When our children turn ten, we treat them to a 10-year-old trip. To catch up on the full story with Clare, check out part one, part two, part three, part four and part five. And, if you want to follow our escapade on Instagram, just search the hashtag #clarecelebrates10atdisney
The final day. You made it! WE made it!
Originally, we were scheduled to fly back on Friday morning, but after contemplating it a bit, Scott and I both decided Clare and I should get the most out of this trip and catch the late flight back home.
That is, until we were awakened by a fire alarm at 3am. For the first ten minutes, I tried to dream my way out of it, but after the incessant blaring and checking the peephole, I decided we probably needed to evacuate like the rest of the responsible adults in our hotel wing.
So there we were, about 50 people, standing in the courtyard at The Boardwalk, in the middle of the night. Eventually, the fire department came, ruled it a false alarm and let us back into the building. It took me a good two hours to fall back asleep. Sweet Clare fell right back in bed. I’ll make a really long, but cool story, short. The hotel front desk found out about the inconvenience, paid for half our hotel bill, gave us 3 pair of Fast Passes at EPCOT to be used on any ride and two bottles of water for the trouble.
I. Can’t. Even.
Thank you, Disney, for putting customers first. I can’t imagine coming back and not staying at The Boardwalk. They were absolutely incredible. Okay, let’s get to the rides and EPCOT, shall we? We walked to the international entrance and headed straight to France as soon as the rope dropped. There’s just something about pastry and parfaits in France, isn’t there? Oh, and Belle. Who can forget her?
Remember, not only did we have the 3 pair of fast passes from the hotel, but the 3 pair I booked online, PLUS the golden ticket from Canada for Test Track. Translation: RIDE ALL THE RIDES IN FOUR HOURS, RINSE, REPEAT. We lobbed between Test Track, Soarin’, Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth (which we broke halfway through!) and Living with the Land (so so cool for this Aggie heart!).
Our definite winner was Test Track. That was a ride we missed last time. It was absolutely fantastic. If you like to go 60mph on an open track, riding in a car you designed and competing against other riders, this one is totally for you. BLAST!
Frozen Ever After was well done, especially the singing and special effects. Because of time, we had to choose between this or seeing Anna and Elsa. If Clare had been younger, I might’ve sprung for the meet and greet, but for a 10yo, the ride was the way to go.
We had just enough time to hang with our favorite nanny before taking a quick – and I do mean quick – walk through the international part of EPCOT before lunch in England. Love me some Mary Poppins. And look at Clare’s face!
As I’m doing the math, which I stink at royally, I realized we had about a half hour to eat. When I informed our waitress, she was on it. The Rose & Crown Pub (awesome, by the way) totally got us served, checked out, with drinks for the road, in 35 minutes. We grabbed one last photo, because you know me…
…and we walked the short walk back to the hotel to change, grab our bags and catch our bus back to the airport. We were quite sad to leave, but ecstatic to be heading home. Much to our surprise, our seat mate ended up being a handsome Marine veteran and his Husky. They’re part of Heel the Heroes. Lyndon and Ice were just the kindest pair; we were the envy of the plane! It was a gift to have them end Clare’s big trip.
This 10-year-old trip was beyond our imagination. From the employees at Disney and Universal that went the extra mile, to the serendipity we got to enjoy, to the amazing rides we rode, God’s hand was in all of it. To my sweet, sweet Clare Bear: I will remember this trip all my living days. It’s no coincidence on the timing. You needed some time with mama, after receiving your scoliosis diagnosis and back brace, and I needed some time with you to remind me of the lighter and brighter side of life. It was a match only God could make.
Let’s go take 10 and make it wonderful, shall we?