Merry Christmas Trip, day 8

This was our last day staying at Walt Disney World and it was the first cold day we’ve had. Until today, the temps have all been around 80 or above but we awoke this morning to temps in the upper 40’s going up to the upper 50’s in the afternoon.

We planned on being at the Magic Kingdom later on to celebrate the New Year with Disney’s dress rehearsal of the New Years Eve Fireworks but first, we had free passes to any one of the miniature golf courses. We chose Winterland/Summerland because of easy bus service. Plus…. we haven’t played there since 2008 I think.

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Every hole has a rhyme that gives you a hint on the best way to play it…. except this one.

The course was fun and challenging for both of us. We really enjoyed being there and it wasn’t too cold.

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Some people say I resemble Goofy… I don’t see it…. do you?

After golf we returned to the room for some lunch and I put on some long pants to prepare for the colder weather tonight.. The nice thing about driving down from western New York state was the fact we could bring our own food. We brought stuff for lunch and breakfast which allowed our money to be used for dinners on property.

We ended up at the Magic Kingdom at around 1:30 and loved being there. The park wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be…. but more crowded than we are used to in April, May or early December. The crowd grew as the day went on.

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We stopped for a photo on the way in.

As we walked around the park, there was a different feeling to it today. It seemed even more festive than it was Christmas day. People were smiling all around us. We were able to do so many things today, it all seemed like a blur. Or is it because I’m getting older and have lost my memory. My wife would argue that point!

We went to the Hall of Presidents and really enjoyed that show like we always do. I think it should be mandatory for any American family visiting Walt Disney World just for the historical value alone….. along with the American Adventure in Epcot.

We rode on the Liberty Bell River Boat for the first time in years. as well as Small World one more time. I still have that song going through my head…… and if you are reading this….. you do too.

We decided we needed something to eat and we’ve always loved Pecos Bills until they changed the menu. I still do not understand why they did that as the place was always packed. But Patti wanted to go there so I spoiled her once again. I had the Southwest Burger which was just okay…. nothing special. Patti did enjoy whatever Mexican food she had though.

We walked out to the hub to get in position to watch the first fireworks show. There were a lot of people already in place but we found an opening on Main Street between Casey’s and the Plaza Ice cream Shop. When the fireworks started, kids started appearing on the shoulders of adults in front of us. Now….. I’m the first person to admit that Walt Disney World is for kids but to me this is not acceptable.

I saw an opening in front of one of the people doing this and Patti and I moved over to it. The little girls mother groaned when we got in front of them but I’d rather see fireworks than some kids butt!

We loved the fireworks show but it was nothing compared to what we saw later when Disney performed Fantasy in the Sky, the New Years Eve fireworks display!

As it ended, we watched people leaving the park in droves. We stood in amazement as they left. Hundreds…. even thousands of people left the park at 9:00pm thinking the park was closing. We laughed but it was to our advantage.

We stopped for some photo pass pictures…… lots of smooching!

We rode the Little Mermaid  ride……

 

and then took a spin on the Carousel. I met some real nice people on the Carousel and asked if it was okay to video them with us and they said sure. I told them about our Facebook group, We’re Going to Disney World and I smiled later on when I approved their membership.

We headed to Fantasy Land and got in line for Pirates. It said 30 minute wait and that’s about my limit before getting into the standby line but it shut down the day we had a fast pass for it.

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It took more than that…. maybe 45 minutes to an hour but one experience made it worth waiting.

I was wearing my Veterans hooded sweatshirt and cap to the park because it was pretty chilly and a young man who was about 100 people in front of us took the time to fight his way back to shake my hand and thank me for my service. This meant the world to me.

I am a Vietnam era vet from the USAF, 1969-1973 and Vets from that era had never been recognized for our contribution to our country until after the attack on 9/11.  I always thank any vet I see. In fact, Patti and I watched the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks at midnight with two USN vets, served in Afghanistan (husband and wife) after I thanked them for their service.

We loitered around the Magic Kingdom until around 11:45pm and once again made our way to Main Street and then found a spot near the old fast pass area for Wishes. We met the couple I was talking about earlier.

We’ve seen all kinds of fireworks display in our lifetime but the Fantasy in the Sky left my wife and I speechless as well as everybody around us! I saw many people with their jaw dropped in amazement as well as myself! I took some pictures but they do not do them justice at all. Fireworks were exploding 360 degrees around the Magic Kingdom!

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As the show ended we said our goodbyes to the couple and we just fond a good place to sit and watch the crowd leave. When it had cleared out a little, we walked into Tomorrow Land and rode the People Mover. It was then time to say goodbye to the Magic Kingdom until out next trip in the middle of May. 2017.

We walked out and made our way to the bus and the crowds were gone. It was just about 20 other people returning to Coronado Springs.

When we got back to our room and found a little gift from our Mousekeeper, Lillian on our bed!

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Then we started packing up some things for our checkout in the morning. We were tempted to extend our stay one more night but we didn’t want to risk getting stuck on the road while driving back to Western New York. We finally gave up and fell asleep with lots of great memories made during our stay from Christmas Eve to New Years Eve!

Patti took the our decorations off the window and our door. Window clings are the way to go!

Tomorrow….. we will check out… and start our 1,265 mile journey back home.

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