The Magical Return Part 1: Travel from NJ to Orlando

After our eagerly anticipated quick two night getaway in March was abruptly cancelled when the parks closed, we were left scrambling to reschedule repeatedly as Disney kept leaving their reopening vague and undefined. We finally were able to settle on a two night trip 7/12-7/14 after MK and AK opened on 7/11 but before our son turns 3 on 7/17. So here we are, waiting for the Magical Express at 11am after traveling from Newark Airport to Orlando this morning.

Let me just say, not to jinx anything, but this has been the easiest, smoothest travel day I’ve ever experienced. We had a quick 30 minute drive to the airport this morning (no traffic obviously). We pulled up pretty far at terminal C for our United departure (we got dropped off) and that set us up great to go upstairs and go straight to a special security area that was just for TSA Precheck and we were literally the only people. There was absolutely no line. We walked straight from our car to the gate basically. 5-10 minutes all in. No issues having a few extra small hand sanitizer bottles in our stroller at security either. They didn’t care that it wasn’t in a baggy or anything.

Boarding our plane started on time (our plane had arrived a day prior from its prior flight so it had plenty of time to be sanitized). Boarding lasted 15 minutes maximum. Obviously no issues with overhead cargo space. We were the only group gate checking a stroller, which is unheard of on a flight from Newark to Orlando. Normally those flights are full of families with small kids and strollers. We left the gate a few minutes early, had a smooth flight, and landed 25 minutes early. All in all it was an easy flight and it felt safe. It was about 25% full. No one was in front of us or next to us. Everyone wore masks. Our two year old took his off when he sat down and wasn’t asked to put his back on. We used the restroom a couple times (potty training) and everything seemed clean. They gave us sanitizing wipes when we boarded. When we got off the plane they announced row numbers and asked us to leave in that fashion. We were one of the first groups off, and our stroller was already there, which again is crazy and just shows how not busy everything was.

The most important thing to note is: at no point was any quarantine mentioned and we were not given any forms to fill out. Everything was completely normal when we got off our flight from NJ at Orlando.

So now we are almost done with a marathon of a Magical Express ride. It’s pretty empty due to social distancing, but we appear to be the last stop. They boarded from the back, and put us in the back back row of the bus, which presumably means they will drop people off from the front, which so far seems loosely accurate. We’ve stopped at Pop Century, Wilderness Lodge, Bay Lake, Contemporary, and I believe our stop (Polynesian) will be last. We were the only ones in the Polynesian line so they lumped us in with another line. I couldn’t fully understand our driver but I swear when we stopped at Pop Century the driver said “if you’re going to Animal Kingdom Lodge this is your stop as well.” I must have misheard him because that would be super weird.

I’ll make another post with an update about if we have any trouble actually getting into the park or activating our annual passes with our NJ IDs but I can’t imagine we will. Hooray! We are home !

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