So, yeah, if you haven’t realized this by now, we’re not really morning people if we can help it. Another beautiful day, one which we slept through until 10am. After Mickey waffles, hot chocolate/coffee mix and showers, we departed for Downtown Disney around noon. The first item on our agenda was a stop at the Days of Christmas store to buy a Toy Story Christmas ornament, and then we visited the Pin Traders for some pins, Basin for a free hand treatment and the purchase of some soap to take home, and World of Disney to purchase a Stitch magnet for our fridge, and some chocolate coconut Mickey candies to bring back to my office. Our shopping trip complete, we decided to wait for a bus to Port Orleans to transfer over to Epcot, but a crazy yelling mom at the bus stop made us feel so uncomfortable we decided to walk over to Saratoga Springs instead. We got lucky and quickly caught an Epcot bus at the Congress Park stop, and soon we were at Epcot.
Our first stop was Club Cool to see if I could finally get my hands on some Mezzo Mix, which luckily was readily available this day. Twenty or so tiny cups later, and feeling like maybe we hadn’t enjoyed Test Track the first thirty times we’d ridden it this trip, we headed there to scope out the single rider line, which at 20 minutes was too long for our taste. We instead took another bathroom break at the Odyssey building, and headed to La Cantina de San Angel, the new quick-service restaurant in Mexico to have some chips and guacamole and margaritas while sitting on the water.
We then walked through the World Showcase crowds to the department store in Japan, which reeked of oysters and incense, not my favorite combination. As on our last two trips, we stocked up on souvenirs here, including Totoro pencils for CP, and beautiful sushi and sauce dishes that we use in our kitchen almost every day for prep work.
Around this time CP starts mentioning that she feels a little sick to her stomach. Thinking it’s the odor in the Mitsukoshi store, we head out into the daylight, hoping some fresh air will do her good. It doesn’t. We then decide to take the boat across the lagoon and back to the hotel, but at this point I start getting a little snippy – it’s at this moment I realize how we haven’t been seeing the parks in any systematic way, and it seems like we’re always coming and going on the buses and not really taking full advantage of our time, 10 days here or not. I admit, this isn’t my most sensitive moment. We then come to a compromise decision, which is that perhaps CP would feel better with some real food, and if not, we’ll leave after that. So, we head back to Morocco, and pick up some falafel pitas and iced mint tea. CP does feel better, but I’ve come around to being a supportive person again, so we head out to the buses and back to the hotel to rest.
Once back at AKL we take a whirlwind tour of the public animal viewing areas, visiting the animals by the Uzima pool, and then the balcony off the sunset lounge in the lobby, and finally at Arusha Rock. Late afternoon most of the animals are out eating their dinner, and it was very peaceful to stroll and watch the animals. I should mention that unless you’re planning to spend many hours a day in your hotel room, you really needn’t book a savannah view room at AKL unless you have some money burning a hole in your pocket. Between the outdoor viewing areas and the glass-walled hallways that face the savannas, you can really see quite a bit in the hotel’s public areas.
After our savanna strolling we head back to our room, suddenly feeling very depressed that it’s our last full day in Disney and that tomorrow we…go home. Around 6pm we head back to the bus and to the Studios, where a lovely Cast Member at the entrance offers us two Fast Passes to Rock n’ Roller Coaster, which we decline, since we have a mission in mind. We determinedly walk toward Pixar Place, sending good thoughts that the line will be short. It’s….90 minutes. Thinking Disney Math™ is at work here, we decide to brave the line, and luck out that we are surrounded by nice families in line. Not that we’ve ever really stood in line with mean families, but there was significantly less kicking, squirming, and squawking than normal. While waiting we spread the gospel of Lines, and in about 65 minutes (sigh, better than 90, right?) we were aboard. The ride was AMAZING, especially on our last night, so buoyed we head to the front of the Studios, take some pictures, and then get in the bus line to the TTC. It’s our last night and we are making the most of it.
While waiting we spy a bus to the Contemporary, so we jump on that instead, and then make the quick walk from there to the Magic Kingdom. Once inside, we search high and low for a Mickey head ice cream bar -CP’s favorite WDW treat – which we just can’t find. We check Main Street, Adventureland, and nothing. Defeated, we enjoy our own row on Pirates of the Caribbean, which at this time of night was an easy walk-on. Afterward we finally find a Mickey bar in Frontierland, so CP eats that while I munch on some popcorn as we sit in Liberty Square and watch the people passing by. After one final ride on the Haunted Mansion, we depart through Fantasyland toward Tomorrowland, hoping for a short Space Mountain line. The line is abysmal – if I remember correctly the ride might have been shut down – so we give up, walk down a crazy Main Street and into the Emporium, where we buy a few last minute souvenirs, including the cuddliest Pluto you’ll ever find.
Once through the turnstiles I turn around to view the train station and the castle in the distance, and I’d be lying if I said a few tears didn’t escape my eyes. This, we realize, is our place. The Magic Kingdom is symbolic of every reason we love coming to Disney. We sit in somber silence on our bus ride back, browse the Zawati Marketplace and refill our mugs before packing and going to sleep, our last night in the most magical place.