Day four brought us to the Magic Kingdom. We were able to sneak into the park Sunday night and ride some of the more popular rides but there were several rides that we wanted to hit in the daylight. Daylight is defined by midday after a long night of amazing, blessed sleep. We strolled into the park around eleven and rode a few rides before munching on our packed lunches. While Tiana gave hugs and smiles to little girls lined up ten yards behind us, we were greeted by Mayor Weaver off of Main Street USA. He wasn’t interested in sharing any of our salt and vinegar kettle chips, but that was fine by me. I wasn’t too interested in sharing my favorite salty snack. Dehydration was an issue with the glaring sun, but with Rose’s Reliv Innergize I was able to munch my chips without fear.
Amidst our strolling around, we were lucky enough to land in Tortuga just in time to see the Captain. Small children with painted faces waited eagerly for Captain Jack Sparrow, while his accomplice Mack dithered on about how Captain Jack got too much of the glory. I was more distracted than the rest of Mack’s captive audience and saw Captain Jack sneaking out of a hidden door off stage. Nudging Rose, I pointed him out and he noticed. Captain Jack winked at me and put a finger to his lips. Obediently, I went silent so as not to alert the rest of the audience. He proceeded onto the stage to teach his new crew about his tried and true method of sword fighting: “distract and flee”.
We had another semi-character encounter later in the afternoon. Instead of waiting in line under the hot sun, we caught a glimpse of Princess Merida in all of her finery. High quality picture courtesy of Rose’s amazing camera. We were way too far away for my phone to capture such a detailed picture.
In a Merlin-inspired moment, there was a sword stuck in a stone and we needed it. Drawing from different character personas, we struggled as Sam and Dean, but Arthur was calm and confident in drawing the sword.
Truer to Merlin’s plight, we found ourselves caught in the stocks. The challenging part was not being locked in them, but finding someone we were willing to give the fancy camera to for the time it took to snap the photo.
We had fast passes to re-visit the magic of Space Mountain, but they did not come due for a few hours. It was time to take advantage of the Park Hopper aspect of our tickets. We hopped on a monorail and headed to Epcot. It was just a preview of the fun that was planned for the next day.
We made it as far as the U.K., but first made a memorable stop in Canada. After several days of sweating and running, my birthday badge was growing a little worn. Erica from British Columbia greeted us and helped us combine a few of my nicknames into a much more appropriate badge. My childhood nickname is Mega-Monster, but a more recent one is moose due, in part, to my height advantage over Rose. Erica devised the perfect compromise: Megan the Monster Moose. We scrawled my new name onto the badge and Erica snuck in a maple leaf before protecting our work with clear tape.
Then we found the moose hats. It was a match made in heaven. We promised to return the next day and she looked at us skeptically. We actually nearly left without taking the picture that has adorned my phone lock screen ever since. Walking away with the location of the Moosehead Lager that we had come for, Rose turned to me with a shocked look and immediately we turned around to snag Erica for a photo.
We snacked on our dinner and drinks in a park within the U.K. before taking the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom. I flew through the stars this time in the front car and Rose in the second car behind me. It was after 8pm when we discovered that there was an entire section of the park we had neglected in our explorations. We slipped into the empty line at Ariel’s Grotto and took an underwater adventure spinning in shell chairs. Then we saw a ride called the Belle Experience that did not even look like a ride.
We didn’t know that it was a character experience, but watched with joy as the kids were given props to act out the story of Belle and the Beast falling in love for the princess herself.
We were rather famished from our cross-park escapades and stopped into a restaurant for a hefty pork shank in lieu of the giant turkey leg most often seen in the parks. It was absolutely delicious and exactly what we needed after 9pm. We were bewildered when all of a sudden fireworks rocketed into the air and exploded. Two shows were shooting explosives at the same time and whiplash was a real possibility as we tried to watch both of them. It could not have gone better had it been planned.
Rose and I finally left the park after ten and crawled back into our beds. We had one day left and we were determined to go out with a bang.