Wednesday marked the final day of the IRWD conference, where Neil & I took in some more great sessions on site design and user experience and ate some grape candy from the bowls conveniently located at our tables in the main room. The conference provided boxed lunches on this day, and we sat outside in the glorious Florida sunshine eating our lunch on the lawn, with a couple of fighting little lizards nearby.
Conference, check. Disney, more to come.
After an emotional parting from Neil, I drove back to WDW and took some pictures of my hotel room because Aly requested them. If you want to know what a hotel room looks like at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside resort, in the Alligator Bayou section, well, here you go:
My parents had spent the day at EPCOT and returned to the hotel about the same time that I got back, so we took a short break to relax before heading to the Magic Kingdom, with no fancy dinner to get in our way this time.
People like to save space for parades
We parked (Zurg 110 if you must know) and rode the monorail to the MK entrance, where we breezed through security and entered shortly before six p.m. We decided to head back to Pecos Bill’s for dinner, so we made our way down main street, through the castle, and to the back of the park, under a threatening Florida sky – the lunchtime sun was long forgotten at this point. There was already a large crowd of people gathered along Main Street securing their spots for the 7pm showing of Main Street Electrical Parade.
As we walked into Pecos Bill’s the sky opened up behind us. I’m not kidding about either part, the timing or the amount of rain. We didn’t have a single drop on us, but the people directly behind us were rather wet, and the people behind them were soaked. The restaurant quickly became crowded as people ducked inside to escape the deluge, so we split up to grab a table while we ordered. Drenched people continued to crowd the indoor space as we ate, and word spread around that the 7pm parade was canceled. We enjoyed our Pecos Bill’s dinner at a leisurely pace (not the three-hour leisurely pace of Citricos the night before, but leisurely for a quick-service restaurant nonetheless), and the rain had reduced to a minimal drizzle when we walked outside.
We then headed to the Hall of Presidents, which had surprisingly few people waiting in the lobby despite the recent rain. As we entered the holding pen, the cast member at the entrance told us the show would start in about three minutes. Score! We took our seats inside and all enjoyed the show, including my mother, who sang along with parts of the show. Did you realize that, Mom? There was a young girl in front of us who was all over the place throughout the show, including a two-minute attempt to get Barack Obama to wave back at her (unsuccessful).
We then headed over to Haunted Mansion and toured the new queue, including the fun voice controlled one. We dragged ourselves to the dead center of the room, took his way out, then boarded our doom buggies for a tour through Constance’s problem keeping a husband. At the end, my head and the hitchhiking ghost’s head were swapped, which was highly entertaining. I have no idea how they do this stuff.
It was drizzling a bit harder when we exited HM, but it was about two minutes before Wishes started, so we took our place in Liberty Square near the riverboat entrance. It was a great vantage point for the fireworks, and when it started to rain a little bit harder, we simply ducked under the roof edge of the outdoor store that sells fruit and other snacks. From there, we hit Philharmagic, took a brief spin through the new Fantasyland, and rode Pooh.
Must. Have. Ice Cream.
It was determined at this point that we required some type of ice cream treat, so we made our way toward the front of the park, finding our salvation at the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor. We ordered a root beer float, mint chocolate chip, and an All-American.
After waiting a few minutes for our order, we exited the parlor almost exactly as the first MSEP float arrived. The rain had completely blown the crowd out of the park, so we got a great viewing point without having to stake a claim hours ago. We confirmed the theorem that ice cream + nighttime parades = happiness, and then headed out of the park exhausted to make our way back to POR and find some sleep.