October 9, 2015-The Long Way to and from Disney (Day 10)

Last Day of Magic for Awhile

The alarm went off early this morning since we wanted to have time to get the house back in order and arrive at the park on time.  I started taking sheets off of the beds while Robby was getting ready.  Of course that meant I had to pull the sheets out from under the kids.  The boys were the first ones really awake and bounded downstairs-I believe they were afraid that Nonna and Pops were going to leave before they woke up.

 We had done quite a bit of packing last night but it is amazing how quickly you can load back up-it helped quite a bit that Pops was there making our lunches and talking out the trash.  Have a few extra hands on a trip helps quite a bit.

 We were loading up the car by 8 and pulled out right after that.  Nonna and Pops left moments before we did.  They started home and we started off for one more day at the park. 

 Our hotel tonight was about two hours away so we knew we would probably stay at the park most of the day since we can’t arrive at the hotel too early (really, what do you do at a hotel before 7 with 6 kids?) 

 It was a short drive to the park and after parking we headed to the monorail.  But the monorail was down so it was to the boat (again, my preferred method of crossing the seven seas lagoon.)

 We were still on the boat when they opened the park so we were a bit later than we had wanted but just by minutes.  The kids have the hang of things and wanted to know what we were rushing to this morning.  Today’s first choice was Thunder Mountain. 

 I do believe that this is the first day that we truly have the parent-child switch down.  If we would take Whitman up to the ride then they would give the non riding parent a pass to come back later with 2 guests.  So we used that to the max today-at one point, Robby had a pocket full of those passes for us to use during the day.

 So Thunder Mountain was first and then Splash Mountain and then right back to Thunder Mountain.  My Whitman wasn’t able to ride any of these rides but that didn’t really bother him since he is still eating craisins from Epcot. 

 From that area of the park, we hightailed it all the way across Magic Kingdom to the other side.  It was Space Mountain then except for Whitman and Keaton.  That was fine with them because we rode the people mover and finished the same time as the roller coaster riders.

 We had two extra passes for Space Mountain so I went on it with Reagan.  Later during the day, Reagan left her sunglasses on that silly ride-she didn’t remember until hours later when we were walking out of the park.  I told her that we would pick some up before we made it home.

 The others had lined up to see Buzz when we exited the ride so we ran to meet them.  I had been concerned about Whitman and the characters but he loved every single one of them and would have happily walked off with any of them. 

 Graham was excited with our next stop-Stitch.  It was fine and a bit more exciting this time because Keaton and Campbell were with us so that made things interesting-they survived the mildly scary show.

 Next up was a walk down Main Street to see Mickey.  I had told Reagan that this Mickey was different and she kept asking why.  I told her that she would be able to tell quickly.  Once we walked inside, Mickey came towards us and started talking.  Everyone was all smiles talking to him and Whitman was probably the most impressed.  When we walked out, Anderson said “a talking Mickey, that was awkward!”

 Reagan still had her spending money to spend so her and I ran into the store while the others looked for a snack.  She quickly picked out a Disney case for her kindle and I found an ornament for our tree.  Then most of our time was spent looking for Whitman a souvenir.  Heavens knows that we do not need another stuffed animal but guess what we bought him?  A stuffed animal.  He seemed to really love hugging Sully so that is what he got!

 Meanwhile, Robby had the others and was looking for cinnamon rolls.  He wasn’t able to find them but he did find some ice cream.  Reagan and I made it back in time to finish of their ice cream and then we all had lunch.  While we were eating, a cast member said that she had 5 kids and now had 22 grandchildren and she brings them all to Disney.  We told her that we could not wait!  This immediately became the kids math lesson for the day-figuring out how many grand kids we would have if everyone had 6 kids.

 As soon as we ate the last bite of lunch, we loaded up and headed to the Monsters Inc show.  It was fine but poor Whitman was a bit scared during the comedy show!  Afterwards, we saw a parade pass down Main Street and walked to the Swiss Family Robinson tree house.  Robby said that he had not walked through that in years.  The rest of us did it last Disney trip but now we all need to go back and watch the movie again. 

 We had a few minutes until our fast passes were due so we found a shady spot and hung out drinking lemonade icees.  Robby didn’t have to pay for parking yesterday since we entered the park for the homeschool thing so he spent all of his parking money on snacks today (he actually spent all of his parking money a few times on snacks today.) 

 Our next passes were the Aladdin magic carpets.  It has taken us this long to really get the hang of the parent/child switch and to fully use the fast pass system.  Robby didn’t know that he could get more after his were used until just the other day-today we used it to the max as well (though he still couldn’t get us one last Buzz ride!)

 Another round of Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain for most of us while Whitman had a nap. Robby then bought a snack of quesadillas for the kids and a rice bowl for us while we ate and Whitman continued his nap.  Pecos Bill is my favorite restaurant (but we really didn't eat at many Disney restaurants this trip.)

 Next up was running to beat the parade so we could cross to get to Small World.  I told the kids that dashing down the street and then hurrying across the walkway to beat the parade was some of the most fun I had! 

 We were able to get back to the right side of the street and hopped on Small World.  It was going splendidly until we stopped-like for a good 5 minutes we didn’t move at all.  I believe that Disney has once been sued for mental duress because someone was trapped on that ride-I can understand why!  No, not really.  I soaked it all in and loved it almost as much as Whitman (he could have sat there forever!)

 We were then able to find those cinnamon roll that Robby was looking for earlier.  They were at Gaston’s Tavern and they were huge and delicious.  The kids waited in line to see Gaston and afterwards, we had those scrumptious cinnamon rolls-Graham even asked if I could get the recipe.

 Robby told Anderson that if the line to drive on the Speedway was less than 20 minutes we would do it and luckily for Anderson it was.  The sign said 20 minutes but we really walked right on the ride.  Everyone was happy about this bonus ride of the day.  Some years we haven’t even been able to ride in those because of the lines-twice this year though we have driven around the track. 

 Next up were the tea cups and Reagan, Anderson and Graham were able to ride twice since Keaton, Whitman, Campbell and I were separated from them on the rides.  Graham was none too pleased about all of the spinning that they did! 

 The kids knew that Space Mountain would be the last stop of the day and it was.  For Keaton and Whitman there last ride was the people mover.  Everyone was pleased and the weather had cooled off some so it wasn’t as hot as we walked toward the castle for one last picture.

 We were able to trade pins a few times while Graham, Robby and Whitman watched a parade go by.  Then it was on the monorail and to the car.  The kids were a bit bummed about leaving the most magical place on earth.  But learning that we were not going to go straight home cheered them all up.  

 As we left the park this afternoon, I asked everyone what their favorite part of Disney was.  Here were the answers: Robby said that his favorite was Thunder Mountain and Everest.  I really enjoyed the Frozen Sing Along.  Reagan said that today, our crazy busy last day, was her favorite.  Anderson said that the Thunder Mountain Railroad was his favorite.  Graham answered with his church answer of “spending time with his family” was the best part of his trip.  I pressed him and he finally answered that riding Rockin Roller Coaster for the first time was exciting.  Campbell loved Space Mountain and that is also what Keaton said even though she didn’t ride it.  I believe that she meant Splash Mountain.  I would have assumed that Whitman’s favorite was Small World but when I asked him at bedtime, he said “carousel.” 

 When we filled up with gas, Robby ran in to grab supper-hot dogs.  The kids all ate while they watched a movie and we went on down the road.  Keaton was quickly asleep-even though she rode on the stroller most of the time, she still probably walked a zillion steps on her little feet. 

 The quickest route home is not the direction that we are headed.  Since Monday is a holiday and since the kids teacher is giving them another day off of school, we are headed to St. Augustine for a day before heading home. 

 We are at Makai Beach Lodge near St. Augustine tonight.  Doesn’t the name sound fancy?  When Robby told the kids where we were staying, Reagan ooohed when she heard the word “lodge.”  Later she told Robby that she liked hotels better than motels.  This place is an older hotel but it is right on the beach.  We even have 2 rooms-let that give you an idea of the price range of this place. 

 I am kidding.  It is perfectly adequate yet just older.  We were going to have a 2 bedroom suite but ended up with 2 adjoining rooms that are connected by a kitchenette.  We even ended up with a beach front room.  After unloading, Robby called the kids outside to hear the waves rolling in.  They ran to the balcony like they had never heard that sound before.  I had to explain that the waves were not going to stop. 

I believe that this is Whitman’s first time to see the Atlantic Ocean.  So that will be a new adventure in the morning.  Our day is already filling up-breakfast, beach, a fort or two, St. Augustine, back to the beach and maybe a few stores in between.

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