Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last Day - Take 2

It's not often that you have two last days in the same location on a single trip. But thanks to Hurricane Irene that's exactly what we have had on this visit. Earlier in the trip we thought we were approaching the end of our stay in WDW, but it turned out that we found ourselves with an additional 4 days. Barring any last minute natural disasters, today will be our last day at Disney World. We decide to spend it at The Magic Kingdom.

We arrive at the Magic Kingdom and, as usual, head back into Liberty Square where we gravitate towards the Haunted Mansion. However, as we enter the Hub area, the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party Parade is going on, so we take a few moments to watch - though not participate. It's actually a good way to get the energy up for the last day of a longer than planned vacation which has featured exhaustively hot weather.

Once the parade is over, we continue our journey back to Master Gracey's Mansion. Earlier in the week we had seen the new interactive queue that now leads you in  to the attraction, but it had been raining that time, and both my wife and I would like to spend just a little more time seeing all the new features of the graveyard. We are able to take our time a bit more as we pass through today. There are some very clever new pieces to be seen as you wait your turn to drag your wretched body into the mansion, and a number of tributes to imagineers and performers who are part of the history of the mansion. After having the time to see the new additions, we enter the mansion for yet another trip through.

When we are finished here, we head into Fantasyland and take a boat trip through It's a Small World. To be honest, by this point in the trip, the activity and the weather are really taking their toll on both my wife and myself, so any attraction where we can sit in air conditioning for any amount of time, is going to hold our attention today.

As we leave It's a Small World, we walk past the construction site for the Fantasyland Expansion, and the new castle (Beast's Castle) is clearly in sight. I can't wait until the new area is finally opened. It will be nice to have something new in the Magic Kingdom - something it has sorely missed for too long. But we can't stop and admire the construction as the day just keeps getting hotter and more humid, so we continue on until we reach Mickey's Philharmagic. Actually the plan had been to get fastpasses for Winnie the Pooh, but along with them came "surprise fastpasses" for Philharmagic, so that will be our next destination. Hey, it's cool and you sit down. Remember the order of the day?

After Mickey's Philharmagic, it is time for our Winnie the Pooh fastpasses, and that is where we head.

Earlier in the week, my wife, along with some of the other gals who were here for the wedding, attending the tea at the Grand Floridian. My wife enjoyed it so much that she wanted to go back again before this trip was over, so this morning, before we left for the park, we stopped at the front desk to see if there were any openings for today. Turned out there were 2, and we took them. Now, it was time to head over to the Grand Floridian and have our tea. (Yes, I enjoyed it and would not mind doing it again when we are there the next time.)

When we return to the Magic Kingdom, I notice something that I must have missed this morning when we first got here. Something I know was not there just a few days ago when I was here last ... the Halloween decorations are up! They certainly must have been there this morning, but I totally did not notice them at all. However, I do see them now. (And when I look at the pictures I took earlier in the day, they certainly were indeed there this morning.) Yep, I am losing it. I hate to say it but it is time to get home. (Okay, I can say that knowing it will not be long until we are back here.)

This time in the park, instead of heading to the right side, we head to the left. The Country Bear Jamboree calls out to us ... SIT INSIDE - IT'S COOL IN THERE. So off we go. But first, we pick up fastpasses for The Jungle Cruise. I know my wife would be very happy to skip it, but I still love the corniness of the whole thing, and it's connection to the history of Disney parks in general. So after spending some time in Country Bears, we head over, fastpasses in hand, to The Jungle Cruise.

By this time my wife and I decide it may be time to start thinking about heading back to the hotel to pack (and relax) in preparation for an early departure tomorrow morning. I consider staying in the Magic Kingdom for a while myself to get some pictures of the park after dark, but quickly realize that I won't make it until then, and decide to accompany her back to the hotel. Before we leave, she stops to see a show at the Castle forecourt, and I stop to photograph some flowers which have - mostly - survived this extreme weather. Then, just before we leave the Magic Kingdom for the final time this trip, we take the train once around the park.

Finally it is time to leave and we pack at the hotel for an early morning Magical Express pick-up the next day. We seem to have actually reached the end of our stay at Walt Disney World for this trip.

(More photos from today can be seen here.)

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