So we are at Day 8. And this means we are just over halfway through the trip and just over halfway through the blog posts. Man, this was a long trip. He said. To make you all jealous.

I guess I won’t be finishing these by Christmas as I had hoped. Which means these posts are the gift that will keep on giving long into January as the fun and merriness of the holidays are behind us and the shame and regret of the holidays have begun. But at least you’ll still be able to read about me riding Space Mountain for the 100th time. A sure cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Day 8 is great. Just wait. I’ll elucidate.


It’s a great day though full of lots of fun and it’s the first day of the trip where it’s not just the 4 of us. Later in the day, we are joined by our friends – The Hills!


It’s a Magic-Kingdom-Space-Mountain-Dessert-Party-Ice-Cream-For-Lunch kind of day. Let’s get started, shall we?

Day 8 – A Day that ends Happily Ever After…because friends and desserts

Day 8 started like a pretty typical Disney day. I woke up at around 6AM before everyone else so I could grab coffees (for me and Nickie), hot chocolate (for Myles), and Powerade (for Owen) in our refillable mugs. I brought those back to the room, woke up the rest of the Goodys and we got ready for the day.

We walked down to the bus stop via the quiet pool near our room.


And no matter how many times I walk by it, I think the Beach Club is such a pretty sight. Especially in the morning before heading to the parks.


We went to the bus stop and for some reason, I sat on one bench near the Magic Kingdom bus stop and Nickie and the boys sat on another. I don’t think we were in a fight. I mean…I don’t think. But yeah we sat on different benches.

Wait. TWO Haywards. What a world that would be.

And I only bring this up because as I was sitting on my bench, this little girl and her mom sat next to me. This adorable little girl introduced herself as Sophie and asked me if I was going to the Magic Kingdom. When I told her I was, she got very excited and told me she was going there too. She then started telling me how she was going to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I asked her who she was going to be dressed up as and she told me, “Tinkerbell.” And we talked pretty much the entire time while we waited for the bus. She told me all about how she had been researching it all on YouTube and at one point, Nickie joined in the conversation as well.

When we boarded the bus…


She asked her mom if she could sit near me and we continued our conversation until we were dropped off at the Magic Kingdom. She told me all about her family, how she sometimes doesn’t get along with her brothers, and how much fun she was having in Walt Disney World.

Nickie and I were also kind of taken aback that her name was Sophie since this was the name we picked if either of our children had turned out to be girls. It’s funny. We did so many incredible things on this trip, but I don’t think I will ever forget my conversation with Sophie.

When we got off the bus, she walked ahead with her mom but kept looking back at us. And I told Nickie today was going to be a good day. Sophie – you were a wonderful part of our day and I hope you had a super fun rest of your trip. You made our day even more magical for sure.

The four of us then made our way to the gates. Well, I made my way through the bag check. Nickie and the boys went on ahead to get a spot as close to the park entrance as they could. It was Extra Magic Hours today so the crowd had gathered in the front waiting to be let in at 8:00 AM.



Since it didn’t work out so much on Day 6, the plan was for the boys and I to make the “race for Space” and try to sneak on Space Mountain early.

We raced for Tomorrowland, weaving through the crowds…



After reaching Tomorrowland, we continued to weave through the crowds and got pretty close to the front actually.


And even more exciting, we were put on Alpha track to the left. We always seem to be on Omega. I know. I know. Everyone says these tracks are mirror images of one another but for some reason, Alpha seems to be more “on top” of the track. These are the things Disney freaks think about. But whatever, Owen is happy about it. And Myles is “Myles” about it.

It’s literally at the top of Owen’s list

While we were on Space, Nickie jumped in line to ride Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin since there was no line and when we got off, she said she was just about to board so we should try and ride it as well. Which of course we did.


Leading up to this trip, I did A LOT of research on how to become a Galactic Hero (scoring 999,999 points) on Buzz. And I tried my best, hitting the targets I was supposed to hit. But I still came up short. Myles, however, did it. AGAIN.

So proud.

He’s impressive. I’ll obvs never get that sticker but do they make a “My child is a Galactic Hero” bumper sticker? No? Hrm.


We had a FastPass in Fantasyland starting at 9:45 (ending at 10:45) but by now it wasn’t even 9 yet. Still, we decided to head over to Fantasyland as we still hadn’t had breakfast and cinnamon rolls be like, “I’m delicious.”

On our way, we noticed a 5 minute wait for Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.

LM 1

So we quickly made our way through that ride’s insanely long queue and hopped on. I feel like this ride has waned in terms of popularity but I still really enjoy it. It’s a solid dark ride and The Little Mermaid still has some of the best music of all Disney films.

LM 2

LM 3

LM 4

LM 5
Just kiss her already, dummy.

After congratulating Ariel on her new legs and wishing her and Eric a nice Ursula-free life together (#ByeWitch), we were all feeling a little hungry so we visited Gaston’s Tavern for some breakfast.


And while there are a few different offerings for breakfast, we all knew what we wanted – CINAMMON ROLL WHAT WHAT!!

Nickie and I split ours as they are rather large and we saw this as an opportunity to maybe eat a little bit better, at least this morning. Then, though, I asked for extra icing. Whenever extra icing is the option, only the clinically insane opt for normal amounts of icing. Nickie split ours in half while I was getting napkins so you all have to settle for this picture.


It was good enough. I mean, it was a cinnamon roll. But I will say one thing. Literally everywhere, Disney advertises their cinnamon rolls as “Warm Cinnamon Roll” but don’t believe the hype. None of these are warmed. I suppose I could have asked them to warm it up, but you kind of expect the default to be warm if advertised as “warm.” If the sign just said “cinnamon roll” I still would have ordered it so why bother with the “warm” if it ain’t?

After breakfast, we still had a little time before our FastPass expired so we decided to take advantage of the 5 minute wait at It’s A Small World.

SW 1

Haters always be like, “meh, Small World. I dun like it” or “ugh with that song. I hate it.” And to all those haters, I’m just here like…


Love me some Small World. It’s legit iconic Disney. All optimism and bright colors. Those who hate it obviously have no soul.

SW 2

SW 3

SW 4

And after our Small World boat ride was over, we were finally ready to use our FastPass for Peter Pan’s Flight.


I mean, speaking of iconic Disney. Love me some Peter Pan’s Flight.

Once off, we decided it was time to take our midday break. We had some FastPasses for later on in the day with our friends and we wanted to have lunch back at the resort and get some pool time in. But a successful morning for sure. Using only one FastPass, we got in 5 attractions. And this was the day after Thanksgiving. So we felt like we accomplished something. Riding rides. WE are the true heroes.

We started to walk out but decided to stop at the PhotoPass photographer on Main St. to get some pictures in front of the castle on account of we don’t have enough.


Just in case you didn’t know, we are from Boston.

And then it was back on the bus and back to the Beach Club.

Owen teaching me my left and right.

Well, sort of. The bus from Magic Kingdom to the Beach Club stops at a couple other resorts before getting to the Beach Club, including the Swan and Dolphin.. And since it was only a short walk from the Swan to the Beach Club, we decided to just get dropped off there. We probably wouldn’t be visiting the Swan or Dolphin at any point in the trip so it seemed a good opportunity to do so.

And it was a good move. Not only did we get free cucumber water in the lobby (which I sort of have a weakness for – free lobby cucumber water), but they had a gigantic Christmas chocolate sculpture to check out.


Seriously, this thing was CHOCOLATE. You could smell it once you walked in the place.

It was an insanely pretty day out. Really nice day for a walk down the Boardwalk.




And I love the tree at the BoardWalk Inn. It’s out in the middle of this big grassy area and kids are literally ALWAYS playing there. It’s like they were hired as professional mirth-makers.


We went up to our room, got our suits, and walked down to the main Beach Club pool – Stormalong Bay! This place still remains the most impressive pool at Disney in my opinion.





With it’s sandy bottom, multiple hot tubs, lazy river, and the best water slide in any of the resorts, It’s my favorite pool on property. And today, it wasn’t all that crowded. So, bonus time. But before we could jump in, we were in need of some nourishment. So we decided to have a well-balanced, healthy lunch.




Yep, and it was pretty much the best decision ever. Well, fine…our decision to get married. And our decision to have children. Those were really good decisions too. But this one ranks like Top 5.

We went up to the takeout counter at Beaches and Cream and placed our orders. Owen got a cookies and cream with whipped cream and sprinkles.


The rest of us got the No Way Jose of course. Made with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, peanut butter sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, peanut butter and chocolate chips, and a cherry, this thing is GOOD. Like, RULL GOOD.



We took our ice creams to the table outside and proceeded to not talk to each other for the next 10 minutes or so. There was ice cream to be eaten.

Here is what the aftermath looked like.


And not to brag or anything, but mine is the bottom right corner there. The empty bowl. I was the only one that finished. Aw yeah. And now that I have written that down, I am not sure why one would brag about such a thing. I disgust me.

We secured some chairs in the sun, Nickie and I cracked a couple beers, and the boys played in the lazy river for a bit. And when I say “a bit” I mean that very literally as they were back at the chairs asking to go down the waterslide within like 5 minutes. I mean, yeah…I guess they could have gone by themselves but then I wouldn’t have been able to go. It’s simple math.


So we did a couple rides down the slide and went over to meet Nickie in the hot tub afterwards.


We probably spent about 10-15 minutes there before making the call to check out the quiet pool for a bit near our room. Well, three of us did. Myles went back up to the room to chill and be a teenager. My guess is it involved a lot of brooding and checking Instagram.

But the three of us walked through to the quiet pool. And I mean, maybe it was a good decision on Myles’s part since we made Owen take pictures of us in front of the Christmas tree.


We sort of spent some time alternating between the pool and the hot tub.



And then Owen was sick of relaxing, I guess? I don’t understand that type of thinking.

But anyways, he wanted to play me in a game of ping pong at the pool.


While I hate to call out winners and losers, I only really hate to do that when I lose. Which I didn’t.

So…I won.

Nickie was ready to go up, but Owen was begging to also play some pool inside the Drawing Room at the villas. So I happily (translate: begrudgingly) obliged. The Drawing Room is like a mini-community hall. They have a couple of couches and a TV –


And they have a pool table.

Such form.

Now, as I said, I don’t like calling out winners and losers but only when I lose. So in this case, I will keep it to myself.

OK fine. Owen won. I scratched on the 8-ball. ARE YOU HAPPY??!!

Ahem, moving on.

Owen and I went back to the room after our game, met up with Nickie and Myles, got changed, and hopped a bus back to the Magic Kingdom. And once there we were in a situation rare to us – it was dinner time and we didn’t have an ADR. F’what?

We sort of just wandered in, discussing what to eat, and decided to stop and get our pictures taken at the tree as the PhotoPass photographer had a relatively short line. Also, because we apparently love ourselves.



And soon we found ourselves in Adventureland. And since we still hadn’t completely landed on a spot to eat, we decided to check out The Enchanted Tiki Room. Because, as everyone knows, making a decision is much easier with a bunch of robot birds screaming in your face.


I have really grown to appreciate the Tiki Room. While I prefer the ability to have a Dole Whip whilst watching (as you can in Disneyland), it has a certain charm to it. We pretty much visit the Tiki Room at least once every trip. I actually think the “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” may be my favorite of all the attraction-specific songs. Maybe. It’s like legit catchy.

I do however think the people next to me probably don’t appreciate so much when I talk along with the birds. “I sing so beautiful. I should sing solo.” “Si, so-low we can’t hear you.”




And I guess singing robot birds are conducive to decision-making because we ended up making one. We were going to have dinner at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café. Before Day 8, we hadn’t eaten here in a lonnnnnng time. Not since it was more focused on burgers. So I was kind of excited to try the Tex-Mex menu.

With the park being crowded, I ordered our meal via mobile order. Which meant we had access to some Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party exclusives. Which was purty cool.

I do really like the inside of Pecos Bill. There are lots of little details to see here and there. And I love inside places that make it feel like outside places. I know. It’s a pretty niche category of things, but I’m into it.


And these three definitely added even more color to the place.


To start, we got the Feliz Navidad nachos. Partly because they sounded good (red and green holiday chips covered with turkey chili and queso Sauce) and partly because you relate anything back to the holidays and I am like at least 75% more likely to buy it. Oh, holiday ham and cheese? Sign me up. A Christmas colonoscopy? Sounds merry.

But the nachos were awesome. I mean, they didn’t skimp on the queso. So.


Nickie ordered the Chicken Rice Bowl – yellow rice topped with black beans and seasoned chicken. She loved it. In fact, at the end of the trip this actually popped back up as one of her favorite meals.


Owen’s palette can only handle so much so he ordered a simple cheeseburger. He seemed to like it though.


Myles and I both ordered the tacos of the month – the Mojo pork taco. The order consists of three tacos with Mojo pork, pickled onions, cilantro cream, and queso blanco. We ordered these partly because they sounded good and partly because you throw “of the month” after anything and I am like 78% more likely to buy it. Oh, colonoscopy of the month? That sounds unique.

These were SOOOOO good. Seriously, for a counter service taco, this thing was bomb. The meat was tender and the tacos were crowded with flavor. It’s too bad they’re only a taco of the month. These should become a permanent addition. That good.


For dessert, we got another Christmas Party exclusive – the Three Caballeros Spiced Chocolate Yule Log (chocolate flourless cake roll filled with chocolate mousse covered with spiced chocolate ganache, dusted with powdered sugar and completed with a white chocolate Three Caballeros piece.) It was really pretty and festive-looking. I love the Three Caballeros piece and look at the little Mickey. So cute.


This was ok. I actually really liked the cake inside and the mousse, but the ganache was a bit too spiced for my tastes. I didn’t hate it by any stretch, but it was probably the weakest part of the meal.

Overall though, a REALLY good meal at Pecos Bill. And we walked out thinking we made a good choice dropping to the regular Dining Plan. Otherwise, on Deluxe, we never would have eaten here as it would have been a waste of a credit, money-wise.

OK so I mentioned earlier in the post we were planning to meet up with friends today and now, finally…was almost the time. The plan was to meet them in Fantasyland so we could all ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train on our FastPasses. But as the four of us walked up to the Mine Train, it was actually not operating at the moment. So we went and sat on the wall opposite and waited for our friends, the Hills, to arrive. As we sat there, we once again hit that golden hour. So I mean, I had to take some pictures.



As the time passed, we started to see people lining up across from us so I went over and asked a Cast Member if the ride was back up. While it wasn’t yet, she expected it to be running in the next 10 minutes or so. I waited in line to secure a spot for when the Hills arrived.

After about 10 minutes or so, the line began moving but no Hills. They informed us they were off the ferry and approaching the gate. So I started to kind of move up a little, let some people by, move up a little, let some people by. Anyone that knows me knows I don’t do good in these types of situations. Like if you ask me to save you a seat somewhere, know that you’ve just become my official torturer.

But, I did it. Because friends. And they arrived. EVENTUALLY.

So yeah, the Hills – Missy, Eric, and Olivia. I went to school with Missy, known her since kindergarten. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. And I don’t know how I kept a friend that long either. Eric is her husband who has also decided to be my friend. Which some may question even more, given he only started getting to know me when he was an adult and like…knew better. Olivia is their super cute little girl and she hasn’t decided yet if she wants to be my friend. Shrewd Olivia, shrewd.

They hopped in line with us and as we were walking through, informed us that they were doing a kid-swap since Olivia didn’t want to ride. So, Missy would ride with us first while Eric waited with Olivia at the exit and then Eric would be able to hand Olivia off to Missy so he could ride it. And the best part? Me, Myles, and Owen could ride both times. That’s the best part because it benefits us.

Those kids are “mine.” Get it? Mine?

I do quite enjoy this attraction. We actually didn’t ride it once on our last trip. Why? I don’t know. Idiocy, I guess. I mean, it’s short for sure. But it’s pretty smooth and the rocking cars add a different element than other coasters. Plus, Snow White is pretty awesome.


So yeah, we first rode with Missy.


Then, they made the switch…


And then we got to ride with Eric.


That double ride definitely made up for my anxiety-inducing space-in-line-holding. Thanks Hills!

After we got off the mine train, we noticed on our app that the wait time for Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so we got walked to Tomorrowland and got in line.

And while in line, Myles was teaching Livi his signature Young Gravy-but-really-Dr.-Evil pose.

Livi just wants some sharks with frikkin laser beams attached to their heads.

The wait ended up being like 10-15 minutes but it was time well-spent catching up with some great friends.


Of course, I texted a joke. And of course, they didn’t use it. I don’t know why. It was high-larious.

What do you call a shoe made out of a banana?
A slipper.

Right, though? Stupid monsters.

The show was great though. This is another attraction we haven’t done in a long time and it’s still really funny. I laughed out loud (LOL’ed as the kids say) multiple times.



And after the Laugh Floor? After the Laugh Floor was the thing. Like, THE thing. We all had reservations at the Happily Ever After Dessert Party!!


We checked in at Tomorrowland Terrace and our host took us around and gave us a lay of the land before leading us to our table, which miraculously sat all of us.

Eric’s shirt though.

And then we immediately went up to fill our plates. There were lots of dessert choices –



Including make your own cookies, ice cream, and…AND ooey gooey toffee cake (yeah, THAT ooey gooey toffee cake from Liberty Tree Tavern.)


There were some new savory options as well, such as house-made spinach dip…


…and cheeseburger egg rolls. Sorry, I should have said CHEESEBURGER EGG ROLLS! These things are like the talk of the town in Adventureland so it was definitely a cool addition. And they kept them sort of hidden over there. I don’t even think there was a sign.


They were very very good. I may have eaten 3 or 4 or 10.

To the left, you could also get toasted and rolled marshmallows. But for some reason, I didn’t take a pic. Oh wait, I know the reason. I wanted to eat.

There were also some different beverage options – POG juice (pineapple, orange, guava), lemonade water, soda, coffee, hot chocolate, etc.


And sparkling apple cider as well…


For myself, I made a savory plate and a sweet plate. On the savory plate, I had some egg rolls, cheese and crackers (and dipping sauce for the egg rolls.) And on the sweet plate, I had a red velvet cupcake, a couple Oreo Mickey treats, a gorgeous chocolate covered strawberry, and some macarons. All of this was good. Seriously. I liked everything here.


I also went back up to finish with the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake a la mode. Which means I put ice cream on it.


Of course this was good. Doy. It was maybe the best thing I ate that night. Though the egg rolls gave it a run for the money. And the Mickey Oreos were like a 3rd place finisher. Which is nothing to be ashamed of, Mickey Oreos.

Owen took Livi up to make her own cupcake, which ended up being 70% frosting.


And she ate it all, as evidenced by this picture below.


After we had our fill of all that was offered, we went down to the podium in front and we were led to our viewing location for the Happily Ever After fireworks. We booked the Plaza Garden View Dessert Party, which is the cheaper of the two options but honestly, I think the viewing area is so much better. For the Plaza Garden View party, we were brought down to a reserved viewing area (The Plaza Garden, durr), while the other more expensive options gives you seating at the terrace.

So yeah, while the Garden View party is standing room only, most people sit on the grass (or on a blanket on the grass) and it is much closer than the terrace seating area. It just feels like it’s more “right there.” Tinkerbell flies like right over your head.

And during the holidays, this is what it looks like when nothing is going on.

Ice, ice Castle.

While we were sitting there, a PhotoPass photographer was setting up next to us. So of course we got our pictures taken. We’re hella-vain, remember?



I really like how there are PhotoPass photographers like everywhere now. We always buy the Memory Maker for our trips so it’s nice to be able to take full advantage of it with the whole PhotoPass-photographer-around-every-corner thing.

While we were waiting for the show to start, we alternated between talking about old TV shows, Eric peppering us with trivia questions, and playing Heads Up. And soon enough, the show started.



I love Happily Ever After. I remember hearing the old MK nighttime show – Wishes – and slipping into a deep depression. But honestly, Happily Ever After is an improvement. I love the music and how they worked in all the castle projections. It just feels a little more “wow.”

The kids definitely seemed to like it.




And right before the fireworks hit their crescendo, the girl in front of us proposed to her girlfriend. She literally asked right before everything started going nuts. It was pretty perfect timing and made me feel inadequate as a significant other. Pfft. Oh, I mean I am super happy for them but way to show the rest of us up.




But the night was not over yet. While we were in line for the Laugh Floor earlier, Nickie snagged some Dumbo the Flying Elephant FastPasses for us for after the fireworks. So off we went to Storybook Circus.

Hrm. Off we went to Storybook Cicrus. I realize that sounds like it was no big deal to get from the hub in front of the castle over to Storybook Circus after the fireworks ended. Please know that was not my intention. It was madness. But we did finally make it.


And walked right over to Dumbo.



All three kids rode together, which was obviously the cutest.

So cute.

Eric and Missy rode in their own elephant (I tried to get a good pic of them but failed at every turn) and Nickie and I rode in ours.

W and N in DUMBO

When we got off Dumbo, we noticed the wait for The Barnstormer was super short so we hopped in line.


Olivia was a bit hesitant about it, asking a lot of questions and just seeming a little nervous about the whole thing. But she sucked it up and rode it with Missy. And by the end, she was smiling so it seemed it was a good move on her part.


Day 8 was awesome. Tons of Magic Kingdom. Ice cream for lunch. Pool time. Nachos. Desserts. And fireworks. And we got to enjoy all of this with our friends. It was such a fun day. And the great news is that our time with the Hills wasn’t even close to over as we would be seeing them again tomorrow.

See ya then!

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