East Loop – Fall 2020 – Part 3

Day 24

Today we packed up to prepare to check in at Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel! It was a lot of work to get the RV cleaned up, everything put away, refrigerator completely cleaned out, and we moved as much food as we could fit into the ARB Jeep refrigerator. Unfortunately, we had to throw a lot of food out since the RV would be disconnected from power while we stay in the hotel. I love that the new Gladiator has a 110 AC outlet in the truck bed. The fridge did great keeping the food cold on our way to the hotel.

I followed Carla in the RV. It was stressful finding a place to park, but eventually we found a good spot.
It is nice having our extra fridge!
We walked to the hotel’s Landscape of Flavors to eat dinner. It sure is neat to walk through all the Cars scenes.

We then headed to Epcot for the night! We rode the Skyliner to get there. Fortunately, there were no lines on our way there.

I love how it goes down low over the water at first!
Neat views along the way!
Shopping in Morocco
Relaxing ride through Mexico! The front row is awesome since you can put your feet up on the bow of the boat (as Avin said “Dad, you’re not supposed to do that!”).
Pretzel time!
We rode Living with the Land so Carla and Tripp could see the Christmas lights.
We rode Soarin’ with basically no wait!
The streets of England were empty as it got close to closing time.
Well, the Skyliner line was long at closing time since it was spaced out, but it only took about 20 minutes or so to get on. We had no line at the transfer station, so that was nice.

Day 25

We took the puppies to Best Friends pet care for the week (Yay, no puppies!!! The kids will miss them…).

We then got on the Skyliner and rode to Hollywood Studios.

Avin and I rode Star Tours!
Ronto Wrap!! Love these!!
Crazy long line for Smugglers Run!
Avin loves the Mickey pretzels

Day 26

Today we went to Magic Kingdom and ate at Be Our Guest, which was really fun! The kids loved the rose petal falling every 10 minutes or so, and the lightning striking and the painting briefly changing to the beast.

The “gray stuff” was yummy and it came in a white chocolate tea cup.
The kids’ dessert came with yellow, blue, and red food coloring and a little stick for them to paint with!
Tripp rode Big Thunder Mountain for the first time and loved it.
Carousel of Progress
Face mask vending machine

Day 27

It’s December!! Carla and I got up at 6:45 AM this morning to have another chance to reserve a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance our last attempt was a failure. The ride books up in about 1 to 2 seconds so you have to have a game plan and a lot of luck!

Woohoo!!!!! We got one!!!
I had my screen recording as I was attempting to get the boarding pass. You can see how you have to constantly refresh it and wait for the 7:00:00 time to come around. When that time comes, you touch the join button, and then you have to select your party, and then hope you get a pass. It all happens really quickly! We got group 61, which means there were 60 other people who were able to click through the screens faster than I was. Crazy!
Time to open advent calendars! First time to do that in Florida!
Took a break from crazy park prices and ate at McDonald’s (The one near all the parks). Sadly, it was actually a little refreshing! This McDonald’s is neat because it’s solar powered (you can see the solar panels on the roof).
Cars academy was pretty cool! We had never seen it before.
It’s time to go to Rise of the Resistance!!!!
This ship blew our minds. You go into those blue doors, and the whole ship moves around like you’re flying through space (similar to Star Tours, but MUCH milder), and then a star destroyer tractor beam sucks out ship in. When you then exit those same doors after you “land” in the Star destroyer, you are looking at the impressive and massive stormtrooper scene in the photo below…Avin kept saying his mind was blown! So awesome!!! It really felt like we had flown into a star destroyer and docked at the huge bay!
This scene was so amazing! We only had a few seconds to soak it all in before the Imperials rushed us to another room.
We were than held in a hallway for a bit, and then moved to a prisoner interrogation room that was really intimidating! The way the room was shaped was just pure dark side! The ceiling had this weird angular shape coming down toward the back of the room and the entire room got really narrow toward the back. We had a close encounter with Kylo Ren before rebels cut open the door with a torch and rescued us! Carla was happy to be rescued! Crazy how real it felt!
A trackless car piloted by a droid then navigates all around the star destroyer to find a way out. At one point, the trackless car is locked into place and it’s like you’re on Star Tours again, with big ups and downs. Pretty wild!
The end of the ride is just as awesome as the rest of it. Our trackless car took us outside to a hanger area where you get off the ride, and then the car drives itself somewhere out of sight (obviously toward the beginning of the ride, but you can’t tell that). So strange to not be on a track or connected to other cars when you get off the ride!

It was an absolutely unbelievable ride! The whole thing last about 18 minutes and as well worth the wait! It totally lives up to all of the hype and we can’t wait to ride it again!

Day 28

We picked up the puppies from the kennel since the kids wanted to see them. They went completely nuts when they saw us!

Carla and I ate lunch at Le Cellier in Canada (we’ve wanted to try it for over 15 years, ever since our friend Mike Williams recommended it while we were living in St. Louis). The kids stayed back at the hotel to play with puppies and video games (felt weird leaving our kids in another country! Ha!).

Unbelievable loaded mashed potatoes!! I think I enjoyed those as much as the steak!
I noticed they have wood carvings of each provincial flower. It was neat to see Nova Scotia‘s!
It looks like the lifeguards are required to pace back and forth by the pool, even if no one is in the pool and it’s 50° outside! And maybe it’s to keep warm, as Carla suggested. I would go insane doing that for hours on end. At a much smaller pool closer to our hotel room, there was only one lifeguard and they were doing the same thing! I felt like I should throw myself in the pool and act like I’m drowning just to give them something to do.
Good times!

Day 29

Today we go to Hollywood Studios, and guess what…I snagged another pass for Rise of the Resistance!! Woohoo!!!!

I took the advice of my friend Jordan and used a timer to countdown to 6:59:45 so we knew when to start refreshing the screen. That’s what we did last time and it worked, and it worked again this time! Both times, we had a pretty crummy cellular signal. Only one bar of AT&T, and Carla‘s phone kept losing signal completely..
Group 23 this time!!

We went to the Polynesian to eat breakfast at Captain Cook’s.

The Tonga Toast is sooo good!

Well…Rise of the Resistance broke down right away this morning, and they didn’t start calling boarding groups for a few hours.

So, we headed over around lunch time and rode Slinky Dog and Star Tours, ate a Ronto Wrap.

They need to make a “Disney 2020” shirt that just has this on it. Sums up every park right now!

And then it was our turn to ride ROTR!

This life sized holographic image was so neat – Rey was talking and it looked like she was projected onto thin air!

And then….it broke down. We had just gotten to the scene with all the storm troopers, and we were then escorted outside through an employee area behind the scenes, which was neat. We were told to come back later when it was operating and we could get right on.

When we got to this scene we knew something was wrong…lots of other “prisoners “ in there all milling about. It was obvious something farther along in the ride was broken. I would have liked to stay in here longer, though! Such an amazing scene!!
While we waited for ROTR to start working again, Avin and I rode Star Tours!

We thought we would go ride the Mickey and Minnie ride again, but….

Bad day for big ticket rides to break down!
We killed some time by walking around the Star Wars Launch Bay, where neat models and props are displayed. Hardly anyone was around, and we found a holochess board tucked away in an alcove we had never seen before.

We finally got to ride ROTR when it started working again, and that wrapped up our last day at the parks for this trip! Tomorrow we head home, and we’re all excited for that, even though the kids also don’t want to leave Disney.

Day 30

We packed up and headed out! It was odd since we have to drive separately. I drove the RV pulling the old Jeep and Carla drove the Gladiator for the first part of the drive.

The dogs loved being by Avin. Lily zonked out most of the time until Carla drove the RV.
Goodbye warm temperatures!
We switched vehicles about half way to our stop for the day. As Carla said, it was weird to drive behind the RV, like I was watching our trip in third person!
Massive overpasses where you drive under the Atlanta airport runways / tarmac.
We drove through lots of patches of rain, and after 10 hours we finally got to the Scenic Drive RV Park in Anniston, AL.

Day 31

It’s a cold, but beautiful morning to hit the road! There was frost on the Jeep! We’re not in Florida anymore!

The stretch of road between Memphis and Little Rock was packed with diesel trucks like we’ve never seen before! It was pretty unreal and not fun to drive in.
It felt good to be home!
Oh yeah…while we were at Hollywood Studios, we saw a neat little toy model of the Mickey and Minnie‘s Runaway Railway ride in the window of a gift shop. We could never find a toy for sale, so we kind of gave up looking for it. Then, hundreds of miles from Disney on our way home, guess what the kids got as a free toy in a McDonald’s happy meal…what are the odds…

See you next time!

Leave a Reply