This morning we slept in and then walked over to the Magic Kingdom to hit a few attractions we had never done before like Mickey’s Philharmagic, The Carousel of Progress and Peter Pan’s Flight. I had done the Peter Pan ride when I was 11 but not since then. We used one of the Fast Passes for that one as it is a heck of a long wait for a two minutes ride. We enjoyed about 2 hours in the park before heading over to Epcot for the rest of the day.
While at Epcot we had another one of the private photo ops for Disney Visa card holders and this time the session was with Minnie and Goofy by themselves. A few fun photos later and we were out the door to Soarin.
When we received our VIP passes on day 3, Matt and I discussed how we could give some of them away as a nice gesture to some deserving park guests. What prompted that thought was how many rude guests we ran into on the trip be they from other countries (mostly) or from the US and how we would like to ‘reward’ someone for just simple acts of kindness.
For the next few days we were extra aware of how guests seemed to be treating other guests or apparent family members. It turned out to be a difficult task as most people were oblivious to others around them and were just in a hurry to get where they were going. I must say that this is the first time I felt outnumber by non English speaking guests most of which seemed happy to barrel their way through the park. Perhaps it was that we were looking for good that we saw too much bad, but whatever it was we were determined to do something nice for someone.
Turns out that nice thing happened in the Soarin line. We used our fast pass to jump the 50 minute standby line for the fast pass line ( the fast pass line was being blocked by a large group whose time was not coming due for another 5 minutes). We politely asked if we could get by and a young couple from Atlanta saw us excuse ourselves and followed us in as their passes were valid but they could not get by the group.
When we got into the queue for the ride, the woman said thanks for getting by that group as they did not know if they had to wait in that long group line. We started talking and found out the had a tough time getting to Orlando because of the snow but they were so glad to finally be in Disney. This was there second time to the parks ( they had visited for their honeymoon 5 years ago) so they were looking forward to riding some of the new attractions this time. We gave her some tips on avoiding motions sickness on this ride as she was worried about that (lean forward a bit and look to the left or the right depending on that glider that you are in, and focus on another group of riders. This can reset your point of reference and calm the stomach).
We enjoyed the conversation while we had an extended wait in line (there was an issue that they had to fix before letting us board) so Matt asked how long they were staying. They replied 5 days, so Matt and I looked at each other and I said to them ‘Were going to hook you up’ and explained how the VIP passes worked and gave them each a pass with three uses on each. They looked very excited and thanked us for the passes.
The ride was great (Matts’ first time), and the young lady came through without issue. When we touched down they both thanked us again and we parted ways. It felt very good to do something nice for other nice people.
While I am still on that subject, it amazes me that so many people look like they are in a bad mood, act like they are in a bad mood or verbalize that they are in a bad mood when they are at Disney. This is supposed to be the most magical place on earth but too many people don’t check their crap at the door and seem to be miserable. Why bother coming here if you are bummed out and want to let everyone know you are bummed out. Everyone has stress in their lives by I try to leave mine at home when I am on vacation, especially when I have limited time to spend with my son. I may get the occasional crappy email or voice mail about work, but I deal with it absorb my few moments of frustration and them continue to have a great time. The kids will be gone soon so I need to enjoy these events as much as I can while I can.
We went back to the hotel the get cleaned up for our final dinner of the vacation. California Grill is one of my favorite restaurants on property followed by Artists Point in the Wilderness Lodge and then probably Citricos in the Grand Floridian. Citricos was the first place my wife and I ever tried fried alligator which they unfortunately don’t serve anymore. We chose California Grill as the last meal because in addition to the exceptional food and the view of the Magic Kingdom fire works every night, it is on top of the Contemporary hotel right next to where we would spend our last night.
Our reservation was for 7:45 so we could catch the fireworks but as is sometimes the case, the earlier reservations hang around longer than they should so they can catch the fireworks. This put every later reservation behind by about 20 minutes, including us. Instead of worrying about it, we went out on the observation deck which has a fantastic view of the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed the fireworks. The music from the parks is piped into speakers in the restaurant and on the deck so you get the full experience as if you were in the park. The only difference is the fireworks are at a different angle so many of them look like them are over Space Mountain instead of the castle.
We enjoyed our final Disney dinner together and even received a little surprise decoration on the Chocolate Crème Brule that we ordered. It is Matt’s Birthday this month so he was wearing his ‘It’s My Birthday’ pin around the parks and our waiter noticed it and added the chocolate marker in the above photo. I would recommend if you are celebrating anything when you go down to Disney, be it Anniversary, Birthday, Wedding, 1st Visit or whatever, go to Guest Services when you get to the park and they will give you a pin for the occasion. It is nice to be recognized by the cast members and sometimes other guests as well.
After dinner we went back to the hotel and up to the lounge for a final drink (few drinks). Matt and I wanted to play some cards but did not bring a deck with us and found that they did not have one to use, but did have a bunch of board games that we could use. I had never played Jenga before so we chose that and I proceeded to beat the ‘Jenga Master’ or so I was warned.
Tomorrow is the saddest day of all the day we leave Disney….until the next visit.