Day Eighteen – 13th September
For any serial WDW visitor, there’s a phrase which strikes fear and dread into their hearts.
Last full day.
Here we are, after all this time, with just one more day here. Those of you who know anything about us will probably be able to guess which park we would spend such an occasion in. We were headed for Magic Kingdom of course, but aiming to be consistent with the rest of the trip we obviously decided to have a lie in. To be fair, my notes tell me I had a rough night, probably brought on by the thought of not only our last full day, but leaving one of my daughters behind too.
With this unintentional lie in I found myself on the PC shifting our FastPass bookings to later in the day. Of course, by doing this on the day I was now booking FastPasses for the monorail and to watch a trash can get emptied on Main Street.
With the morning a bit of a write off some packing happened and with that pretty much done we left the villa at 12.30. This wasn’t as bad as you may think as we wanted to stay until parades and fireworks tonight so this later start may give us a fighting chance.
It was raining. The weather making its own comment on the mood surrounding the end of the trip. We parked in Scar 119 and were in full poncho as we trammed into the TTC.
As we left the monorail the rain stopped. It is where dreams come true after all. I had my sack handled by an elderly US gent for the last time, Ryan had a cigarette and recovered as we took some photos.
As usual at the end of our summer trips, Halloween was in full effect on Main Street.
More photos happened as there was a definite sense of the impending departure minus one of our party.
Here we see what happens when two different people are taking your photo at the same time.
All trip I had been putting off visits to certain shops using the excuse that we needed to wait until Emily had her Cast Member discount, and then when that ran out, the age old “I don’t want to carry that around all day so we’ll come back at the end of the holiday”. Today neither of those were any good so we spent more time than I would ever want to in the Pandora shop on Main Street. Louise bought some earrings that were worth more than her actual ears.
Nana and Grandad spent some time chatting with a Cast Member in the shop whilst Louise and the girls spent more time choosing jewellery than we did our last house.
Of course having arrived at the park half way through the day, every ride had wait times almost as long as the time we spent in the Pandora shop. So we deployed the “everything is busy” strategy of wandering about and looking at stuff. The first thing we looked at was the new Circus area where Mickey and Minnie’s house used to be.
There’s a feeling that this isn’t for us as we no longer have children to which this relevant. Stuff moves on of course, but I will forever have Mickey’s house in my heart alongside the mental images of my very young girls within it.
We decided to catch the train and do a loop of the park.
As we waited for the train there was a rescue situation. A tiny turtle was sat on the rail of the train track about to find out that its shell was no match for a couple of tonnes of train. The Cast Member on the platform was told about it and he bravely made his way out onto the tracks and moved it on into the bushes, thereby saving a few hundred kids an experience that may well have scarred them for life.
Just in time….
We stopped at Main Street but didn’t get off.
We alighted (got off) at Splash Mountain and went into the shop there as we certainly weren’t getting on the ride. Inevitable hat trying ensued.
We bought Emily a fluffy blanket that had a hood. An essential I think you’ll agree.
We walked past Splash heading for Country Bear Jamboree. Yep, that’s how busy all the real rides were.
Having not seen this in years and of course Sarah never had, we enjoyed it more than we thought we might. We made our way then over to the new area to find Gaston about to appear. However, his queue was already full and closed to new guests, so instead we loitered at the front of the queue watching him interact with those who had waited since last week to see him.
Gaston found time to flirt with the girls as he spotted them taking photos of him.
Thankfully we were now approaching one of our FastPass times so we slowly wandered down to Space Mountain taking more photos as we did.
We did the People Mover to kill the last bit of time and to rest our legs.
At 5.05 we got on our first ride of the day, but to be honest we felt no sense of having not had a nice day so far. Sometimes it’s about where you are, not what you’re doing.
Space Mountain was fast and bumpy and my notes classified it as “full clench”.
Nana and Grandad had gone shopping rather than ride the mountain so we now met them on Main Street as we were now, having done one ride, heading out for our evening meal. We caught the boat headed for Trail’s End.
This is one of the nicest ways to make your way to food.
We arrived at 6.05 and checked in for our 6.15 reservation.
This is a buffet affair and so what followed was bordering on warfare. There are no photos as what happened was not pretty. Having gone all in on the superb food, dessert was not an option, but to be fair, the corn bread was cake anyway.
As we left we spent a little bit of time talking to the horse bloke. I suspect that isn’t his official title.
As we waited for the boat back to Magic Kingdom my favourite time of day, in my favourite place happened and for once my camera did a half decent job of capturing it.
Dusk in and around Magic Kingdom is just lovely.
The beauty of those photos were stark contrast to the absolute chaos that we found on Main Street. The first parade was about to happen and it was just madness. Keeping a party of seven together was a challenge but we somehow made it all the way to Thunder Mountain and used our FastPass.
By the time we had done that it was 8.45 and we headed for Main Street again to try and find an inch of space to watch Wishes and the parade. It was brutal. Busy does not describe it. We found a spot literally half way up Main Street in the middle of the street.
I have long since given up trying to capture Wishes on camera and we just stood and watched full of all sorts of emotions. Emily cried throughout.
Afterwards Louise and I had to battle the shops to buy gifts for everyone we hadn’t yet whilst everyone else went to find somewhere to watch the parade. That shopping experience wasn’t pleasant. The shops resembled a crowd scene from Ghandi but somehow we gave Disney a large amount of money and left to find the others.
By some miracle they had managed to secure a spot up on the balcony near the train station. After a ten minute wait the parade started and from the few hundred photos I attempted here are the few worth sharing.
Leaving the park was expectedly chaotic and we opted to take the resort monorail as the normal one was just madness. The trams were also packed and after a fair bit of waiting we finally got on one and got back to our car at 11. As we had sat on the tram waiting for the 612 safety announcements and checks there was a family in the queue going absolutely mental at the family sat in front of us. It was all in Spanish so I don’t know what they were saying, but they were clearly upset that they had not been able to board. As the family in front of us didn’t speak Spanish either most of the tirade was wasted. Everyone was tired and emotional at this stage.
We stopped off at CVS on the way home for water and some throat spray….yes I was STILL ill. We were in bed by 12 completely spent.
Till the next time……