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  1. #1
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    Jan 2001
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    Default Disappointing Disney Vacation -- Day Five (Final Day)

    Cast:

    DS: 10
    Me

    While the first two days were enjoyable, days three and four were transportation nightmares, so much so I worried all night about today's outing. Staying in Trinidad, the bus situation on busy mornings with understaffed Cast Members is a nightmare. Should we leave very early? Should we forego an early departure and possible shorter queue lines for a later start and a better chance at getting a bus? I choose the latter.

    I let my son sleep in a bit as he did more homework last night -- (what kind of vacation is THIS?) -- and we dress and make our final walk to the Centertown Market. We make a pact: We don't put our masks on until we encounter another guest. We encounter one almost immediately. Oh, well.

    I get the Island Bounty Platter (again!) and my son gets his favorite Avocado Toast. We decide to eat outside today as all the inside tables are filled. I forget syrup and you can't re-enter through the doors you just passed. You must exit the patio, return through the lobby doors and head back to the market and over to the condiment stand, then go back out to the patio. That's the rules. Breakfast is very good for what it is. Counter-service fare.

    It's about 9:45 when we walk to the Centertown bus stop. I hope there's not a long line and there isn't. Only one group ahead of us. A Magic Kingdom bus comes and takes both groups. We are on our way. All my worrying last night was pointless as we got right on the bus. Of course, we missed any advantage of an early entrance, too.

    Security to enter the Magic Kingdom has been more strict this year than at any other time I can remember. On our first full day of EVERY trip, I love to record not only our morning walk to the bus stop, but also our walk up to the Magic Kingdom entrance and through. I've recorded the bag search while I made funny conversation with the security guard in the past. Not this time. As I was approaching the security tables on Day One, I was told "You need to put the camera down and stop recording. No recording of any security area." That seems new. Today, I receive an even more thorough security check. (Full disclosure: I'm Albanian. Dark skin. Goatee. Black hair. I get pulled out of lines at airports some times, too.) While I put my phone and other pocket stuff in the basket, we are supposed to keep our backpacks on as we pass the metal detectors. If they don't beep, you keep going. I have a camera and my portable battery in my backpack so it goes off. I'm ushered to the side for more searching. I get a no-nonsense female security guard. I begin to say I have a battery inside and go to take it out, but she abruptly stops me, tells me to step back, and begins searching the bag with great purpose. No jokes. Very deliberate. She removes the items. She then wands me. "What's this?" It is my phone, which I had put back into my pocket. I remove it. She wands me again. "NO! That's not it. What's this?" My wallet. I take it and saucer toss it onto the table. Wand again. "That's still not it. What else are you carrying?"
    "HIP!"
    She wands again. I'm ready to strip and show the scar. We make brief eye contact before she says I can proceed. I'm aggravated because my son is watching and not understanding why I'm being given such an extreme search while others receive a mere cursory glance.

    "The world is much safer now, son, because your dad was strip searched at the Magic Kingdom." I know. Bad example for my son, but I was upset.
    Very pointedly, she says "Have a nice day."
    Equally pointedly, I say, "Yep!"

    I'm already in the wrong frame of mind, but it quickly vanishes as I hear my Main Street music playing. After all, I'm in the Magic Kingdom. The park is already much more crowded than at the same time on my first day. We don't even contemplate Seven Dwarfs as it is at 120 minutes.

    The first ride he wants is Carousel of Progress. I'm surprised how crowded that ride is, but my son loves it because it utilizes audioanimatronics. I like it, too. We then ride the teacups, followed by Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Line looks imposing, but it never stops moving. Very fast! Kiss the Girl makes me tear up as I miss my daughter.

    With absolutely no concept of park layout, my son's next ride he wants is Big Thunder.
    "Let's finish Fantasyland."
    "No. The trip ends with Mickey's Philharmagic."
    Can't argue with his logic.

    The line stretched all the way past the Turkey Leg kiosk and toward the Liberty Belle. Forget Splash Mountain. Another 120 minutes wait. Big Thunder is at 60 minutes. After 15 minutes of waiting, a quick downpour erupts and many (including us) depart the line. Then we see how short is has gotten so we go back into the line. He can't get enough of it. (Quick fact: if you are claustrophobic, the new plexiglass dividers make the outside lane seem a bit constrictive. I know my daughter would have an issue.)

    Next is Pirates of the Caribbean. I have to describe this line to you. The entire queue was filled (of course.) It snaked outside the building and followed the building's footprint perimeter. Went halfway up to the Jungle Cruise by the kiosk, before doubling back, returning past the ride itself and the gift shop, heading toward the old McDonald's cart, before one more return and a Cast Member standing with a sign to signal the end. Nonetheless, it was only 45 minutes. The Haunted Mansion line was even more obnoxious and it was a full 60 minutes. In previous posts, I had stated some guests were insinuating WDW was "selling" VIP FastPasses. Not sure if that's true, but I do know I saw people going up to CMs on this ride and them receiving a return ride time.

    We go to the Hall of Presidents. This moves me to tears. I love my country. (Nothing political here, but Trump just seems out of place.) We ride Peter Pan and even though the line is 45 minutes, it moves faster than I can EVER remember 45 minutes moving on this ride.

    Mobile app lunch. Pinocchio House. Once inside, we can't find a table. We walk and walk. We'd go outside to the patio, but I'm afraid we wouldn't be able to return if we don't find a seat. (Morning flashbacks.) Finally, a family sees us walking around and tells us they're leaving. When we're done, we return the favor.

    We ride Winnie the Pooh (no interactive queue,) then our final ride -- Mickey's Philharmagic. It' s bitter sweet. I love hearing the characters' voices. We both miss them on this trip.

    We've had enough of lines. It really seemed Disney increased the park's capacity today significantly, but not the ride throughputs. The whole park seemed like a giant sea creature of tentacle queue lines.

    We exit through the Castle, get in line to enter the Emporium, and I look one last time for the ever elusive perfect trip coffee cup. Nothing! Of course, my son found something. Again.

    Tonight the park was open until 8 PM, but we leave around 6 PM. We walk to the bus stop and I'm not paying attention and I'm heading the wrong way in a one-way zone and get reprimanded by security.

    We freshen up and head to Disney Springs. No Uber mistakes today. I give us two full hours before our ADRs at Raglan Road. No bus issues this time and we have plenty of time on our hands so it's back to World of Disney for souvenirs for family members. The line is not as obnoxious as our previous visit and there are bachelorettes in front of us and everybody is congratulating the Bride to Be! It makes the time go fast.

    Gifts for everyone, including one more for my son. Still no coffee cup. And we go for our final dinner.

    My son gets the Kiss Before Shrimp and I get the Braised Be Beef. Heavy, but delicious. He says his is spicy. If you're keeping track, on this trip, my son had: Firecracker Shrimp (The BOATHOUSE,) Snow Crab Legs (Paddlefish,) Orange Chicken (Morimoto Asia,) Voodoo Shrimp (House of Blues,) and now Kiss of the Shrimp. With that taste palette, he better make a fortune making movies when he grows up!

    We are the last people left in the restaurant. They are cleaning up around us. When we leave, Disney Springs has mostly cleared out. I wonder if buses are even running. Caribbean Beach bus stop is the last bus stop on the complete other side. If we cross the road, we can save some steps. I verbalize this out loud and a bus driver overhears me.

    "Where ya' heading?"
    "Caribbean Beach."

    He peaks his head in the bus in front of us and asks him to take us to our resort. Our own personalized bus service. It was the BEST bus experience of the trip. My son loved that it was our bus!!!!

    Tomorrow we would leave. It was bittersweet. I'll opine later about my thoughts, but great trip or terrible trip, I was still sad it was ending. For one, I don't get to spend too much one-on-one time with my son. That was a treasure. Masks muted our conversation a bit and he's so clever and fun to talk with.

    Tomorrow, we will have one last breakfast before boarding the Magical Express. Sadly, I won't be "Seein' ya real soon!"
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Florida
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    Your description makes park going seem rather a chore at the moment. The last couple of times we went to Disney Springs, we were able to walk into any store we chose without waiting in line so I'm wondering how much attendance there has clicked up. It's good you got to spend quality time with your son!!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by faline View Post
    It's good you got to spend quality time with your son!!!
    That was precious. Hes very clever and his conversation is enjoyable, especially when hes relaxed. Masks add to his anxiety and mute some of our conversations, but we spent plenty quality time together. That was important.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    My son-in-law is pulled out to be searched every time we go into a Disney park. Every . . . single. . . time. We literally just factor in the time it will take for him to be pulled aside when we make our plans.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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