Welcome to the final installment of our March/April 2016 trip report! In case you’ve missed it, you can catch up on parts 1-3 here:
Natalie had an afternoon flight on the next day of our trip, so she spent the morning with us at Animal Kingdom. We didn’t really have too much time to do things with the three of us, but we definitely made the most of it by riding Dinosaur and Expedition Everest before Natalie left.
This was also the last time any of us would see the Cementosaurus while he was yellow, as a few weeks after we all arrived home he was actually painted green. Why is it everywhere that I worked during my CP that has to be changed? First LMA closes, then the Cementosaurus turned green… why don’t we just close Gateway and Camera Center while we’re at it?
After doing those couple of rides with Natalie, it was time for her to head out to the airport, and saying good-bye to CP friends is never easy:
Chaz and I were getting pretty hungry for lunch, but since a show was going to start shortly we decided to see Finding Nemo the Musical first. We constantly have debates between the two of us over which show is better– Finding Nemo the Musical or the Festival of the Lion King. I’ve kind of given in to Chaz’s side of the argument, because I think in general Lion King is a better show, but I prefer Nemo. Or maybe I’m just biased because I spent so much time working over there at the Nemo Cart during my first CP.
We considered trying somewhere different for lunch, but ultimately we ended up at Flame Tree Barbecue, which should not come as a surprise because I’ve routinely ranked Flame Tree as one of the best quick service restaurants in Walt Disney World. We have tried the ribs at Harambe Market, but we both agree that we prefer the ribs at Flame Tree.
The overall atmosphere of Harambe Market, and some of the other menu items will most certainly bring us back, but we felt that the ribs at Harambe were very similar to the ribs found on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, so when in Animal Kingdom Flame Tree would be our pick. As usual, we had an excellent meal at Flame Tree Barbecue, and we’ll continue to keep coming back!
The most difficult part of writing trip reports is forgetting small details that you never thought to jot down anywhere, but are now needed. In this trip report, this detail is the reason for why we left Animal Kingdom to go to Hollywood Studios. I have no idea what the reason for this was, so your guess is as good as mine!
As a side note, between my notebook, phone, and camera, I’m usually very good at getting all the details in for a trip report. This one’s just really slipping my mind.
So for whatever unknown reason, we ended up at Hollywood Studios, where I tried (and failed) to go back to Lights, Motors, Action!
I obviously was not ready for the demise of LMA, or the rest of Streets of America for that matter. But for some reason, Disney executives didn’t come rushing out from behind the wall apologizing for their mistake and re-opening my favorite part of the park.
While at Hollywood Studios, we did meet Kylo Ren, which was quite the experience. I’m pretty sure I fan-girled a little bit, and he was not impressed. Much like Darth Vader, it was a bit of an awkward encounter (or maybe I’m just awkward? that’s definitely possible) but it was fun nonetheless. The buildup to meeting any of the Star Wars characters is always interesting to me, as is Kylo Ren (and formerly Darth Vader) just kind of looking at you and commanding you to stand a certain way.
I guess we didn’t stay in Hollywood Studios for long, because the bulk of our day was actually spent at Epcot and the Magic Kingdom! (Don’t you kind of love when you unintentionally end up going to all four parks in one day?)
From Hollywood Studios, we took one of the FriendShip boats over to Epcot, where we rode Journey into Imagination, and Spaceship Earth of course, while taking in some last glimpses of the topiaries from Flower and Garden Festival. We also walked around Mouse gear and picked up some last minute souvenirs since this would be our last day in the parks of this trip. While still in Epcot, we did rode Test Track again, this time in the single rider line so nothing super interesting to report there.
We actually ended up spending the night in the Magic Kingdom, which means that we unintentionally did all four parks in one day. When we arrived at the park, we did something we don’t normally do– the Walt Disney World Railroad.
To me, the railroad is one of those attractions that you never really try to make a point to do, but once you’ve done it you’re happy you did. Even though it definitely takes longer to get wherever you’re going within the park using the railroad, it’s a nice way to sit down and relax for a little bit in the afternoon.
We got off the train at Storybook Circus, where we spent some time taking in the details of an area of the park that we tend to spend very little time in. This was also when Chaz took over with the picture-taking, resulting in way too many close up pictures of my face:
We wrapped up a quick visit to Tomorrowland with the Peoplemover and the Carousel of Progress before moving onto Fantasyland, where we stopped at Rapunzel’s To– I mean, the bathroom. The Tangled themed restrooms are probably some of the nicest theme park restrooms you’ll ever see, but I do still wish there was more to the area besides toilets…
Casey’s was our pick for dinner that night, with Chaz getting his usual chili cheese dog, and me with my corn dog nuggets (R.I.P. plastic cheese). Casey’s is one of Chaz’s favorite restaurants, so it’s a must-do for us each trip!
We spent the rest of the evening re-visiting some of our favorite attractions, since had already seen Wishes and were able to take advantage of the short wait times during the fireworks, and because we had spent so much of this trip at Hollywood Studios due to LMA’s final days.
As you’d probably expect, our last ride of the trip was Space Mountain. We intentionally got in line right before the park closed, so that by the time we actually got off the ride and made our way down Main Street, the crowds would be thinning out and we’d be able to get some nice empty park pictures:
The next morning we spent by the pool at All Star Music. We had a 5:00 pm flight back to Boston, and since Chaz did not have the extra day on his park tickets we took the opportunity to relax by the pool. We don’t usually tend to spend too much time at the pool during our Disney trips so this was a nice little bit of relaxation for us before we had to grab the bus to go home.
We had breakfast and lunch at the hotel, both from the Intermissions Food Court, and we just ate by our lounge chairs at the pool. We also made a couple of trips to the bar, where ironically enough the bartender recognized me during my next trip in August… I don’t know what that’s saying about me!
As it always does, our trip ended too quickly and before we knew it it was time to change out of our bathing suits and catch the Magical Express bus back to the airport… but we (or I rather) couldn’t be too sad for long as I knew I’d be back in August, just a few short months away!