Hollywood Studios again!!! And Epcot. How have the crowds changed since August 2020?

As I said before we were supposed to be cruising right about now…but that’s not going to happen.  So, we went back to Florida and to DisneyWorld in October 2020.  Face it, there’s not a lot else to do right now.  So, how did it compare to our August trip? 

Hollywood Studios Again!

We visited Hollywood Studios again because we really wanted to go back on Rise of the Resistance.  That is a ride that takes more than one visit to really experience.  It is just so intense and so involved that you cannot see everything the first time that you ride it.  Or even the second, for that matter.  But you have to win the “lottery” to get a boarding pass, and you can only ride once a day. 

We got to Hollywood Studios at around 9:00 am.  This time they were letting people into the parking lot earlier than last time.  We actually got into the park at around 9:30, and decided to go and sit on the same bench that we sat on in August.  We were hoping it would be good luck in getting our boarding pass to Rise of the Resistance.  At 10:00 am on the dot we pushed the boarding pass button, but we did not get a pass.  I have to say that put me in a funk for a while.  But, we’d have another chance at 2 pm. 

Crowds have grown since August

There was a much larger crowd at Hollywood Studios this time, and it wasn’t quite as easy to hop on rides.  If you’re not comfortable in crowds, this probably isn’t the place to be right now.  They are enforcing the mask ordinance, but it’s kind of hard to social distance.  That didn’t bother us, but it probably would bother some.  We ended up riding other rides all morning and early afternoon, then going to Backlot Express for lunch.  They have a delicious burger with pulled pork, and also a Cuban Sandwich that I really enjoyed.  We ended up having to sit outside to eat, but it was really quite comfortable out there.  You can get cups of water, but this time it wasn’t as easy to get.  Lines were long for drinks.  Last time they had glasses of water on the table and you just grabbed what you needed.  Remember also that you can bring your own food and drinks into the parks.  We bring a bottle of Gatorade and just keep filling it up with water.

Did we get to ride Rise of the Resistance?

As we finished lunch it was almost 2 pm, so we sat there and got ready to try the lottery again.  As soon as it turned 2, we pressed the button.  And this time we got a boarding pass!  Number 86!  Now, there’s no guarantee that even with a pass you’ll be able to ride.  I understand that the ride goes down sometimes.  But at least now we had hope, and I felt better.

We walked around and rode Millenium Falcon, Smugglers Run. Then I stood in line to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway while he ran off to ride Tower of Terror and the Arrowsmith coaster.  The railway line was really long, he rode both of his in the same time it took me to ride the railway, but I do love that ride.  So much fun.  My other favorite is Toy Story Mania.  Lots of fun.

It took about three hours, but finally our boarding pass number came up, and we got in line.  That was another long line compared to last time.  But it was worth it.  I’d recommend finding a YouTube vlog of it.  It’s such an involved ride that you need to ride it more than one time just to see it all.  Too bad you can only ride it once a day right now.  Hopefully that will change in the future.  Hollywood Studios is closing early now, so that’s all we had time to do. 

  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • And Epcot! We went to Epcot the next day.  We hadn’t been there in years and wanted to see how it had changed.  There is a lot of construction going on.  I guess that Spaceship Earth is going to be changing at some point, but as of now it’s still the same as it’s always been.  I do love that ride! The areas where the kids used to do interactive games is gone, as is the big gift shop.  First we headed off to Mission Space.  He tried the less intense version with me, and then he went on the more intense version.  I don’t dare try that one with my motion sickness.  But even if you’re prone to motion sickness, the less intense version should be okay.  We got in line for Test Track but the line stopped forever while they cleaned and sanitized the cars, so we left.  Epcot was just as crowded as Hollywood Studios, if not more crowded.  Food Festival Next onto World Showcase.  Right now they have a food festival going on, with food booths than contain food from the different countries.  We didn’t sample a lot, but I did have a cake pop from the World Showcase Pavilion that was okay, and the Chimichurri steak from Flavors of Fire, which was delicious. It’s a very small portion though for $7.  For lunch we ended up at the Regal Eagle Smokehouse at the American Adventure pavilion.  We’ve always like eating there, but they’ve changed it to a BBQ restaurant, and it was really very good.  Only negative was that the part of the Disney app where you place your food orders would not take a Disney Gift Card.  But a very nice off duty employee told us to go up and tell them that we needed to order inside.  And actually, that went much quicker than placing the order on the app and waiting.  We thoroughly enjoyed that meal.  There is plenty of inside seating.  It's just not open for enough hours in a day My biggest complaint about Epcot is that they are not open long enough to do enough in one day.  Like I said, it is crowded, but they open late and close early.  With those crowds, they need to stay open later at least.  We were in the Frozen line in Norway for over an hour and Test Track took a long time also, which took up a lot of our day.  There were a lot of rides that we’d normally ride that we missed, we didn’t even get to visit the Mexico pavilion.  Also, we didn't get to ride Finding Nemo, Soaring, The Three Cabilleros in Mexico, and The Land boat ride.  We didn’t have nearly enough time, and we got there at rope drop and stayed till closing.  They're charging the same price as they used to, but you're getting less.  Just keep that in mind. So, my advice would be to not visit Epcot until they have longer hours.  It’s so spread out that it takes a lot of time just to get around.  There’s no way that you’re going to be able to enjoy it in just one day.  We enjoyed Hollywood Studios more, but it’s crowded too, and is closing earlier than it did in August.  And it’s kind of hit and miss on whether or not you’ll get to ride Rise of the Resistance. 
  • Star Wars Hollywood Studios
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rise of the Resistance

And Epcot!

We went to Epcot the next day.  We hadn’t been there in years and wanted to see how it had changed.  There is a lot of construction going on.  I guess that Spaceship Earth is going to be changing at some point, but as of now it’s still the same as it’s always been.  I do love that ride! The areas where the kids used to do interactive games is gone, as is the big gift shop. 

First we headed off to Mission Space.  He tried the less intense version with me, and then he went on the more intense version.  I don’t dare try that one with my motion sickness.  But even if you’re prone to motion sickness, the less intense version should be okay.  We got in line for Test Track but the line stopped forever while they cleaned and sanitized the cars, so we left.  Epcot was just as crowded as Hollywood Studios, if not more crowded. 

Food Festival

Next onto World Showcase.  Right now they have a food festival going on, with food booths than contain food from the different countries.  We didn’t sample a lot, but I did have a cake pop from the World Showcase Pavilion that was okay, and the Chimichurri steak from Flavors of Fire, which was delicious. It’s a very small portion though for $7.  For lunch we ended up at the Regal Eagle Smokehouse at the American Adventure pavilion.  We’ve always like eating there, but they’ve changed it to a BBQ restaurant, and it was really very good.  Only negative was that the part of the Disney app where you place your food orders would not take a Disney Gift Card.  But a very nice off duty employee told us to go up and tell them that we needed to order inside.  And actually, that went much quicker than placing the order on the app and waiting.  We thoroughly enjoyed that meal.  There is plenty of inside seating. 

It’s just not open for enough hours in a day

My biggest complaint about Epcot is that they are not open long enough to do enough in one day.  Like I said, it is crowded, but they open late and close early.  With those crowds, they need to stay open later at least.  We were in the Frozen line in Norway for over an hour and Test Track took a long time also, which took up a lot of our day.  There were a lot of rides that we’d normally ride that we missed, we didn’t even get to visit the Mexico pavilion.  Also, we didn’t get to ride Finding Nemo, Soaring, The Three Cabilleros in Mexico, and The Land boat ride.  We didn’t have nearly enough time, and we got there at rope drop and stayed till closing.  They’re charging the same price as they used to, but you’re getting less.  Just keep that in mind.

So, my advice would be to not visit Epcot until they have longer hours.  It’s so spread out that it takes a lot of time just to get around.  There’s no way that you’re going to be able to enjoy it in just one day.  We enjoyed Hollywood Studios more, but it’s crowded too, and is closing earlier than it did in August.  And it’s kind of hit and miss on whether or not you’ll get to ride Rise of the Resistance. 

Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth

And my favorite…NOT… the masks

Disney is being very strict on the mask policy. I forgot to put mine back on after I ate and I got a scolding from a castmember at Epcot.  If you hate masks, don’t go.  I made us a light gauze one, and that was fairly comfortable.  I bought a fan that is on a cord that goes around your neck, and that helped too.  Right now they have signs that say that if you’re caught walking around without a mask they will escort you out of the park.   The only time you don’t have to have it on is if you are stationery, and eating or drinking.  I sure hope that all of this ends soon.

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