Along with my usual nightly battery charging, thermostat adjustment, and Anabelle covering activities there was also a great deal of WHERE WILL WE GO NEXT GUY thoughts. Every time we’d gone to Disney previously, we visited a park for a few hours on the last day. Usually, though, we were staying near the Magic Kingdom, which not only has more to offer, but higher end hotels with faster transportation and bag service. The original plan was to go to MGM the final day, the closest park to the POP. However, the girls didn’t get any time in the pool or the fountain (where Anabelle kept telling her cousins how she sat on Goofy’s foot when she was two) due to the rain and cold. Also, due to the advanced nature of the Jeff Injury Index, the thought of running for just one more show, character, or bus absolutely horrified me.
I had run out of run.
Therefore, we ended up breaking with tradition and finishing with a resort day.
We packed up our stuff and checked all the unneeded bags with the luggage people, which, of course, went infinitely faster than the last time we stayed at the POP. Rosa had retaken on the manly teal Ariel backpack so I could upgrade to the even manlier (and larger) baby blue one with THREE princesses on it. Then we brought the girls over to the laminar flow fountains near Goofy’s foot (and the rest of the statue of him) where they had a great time running, splashing and screaming together, so it was actually worth it.
Following fountain fun, there was a little time for a jaunt in the kiddy pool and some swimming in the regular “Hippie Dippy” pool in and around the flower fountains. Nearing official check out time, we brought everyone back to the rooms for some final pack ups and dry offs.
Throughout the week the housekeeper had been placing Anabelle’s Wendy doll in funny creative positions around the room and also leaving washcloths folded into little animal shapes with stickers to make the faces. Anabelle was asking about bringing them home, but we thought they were decorations intended only for the stay. I was telling her we could bring the stickers home and try to make our own when I heard the crew working a couple doors down. I went to ask and was told we were welcome to take them (Kim’s girls got a bunch too). I carried Anabelle over (as we hadn’t got her shoes on yet) to thank our room lady, Martha, personally.
While we were hastily throwing the remnants of our stuff back together, there was a knock on the door. I figured it was the official check out “get out,” but it turned out to be Martha with another little surprise for Anabelle.
Have I mentioned how much I love Disney people?
We hiked out of our room to the main building and used up our remaining counter service meals and snacks for lunch, food for the plane, and souvenirs. If you’re ever there, try the blackened fish sandwich. It’s well worth the government regulated seven minute wait each time. We also mailed our postcards, guaranteeing we would beat them home.
-Since that usually happens anyway, we like to plan for it.
The kids hit the arcade one last time (while Kim gave in to her ski ball addiction). Grandma did a last pass through the hotel store in case the girls’ souvenir suitcases weren’t at the maximum allowable weight yet. Then we figured, since we stayed there all week, we should actually look at the giant statues in the other decade themed sections around the resort.
The fifties had an impressively large Lady and the Tramp looming over the bowling pin pool along with a giant Juke Box.
The seventies (where we stayed last time) had a BIG Wheel, and Mickey Phone, plus a super size foosball table lay out. It also had some twister boards built into the grounds, which we used for an impromptu game – Twister on Concrete, more excellent parenting while you wait.
On the way to the Eighties/Nineties section was the ten foot tall Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads, which are just as creepy as you’d imagine.
Anabelle didn’t notice the creepiness, however, running toward them shouting, “POTATO!”
The path then opened up to reveal a huge Roger Rabbit, computer and walkman. The computer pool there even came with a monster sized keyboard mat next to it. The girls had so much fun on it that Anabelle asked to stay in the Eighties section next time we come.
Always planning for the next one, she must be a McGinley.
We finished the tour and had about forty five extra minutes.
Sure, blame the WHERE WILL WE GO NEXT GUY.
Kim’s crew went back in to shop a bit more, and we let Anabelle hang out by good ole Goofy’s foot again, creatively using the hot air hand driers to de soggy her in the ladies’ room afterwards.
Grandma may have gone to hide from all of us by that point.
Finally it was time to catch the Magical Express bus back to the airport, after giving the kids a brief stint with the giant Legos. A boy about her age was in front of Aurora, standing on the seat and trading jokes with her the whole way there, which Veronica (and many other passengers) found hysterical. They started saying:
“Did you see…”
and describing park things.
This rapidly degenerated into:
“Remember when the ‘x’ jumped over/looked at/ate the ‘y’,”
With sillier x’s and y’s as the ride progressed.
At one point the boy said:
“Remember when the cow jumped over the moon?”
To which Aurora replied with a deadpan straight face,
“That’s not funny.”
The couple behind her was having convulsions they laughed so hard. Anabelle was busy trying to swiftly change into a thirteen year old by listening to an I-pod and tuning out the world. She did end up unplugging to watch the end of the comedy routine as we neared the airport though.
The flight home had changed terminals which was good to know for the next time as there were a myriad of restaurants in the new one, as opposed to the one poorly supplied Burger King we kept getting stuck at in the other. There was more seat finagling to get us all together on the flight, but since this plane had the little individual video and game monitors, the girls all ignored everyone else (after getting another set of wings, Thanx again Auntie Kim!), each happy in their own individual electronic worlds.
Not me, I finished reading the twenty odd issues of Ghost Rider I started on the way down, illustrating my Disney/Marvel solidarity.
Anabelle got one last thrill ride by sticking her feet straight out on takeoff, raising both fists and yelling WOOO-HOOO!
We landed early, and of course our bags and ride home were late. We eventually all piled into the van with our stuff. I slept most of the way home, which is good as I got to miss the multiple lane changes, swerves, honking, and general chaos that I’m told accompanied the trip.
We all arrived home exhausted to be massively behind in work/home/school needs.
All the kids had some form of sniffle.
Many of the adults shunned eye contact for a while.
And I was darn near crippled.
But my daughter had hordes of great memories she’ll cherish for a lifetime…
It was actually worth it.
Thanx from all of us,
November 10, 2010: D minus 1055 Days
Y’know Anabelle, sometime after your tenth birthday, the Fantasyland Expansion will be fully completed…
Links to the whole Campaign History