September 2020 Universal/MNSSHP Trip Report

RMmom

Member
What we have planned so far for our trip....

It will be me (43) and 3 kiddos (16, 13 and 9).

I have rented a house in Windsor Hills for the week.
I have booked a "throwaway" night at Royal Pacific to get 2 days of express pass.
I have bought 4 day park-to-park tickets for Universal....buy 2 days, get 2 days free.
We will buy tickets to a MNSSHP.
I have secured a rental car through Costco, but will keep checking for when price drops and re-book.
I will book our airfare on the 12th when SW opens up their September calendar....hoping for low fares :)
I plan to book some dining at WDW on our light days/days off and will book those this month.

This is our first trip doing mostly universal and only a day at MK.

The trip was inspired by the kids and I all reading the books aloud together. I treasure this time every day.

Be back when I have more to share!!!
 

RMmom

Member
I know we plan to use it for our pit stop for the day....Might stay the night....we will see how we feel on that day.

booked airfare today. had enough points for the 4 roundtrips. will watch them to see if they drop and will grab better deals and get some points back.
 

beachta1

Well-known member
I know we plan to use it for our pit stop for the day....Might stay the night....we will see how we feel on that day.

booked airfare today. had enough points for the 4 roundtrips. will watch them to see if they drop and will grab better deals and get some points back.

Yes! Even having a place to swim, use the bathroom or take a break is nice. I found walking from Royal Pacific faster than the boat.
 

RMmom

Member
Hello.

it is with sadness that I have postponed our Universal/WDW trip for September 2020. We plan to go in September 2021.

All Dining was cancelled.
MNSSHP was cancelled.
SW changed our flights to have layovers instead of direct.
I have autoimmune disease.
I can't imagine wearing a mask in September in FL.

Cancel with no $ consequence~ overnight at Universal hotel, rental car, SW flights

Our universal tickets have been granted another year before they expire in Dec 2021.
Our rental house deposit was transferred to our new dates.
Our travel insurance was transferred to our new dates

Kids and I are sad but we know this is the best decision for our family.
 

RMmom

Member
Vacation has been booked for September 2021 and I have 4 day tickets to Universal and bought Boo Bash tickets.
Can't wait to get back to my happy place!
 

RMmom

Member
Trip is less than a month away. Dad is in ICU and will be in hospital for our entire trip add that to FL Covid cases and I am getting nervous about the trip. I really, really, really want to go....we need it so so so badly.
3/4 will be vaccinated. 10 yr old won't be, of course.
 

smwisc

Active member
Trip is less than a month away. Dad is in ICU and will be in hospital for our entire trip add that to FL Covid cases and I am getting nervous about the trip. I really, really, really want to go....we need it so so so badly.
3/4 will be vaccinated. 10 yr old won't be, of course.
I'm sorry you're back in this situation again. It is so, so hard. :(

One thing I would encourage you to consider explicitly is the potential impact of stress/worry on your enjoyment of your trip. We were in a little different situation, as the FL cases exploded and the new CDC guidance came out literally while we were there - but the stress and worry definitely took away from the enjoyment of the trip, to the point where I would rather have cancelled if we'd known earlier what the situation would be.
 

RetroCOTfan

Active member
One thing I would encourage you to consider explicitly is the potential impact of stress/worry on your enjoyment of your trip. We were in a little different situation, as the FL cases exploded and the new CDC guidance came out literally while we were there - but the stress and worry definitely took away from the enjoyment of the trip, to the point where I would rather have cancelled if we'd known earlier what the situation would be.
I second this. We were there the last week of July (the indoor mask mandate started on Friday, 7/30, our last park day). We had been watching FL's case count rise as we were preparing for our trip and, if we had a choice, might have put serious thought into rescheduling. (We didn't really have a choice as the purpose for our trip was to move our daughter down there for DCP.)

For most of the pandemic, we swore that we'd not be doing Disney with masks--not because we didn't believe in them, but because we were worried about the discomfort of wearing them as well as what it would mean about the state of the pandemic if wearing them was necessary. Based on cases, we ended up wearing them pretty much all of our time indoors and when we were in tight crowds outdoors for the entire week, even before Disney mandated it. That increased our comfort level a bit, but constantly keeping your head on a swivel making sure you were aware of situations when you may be in close quarters with other people was an exhausting part of the trip that we would rather have done without.

The reality is, the pandemic still rages. Only you can decide whether right now is a good time for you to go or not. But I agree with @smwisc that part of your analysis needs to include the mental toll that masking, hypervigilance, and general pandemic-related stress may cause on this trip, and whether that will be outweighed by the enjoyment you get. I have to admit - there were many moments in our week at WDW where we really were able to just forget the outside world and everything else, and be wrapped up in Disney magic. It was a breath of fresh air for us, and we enjoyed it. But there were moments that were well outside our "normal" Disney experience that I hope we won't have to deal with again. But since we're going to see our daughter in October, I'm sure we will.

Good luck!
 

RMmom

Member
we went on the trip. My dad died on Aug 27th and 11 days later we were down in FL. I felt very safe. We masked indoors and outdoors at all parks. We enjoyed Boo Bash but it wasn't really worth it compared to parties in the past. we enjoyed our 4 days at Universal. We rode Hagrid 8x and I did velicicoaster 3x in a row one morning...we even did front row with hands up...it is the best coaster I have ever been on.

The trip is what we needed.

9 days after my mom died, I had my son.
11 days after my dad died, we were on a family vacation.

my dad was my guy. this has all sucked but that 7 days away was healing. I laughed a lot.
I cried a few times and when I needed him, my dad always showed up with a sign.
 

magic1106

May be computer illiterate, but I figured out how
we went on the trip. My dad died on Aug 27th and 11 days later we were down in FL. I felt very safe. We masked indoors and outdoors at all parks. We enjoyed Boo Bash but it wasn't really worth it compared to parties in the past. we enjoyed our 4 days at Universal. We rode Hagrid 8x and I did velicicoaster 3x in a row one morning...we even did front row with hands up...it is the best coaster I have ever been on.

The trip is what we needed.

9 days after my mom died, I had my son.
11 days after my dad died, we were on a family vacation.

my dad was my guy. this has all sucked but that 7 days away was healing. I laughed a lot.
I cried a few times and when I needed him, my dad always showed up with a sign.
I’m so sorry for your loss. My mom passed in June and I know having something to look forward to and occupy your mind makes it slightly easier to cope
 

RMmom

Member
Food...
Our fave meal of the week was the boathouse. from start to finish...they did everything right. place was beautiful. service was there before I even needed to ask for anything. food was all amazing...lobster roll, burger, club sandwich, fire shrimp...all amazing. we will always go back here every trip
ohana~ we can probably start skipping this dinner....was our most expensive meal by $100. steak was way overcooked. we didn't ask for any of the food to be replenished. it was good food...not great. service was shit....we never saw anyone and our drinks were always empty.
homecomin~2nd fave meal of the week. fried chicken was great...pork sandwich with slaw/egg was mind blowing...we will definitely go back here on our next trip.
we had never been to boathouse or homecomin before.
three broomsticks...eh.... it was fine.... won't make a point to eat here in the future unless there is little to no wait.
mel's diner...we had fries, chili fries and onion rings....all hit the spot and were amazing
city works....it was good, not great. service was okay. best item was the fried pickles
 

RMmom

Member
what we did day to day...
7th...flew in and hung at the house
8th...universal with "hotel stay" at royal pacific to get 2 days of express pass, 2 days of parking for $28 total and hour early entry to park
9th...universal day 2
10th...universal day 3
11th...downtown disney
12th...boo bash
13th...universal day 4
14th...flew home
 

RMmom

Member
our trick to ride Hagrid each day 2x first thing in the morning....We would be in line at the entry gate 30ish minutes before open. We would enter and walk back. I put all things in the locker as kids waited near the line. First ride was always walk right on. 2nd ride would be between 15-20 minutes, even when the ride broke down one morning. We would consider a 3rd ride but the line was always up to 45 minutes and I would guess it was right because prior ride was accurate. We only saw the pre-show on one of the 8 rides. glad we saw it 1x. Would love to ride this at night but park was always closed before sunset.

We only did velicicoaster on 2 of our 4 park days. first day was all HP, second day had rain and we just wanted to go home after the rides kids planned.... 3rd day I rode solo after Hagrid. I was on within 5 minutes of entering single rider line.
4th day, we all went on and rode it without stopping in queue. posted wait was 15 minutes.
2nd ride, we waited about 10 minutes to get the front row.
3rd ride took longer bc the ride broke down. they got it working again ....it broke down while we were on it before the huge hill. they reversed us to wait in the shade. after about 5 minutes they told us they would slingshot us backwards so we had enough juice to get up the hill. that slingshot was fast. we already knew 3 rides in a row was enough but the ride had a long wait after we were off due to being down for 20+ minutes.

we bought Voodoo doughnuts via the app and brought them home on the 2nd universal day. they were okay but I am glad I was in/out to pick them up. Don't get all the fuss.

we liked "staying" at royal pacific and taking the boat back to our parking after the hours at the park. we only used the room 1x each day for potty breaks. It saved us minimal wait time in lines with express pass but did save us over an hour of waits. the room with tax was $350 so broke down to $44 a day per person. I would do it again.

DO NOT rent from Budget. I had 2 rental cars and went with budget bc they were closest and it was $20 less than other company. the Mitsubishi was fine for the week UNTIL departure day. We woke up and went out to unlock the car to load. the key fob did nothing. I called the company and 45 minutes on the phone got me nowhere. we ended up using Lyft to get to the airport. Left the car with keys at house. budget picked it up. got the bill last night and it was for the full amount plus $50 to fill the tank. They brought the bill down by 50% of the gas and took 1 day fee off... at the moment, I am paying $15 less than agreed upon amount for the week. I am not done with them. we will see if that is best they can do. I also have to settle up with them with tolls. in my *not planning as much* I didn't realize there were no toll agents and that you could only use the pass system. budget didn't really explain this when I was picking up car. hoping I just pay the amount and there aren't major fees attached. we will see.

our rental house was very nice and I would recommend Mickey's Magical Villa to all. it was our first time staying there. The houses are so close together and the walls are paper thin...it feels like staying in a hotel. You could hear every noise or conversation outside while in our beds.

Southwest was great both ways.

rides we went on U/IoA~ Hagrid 8x, Velicicoaster 4x, train both ways, gringotts 2x, forbidden journey, hippogriff, E.T., minions, Jurassic river adventure, and Spiderman.
rides we went on at Boo Bash~ dumbo, tea cups, little mermaid, small world, Winnie the Pooh, thunder mountain 4x, Aladdin, haunted mansion, buzz, pirates and mine train 2x.
 

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