Walt Disney World Vacation – Travel Back to Arizona

With our days at the parks over, it was unfortunately time to leave Walt Disney World and head back West. The plan for our final day was to relax, get some last-minute shopping and activities in, and maybe sample a few more sweets before we left. With the day’s events already planned out and our transportation to the airport secured, it was time to have a carefree day before we said goodbye to our Disney vacation.

Smiles. That is why I do this.

The day started off well for the girls because they actually got to sleep in. Unfortunately, after being on an Army schedule for more than 20 years, I still got up around 6 am. It was probably for the best, as I still had a lot of packing to do for both the return trip and for the girls’ follow-on vacation with Baba (their Great-Grandmother).

Now that we are home, she usually rotates which stuffy she sleeps with (although Eeyore always gets priority).

Since our flight was not until 3 pm, we had plenty of time to relax, eat breakfast, and enjoy the resort before the Magical Express was set to take us back to the Orlando International Airport.

“Peace out, Walt Disney World!”

Once the grandparents woke up, we headed in for breakfast at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. While we were initially a little concerned that there was only one restaurant on the resort, we did not end up spending a lot of time here, so it was not really a negative. And my worries that they would not like Cajun food never became an issue.

Elaina was so proud ordering her first omelet

Elaina ordered an omelet with home fries, Gabriella got some waffles and chocolate milk, while I just ended up eating their scraps (I just cannot seem to finish a full meal anymore and they always leave me enough).

And she ate the whole thing too

After six days of tight schedules and rushing, it was really nice to just enjoy a meal at our leisure.

While Gabriella drank her chocolate milk and played with Mickey waffles

Since Gabriella still does not really do breakfast, this was pretty much no change for her.

“Start cranking out those postcards, girls. We have got a deadline to meet!”

Getting back to the room and doing some more packing, the girls finished up the rest of the postcards to their mother, cousins, and Grandma and Papa.

“Why does she get a massage?!? She was not carrying 45-90 pounds the whole trip!”

They also watched a few more cartoons, Disney of course, and gave each other massages.

All packed and ready to fly with their stuffies

Eventually, it was time to leave the room, so we grabbed our suitcases and headed out.

Such a beautiful day to leave, yet it rained for two days at the parks

Taking in the boulevard as we walked towards the lobby, we definitely chose a great resort to stay at. The pool and splash pad were amazing, the scenery was on theme (and especially beautiful at night), and the atmosphere was as close as I ever want to get to Mardi Gras.

Even after experiencing the “real thing,” they were still entertained by the coaster simulator

After dropping our luggage off at the front desk, we headed back to the arcade to spend the remainder of the points on our card. Plus, their stuffies had “never experienced the arcade,” or at least that was the girls’ excuse.

I am just happy that Gabriella is eating the cookie and not just picking the M&M’s out

After grabbing a quick snack for the road, we were on the Magical Express headed to the airport.

Whoa, the dreaded “Enough with the pictures already, Dad” look

After the relatively short bus ride, accompanied by more Disney cartoons, we got to the airport and moved to the next part of our journey home.

I swear, as soon as we left the Walt Disney World area, Gabriella decided she wanted to eat again

Fortunately, the trip back was not the absolute debacle that flying to Orlando was. No delays or cancellations, and since most customers seemed to be complaining (because Christmas Eve), the customer service representatives were pretty happy we had no problems or issues. In fact, within about 20 minutes after entering the airport, we were checked in and past security.

Gabriella held onto Eeyore the entire trip back (and almost every day since)

We all got to sit next to each other too, with the girls watching Encanto on repeat the whole flight while I tried to get some sleep, in preparation for the drive ahead.

Christmas Eve dinner at their Nino’s house

After flying into the Los Angeles International Airport, it was thankfully only a short bus ride over to the parking garage. We got in our car and headed over to Long Beach to their uncle’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. The girls stayed at the house to spend a week with “the familia” while I headed back to Fort Huachuca. On the drive home, I just kept thinking about the past week. The good times (roller coasters and Star Wars), the bad times (rain and mechanical failures), and just being on vacation with family. What a great week and we are already talking about when we are going to do it again. I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventure as much as Elaina, Gabriella, Grandma, Papa, and I did experiencing it.

I guess the vacation was a hit if it is showing up in their schoolwork

Thanks for checking in on us.


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