Happy Labor Day!
My wife and I work up early and let my daughter sleep in. To get some extra exercise, we walked around the Polynesian along the beach and took the trail over to the nearby Grand Floridian resort. We’d always seen the wedding chapel from the monorail but took this opportunity to check around the grounds. It definitely has some scenic views of Cinderella’s castle across the lagoon from the chapel and outdoor flower arch in the back. Back at our room after the walk, our daughter was still asleep (teenagers!) so we decided to take the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom to catch the park opening ceremony. This is something we’ve always wanted to do but never seemed to arrive on time. It was neat watching all the characters arrive on the train and greet the family selected to help open the park after a big countdown.
Immediately after the ceremony we went back to the Polynesian via the monorail. It was funny to be going the “wrong” way right at park opening! On our ride back we called our daughter to wake her up and get her going. Back at the room, we cleaned up, finished packing our suitcases, grabbed a quick (last) breakfast at the concierge lounge, then checked out and took our luggage out to the car. We then walked over to the Ticket and Transportation Center and took the express monorail back to the Magic Kingdom.
We had our scheduled FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Pirates of the Carribbean, and the Haunted Mansion, plus our “freebie” from last night which we used to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train again. The park was definitely more crowded than Saturday and I noticed a ton of Ole Miss shirts (which I later found out was because the Rebels were playing Florida State at Camping World Stadium that evening). After using our scheduled FastPasses, we started grabbing additional ones via the MyDisneyExperience app on our phones. This feature continues to get better and we were able to keep getting FastPasses in quick succession for the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor (I had to buy everyone churros), Philharmagic, and Space Mountain.
By mid-afternoon the dark clouds were rolling in so we decided to get going before getting caught in the rain again. Well, we thought of that about 10 minutes too late and we got rained on again. No ponchos this time since we didn’t think rain would be an issue, but we managed to get back to the express monorail without getting too wet. When we arrived back at the Ticket and Transportation Center, it was just sprinkling so we walked back to the Polynesian to get one last order of malasades from the Oasis Bar (even though we had checked out, our MagicBands still let us into the pool area). Then it was back to the car in the parking lot for the drive back home.
We drove through heavy rain most of the way on I-4 back towards the Tampa area. This was definitely the wettest Labor Day weekend vacation in recent memory (thanks, Hermine!) but all of the little surprises (club level at the hotel, front table for the luau, front row for Lion King, super FastPass, etc.) definitely made for a memorable trip.