When we think back about the happiest days of our lives, we surely remember wedding days, holidays, graduation days, days when we welcomed children or grandchildren into the world. These happy, joy-filled days usually have something in common – we know they’re coming! We plan, we work, we save money, we cook special meals – we prepare for these momentous occasions and then hold them, near and dear to our hearts, for the rest of our lives. Once in a while, though, life hands us a day unexpectedly. A day so special for the simple, happy hours afforded by the hands of fate, that we recognize it as the gift that it is and squeeze every moment of joy we can from one, unplanned, but nonetheless perfect day. This is the story of one such day.
It did NOT start like any other day. It was going to be kind of a sad day. The alarm was set to go off at 7:00 am, we were going to pack our bags, board the Magical Express, and say goodbye to a fabulous, but tiring, long (Princess Half Marathon) weekend at Disney World. But that’s not what happened. The phone rang at 5:00 am. Words cannot really describe how confused and disoriented we were when the call came in that our flight home had be cancelled due to winter weather. We’d woken up the past four mornings between 3:00 and 4:00 am and we were uncommonly worn out – it took quite a few minutes to process the news and what we might need to do about it. What I’m trying to say is, we had no idea in the early hours of Monday, February 20th, 2015 that we were about to have one of the happiest, most fun days of our lives.
First things first – We had to call the airline and see what could be arranged to get us home. In fairly short order and a couple of phone calls later, we were set for a do-over the next day. Then we realized we’d need a place to stay for the night and a re-scheduled ride to the airport. We decided our best option was to visit one of Bay Lake Tower’s lobby counters to accomplish these tasks. We showered, dressed, re-donned our Magic Bands and hit the elevators. 20 minutes later, Nick at the DVC counter had us set for the day and night! We would, miraculously, be able to keep our same room – we used our DVC points to pay for another night. We asked and Nick found us a dinner reservation at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney. We were set! Being annual passholders, we then bid Nick goodbye and headed out the door for the half-mile walk to the Magic Kingdom – it was 9:30 am.
As we were walking, I used the My Disney Experience app on my phone to check for available FastPasses and was pleasantly surprised that I could get Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, and Space Mountain fairly close together. That’s when it hit me. We had not a care in the world and the unexpected gift of one more Disney day before us. It was early, the weather was perfect, and I was with my most favorite person in the world. I suddenly realized – this was going to be amazing! With a spring in our steps and a song in our hearts, we stepped through those archways and onto Main Street U.S.A.
It’s hard to put into words exactly what emotions we experienced over the next 12 hours. We were lighthearted, footloose and fancy free! We did so many things yet felt as though we were taking our time and appreciating every moment. The World was our oyster and around every corner, we discovered a pearl!
We took our time strolling up Main Street.
And joined the 999 ghosts in Haunted Mansion.Then dropped in at Grizzly Hall for a show.Met a sweet girl when we stopped for lunch in Columbia Harbor House.Then we cruised waterways around the world on the Jungle Cruise with one of the best Skippers EVER!Safely back on land we took our time enjoying the sights and sounds of Adventureland.The new sunglass store was doing a brisk business on such a sunny day!Then we got an early peek at the hub refurbishments…Before perusing the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street shops.Back outside, we were treated to a song by the extraordinarily talented Dapper Dans!We stopped to enjoy the beautiful warm sunny day.Moving on to Tomorrowland, we made a new friend.And decided we needed a little early afternoon rest and relaxation on the PeopleMover.Next we opted for a little Classic Disney…And sang along with every verse…”And it’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…..”Our FastPass for Space Mountain was ready and we took a quick tour around the galaxy.
Re-energized, we decided to see who could score the highest in Buzz Lightyear’s epic battle. (It was not me!)Before making friends with some Main Street Cast Members…Who were kind enough to recommend an excellent spot for parade viewing!Then it was off to Downtown Disney for our dinner at Raglan Road…Where we, in keeping with the day, had the best seats EVER!And we enjoyed the amazingly talented performers while we ate…Five delicious courses! Bread and dipping sauce, appetizer (ribs), salad, entree, and dessert (oh, that bread pudding!). Full to the brim (haha!) we decided to check out Downtown Disney’s new hat store, Chapel Hats! Dozens of hats later, final selections wrapped and ready to go, we hopped the bus back to Magic Kingdom and located the perfect spot to sit curbside on Main Street and catch Wishes.AND the Main Street Electrical Parade!
Elated but exhausted, we slowly made our way back to Bay Lake Tower. What a day we’d had! We could go home the next morning with the very special memories to cherish of an incredible day full of our most favorite attractions, foods, and magical Disney touches!
Little did we know that the very next day we would, once again, get one MORE Disney day which we decided to spend in a different, but no less memorable way. I’ll save that story for another post.
Have you ever had an unexpected extra Disney day? What did YOU do with it?