All Things Must End (Especially Good Customer Service)
|Ha Ha! My Prince has a name!|
We packed everything up, checked in the luggage, stored the carry-ons and grabbed a quick breakfast before going to say farewell to the Magic Kingdom. Of course we had the longest wait for a boat (or bus for that matter) of the entire vacation. One of the main McGinley Disney rules is to avoid the Magic Kingdom at all costs on Monday, as the crowds are always an order of magnitude greater than other days. (Except Saturday, but Saturday nights are allowed for parade viewing.) However, another more important rule is to go to the Magic Kingdom the last day if possible, to say good bye.
Navigation was rough the Main Street mob, including the brief, chaotic PhotoPass stop. In hindsight, telling Anabelle, “Pretend you’re holding Tinkerbell,” would have worked better than the random pose directions everyone was giving her, especially since when we told her that at lunch, she wanted to do it. (Luckily, Rosa’s considerable PhotoShop skills were up to the task, because the parade was passing as we were leaving.)
We eventually made it into Fantasyland. Rosa sacrificed her hydration on the (marked thirty minute but actually) sixty minute Ariel line, because while Anabelle remembered to say, “I love you,” last time, she didn’t say good bye. The rest of us got a Peter Pan FASTPASS, and took a final Small World. After that, Grandma held our place on the Winnie the Pooh line while we waited for the Mermaid. Anabelle played in the grotto fountains until she had to come soggily back onto the line. We felt really bad for the family in front of us, their little girl reacted to Ariel (after the hour wait) the same way Anabelle reacted to Goofy. Her dad eventually picked her up and sat next to Ariel with the kid looking very pathetic. Anabelle bid her bittersweet farewell after Ariel asked if she was swimming home today. We met up with Grandma for a final Pooh, and just barely made our Pan FASTPASS time. It’s funny, usually I’d ride with Mom or Kim on rides when the four of us went in my childhood, except Peter Pan was almost always with Dad. As a father Anabelle almost always rides Peter Pan with me. I guess it’s a Daddy kind of ride.
We checked the McDonald’s sign in Fantasyland, but it only had fries. Instead it was over to Toontown for a last Barnstormer ride. We had to drive home the point to Anabelle that with the crowds, there couldn’t be any “Again”s that day. She took it pretty well.
Lunch brought us back to Cosmic Ray’s, but there were no empty tables near Sonny Eclipse. Here’s a new Disney Law. If you are going to completely ignore this master of song and comedy, you are not allowed to eat in his room.
Buzz Lightyear was also packed so we got another FASTPASS and did the two Tomorrowland rides designed for crowded days. Rosa and Anabelle had never seen the Carousel of Progress before, and both liked it a lot. This was one of the places I really missed Dad. I think it’s because it’s one of the few things that hasn’t changed much since we were kids, and also everyone sits together. The Water Pageant was the same type thing, but there I had the concern of keeping my dancing daughter from diving off the dock to distract me. (There was a sale on the letter “d”.) We filled the FASTPASS wait with another People Mover ride - just because - and then had our last ride with Buzz.
We wanted to end properly, so we took a final ride on Cinderella’s Carousel. It seemed that they significantly shortened the ride time when it was crowded. (Although in hindsight it may have to do more with rushing the boarding and unloading times.) I was, however, very happy to see a little girl actively seek out Cinderella’s horse, and appreciate the fact she got it.
|Hit the ROAD!|
It was finally time to leave just as the parade was getting ready to start. We made our way through the hordes and realized that we’d never bought Anabelle the souvenir drink with the light up Tinkerbell straw holder. While they maneuvered slowly down Main Street, I ran back to the Plaza and groveled, requested, and tossed money at them until I got one. This turned out to be a fortuitous delay. To celebrate Sleeping Beauty’s DVD release, they had a special pre parade float with the three fairy’s leading the way, and Aurora, Philip and Maleficent riding it.
We caught the boat back to the Lodge for the last time, and Anabelle proved she was a McGinley by spending the trip talking about, “When I come back when I’m eight, I’m going to…”
|"I don't want to go." - D. Tennant|
The Magical Express bus took us back to the airport. Then we followed the misleading “Restaurants” sign through the gate to a Burger King.
I didn’t realize Burger King counted as “RestaurantS”.
Anyway, the flight was early and mostly empty, Anabelle slept about half way, and Speed Racer looked far cooler than I originally imagined, leading to an unexpected but appreciated Thanksgiving gift from Anabelle. The culture shock of leaving Disney customer service hit fast and hard. An attendant offered a beverage. I asked what the choices were and he answered,
“Oh, we have everything.”
“Great,” I replied, “I’ll have a root beer.”
Then he got all cranky and said,
“We don’t have that, only normal soda like Coke and Sprite.”
I asked for a Diet Coke, but when he opened the drawer, I saw he had Coke Zero, and asked for that instead.
He looked like I asked him for one of his fingernails, but gave me the soda as I thought.
“I miss you already, Cinderella.”
|Even our toothbrushes missed them.|