Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 10: How much can we do today?

Oh, the bittersweetness of the last day of a vacation... You don't really want to go back to reality, but you wouldn't mind being home.

We hadn't actually caught the opening of the Magic Kingdom yet, and really, you can't go to Disneyworld and not see the opening to this park. So we got up early, had our lounge breakfast, then arrived at Magic Kingdom around 8:40. Opening was for 9:00. The mayor comes out, makes an announcement, and then a train full of characters come out to sing and dance. It still ended up making me tear up a bit. What can I say, I'm a suck!

We rushed on over to Big Thunder (this should be a pretty predictable theme by now!). On the way there, we saw this awesome lady! I really wanted to shout "More cowbell!" as we rushed past, but didn't.We even managed to grab a few other shots as we made our way to the mountain. Here's our knowledgeable guide, Tamara, pointing out where we are!

So we got the the mountain, rode it once as the ONLY passengers on the train! So we chose the back 2 seats. Here's a glimpse of the empty train.

We decided to do the "nice" thing and actually leave the ride and come back through the queue to ride it a second time. Once we finished the second ride, they let us stay on for a 3rd ride. We actually could've stayed on for a 4th ride, as there was still no one waiting, but we decided to carry on with our day. We went to ride Haunted Mansion, then stopped by the Main Street Bakery for a breakfast snack. Tamara ordered the monstrous cinnamon bun, I had an apple turnover. We went all the way back to the front of the park, then rode the train the whole way around. It gives you an interesting glimpse of the park.

Next up, we caught the monorail over to the Ticket and Transportation Centre, and caught a bus to the Studios. We headed straight to the Tower of Terror and rode that.

I took a few more shots of the street area, including this delightful street car.

And the evil window display.
After that we took the Animation Studios tour and then checked out the pin store under the Sorcerer's Hat. Tamara had seen a Zero pin earlier in the week, and it was now our personal mission to find it. You see, since that day, we hadn't come across it anywhere else! Thankfully we found it there!

We came back to the hotel and had lunch at the Mara. I had some chicken fingers and veggies. Tamara had a burger and fries. We also picked up some dessert from the lounge (cookies and water). I also finally picked up my taffy from the gift shop. Our timing is truly amazing, we heading back to the room right before it was supposed to be cleaned. We wanted to relax before the ridiculous night ahead, so we settled with not having our room cleaned that day. We put the privacy please sign up so we wouldn't be bothered. It was only one day of non-cleaning, and we were leaving the next day, so it didn't really matter.

We got back to the park just before 7. The lighting was quite lovely, so I got a few shots of the castle:
And of some other signs. While here we headed over to Space Mountain and picked up a FP for 10-11.It was quite busy. October 23 was the start of another promotion, so we were expecting high crowd levels. We used our "free: FP on Big Thunder for our ninth and final ride. Here's a shot from the "rumbly rocks" on the ride.

Next we headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean. It actually had a 20 minute wait (practically unheard of!). So I had lots of time to take photos in the queue.

I also had fun getting a few more shots from the ride itself:

Next we stopped for a snack, enjoying some refreshing fruit bars. By this time it was close to 8, so we staked out a spot on the parade route, although it was already very full. Here is some of the pre-parade madness. Check out the crowds!

And I was just amused by this guy, he's obviously checking out something on the street, but he just ended up looking sad and dejected.
The parade started at 9:10. It was alright, a bit too long actually. I got totally boxed in between curb sitters, children and a stroller. Tamara was stuck directly in front of a garbage can. Some guy kept harassing us to let his kids go in front of us. Seriously, we're both under 5'4''. I don't want your kid in front of me. I had already let one in front of me. And that kid specifically asked me very nicely himself.

I know Disney is more for "kids", but you know what, I have paid just as much to be there (if not more!), and I won't be coming back for a long time. I will not be moving, even if it had been physically possible to do so. Plus, we had been standing there for an hour, you can't expect me to give up my spot when I was very prepared and staked out a spot early, and you decide to show at the last minute.

Anyway, here's a few shots from the parade. It turns out this "retro" parade is actually the same one we saw back in 1995.

After the parade ended there was complete chaos. It took several minutes to move even slightly. I wanted a slightly different spot for fireworks. We ended up basically staying where we were. The show was nice. I always enjoy fireworks, however, I guess I expected more from this show. I think it may just be over-hyped. Here are some shots from Wishes:

We went to Tomorrowland after the show. That took a while... There were SO many people in the hub at that time. We finally made it to Space Mountain (along with everyone else). So even with the FP, there was a bit of a wait.

Next up, we rode the Astro Orbiters. We had learned our lesson from last time, we each took our own rocket. Here are my last few shots from Tomorrowland.

We made our way to Main Street to do a last bit of shopping. We didn't even end up staying for the Extra Magic Hours (which were 12AM-3AM). It was still SO busy and it was a long day. I would've liked to stay and do more, but there wasn't really anything I needed to do. Plus, you really get WAY more done in the early hours versus the evening and it's a lot easier to get around in the day. The parks can be very dark and I'm not the most graceful person in the world! Ha! So we came back to the hotel and headed to bed.

The next morning had us packing, which was entertaining...

We also saw the animal care team catch and cage 4 pelicans. It was quite the interesting process. They would separate the target from the herd, in the water, than launch themselves, grabbed wings and bill right away.

We flew through Denver on the way back. The flight to Winnipeg was SO bumpy, and we were on one of those 24-seaters. Not fun. Also I didn't realize I had been "spoiled" by Air Canada, until I used United. Wow, there's practically no service reps to be found, they charge for the first bag, and there's hardly any entertainment on the flights. I missed the choose-your-own entertainment and the USB charger!

That's all for now, hopefully this post isn't too full of grammar and spelling mishaps, it was a bit rushed.

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