Here we go then, with the mixed emotions of the last full day. I salute both of you that made it with me to this point. It feels like this holiday has lasted for months and indeed via the medium of this weekly bloggage it has.
It will end next week, perfectly timed as the last one before Christmas, in a blaze of travel day melancholy. Then at some point after that, in the haze of Christmas holiday days off, there will be lots of self-reflection, self-criticism of the many planning faux pas, and joy that we were able to share Freddie’s first trip. He made the whole thing very special, but I shall not steal my own thunder as God knows, now the trip is done I will need stuff to write about each week. I’m not sure I remember how to write a weekly blog on non Disney trip subjects. Based on the last couple of months, I am also fairly sure I have forgotten how to do trip reports too.
We rose today intent to wring every last drop out of it, and I had, a few months ago, booked us into Be Our Guest for breakfast as a last day surprise for Rebecca. Beauty and the Beast is her jam (I believe that is the correct lingo) and with this trip being a treat for her 21st birthday, then it felt right to do so.
Our last quick service visit to BOG was not brilliant to be honest, but that was more down to misaligned expectations and to allow Rebecca and of course first timer Tom to experience the theming, breakfast felt like a risk worth taking.
I had already of course had to move our reservation back a bit as there was no chance of being there for the overly ambitious 9am I had foolishly selected back in the UK. It was now a more sensible 10.20 and as such, I had declared that we absolutely had to be pulling off the drive at 9.
As we pulled away at 9.20 I wondered where my authority might be. Again, I had to leather it a little to make sure we did not arrive late and we abandoned the vehicle impressively by 9.45 and got on a tram.
Security and a monorail later and we were in the park by 10.
As we entered Main Street the parade was on. It’s called something like flex it, move it, tight Lycra I think. We watched it from the corner of our eyes as we yomped at pace up towards Be Our Guest.
With that parade thing in progress, our progress was stunted a little and Mikey was prohibited from stopping for a wee to ensure we got to check in by 10.10. Well done me.
We were herded into the queue which reminded me of all the reasons why the quick service thing isn’t that great here. The family in front of us had too many children. So much so that one of them just wandered off towards the back of the queue and neither of the parents noticed. Eventually I tapped them on the shoulder to let them know that young Darlene was somewhere close to Atlanta in a van with blacked out windows. The Mum scuttled off after her and returned full of sheepish thanks and firm holds on the kid’s neck.
It took ten minutes to get to the ordering kiosk things and I did the pressing of the buttons as clearly I was in charge. I executed it flawlessly and then we, somewhat less flawlessly, searched for a table large enough to accommodate us.
All I would say is that having just blown $170 on breakfast it would have been nice not to have loiter next to some party who looked close to finishing and then having to push their post dining carnage to the edge of the table whilst waiting for someone to clear and clean the table. Anywho, with all that done, we were in, seated and you just can’t knock the surroundings.
Although these are quite disturbing to be honest.
I had a Croque Madame, but I was able to walk it off.
Everyone else had Gaston’s Feast, which was not, it turned out, a large ice cream covered in chocolate and nuts.
These were accompanied by pastries.
The food was good and as experience dining goes, you don’t get better surroundings.
We left at 11.10, eager to use our first FastPass of the day which was for Ariel.
This was one of Freddie’s favourite rides. He will carry the Ariel torch for me when I can no longer.
As I now stated as we exited, it was only right that the first timers with us got to experience the pinnacle of Disney magic and so we headed directly to the Country Bear Jamboree. There was, amazingly, no wait for the next show starting a few minutes after our arrival.
Tom and Mikey were, as you can imagine, suitably impressed.
Next, we rode Aladdin’s Carpets, which is a ride I haven’t been on for many a year.
With that done, Pirates looked to be a walk on so that is exactly what we did. At the entrance a show was underway so we watched Jack Sparrow for a little while.
I suspect that isn’t the most flattering photo he’s ever had taken, and we shouldn’t judge his resemblance, or lack of it, to Johnny Depp based upon it.
This the new redhead scene, where to bring it up to date with modern ways, sees her taking a selfie, adding a filter and moaning at the bloke for not leaving his avocado encrusted plate to soak before going into the dishwasher.
We needed a rest at this point. We made it across the way to the shaded seats and sat with a drink for about half an hour. By then it was time for our next FastPass on Splash Mountain. Louise stayed with a sleeping Freddie whilst everyone else rode.
We saw that Big Thunder had no wait at all so we fitted that in quickly before moving on to Splash.
It was 1.55 by the time we had done both of those mountains and the parade was about to start. I power walked back to Louise and Freddie to collect them and told the rest of the party we’d meet up after the parade. We found a spot for the parade which was unintentionally directly across from everyone else. Spooky.
By jingo it was hot, and we experienced a little piece of Disney magic as the cast member on a nearby stall came over and handed us a couple of water bottles for free. Our spot had Freddie nicely tucked into the shade and enjoying a cold wet towel.
Here you can see Anna and Elsa drinking in my sweaty sexiness.
“Hmm, look how the sweat stains from under his arms are almost meeting up with the one down his back!” Said Elsa
“Dreamy” agreed Anna
“Look how those shorts don’t leave much to my imagination….” said the one from Princess and The Frog, using her arms to emphasis the point.
And here, if ever a Disney character reflected my appearance….
As the parade ended we were literally melting. It was ridiculous and we just needed to cool down a bit. We headed into the nearest shop and just stood in it for ten minutes until our sweat started to dry.
Feeling a little better we headed off for a Disney first. In all these years we had never tried a Dole Whip and now we headed off to put that right.
It was delicious and very welcome in the scorching heat.
We headed for Jungle Cruise next and encountered the longest queue of the trip. It had to be endured as of course we wouldn’t get another chance this trip to ride this one.
On the trail of tidying up the other stuff we hadn’t done yet, Monsters Inc was next, so we headed in that direction.
With Louise having sat out with Freddie a lot, I volunteered to miss this one and I took him over to some benches near Space Mountain whilst he snoozed in his stroller. I left the camera with the girls though, who captured Tom starring in the show.
Whilst they enjoyed the show I sat under the People Mover listening to the same announcement every ten seconds. Another few minutes and I may have cracked. Luckily the return of the others saved me and we moved away.
Freddie now needed a feed and like everyone on this trip, food makes him happy.
Whilst he was being fed we did some wildlife photography.
We did a baby swap for Space Mountain next, with Rebecca and Tom going first. As we waited Louise used the personalised merchandise counter thing to get a new phone case done with her name on it. It would have been handy to take a photo of it to show you here but I didn’t.
We had to wait about twenty minutes for that to be made so everyone else walked down to Main Street to do some last day shopping. We caught with them, did some shopping of our own and took the last photos of the castle for this trip. The dark clouds perfectly reflected the feelings of leaving Magic Kingdom for the final time on our trip.
With a Halloween party that evening we couldn’t, as we would usually, spend the last evening in Magic Kingdom and we were headed over to Epcot for Reflections instead. It didn’t make it any easier as the monorail pulled away.
To prolong the pain, the resort monorail we were on was delayed due to some local lightning. I was starting to get concerned about our reservation at Beaches & Cream for tea as it was currently 6.10 and we were booked in at 7.20. By 6.20 we were off and we smoothly moved from monorail, to tram, to car and sped across to the Beach Club to park the car.
I’ll be honest, most of the motivation for eating at Beaches & Cream was to be able to park there so we would have a much easier exit after the fireworks. The other reason was of course the food…
That was my Reuben and it was excellent.
Louise and Mikey had a burger…
and we all had cheesey fries.
We were split over two tables, so I was too far away from the others to annoyingly take photos of their food.
Once full we walked out into the darkened delight of the Boardwalk area at night.
We made our way to International Gateway and we took up “our spot” at 8.40, feeling some last night feels.
We waited for a bit for the torches to be blown out…
And then it started…
Freddie was fine with the noise, completing a trip where he just dealt with everything like a professional. He had been an absolute star.
There were tears, lumps in throats and all the usual emotions. It was a quiet walk back to the car, for me especially. I find this bit tough. I won’t be able to articulate it here but it won’t stop me trying. It’s memories and nostalgia from previous trips, wondering if we’ll make it back to see all this again added to thoughts of going home and the mixed feelings of seeing family members and pets, yet knowing work is on the horizon. Let’s just say this is not the favourite part of the holiday.
We made our way home by 10pm (that’s why you park at the Beach Club!) and we all retired to bed.
Till the next time…..