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djsamuel

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djsamuel last won the day on September 10

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About djsamuel

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  • Birthday 12/18/1959

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    Several hours later, I'm still speechless.
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    Clermont,FL

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  1. That's odd. We were at the Fort the week before Labor Day as well. It was our 40th stay there over the last 7 years (I was curious and had to count). We've requested a site for all but our first stay. In those 39 times when we requested a site, we only received a text message once. I wish we would get it more often. This trip we did not get a text as usual and went up to the registration lane. When we got there the cast member told us that we got one of our requested sites. Sometimes we get it and sometimes we don't but it has always been noted.
  2. From what I've read on other sites, people seem to take I-40 across and do fine.
  3. Yes, I used the fax request at the end of August and they had it on our record at check in.
  4. Thanks! Yes, Labor Day weekend filled the place up and people must have stayed the week after Labor Day. BIG difference. 🙂
  5. First time for me. We were really glad to hear it at check in and told the cast member that. She agreed.
  6. That reminds me. When we were staying at the Fort a couple of weeks ago, they were actually checking magic bands at the pool.
  7. Currently 9AM to 9PM. The Settlement Trading Post has shorter hours, 11AM to 5PM.
  8. At P&J's it is really nice. Plenty of room to come in and choose a table away from others. They also do a great job cleaning after people leave. At the other restaurants, we found the seating to also be very well done. At the Rose and Crown we were well away from other people. Our server there told us that an early lunch at Epcot is empty, while it gets busier as the afternoon wears on. In all case, we felt comfortable. I posted a trip report in the Trip Reports section of the site with photos from the Rose and Crown and what it was like.
  9. No, the yellow bus travels along the full hookup sites, past the far side of the Meadows Trading Post, past some premium and preferred loops and ending at the settlement. Just take any bus to the Settlement and wait for the Yellow Bus to come in saying the Settlement. Ask the bus driver if he is heading to the Lodge from there. If the bus came from the Lodge, it will be heading to the outpost first. You can ride it and then head over to the Lodge or you can wait for the next Yellow bus which should be heading straight over to the Lodge since it will be coming from the Outpost.
  10. No. You can get on the Yellow bus heading to the Settlement. After it stops at the Settlement it will head to Wilderness Lodge. We used it last week and it works out well.
  11. Thanks for the feedback. It was a very nice stay. Getting into the other resorts was easy, we just told them we were staying on property and offered to have them scan the magic bands which they declined.
  12. I feel like I'll be showing these photos to people years from now talking about the 2020 pandemic as a point in history! 😀
  13. A couple of weeks ago, we saw that our passes that my wife has from her retirement from Disney were finally unblocked for both of us to enter the parks. So we were able to grab a nice reservation at Fort Wilderness and finally get back. It was a great trip and I'll try to add some pictures here to give some info on what everything is like. First I should say that the parks weren't bad the first weekend, and EMPTY the week prior to Labor Day weekend. Our park passes were blocked again starting the Friday of Labor Day weekend, which was fine because it got pretty crowded. We checked in near noon on Friday August 28th. There was certainly no problem getting a site! The campground was really quiet and many loops were closed. It was very peaceful. P&J's was open and that was the only food option. However, they opened up the dining area of Trails End and you could sit inside and eat and/or drink. It was actually very nice. After setting up the camper we headed to the Magic Kingdom. It was a little strange taking a selfie in front of a castle wearing face masks. The Magic Kingdom was empty every day we were there (Friday, Monday Tuesday and Wednesday). Disney did a good job with the social distancing and making sure people wore masks. There were very few people not following the rules. The wait times were great. We rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train about 9 times total and our longest wait was about 30 minutes; most were about 10 - 15. The Haunted Mansion line is great without the stretching room. The line moves quickly and I had the chance to look around and see details inside I never saw before. Longest wait there was about 10 minutes. We rode Peter Pan several times since the wait there averaged about 10 minutes as well. Each time we went, we would stay about 3 hours and be able to get on MANY rides. The Plexiglas dividers were great, much better than the chains. At least kids couldn't occupy their time swinging the chains around and hitting everybody around them.Then we would head back to the campground and relax. On Saturday, we headed to Animal Kingdom. It was not crowded, but it was not set up for COVID as well as Magic Kingdom. The lines weren't as conducive to distancing nor were there as many Plexiglas dividers up. The crowds were down as well, and we waited about 10 minutes for Flight of Passage and less for the River ride as well as the Safari. Sunday we went to Epcot and it was more crowded. However, we walked onto Soarin and were able also walk onto Test Track and Spaceship Earth. One of the strangest factors at Epcot was the absence of the International Program cast members. Walking into Japan and seeing mainly American workers just felt strange. (Above: Sunday at Epcot) We ate lunch at the quick service restaurant in Japan. Both of us got the Beef and Chicken Teriyaki. It was delicious. We returned to Epcot on Thursday. It was MUCH emptier, really a pleasure to walk around: The pictures above were taken around 1PM. We quickly walked onto The Seas and Imagination while heading to lunch at the UK. When we got there we walked through the store a bit. There we met a nice young woman from Scotland who lives in the US, so she fit the UK well as did another young woman from London. When we went to check in, the hostess was from Bulgaria, and was VERY nice as well. We requested a window seat and she got us a great one with an amazing view. She even came into the restaurant after someone else seated us to make sure we liked the table. We started the meal with the soup of the day; Tomato Bisque (delicious): Then my wife got the Bangers and Mash and I got the Sheppard's Pie: Both were outstanding, as was the server who was an Asian American who obviously worked a high end restaurant at Disney because he was so friendly, professional and great at his job. After the meal we took the Skyliner over to Caribbean Beach. First, let me say that the Skyliner was pleasantly cool even the temperature was around 90 and it was humid and sunny. We got a good view of the construction in France for Ratatouille: On Friday, since we were blocked out of the parks, we went to Disney Springs. Nothing much new there to report, but the crowds weren't bad. From there we took the bus to the Grand Floridian. It was eerie seeing it so empty: The band is not playing and they moved the piano up onto the band stand: On Saturday, we took the bus from the campground to the Wilderness Lodge. The bus now rides along the road between the Fort and the Lodge. From there we could see that the walking trail no longer exists. It has been completely torn up and they were installing water pipes. However, there were new concrete spillways in place which indicates the intent to restore the trail. I'm sure that won't happen for quite a while though. Like the Grand, Wilderness Lodge was pretty empty, although it was a bit more crowded for Labor Day weekend: The next day we checked out and headed home. It was a great trip; a nice combination of going to the parks and relaxing at the Campground. Disney did a great job both at the Fort and the parks. While I am looking forward to things getting back to normal, there were some changes I really enjoyed and makes me glad we booked our stay.
  14. You'll enjoy your stay. Just remember the changes are temporary, enjoy the ones that make for a more relaxing trip, and realize that what you are experiencing is part of history. The photos of my wife and me in front of the castle are ones that, years from now, will bring back a lot of memories.
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