might be the new norm for a while, and if you hate masks and lines with markers on them telling you where to stand, then Disney World is not the place for you right now. I would suggest Mexico or such as you can relax and sit by the pool at an all-inclusive resort.

Overall this was a trip we planned as a backup to not being able to go overseas, and we worked out the kinks and found a great way to enjoy ourselves. We brought in the New Year in our hotel room, watching it on TV with balloons, hats, noisemakers, and some champagne.

If you are planning a trip to see grandma or are looking into next year and want to get a jump start on your plans, remember we can go out 333 days on airfare and up to two years, sometimes more, on tours and cruises.

Until next time, I hope this helps you with your planning.
Enjoy 2021 and stay safe.
~Jennifer

No stress. No worry. The Thrill is in the Journey.