Disney Trip Report: December 31st

It was around 9:30am by the time we all woke up. The weather mirrored our feelings: muggy, cloudy and dreary. It was still pretty hot outside and extremely humid. When checking the weather before leaving, the 30th and 31st was supposed to be the days the heat broke. It was supposed to be beautiful and in the 70s, but this was not the case whatsoever.

By the time we all got up and moving, it was around 11am. We skipped breakfast and decided to head over to Disney Springs for the day. The sadness and realization of our trip ending was starting to set in and morale was starting to plummet. Just one week ago we were arriving, excited to begin our sixth trip in seven years. Now it was coming to an end.

We grabbed a boat over to Disney Springs and walked toward Wolfgang Puck Express. I’ve already done a Foodie Friday for Wolfgang Puck Express, but I’ll have to update it soon. It’s a family favorite and a must-do each trip. We started to discuss next year a bit. We played with some numbers and talked about the price difference of staying at a Deluxe resort. It seemed a little out of reach for us, especially with the holiday season prices. We even tossed around the idea of buying into DVC, which we continue to discuss.

After lunch we walked around Disney Springs. We stopped by Starbucks to grab some iced drinks, as the heat was getting to us and we were all in need of some caffeine. It was amazing to see how much Disney Springs has changed, but also a little off-putting to see how much construction was still going on. While so much has been added and fixed up, it still has some work left to be done.  

As the day went on, the sun came in and out. We stopped by The Boathouse to check out the amphicars.They really are pretty awesome, but I refuse to pay that price for a 30-minute ride. I’d much rather rent a boat for an hour or two and do the driving. We stopped by The Ganachery, which had a line outside. We waited about 10 minutes as people left the shop. For whatever reason, the CM still made us wait, even when the shop was nearly empty. We decided to skip it and head to Goofy’s Candy Co. instead.

We spent the rest of the day shopping before heading back to the resort. It really wasn’t much of a pool day, so we hung out in the room and got some packing done before showering and heading to EPCOT for the night.

We had a reservation for Teppan Edo at 7:30pm. We finally arrived at EPCOT around 6:45pm. It took us a while to maneuver the crowds in the World Showcase. It felt much more crowded than past years and I feel like the CM’s did not have as much control over the sea of people. After dinner, we perched ourselves atop the steps of Teppan Edo. It was a slightly obstructed view, but was away from the massive crowds. But we had over two hours until the new year and we were all getting pretty restless. We decided to move and walked toward Germany, where we found an awesome spot along the railing.

The crowds were pretty overbearing. Normally the crowds don’t bother me, but it seemed much more crowded this year. My dad wasn’t feeling too well and my mom’s knee was beginning to bother her. They were both troopers, but I could see that they weren’t feeling it. Around 10:30pm, we gave up. My sister and I felt selfish keeping our parents out when they weren’t feeling too well. Plus, the lines for drinks were far too long, anyway. We decided to head back to the hotel in time to watch the ball drop.

I was disappointed by the decision, as I was really looking forward to ringing in the New Year at EPCOT. New Year’s Eve is always bittersweet to me. While it means the end of our vacation, it’s such a fun time at Disney and I always embrace the new year.

But the half-empty mentality of our “ruined” New Year’s Eve soon took on a much more positive outlook. We grabbed a few drinks at the bar at Port Orleans French Quarters, played some games and talked about next year. Usually when we make plans, my dad just goes with the flow, but he seemed highly interested in the cost of staying at the Beach Club. We ran some numbers, checked our options and eventually decided that we can make the stay at a Deluxe Resort “work” for us next year. That way, we can relax at our resort and head to EPCOT just before the clock strikes midnight or even enjoy the fireworks from the beach or pool.

We counted down the New Year and drank some overpriced beer before heading to bed. It was surreal how fast the trip had gone by. Tomorrow would be our last full day at Walt Disney World.

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