Ed Pizza: Other than getting contaminated by you, it was a lot of fun.
Richard Kerr: A lot of people have had that complaint in my life.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, right. They call it an egregious inconsistency.
Richard Kerr: It's an egregious inconsistency. Maybe I'll put the sprinkler up and running around topless in my backyard. Check, please.
Ed Pizza: If there was ever a better place to end the episode.
Audio: Climb aboard, this is the Miles To Go podcast, your source for the latest in travel news, reviews and strategies you can afford to miss. And now here's your host, travel expert and road warrior, Ed Pizza.
Ed Pizza: Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Miles To Go podcast. My voice is shot and we'll get into why, here in just a little bit. This week, I'm actually going to introduce it, although I appreciate our producer, Jeremiah, bailing me out last week when I introduced this with Summer and Julian, neither one of which who picked up on it, as The Results Junkies podcast, which is the other podcast that I record. Neither one of them even noticed it. They don't listen to even when they're on as guests. Mr Kerr, welcome back to the show. We've had something of an interesting week, haven't we?
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Well, let's address last week's episode, first, if we can. I call it the inaudible
Ed Pizza: Well, we're going to go chronologically. Huh?
Richard Kerr: Well, if we were going chronologically, then we had a lot of other shenanigans before Wednesday. I'm really, first of all, sad that I couldn't make it. I was literally standing at the place where you wait on the shuttle to the on-airport parking for the Atlanta parking, and I've never had to wait pretty much ever. And this time, I had to wait almost 30 minutes for a parking shuttle to show up. I'm in the line, and we just apparently were the first people to get in line when there was no shuttle. By the time one finally came, the line just to get the parking shuttle was backed to the terminal. I was like, "What is going on here?" and a lot of other shenanigans along the way. I'm sorry I missed it, but I thought Mr Keel's rendition of myself was quite... I laughed, was quite entertaining. Now, I won't embarrass him by repaying the favor with some of the things I could say. The same for our friend-
Ed Pizza: Oh, come on.
Richard Kerr: ... Miss Summer. But Summer's impression was a solid D-, while Mr Keel's was a good B+, but I don't sound like I distill liquor in the Georgia backwoods like Julian, at least I hope I don't, like Julie makes me sound, but it's true. Get your Bilt card, get your Bilt points. Yeah. Go out there and do it.
Ed Pizza: Oh, no. Don't forget about the gas one too. Ah, paying too much for gas, paying too much for gas.
Richard Kerr: That's true. Oh man, gas prices right now. I posted a picture the other day, my local gas station here in the neighborhood we live in, quit selling diesel because the guy told me they were losing money on it. So they just put the pumps out of order and don't sell diesel anymore. Which is unfortunate, because I have a diesel truck. So oh well, what a world we live in. Well, he can't stop cackling so I'm going to host the podcast today, because we got a lot to cover today Ed. We had a Disney trip, we got Swan Reserve to talk about, and-
Ed Pizza: No, no, no. We have one other big, big elephant in the room.
Richard Kerr: Oh, that we're both stuck in our rooms by ourselves. Me on day number four, you on day number three.
Ed Pizza: We're both pregnant. We both got the two stripes on the test.
Richard Kerr: And we made it this far, man. Yeah. So I came back, landed Sunday, super tired just after I look back at my steps, average pushing Thomas in the stroller, 12 to 13 miles a day. So I was like, "Oh, I'm pretty tired."
Ed Pizza: By the way, before I forget, I'll let you know you. If you're pushing a stroller, it never counts the steps correctly. You always get under counted because your hands are on the stroller. I learned this with the Apple Watch. I always felt like I got screwed and we tested it. And whenever Michelle and I would walk together, whoever didn't have the stroller would get another eight or 10,000 steps. So your numbers were bigger than that.
Richard Kerr: Oof. That's a lot. Which, it was a long five days, but it was an awesome five days on the daddy/son trip. And then we met Ed and Ed's son on the weekend, did the Guardians of the Galaxy. We could do a whole podcast about that, but came back Sunday, a little tired. We had a quick turnaround Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM, Atlanta to Nassau, finally getting Baha Mar on the punch card after literally years and four different times. Monday, I'm working in my office, trying to go through the email inbox and get caught up and at noon I'm like, "Man, I'm really tired. I guess it was just really took it out of me, the heat and the walking and pushing Thomas in the stroller at Disney." But by 5:00 I told Emily, I was like, "Hey, I don't feel good."
And by 10:00 that night, and actually I had tested on Sunday to get the pre-arrival for the Bahamas. I got a test at Walgreen, two hour PCR, came back negative. I was like sweet. Going to The Bahamas, everybody the house tested negative, Thomas tested negative. By Monday night I was like, "Okay, I really don't feel good. I'm going to try and just chill here after I pack." And by 10:00 Monday night with the flight now less than 12 hours away, I took an at-home test and it was one of the government, free ones that they sent. So I was like, "Ah, this thing's going to be sketch as heck." It said, "Wait 15 minutes for the result." And then come back at 30 seconds in, that sucker was, bam, positive. You're beyond positive.
You're so pregnant with that, octuplets it doesn't even matter. And I was like, "Oh crap." And I really did not feel good, but now I'm 12 hours out from where the plane leaves and it's booked through Virgin Atlantic. And I got, Baha Mar has a seven day cancellation policy. And while I'm feeling like crap, I'm like, I have to start now, trying to get all these points and miles back. And that's a long saga that I guess I can shorten. But of course, Ed's hanging out with us there, down at South Florida. I'm like, "Ed, you all right? You're like, "Yeah, negative." You were in Vegas, right?
Ed Pizza: I was, yeah. I tested negative right after you tested positive, Monday night. I tested negative again twice. And then I flew home Tuesday night, decided to stay in a hotel Tuesday night, because this was part of my 10,000 miles of flying this past week. I was flying home to see my daughter run in the regional track meet. And so, I just figured since I was just home for I don't, less than 24 hours, that I would stay in a hotel just on the very off chance that I ended up testing positive, because if she advanced to states, which was going to be not a great chance, I just didn't want to be an impediment to that. And so I stayed in a hotel and came home the next morning.
I have a queue reader in my house, which is like an at home PCR test, very accurate. And after three BinaxNOW negatives, the queue told me that I was having Kerr's baby.
Richard Kerr: Oh yeah.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I didn't feel great on Tuesday, felt I had a mild cold. And then on Wednesday, definitely felt worse, but I think what it was, I know you said you want to shorten it, but I think it was interesting to see, and we'll talk a little bit more about my COVID and the Homewood suites that I'm locked up in here, at some point. But I thought it was interesting is the reactions of the different travel companies when we tried to cancel stuff, because a lot of those accommodations have gone away. And I don't know, I'll be interested to hear your opinion. I think in some ways, I feel like you got kind of lucky, especially on the Hyatt stuff. I don't know what to think of Virgin, because I've never booked with them, so I don't know how friendly they are in normal times.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. So very briefly, had three nights on points at Baha Mar, and then had a free my expiring category, one to seven certificate, which expires in two days as of recorded from now, May 29th. I immediately called the Hyatt Globalist line, explained what was going on. Very nice agent said, "You're inside the cancellation window and in-house reservations at the property has to approve an exception. But what I can do is move these reservations out, and then you'll be outside the cancellation window and then you can cancel, get your points back." And I was like, "Oh great." I fully expected them to say, "Dude, you're supposed to check in tomorrow. I'm sorry, you're screwed." Made the mistake of course, of not hanging on the phone until seeing everything was done correctly. And then-
Ed Pizza: Oh, Party foul. You did?
Richard Kerr: inaudible It was almost 11:00 by this point. And I was like, "I do not feel good." And I hung up the phone and then I kept refreshing the Hyatt app and waiting for the changes to come. And eventually, the three nights on points got moved out to random dates in August. And then, the one night free night certificate stayed in May, and it just didn't go anywhere. Called back and I was like, "Hey, I made a mistake." Anyway, got a very competent agent that, well, I thought did a couple things. End of the story is, after another two phone calls and an email to my Hyatt concierge, I got all my points back and even my expiring category, one to seven certificate that I was not obviously going to be able to use, because I can't travel before it expired.
After previously asking for an extension or points and being told, no, my Hyatt concierge said, "Hey, after this expires on May 29th, I'm going to give you 20,000 points." And I was like, "Win. Perfect." Category seven could be worth up to 35,000 points on a peak night, but at this point I don't care. I just don't want to get nothing, so got my points back. And then, apparently on the 30th I will get 20,000 points back. So thanks, Hyatt, awesome. And let's just again, point out if this had been Marriott, what would've happened? I would've been-
Ed Pizza: Well, you still would have been on hold starters.
Richard Kerr: On hold, it would've been a disaster. Same for anybody else. So thanks, Hyatt, for taking care of that awesome points back Baja Mar will still be there even though I'm good. Virgin Atlantic on the other hand, they were closed.
When I called Delta that night, wouldn't touch, and Ed even got me on the diamond line and a guy that tried really hard and to talk to another department to get it canceled, at least, couldn't do anything. So I woke up early the next morning, again, still feeling like crap after going to bed late and now waking up early again, I'm trying to pick a lightning lane at 7:00, and I get Virgin Atlantic on the phone and explain the situation to a very nice agent. First of all, Virgin Atlantic agents are some of my favorite in the world of any airline. Anytime I've called, very friendly, very human, very accommodating. And they're just some of my favorite and they've always been great. And this lady was no exception. The problem is that, all the accommodations for previous things are pretty much gone.
Not all the way gone, but it's definitely not as easy as it used to be. I explained the situation to the lady, I had to wait on hold for over an hour to get somebody on the phone. It's 9:00, the flight leaves at 9:45. I explain it to her and I'm like, "Look, I have a picture of my positive test here. Haven't been to the doctor yet to get a formal letter and whatever." But she said, "Okay, I'm going to cancel your tickets. And then I need you to email me a picture of your positive at home test next to your passport, to this random email address. And then you have to go online and fill out the cancellation request form." And she was like, "But what you got to do is, before the flight departs, you got to tell me if you want to travel voucher or change the dates."
And I was like, "Can you find award availability from Atlanta to Nassau at this level? Some random date in the future, I have no idea. And what does the travel voucher mean for points?" And she really couldn't answer me. She was not a flying club agent. She was a reservations agent, that I got. So I did all that, emailed it. She notated the file or whatever. And I had two separate PNRs for outbound and inbound. Woke up this morning now, almost five days later, I got a refund of the tax and fees, which is great because the Bahamas charge is $100 per person, to fly out, says I'm going to get that. But then also, instead of getting the points back and it was 8,500 points per person, each way, I got a credit of $36.35, per ticket. So they have turned my 8,500 flying club points to $36, which is obviously not going to get me to Nassau. Now-
Ed Pizza: Wait, so 36, what? 36.35?
Richard Kerr: Yeah, so 0.40 cents per point or something incredibly low. And I redeemed for over three, because flights to Nassau are crazy expensive.
Ed Pizza: 0.00427.
Richard Kerr: Yeah.
Ed Pizza: 4.27 cents per point. I like that.
Richard Kerr: No, .0
Ed Pizza: Point 0.47... .427 cents per point. That's pretty awesome.
Richard Kerr: No, it's pretty terrible. So on one hand-
Ed Pizza: It's awesome for them.
Richard Kerr: I got my taxes and fees back, because it's $100 per person, because of Bahamas. So that's $400 back. Sweet. Great. The problem is, now I'm out 68,000 Virgin Points and I have $36 times eight, right? It's just on one hand, I'm very happy that I am not out everything, very easily could have been. On the other hand, $36 instead of a free Delta one way flight, which right now is incredibly expensive pretty much anywhere you want to fly Delta, especially out of Atlanta, is just a fraction of the value that it could have been. So do I spend the time fighting to get the points back? And then they're like, "Okay, you got to give us the $36 back." how much time do I want invest in this?
Or do I say, "Hey, look I have $550 now, including the taxes and refunds fees and these credits, instead of 68,000 Virgin Points, which is basically enough for a Delta One flight across the Atlantic. So, not even close to equal value, but it's just dude, I'm just over.... All I do is cancel tickets now. Every trip I book, I cancel. I'm just over this entire thing, which is why you mentioned it last week. I book so close into travel now, because I'm so over this beepity beep beep.
Ed Pizza: Well, yeah and yet you're razzing me on text about not making a November reservation that you've already made. So you're mister talking out of both sides of his mouth. Listen, I want to ask folks, I think is a great place to stop and just say, because I'm curious what people are going to say about this. Based on what Richard has gotten so far, do you think it's a fair compensation for where he was inside the cancellation periods on both, and then bifurcate it? Because I mean, I think we have higher expectations of Hyatt than we do of others, and say, I think the Hyatt reaction, the Virgin reaction is very different. Do people feel like you got a fair reply from Virgin? Because as I recall, Virgin is a seven day cancellation, right? So you're clearly inside cancellation.
Richard Kerr: And see if I read it, it says you have up to 24 hours before departure to get your points back, specifically to get your points back.
Ed Pizza: You're also not more than 24 hours prior to departure.
Richard Kerr: I wasn't. But then, if you're within 24 hours, it says 30 pound penalty out of the taxes and fees and you still get your points back, you just pay 30 pounds per person. Which I didn't pay anything per person, and I got this out of nowhere, here's 36 bucks instead of your points back. Internally, I'm calling it great, fine. I have whatever that math is, plus the $400 departure. I have hundreds of dollars back instead of nothing. So Win. Does it suck I don't get my points back? Sure. But whatever, you test positive 10 hours before departure and you feel like crap and you juggle through, it's a win overall, but that's incredibly low value for points to give people as a refund, is my final comment.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. It'd be interesting to see what people say. And I think, my personal opinion is on the Virgin thing, I think it's tough that they gave you vouchers like that as opposed to some sort of points, because it's just going to be hard to do much of anything with those vouchers. Are there vouchers in each of the individual traveler's names?
Richard Kerr: No. It's cash refund back to my credit card.
Ed Pizza: Oh, I thought you got $36 in travel vouchers for each.
Richard Kerr: No. If it was $36 in vouchers, then that would be, light them on fire. I'm never using $36 in Virgin vouchers. It's $36.
Ed Pizza: $36 in refund and that's on top of your taxes?
Richard Kerr: Yeah.
Ed Pizza: Because you didn't pay them that much. That's even more bizarre, because you-
Richard Kerr: It's super weird is what it is. Taxes, I got refund back to the credit card of the taxes and YQ, and then an additional $36 refund per ticket, for the value of the points is what I assume.
Ed Pizza: Almost feels like she pressed the wrong button.
Richard Kerr: But that conversion has to exist somewhere, of 0.40 cents per point. I don't know, super weird, man.
Ed Pizza: That's what Delta's paying.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. This has got to be what Virgin's paying Delta, 0.40 cents per point, which would make sense because there you go. So maybe we've uncovered the-
Ed Pizza: The magic formula.
Richard Kerr: The magic formula that Virgin paste Delta by getting a refund.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So my two cents is, I wasn't surprised by the Hyatt reaction. I've canceled some trips with some pretty egregious circumstances with Hyatt and managed to get everything back. So no surprise there, the Virgin thing, because they gave you cash and not vouchers, I don't feel horrible about it. If they were vouchers for each of you. I would say that, that was something that I would definitely fight for. If you got cash back, that would probably be where I'd stop. But you're also a little bit more persistent about those things than I am.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Did you have to cancel? You had to cancel with United and whoever you were flying with, Transcon. They just give you vouchers?
Ed Pizza: That's all. Yeah. Offers travel credits, which would get used again. Thankfully that part was easy. I actually had to FedEx my rental car keys to someone in Vegas to take my car back. It's so random would be this sort of a trip, because I don't know that I've ever left a rental car in an airport parking lot in... I really think it's probably the only time I've ever done it. And I was like, "Well, I'm only going to be gone for less than 24 hours." Anybody who's ever flown to Vegas, the car rental facility is in California. It's so far away from the airport. So getting a rental car is a real experience, and I just figured I'm not going to waste two hours of dropping a rental car off and picking it up again and all that. I'll just park it in the garage overnight and pick it up when I come back. And then...
Richard Kerr: Whoop, you're not coming back.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. But my United cancellations were super easy. Two travel refund credits. I think the challenge I'm facing is, I'm in a hotel until... We're recording this on Friday, before Memorial Day weekend. So I'm in a limited service hotel in my hometown, and pretty much everything in my hometown is sold out for Memorial Day. And so, I need to move hotels, as a sicko, pack up the stuff that I brought with me and find someplace else to stay, starting tomorrow. Because at this point, my daughter did qualify for the state finals, which is super awesome. And that's next Friday, but obviously I don't want to go home while I'm still symptomatic and risk her not being able to run in states. So I am still cooped up in a hotel, having Richard's baby.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. That's true. So we obviously ran into somebody at Disney World or the airport or the hotel, or I went to the grocery store a couple times in Orlando, not surprising. We're both vaccinated and boosted, but everybody's catching COVID again right now. I just heard from my brother this morning, my sister-in-law has it. It's going through the Bilt office. Whatever this is, thankfully seems to be mostly mild, but everybody has it again, even the vaccinated and boosted.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I think I'd agree with you. It's very mild. I don't like the fact that I feel the way I feel, I don't know how I sound, but it's like a bad head cold. So I'm definitely thankful, because I had an employee who had it two weeks ago and he couldn't get out of bed for three days. I'd like to think that we could draw a correlation there and watch everybody jump on top of us for talking about vaccines and boosters, but he took one shot, Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and both you and I are boosted and seemed to have, what are for the most part, pretty mild cases of COVID.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, I started the Paxlovid the next morning, after I tested positive and about 36 hours or so after three doses of Paxlovid, I pretty much feel back to normal. I'm still tired. But as of today now, five days after testing positive, man, I'm looking outside. Still in quarantine here in my bedroom and I'm looking outside, ready to go.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. This is part of the emergency authorization problem is that, because it's a fairly new combination of drugs, there's a long list of interactions. And I didn't know this until I went to the doctor, or CVS Clinic to get Paxlovid and it apparently interacts with my cholesterol meds. And so, I can't get ahold of my doctor and CVS said I needed to come off of my cholesterol meds for five days. And the CDC says two to three days. And if you don't take plod within two to three days of symptoms, it doesn't really help. And so, there's all this stuff going back and forth. And while it's not a direct correlation, I'd like to think that the fact that you're feeling significantly better than I am and you've taken Paxlovid and I haven't, there's at least some factor there.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. All kinds of crazy stuff, man. I'm bummed though, because supposed to be chilling at Baha Mar, had Friday off work specifically to chill and do the waterpark today. It was going to be doing a work-cation before, but you in quarantine, could certainly be worse, but we got Hyatt points back and Baha Mar will be there. So I will conquer you one day Baha. This is literally, I think the... I think this is the fourth time I've canceled a booked trip to Baha Mar so maybe I shouldn't go there. I don't know, man.
Ed Pizza: I liked it when I went. All right. So you teased in the pre-show that there's some sort of a bomb you want to drop on Swan Reserve. I think you called it an egregious inconsistency.
Richard Kerr: It's an egregious inconsistency. So ed and I wait, we've-
Ed Pizza: Hold a second. Just think about it this for a second. This is Mr Kerr, 20 minutes of talking about COVID and canceling stuff. And now he has an egregious inconsistency. And by the way, for folks who pay attention on Instagram, he did tweet a picture of him and I on Test Track at Disney. And so, we're going to talk a little bit about that here, in a little bit with some really funny captions that people came up with. But first we need alphabet soup, egregious inconsistency.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Ed and I've talked about Swan Reserve before. This is my say second, third? Second stay at Swan Reserve, maybe third?
Ed Pizza: Did you stay there when we did the challenge?
Richard Kerr: Yeah.
Ed Pizza: That'd be two then. I think that was your first stay.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. And it's fine. It's on property. You get on property benefits. You can book with points. Although my free night cost me $67 per night after parking, resort fee and taxes on both, which in and of itself. Thanks for the "Free night." Although it's a lot cheaper than rack rate, whatever. It's not very Disney. Ed and I aren't fans. It's fine. My suite upgrades of course did not clear, have no idea what those were for in the Marriott program. If you know, please shoot me an email or a message. So here's the egregious here. On the TV, if you turn the TV on, which I only did one time our entire stay, because we're there to sleep, pass out. We're exhausted. Wake up, eat breakfast and go. Oh and their Elite Breakfast is egregious as well. This is ridiculous, get out of here, Marriott with that. You get a continental breakfast of a bagel and a yogurt and that's it. Thanks for your Platinum status and same for Titanium investor, egregious.
Ed Pizza: Well, and you only get it hanging as a bag on your door, right?
Richard Kerr: Yeah.
Ed Pizza: You can't even get it in the restaurant.
Richard Kerr: No, you can't get in the restaurant. Has to be delivered to your room, awful. Just terrible. So cheap, especially for what they're charging a night, but that's not it. If you turn the TV on, they have some of the streaming apps preloaded, had Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. At the on property Disney World hotel, which app is not preloaded on the TV?
Ed Pizza: Disney+.
Richard Kerr: Disney+ is not on the TV. If you go through the channel lineup and you go to the kids section, they have Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon. What channel is not on the on property hotel?
Ed Pizza: How many guesses do I get?
Richard Kerr: You get one.
Ed Pizza: Disney.
Richard Kerr: The Disney Channel and the Disney Junior Channel and Disney+ are not on their TV, on the on property Disney hotel. Because we were chilling at the first afternoon, it was hot and Magic Kingdom wasn't going to be open until 1:00 AM. So we came back to take a nap and chill. And I turned the TV on to find the Disney stuff for Thomas to watch. And he's like, "Dad, Disney's not on this TV." I was like, "Yeah, sure it is." It's on the on property... It's not there. Fix it, fix it. Marriott, fix it. Swan Reserve, that's egregious. And then fix your breakfast, and then fix your resort fee and your parking and then theme the hotel, something Disney. And then, empower your staff to answer any questions whatsoever. There you go. There's just one reserve review and I just booked it again.
Ed Pizza: Well, and for folks who are wondering about it, this is at least my second stay there. It might be my third. So I uncovered one thing about the Swan Reserve that gave me significant Agida.
Richard Kerr: What was that word? You can't be using big words like that around a Georgia boy. What was that?
Ed Pizza: Agida. That's Italian for upset tummy inaudible love it.
Richard Kerr: Agida? Am I supposed to know that word? Is that a commonly used word or is that a Pizzarello thing?
Ed Pizza: Italians use it in New York, because it's good. Look, anybody listening who doesn't know what agida is, write into us.
Richard Kerr: I better get 18 messages, because you all don't know what that is. Don't act like you all know what that is. All right, go ahead, with your upset stomach.
Ed Pizza: And you discovered this before I did, but apparently, through some change over the past X number of months, sometime during COVID the Swan and Dolphin, including the Swan Reserve, no longer have a bus stop at Magic Kingdom. I don't know if this is all the other park or not.
Richard Kerr: This is so egregious.
Ed Pizza: So I don't know for folks who haven't been to Disney, the short version of this is that, unless you're taking a bus to and from of the Magic Kingdom, it's a slog, because the main transportation center, what they call a ticketing and transportation center is pretty far away. And so, the buses are key, even though buses are a pain in the butt, especially when the parks let out and there's 4 million people that want to get on the bus. What's worse than having to get on a bus with a big crowd like that, is not having a bus at all. And I got off the bus, Charlie and I were at Hollywood studios and he knew that you and your son were at Magic Kingdom. So he's like, "Oh, let's pop over. We'll do a couple rides with them."
So we pop over and I'm thinking, all right, well, on our way out, we're going to be in a hurry. So let me just look at the board real quick and I'll see where the bus stop is, because there's three separate lanes at Magic Kingdom and understanding which lane you're in is very important if you're trying to beat the crowd. And so I look at the board, I'm like, "Huh, I don't see Swan Dolphin up there, on the board." It's just not there, maybe it's on another board, maybe I'm missing something. So I text you and you're like, "Yeah, there is no bus." I'm like, "What?"
Richard Kerr: I stood there for way too long thinking I was too tired and hot looking at the board. And then going line by line and then Thomas, who can pretty much read now. I was like, "Dude, do you see Swan and Dolphin anywhere. S W A N?" And Thomas, you guys got to hang out with Thomas sometimes. He's very... He stands at the board too. I'm like, "Dude, it's not on there." I took a picture and sent it to our Disney chat thing. I'm like, "Is Swan and dolphin on here? It's not on here." And now that bus picks up way over at the ticketing transportation center. So you got to take the monorail or the ferry back, and then wait for the bus and who knows how long that's going to be. No way. That's not even close to a benefit.
Ed Pizza: That's a problem. And by the way, you said you're going to hiccup and burp 15 minutes into the show, you made it 25. So congratulations.
Richard Kerr: No problem. We're falling apart.
Ed Pizza: We are falling apart. But no, so when everything lets out at Disney at night, you have crowds everywhere. And so, what ends up happening because the Swan buses now at ticketing and transportation is, you have two large crowds. You need to fight through the crowd, either get on the ferry boat, or get on the monorail, which will take probably a half an hour. And then once you get across to wherever, then you're going to have another wait for the bus at ticketing and transportation center. So you got to double the pleasure, double the fun. That being said. I will say, if you put the Swan Reserve pretty much anywhere else, I'd say it was a nice property. It's well outfitted. I did actually confirm a suite night upgrade. I was pretty surprised by that, had a nice room.
I also thought it was really nice. The woman that you befriended at the check-in encounter was nice enough to invite you, and then you invited me to the reception that they have on the top floor, to watch the fireworks. I didn't know that was a thing. And it's pretty cool, I knew they had a ballroom up there, but I thought that's a pretty cool benefit. And I don't know how you would get that. But if that was something that I knew I could get when I book Swan Reserve, I would certainly be more inclined to book it in the future.
Richard Kerr: Shout out to Ashley, that works the front desk at the Swan Reserve. She's a massive Star Wars fan. So at Swan Reserve on their name tag, they have their name. And then my passion in life is, whatever. And it's up to the employee and it said Star Wars. And Thomas is a huge Star Wars fan. I don't remember how we got to chatting with her. Oh, Thomas lost his tooth in the Magic Kingdom and she's the one that delivered a special tooth fairy package to the room, and that's how I met Ashley. So Ashley met Thomas the next morning having been his tooth fair, which he thought was cool. And she just started nerding out with Thomas about Star Wars and Thomas just lit up like a Christmas tree. And 20 minutes later, I'm in the corner with a pamphlet, just leaning on the wall while they're still over there, nerding out and dorking out.
And she just made Thomas' day and did the same thing the next day, where we ended up getting Thomas on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, even though he's not an annual passholder with me, because she had texted some friends that worked in the park. Anyways, shout out to Ashley at the park, huge Star Wars nerd. And then she was kind enough to invite us up to that reception, which apparently they do every Saturday, up in the Vue, V U E venue at the top of the Swan Reserve, which has outdoor patio, and they had a bar and snacks up there. Yeah. Super cool. So Ashley is the redeeming quality of the Swan Reserve. So shout out to Ashley there, at the front desk.
Ed Pizza: And yeah, if anybody from Swan Reserve happens to be listening, figuring out how to get into that reception in the future, like I said, if I knew that was a benefit. We used to love that when we stayed at Bay Lake Towers or by contemporary Disney, being to watch the fireworks one night from the hotel, as opposed to happen to be in the park, because unless you're ready to hang out for another hour after the fireworks, leaving the park right after fireworks is, they're like walking through the seventh circle of Hell.
Richard Kerr: Especially if you find out there's no bus until it's too late, and you got to get back in the monorail or the ferry line. Ugh.
Ed Pizza: All right. So, I can't resist and I don't have all of them. I'm going to read some of them. So Richard had some fun with some Disney photo pass photos that we took while we were down there.
Richard Kerr: I'm 12 years old on every ride now.
Ed Pizza: Oh, it's so great. And so there's this picture of him on Test Track and I'm sitting beside him. For those who haven't ridden Test Track, you're in essentially, a Corvette without a top on it. And so, there's three people to a row and our sons are in front of us and it's Richard on one side, I'm in the middle and there's just a random woman to my right. And so, there's this picture of Richard, which I'll link to in the show notes. And this is how dumb I am. I think I can, if I post it on my Instagram, I think there's a discreet link for it. Okay. So I'll put that in the show notes and the look on Richard's face is priceless. So I said I would give away a gift card for whoever had the best caption. So far, I'll read a few. I've got, "Girly girl travels." A response was, "Ed thinks she's farted. He'll never know it was me." Awesome.
Richard Kerr: Because you're looking away from me at the inaudible.
Ed Pizza: @young1269, "then I told him Marriott status was totally worth it."
Richard Kerr: Worth it? Okay. Yeah.
Ed Pizza: CD1116, "I can't believe they don't let you save 16 cents on gas when you customize your car." Very Richard Kerr comment.
Richard Kerr: We're going to have to dress this cheap dog as well.
Ed Pizza: Family money adventures, "Racing rival dads for pink slips at Tomorrowland Speedway." Love it.
Richard Kerr: That's pretty good. So that's the front runner so far.
Ed Pizza: Yep. GlobetrotScott, "Would Emily mind if I tested out another track?" Ooh. And then last but not least, Jordan Jones, "We just got a review that didn't say we talk about Bilt too much."
Richard Kerr: Racing rival dads for pink slips at Tomorrowland. It's not Tomorrowland, at Test Track.
Ed Pizza: Well, no, but they said Tomorrowland Speedway, we were at Test Track. And you would inaudible
Richard Kerr: We should go race for... Can you? I guess if you got the two lanes across from each other, you could actually race, but then you were more at the, which car did you get? Because the cars are different speeds. We should go race though. That would be fun.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. This is just like Buzz Lightyear, where you whipped my butt this time around.
Richard Kerr: I'm a Toy Story man.
Ed Pizza: You can't predict that you're going to get a good gun or not. So I guess, before we run out of time, I just want to say other than getting contaminated by you. It was a lot of fun.
Richard Kerr: A lot of people have had that complaint in my life.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Right. It was a lot of fun to meet up with you and your son while we were there. And I know we don't talk a lot of Disney stuff here, and some people love that we don't talk a lot of Disney stuff, and some people hate that we don't talk a lot of Disney stuff.
Richard Kerr: It's just because they're doing it wrong. They got to come do it with us and you'll see how to do adult Disney.
Ed Pizza: I agree. And I think we had a ton of fun, but more importantly, it's a combination of kids and Disney that make this perfect storm that I just should have seen coming, because I've been going so many times. But I said this to you at one point when we were there, we showed up and my son walked over to your son and within 15 seconds, you and I had been reduced to a wallet and a transportation service, because they were in their own little world. They hadn't seen each other in a long time. And frankly haven't spent a ton of time together, but just fell right into a two boys hanging out at Disney and it was just really fun. The fact that at that point, we could watch them have fun. We could have a little bit of dad fun on our own. And they had just a really awesome day and a half together.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Thomas asked where Charlie and Mr Ed were, when we weren't next to your side, every 15 seconds. We're going to see him again, man. Okay, just calm down and chill out, man. Have fun. Yeah. But very quickly, we were money and I was a stroller pusher and it was their world.
Ed Pizza: Well, and we were Guardians of the Galaxy accessors which was a real big deal for them.
Richard Kerr: That ride is so... I know there's some Disney fans. New at Epcot. It is a coaster. It's not a kiddie coaster, but it's not a thrill coaster. It's a significant moving ride.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Okay.
Richard Kerr: I thought it was awesome. The whole story, the whole music, the effects, thought it was great. At Thomas had inaudible from it, because he is not a fast ride guy, but I thought just the whole line and the experience, I thought it was awesome. So if you have a chance to go on Epcot, make sure you know the rules about how to actually get on the ride, because it opened today as of recording, and our buddy Mike already sending some reports of trying to get on the ride. So virtual queue on in three seconds of bate line, gone in 20 minutes. So if you're not on the ball, 7:00 AM on property, it's going to be gone. But I thought it was awesome, that ride and you're not quite as enthusiastic about it.
Ed Pizza: I wasn't. That being said, I would say, I think the pre-show was awesome. And so, I think it's one of those unfortunate things that, we'll probably never see that part again. And I also thought they moved the pre-show through pretty quickly. Although part of that may have been the fact that there was no fast pass line while we were there or lightning lane, that everything was just full, standby capacity. But the big pre-show room was really awesome, which also means people won't be waiting out in the Orlando sun for a terribly long amount of time, because there's a ton of inside space. And then, I think they did a really good job with the queue, the interactions and stuff like that. I really, really liked it.
The ride itself, I could have given it or taken it, as I said to you, I'll ride it whenever Charlie wants to ride it. I probably wouldn't choose to go on it on my own unless we're doing a ride challenge and we're trying to notch a ride. It's going to make some people sick. A little bit of motion sickness. It was on the edges for me. I certainly wouldn't get off of that and ride... Well, I guess there's nothing else in Epcot that I think would push your buttons. But if Star Tours were next to Guardians of the Galaxy, I would be finding a trash can shortly thereafter.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I thought the ride vehicle was awesome. A few surprises in there. I think it's never going to be as fun the first time, because I went into it with absolutely no spoilers whatsoever. I avoided everything. So I had no idea, except that it was kind of an intense, but not overly intense rollercoaster is all I knew. And I thought the whole experience was fantastic. So definitely go to it blind without anything else that Ed and I have told you, if you can get on the ride. If you can get a park pass for Epcot.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I think-
Richard Kerr: If you can book on property, if your app works, if your family and friends are linked in all the other 18,000 things required to happen in order, in order for you to get on this ride.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I'd say, as we're 36 minutes in, I would say if you made it this far and you want to know how we ride 10 or 15 rides a day, all the prime rides, shoot us a note and we'll consider doing a show on it. There was a time when people were like, "Eh, you got too much Disney content on the podcast." It's been a while. So maybe the audience has changed. So if that's something you guys want us to do, we're happy to do it. But yeah, you can absolutely do Disney without waiting in line all day.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, man. I got a lot of questions actually, during the trip, a lot of points and miles and followers of mine who are also probably podcast listeners were asking me, "All right, we got to know how you do this. How you going on this many rides?"
Ed Pizza: Well, maybe we need to do with them. Maybe we need to do it.
Richard Kerr: If you don't want to listen to it, then you don't have to listen to it. You can take your money and spend it elsewhere. Oh wait, you don't pay for this. That's right.
Ed Pizza: He'll charge your double for that episode.
Richard Kerr: Yeah.
Ed Pizza: All right. So my travel plans this week involve finding another limited service hotel to stay at while trying not to contaminate my family. How about you?
Richard Kerr: I should bust out of quarantine five days since testing been positive, tomorrow, which is great. Because it's been quite trying on my wife this week, to have the kids by herself. And then me just chilling up here, working and not undo much. So it's unfortunate this Memorial Day weekend and can't go anywhere, do anything. Even though you technically could, but not going to. So my travel plans consist of seeing my kids in the front and backyard.
Ed Pizza: Yep. I'm hoping that maybe I test negative on the queue reader this weekend and we do a little outdoor barbecue, not saying I'm a COVID wimp, but I'd hate to be five days from my daughter racing in state championships and catch COVID, because dad wanted to come inside the house early. So I'll probably be ultra conservative on going back home. But hoping that maybe I don't have enough cooties that I can do a barbecue with the kiddo this weekend.
Richard Kerr: I need to get you get a cool inaudible.
Ed Pizza: I do.
Richard Kerr: Chill outside. Yeah. Maybe I'll put the sprinkle up and run around topless in my backyard. Check please.
Ed Pizza: If there was ever a better place to end the episode, right there. Racing rival dads for pink slips at Tomorrowland Speedway. All right. Well, nothing exciting for us on the travel front. We'll be bringing you actual travel news next week. Not just Richard and I cooped up in hotel rooms, not wearing pants while podcasting.
Richard Kerr: What?
Ed Pizza: Come on, come on. You know you don't have pants on.
Richard Kerr: Not since I went into quarantine.
Ed Pizza: All right. All that and so much more when we upload again, we've got miles to go.
Audio: The Miles To Go Podcast is produced an association with Crooked Path Productions.
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