ICYMI: Day 1 Recap
ICYMI: Day 2 Recap
ICYMI: Day 3 Recap
ICYMI: Day 4 Recap
Our last park day. Single tear. Where did the time go? Each day flew by and we packed so much that we couldn’t believe it was here. We hit up the Pop Century food court for breakfast again (bounty breakfast for all) before loading up the bus for the Magic Kingdom at 7. There was a lot of activity early this morning at our resort. Many were headed to the Magic Kingdom for extra magic hours (park opened at 8) as this was one of the busiest bus rides we had experienced so far. We left the hotel around 7. After security check and the park gate, we headed down Main Street USA again for the last time (still crying inside). Our only plans for the day were to hit up the Crystal Palace for a brunch at 10:45. We weren’t totally sure what we were doing in the evening yet. Our tentative plan was to keep the boys up for a late-night to experience the fireworks.
Magic Kingdom had become our go-to park for the week. We were traveling with an 11-month-old and a 2-year-old, so Mine Train was out for us. Nevertheless, we joined the huge group of people waiting for rope drop that was headed that way. We were planning on heading to Dumbo. Right before rope drop, a cast member had to announce to this mob that Mine Train was closed, which lead to a mass exodus to head to Adventureland for Splash and Big Thunder Mountains. That poor cast member. We slowly made our way back to Dumbo (cast members walked the crowd so there was little trampling of people).
There was nobody at Dumbo. It was glorious. We rode Dumbo 4 times with no waiting (and probably could have ridden 10 times). My toddler still talks about Dumbo in real life as one of his favorite rides. The Barnstormer was also broken down that morning (another poor cast member had to spread the news) and that seemed to be the theme of the day. My Disney Experience showed us that several rides were broken down already. We made our way from ride to ride, stopping at some of our favorites on the way, Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh, Small World. We decided to walk and check out Frontierland.
As we were walking we noticed several rides still down or broken down, including the Haunted Mansion and Mine Train (still feel terrible over here for all those cast members that have to pass on the bad news), and my 11-month-old fell asleep in the stroller along the way. Frontierland was a great place to explore. We were hoping to check out Tom Sawyer Island (see our post about 10 great leisure activities to do in the Magic Kingdom), but it was closed. We ducked into the Frontier Trading Post to cool down for a bit as it was so humid the clouds were sweating today. They had a huge selection of just about every pin you could think of here. We continued walking down by the dock and took in some great views of the Liberty Belle Steamboat. As we were walking, we caught some great looks of Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. My toddler totally surprised both of us by saying that he wanted to go on Splash Mountain. Unfortunately for us, it was also broken down. I think he totally would have gone on it which is HUGE for him. That never would have happened before the trip. I think a lot of it had to do with the way we introduced rides. That was another one of my favorite moments on the trip. My son grew so much in that week and really stretched himself. Thanks, Disney. Guess we have to go back again…
It was almost time for our dining reservation at Crystal Palace. We made our way through Adventureland back to the Palace. We checked in just in time for another torrential downpour. After a brief wait, our name was announced and we got to head inside. Crystal Palace was great (full review coming soon). We had kind of a funny timing situation where we were seated at the table Piglet just finished visiting (Piglet was literally standing right next to us) and Piglet was the last character in the character line visiting tables. Crystal Palace is divided into two dining sections and the characters were headed to the other side. We had to wait a little bit longer to see the characters because of this, but both our waiter and the cast members were amazing at making sure we got time with all of the characters. This was the BEST character interaction our boys had the whole trip. Our favorite memory is the boys hugging Piglet. Also, we enjoyed the food here as well. Get the deep-fried cinnamon french toast…you won’t regret it (although your stomach might HAHA). We also were able to experience both breakfast and lunch here, which was pretty cool.
After lunch, our boys were looking and acting super sleepy, so we decided to say goodbye to the Kingdom, and head for the buses. We decided that we were going to try to make it a late night, and new that a nap would be critical for success.
We discussed and debated about what we wanted to do that evening. On the one hand, we were both looking forward to seeing the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, my toddler informed me he wanted nothing to do with the fireworks (not a huge fan of loud noises). We decided to make a pinch decision to head to Animal Kingdom and check out Pandora at night. I hopped on the My Disney Experience App and made some Fastpass reservations. One for Lion King show redemption (our first show was canceled due to technical difficulties) and one for Kilimanjaro Safaris. After nap time, we loaded up and boarded the bus to Animal Kingdom. There was one tiny thing we didn’t plan for….a monsoon.
Well, not technically, just an onslaught of rain all evening. The rain started sprinkling after we made it through security (see our dad hack post on protecting your stroller here). By the time we made it to Harambe and the Lion King gate it was a downpour. We figured we would just watch the show and then it’d be done like it was the rest of the week. Nope.
The Festival of the Lion King was INCREDIBLE. We weren’t sure how our boys were going to do, so we asked a cast member if we could sit on the end of a row by an exit. We had nothing to worry about. The boys were laughing and dancing the entire show. What an epic performance. We headed right for Kilimanjaro Safaris after, ducked into a few shops on the way to stay out of the rain, snagged some photopass photos in the rain, and ended up not needing a FastPass because the rain had thinned out the crowds. We walked right on.
If you ever get the chance to do Kilimanjaro Safari in the rain, you HAVE TO DO IT. This was so cool. It had a completely different feel than our previous trip. Being immersed in the jungle in the rain felt like a scene ripped right out of Jurassic Park. It was incredible, and everything felt so alive and had this foreboding sense of mystery. For example, all of the safari vehicles had to stop and wait for a herd of wildebeest to pass through the road. A group of giraffes were hiding and playing in the trees for shelter. The hippos were messing around in the rain. It was a totally unique and interesting way to ride. It felt like there were elements to explore around every corner. Because the safari vehicles were covered we didn’t even get wet in the middle of a downpour.
The rain was dragging on and on. There seemed to be no end in sight. We decided it was time to get out of the wet and eat some dinner. I had Flame Tree BBQ on my bucket list, mostly because I love the meats and because it is a great counter service value. I used mobile order to order two meat samplers (ribs, pulled pork, chicken, beans, and coleslaw), and an order of baked mac and cheese and pulled pork for my kids. I also ordered some Mandarin Orange Vodka Lemonade for my wife and me (spoiler alert: it was delicious). The meat sampler was ridiculously good. If you are a carnivore, you have to get it. Also unexpectedly awesome was the baked mac and cheese. We may have shared a little bit with our boys. We ate under a huge canopy which protected us from the endless rain. Full review of Flame Tree will be coming shortly, but needless to say, if you like food they have all the meats. Highly recommended.
At this point we made a tough decision. Both boys were sick of being drenched and wet and were at their breaking point. After a lot of thinking, we decided to skip Pandora at night, head to a dry gift shop, and then head back. Both boys were on the verge of huge meltdowns and just wanted to be dry. Our toddler picked out a Pluto stuffed animal and we grabbed a Kevin stuffed animal for our baby. We wrapped them in the plastic bag, and booked it for the buses. Looking back, it was totally the right call even though it was a difficult decision at the time. It was another full, amazing, wet day at Disney World, and sadly, our last park day.
What do you think? How did we do? Let us know below. How do you spend your last park day?