We walked the path to the main building one last time, saying goodbye to all the familiar Lion King figures along the way, checked our checked baggage (we were a bit nervous to check our bags at the hotel instead of the airport, and to do so early in the morning when our flight wasn't till evening, but everything arrived home safely!) and left our carry-ons with bell services so that we could spend our last day in the park.
When we arrived at Magic Kingdom, the weather was gorgeous with a cloudy sky that made for nice pictures. We waited for a Photo Pass photographer so we could get pictures in front of the Mickey face flowers at the train station
|Goodbye, Tink the fairy who followed us to all four parks!|
And then we stood there, waiting for the morning show to start. It was about 8:30, and no one else was waiting. All of a sudden it dawned on me to check the app: it was extra magic hours! Oh no...this was the one morning we thought we'd get to see the morning opening show of our trip, and we missed it because I forgot there might be extra magic hours. :( Oh well. We've seen the show before, we just love it.
Since we still had time before our breakfast reservations, we took a few more pictures in front of the castle...
|They asked Tom to use "the Force" since he wore a Star Wars shirt. Sorry hon, I love this picture.|
and stopped by a couple of stores in Tomorrowland that Tom had wanted to browse. At one of them, I finally broke down and bought a pair of ears I'd admired other women wearing throughout our trip. Iridescent butterfly wing pastel colored medieval veiled Minnie ears? Yes ok twist my arm...
|My grandma looks so cute in them!|
We walked through Liberty Square to get back to the Crystal Palace, stopping by the Christmas shop to buy an ornament for my mom. We had them personalize it with the word "Mom" and they did such a lovely job on it.
On our last trip, the restaurants were still using buzzers to let you know when your table was ready. This trip, they all took down our cell phone # and sent us a text when it was ready. We walked down to the far end of the porch of the Crystal Palace and I took a quick video of the lovely early morning atmosphere. Just as I finished the short video, my phone buzzed.
Since we pack snack food for breakfast and lunch on our trips, by the last day, we are famished for some real breakfast food. So ending the trip with a breakfast buffet is something that is both satisfying and a good use of funds...because we really eat and eat like we're starving, until we're stuffed. We especially love the Pooh's Puffed French Toast and the breakfast lasagna. We got pictures with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet, though Pooh only came around once at the very start of our breakfast and our pictures were a bit rushed.
Oh the food! And we had a really sweet waitress too, and all the orange juice we could drink, which at this point of the trip, when we were worn down from all the go-go-go, was highly appreciated.
After breakfast, we walked over to Merida's meet area to meet her one last time. She was lovely and fun, and not only that, we got to see one of our favorite Cast Members again. During our trip last October, we went to Enchanted Tales with Belle and Tom was chosen as one of the knights. One of the CMs in there was a guy (we now know is) named Chaz, and he was super enthusiastic and dramatic. We both got a huge kick out of him. Well, Chaz has moved to Merida's area, sporting a hairdo that looked exactly like Wee Dingwall from the story. (Knowing how passionate a CM he is, I bet it was intentional) We told him, while we were waiting, how much we appreciate his enthusiasm.
Next we went to meet Chip n Dale in Frontierland. We hadn't met them yet this trip, and they are a must-meet for us. They seemed to get a kick out of our antics with them. I asked them how they wanted to pose, and Dale dramatically posed in front of everyone. Eventually they settled down and we got some real photos.
Even though I'd just had breakfast with Pooh and Tigger and friends, I still wanted to meet them again in front of their cute storybook setup next to Pooh's ride, so we waited in line. Pooh and I talked about how my dress made us both want some honey...although maybe honey ice cream would be better on a hot day. Tigger was offended that I dressed as Pooh and not him. So I promised him that next time would be his turn. Last trip I dressed as Piglet, this trip as Pooh, next trip as him. He seemed ok with this.
|Tom and Tigger chillin' while I got pictures with Pooh only|
Another favorite thing we hadn't done on this trip yet was the Tiki Room! We remedied that next. And no, we never sleep through it. I love the Tiki Room!
Our Tiki performance let out just in time for us to run over to the castle wall and wait for Anastasia and Drizella. I had made buttons for them before I had heard that they had stopped meeting, and brought them along just in case I could give them to a park goer. And then here they were...I got my information mixed up and only Lady Tremaine has stopped meeting. We waited by the castle wall on the side where they met that morning, but at the last minute Tom discovered they were meeting on the OTHER side because the sun had shifted. We joined the line and just made it in time to meet them, thank goodness, as their next meeting time was after we had to leave.
Each of us had a button with one sister on it that said "I'm the pretty one." Tom gave Drizella hers and I gave Anastasia hers, and then we watched them duke out which one was more true. "Anastasia put hers right on her bodice!" I said. "Well," Drizella said, "I have to put mine in my pocket because I got in trouble with the king for rolling around on the ground and I can't get in trouble with him again." Ha! What a funny way to put it.
This time, we knew to make funny faces in our photos with the sisters. Love this shot!
We had one last Fast Pass for the Mine Train. This time I thought I'd be funny and mix it up, since all my other pictures are me shouting with glee with my hands up. For the first photo, I acted all bored and nonchalant, and for the second one, I acted terrified. Of course that was how I discovered that on the Mine Train video, they actually show the two hills in reverse order...the second photo/video they take is first! So I look like I'm scared and then I'm sleeping. Ha, not the look I was going for!
This is still my favorite picture of us on the Mine Train. I'm acting bored, and Tom is waving happily!
We walked over to the Gaston's Tavern area to say goodbye to that part of the park. Gaston was meeting, but his line was already cut (remember, his line almost always gets cut before he even arrives), but he's the "YouTube Gaston" we've seen a lot of videos of, so we stayed and watched him. After his time was over, he went over to a girl I'm guessing was about twelve or so and had special needs. He kept talking to her for about five minutes after his time was over, joking about how if she could convince Belle to marry him, he'd make sure she was a flower girl in the wedding. It was neat to see him giving a little extra Disney magic to someone.
We went into his tavern and got some pictures in his chair. This was actually the first time this trip we went into the tavern, since we discovered that though we like the taste of LeFou's Brew, we can't handle it (Tom gets an ice cream headache and my esophagus gets raw). But we had to get the pictures!
Tom and I stopped by Guest Relations at the front of the park and left kudos for Chaz. As I've said, we really make sure to applaud any Cast Members who go above and beyond and exemplify the Disney spirit.
The last Fast Pass of our whole trip was, of course, to meet talking Mickey at the theater. We said goodbye to him and thanked him for such a wonderful trip.
I love how every time we meet Mickey at Town Square Theater, we end up with at least one picture that looks like we're meeting with a foreign dignitary or king. I mean, after all, he is the King of Disney World...just ask Anastasia.
Leaving the theater building, there was a crowd assembled for the 3:00 parade. We grabbed a couple of final Mickey ice cream sandwiches from a vendor near the exit, and stood near a flower bed eating our last Disney treat and soaking up the atmosphere.
When we finally agreed it was time to leave, we crossed in front of the train station so we could see the castle one last time. The music for Festival of Fantasy had just begun, and as I looked toward the castle, I could see Beauty and Beast waving and dancing from their float heading right down the center of Main Street. The music swelled and so did my heart.
Ah, there were the Disney tears. I left the park choking back sobs of contentment and sadness mingled. It's always so sad to leave a place that feels like home, where everyone believes in the power of imagination and wonder, and smiling faces outnumber angry ones. But we can console ourselves by planning our next trip, and by trying to keep the Disney spirit alive back home for as long as we possibly can.
|not my photo, but this was my final view.|