So ends the trip report proper. 🙁 But I’m not quite finished! As I have in the past, I’ saved our ADRs for a final food review post or two. You can see all the entries in this report here. Okay, onward!
Last day. BLARG. My morning largely consisted of packing a final few items.
It could’ve been worse – at least I had a solid chunk of the day left to spend in WDW. Poor DeJanea had to leave early in the morning to catch a flight home. Sad stuff.
Speaking of flights, we had received our Magical Express info the day before and it was ALL wrong – Nicole and I were listed as flying to NYC with the rest of our group, when in fact we were headed to DC and Baltimore, respectively.
Nicole had already had hers fixed as her flight was at a very different time and she needed an earlier ME bus. I was fine with the bus departure time, but I did kind of want to make sure that my bags might possibly end up the same place as I did, so I headed to the airline check-in area to get it sorted out. The woman manning the station didn’t seem to care much; she just looked up my flight, tagged my bag with the correct “BWI” sticker, handed me my boarding pass, and told me to get the hell out. Okay, maybe not that last bit, but you get the idea.
From there I sidled around the building and checked my duffle bag at luggage assistance while waiting for everyone else to show up at the bus stop. I actually don’t know where Nicole went that last day, but Katherine, Erica, and Estelle showed up in short order and we boarded one of those ridiculous double-length buses (how terrifying must those be to drive?) and soon arrived in the Magic Kingdom.
Which was SO. INCREDIBLY. CROWDED. Seriously. It was nuts. So nuts that we needed coffee to face it all; we got in the super-long but reasonably efficient line at the Main Street Bakery where I got a peppermint mocha latte. It was just okay – I think I should stick to pumpkin and chai lattes where I belong.
Oh, and they of course had the ADORABLE Disney Starbucks cups, although they can fake you out if you’re only looking at the Starbucks side. I briefly thought I had gotten a normal cup and almost got upset before I realized that I just needed to spin it around. Whew!
We pondered hitting the Tiki Room and so set out in that direction, but got distracted by a 10-minute Pirates of the Caribbean wait and instead rode that. We were in the front row – is that why we got so WET? I mean, I know Pirates is a water ride and all, but I don’t recall ever being so thoroughly splashed.
Speaking of splashing, next up: our Splash Mountain FastPass, upon which we ironically did not get half so wet as on Pirates (although we did spend an undue amount of time hanging out next to the post-drop waterfall).
Estelle and I then headed to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to take advantage of those Very Special FastPasses. Reports that it’s too short are not incorrect, but what a cute ride! The cars didn’t swing as much as I might’ve hoped but the mine section itself was lovely. I’d say it’s a little more intense than Big Thunder but not by much.
|And yet somehow we seem unimpressed.|
Erica and Katherine had gone to the Tiki Room in our absence, so Estelle and I walked to Liberty Square to see when the next showing of the Hall of Presidents would be. We didn’t feel like waiting the fifteen minutes; instead ducked back into the Christmas shop to browse. Estelle purchased an awesome Epcot-inspired ornament and I broke and bought a Mickey Santa hat. I plan to wear it to all my formal holiday gatherings.
Here I briefly made a pit stop at the farmer’s market type place across from Liberty Tree Tavern and wound up setting the record for Longest Time Spent Waiting To Just Buy A PowerAde, Jeez. Apparently the cast member was new and had not yet fully grasped how to, y’know, ring stuff up. Keep trying, buddy! You’ll get there!
Another FastPass window had opened up, this time for the Haunted Mansion. It was a good ride, but then I think any pass through the Haunted Mansion when your Doom Buggy doesn’t stop by the bride or Little Leota is a good ride. Seriously, they creep me out.
By then it was time to start thinking about lunch. Columbia Harbour House was right there and I love me their sandwiches, but there was a line wrapping around the building just to get in. Which is weird, because more often than not I see cast members standing out front with menus trying to drum up business. First Sanaa, now this? People need to stop finding out about my secret spots.
Comparatively speaking, Sleepy Hollow had a very manageable line, so we hopped in. Katherine and I engaged in one last glorious sharing moment and split a ham waffle sandwich. Estelle and Erica got the spicy chicken version featuring a sweet sauce that made them extremely popular with the bees. Erica let me try the remnants of her sandwich, which means I have now tasted every waffle sandwich variety currently offered. Where’s my medal for that?
From there it was off to Tomorrowland to ride the PeopleMover, because what true WDW lover doesn’t swoon over the PeopleMover? It was not, however, quite how we pictured it – upon our arrival we saw a LINE. A LINE. Not a long line, but still. A LINE. For the PEOPLEMOVER. WHAT. I’m not going to blame this one entirely on FastPass+, though; I think a lot of it was runoff from people who were waiting for Space Mountain to get up and running again.
Yes, folks, Space Mountain was down, which means for the second time in my Disney career I saw that elusive wonder, Space Mountain With The Lights On.
Our final FastPass of the day, the trip, the legend, was for the Jingle Cruise. Now boasting approval from the Vatican.
I thought our skipper was only okay – I think she could’ve milked the jokes a little more with a less rushed delivery – but the decorations were truly adorable.
Post wassailing, we hit the adjacent gift shop to see if we could find the rumored Jingle Cruise shirt, but it was a no go. (Disney has since released it online but I can’t remember if it’s available yet/still.) But since going home from WDW empty handed is a crime, we filled our last moments with shopping on Main Street.
But what should I purchase to commemorate the trip? That holiday sweater? Nope, they don’t have my size. That cute t-shirt? Too similar to something I already have. Hey, what about that pair of soft comfy sweatpants Katherine is buying? SWEATPANT SISTERS UNITE. That and a 10% Annual Pass discount and I was sold. I regret nothing.
We caught up with Erica and Estelle in the Confectionery for some last minute sugar purchases before reluctantly heading for the exit, but not before taking pictures at the Aurora photo area. Not with Aurora, mind you, just her area. Sometimes the decor really makes it, y’know?
Happily we were able to pick up a bus back to Art of Animation with some speed, because we weren’t headed directly to the Magical Express. Oh, no – we had to hit the Drop Off bar by the Nemo pool for one more libation before we went. I received a magnificent black cherry lemonade from our bartender, who was was awfully free with his opinions about legalizing marijuana for a Disney employee, but hey, whatever works for ya.
And then it was time. That tragic moment. That microcosm of despair. Time to retrieve our carry-ons and board the Magical Express back to the airport. It was only by some miracle I didn’t burst into tears.
As is so often the case, we arrived at the airport with excessive amounts of time to spare, so we grabbed a drink at the airport sports bar. And then the trip was really over – I bid adieu to my New York friends, hightailed it to my gate, housed a subpar chicken sandwich, and boarded the plane for home.
So… that was that. Naturally I am bummed to be, well, anywhere that ISN’T Walt Disney World, but at least I have Dopey in January to sustain me. My boyfriend’s coming for that one and he hasn’t been in twenty years, so that’ll be fun! And don’t forget that I have two more trip report-ish posts coming in the form of restaurant reviews. Stick around.
In short, I had a lovely time. Special thanks to all my wonderful suitemates and the fabulous people I met along the way. Here’s to more fantastic times at Disney!
Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!