Our last day in the parks! There was definitely a bittersweet flavor to the day, and we were determined to end our park experiences on a great note. At rope drop we went straight to Merida's meet and greet and were about the third family in line. Obviously we got into the first session and enjoyed the experience. They have her area themed well and I love the archery lessons! I thought that was really unique and a lot of fun. Even Niall took a turn trying to shoot, which was a riot. Merida herself was very sweet and friendly. We commented on Fiona having the whole "three brothers" thing in common with Merida and how brothers can be pesky.
We went to see Tinkerbell and Periwinkle next. We got a lot of mileage out of our matching tie-dye shirts there. The CM joked with us a bit about them, and the fairies were very impressed with my tinkering ability, both because of the shirts and the autograph book. Tink and Periwinkle were both cute and fun to meet, but Doug and I were really looking forward to our next activity - Cinderella's Royal Table for a late breakfast. Okay, I think the kids were excited, too. We had a great time at CRT, which we pretty much expected since it's so ridiculously expensive. They brought out a bunch of pastries as appetizers which I thought was a nice touch - they were delicious. But the real highlight (for me anyway) was the lobster crepes. Absolutely amazing! Lachlann was a little put out that he didn't get to pick anything he wanted from a buffet, but they all ended up enjoying their food. Getting swords and a wand was a nice surprise for them, and the wishing-on-a-star ceremony was so cute! They all wished for more time at Disney.. too bad that wish wasn't going to come true!
When we got out of breakfast, we spotted the Tremaines doing a meet and greet so we got in line. They were hilarious, as always, and we decided to do something extra. It was my father's birthday that day - originally, my parents were supposed to join us for the end of our vacation so he could have his birthday in Disney World and then come with us to visit his family over the weekend, but for various reasons, that fell through. So we told the Tremaines about it and asked them if they would wish him a Happy Birthday on video. They were awesome and hammed it up for the camera.
We got Peter Pan Fastpasses next and headed into New Fantasyland to meet Gaston. He was fantastic - totally in character and very sociable. He definitely had the superiority complex down. When he signed the autograph book, he made sure to 'underline the important parts in the story' - his name! He was really hilarious - we talked about how many eggs he's currently eating, and he told us that he's roughly the size of a barge - but not actually the size of a barge, because that would be ridiculous. He talked to Niall for a bit while I was holding him and we got some awesome pictures, but I can't remember what he said. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm pretty sure I giggled in a very girly way at whatever he said.
Peter Pan was next, and thank goodness we had our Fastpasses. It had gotten very, very busy - which was disappointing, but not really a surprise since it was the start of MLK Jr weekend. We headed over to Tomorrowland after Peter Pan and grabbed Fastpasses for Buzz. There was no chance of riding it walk-on several times in a row this time! While waiting for our window to open, we rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and Carousel of Progress. I loved the nostalgia of Carousel of Progress - it was just like I remembered it when I was a kid. It was time for Buzz Lightyear next - fun, but no Galactic Hero score. They were doing a dance party on the Tomorrowland stage so we checked that out. Stitch was there dancing and actually danced with us for a bit.
The kids wanted to do Dumbo and the Barnstormer again, so we headed back to New Fantasyland and got Fastpasses. The window was fairly far out, so we decided to meet Goofy and Donald, then rode the train around full circle. By then it was time to use our Fastpasses, so Doug took Fiona on Dumbo while I took the boys on the Barnstormer. Colwyn and Lachlann loved it, of course, but Niall was funny - he looked like he was overwhelmed and a little scared, but he said he liked it. It was getting late by then and we needed to eat dinner, but I also wanted to make sure we got a good spot for the fireworks. We decided to get Cosmic Ray's to go and found a spot on the sidewalk near the Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street to sit and eat. The fireworks were wonderful, and I was just thinking how great an end to our day it was, when they announced over the PA system that Magic Kingdom would stay open an hour later. The really great part of that was that they waited a little bit before announcing it - we had decided to find a quiet spot to sit and wait for the crowds to thin. So it was once we had already gotten past the castle, while most people were swept up in the tide trying to get out that they made the announcement. The park was pretty much empty very quickly.
We had wanted to finish the Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom mission we were on (the portals had gone down earlier), so we waited for the fire department to give the all clear before we could head back there. A CM explained that they hose down the castle and other buildings after the fireworks to make sure nothing catches on fire. After we finished our game, we still had plenty of time and rode the teacups several times in a row (they weren't making people get off and get back in line, we could just stay and ride). Doug and Colwyn got one more ride on the Tomorrowland Speedway. We took our time leaving, used the bathrooms, etc. In the end, we got some great video of the kids (and Doug!) dancing in an almost empty Main Street.
It was incredibly late by the time we got back to our resort, but so worth it! It was definitely our best night of the whole trip.