Live Trip Report - 10/13/21-10/16/21 - Day 3 departure

cschaaf

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Going to try to do a live report. I usually post a lot of times - what time we headed to the parks, what time we got in, standby times, EP wait, etc.

My wife and I drove down after work - it's about a 5 hour drive for us including a quick stop for dinner.

We pulled into the check0in lot at Dockside at 9:25. I had received the mobile check in email the day before our trip and filled that out. When I went in the lobby, there were about 4 people in line for the standard check in and one couple in front of me for the mobile check in. Looked like there were 2 desk agents helping at standard and one at mobile.

Mobile check in was super fast. We got our keys, drove around to the lot, and walked in the room at 9:38. So, 13 minutes to check in and get to the room.

The desk agent said there would be 'lite' housekeeping - meaning they won't enter our room during our stay (we're only here one night anyway), but we could text for towels or whatever. And they said they use 'express checkout' so we don't have to return to the lobby to check out (which, we never checkout in the lobby anyway).

The room is nice, feels bigger than the rooms at Aventura. It was clean, as was the hallway. We have a pool view, but oddly, there was no one at the pool. I couldn't find the pool hours anywhere, but I would have thought it would be open until 10.

Got the Apple TV hooked up with only minor issue - some error popped up on the screen and I couldn't get it to go away. I just turned the TV off and back on and all was good. Then it was on to getting my portable wireless bridge set up.

I couldn't get it working using my phone - the Loews portal wouldn't load. I switched to my laptop and got it working right away. A wireless bridge makes thins so much easier - I'm not sure if the Apple TV would work without it here.

The shower is a nice setup with the rounded glass doors. Shower pressure was fine, but it didn't get very hot. I like a hot shower and this one was just north of 'warm'.

The plan for the morning is to get up at 6, grab some breakfast at Wendy's, then check into Royal Pacific. I also got the mobile check in email for RPR, so we'll see if that goes just as smooth.

Should have plenty of time to get to the IOA gate 30-45 minutes before rope drop.

ETA: Oh, and the towels at Dockside, while far from luxury, are way better than the towels we had a year or so ago over at Surfside. Not sure if they still use those sandpaper towels or not.
 

cschaaf

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Overall, the room wasn’t bad. The bed was a bit hard, but comfortable. Didn’t hear much noise, one loud door close around 4:00 and someone dropped something a bit later.

Got the check out email around 5:30am.

I hit the checkout button on the email and it shows you of there are additional charges. I had none, but don’t know if the parking showed up or not. I’ll see if I get a folio (it said it would send one).

About 5 seconds after I hit that button, the TV quickly changed to the resort channel then shut off. They weren’t fooling around lol. I was able to turn it back on

Headed to Wendy’s then over to RPR - walked in the lobby at 7:05. The only check in line that was open was the mobile check in, so everyone was in that line. Two desk agents and both were helping customers, then there were two families in front of me. At 7:30, an agent arrived to open the regular check in and a family had just walked up. Instead of taking the next person in line, that agent took the family that just walked up. Annoying.

We were checked in by 7:40, so 35 minutes. Now that the regular check in line is open, mobile check in should go fast. The big advantage is that they pre-print your room keys.

Walked to the boat and we’re on in about 5 minutes and docked at City Walk at 8:01.

At the IOA gate at 8:06 and we’re 5 people from the turnstile.

Here’s the crowd by 8:15
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The center lanes had 2 people in them when we showed up, 15 min later, they are twice as long as any other line.

8:19 - TMs came to their turnstiles.

The center lanes are now past the ticket booths. The far left lane might have 10 people.

The crowd at 8:35. All lanes are now past the ticket booths.

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8:42 gate opens. 8:45 first guests scan.

Stuff in Hagrids locker at 8:56. Medium paced walk the whole way through to the last switchback in the last room. We got the front row - awesome. We were off the ride and got our stuff from the lockers by 9:15. I highly recommend rope dropping. Standby shows 75 minutes now.

We’ll take a short break, then probably head to JWV.
 

cschaaf

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Went to the back deck at the Potter restaurant and saw JWV wasn’t running. They cycled a few empty trains then we saw people on. Was maybe about 10 minutes. The deck is a bit louder now with the coaster so close, but it didn’t bother us. We heard no ‘slobbering’ noise that a previous poster complained about. Maybe they turned at off? Maybe PP was just near a family that ate loudly? ;)

The sun is blaring, so pictures didn’t come out great

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Got in line for JWV at 9:50. Showed a 40 minute wait. The giant fans are off in the queue and it’s uncomfortable in that area without wind moving.

Stuff in lockers at 10:13. Back at locker at 10:22.

Love that ride. We were in a middle row this time. For the first time, we both spotted two of the velociraptors. Extreme tip - when going through the roll at the end, turn your head to the left.

Got our Freestyle cups recharged and took a break at River Adventure. Lots of people getting off very wet.

Walked to Kong. Standby posted as 15 minutes. Express wait was about 10.

Forgot to mention, no fingerprint scan at park entry. No face scan for EP yet.

11:30 and we grabbed a noon reservation for Confisco. Jumping on Spider-Man then headed to lunch.
 

cschaaf

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
On the Confisco reservation, I asked for the Navigator’s Club seating. They quickly texted back and said it was closed for a private event. The one time I remember to ask lol. Oh well

Lunch was good

Forgot to mention, they are fully loading the Kong vehicles. Like, prepare to have your thighs touching thighs on either side of you. Maybe more than just touching, almost overlapping.

Crowds don’t seem heavy today, especially compared to our last trip in late July.


Didn’t time Mummy, but the EP line diverted and went through the standby queue. We didn’t go up the back steps and load front the outside, we went up the main steps and loaded in the middle.

Gringotts has a 90 min wait. We got in EP line at 1:52. The EP line is as long as we’ve ever seen. We usually avoid this area in the afternoon. The EP has a switchback in the bank lobby. Ended up waiting about 45 minutes.

MIB was a short wait. 3:30, decided to head back to IOA. Hogwarts Express is 90 minutes but we’ll try it anyway. Better than walking after a long, hot day.

3:43 - RPR texted that the room is ready.
 

cschaaf

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Boarded Hogwarts at 4:20, 43 minutes in line. Not too bad. Our feet will thank us later.

4:40 in line for JWV. Posted 1 hour. About half of the outdoor queue is open. This morning we walked about 1/4 of the outdoor queue and didn’t stop until we got in the building.

I tracked a girl that entered the single rider at the same time we got in the building. When we boarded, we saw her about 12 people from the front of the single rider. So I’d think the waits were very close to the same. I’ll try to track someone again this time.

Outdoor section of the queue was 10 minutes. Single rider is back to the exit and it looked like the TM was turning singles away.

The fans are running in the building. Still stuffy, but a lot better than without them running.

Off the ride by 5:23 - 43 minute wait. The last guy that got in the single rider before it closed (it had apparently reopened, because there were new people behind him) got on the train before us. So single rider saved him about 10 minutes.

The people that got on the car in front of us, right before we boarded, asked us if we had ridden before. We said we have and I love it, my wife likes it. They said they’ve been here all week and finally worked up the nerve to ride - it’s their last night here. After it was over, the guy turned back and gave the thumbs up and said he liked it. His wife also liked it. I hope they get to ride it again tonight.
 

cschaaf

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Went to one of our favorite places and what we feel is the best deal in the parks - Red oven Pizza. Only took a few minutes to get a table and once ordered, the pizza was on our table quickly. So good

Odd story - last trip, we had an issue with out finger prints not being active on our APs - despite being active for the previous year. We had to go to the Customer Service booth near Red Oven to have that fixed.

At IOA this morning, they weren't using finger scans. When we went in USF, they scanned our passes and said they were Child passes and we needed to get that fixed. I checked my receipt from the renewal a few months ago, and, sure enough, they were renewed as child passes. Customer Service fixed us up quick.

After dinner, we did mobile order at Voodoo. Super easy and fast. We pushed the 'make my stuff' button while standing in front of Red Oven. We walked to Voodoo, right in past the line, and showed the order number at the counter. They already had them boxed up for us.

Heading back to RPR, we wanted about 5 minutes for a boat. I has my wife go to the room and I went to get our bags. I told her to text me if the keys didn't work, so I could get them fixed at the desk. I wasn't surprised when the keys didn't work and was able to get new keys. I'd recommend always just going back to the front desk rather than straight to your room.

Fun day! Pretty much the same touring plan for tomorrow: rope drop IOA and go to Hagrid's then JWV.
 
  • cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    We got to the boat dock just after 7:30 and there was security there saying the boat was closed. Options were the walking path or the bus. If you’ve been following I’m sure you already guessed - we took the bus.

    We were the only 2 on the bus and the driver said she’s been running since 6:30 and we were only the second family to take the bus.

    The ride too 6 minutes. Security was basically a walk through. No one in front of us.

    We’re very slow walked and got stuck behind groups that refuse to walk or stand to the side on the moving walkways. Even with that, the walk was about 7 minutes.

    Turnstiles are more crowded this morning. We found a line in the center of the right side that only had 2 people in front of us. All the other lines were about 10 deep.

    We saw a lot of people leaving the IOA turnstiles and headed over to USF. While standing in line we were talking to some people about Hagrids and JWV and someone from another line said Hagrids isn’t opening until 10 this morning. No idea where they got that info. Right now, all IOA waits show ‘open at 9’ but Hagrids says ‘delayed weather’

    The tops on the Doom towers were returned overnight
    1ADB8295-D4D9-4F60-97A9-44B68A7DA16B.jpeg
     
  • cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    Gates opened at 8:42. Got to Hagrids at 8:58. Off the ride and back at lockers by 9:14.

    Taking a break on the Hog Head back porch and watching JWV.

    Hagrids switched to VL around 9:25. We grabbed a VL and it gave us 11:30. Two minutes later, I checked and it moved to 10:30. We’ll go ride JWV while we wait.

    In line at 9:40. Standby showed 40. Outdoor queue is about 3/4 open. I think we’ll be here every minute of that. Single rider was closed when we got in line.

    Through outdoor queue in 8 minutes. Fans are on this morning, thanks Claire!

    Single rider line now open. Tracking a tall and a few people on either side of him.

    Off the ride at 10:09, so the line moved fast. The guy I tracked was on the steps when we got to the top of our steps. I counted 42 single riders in front of him when we boarded. So single rider was a lot longer today.
     
    Last edited:

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    Hagrids VL - I haven’t seen anyone post this yet, to use your VL, you have to scan in at the front of the ride before they let you into the locker area

    Entered the queue at 10:53. Queue is backed up to Hagrids hut.

    Our two rope drop rides, we bypassed the pre-show room. This time it’s part of the queue, but no show.

    Line is moving very slowly and we’ve stopped a few times for a few minutes. Right before we entered the building, we saw them running some empty trains.

    There are TMs in the pre-show bypass hallway that have a utility panel open. It has a small screen with view from 4 cameras. Not sure what they are looking at.

    11:36 ride delay announcement. We are just through the egg room. 12:13, ride back up announcement.

    Off Hagrids at 12:30 so about 90 minutes, at least half taken up by downtime.
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    JP:RA showed a 55 minute wait. EP wait was 5 minutes

    Did a few other timings then hopped to USF. Got in the Bourne line about 10 min before the showtime. Big difference from our last visit where you needed to line up 45 minutes early. That’s when they weren’t filling the theater.

    The Bourne theater rivals MIB and Mythos for best AC.
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    The Mummy EP line was still redirected from the normal route. Not all of the effects are working. Yesterday’s ride missed the fire in the treasure room and the scarabs. Today, the fire worked, but not the lights. Scarabs still not working.
    Around 4, paths are closed down for Horror Nights, so everything takes twice as long to walk to, you have to double back to get anywhere.
     

    Skywalker3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Hagrids VL - I haven’t seen anyone post this yet, to use your VL, you have to scan in at the front of the ride before they let you into the locker area

    Entered the queue at 10:53. Queue is backed up to Hagrids hut.

    Our two rope drop rides, we bypassed the pre-show room. This time it’s part of the queue, but no show.

    Line is moving very slowly and we’ve stopped a few times for a few minutes. Right before we entered the building, we saw them running some empty trains.

    There are TMs in the pre-show bypass hallway that have a utility panel open. It has a small screen with view from 4 cameras. Not sure what they are looking at.

    11:36 ride delay announcement. We are just through the egg room. 12:13, ride back up announcement.

    Off Hagrids at 12:30 so about 90 minutes, at least half taken up by downtime.
    We didn't get a chance to do VQ this last week. There was VQ on Sunday, but we didn't arrive until late afternoon. Had gotten all prepared for VQ, had everyone set up acct on the link, etc, and then we never had VQ rest of the week, M-Th....was bummed. Only rode Monday AM, rope drop, and ride made me nauseous. Nobody chose to ride it again, try to rope drop, or wait in line. Lines stayed around 75 mins most of the time. Glad you got to do VQ!!! Tuesday AM, VC was not ready at opening, so kids did something else. they all enjoyed it. I wondered if that was common. like often< Test track not running at opening, so didn't know if VC was like that, just something to be expected to start late.

    we also forgot/didn't make the time to do Bourne...hopefully next trip. AC would've been nice....
    For the Mummy, we thought the EP queue was a bit different from past rides. got to see some artifacts, etc. I remember just going down dark hallway, not really seeing much else. Might not be remembering right, but I was glad for the extra stuff we saw.

    Thanks for the live TR. We were at Portofino M-Thurs, so some overlap.
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    The VL link worked much better for us this trip than it did in July. I still thing a ‘small’ tweak would make it a great option - if an earlier time pops up, don’t automatically move me to that time. You might not be doing the favor you think you are doing. Just give me the option and let me decide. Default to not changing if I don’t answer.

    We like the Bourne show, but it’s probably not an ‘every trip’ thing for us. It will be even better when the actors don’t have to wear masks.

    For the most part, the Coke Freestyle machines were well stocked this time. Didn’t run into any of them with no ice. Later in the day, some had run out of options, but not too bad.

    Got dinner reservations at Antojitos tonight. We haven’t been there before.

    Parks we’re noticeably larger today compared to yesterday.
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    Antojitos was good I’d put it on the ‘probably would go back’ list.

    Saw a couple with a small child get waters, the chips and salsa and asked for paper menus. About 5 minutes later they got up and left through one of the side openings. Didn’t go back out past the hostess.

    When we walked up at 6:40 for our 7:00 reservations, we saw people dejectedly walk away. The group in front of us didn’t have resis and she told them the first open spot was 9:90.

    When it was our turn, the hostess asked if we had resis and I said we did. She said, “Oh thank god.” Ha!

    So this family must have had reservations and you would think they already peeked at the menu. Did they just want free chips? Who knows.

    If you don’t like the people you are dining with and/or don’t want to have conversation, by all means, choose an indoor table ;). It was LOUD in there. We got an outdoor table and it was still hard to converse.
     


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