Ah those good old days of the smoothest travel days ever back when we took our summer trips this year. I knew I jinxed it a bit. Nothing terribly awful as far as normal air travel goes, but definitely crowds and lines all throughout Newark airport. Everything was moving swiftly though. Similar to in Disney, the lines appear longer because of spacing. The TSA precheck line took literally 2 minutes. Some frustrations with checking my son in for the flight because for some reason he was given a separate reservation and therefore had to be checked in with an actual person at the airport (like the stone ages) as opposed to on the app, or even at a kiosk. He was considered a “minor flying alone” (he’s 3 🤦🏼♀️).
There was a line at the gate to board the plane, which we didn’t experience in the summer. The hallway boarding the plane (I forget what that long thing is called right now….) was fully backed up, which wasn’t too comforting, but people were observing distancing rules at least.
We would have been able to have an empty middle seat but guess what! Surprise of all surprises! At the last minute daddy decided to come!! Hooray ! Family trip! So that will add a new dynamic to some of my posts since we are a party of 3 and DNF (dear non fiancé) hasn’t experienced a handful of meals/attractions.
Our flight was about ten minutes late (as opposed to landing significantly early during the summer) because there was a bit of an airplane traffic jam on the runway before take off. Back to being slightly busy at rush hour in the morning I guess !
United handed out disinfecting wipes to all travelers again and gave us little snack bags with additional wipes. It felt pretty clean and safe. All passengers and crew wore masks. It was quick and painless, so no complaints.
Excellent MAGICAL EXPRESS experience. No line (Thursday morning 11am at Orlando Airport). We did check a bag this time so we had to wait 10-15 minutes to retrieve it, then we headed to ME. They got us onto a bus immediately, and it left immediately. Completely the opposite of my summer experience where we did quite a bit of waiting. They’ve added row number markings to the magical express so you no longer have to count the rows when you are assigned seats 😆. Our bus went to Saratoga Springs and the Contemporary (our stop). It was about a 40 minute ride total. It could not have been quicker or easier (and I’m a Magical Express critic). There were only 4 parties on the entire bus, so they aren’t waiting for them to be full before sending them off, which is nice. Reminder to bring cash to tip the Magical Express drivers during these crappy times for cast members. We always feel like assholes when we forget cash.
Note: we forgot our Magic Bands, and we didn’t have a printed Magical Express ticket, so they looked up our reservation using our resort confirmation number. Easy peasy. Thank god for so many back up options when you are a crazy mom with crazy family members deciding to come THE DAY PRIOR TO THE TRIP, leading you to lose your mind and forget basic necessities.