I started my summer job this week working at a travel agency in my town. I love planning clients’ vacations, especially when they are Disney vacations! But back to the extended trip report from March…
So to recap the afternoon of Day 8, I will need to give you a little background. My cousin’s boyfriend had texted my dad earlier in the week after we had hung out with him and my cousin at Epcot. He had told my dad how he was planning on proposing to my cousin in a few weeks and wanted to tell my grandma and show her the ring. My mom, dad, sister, and I were all very excited. We had to keep it a secret for a few days though until my cousin’s boyfriend was able to meet us in the park. We had a few close calls where the secret almost came out to my grandma and aunt. My dad’s cell phone rang while we were in the car and while we were at dinner but we were able to say it was my dad’s work friend (who was supposed to spend a day with us in Disney but was not able to make it in the end).
So Saturday FINALLY arrived and the plan was for my cousin’s boyfriend to meet us in the Magic Kingdom around lunch. He was talking to my grandma as we all got off of the WEDway People Mover (where I last left the trip report) and filling her in. Then he told my aunt what was going on and proceeded to spend the rest of the day at Magic Kingdom with us! He did not have the ring because he was getting it set so he was going to leave us in the afternoon to go pick it up and then meet us back at Old Key West. He had told my cousin that he was at SeaWorld with his nephews so she had no idea that he was spending all day with us at Disney. So after quickly catching up we went on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. My mom does not ride Buzz Lightyear because of the spinning so my cousin’s boyfriend used her Fastpass. I got a terrible score on Buzz and I think something must have been wrong with my machine or strategy. The picture on the right is a little blurry but my aunt and grandma are in the front row and my cousin’s boyfriend and my sister are in the second row. After my failure of a score, we headed to grab lunch. We had lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland and it was PACKED! I now know why we try to make advanced dining reservations for most meals or try to eat really early. Finding a table was challenging. I found a table and texted everyone but they were carrying food and could not look at their phones so it was a bit confusing but eventually we were able to eat. I really enjoyed my chicken and fries too.
After lunch we walked over to the Winnie the Pooh ride with our next set of Fastpasses. The Winnie the Pooh ride is always fun. We had also made Fastpass reservations for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and started to walk over there but quickly noticed that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was down which was very disappointing. We wanted to go to the Country Bear Jamboree but got stuck in the 3pm parade madness. It was our second time watching the Festival of Fantasy parade and we had a good spot on the bridge between Country Bear Jamboree and Splash Mountain to watch the floats. We also ate Mickey Premium Ice Cream Pops. They are my grandma’s favorite WDW dessert and are much better to eat in March compared to August because they don’t melt as quickly. As we watched the parade, we also watched fellow Dapper Day participants get off of the Ferryboat. It was fun to see more fancy outfits of the day. After the parade ended we got to watch the Country Bear Jamboree and my cousin’s boyfriend was able to watch it for the first time! I had fallen asleep during the Jamboree last trip so I made sure to stay awake this time. The cast member had some funny jokes before the show began and I was able to make a crushed penny to add to my collection.
After seeing the country bears sing their hearts out, my cousin’s boyfriend left to pick up the ring and we headed towards the front of the park since we had a dinner reservation at the California Grill. I knew I would be back later that night for Extra Magic Hours so I did not have to say goodbye to Magic Kingdom just yet. We took the monorail over to the Contemporary and checked in for dinner. Last March, California Grill had been our first advanced dining reservation of the trip so having the dinner as the last meal this trip was so sad. We had a great meal here and continued our last meal trip tradition. At the end of the trip, at the last meal all together, we go around the table and say our favorite ride and meal of the trip. Sometimes we add in our favorite moments as well. A few trips ago we had a series of events (a flying ped, walking into the wrong bathroom, falling in a ditch, etc. which all deserve another post) and so we said our favorite laughable moment. I really enjoy this tradition because it highlights the best parts of the trip.
I love walking out on the balcony at California Grill. I took the main photo for the blog heading here and decided to take a selfie this trip. If you eat at the California Grill, you can return later in the night to watch Wishes from this balcony. I have never done it because I prefer watching Wishes in Magic Kingdom from Splash Mountain but I am sure it is a great experience. Part 3 of the trip report for this day will include Mickey shaped pineapple, late hours in the Magic Kingdom, and a very exhausted Mary Cate on the bus ride back to Old Key West.