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Old 10-23-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
DISWolves
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21 Day Dining Plan Tour - DAY 24 - THE FINALE

DAY 24 - Magic Kingdom - Orlando International Airport - Home

They reckon on all good things coming to an end, well today was to be one of those days. Having done most of our packing the previous night, all that was left to do was to pack a few things and then we were all done. We always like to end our holiday in the Magic Kingdom and today was to be no exception. One final check of all the drawers and cupboards then we closed the door for the final time of our OKW home for this year. I had weighed each one of our 5 pieces of luggage, and with a little swapping, managed to get them all within the 23Kg limit.
We left OKW and arrived at Virgin’s DTD check-in at around 07:50. Around 4 families were already waiting as we joined the queue. I got chatting to an ex-pat in front of me, who was now living just outside of Haines City, and was returning to U.K. for some medical treatment. He was originally from Birmingham and had now been granted US citizenship, so had dual passports. He said depending on the time of year he travelled, it was sometimes cheaper to book his air tickets on his US passport.
By the time that the check-in desk opened, the queue of returning passengers has grown quite long. We were checked in within 10 minutes, and then made our way round to Earl of Sandwich for our final breakfast.
Emma: Ham & Swiss + Chocolate Mousse + Diet Coke
Sue: Egg & Cheddar + Yoghurt Parfait + Water
Nigel: Bacon Egg & Cheddar + Yoghurt Parfait + Apple Juice
After breakfast, we headed over to Magic Kingdom. The car park was quite empty when we arrived and we timed the tram to perfection. Soon we were at the monorail station and after a brief wait, we were on our way again. Magic Kingdom was also low on crowds, but since we did not want to get wet today, we had already decided to give Splash Mountain a miss. We managed to walk up Main Street alongside ‘Move it!, Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party’, and have a good close up look at the floats and characters as they performed outside the castle.































I must say that I much prefer this parade in comparison to DHS Block Party Bash. After the parade had finished, we headed over to Tomorrowland and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, and then next door to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Another ride that we like to do for a ‘rest’ is TTA. Last year, this was closed for refurb during our visit, so we had to make up for lost time!. By now we were ready for food, so we ventured across for some lunch at one of our favourite MK dining places, Columbia Harbour House.
Emma: Chicken Breast Nuggets with Fries + Chocolate Cake + Diet Coke
Sue: Fried Fish Basket with Fries + Apple Crisp + Water
Nigel: BLT Salad + Strawberry Yoghurt + Water
As usual, the food and service was very good and we managed to grab a window table upstairs. This is a good place to ‘people watch’. Within a few minutes you can pick out all sorts of people – laid back – stressed out – follow the leader and even the odd argument!.
Suitably fuelled up, we decided to take a tour of the Rivers of America aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat. The sun was blazing, and the front of the upper deck offered no shelter from the fierce heat, but considering within the next 24 hours we would probably be facing the risk of hyperthermia, we decided to sit it out. It is nice to see the rides such as SM, BTM and HM from different vantage points.





One final tour of the Haunted Mansion was calling, so we headed there after we got off the boat. It was walk on, so we had another very very last ride, before strolling back towards Main Street to complete the final day ritual of watching the parade before leaving.
We travelled back via Frontierland and past Crystal Palace, where we said our farewell to Jim the piano player. We made our way through the shops and exited at the Emporium. We easily got a seat on the pavement outside Main Street Station as the ‘Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade’ started. At one point, Captain Hook & Mr Smee hijacked some poor kid in a stroller and Sue had a proposal from Jaffar!.





All too soon it was over and we knew it was time to wave a final goodbye to the castle for this year. We headed out of the park and caught the resort monorail back to T&TC, with one final glimpse of the castle from the ferry dock, we made our way onto the tram and back to the parking lot. The journey back to the airport was uneventful and in no time we were heading to security. The lines were horrendous, but we finally managed to get through after 30 minutes. Our departure gate was quite busy, since the Gatwick flight had not departed. It was here that I spotted the Harry Potter decal on the tail of one of the Virgin Planes.



The flight home passed quickly, the food was nothing to write home about, but all we wanted to do now was to get home. We landed at a cold and damp Manchester at around 06:30 and it was while waiting for our luggage to appear that I thought “ Eleven hours ago – we were in the Magic Kingdom”. Our entire luggage had arrived safely and we made the long drive down a quiet M6, back home. The final day is always one of mixed feelings, - Sad in that is our last day and it will be back to work very soon, and happy that we will be in our home soon , knowing that we will probably return to Orlando the next year.
Below are a few highlights of our 23 night stay – not in any particular order.

HIGHS
WWHP – By far my favourite ride, and the attention to detail created in the buildings – just amazing!!!!.
This will probably force me to watch all of the HP films (which I have on blu-ray but never watched) so that I can understand and appreciate the theming even better the next time that we visit.

DIS Meets – On both occasions it was nice to put faces to names of people that I recognise from the UK trip planning forum.

Social Gatherings – Hoop De Doo, EPCOT stroll around the World, and late night MK, all with Wayne’s (wayneg) & Martin’s (burt) families

Cheesecake Factory (Mall at Millenia) – Massive menu selection, spoiled for choice and too much when you finally do decide!

Old Key West – Our past five on-site stays we have been quite happy to stay at All Star resorts, however now that we have sampled OKW, I don’t think that we will be returning to All Stars in the near future. This place is heaven, in lovely surroundings, plenty of space and impeccably clean. The only suggestion for improvement would be to build a decent food court. They aren’t exactly stuck for space!, although nearby Port Orleans Riverside more than fills this gap.

Disney Dining Plan – We got to visit many eating places that we would not normally bother with, and were impressed with a few. Look forward to doing it again

California Grill – A superb restaurant in a nice setting. Also enjoyed the meal


LOWS
Loews Royal Pacific Resort- The condition of the room upon arrival and the lack of response from the staff to rectify it.

Yachtsman Steakhouse – A good meal spoiled by extremely poor service. The food was good quality but 90 minutes wait is totally unacceptable in any restaurant.

Sony Compact Camera – failed with 2 days to go, luckily I had got my Canon DSLR with me, but that can become a hindrance to carry around when just using for snapshots and also when riding on some of the ‘get wet’ or fierce rides.
I am still on the lookout for a replacement compact.


Well that’s about all for my very first trippie..................Thanks for reading and also for the kind comments.
Would I write another report?...............well I have already booked 4 night cruise on the Disney Dream and 19 nights before the cruise at OKW with DDP for August 2011, flights booked for 28 day stay..............just maybe.........so watch this space.

See Y’all Real Soon!

Nigel Sue & Emma



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Last edited by DISWolves; 02-14-2013 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:19 PM   #2
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Loved reading your trip report....thank you for taking the time to write it and share your trip with us
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:00 PM   #3
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What a great trippie Nigel! I have to go still go through the rest of the days I missed while we were away, but I have been enjoying all the detail you put into it.

I agree with you about the Liberty Belle - great to be able to take in the sights you don't see if you walk around the park.

I love your BTMR pic by the way. I stood for ages trying to get a shot like that but my timing was always slightly out and I was struggling to get a grip on the menu and settings on my camera (DSLR - and the lens packed up on the last day so I also had some camera trouble).

I do hope you will do more trip reports on your other trips. I didn't know this was your first one. You write like you do it for a living. I give you the for this one!
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:20 AM   #4
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loved reading your trip report. thanks so much for sharing with us.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:03 PM   #6
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What a shame that your trip report is at an end, I've really enjoyed reading it, and you really made it easy for the reader to envisage your trip.

I hope you'll consider doing another, this trippie has been one of my favourites.

Thanks for sharing.

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Old 10-26-2010, 08:49 AM   #7
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Such a shame that your TR is over

I've really enjoyed reading along and your photos are wonderful

Thanks so much for taking the time out to post
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:42 PM   #8
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Thank you for writing your mammoth trip report! I have loved reading all about your trip
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:37 AM   #9
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Just finished your wonderful report Nigel!!

Can't wait for future ones! Loved all the details and great photos!
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
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Great final day! Hope you are over the post-holiday blues now!!
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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Thank you, Nigel, Sue, and Emma, for sharing your wonderful vacation with us. Nigel, it's difficult to believe this is your first trip report. You certainly have a knack for the job. About this particular segment--had to laugh as I read your remark about thinking once home that "Eleven hours ago--we were in the Magic Kingdom." as I play that game for days after a Disney trip. I just love the photo of Sue and Jaffar and think that your beautifully shot Haunted Mansion is frame worthy. May you have many more special trips together and, please, continue writing trip reports and telling us all about them.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:06 AM   #12
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Thanks for taking the time to do this - really enjoyed reading it all.

Well done on finishing it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:24 PM   #13
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I have really enjoyed reading you trip report and look forward to hearing all about your next year's trip

thank you so much for sharing


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Old 11-22-2010, 02:10 AM   #14
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thanks for sharing your fab report, i am looking forward to the next one
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:47 AM   #15
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Thanks for a great trip report, I especially loved the food pics mmmm! Just about to start on your next one!
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2005 January DLRP 3 Nights Dream Castle
2005 May/June 14 Nights Swan and Dolphin and 7 Nights Clearwater
2006 May/ June 10 Nights All Stars Movies and 10 Nights Jamaica
2007 June 14 Nights Saratoga Springs
2008 May/June 21 Nights Beach Club Villas, Hard Rock Hotel and Wilderness Lodge Villas
December 16 Nights Polynesian, Portofino Bay and Grand Floridian
2009 March DLRP 3 Nights Sequoia Lodge
2009 May/ June 22 Nights Port Orleans Riverside, Hard Rock Hotel and Animal Kingdom Lodge
2010 May/ June 26 Nights Bay Lake Tower, Hard Rock Hotel and Boardwalk Villas







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