Part 2 is located HERE.
The parade still hasn't made its way over to the end yet, so we sneak through and find ourselves back in Adventureland. We hit the bathroom by Aloha Isle. As we walk out, SNAP there's the first float in Spectro. The timing was seriously scary. We seriously walked up to the street about 20 seconds before the float passes us.
We watch Spectro for about 10 minutes and then decide to start making our way to Main Street USA for Wishes. We pick a spot just before the hub…a little farther back than we were on Day 2. I am dying of thirst, so I tell Sheri I'm gonna head over to the snack cart and get a water. Sheri grows roots and doesn't move, while I get in line.
When I get to be about 3rd from the front, I notice that the guy currently ordering was wearing a disneyworldtrivia.com shirt. Hmmm, I thought to myself…must be a big fan of Lou Mongello (author of the Disney Trivia books, podcaster, and speaker at some of the larger meets like Mousefest and Magicmeets/PA Dismeets). The more I looked at him, though, the more I started thinking that his build was close to what Mongello's was from pictures I've seen. Those who know him know exactly what I mean.
The minute I heard him say "thanks," I knew it was him.
I call out his name, and he almost throws his popcorn in the air. I think I startled him, considering he jumped about 4 feet. In an e-mail afterwards, he just said he wasn't expecting to hear his name being called from the millions of people around. He stays near the snack cart while I'm still in line, and we talk for a few minutes. He was on a research trip (he says he has to laugh every time he says that…research at WDW…tough job!). I told him that I listened to the old Mousetunes podcast and have heard his new one (WDWRadio), and I thanked him for doing the stuff he did with the books and the podcasting. He asks where I'm from, what I do, why I'm down here, etc, and we shoot the breeze for about 4-5 minutes. After I got the water, we shake hands, and then I head back to find wifey in the sea of bodies. I tell her who I met in line, and she recognized his name because she was bidding on his book on e-bay. In his May 27th show, he actually mentioned our chance meeting about 54 minutes into Episode 16. After Millionaire, I'll consider this my fifteen minutes of fame (10.6 million viewers and $16,000 has a tendency to trump anything). His podcasts are often long (a running joke between WDW Today and WDW Radio), but he gets amazing guests on there and provides a LOT of information on them.
Oh, and Sheri ultimately did win one of his trivia books on e-bay. She's tried winning a signed copy of the Volume 2 a couple of times but hasn't had luck.
Wishes was as it always is. My favorite parts are the red shells popping up one at a time during the Fantasia music, the "Genie" shells during the Aladdin music, and pretty much every time they fire off the white side ones. It's a great way to mark the end of a vacation.
After Wishes ends, we head off the street to the side and let the mobs clear out a little. As we're people-watching and looking around, I notice an interesting thing here…I actually recognize some of the folks from our resort as well as from seeing them in other parts of the MK and other parks. I definitely like this way of visiting the parks – taking the time actually experience Walt Disney World, rather than just "going there." With this trip, I'm loving the parks even more. I don't feel like we have to ride all the rides…we're hooked, and we know we'll be back again real soon. It's only my third time here (Sheri's fourth, though the other time was just a one or two day trip with her aunt/uncle), but the real magic of the place has found me…not just the excitement of the rides or seeing the characters. I'm working on a blog entry to answer those who wonder why we love the place so much.
After about 10-15 minutes of waiting back, we make our way out to the bus stops. Yeah, there's a line, but it's expected. Besides, the weather is perfect, the ducks aren't assaulting us (we got a restraining order against them), the scenery is great all around Seven Seas Lagoon, the Contemp is all lit up, folks relaxing on their balconies, etc. We talk to a really nice family from Colorado waiting just behind us. They tell us that they got an awesome dream at Blizzard Beach earlier in the day. As they were getting ready to leave, the team stopped them and told them that they were selected to stay in the park for about an hour or so after it closed. Only about 100-125 got this, so they pretty much had the park to themselves with no wait on any of the slides.
We get to the Pop after our next-to-last bus ride (M.E. to the airport) and head into the gift shop. We buy 2 more glasses like what Pat put into our basket (and a carrying container) and head into the food court. In there we pick up a half-dozen items for a friend who needs a Disney fix (hope you liked the Mickey Rice Krispy treats, Tricia!). We pay for it and make our way outside. Unlike our stay at the All-Star Movies, where we explored that hotel like crazy, we haven't walked around much at all. We walked around a little and saw Mowgli/Baloo and the giant Play-Doh. We head back to our room and pop our champagne. Sheri finishes up a little packing, and we toast ourselves to a most excellent trip. The alarm is set for 5:30, which is gonna be early for us since we stayed up talking until around 1.
5:30 comes, and we're out the door a little before 6:00. We check in for our flight, which was MUUUUUUCCCHH better than the last time I tried it (last day of the December 05 TR). We almost open up the food court, where I got another waffle (not sure what wifey got). Out to what Sheri calls "Bad Bus" stop for ME. While waiting, we see about 5 hot air balloons up to our south. Most families waiting have that sorrowful look on our faces that we all experience on this part of the trip. Sheri and I are ready to be back home with our kids, so the "bummage" level isn't too high. I think we feel comfortable with the parks now and can cut back the trips by a day…we hope to test this in December, where we are shooting for a 4.5 day trip as opposed to a 6 day trip.
The bus gets there about 15 minutes late…the roads are all blocked off for a triathlon today, so it was interesting trying to get to some of the resorts. We go off-site and pick up some folks at a non-Disney hotel…didn't know that they offered that. It's a quiet trip to MCO as some folks slept, while others just looked outside or watched the Disney propaganda video. The timing is perfect…just as we get to MCO, the video is ending. Very few dry eyes as Mickey and his gang do their goodbyes:
SEE YA REAL SOON!
WHY? BECAUSE WE LIKE YOU!!!