We ventured to Epcot today!
We thought about it for a while once we knew it was opening back up. We researched it by reading reviews, blogs, FB posts, etc. about what it was like in the various parks. Two weeks ago we made our reservations for 8/4 knowing that at anytime should we feel uncomfortable about going we could back out.
So this morning we headed out wondering exactly what we would encounter. We had in the back of our mind that at any time we felt it was too busy, too risky and too uncomfortable we would just turn around and head home. Even if it meant that when we walked in the gate and we felt anything not right we were outta there!
We were greeted at the parking gate by the attendant with both a mask and face shield. Cars were even being parked social distant from each other! It was nice to get out of the car and not have someone barreling in next to you. No trams were running. In and out of the park traffic was in 2 different directions. Cast members were standing outside of the park checking masks. We even encountered one gentleman wearing a mask with a filter on it that he could not enter the park with that type of mask on. We had our temps taken before security and at security they do not even touch your bag. They ask you to remove umbrellas and water bottles. As we entered through the Passholder gate there were no fingerprints scans and I was even reminded that my mask had slipped below my nose a bit.
Once inside the park we were amazed at how deserted it was!
We then headed Mouse Gear. As we passed Spaceship Earth there was only a 5 min. wait time, with markers on the ground spacing the folks waiting in line.
As we entered Mouse Gear there obviously is a limit on the number of shoppers allowed as there was a cast member counting folks as they came in. There are reminders everywhere to “keep the magic alive” by social distancing, wearing your mask and limiting handling the merchandise.
There were times we needed to make sure we were keeping our distance, but it really was not any different than being in a grocery store. In fact, I think at any one given time there may be more people in Walmart in one aisle that there were in Mouse Gear.
So we continued our trek around the park anxious to see what was open and what was not. There were the normal booths for the Food and Wine festival, but just not the hype and excitement of being there in the midst of one of the biggest festivals. The main shops were open, but many shops in the different lands around the World Showcase were not. The Fish and Chip shop in England was closed as was the pub section of Crown and Rose- which is sad because it is our favorite spot for a cold Guinness. But, it is also VERY hard to social distance in there. France was practically empty. The shops were closed, the main restaurant closed but the ice-cream shop and bakery were open. It was pretty sporadic like this throughout the park.
Our choice for lunch was the Smokehouse over in the U.S. section. No walk up ordering, but only order on your mobile. One way in and one way out. Social distancing required while waiting for your food and our cast member there was gracious enough to let us wait inside in the a.c.! It was remarkably very well planned but also remarkably very empty.
As we continued our walk we saw no line at all at the Margarita stand in Mexico. That is a first! It was time for a Margarita and cerveza. Does anyone know how hard it is to walk with a beer or margarita in your hand and not try to drink from it while wearing a mask. We decided we needed to stop to finish our drinks and as we stood as a socially distanced table we noticed a lady walking by eating her Dole whip sans mask. One of the cast members from the nearby Festival Market Place booth very nicely came over and asked her to go over to one of the table to finish her treat. No walking and eating and drinking without your mask on.
It was an interesting day. No shows, no entertainment, not all food and drink places open and no crowds.
I will say we were surprised. Pleasantly surprised at the care that has been taken to assure everyone’s well being. Surprised at how we actually missed the hustle and bustle of the crowds and the energy that it brings when you are there. It’s still a happy place, but now a very subdued happy place.
We are so glad we ventured there. We felt safe at all times. Would we go again. Maybe not it the near future. Oh- and if anyone is wondering. It was hot, hot, hot walking around with a mask on!!!!