Our last day in the parks had arrived *sniff, sniff* It was another morning that was a bit more leisurely, as the park didn't open until 9am. We got there around 8:50am, just as they were wrapping up the welcome show. We stopped once we were right inside the park to try to get some pictures in front of the fall decor, but the kids were not being too cooperative.
Yeah, that was as good as it was going to get. Onto the rides! During day 1 at Magic Kingdom, we did all of Fantasyland and all of Tomorrowland, so the plan for day 2 was to do Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square. First up, Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride! The kids were delighted to see that the camels spun around and spit water at you :)
After that, we were right near the Enchanted Tiki Room which was getting ready to start, so we went in there. Let's just say that was 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back. *yawn* Moving on, next up was the Jungle Cruise!
Now, here is a part of the post where I have to insert a story that is a bit long, but worth sharing. We decided that we needed a snack, and since it was 10am it seemed like it was an appropriate time to enjoy some ice cream. Vacation rules and all that jazz. For DAYS I had been wanting to have a dessert I had read about that involved 2 huge homemade chocolate chip cookies with ice cream smooshed in the middle. So, a giant chipwich. Tried to get one in Hollywood Studios on our way to Fantasmic...line was too long. Tried in Animal Kingdom after seeing Lion King show at the end of the day...stand that sold them was already closed for the day. Magic Kingdom was our last hope! We asked around and found where they would be, only to be told they were having some kind of issue and wouldn't have ice cream until later in the afternoon!! NOOOO!!! While we were reassessing the situation, we must have looked confused and/or depressed, because a friendly cast member came up and asked us if we needed help. We told her the story and asked she knew of anywhere else to get them at 10am. She asked us to wait there for a few minutes. While she was off working some magic, the kids enjoyed their own ice cream (and Brian enjoyed the infamous Dole Whip, which he gave two thumbs up to) and then he took the kiddos to meet Chip and Dale who happened to be nearby:
Cast member comes back and tells us to follow her...as we're walking, she explains that the only other place to get the chipwich is at the Plaza Restaurant, but they're not officially open yet. BUT, she called over there and they were making some just for us!! Seriously!! We were so excited, and so touched that she would do something so kind (especially for something so silly like needing ice cream at 10am!) Sadly, we were so excited that they arrived, I forgot to take some pictures of them....but I will tell you they were heavenly!! So a sincere thank you to Amanda from NJ from the ice-cream loving family at Magic Kingdom that day :) Here is a photo of the delicious treat from disneyfoodblog.com:
After that, we had a Fast Pass + reservation for Big Thunder Mountain, so we headed there. We even got Jake on the ride!! (video below):
I now interrupt this trip report to bring you some beautiful shots of the castle from that morning:
We went on Pirates of the Caribbean:
And when we got off, happened to stumble up on the Pirates Tutorial featuring Captain Jack Sparrow. Jake is now a certified Jedi AND Pirate :)
After grabbing lunch, the more daring adults (Brian, Nana, and PopPop) headed off to Splash Mountain while the rest of us sane folk killed some time by riding the Magic Carpets again.
After that, we all met back up and headed to the Haunted Mansion, which is really the only line that we waited in the entire trip. The posted wait was 35 minutes, but I think that was exaggerated, it was probably closer to 20-25. I was afraid that Jake would be terrified, but he loved it! Next, we had a Fast Pass + reservation for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, since the kids loved it so much the first day.
After finishing up there, we headed back toward Storybook Circus, where the kids managed to get themselves pretty soaked in the water play area again:
Then, time for more Dumbo fun!
Then it was time for our very last Fast Pass + reservation, Barnstormer. I forgot to mention in my first post about Magic Kingdom that this was Liam's favorite ride. It's kind of a mini-roller coaster, but it actually did go quite fast and have a lot of turns! Unfortunately, it moved too fast to get a picture of him on it (I was afraid the camera would fly out of my hands) but his face was priceless. We got off the ride and he said, "That's my ride. That was SO COOL! Let's do it again!" So, he was quite excited for the chance to go on it again!
That ended up being our last ride, as it was time to head to Be Our Guest for our dinner reservation. Our reservation was for 6:20, but I wanted to check in early to see if it would be possible to request a table in the ballroom; this was the room where it "snowed" and looked gorgeous online, so I really wanted to be there if possible. They noted the request and gave us a buzzer and told us it might be awhile, they were running behind. That was at 6pm; literally, 3 minutes later our buzzer went off and we were at a table by 6:10pm....in the ballroom!! :) The pictures I took in there weren't the best because the lighting was so low, here are some from www.disneydining.com:
Again, I'll do full dining reviews in a separate post and put them all together, but spoiler alert: this was my favorite restaurant. The food was great and the atmosphere was perfect...it was actually a great way to end our vacation.
And I have to add another story in here about a cast member....while the food ended up being great, the service was a bit on the slow side, so Liam was getting restless sitting at the table. I was walking around the restaurant with him when he spotted the Beast in his "study"; the Beast was greeting guests, but they told us at the beginning that you have to wait until you finish your meal. Liam was asking to go in, so I reminded him of that but told him we could watch the Beast from outside of the room. We were there for a few minutes when a cast member, Vaughnn, came up to us and started talking to Liam. After a few minutes, Liam said, in his tiny sweet voice that no one can resist, "May I pwease go meet the Beast?" Vaughnn told me to wait there for just a minute....he came back and ushered us in the room for a private meeting with Liam!! Here he is, little sneaky thing!
Vaughnn then escorted us back to our table and told Liam to eat a good dinner so he could come back to see the Beast again. After our food came out, Vaughnn once again stopped by to say hi to Liam and see how everything was going. Liam became pretty chummy with Mr. Vaughnn and started referring to him as his "fwiend" :) After dinner, it was desserts for everyone, then time for the group to meet the Beast!
And of course, Liam had to get his picture taken with his new BFF :)
Thank you, Mr. Vaughnn, for making the night great for a certain little 2 year old :)
Up until this day, we had hoped to stay that evening for the parade and fireworks....but once we sat down at dinner, we rethought that plan. Everyone was just done, we figured it would be best to head out (lesson learned from Fantasmic the week before!) But, then dinner took much longer than planned, so when we were done with that, the parade had already started. The grandparents made their way out, but we let the kids stay to watch the parade. Because if we learned one new thing about Liam this trip, it was that he LOVED parades and shows. There was no dragging him away from them once he noticed them. We left during the fireworks (and somehow, both kids fell asleep in the stroller DURING the super loud fireworks) So we said goodbye to the Magic Kingdom, and headed back to our resort.
It's a weird feeling when vacation ends....a part of me is always ready to go back home, but there is always a sad part of me, too. We were so, so lucky to be able to take this vacation, and so extremely grateful that both sets of grandparents were able to join us....not just because they were a huge help (which they were, thank you thank you thank you!) but also because we know we made memories that we're always going to treasure, and we're lucky that everyone was there to experience it with us.
See ya real soon. ;)