Traveling to Florida in a Pandemic – Part One

Okay, the Quiet Cruiser has to travel, and travel we did one week in August 2020.  And it was so nice to get out and do something halfway “normal”.  So…what did we do? We went to Florida and DisneyWorld! And here’s what we thought of the “temporary abnormal” at the parks.

Part One: Kissimmee

We drove into Kissimmee on a Saturday and checked in at the Hampton Inn in the Kissimmee area.  This Hampton Inn is in the Calypso Cay development, which is a nice quiet area full of other hotels.  I would have loved to stay at a Disney property, but honestly, I cannot pay what they are asking.  The Hampton was nice, close to the parks, and so much less expensive.

Hampton Inn

The first room that we checked into was room 517, and that was a mistake.  It smelled like a dog had gone to the bathroom and it had not been cleaned properly.  Immediately we went to the reception desk, and the wonderful clerk upgraded us to a suite on the first floor.  What a nice surprise. You do have to wear masks in the common areas of the hotel.  You know what I think of masks, I think that they are useless and are bad for the immune system, but we had some light masks with us to wear.  It seems that’s the only way to take any sort of vacation anymore.

This Hampton was clean, although we took along a can of Lysol spray to spray down all of the surface areas of the room and the remote control.  Housekeeping doesn’t clean every day, although we came back one evening and she was in there making the beds.  We just asked he to bring us a few more towels, and told her that we were fine with no housekeeping.  It’s up to you.  I don’t see any reason that we have to have the beds made every day.  The pool and hot tub are very small.  There’s plenty of parking, and it’s close to Disney.

Breakfast was disappointing…

The only downside of the motel was the breakfast, which was definitely sub-par.  We’ve been to a number of different hotels since this virus hit, some of them Hamptons.  And every one of them had better breakfasts, such as microwavable sausage biscuits, yogurt, cereal, coffee, and orange juice.  The breakfast at this Hampton was a bottle of water, a cereal bar, and a pastry.  That’s it.  We decided the first day to run to the Burger King across the street for breakfast, but it never seemed to be open.  We ended up at McDonalds down Irlo Bronson Parkway, then went to Walmart to buy some cereal and sausage biscuits to keep in the room.

  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee
  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee
  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee
  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee
  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee
  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee
  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee
  • Hampton Inn Kissimmee

Kissimmee

Kissimmee itself has maybe a bit less traffic than it did before all of this, but the people are definitely coming back.  I think that finally some people are tired of being afraid, and are starting to venture out.  All of the fast food restaurants, including Steak N Shake, are carry out only, but there are a few sit down restaurants that are open for dining.  The only one that we went to was Outback Steak House, it was very nice, and the food was delicious.  We also went to Twistee Treat near the hotel.  It’s a cute little ice cream cone shaped soft serve ice cream shop.  It has drive through, and also some outside tables, and the ice cream is delicious. 

Kissimmee Lakefront Park

We also went to Kissimee Lakefront Park at 201 Lakeview Drive in Kissimmee.  This is a nice park with lots of room to walk around, a couple of playgrounds, which were open, picnic tables, and restrooms.  I only saw one person walking outside with a mask on, thankfully.  We do need fresh air, I think that people forget that sometimes.  We did see an alligator swimming, and later we saw him close to the path.  Don’t worry, he can’t get over the barrier onto the walkway.  If he could, I would have not been there. 

Disney Souvenirs  

Walmart has a lot of Disney souvenirs, as does Target, and they will be cheaper than buying at the parks.  All of the Walmarts have the mask police at the doors, Target was a bit more friendly in my opinion.  And of course, you can find Disney souvenirs at the myriad of souvenir shops up and down route 192 and International Drive. 

Disney Springs

And then we went to Disney Springs.  Disney Springs is what used to be Downtown Disney, but much bigger.  Right now they only have one parking garage open, the Orange garage.  We got there early because I wanted to beat the crowds.  We didn’t really do a lot there, but there are a number of places to eat that are open, and tons of shops to visit.  To get into Disney Springs you do have to have a mask on, and they will take your temperature as you leave the parking garage and go into the shopping area.  They actually had a mask vending machine in the parking garage, if you forgot yours.  I didn’t see the price.

Disney Springs

You do have to keep your mask on the entire time you’re in Disney Springs unless you’re actively eating or drinking.  And they expect you to move to the side and be stationary when you are eating or drinking.  There is hand sanitizer around the park and in the stores.  They only allow a certain number of people in the stores at a time so there is one entrance, and the rest of the doors are exits.  Each door has a masked employee at it logging the number of people going in or out on a tablet. 

Find your masks at the Marketplace Co-op store

We only went to the huge Disney store, and the Marketplace Co-op store.  If you want to buy Disney masks, the only place to get them is at the Co-op.  Be aware that the masks run very small.  As an adult female, I bought a large. Medium looked tiny.  The Disney store has a lot of merchandise, and there was an area where 2020 merchandise was being sold as BOGO.  It wasn’t crowded when we got there, but we were there at opening.  

And now you can read more on what DisneyWorld was like during a pandemic.  Hint…low crowds and short lines.

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