To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Sixteen April 26th 2017

Just like that we get to our last full day of the holiday. See, I told you we needed more time in WDW!!

For anybody who has read any of my previous trip reports (available now from your local Amazon) you will know that there is only ever one place any such last day can be spent. Today, we Magic Kingdom.

Desperate to eek out every last second my body roused itself at 7am. With only the hour to get everyone ready and out of the door we set off for the Kingdom. We had arranged to meet Mum & Dad there so there was no need to detour for a pick up.

We flaunted our on-site specialness to avoid the $50 parking fee or whatever it was that week and parked up in Simba 110.

You don’t need me to tell you whereabouts in that row we were sent to park.

A tram arrived very promptly and whisked us away.

We encountered the (then) brand new security at the TTC rather than at the park gates and it worked well.

See I told you we were early.

Our earliness conspired against us at this point as the monorail was either not yet open or having early morning difficulties and so we were forced to catch the ferry. This is strictly verbotten (this is not the German version of the popular dancing show) as it “feels” like it takes longer to get to where you need to be. With no option other than a brisk swim, we waited.

Our goal was now to be seen off in the distance.

I mentally studied my fellow guests working out who I would be able to man handle out of the way should it come to that to make sure we got on the next ferry. Luckily, my Van Damme tactics were not required.

Once through the gates, having just missed the park opening show (thanks monorail) we made our way to Space Mountain.

There were signs that this could be a busy day.

With a little bit of local knowledge from the odd trip we’ve done before, rather than walk all the way up to the hub ans across the main bridge into Tomorrowland, we turned right past The Plaza and cut through the noodle station thing that is open about three times a year.

That’s better.

As we approached the ride it was already showing a twenty-minute wait which I didn’t believe. Louise, starting to panic that today would be the last sunshine she may see for many months, chose to sit in it rather than ride so it was just Emily and I who walked straight on.

Twenty minutes…pah!

I screamed my way round as usual with the not uncommon thought at the back of my mind that this is now a very old ride and perhaps my considerable girth may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and sends our car flying off the rails to an untimely death. Still, I enjoyed it.

We wandered across to Buzz now and again walked on without any form of wait.

I got an average 137,000 which was paltry compared to Emily’s score but frankly she had cheated by reading online about where all the high scoring targets are. I made a mental note to do the same before we return.

It was now time for a healthy and nutritious breakfast to set us up for a long day. Coffee was a must so we went to the Joffreys stand not far away. I did not know that Disney had bought the Game of Thrones franchise. I can’t wait for the Dwarf Sex attraction at the Hollywood Studios.

You weren’t expecting anything other than this for my breakfast were you?

More full of sugar than my T-shirt was of me we made it across to do Philharmagic.

The show wasn’t full but I still hated everyone who decided it was fine to sit wherever they wished. What do they think this is, some sort of holiday?

As we left Mum & Dad arrived just in time to use our FastPass for Mine Train. A rare treat for us, being a first time ride.

It’s a great addition to the park and a ride with some nice touches and a good mix of roller coaster and dark ride. I approve, which must be a huge relief to everyone at Disney.

We walked and rolled (Dad having an ECV again) over to Liberty Square in need of a drink. As we bought our stuff we noticed some of these wandering about…

There was a mild panic as one got seperated from its Mum for a few minutes but eventually all was well and we could move on with our day.

We continued on towards Splash Mountain, but being early (it’s a rare theme today) we did Big Thunder, tolerating a thirty minute standby queue.

That’s not Dad in his ECV by the way.

The queue area has been “interactivated” since our last trip so it was interesting to see that and a good reason why I didn’t choose to FastPass this ride sixty odd days ago. Honest!

I wonder how much these Cog’s worth? Ba Dum Tish.

Now, as if all this stuff is planned months in advance, our FastPass slot for Splash was open.

Out of around a dozen photos I took on this ride, this was the best…

I shall let you imagine the horrific incompetence of all the others.

We walked through Adventure Land back to the castle where I redeemed my photographic self with this one.

and these aren’t too bad…

This spot right here is one of my very favourites on the planet.

As we wandered the hub a dance party show thing (probably not the correct title) started so we watched that for a bit.

We continued our loop back towards Buzz as we now had a FastPass for that.

Same castle, different side.

Now, THAT’S a fanny pack to admire.

I’m not entirely sure what Emily was doing here…

I think her Nana may have just put some ice down the back of her top. This tit for tat game started on some trip many years ago and continues to this day….

We did Buzz again, with scores that I shan’t bother anyone with.

With being such a long time since I had any sugar, ice-cream was required from the place next to the Merchant of Venus, which sounds very similar to one of the pay per view films on offer in  a hotel I stayed in with work.

Despite Emily’s mortal fear of ever being selected to appear on one of the screens in the show, we did the Laugh Floor next. She escaped that experience and we all enjoyed the show again.

At the FastPass kiosk thing across the road I secured us a Haunted Mansion ride for a little later in the day. Always planning you see.

We had a sit down and a rest on the People Mover now.

Next we walked over to Liberty Square to find a decent spot to watch the 3 o’clock parade, which was due to start at 3 o’clock!

Before it did, there was some marching band action. Again, my mind goes back to those pay per view films that I have never watched.

Some impressive horn there…again my mind goes…oh never mind.

Then the parade proper got going and we had a great view…

Ariel looks very pleased with her nice fork….again my mind…..enough!

Ariel here, wondering why I never call her anymore….

I could have been mistaken but I think Peter said something about Hook and a huge anchor?

With perfect timing our recently secured FastPass for the Haunted Mansion now opened up. Seriously, I hope someone is appreciating these ninja planning skills.

After exchanging my fuel rod (not a euphemism) we made our way to the exit to catch the boat over to Fort Wilderness for our dinner reservation.

It took us twenty-five minutes from leaving the park to get there.

Emily sat next to Doc Brown I think.

We checked in and had a drink on the porch where we bumped into Catriona again and had a chat.

We were soon seated and let loose on the buffet.

To avoid shaming myself, several photos have been omitted from this part of the trip report. Let’s just say I was very full.

With the seams of my clothes straining to hold everything together we wandered back towards the boat, saying hello to a horse on the way.

A boat was kindly waiting for us and got us back to the Magic Kingdom at…

We spent the next hour or so browsing the shops. Emily had her heart set on a Dooney and Bourke bag (since she was about eleven) and now being all employed and stuff she had the required dollars to do so.

This is the one she chose.

We got some more gifts for Rebecca before heading off to ride Pirates. The park was fairly busy now as everyone was staking out spots for one of the final Wishes. Somehow between Main Street and Pirates we lost Mum. Dad circled back on his mean machine but to no avail. Whilst he continued the search, the rest of us rode.

During the ride my phone buzzed with a message from Dad. Whilst scouring the vast expanses of the Magic Kingdom the battery on his ECV had run out and he was now stranded somewhere close to the Aladdin carpet ride. Thinking that you couldn’t make this up and I was never this much bother when they took me to WDW as a child, we left the ride and went to rescue him.

Thankfully both Mum and a kindly cast member had found him and the latter had radioed for a new ECV to be brought out for him. As this took a whole ten minutes the lovely cast member gave all of us a FastPass for Big Thunder. I had waited with Dad for his new vehicle to arrive whilst the others wandered to the hub to stake out a spot in which Emily could weep uncontrollably as we watched Wishes for the last ever time.

We joined them there and began the hour or so wait before the show. Thirsty and hot I wandered off, almost back to Pirates to secure us all some drinks. Emily certainly needed to stock up on fluids before Wishes started. As it did, so did the tears and she was absolutely heartbroken throughout.

We both had goes at comforting her…

but she was beyond any help.

As usual my photos were not great so here is the video if anyone wants to have a watch.

I’m not sure if you can hear Emily crying in it.

We needed another drink at this point so off I went again and I got back just in time for the projection show at 9.45.

By the time that had ended we were all spent. It was too late to do the FastPass we were given by the cast member so we headed for the exit full of emotion and last day melancholy.

I turned at the end of Main Street to soak in the last few moments…

Before finally admitting to myself that we really did need to leave after an awesome last day. This part of a trip always gets me right in the feels. Memories, nostalgia, wondering if (yeh right!) or when we may return makes for a lumpy throat. This place is embedded deep within our family and leaving for the last time is always an emotional time.

We jumped on the resort monorail as the other one was rammed and we were quickly back at the TTC, on the next tram and back out to the car. We dropped Mum & Dad off and wearily made our way back to the Beach Club. We all collapsed into bed having done a good few steps today!

See you next week for the joyous recollection of our packing and travelling day, without the aid of any notes whatsoever!

Till the next time…..


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18 thoughts on “To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Sixteen April 26th 2017

  1. Oh no that wasnt long enough at WDW we spent too long on the beach. But I’m certain with a baby arriving in the family you WILL HAVE to go back..excellent as usual..

  2. Just to say Craig you did us proud,thankyou for an unforgetable holiday, you looked after the persons that gave you the Disney world bug, going back to 1980 when you had your 10th birthday, in those days it was just you mum Gary and yourself plus a very tired and excited dad,keep up the tradition of your Disney visits, we love you
    Mum and dad

  3. I would have been there in tears with Emily! I am only one who got the hook and anchor joke, lol. Way too short a time at WDW, I am sure it will be remedied in the future and huge congratulations on becoming a Grandpa! Here’s to the next big adventure. 🏰👏🏻

  4. Excellent last day. We are here now, but I know exactly how you feel as you leave MK for the last time on any trip. Looking forward to many more, hopefully with the new generation at some point. Also, am I mistaken but did you ride Space Mountain not Mission Space?? xx

  5. There I was thinking how good today’s photos were and then I got to the Wishes bit. Poor Emily, I can imagine how you felt, after reading about your tears I joined in with some of my own 😦 I always think that we are privileged to have seen things at Disney that many people haven’t, and that when things change we will love the new things as much as we loved the old things 🙂

  6. Totally sympathise with Emily – even more so when it’s the last ‘Wishes’, my daughter was watching it live from the UK and she was sobbing, so to be there….. very emotional.

    We were in the magic kingdom 2 weeks ago, there were 6 of us – my husband, me, both daughters, son in law and most importantly our 14 month old grandson – we watched ‘Happily Ever After” us ladies all sobbed – and I mean sobbed. It had been such a long time that we were all together in Disney and to see our grandson’s joy at all things Disney – well you start all over again – It’s magical.

    Thank you for your trip reports – your last day always gets me 😭😭😭

    We paid $40 dollars to park……. remember the days when you used to get a character ticket for your parking? Think nowadays they should just use Dick Turpin!

  7. Fantastic trip report as always. Sad it’s come to an end but looking forwards to next weeks blog. It’s so emotional leaving Florida , I feel your pain and will be experiencing it myself in a few weeks time.
    Could I ask where Emily bought her Mickey Mouse from? It’s wonderful and I suspect would help me with my holiday blues too!

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