Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Last Magical Day

Sorry for the delay, folks.  I'm finally over whatever sickness it was that I had (we're thinking it was Strep, but I don't know for sure because I've never had it before), which means I've been furiously catching up with work, homework, and housework.  Doing pretty well on the first two, but our house still looks like a disaster zone.  Eh, we'll let this one go Meatloaf style (2 out of 3 ain't bad!).  

So, Friday the 9th was our last day of Disney.  We decided to try and make it as epic as humanly possible and our goal was to head to Downtown Disney for a few hours before spending the whole rest of the day at MK (minus our reservations for dinner at 'Ohana).  

Downtown Disney isn't really a park so much as it is its own little town.  There are three parts to DD, but we really only ventured through the Marketplace on this trip.  The Marketplace, as its name implies, is full of shopping.  There's a Lego store, a store dedicated to Christmas ornaments, another art store and, best of all, the World of Disney.  World of Disney is sort of like an entire mini-mall of Disney stuff.  They have clothes, toys, jewelry, kitchen stuff, food, books, movies, music...  I could go on and on.  Essentially, if you want it, they have it (with the exception of my puzzle; I'm not saying they didn't have it, necessarily, but I sure didn't find it there, and I looked HARD).  

While at Downtown Disney, my only true goal was to go to Wetzel's Pretzels.  You see, my last name is Hetzel (my married name, anyway), and I was determined to get a picture with Hubby and caption it "Hetzels Eating Wetzel's Pretzels."  Perfect, right?  The pretzels were delicious, and Bestie did snap a photo for us, though I have yet to see it.  My secondary goal was to get some good shopping in, since we were heading back to the resort before we went to MK.  

I may have gone a little nuts, but thankfully, we had saved up for this trip and Hubby is good to me. :)  I got Mickey ears that light up with fireworks, a picture frame, a Wall-E and Eve ornament (Hubby and I like to get ornaments whenever we go on a trip together; might've been inspired by Bestie and her hubby), a Cheshire Cat antennae topper, a Jungle Cruise glass and a t-shirt for hubby!  Woohoo!

While we didn't get over to Pleasure Island or West Side on this trip, it was still a successful trip.  While we waited for the bus, I asked Hubby if he had any money, as I was eying up the vending machine.  He said he only had two dollars, but that the pop cost $2.75.  It just so happened that I had grabbed 3 quarters from our change at the hotel that morning, so I figured it was fate.  I went and bought a Coke and just as I took a step away from the machine, a second Coke dropped out.  Cautiously, I grabbed the second bottle and as I walked away, a THIRD bottle dropped!  Holy cow, man!  I hit the Coke machine lottery!

Standing there with three bottles in my hands (and a confused look on my face, I'm sure), I said, "Would anyone like a Coke?"  A man in front of me shrugged and put out his hand.  He and his wife split it, and his wife was very thankful (she wanted to get something to drink before her kids insisted on sharing it).  I gave the other bottle to Bestie and C, and we all agreed that it was bound to be a good day.  

It sprinkled on us a bit at the bus stop, but eventually our bus came and whisked us away.  After a short break at the resort, it was off to MK!  The order of events is probably a bit off, but that afternoon, we did:
  • The Monsters Inc Laugh floor - Like Turtle Talk with Crush, this is an interactive attraction that's bound to entertain you, no matter what age.  
  • The People Mover - A slow, gentle ride that guides you through some of Tomorrowland.  
  • Carousel of Progress - If you're ready to just sit in the dark for a bit, this is a perfect stop.  Just be warned that you will leave with a song stuck in your head.  "There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow..."
  • Space Mountain - Only Bestie and I braved this one, but it was a blast!  I hadn't been on it since I was 17, and having Bestie giggling in the seat behind me the whole way made the ride that much better.
  • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe - A pretty fun quick service restaurant.  There are 3 "bays" to choose from; one serves primarily chicken entrees, another is strictly burgers and the last is random sandwiches.  While you eat, you're serenaded by Sonny Eclipse, an alien lounge singer that looks sort of like a dinosaur with a bad hair piece.
Eventually, it was close to dinner time, and we took the boat over to the Polynesian resort.  'Ohana was the first place we ate on our honeymoon, so it was sort of fitting that it was the last Disney dining experience we'd really have on this trip.  As we promised Bestie and C, there was food galore.  Starting with coconut-pineapple bread, the food just keeps coming every 5-10 minutes or so.  There's a salad, pot stickers, chicken wings, veggies, lo mein noodles, and eventually some of the best meat you'll ever eat.  On ginormous skewers, Cast Members bring around shrimp, pork, beef and chicken, and slide it onto your plate so you can chow down without ever getting up.  

Dessert is an amazing bread pudding with caramelized banana sauce, served a la mode, but Bestie also got us some ice cream to celebrate (C had gotten a promotion while we were on vacay, and I had joined a national honor society just before we left for FL).  By the end, we were seriously stuffed.  

We wandered down to the beach to watch Wishes from across the water, then checked out the beautiful art store at the Polynesian.  When we took the boat back to MK, we were the only 4 people aboard.  Our captain was very friendly and knowledgeable, sharing with us that Cinderella's Castle is 189 feet tall.  Why not 190?  Because air space guidelines require that you put one of those red blinky lights on structures that tall, and Walt didn't want to have that take away from the magic.  :)

On our way in, we caught the Main Street Electrical Parade, which I don't think I've ever seen before in its entirety.  After that, I know we did Splash Mountain (which was just as fun as I remembered) and one last time on the Haunted Mansion.  We also tried to hunt down some more ice cream for Bestie, but we were SOL.  Boooooo.

We said goodnight and goodbye to MK and took our last bus ride back to the resort.  Since Bestie and C were headed out earlier than Hubby and I were, we had to say goodbye before we went to our room for one last sleep at WDW.   

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