Going to Universal Orlando and Disney during covid.

This year has been crazy. I had so many plans for this page, we had our beautiful daughter and then shortly afterwards Covid happened and everything turned on its head. Hopefully all of my old readers didn’t run away and still are here to support us, and if you’re new here welcome!

Recently we were blessed with a chance to go and stay at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando for a weekend with out the kids. It was fabulous and I miss the peace and quiet. While here we visited a theme parks. Universal and Disney were closed during the pandemic but now open with moderations, safety precautions and rules. So I just wanted to go over what we thought and give you a little idea of what you could go through while at the parks.

Universal Orlando

We spent the morning at Universal and leaving around 12 Pm because of the crowd. By 11 every ride had a wait over 75 minutes and it was just jammed packed and it wasn’t worth it to us to wait in a line that long. We did ride Jimmy Fallons Ride through New York, Men in Black, The Simpsons and The Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure.

Masks

Everyone is to wear a mask from ages 3 and up. Per the Universal website you must wear a mask that covers over your nose and secures under your chin. However gaiters have been allowed through the temperature screenings. They just can’t be make shift gaiters such as bandanas. We all had gaiters and were told at the gate that they were fine to wear through out the parks as ling as we follow social dismantling guidelines. All masks must be worn at all times unless actively eating or drinking, or you are in the U- Rest area, which a place you can take your mask off and take a breath. But please make sure to still social distance.

Temperature Screenings

Before entering the area for security checks you must get a temperature screening. The Universal Orlando website states,

“Temperature checks will be required upon arrival, and guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted.”

https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/safety-faqs

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer is givin every where through the park, before you get on the ride, before you sit down to eat and some before you walk in to stores.

Excuse my husbands face, He doesn’t know how to smile.

Social Distancing

Universal does have markings on the ground 6 ft away from each other that you must follow while waiting for shows, in lines at stores, lines for food, and waiting for rides. Universal is doing the virtual lines for some rides, and ordering your food at sit down restaurants through the Universal Orlando app. Make sure to download the app prior visiting and make sure to pick your Virtual times early in the morning, especially for Hagrids Magical Creature Ride. For us by 10:15 AM there was no more rides available for the day. So just check right in the morning or when you arrive.

Disney

We unfortunately did not go into the parks them selves but we did explore Disney Springs which has the same rules and protocalls as the parks.

MASKS

Everyone ages 2 and up must wear a mask. Only masks that go over your nose and secure under your chin are a loud. Gaiters (masks that cover your neck) are not prohibited through out Disney Springs and Walt Disney World, so they won’t let you through the temperature screening if it is a gaiter. Make sure to bring the proper mask, You must Wear them at all times, unless you are actively eating or drinking. There are Cast members walking around and saying something if your mask was not on and if given a problem will escort you out of Disney Springs if must be.

Temp Screening

After parking in the garage you will have to go through a temperature screening. Per the Walt Disney World guide lines they state,

“Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either.”

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/experience-updates/

Hand sanitizer

Everywhere. Walk in a store, hand sanitizer. Go to the bathroom soap and hand sanitizer. I honestly laughed and thought no wonder why the world ran out the Theme parks took it all. But just be pre pared for dry hands by the end of the end.

Social Distancing

We didn’t walk through he Parks but Disney Springs did have you waiting outside stores in line to make sure the stores wouldn’t over flow with guests. We got there around 8:30 and most of the restaurants were at capacity and closing. We ended up eating at Earl of Sandwich and going through one or two store before finally leaving after being disappointed. Disney is keeping up with their earlier protocols and staying at the lower capacity.

All in all Disney was very strict while Universal was more lose with the safety protocols. Use your best judge meant when going to the parks, if you don’t feel safe going to the parks because of the potential of getting Covid please don’t stress your self out and stay home until you feel it is safe for you and your family. Use your best judgement.

Thanks for reading, We hope you have a magical day!

Staying in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

For our Honeymoon My husband an I wanted to do something fun and different, we were thinking about going to Disney for a whole week, then we thought about going to Universal for four days, but one day James came home and told me about going to Tennessee. He said one of his co-workers had gone there and that it was beautiful and they loved it. We looked into it and ultimately we decided this was the place to go, I noticed while looking on Pinterest of things to do, there wasn’t really anything on Pigeon Forge and more about Gatlinburg, so I thought I’d write a few our favorite things we did and where we stayed just in case someone needed some ideas like we did!

So here are some of our favorite things we did and where we stayed here in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee!

Places to Stay

Obviously, this is a tourist area so there are many hotels to stay in down the main road to everything and all within 5 minutes of pretty much anything you want to do, But we stayed at one of the cabins from Cabins for You and it was by far such a better experience I believe then if we would have stayed in a hotel, We were in the cabin Hooked on Love and it was so adorable! One bedroom with an upstairs game room, it could sleep up to four with the couch in the large living room, a fireplace, and an outdoor hot tub overlooking to a beautiful view of the mountains. James and I would come back from going to a few museums and hop in the hot tub and eat dinner and just relax and watch the sun go down, It was perfect!

Places to eat

My first tip to you is when you go to Pigeon Forge and are staying in the cabins, go to the grocery store and buy food, like cereal, some snacks, and some quick dinner meals you can throw in the microwave or oven. It will save you a lot of time and money so that you don’t have to eat out for every meal and can spend more time doing other things like hikes or museums. When we did go out and eat, we avoided fast food and chain restaurants we know that we have back in Florida so we were getting something new when we went out to eat!

The first restaurant we went to was Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, and oh my gosh talk about some comfort food! It was so delicious, it’s family style eating so that means that you pay one price per person and you all basically share but it’s endless food and you can keep refilling your dishes So it’s definitely worth it. Our main dishes were The Best Ever Southern Fried Chicken, and the Chicken Fried Pork Chop. With the sides of Creamed Potatoes, Creamed Corn, Baked Mac and Cheese, and White rice. The Creamed Potatoes were my favorite along with the Baked Mac and Cheese. There is also a beautiful view from inside the restaurant looking out into the mountains.

The other place we went to was Fuddruckers, it was okay. Just an average burger place and is a chain restaurant but we had never been there so we wanted to try it.

Things We Didn’t Do

There was a lot we actually didn’t get to do because we ran out of time or it just didn’t seem that appealing to us, so here is a quick list of fun things to do if you got the time!

Things We Did

We had so much fun, we mostly went to Museums and they were all a blast. Our First stop was “The Island in Pigeon Forge”. It was 10 Minutes from our cabin and had a lot of things to do while you are there, LIke Eat at “Pauls Deen’s Kitchen”, and try some delicious moonshine at Ole Smoky Moonshine, where you can try 15 different kinds of moonshine for $5 a person. I personally do not like the taste of Moonshine, but James tried all of them and liked pretty much every single one.

We went on the Wheel that was on the island and had one of the most amazing views of Pigeon Forge. It was pretty expensive  ( about $15 per person ) for a ride on a Ferris Wheel but the view was worth it especially during a sunset, and we were on for a good 20-25 minutes.

Our Frist Museums we went to was Alcatraz East Crime Museum,  Where you go through to read and learn about the different criminals who went to Alcatraz and what they did, back to Bonnie and Clyde, and Ted Bundy,. Honestly, this was one of James favorite Museums being in Law Enforcement this type of stuff has always interested him. There was also an awesome tribute to fallen officers and the fallen Heros and Victims of 9/11 which was both beautifully done.

The Hollywood Wax Museum was up next and it was a lot of fun. As you can tell James had a blast with all the celebrities they had on show, and this is only a few pictures of what happened. We even got the ” VIP Tour” and went all the way to the top by the gorilla and got another beautiful view of Pigeon Forge.

 

Because we got the VIP Tour at Hollywood Wax Museum, Castle of Chaos passes came with it and I have to say I hated it. I will never bring my kids there, and if you don’t like Haunted houses, or Zombies I wouldn’t even waste the money or time. The only “childlike” thing was the Maze of Mirrors and that was it. Again I didn’t like it because I do not like Horror that much and I have horrible anxiety when it comes to stuff like that.

Our Last Day and our last Museum was the Titanic Museum there was no picture taking beside one room in the building but I do have to say it is amazing. The things they have found and the stories you hear about are just breathtaking. When you walk in you are handed a card with a passengers name on it, it tells the class you were in and a little bit about your self. You find our your fate near the end of the museum and also a beautiful memorial wall.

Our Tips to a great time!

  • Go in an off month, where school is still in session and there are no breaks. We went in April and I feel like we had Pigeon Forge to ourselves.
  • Wake up early and go first things when the Museums open.
  • Get a Cabin definitely worth it.
  • Don’t go to Chain Businesses you can go to when you are home! Explore and eat at different Resturants.
  • Definitely, use the coupon books your hotel or cabin employees give you. it could save you a few bucks here and there.

Pigeon Forge was the best honeymoon for us, we loved every second we were there and can’t wait to go back with our kids and explore some more places with them! I hope this has helped you in any way! If you feel we missed something you did in Pigeon Forge write it in the comments and let us know how your trip went!