It seems like the days leading up to a Walt Disney World vacation DRAG ON AND ON. The time just won’t go by quickly enough, and you’re left wondering if you’ll EVER get there.
Once you get there, though, you enter some sort of time warp, where the hours and days fly by, leaving you at the last day of your vacation, wondering why it has to be over so soon.
This was where I was at during the last day of our vacation. I say this every year, but this year? We really have no Disney plans on the horizon. What with our lives here in Houston now and us owning property in Oklahoma (that’s code for “our house still hasn’t sold”), we don’t see any Disney trip on the horizon, unless I can somehow win one through the assorted bizarre contests I enter, which, to date, have only won me 954 dental flossers from a company called Plackers.
So, that being said, this was a particularly bittersweet last day.
Coach and Nana had an earlier flight out than we did, so they were only able to eat breakfast at Pop Century with us before they boarded the Magical Express back to the airport. The four Faulks took a stroll through the gift shop for about the hundredth time this trip, and we ran into a friend I knew from my college days! Well, it is indeed a small world after all, y’all.
And speaking of Small World, you know we’d have to ride it one last time. I know we’re limited on the number of years that this ride will be such a thrill for our girls, so I took some extra time to really enjoy their dazzled expressions and exclamations as we rode it, just in case our next trip finds them past the age of interest. Sigh. (Can you tell there was a lot of sighing going on this last day?)
It’s worth noting that after marathon weekend was over, Walt Disney World was entering one of its lowest attendance seasons of the year. What this meant for us was shorter lines, free dining, and, unfortunately, closed rides. WDW seems to use these low traffic times to refurbish rides and spruce things up a bit, as we saw with Big Thunder Mountain and Dumbo. It must have also meant an increase to the work efforts on the New Fantasyland, which meant that we saw more workers “over the fence” than we had ever seen before. And I’m not talking about seeing them from one of our lookout spots (remember, there are ways, my friends) – I mean, just seeing them in plain view from the older part of Fantasyland. At one point on this final day, we saw a construction worker on a ladder, right up next to the Beauty and the Beast castle, doing some detail work on it. I’ve heard so much about forced perspective and WDW, how things aren’t actually as tall as they appear thanks to some construction tricks, but I’ve struggled to believe it because – hello?! – Cinderella Castle is HUGE! Well, I believe it now. I’m still not sure how they do it, but I’m certain that Belle’s castle is not nearly as tall as the forced perspective would have me believe. (Which I did, until I saw this!) The whole top of the castle, which is made to look like several stories, is actually only six feet tall or so. Unless the guy on the ladder was actually twenty feet tall. It was a sad, sad day, what with the wonder of Disney dying a little for me… until that bright future day when I see the castle in its complete form, entirely forget what I saw before, and say, “WOW! That thing is HUGE!!!” Because that’s what will happen!
We rode the Winnie the Pooh ride, watched Philharmagic, and had lunch at Columbia Harbor House. (We would have gone for one last visit with Sonny Eclipse, but we were on the wrong side of the park at lunchtime. Sad day for Emma!) From there, we watched the Tiki Room, rode Pirates, and danced at the block party right in front of Cinderella Castle. One more stroll through the shops on Main Street, then we were back out the gates (sigh) and on the bus to Pop Century. We ate some snacks and watched the Disney Channel while we waited for the Magical Express to take us to the airport.
Sigh. Okay, I’ll stop now.
We don’t know when we’ll see you again, Mickey, but if it’s at all humanly possible, it’ll be sooner rather than later. WE LOVE WALT DISNEY WORLD!