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Goodbye to Disney World

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Tara and I didn’t rush right home after the Princess Half (a recap of which is still percolating – there’s lots to say). We filled the post-race Monday with more rides and adventures – this time spending the day in the Magic Kingdom.

Tara made breakfast reservations for us at Cinderella’s Royal Table – as newly minted princesses thanks to our expensive race bling, it was only appropriate that we dine with the other royals. One of the perks of breakfast in the park – a breakfast happening immediately upon the park’s opening – was that we got to enter the Magic Kingdom before the lines of people waiting outside and spend a few minutes strolling around with no throngs of people making us crazy. Or really, no people at all; the Magic Kingdom was practically deserted. There were several old streetcars and vehicles lined up just inside the entrance, and the driver of one offered us a lift down the block to the castle. Riding in style!

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When we arrived at the castle, we had to stop and get some photos while there would be relatively little foot traffic to get in our way. And because I can’t take a picture with a straight face…

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We headed into the castle, found the restaurant entrance and checked in, and I snuck a peek inside the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where all the little princesses are transformed from merely cute to glitter-covered cute.

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But before long we were whisked into the innards of the castle for our royal breakfast. The first stop – a photo op with Cinderella herself. The Orlando ‘fro is in full effect.

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We may have been the oldest princesses in line. Or at least, the oldest ones without junior princesses in tow. And the only ones not wearing tiaras.

After our photos, we headed up the castle’s spiral staircase to the dining room. We scored a sweet window seat, which had a view of some of the rides in Fantasyland.

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The princesses within the dining area – Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White – circulate on a regular schedule, so we weren’t in any danger of missing seeing one of them. Our server brought out our pastries (including Mickey-shaped muffins) and took our breakfast orders.

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But the point of the occasion was princesses, princesses, princesses! So when they came to our table, one by one, we each got photos and had them sign our race bibs. We can’t take credit for the bib idea, because we both saw it somewhere else. But it was a good one and we stole it.

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After breakfast, I had several hours before needing to catch the Magical Express back to the airport, so we wandering around the park going into just about anything that didn’t have a line (or, later on, anything that would get us out of the rain. We covered a lot (not necessarily in this order):

We also stopped in Adventureland to visit Tinker Bell and the Fairies, and I took a picture of an Imagineer inspecting a new ride near Enchanted Tales with Belle. I told him I wanted his job. He just laughed at me. Fangirl on the prowl!

Writing it all out, we managed to get a lot done (and I didn’t even mention lunch at one of the quick-service spots or wandering around). But before long I had to head back to the resort so I could catch my scheduled ride to the airport. I love Disney, but I was ready to head home; being around crowds of people all in their own bubbles for so long had taken its toll. I managed to meet a girl who went to my high school while waiting for the shuttle (she graduated about 15 years after I did, so no friends in common), and there were a ton of people who had raced waiting for the same plane as me at the airport. I managed to pass out for a while on the plane home, but I was still exhausted when we touched down in Denver, and I may have cried a little when Jason texted me to say he and Evan were waiting in the car. I love that moment coming up the escalator into the terminal at the Denver airport and seeing my little family waiting for me, so missing it made me sad. But my sadness was short-lived, because I saw them soon enough when the car pulled up to the curb outside Arrivals.

Farwell for now, Disney. I hope to see you again soon!

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