Let’s start with the end: The last day of this trip turned out to be incredible! From beginning to end it was filled with fun and laughs. As with most of the previous days in the trip there was also a lot of hustling around the parks.
Maddy and I woke up extra early to get to Magic Kingdom. We were on the bus at 7:12am and dropped of at the Magic Kingdom bus station exactly 20 minutes later. This was the earliest I have ever arrived at a park. We had almost 90 minutes before the park would open. In fact, we were so early the gates weren’t even open yet for general guests, however, those with early dining reservations were being let in at a designated entrance. Around 7:45am we were allowed to scan in to enter the park. We had the opportunity to take pictures in front of the train station, and looking down Main Street. It was one of the most magical times on Main Street with so few people entering that early.
After our picture taking we grabbed breakfast at Starbucks and were surprised to see the Main Street Trolley Show spreading Christmas cheer bright and early!
The show distracted us from watching the time, but we made back to the Train Station to meet with the rest of our agency for some group photos before we enjoyed the Welcome Show.
Now it was time for fun in our small teams. The plan for the day is to do things we’ve never done before. It’s a totally different experience to be able to tour the park with a group of adults. To do it while seeing them enjoy experiences for the first time was a special treat. We rode Buzz Light Year Space Ranger Spin and the Peoplemover before meeting Alice, trying a cinnamon roll from Gaston’s (no cinnamon for me!), and then meeting Gaston! He arrived right at 10am.
We checked out Memento Mori Gift Shop, one I’d never stopped in before, rode on the Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad before taking a short break to see the Baby Care Center. I remembered knowing about the Baby Care Centers during my first visit, but never actually being near one to use it so we made due wherever we were at. These really do have everything you need. You’ll find more about the Baby Care Center on the Royal Treatment Travel Blog. Many of us also hadn’t taken a picture with the famous Purple Wall.
Our morning of trying new things was winding down. We watched a few minutes of the Move It, Shake It, MousekeDance It Parade, did a little shopping, missed meeting Mary Poppins, and snapped a few more PhotoPass pictures.
Our last stop was meant to be the Jingle Cruise, the holiday version of the Jungle Cruise, but the wait was just too long. So we reconvened with the entire group to catch up over lunch at Pecos Bills. We enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch and shared laughs each team had throughout the day.
Following lunch, everyone had some different plans. I intended to leave the park and head back to the resort, but the timing ended better to catch a fantastic front row viewing of the Festival of Fantasy Parade. We watched the parade as a family in 2016 during our first visit, and got stuck on a pathway behind a mob of people as it was passing through Frontierland in 2018. I don’t really count that as seeing much. The kids spend most of the time we were “stuck” yelling how they couldn’t see anything. I grab myself a spot next to a trash can. Yes, that’s right, a trash can. That ensured no one was in front of me and also gave me a space to rest a camera while live-streaming the full parade.
I also had another camera to take some really great still images without obstructions!
Park Hopping to Hollywood Studios
By this time, I decided I was going to go head straight to Hollywood Studios where I would be meeting with most of the again a little later. When I got to the bus line for Hollywood Studios it was insanely long. So long it was overflowing out of the queue. I waited in it briefly while chatting to my husband on the phone. I told him I saw a resort bus arriving and I was going to skip the park bus and take two to get there instead. I ended the call and a family in line asked if they could follow me. I had no issues with that. I explained that it may not necessarily be fast, but it would certainly be less crowded.
The bus that was arriving was traveling to Port Orleans Riverside. I chatted with the family and learned they were on their first trip. They were a bit overwhelmed. Their 2-year-old son was hungry. Very hungry. We looked up mobile-ordering while on the bus to the resort so they could get him food as soon as they arrived at the park. As we finished mobile-ordering it was time to jump off the bus at Riverside. Less than 5 minutes later a bus was arriving to take us to Hollywood Studios. There was plenty of seats available on this bus. The mom seemed to appreciate having a seat on both rides. Soon we were at Hollywood Studios. I provided her with directions to her dining location and wished her family a magical end to their vacation. Then I dashed into my second favorite park.
This was a pretty cold Saturday in November, but the park was very crowded. An event, known as Dapper Day was going on in the park. Many people participate by heading to the parks in the fanciest and most refined outfits. There was no way with the cold weather I was getting dressed up. It was actually warmer back home in Ohio than it was in Florida. To make matters worse you can see in most of the pictures it was pretty cloudy all day and it was very windy. (Around 4pm I text my husband that the “feels like” temperature was 53°, by the end of the evening it had dropped to 45°.)
Like the little boy on the bus, I was also starving. I had only snacked at lunch time, so I went to get my own mobile order. I have a tendency to eat at the same locations. On this trip I made it a point to order from Backlot Express instead of ABC Commissary. I warmed up at a table tucked far back in the restaurant while checking the app for wait times. The crowds made most of the wait times too high for me to want to spend time in line. I decided that I’d just walk around and take some photos.
While doing that some agents on our team went live on Facebook so I met up with them, we grabbed some hot chocolate and walked around the park a bit more. I ran into Hayley again and another friend from social media, Julie, and we chatted for a short time.
More of our group started arriving at the park. We did one final meet up in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I decided to opt out of our FastPass+ reservations to go watch Sunset Seasons Greetings, a projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel (Tower of Terror).
Just one more thing…
I had one last thing to do before my trip ended. I hadn’t seen the famous Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I intentionally waited until the last minute though because the first connection I made after I started this blog, Jen a.k.a. DisGoals on YouTube and Instagram, was checking into the resort. We’ve been talking to each other for nearly two years by this time and it was like two old friends coming together for the first time in forever. We probably could have sat in that lobby forever chatting with one another, but her family was waiting so I didn’t monopolize her entire evening.
To get back to Coronado Springs Resort I could have called for Lyft ride, but I decided that I would ride the monorail back to Magic Kingdom and stand in the bitter cold to see Main Street again before I left. I was so happy I did. Look at this view!
It was the best decision I made. I was so happy as I looked down Main Street. I arrived a few days earlier by myself. I explored the parks, had the chance to meet so many people, and made countless memories. It was an amazing trip. I took it all in for a few more minutes, but not too long because it was seriously freezing!
I returned to my room to pack my bags. At 6:30am the next morning I was waiting for my ride to the airport.
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You are too sweet to have waited just so we could meet up there. We honestly could’ve talked for hours, haha! One of these days, we need to have our family trips align so we can hang out more. I truly appreciate your friendship.
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I can’t wait until we can spend hours chatting at a resort or around a park! 🙂