When I last left off, we had wrapped up lunch at Crystal Palace and were heading back out into Magic Kingdom for the afternoon. This was our last full day of vacation and our last day in the parks, so if there was something the girls wanted to do, now was the time. We had two main goals for the afternoon: watch the Festival of Fantasy parade (which had been rained out Wednesday afternoon) and ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which is a newish attraction and one we had not yet experienced.)
After cathing Anna and a bathroom break, we found spots along the sidewalk near the castle to watch the parade, which would begin at 3:00. We had a FP+ time of 2:55 - 3:55 for the Mine Train so we wanted to be near that side of the park.
So here's the deal with viewing the parade - if you want a front row spot, you need to get there early. It's that easy. It irks me to no end to watch other guests rush up 3 minutes before a parade is supposed to begin and expect others to move for them. No. Manage your own time. Also, Disney is very good with marking off parade viewing areas and keeping walkways clear. It's in their best interest for guests to stay save during parades. If you want to go from one place to the next and there are guests sitting, waiting for the parade, please don't step over them. If you simply walk 20 feet or so, you'll find an open walkway. At every single parade we've waited for, I've had a ton of guests climb over me and my kids, lift strollers over my kids and/or expect me to move for their convenience. No.
I love how these two look too cool for school.
For this parade, we found our viewing spots about 30 minutes prior to the parade start time. Easywdw.com had the crowd calendar at a 5 (out of 10) for that day and 30 minutes was plenty of time to find a good spot. I will say that after a parade starts and I don't have to worry about adults cramming me out of my spot or blocking my kids' views with their big heads, I will move for kids. So after this parade started, I was able to scoot over and make room for a little boy to sit on the curb next to me.
The girls really, really enjoyed this parade, which is fairly new to the park and was definitely new to us. I didn't take any pictures of the fire breathing dragon but it was pretty cool. After the parade, we headed over to the Mine Train. As we were walking to the entrance, Rich pointed up to the ride. "Uh, why is there a guy walking next to the tracks?" Yeah, so the ride was down. When a ride goes out of service and you have a FP+ for it, you can return at any point during the day to ride it. Instead of hanging around, we went and rode the Tea Cups and then PeopleMover, both of which had no stand-by wait times.
After those two rides, we returned to the Mine Train to find it up and running. This is mostly a roller coaster with a slower part in the middle. I'd rate it on the same scary level as Big Thunder Mountain. In other words, not very intense. I thought it was pretty good but Grammy and Rich said that they had expected something different. My response was, "It's a Disney ride, not a miracle maker."
The sky was clouding up and rain had begun to spit on us. We were all thirsty and wanted to get out of the rain so we headed over to the circus tent gift shop for slushes. Next up was our FP+ for the Ariel Under the Sea ride and then we decided we had time for one more thing before we should leave. Lucky for us, a stand-by wait time of 20 minutes was posted for Enchanted Tales with Belle. It actually wasn't even that long. I think we waited less than ten minutes before we were lead inside by a cast member.
Funny enough, Allie was picked for Philippe again.
Our timing for ending the day was perfect as it was now raining yet again. The ferry stops first at the Grand Floridan and then the Polynesian. For a change from Captain Cook's, we left the ferry at the GF to eat dinner at one of their counter service restaurants. Essentially, the food is similar but they did have a different menu/selection. We then walked back to the Polynesian from the Grand Floridian. If you can't tell, we like to walk.
Up next - Departure Day