November Trip Report, Day 8
The next morning was our last day, always bittersweet. After dropping off our bags at Resort Airline Check-In, we walked to the Magic Kingdom, which had been taping the actual Christmas parade since very early that morning.
Entering Town Square, there were lots of Cast Members directing traffic, which was great. One of the things I’d read a lot about what that getting around the park this day was a nightmare. In no way did we find that to be the case, but we did arrive about 2 hours after park opening. If you look closely at the broadcast, you’ll notice a steady stream of people walking behind the cheering parade crowd. Maybe they made an improvement this year that made it easier to get around Main Street.
There was a point where two areas diverged, one to get into the back of the park, and one for taping.
We followed some others into the taping line, and were escorted down the street to the hub.
There we stood in the hot sun for about two hours. We chatted with the people next to us, desperately bought some water off a roaming Cast Member, and saw the Navy flyover. I knew that a flyover was scheduled, and was extremely excited to be in the park that day. However, it didn’t happen when it had been announced it would, and it came without warning. Luckily my camera was on, and I wildly flung it to my face for a few poorly framed shots. As far as flyovers go, my anticipation of it was better than the actual event. But it was still exciting, and I can’t believe I can say I was in the Magic Kingdom during a flyover!
We found out chatting with our neighbors that they had tickets to be in the parade taping. It was very unclear to us whether a ticket was required to be where we were, since no one asked or checked.
Whispers starting flying around the hub about how long it was going to be before more taping happened, and I was hot and tired so we decided to leave and get lunch. As it turned out, I never saw any footage from where we were, so I can’t determine why they had so many people lined up there. Maybe it was a holding pen for a crowd recycle.
One thing I couldn’t get enough of was the castle with the red banners. The colors just drew me in, and I took way too many photos of them.
We crossed over into Liberty Square and ate at Columbia Harbor House. Then we stopped by Haunted Mansion.
We took the scenic route through Frontierland to go to Adventureland, but got stuck by some parade floats.
I mentioned before how many times we’ve been “stuck” by the Main Street Electrical Parade, and we even managed to get stuck by a non-parade! I saw these floats in the broadcast, but I’m not sure if they were just being relocated after early morning filming, or were just then going out to film their spots.
Once that no music, no fanfare non-parade passed, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean.
This was a good time to try the famous Citrus Swirl from Sunshine Tree Terrace, which I took with me to wait for Country Bear Jamboree. The Citrus Swirl is a great way to add variety to Dole Whip addiction. I was blown away by the taste of the frozen orange juice. Coupled with the vanilla, its akin to an orange creamsicle.
After the show, it was nearing our Magical Express pick-up time. When we hit Main Street, it was clear parade taping was over. The street felt deserted after seeing the early morning crowd, with confetti hiding everywhere, no background music, and cameras and other film equipment being rolled down Main Street. I imagine this was Walt Disney World’s version of Times Square an hour after midnight on New Year’s Eve.
We got one last dessert at the ice cream parlor and slowly exited the park.
All too soon we were on a plane back to reality. This November trip was great, and filled with many unique memories I look back on as some of my favorites out of all our vacations. I look forward to another Christmas season trip in a few years, but right now, we’re anxiously counting down to Disneyland!