Our last full day at Disney had us visiting the Magic Kingdom one last time to ride the rides in Tomorrowland we hadn’t gotten to or wanted to repeat. Grabbing a FASTPASS for Space Mountain was our number one priority before heading off to wait in line for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (also a FASTPASS ride, but we had already used ours for Space Mountain).
The line was relatively short and blasting at Zurg Z’s released a lot of tension. Fortunately, by the time we exited, we were eligible for another FASTPASS and picked up a Buzz Lightyear one to use later in the day.
After lunch, the kids made their way to Space Mountain, but I chose to watch Carousel of Progress – an interesting show, but not a top attraction. Then another ride on Buzz and we were done for the day and oh, so desperate to relax poolside at our hotel.
Eating snacks instead of a huge dinner, we made our way over to the Beach Club Marina near nightfall for an extra-special treat I had arranged – an Illuminations cruise to watch the fireworks at Epcot. This special extra is difficult to get – call 90 days before on the day you want the cruise, not to mention pricy – around $320, but wow! is it worth it.
About an hour before the fireworks in Epcot begin, you board your boat (up to a maximum of 10 guests) and putter out onto Crescent Lake. The guide takes you over to Disney’s MGM, where you can see some of the Fantasmic lights and then around back near Disney’s Boardwalk. Finally, you pass along the river that feeds the World Showcase Lagoon and stop just past the bridge linking France and the United Kingdom.
As you wait for the fireworks to begin, more snacks and drinks are available to munch on. The crowd in Epcot thickens and then boom! The fireworks begin.
The view is unbelievable and you are so close, gunpowder coats you. Best of all, when the show is over, your guide turns your boat around and you exit the same way you came, leisurely avoiding the hordes of people trying to exit Epcot.
It’s an amazing experience and one that I heartily recommend.
Last, but not least, on the morning of our final day, I arranged a special ‘something’ for my guys before we had to leave for the airport.
There are a ton of activities available for children, but my guys weren’t too concerned about character breakfasts and they certainly didn’t like princesses. What did they (and still do) like?
So with a mother’s careful planning, I arranged for them to have a kids-only pirate cruise the morning we left. The cruise (around $31 per child) leaves from the Grand Floridian and journeys around the Seven Seas Lagoon, stopping at the Polynesian Resort and another spot to search for treasure.
All the kids get little pirate bandanas (with mouse ears attached, of course) and are chaperoned by several adult ‘pirates’ for the two hour cruise. The kids came back loaded with pirate booty – candy, fake dubloons, and various other goodies.
Oh and did I also mention they came back with smiles a mile wide?
Book around 180 days in advance for this one and your kids will sing your praises.
And with such a fantastic send-off, there were hardly any tears when we left to fly back home. In fact, the only tears were from Mommy, who when she returned home realized she had erased ALL of her pictures from the first five days of the trip!!!!
Moral of the story?
Never, ever buy a new camera right before you go on a vacation and if you do, get LOTS of info on how it works!
Next up: Back on track with the 500 List: Boston