A Magical Last Day at the Kingdom!

Here we are already the final day of our adventure. During the trip I did my trip notes as texts to myself as we went through our park days. Usually texting away at lunch, dinner, and back at POP before settling in for each night. As I’ve created the Trip Report I’ve been deleting each post. It has been interesting and slightly sad watching all of those texts shrink down to the last few. Kind of like watching your vacation evaporate before your eyes.

But just scanning over the texts I can see that there is no doubt we packed in as much fun as we could into that last day! And of course now I have the TR itself with all of its pictures and stories to keep it alive. I will be buzzing through this last day and our trip home pretty quickly as I want to be able to export all of it into a format that I can take to my mother in law so I can share the adventure with her. So buckle up, I have over 400 more pictures and a LOT of story to get through to get us home!

Our parent/daughter day had ended reasonably early ..for us anyways. We were asleep by 10pm at the latest and we needed every minute of rest before tackling this day. I had originally gotten Crystal Palace reservations for 8:15am with a park opening at 9am. We were looking forward to strolling down Main Street USA with no crowds and getting a few cool pictures before we ate.

But then a few weeks before our trip Disney in their infinite wisdom changed the park opening to 8am ..grrrrr. I talked it over with my family and we weren’t concerned about seeing rope drop so we looked over options and decided to change our ADR to 1900 Park Fare, which had an 8am opening. Now I had been contemplating what route to take to get to GF from POP and since Roxy and PumpkinGirl had missed out on the two boat rides Bean and I had taken between EPCOT/Yacht Club and DHS I thought that would be a good option after arriving at MK by bus.

So our plans set I came to that morning with all of us feeling pretty worn out. It had been 8 solid days of long days and high adventure and we knew this one would be a doosey too. But with the promise of a hot meal and good character fun we got ourselves together and were out the door before 7am.

At 7:19am we were rolling through the entrance to MK

As you can see it was looking pretty grey out. We had been blessed with sunshine and white fluffy clouds most of the trip, but today it was trying to reprise out last day from 2008, in which it topped out at maybe 60 degrees and drizzled on us off and on.

Not to be daunted we disembarked from the bus and headed for the docks. Unfortunately we got down there just in time to see the GF boat leave the docks. So plan B kicked in and we headed uphill to the resort side of the monorail station and scored in getting to hop on a very cool monorail (pic to come).

We cruised on towards the Contemporary, passing the Bay Lake Tower, which was still being built the last time the girls were here

..and on to the Contemporary love that giant Mickey-head wreath!

Better shot of it from inside I ducked out when the monorail stopped to snap a pic of it

And through the windows I was able to snap a quick pic of their exterior tree before we headed out

We did the stop at Poly and I was a good boy and stayed on board. Once at GF I got out and was able to get a panorama of our morning transportation the Avengers Monorail!

By now it was about 10 minutes till reservation time, but we had to take a couple of quick minutes to take in the Christmas cheer of the resort

It is quite the tree!

We had been reading about the gingerbread house for months so it was nice to finally be able to see it in person what an amazing creation!

What kind of bird do they keep in that???

The girls really weren’t in the mood but I still had them sit for a pic in front of the tree

It was just before 8am so we headed down to the entrance of 1900PF.

Bean really liked this horse, it looked like it was about to eat the flowers 😉

The carousel theming was very cool

We got checked in and had a couple of minutes so we went outside real quick to check out the Mary Poppins topiary

Soon enough our name was called and it was picture time

We were in there pretty early and were seated very near the entrance to the buffet line so it was a quick sit down of gear and off to the races to load up plates. The food was pretty good, as usual no pics of that – it filled my stomach and the coffee was strong. Soon the characters made their way to us first to come by was Pooh

He said hi to Roxy

And then moved on to Bean

He REALLY liked her hat

Pooh continued having fun with Bean’s hat

Nice fit, aye?


Next up was PumpkinGirl

And I even got in on the act

The characters were coming from behind Bean and I so Roxy took the camera. Good call as she caught this moment 😀

Hi Bean!

PumpkinGirl jumped up for her turn

And Roxy had to get a couple of pics with him

Mary Poppins was next, saying hello to Bean

Big smiles

PumpkinGirl jumped in for one with Mary and sis

And then her turn

Our last character was Alice (we heard that Hatter was supposed to be there but got lost on the way to the tea party). She was very interested in Bean’s pins

Pretty pose

A couple of just PumpkinGirl

And a contemplative shot back with Bean

After they finished making their rounds and I finished eating I snapped a couple of pics of the carousel animals

We headed out, cruising on to the elevator. Roxy loved the flower arrangements they had out for the holidays

Once back up at the monorail station I took a quick shot of the deer grazing below

We rode the monorail back to the MK stop and headed down to the entrance. Security was a breeze and we found ourselves posing for our Train Station/Mickey Head PP pic by 9:15am

Nice Christmas Mickey head

On through the tunnel, maps grabbed we headed in towards the flag pole. I’m not sure who it was at half-mast for.

Loved the toy soldiers

On down Main Street we traveled. As you can see the crowds weren’t bad at all.

We really liked the Scrooge dioramas they had in the shop windows

On towards the hub we went, stopping for a moment to watch a little show

Which way to go? Since we had pretty thoroughly explored Tomorrowland and Fantasyland during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party it was going to be a left turn into Adventureland for us today!

And what a lucky turn it happened to be as Peter Pan had just come out near the entrance. Now I know all of the Cast Members and characters do what they can to make our days magical. But Pan really went the extra mile with both girls. As you will see from the pictures he took his time to kick back and have a conversation with them ..even carrying on a great conversation with PumpkinGirl, who still couldn’t talk. Yay for these moments!!!!

No more commentary from me – I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves – first up was Bean

Now came PumpkinGirl’s turn with Pan

After an extremely magical interaction with Pan we headed on into Adventureland

When we got in there we asked the girls what they wanted to do first and they were so pumped from their character interaction that they wanted more. Luckily for them and us Aladdin and Jasmine were due to come out in a few minutes. So to the bazaar we went!

The bazaar itself was still pretty empty

Hello Mr. Camel

After a bit they came out and made their way to the magic carpets

They waited their turn and gave a little girl and her dad a special treat of riding with them

While they were busy flying the skies of Arabia I spoke with their handler. He was an older gentleman who had been a handler for years and it was a really great conversation. During it I asked him what character was the hardest to deal with. He said that by far it was Hook! Hook never did what he was supposed to and would run away from the handler, trying to make mischief with the guests. I love hearing those kind of stories 😀

Soon enough Aladdin and Jasmine were done with their ride and were walking past us

Roxy and the girls had been holding the first spot in the line while I had been over by the carpets. As they approached I thought about the last time one of the girls had an interaction with them and I flashed back to PumpkinGirl’s mommy/daughter day at EPCOT!

The only bummer today was that the PP photographer was a no-show. Nobody knew what happened but I was happy I had my camera ready!

Big hugs all around

Then lots of good banter between the girls and them, with Bean providing some interpretation for PumpkinGirl

They were all talking like long lost friends :-]

It was very funny to watch, they were having a great time! Time to strike a pose!

And then MORE banter!

Between Park Fare, Pan, and them we were full to the brim with Disney mojo 🙂

Where to now after such fun??? Well quite honestly it was for a restroom break. I took them to the one that joins Adventureland to Frontierland. After finishing the girls couldn’t resist the siren call of the old shooting gallery

After some sharp shooting Bean caught sight of one of the adventure windows and a bug was planted in her brain right away

Meanwhile I took a couple of quick snaps of Frontierland itself. I wish there was still a show going on in here

It was just shy of 10am and you can see how quiet it still was

From the shooting gallery Roxy and Bean went into the shops and did a little pin trading while PumpkinGirl headed to a meet with cowboy Chip and Dale

What to do in Frontierland now? How about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with hardly any line? Thankyou please!

Because of Roxy’s ECV we went to a different entrance than the regular queue. From there it was a short walk into the boarding area where we were literally corralled into pens until it was our turn to board – loved that extra bit of theming. We decided to ride up front.

Up we went through the dark tunnel and the water spray

Here’s my ladies

..and here they were the last time we rode the train together at WDW

We came up around the bend and ran into the big train – bonus!

Zoom through the tunnels

That’s the wrong track

We had a great ride and all too soon we were headed to the boneyard and hot springs

I love the old mining equipment. My family used to go cave/mine exploring in the Arizona hills when I was a kid so I’ve actually played on abandoned equipment like this.

The girls were very animated as we headed back into the station

We had so much fun we had to run back around and go again – no waiting! This time we sat in the back and had a bit more thrilling ride. No pictures from that run. When we were done I snapped a shot of the geyser

PumpkinGirl was all smiles coming down the trail

The Liberty Belle was churning along

What to do, what to do? Gotta be Splash Mountain!

But PumpkinGirl needed a pit stop so we split up. Her and Roxy veered right and Bean and I headed to the ride entrance. When PumpkinGirl came out she happened upon Woody!

While PumpkinGirl was doing all of that Bean and I had rolled through the entrance to Splash

The wait was around 15 minutes so we were soon through the queue and on our log. Up we go!

Into the briar patch

Up we go again

On through the wee animal world

We wound our way indoors

Play time is over and up the big tunnel we go

And then our big drop

And then the riverboat and the baddies just desserts

We headed out the exit and received a text that the ladies were about to board their log. While we waited I snapped a pano of the area near the screens

Soon enough the ladies were coming down

We decided it was time to roll back to Adventureland and hit PoTC. On the way through I took in the sights of Splash

When we arrived in Adventureland Jack and Mack had just come out. Instead of taking a ride on Pirates we decided to learn from a couple of Pirate pros!

Their Jack was very good and very expressive

Jack spotted us and I got a great shot of him pointing our way

Him and Mack continued on with their tutorial

They were very much in need of new recruits!

After careful selection 3 recruits were found

The tools of the trade were broken out

Proper swordplay at its best!

Now its the mighty recruits turn!

I had been keeping track of time and waived the ladies over it was time to head back to the front of the park for our lunch Dining Reservations at Tony’s Town Square.

On through the flow of people and back to Main Street

..and our destination!

Bean LOVED watching the movie while we waited

Soon enough we were seated at our table

It was a good meal, the girls and I are all pasta lovers and Roxy puts up with it well. Bean ate as fast as she could so she could go back out and watch more of Lady and the Tramp. And guess what movie we owned by Christmas?

I finished up and got a shot of the fountain loved the Santa hats!

When we were all done we started to head out. Roxy and Bean stopped off in the restroom while PumpkinGirl headed outside. She took the opportunity to get a photo with a very dapper Goofy

The ladies came out and we walked right into the afternoon parade

Well we missed Hatter this morning but at least we get a wave from him now

Incredibles and Genie, interesting combo

Hello Sebastian

Hi Goofy!

Woody and Jessie ..

.. and Lumier?

An eclectic parade for sure!

We ambled up the street and ran into the Dapper Dans doing Silver Bells on the Deacon Organ Chimes (had to look that bit up)

As you may have noticed the gloomy grey skies had run away while we were at lunch the rest of the day was a beautiful partly cloudy and 75 degrees!

We ambled back up towards the hub, taking our time and stopping off to do pin trading through several shops as we went. What a lovely day!

Loved those Mickey Ear wreaths!

We looked at the character schedule and saw that Merida was out from Brave. On our way forward we looked left near Crystal Palace and score again saw a PhotoPass photographer just setting up!

Time to say hello to Tink and Froggy!

No, I didn’t feel the need to say hi to Tink or Froggy myself. I also don’t know why PumpkinGirl was the only one to get a pic with Tink. She must have needed some extra pixie dust to help with her throat 😉 We headed back towards the hub, crowds still not bad at all.

We made it up to the line for Merida and it was LONG!!!! And a good chunk of it was in the sun. I sucked it up and told the ladies to go have fun while I waited out the line. They did some shopping/exploring/pin trading and I sweated. I was sooo thankful that I had my hat and that it wasn’t any warmer than 75!

While waiting I caught a nice shot of the castle

As I got close to the front of the line I texted Roxy and they came back. She stayed near the entrance gate in the shade with the girls while I continued to creep forward. While waiting Roxy started talking to a family who were there as their daughters Wish from Make-A-Wish.

As some of you may know I am a Volunteer Wish Granter for the organization and my wife couldn’t help mentioning it to them. When I got up to them we had a great conversation they were so thankful for all of the magic that had happened on their trip and for the work MaW does. Their daughter was confined to a wheelchair but was so full of smiles and life. It was wonderful to see for me as I send families off to WDW and DLR but usually don’t get to see the magic itself in person.

They gave me permission to snap a pic of their interaction with Merida, who was so fantastic in making another Magical Moment for them

After that I just enjoyed the shade and took a couple of shots of the theming outside the themed queue areea

We then moved ‘inside’ to the courtyard. It was cool that they had activities for the wee ones to do and that the area was mostly in the shade. You had to work your way around the wall and up to a platform where Merida was holding court.

Cool tapestry

Soon enough we were coming up to meet the Scottish Princess herself

Bean was up first

And then our PumpkinGirl had her turn with Merida

Both interactions were wonderful, she took her time and made for some special moments for our girls.

With that out of the way we made a quick pit stop and then headed back towards the hub with me stopping off for the obligatory ‘postcard’ shot of the castle

Where to go now? Why back to Adventureland!

Once there we made a beeline for another family favorite – the Jungle Cruise!

Our boat was to be the Sankuru Sadie

Our guide was great, rapid-firing the classics with a few bad jokes I hadnt heard before


Ye ole native settlement

Big snake!

Primates having fun

Hi Mr. Elephant!

The “Circle of Life” scene

Caravan in trouble!

Big smile!

I loved the downed plane

The hippos were right on queue

Someone has a “head” for business!

Must be those guys

More “scary natives”

We come around the bend and run into some more adventurers heading into peril

And we move on into the “backside of water”

More hungry crocs, which brings our picture tally to 2500!

And now we pass under the arch into the temple.

The last time we were here as a family our intrepid guide gave the wheel over to none other than Bean!

Love the guide’s expression and the obvious concentration that Bean was putting into piloting the boat 😀

Back to the present and our trip through the temple

We survived the little boy that was chosen to drive this time and moved on out to the iconic bathing elephants

Theres a trustworthy fellow

That is some well-traveled luggage!

Our guide actually went on break as we disembarked and we all gave her great praise on the job she did

She was happy to be recognized and said she really enjoys the job

Now we could finally make it back to my favorite – PoTC!

The wait was at 15 minutes so I gave Bean the camera and worked on TR notes covering the span from Big Thunder Mountain to our arrival at PoTC

I wasn’t the only one she caught on electronics

She then started taking pics of the props in the queue

I don’t know what was going on with the shadows; either her hat or her finger was getting in the range of the flash

That’s better!

Onto our boat and into the caverns

I tried to get a shot of the mermaid without a flash – this was the best I managed

Hello Jack

Avast ye!

Hello again Jack

And of course him with his loot

Having survived our Pirate Adventure we spent a chunk of time in the gift shop, my favorite one of course. I ended up picking up the only purchase I made for myself – a Mickey Pirate t-shirt. It must be a pretty unique one since I can’t find a representation of it on Google Images.

Update 10 years later – found it!

PumpkinGirl also made a couple of purchase there and I think Bean did too. From there we went to one of Roxy’s favorites – the Enchanted Tiki Room. It was a fun, lively show as usual.

After the show Bean really wanted to go on a Mirror Adventure. PumpkinGirl wasn’t into that and my legs were pretty tired so Roxy volunteered to scoot around and follow Bean while PumpkinGirl and I took another trip on PoTC.

I only took one shot in the queue this time – TREASURE!

While we were on PoTC Roxy was following Bean on her mirror adventure. And while going from mirror to mirror Roxy ran into Tiana

We finished our ride and met back up with them in Liberty Square and decided that Haunted Mansion would be our next destination

Ye ole ghostly carriage

The stretching room

And our host is hanging around doing nothing as usual

On to the queue!

The ride itself broke down three times, first in the hall with the blinking eyes

Next in what should have been a great one the mirror showing us the hitchhiking ghost! Sadly the ghost evaporated much too fast and we were stuck just sitting in front of a mirror with my camera out of focus

And then lastly just around the corner with the bride looking down on us

It eventually let us out and we wandered back up towards Fantasyland. We walked past Pan and It’s a Small World and I took a quick snap of New Fantasyland construction.

But we werent exploring there, we wanted a place to sit comfortably for a few minutes. So we went to one of my favorites, Mickeys PhilharMagic!

Hiiii Mickey!

Hiiii Mickeys backside!

We fought our way through the crowds

..and I took pics of the show posters

We got good seats; center about 2/3 of the way back. Love the show Donald is so great and it is a lot of fun to see those new classic characters and songs.

Once finished Bean and Roxy set back off on her Mirror Adventure. Meanwhile PumpkinGirl and I headed back the way we came towards Liberty Square. On our way down I snapped a quick pic of the Rapunzel tower coming up between It’s a Small World and Haunted Mansion

We were headed down to Liberty Square for our 5:30pm dinner reses at my favorite MK restaurant – Liberty Tree Tavern!

I checked us in and we had some time to kill so PumpkinGirl found a bench to relax on and I snapped some shots around the square

I love doing panoramas down here, so much to take in

While I was snapping those shots Roxy and Bean were zig-zagging around following her clues. One of their turns took them past the Castle, where the evening show was going on

I kept checking in with Roxy to make sure they were back in time. And they showed up right after I heard our name. Once inside we got a nice corner table at a window looking out on the Hall of Presidents.

The girls had never eaten here (it was my birthday dinner in 2011) so they were hesitant about all the “down home” food. But after they learned the rolls (for PumpkinGirl) and mashed potatoes and gravy (for Bean) were all you could eat they were very happy.

They actually ate a great meal, eating everything except the roast beef – which was fine by Roxy and I. We finished and did our pit stops in the restaurant and I headed back to the lobby, which had cleared out from the 5:30pm crush.

Pleasantly full we headed out, with Roxy and PumpkinGirl doing some shopping. Amazingly enough they got more food, popcorn in a commemorative Mickey Santa cup.

While they did that I went with Bean to try and finish her Mirror Adventure. It was taking us back into Fantasyland, which worked for me since I got to get some great shots of the land at night!

While getting the wonderful pics I was still keeping up with Bean as she found her mirrors

We worked our way towards the castle – more pics!

She finished it right next to the castle – yay Bean!

She wanted to start another one but it was now 6:45pm on a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party night, so no go for that. I took a quick shot of the Donald diorama outside one of the shops

..and then we headed down around the castle. I mean I had the “postcard” shot on the bridge during daylight, I had to get a shot of it at night!

It also gave me a great opportunity to get a panorama shot looking towards Tomorrowland

We joined the exiled masses that didnt have wristbands heading towards the front of the park. I think we stopped every single CM on our way to the flag pole looking for pins.

We made it to the front of Main Street and stopped off for a pit stop before leaving the park. I came back out quick and got some individual shots

This one is probably my favorite non-family shot of the trip. It just screams Disney Christmas!

I followed that special Disney Christmas pic with more magical panoramas

When we were all back together we decided we wanted to check out Downtown Disney before we left “the World” again. That’s right; we were going to end out trip with another 12+ hour day!

The next question was how to get there? Our best bet was to get to a resort and take a bus from there to DTD. Now which one to go to?

We could take the monorail to the Contemporary and then head downstairs to the busses. But there was a large mass of people with that same idea so we scratched that one. We could trek directly to the Contemporary, but our feet were worn out and we wanted a rest. So in front of us we see the ferry pulling up. We had never been on it, and I had heard it was a pretty short walk from Transportation and Ticket Center to the Poly DTD bus stop, so it was “All Aboard!” for us!

Another bonus was that I had a great view to take some more pictures of my surroundings. First was a shot of the Contemporary

Then a shot of another launch passing us in the other direction with the Contemporary in the background

Back the way we had come the Train Station was aglow, but the Castle was positively radiant!

We pulled into the dock and waited for the mass of people to clear out, giving our feet the maximum amount of time to rest. Then off we went, with me stopping for a very quick picture of the Castle through the dockworks

We head up the ramp and say goodbye to the MK Ferryboat

I loved the theming on the fence they have at the TTC

Then it was on to the Poly

The sign for the Neverland Club looked cool

For those who like to know travel times, it took us about 35 minutes from the Magic Kingdom park entrance to get to the Poly DTD bus stop via the ferry. Once we got there we were doubly thankful that we didn’t try the resort monorail. A lady showed up on an ECV with her family which had been trapped on it for about 45 minutes. There was apparently more than one breakdown on that track that evening.

We talked for a bit with her and her family and within 10 minutes we had a DTD bus. Unfortunately it was almost full with no spot for Roxy’s ECV 🙁 Roxy insisted that we go on and that she would catch the next one. Plus she would get to talk to the other lady in the ECV some more.

The girls and I hopped on and off we went. I was surprised at what a convoluted trip it was from the Poly to DTD. I almost wondered if the driver knew where he was going. But we got there eventually.

By about 8:20pm we were there and checking out the fountains

You’ll notice the dad on the far right with the stroller – he did a banzai charge right through it, causing massive giggles from his wee ones.

Bean was having a good time with it too

We pretty much made a beeline for the Art of Disney, one of my favorite stores. I texted Roxy and let her know we’d stay there until she made it. She texted back that she was already on a bus headed our way. She showed up not too long after that and found us still browsing. Or at least PumpkinGirl and I were browsing – Bean was keeping a Disney artist Paul Danwer company.

Here’s a shot of Paul at work that I snagged off the web

Bean enjoyed watching him work and was very enamored with a particular work he had done – good ole Santa Stitch, same as seen in the topiary just before SE at EPCOT. She had to have it and it is now proudly displayed in her room amongst her Disney snow globes.

I wanted to buy some art but couldn’t find one that really called to me that wasn’t in the four-figure price range. So I went outside and found a place to sit, my feet were giving out on me after all of those long days. After a few minutes everyone came out and peeked into the Christmas store

And Once Upon a Toy

Then we were on to the Mecca of Merchandising – the Disney Store!

We walked up and gave Stitch a chance to spit on us ..

.. and then went inside. I promptly lost Bean and the rest of us spent the next 10 minutes trying to locate her. Finally finding her we realized we had lost PumpkinGirl. Eventually the family was reunited and we headed out. The only pic I snapped in there was of Genie in his Santa suit ironically taking a picture of all of us!

We were all pretty tired but had to take a look at the new Lego Store displays

Love that one

Our Lego mission complete we decided we were done, we were exhausted and were full to the brim with Disney/Christmas goodness. We headed back towards the busses with me stopping to take a last snap of Christmas Cheer in the form of the DTD Christmas Tree

Then we were out to the busses

It wasn’t a bad wait so by 10pm we were able to collapse into seats and head back to POP. After the ride back we stumbled to the room and went through the ordeal of packing. We had an 8:25am Magic Express pick-up in the morning so we knew we had to tackle it tonight.

We were all done with showers and packing and in bed right at midnight. What a day! It had a lot of truly magical moments and many smiles. Would I recommend finishing your trip with a 15 hour day? Maybe not, but it worked for us – lol

Tomorrow we head home, which was an adventure unto itself stay tuned for travel fun and final thoughts!