There are so many specific things that signal the start of a vacation in Walt Disney World for my family. It starts with climbing aboard the Magic Express bus at the airport and driving through the arch onto Walt Disney World property. Then, we can’t wait for the first whiff of buttery popcorn on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom and hearing the monorail whiz by as we take our first stroll into Epcot. All good things must come to an end, though, and there are always sure signs we hate seeing as our trip reaches its conclusion. I completely despise seeing these things at the end of our trip:
5. Not being able to send merchandise purchases from the park back to my resort.
I love the convenience that comes with making a purchase in a Walt Disney World gift shop and having it sent directly to my resort. I don’t have to carry it around and worry about anything fragile breaking, and sometimes this persuades me to buy more. However, this service ends the day before the end of your trip because there won’t be enough time for your purchases to be delivered from the park to your resort. There is always the option to have any last purchases you make delivered to the front of the park for pickup when you exit, but it’s somehow not the same.
4. The Magical Express pickup tag hanging on my door.
My heart sinks a little when I open our door on our last full day and see the dreaded letter telling me when the Magical Express bus will be picking us up for our return trip to the airport. The pickup time is prearranged by Disney’s Magical Express service and is typically three hours before your scheduled domestic flight and four hours before an international flight, so that unfortunately can’t be changed. Regardless, no matter how long my stay has been, that return Magical Express bus comes far too early for me.
3. Seeing my Disney Dining Plan credits trickle down.
If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a fantastic feeling to look at the stockpile of credits at the start of your vacation and know that it represents many delicious meals and snacks in my immediate future. By the end of the trip, I grimace when I see that my Dining Plan credits have dwindled down to zero, signaling the end of the all of the wonderful reservations I carefully planned and looked forward to for so long.
2. The last chance to have a favorite Disney treat.
Everyone has a favorite snack at Walt Disney World, and some things just taste better in the parks than at home. No matter how many Mickey Ice Cream Bars I’ve enjoyed over the course of our trip, it’s hard knowing that I only have time for one more. On the bright side, some of the yummy snacks are prepackaged and available to take home. Mickey-shaped Rice Krispie treats, flavored popcorn, and cotton candy are a few of the goodies ready to pack in your suitcase. Enjoy them when you get home and relive favorite memories from your trip!
1. Waiting in front of my resort for the Magical Express bus.
I find it very depressing to watch people arriving from the airport, full of energy and excitement and ready to begin their vacation. They zip past me on their way to check in as I glumly sit by my pile of luggage at the designated Magical Express pickup spot, sad at the prospect of leaving the magic behind and returning to the real world.
Even though I never want to see any of these signs signifying that our trip to Walt Disney World is over, I always cheer myself up by looking at our pictures and thinking of all the terrific memories that were made. By the time we’re on our way back home, I’ve already begun the process of planning our next vacation and anticipating the fun times awaiting us once again.