Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Last Day at Disney–The Duo Splits Up

Wednesday December 10, 2014
Gamble Rogers State Park Campground
Flagler Beach, Florida



This morning we catch the boat from the campground for the last time.  It’s nice that our site is such a short walk from the dock.  I find myself behind an adult wearing a Hello Kitty backpack.  I love it!




As we are cruising along, two different “river boats” come by.  Not sure where they are from or going to but they are definitely picturesque.  That seems to be a goal here in Disney World.



We plan to go to Hollywood Studios today.  We actually only have part of a day since our reservation in our campsite ends at 11AM this morning.  So we have moved Winnona out into the lot and come in for a few hours for our last day.  We have to be on the road to Gamble Rogers State Park by 2:00. 

Thus when we are still waiting for the bus to Hollywood Studios I’ve decided I don’t want to go there THAT badly that I’m willing to spend over an hour just waiting and getting there and perhaps back for a total of 2 hours of the approximately 4 or so that I have.   When I say that’s it for me, I suggest David, who has more patience for this sort of stuff, stay and go since he’s the one who really wanted to see the studios.  He does.

So this post will be written by us both.  IF David can get his done in time.  Smile  Since I wasn’t there, I can’t write it.  But I also can’t blame him.  About a week ago his THIRD Panasonic Lumix camera crapped out so he had to use his dumb phone for pictures.  After his experience I don’t think I’d ever buy a Panasonic Camera.

When I get through the bag check and the wrist band check I find that  just outside the Magic Kingdom crowds seem to be smaller.  I actually can get a picture of the flowered mouse ears without anyone else in it.





 And speaking of kitties, in the town square I see Marie is greeting her fans.  Carrie loves kitties so I think for an instant about getting my picture taken with her.  But then I realize that without David to do it, I’ll be stuck with the official (paid) photographer who is taking pictures in addition to all the parents.  So I pass and take some from where I’m standing of Marie with her fans.  Marie is a  character from the 1970’s film the Aristocats.  She is a small white purebred Turkish Angora kitten.  She is described as having long beautiful white fur and bright blue eyes with long eyelashes.  She wears a large pink bow around her neck and a smaller one decorating a tuft of hair on her head.  She’s obviously very popular with the little kids around whom she doesn’t look so small.


I walk down Main Street looking down the little alley ways.


I recognize the fire engine parked on Main Street but the car driving down the road looks like a surrey with a fringe on the top minus the horses.




I reach the castle where the crowds look very manageable – FINALLY.  And, the castle is open so I can go inside.  First time since we’ve been here that it has been open






The castle is perfect with its spires and turrets and GIANT wood doors.





Inside along the walls are simply stunning mosaics of Cinderella’s story.






The doorway in one of the mosaics is open.  It’s the Bibbity-Bobbity-Boutique.  Those marketing people think of everything.  Here young princesses to be can get any version of the full treatment their parents can pay for.  Since non paying guests are not allowed inside, I could only peek in the doorway and borrow this picture from Disney’s website.







Looks like one little princess is not so pleased with whomever is next to her.


Once through the castle, I stop to admire the holiday decorations and the amazing architecture. Sorry for so many pictures of it.  I just think it is so amazing.

Don’t you wonder what they use the rest of the building for?   Anyone have inside information on this?  Let me know.  My friend Nancy says there are “back stage” tours.  Now that sounds like fun if I could ever have so much time here I wasn’t spending it all on the front stage.











I’m going in search of the Riverboat.  The two we saw this morning reminded me that I have not ridden the Belle this time.  Rather than walk over to Liberty Square, I grab the train at Fantasyland, take it to Frontierland and walk from there.









On the way I see Brier Rabbit, Brier Fox and Brier Bear.  I think they are looking for a raft to Tom Sawyer’s island.




There she is.   I take a spot on the upper deck so I can see far and wide.














We paddle by the mill and a man smoking a pipe in front of a shack labeled Alligator Swamp as well as a Native American village of tepees which of course is not what Florida Native Americans lived in.  But perhaps this steam boat has gone all the way up the Missouri River into the Dakotas, who knows.










Coming back to the dock I’m high over Liberty Square and it does give me the feeling of looking over the buildings of Revolutionary Boston.  







That’s really all I have time for so I hop on the train to Main Street Station and am just in time to catch the end of my very LAST parade from the train station balcony.
















I head back to Winnona to meet David.   Here is what he was doing at Hollywood Studios.

David writes……….




After much delay occasioned by a broken down bus blocking all buses to Hollywood Studios, I finally got over to the park! I have never been before because I never finish all I want to see at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and EPCOT before our time is up. I had a couple of my favorite strangers pose for my introductory picture.





All the buildings on Main Street at Hollywood Studios are retro 50’s style – starting with this great service station and just down the block a ‘Five & Dime’ store.











Due to the late start and need to leave early for our move over to Gamble Rogers State Park in Flagler Beach, I figure I can only see two things. I have chosen the movies and the exhibit and film “Walt Disney – One Man’s Dream”. Thankfully the lines are short, so I start with the “Spectacular Journey into the Movies” in the Chinese Theatre. A great old coupe sits in the courtyard where the lines usually form.





This is a ride through some of our favorite movie sets with Disney action to bring it to life. We start out in a bad neighborhood in New York in a James Cagney movie and continue through many classics including a John Wayne western, the Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, an Indiana Jones movie and the original Tarzan with Jane riding atop a great elephant and others. Pardon the picture quality – this is my LG flip phone standing in for my dead Panasonic.








A great ride through great sets, but it ends, and now I’m over to see the exhibits and film about Walt Disney.


As I enter, the halls are lined with pictures and artifacts from Walt Disney’s life, beginning with his parents, his brother Roy and continuing through every step in his career to his death in 1966 when they were still developing Disney World and EPCOT. He was responsible for many innovations throughout his career beginning in animation and later the animatronics used throughout Disneyland and Disney World.


Due to a shortage of time I could not read everything or take time to look at all the exhibits, so when they opened the doors for the film presentation, I was in. It is a wonderful film wherein Walt Disney tells his own life story using pictures and old footage. By the end, you can’t help but be amazed at what a wonderful life he had and truly how he lived his life making dreams come true.

I’ll close with just this one model of one of his other fabulous castles - this one in Disneyland Paris, 1990. There are many more.  Since we are not here after dark, we cannot see the often talked about Osborne lights.  Just another reason to return to Hollywood Studios.




We meet up in the Fort Wilderness parking lot where Winnona is waiting for us.  We put Ruby on the dolly and are soon on I4 heading east. 

It’s an easy trip and no trouble setting up in our ocean front site at Gamble Rogers State Park.  But we notice we have clearly taken on some stowaways.  Seems the Duckies had some parties while we were gone and their friends thought the idea of full time travel was a great one so they just stayed.  Well they don’t eat much or take up a lot of room so I guess the more the merrier.  





  1. It's been many years ago, but we actually had season passes to Disney once and that's when we learned of all that goes on at Disney only available (and publicized) to season pass holders. There are MANY tours, classes, specials, places to go within the park and opportunities made available only to those with season passes. Some of those things I remember, involved the castle. There is actually a suite (or there used to be) which can be rented for overnight to those with enough money! Like I said, this was many years ago and I have no idea what might have changed, but I do know there is much goes on in that castle that "common" people never know about!! As for today's post, sometimes splitting up is the best way to go! We do it a lot.

  2. We like to ride Toy Story Mania when we go to Hollywood Studios. It is my goal to one day be able to beat my husband's score.

    I met Gamble Rogers at the Annual Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, TN a couple of decades ago. He was quite a character.

    Enjoy your stay.

  3. You both certainly got in a lot for such a short amount of time. When I was a little girl, I think I would have loved dressing up as a princess. Those were some lucky girls!

    Your view at Gamble Rogers is wonderful. I know you'll be up early enjoying the view.

  4. The castle has a restaurant up in it, we had dinner there once years ago at night just in time for the fireworks. We haven't been able to get reservations there since, it's popular and reservations are booked way in advance.

    Above the restaurant is a suite the was built for Walt, but he never lived to use it. Every night it is given to a lucky family to use who are picked at random. I think you have a better shot at winning the lottery than getting that suite. :c(

  5. You certainly took a lot of nice pictures in your four days in Disney. Those two big boats are what we take from the parking lot to the Magic Kingdom. It makes the place appear more magical.

    That steam boat you took is a fun ride, it rides a track underwater and is not powered by the stern wheel ether. It is quite an illusion done well.

    Since it was Wed when you went to the beach, I know you have had sunny, yet chilly days. They have been great. Monday almost got too hot.

    Once again I love your pictures.

  6. Glad you had such an enjoyable time these past few days. Are you "Castle'd out" and "Princess'd Out" yet?

  7. My favorite pic of the day..... the unhappy 'princess'. I guess someones parent finally said NO. Can you imagine how many times parents hear......Can I have......? I guess the nightly fireworks are really just parents finally exploding!! I'd love to see the displays on Walt Disney also.

  8. Glad your Disney adventure turned sunny after that first day. Looks like you both had a wonderful visit:)

  9. It really is not a back stage tour but an underground tour. There is an entire city below the Magic Kingdom. It is there that the magic is made. It is a 5 hour tour called, "Disney's Keys to the Kingdom Tour"

    You both had a great final fling and your new site at Gamble Rogers is awesome:o))

  10. Paul has it right about the castle. Looks like you had a great time at Disney!

  11. Hollywood Studios looks like fun! I love the retro stuff. Got a laugh out of that cranky little princess photo, and the photo of the new buddies that the duckies picked up. The more the merrier, haha! Your view at Gamble Rogers is amazing!!! So glad you had such a good time at Disney.

  12. Nice final day at the magic kingdom. Have read all the trivia about the underground city. Pretty cool!

  13. Wow, you saw so much and yet there's always more to go back for. I read somewhere, a while back, about a contest to stay overnight in the upper part of the castle. Wouldn't that be a whoot. LOVE your stowaways. Pooh has been a favorite of mine since one of my Girl Scout leaders read his stories aloud complete with different character voices. And now, back to the beach!

  14. I'm sure we went into the castle when we were there, but I can't recall. The expression on that little princess is just priceless!

  15. It is amazing how new and clean everything looks given that the Magic Kingdom is going on 50 years old now. I think I need some Disney Magic at the farm. Maybe a maintenance crew that lives underground and comes out at night to keep everything looking spiffy while I sleep. Yeah, I could like that real well.

  16. I'm afraid I would have asked Jiminy Cricket and Pluto to join me on my journey.

  17. Im sure you had a child like giddiness over some displays/shows during your Disney, Epcot and Hollywood visits and thank you for sharing. For like you a day or two is never enough to cover everything, but what you showed were the ones I mostly missed. I think that was a worthwhile stop to celebrate your birthday.
    I would be interested in watching "One Man's Dream."

  18. In addition to the restaurant and suite there are some conference rooms and a sound booth for the stage performances.

  19. Fun blog! What a beautiful castle! And yes...I like Marie the cat a bunch - my kitties bring so much joy to my life that all cats make me smile - awww - such a sap! Nice tour of the the Studios, Pops, even with the flip phone pictures - impressive for that little device. The movie tour sounds fun and there's nothing quite like a biography in which someone tells their own story - especially if it's an impressive one. Such cute new stowaways! Can't wait to meet them soon!! :)

  20. You both had wonderful visits - thank you for sharing your fun! I really never wanted to go to Disney World after going to Disneyland numerous times, but now I'm hooked. The Chinese Theatre is about 30 minutes from us but of course we rarely have reason to be there. But you have to see it when you finally get to California - you will love the architecture and all the signed prints in the concrete out front. Looks like Pooh and the duckies convinced some of their campground buddies to tag along - what fun!


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