Day 5 had us up early...but not too early thank goodness! I was able to let us sleep in a little since we had special breakfast reservations at Chef Mickey!
I did the last of the packing & we called to have help with our bags. What a great service l was glad someone told us about! They have airline check in right there at the hotel where you can check your bags & everything! Unfortunately we couldn't use the baggage check since their computers couldn't confirm us straight through to Toronto & we didn't want to have to collect our bags at our stop over in Chicago & recheck them. Since it was just a 40 minute layover, I didn't see how that could work. At least we were able to check in for our flights & confirm our seat selections. They had baggage storage anyway so at least we didn't have to drag our bags everywhere!
This all took less time than I'd thought it would which worked out perfectly as it gave us plenty of time before our reservations to take a spin on the monorail. We'd talked about doing it all week.
We then got off at the Contemporary Resort & headed over to Chez Mickey. We were early but they sat us right away & we had a great table to get to see Mickey & the gang.
Pluto came by first & I inadvertently kept calling him Goofy, d'oh!
Then came Mickey...
Then Donald & he was smitten with Elena & stuck around & flirted with her for a while!
Goofy was next & thankfully I didn't call him Pluto, lol
Last but certainly not least came Minnie!
Then it was time to head back to our resort for the last time & wait for our bus to the airport. I looked at buying another suitcase as, when we were at the check in, they'd weighed my bag & said it was just over the 50lb limit. I'd thought packing us both into one bag had been a good idea but with all the issues with allowances, I see the benefit of packing 2 cases. However, all the suitcases at Disney cost quite a bit more than the estimated $50 charge I'd be facing at the airport so I resigned myself to that fact.
The baggage gods were on my side again as when we did the baggage check at the airport, it came up as being over weight but didn't charge me anything! Even the worker who was helping us was mystified!
With that we said our farewell to Disney & were headed home. I was very pleased everything went so smoothly. The excitement & energy of the week seeped out of Elena & exhaustion seemed to set in. Here she is on our layover in Chicago
She did perk up when we finally got the courage to ask to meet the pilot. Elena was so excited to see the cockpit & loved that one of our pilots was a girl!
It was an exhausting & exhilarating 5 days! Looking back, there's a couple of things that stick out in my memory as having made things easier or more enjoyable.
Renting the stroller was genius. I'm glad I took that advice. There is a lot of walking & not having to drag a tired 4.5 year old around is a big bonus. Plus it was a great place to store a bag of essentials like snacks, sunscreen, etc. There is lots of stroller parking too so often we would park it in one area & explore around & come back for it an hour or more later. Be forewarned though, sometimes cast members will move strollers but never very far, sometimes you just have to look around or ask them.
I loved the Art of Animation resort but of course have nothing to compare it too. I was glad that it had direct buses to Magic Kingdom & Downtown Disney but there was still a lot of waiting & full buses. I think next time I'd prefer to stay at one of the resorts on the monorail line.
I was glad we got the dining plan but in hindsight could have used it more wisely. I didn't realize until near the end of the trip that we could mix & match with it, like if we'd skipped a quick service lunch we could have converted that into snacks. I would have taken better advantage of that. The good thing about having the dining plan was booking all the character dining experiences. Since Elena got to meet mostly all her favourites at these meals, we didn't have to spend time (or Fastpasses) on character meet & greets. Except for Elsa & Anna of course as they hadn't yet been included in any dinner experiences. Besides, I felt the dinner meets were a bit more fun & you seemed to have a bit more time with the characters than at the meet & greets.
So many early mornings were tiring but making the magic hours was worth the extra time in the parks. Since we were there in August, when it was so hot, this meant we could be done early enough to hit the pools while most people were having lunch. Being early birds anyway it wasn't so bad. It's that we combined them with unusually late (for us) nights that really made us exhausted.
Lastly, I'd definitely highly recommend the Cirque de Soleil show. It really was amazing & worth the money.
Disney really does do things right. Their service really was impeccable & I can't wait to plan our next visit...but that will have to wait just a bit.
Our next trip is just a few weeks away. We are headed back to Dominican Republic for a week in the sun.
Then we are heading to Alaska in June on our first cruise...so of course, it has to be Disney!