Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Boats, Trains, Buses and a Monorail- Our Disney Free For All

We traditionally make our last day at Disney a free for all.  

We go back and either ride the things we missed, or we re-ride the things we just have to do one more time. With the restriction of only being able to book fast passes for one park per day we decided to use our final day’s fast pass for Toy Story Midway Mania. It was so much fun and we just had to do it again, but the standby line rarely dips below seventy-five minutes. We planned the rest of the day around the fast pass and around ending our night watching Illuminations at Epcot.

Since we had such a nice experience the prior day, we parked at the Dolphin Hotel and took the boat to Epcot.  We then power walked through Epcot and boarded the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

We hopped on the train and rode it to Frontierland where we rode Splash Mountain again. 

While in line there was a young giddy couple who shared with anyone who would listen the story of how they just got engaged over breakfast that morning. The experience sounded magical and their innocent adorable happiness brought a little tear to my eye. I hope they have a happily ever after.

After Splash Mountain we rode The Haunted Mansion again and then hoofed it to Tomorrowland. We stopped off in Fantasyland for churros because they count as breakfast right?

We rode Space Mountain and then made our way out of Magic Kingdom and headed towards the buses.

We waited, and waited and waited some more for the bus to Hollywood Studios. 

We discussed whether it would be possible to squeeze in Animal Kingdom because it would be cool to visit every park in the same day, but we just didn’t have the time.  Families began to pile up behind us. We waited more. Finally a driver whose bus was allotted for another destination looked over at the gathered crowd, made a call on his radio, then changed his destination to Hollywood Studios. 

We no sooner got on the bus when the sky grew dark and a deluge began.  It was raining so hard I couldn’t see out of the bus window. It was some crazy rain. The rain ceased, the clouds parted, and the sun returned just as the bus pulled up to Hollywood Studios. Drenched guests who were shaking out their overpriced rain ponchos cast jealous glances at the perfectly dry people getting off of the bus. We couldn’t have timed it better if we tried.

We rode Toy Story Midway Mania and Star Tours again. Now it was time to make our way back to check off the rest of the countries at Epcot.

Shannon wanted to ride Mission Space again. Did I mention that it’s his favorite ride?
I elected to hang out in the UK and see if I could get my picture with Mary Poppins. We had passed her during our power walk through Epcot, but alas it appeared she went home sick or something like that.

We stopped in Mexico briefly to ride the boat ride, and then headed to Norway.

We were unaware at the time that this trip would be the last time we would ever ride Malestrom. I loved Malestrom and am sad that it is gone.

The line through the queue in Malestrom moved quickly.  As I worked my way around a corner a girl gasped and gestured broadly. It took me a few moments to get that she was pointing at me.  We both had on the same obscure Mary Poppins Totoro t-shirt from Tee Fury.  The line was moving too fast for us to do anything but smile at one another and point. I was hoping to catch up with her after the ride so we could get a picture but I never saw her again.

Our next stop was Japan. 

I had read whispers that there was Studio Ghibli merchandise for sale in Japan’s store.  

There was an exhibit in the gallery across from the store that sidetracked us. The exhibit was about Japanese mythology and how that mythology influenced various anime characters from television and movies.  It was a great exhibit.

The store in Japan is huge. They have lots of neat stuff for sale, including a multitude of snacks and candy. 

Not only did the store in Japan have Studio Ghibli merchandise, they had an entire section! I was just about at the same level of excitement as I was when we were in Harry Potter World. I had an agonizing time making a decision about what souvenirs I wanted. I finally settled on a plush Totoro and a beautiful Arrietty post card.  

We wanted to buy one of the puzzles sooooooo badly, but it was the end of our trip and the end of our souvenir money. Plus, the puzzles were very expensive. 

We’re going to put some money aside so on our next trip we can come home with a Ghibli puzzle.

Japan took up the remainder of our time so the only thing left to do was to find a good spot and enjoy Illuminations.

 We boarded the boat back to the Dolphin vowing that the next time we will visit every country in the World Showcase (missed countries- China, France, Italy, and Canada).

So ends my posts about our Orlando trip, and it’s just in time, because we’re going to Mexico (the real country not the one in The World Showcase).

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