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Old 21 May 20, 11:48 AM  
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nothingless
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5-week Split Stay in Florida, Feb/March 2020 - Day 33: Magic Kingdom & Old Key West

Day 33: Magic Kingdom & Old Key West
March 13, 2020

[-- Trip Index --]

Today was Friday, and our last scheduled day in Magic Kingdom. I had Saturday scheduled for Hollywood Studios, and I'd kept Sunday open for us to pick any park/ride/experience we wanted to return to, with our flight home scheduled for Monday. And of course, the WDW parks closing for the foreseeable future on Sunday night. This was the main topic of conversation everywhere around us - we heard stories of other guests having to schedule earlier flights home as they had only just arrived for their 2-week holidays, and we mentioned it to the CMs a few times too. Most, to be honest, still seemed a bit shocked by the speed of the developments, like they could barely believe the parks were actually closing! At this point, Disney hadn't yet confirmed that all resorts were closing too, and all OKW staff expressed that they weren't too worried, it was only the parks closing and they still reckoned plenty people would come down for a resort break. Of course, we now know that by early next week, the hotel closure would be announced as well, and by the next Friday, everything would be shut due to the coronavirus pandemic - but no one knew this at the time.

We definitely felt a bit of a change in atmosphere for ourselves - not a bad one, mind you! We felt VERY lucky that this closure was happening at the very end of our trip, and it made us determined to make the absolute most of the days we had left here.

Myla and I woke up at 6:30AM that morning, and she crawled into my bed for a good cuddle until Michael returned from the gym with the refillable mug coffees. I spent a while replying to a ton of WhatsApp messages and Facebook messages - all of our friends and family knew we were in Florida, of course, and it'd been ALL over the news in Europe too that WDW was closing etc, so many concerned friends were reaching out to ask if we were OK and if we'd be able to travel back etc. Luckily, our flight was still listed as Confirmed with United, although we heard stories of other airlines starting to cancel flights so I kept checking our flight status in the United app - probably every hour or so!

Michael also brought me back a muffin, and Myla had the last of the cereal for a quick breakfast. We left our room at 7:45AM, and it was a LOT quieter on the bus than it had been on our previous MK morning when the bus had been full! Still, not wanting to take any chances, we took the bus from Peninsular Road this morning (the first stop, a 4 minute walk from our room) instead of from Hospitality House (the last stop, a 3 minute walk from our room). It turned out to not be necessary, but better safe than sorry and we enjoyed the drive through OKW - we hadn't seen most of the expansive resort yet lol!

We pulled up to MK around 8:10, and it was nowhere near as busy at the bagcheck as earlier in the holiday, we were through in 5 minutes or so.


My plan for this morning was to get some nice castle family photos, get a coffee, and do any rides Myla wanted that had reasonable waits. So we headed up Main Street first of all.


Now you know how sometimes you stand waiting for ages with these Photopass photographers because they take AGES with the family in front of you? Yeah, we were that family today. But I was SO grateful for the photographer - if she hadn't persevered with trying to get Myla to join in, we wouldn't have ended up with these beautiful photos, and with the park closures and our September 2020 trip most likely getting cancelled, they mean SO much more to me.

At first Myla didn't want to get in the photo at all. Michael lifted her out of the stroller anyway, and when he lifted her up, she pretended to be asleep in the photo, the little stinker!


But like I said, the photographer persevered and joked with her, and eventually she was ready to play ball and pose:


I thanked her profusely - she must have been with us for nearly 10 minutes! We then split up, I went into Starbucks for coffees and snacks while Michael went to find a table outside the Plaza with Myla.

He came back in 3 minutes later, when I'd barely entered the queue. "Did you know it's Early Magic Hours?" he asked me excitedly - it was around 8:30AM by then, and we thought we had half an hour of chilling before we could go ride anything. Oops! It turns out I DID know, even had it written in my spreadsheet, but forgot all about it this morning!

I immediately left the substantial Starbucks queue and we went off to do rides instead, much to Myla's delight! We let her pick what she wanted to ride, and the first one she asked for was Buzz, so we hotfooted it into Tomorrowland.


Popped into the Buzz queue at 8:35,


and we were out exactly 10 minutes later, after another fun ride. Myla and I rode together, and Michael had his own carriage.

Myla's next ride request was the Tomorrowland Speedway, which she asked to ride with daddy again. That was fine by me - I hate the petrol fumes anyway, so I climbed up to the little viewing area to wave while they rode.


She had loved it again, and had helped Michael steer. This took slightly longer, and they were finished around 9:10. Next up she excitedly picked the Ariel ride - she was loving the whole "I pick... " and us then excitedly cheering her choice and walking fast over to it haha.


We entered the queue at 9:15, and were out at 9:26. Myla's next ride of choice was Dumbo - even though Early Magic Hours had now ended, it was still very quiet everywhere and most rides were still walk-ons.


We all squeezed into the one elephant again and had a good time riding, Myla just loves this.


Tron Coaster construction!


After we finished Dumbo, she asked to go on Barnstormer again - it was still a walk-on too. She had hated it when she rode it before, so I was surprised she wanted to do it again but I encouraged it in case she'd like it better this time!

Unfortunately she still hated it lol - I think she'd simply forgotten she didn't like it the first time. She didn't make a big deal of it like with Figment, when she was crying etc - she just said she didn't like it and didn't want to ride it again, which was fine and we still told her well done for trying it again!

Myla's next choice was It's A Small World, so we walked to that side of Fantasyland next. Another walk-on and it was enjoyable as always - although Myla did shush us when we sang along lol.


First time we noticed one of our names at the ride exit!


It was 10:30AM now, and it was time for the first FP of the day, for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train! Now Myla still did not want to ride it, but Michael and I quite fancied it, especially as we'd skipped it the previous 2 times we'd had FPs this trip, so we decided to take turns. He and Myla found a spot across from the Be Our Guest bridge to stand and wave, and I rode it first.


It only took a few minutes with our FP, and I saw Michael and Myla clearly and they were able to wave at me. Next up Michael rode it while I stood in the same spot with Myla - he loved it too, but somehow his ride photo never showed up!

Our next FP for Peter Pan Flight was due to open in half an hour, so we decided to do Mickey's Philharmagic as we hadn't done it yet this trip. Myla absolutely loved this, and I regretted not having tried it with her earlier on - she was very much enjoying it and laughing at all Donald's clumsy stuff etc. The last time we did this one, had been 2015 so we enjoyed it very much again too.
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Edited at 11:52 AM.
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Old 21 May 20, 11:49 AM  
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We joined the Peter Pan FP queue just after 11 - it looked long but moved fast.

Again the ride was enjoyed by all, and when we finished there, Myla was starting to flag with tiredness and Michael and I were both hungry, having skipped our usual mid-morning snacks.

We walked around to Columbia Harbour House for food as we hadn't yet eaten there this trip. It was super busy inside, so we did a mobile order and Michael took Myla and the stroller outside to the Liberty Square Market seating while I collected the food. Michael and I had a Lighthouse sandwich each, I had mine with hush puppies which was a bit of a mistake as they were very dry and I didn't enjoy them very much without sauce. But the sandwiches were lovely, very nice! Myla had some fruit we'd bought in the OKW shop the day before, a banana and a bag of grapes if I remember correctly.


It was getting very hot now, and a lot busier, so we decided to try our luck one more time (after 2 failed attempts) to get Jack Sparrow's autograph, and then head back to Old Key West for pool time. We definitely were aware of the crowds around us, potentially spreading the virus, and although we'd had a brilliant morning in a quiet park, we were both feeling a little more uneasy as the park got busier, especially after we heard on the local news that morning that several TSA officers at Orlando International Airport had been infected with Covid-19 and still continued working as they'd brushed it off as a cold!



We got to the little stage across from Pirates of the Carribean around 12:10, and saw that he was finally there, yay! We joined the queue, and met him after a 15 minute wait. Myla of course has never seen the Pirates movies and doesn't remember the ride from last year (and we didn't ride it this year as she's a bit scared of anything dark), but she's familiar with the concept of pirates from her love of Peter Pan and the Tinkerbell movies, so to her he was just one of Hook's pirates lol. This Jack was pretty good though - he had Johnny Depp's mannerisms down, and asked Myla if she wanted to join his crew lol.

With Jack's autograph, we had now also completed all MK autographs of all meetable characters there, and Myla was very happy to realize we only had 3 left to get, all in Hollywood Studios: Chip n Dale (who meet by the entrance), the Green Army Men (roaming through Toy Story Land but you have to time it right), and Bo Peep (who stopped doing meets like a week before we arrived but we'd decided to go back and ask Woody to sign her page instead).

We were finished at 12:30, and briefly contemplated doing something else like Enchanted Tiki Room, but the pool won out - I think Myla had enough of rides after the amount we did that morning. So we headed to the exit, kind of saying bye to MK in case we wouldn't make it back here Sunday (spoiler alert: we indeed didn't!).


We quickly stopped to by a popcorn refill to take with us for a poolsidesnack this afternoon, too.


We were back at our Old Key West room by 13:30, and I did an hour of work on the laptop while Michael made Myla a peanut butter sandwich and they just chilled. We headed out to the pool around 14:30, briefly stopping at this game (what's it called again? anyone?) for Myla to have a go. She was so proud when she finally got the bag in on her 4th or 5th try!


Much like the previous day, Myla alternated swimming with playing in the playground. She went down the big pool slide about 100 times, and Michael was with her when she was in the water while I relaxed. Any time she then swapped for the playground, it was my turn to be with her while Michael relaxed. We had another brilliant afternoon!


At some point Myla made friends with a little American girl and they played together for ages - she was a bit older but that didn't seem to bother either of them!


We also got dinner from Goods To Go again - Uncrustables meal for Myla, vegan burger and fries for me, power salad for Michael, and it was all as delicous as it had been the first time. After eating, Myla ran right back to the playground, and this is her begging Michael for just one more go on the slides:


He gave in, and off she went again lol.


We were back in our room around 18:30, and all had showers/baths, and were relaxing in our beds by 19:30. Myla fell asleep quite quickly, and much like the previous nights, Michael and I lay talking in the dark for quite a while. Back home in the Netherlands, where we live, the government had now cancelled ALL events with 100 people or more, and anyone with even a simple cold was instructed they were NOT allowed to leave their house period. Michael had been reading today about the Premier League being suspended for now in the UK, which to him was nearly a bigger deal than Disney World closing! On the local news we'd seen there'd been another COVID-19 death in Florida today, and of course the news of the TSA agents in MCO who'd been going to work infected and potentially spread it to who knows how many tourists! In a way, we were glad we were flying home in 3 days - we'd absolutely loved our epic long holiday, and I truly wasn't ready for it to be over (we could easily have stayed another 5 weeks and not gotten bored/sick of it!), but with all the scary developments in the world, we agreed home would be the best place to ride all of this out.

Still, we agreed we'd had a fab morning today in MK, maybe one of the best ones yet where for a change, nothing went wrong, and we so enjoyed watching Myla enjoy all the rides again. And then followed by such a nice and relaxing afternoon - it was definitely a stark contrast to the drama and misery the pandemic was causing in so many places!
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TRIPPIES:
Feb/March 2020: 5-week Split Stay in Florida
Dec 18/Jan 19: Happy Holidays in WDW


Proud owner of RainbowRules.com - we're a small family business who design print-on-demand clothing & accessories with our unique patterns, including many Disney inspired ones - combining my love for Disney and my love for graphic design in the best job ever!
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Old 21 May 20, 02:46 PM  
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Fabulous day
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Old 21 May 20, 04:09 PM  
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Another lovely day

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Old 22 May 20, 06:57 PM  
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You definitely got a lot of rides done earlier in the day. Iím not surprised you were getting wary of the crowds.

The game is cornhole. Funnily enough a couple of weeks after football had stopped here we were flicking through the Sky sports channels to see what was on and they had live cornhole championship from America which we found very amusing!
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