In part four of our four-part Magic Kingdom series, we try to exit the park, but have to turn back to perform a rescue, and we watch the fireworks.
We ended our last blog entry at Cinderella Castle on our way to see Tomorrowland at night. After the castle, we found the best service animal relief area in the park! It was fenced in and probably about 100 square feet! They had a strip of astroturf in the middle, and bushes around the sides. It was a perfect place for the pups to relax! Felix particularly enjoyed himself, and sniffed to his heart’s content. Brad got a few pictures of us outside the relief area, with a blue light up collar on Felix, and a pink one on Lulu. Callie Mae had abandoned her light up collar and it was on Karin’s wheelchair. All the wheelchairs pictured have lights all over them. And Brad still had the thing on his camera that make points of light in the background into Mickey Mouse heads!
Brad knew of a neat little cut through to Tomorrowland that went underneath the new Tron roller coaster. It was BEAUTIFUL! The Tron ride has a parabolic dome with blue lights (that sometimes change to orange) and neat music, with a roller coaster flying through every once in a while. My description isn’t doing it justice, but I literally could have sat there for probably an hour in the space enjoying it! Brad got a few pictures, but also some video (all video will be posted in a later blog entry).
We had just entered Tomorrowland on our way to Main Street and then out of the park before the fireworks started when we got a frantic call from Russ, Sabrina’s husband. I reminded everyone that morning to bring wheelchair chargers to the park, but Russ might not have gotten the memo and kept Sabrina’s in the car that morning. Of course the only wheelchair that needed recharging while we were there was Sabrina’s!
Now it is possible to push a power wheelchair. You have to disengage the breaks and it is very difficult to push because the chair itself weighs a couple hundred pounds and is not easy to steer. So while Sabrina and Russ could have made up and down the hills in Adventureland and all the way out of the park, it would have been extremely difficult with a high probability that Sabrina would be run into people or objects. So it was not a safe option.
Brad’s wheelchair has the same type of battery as Sabrina’s, so we decided we’d head over to let her use Brad’s charger. The only problem was that at the moment Russ called, we were about as far apart in the parks as it was possible to be! We didn’t know if we’d have enough time to give them the charger and get out of the park before the fireworks started, but we had to try. So we headed over.
We left Emily and Misha behind to do some shopping while Karin, Brad, and I (who all have power wheelchairs) put our chairs on top speed and dodged and weaved our way through people to hurry to the other end of the park. Sabrina was SO happy when we found them!!! She was trying to get to an outlet, and Russ had to push her up a big hill and then stop her from running away down another steep hill. It was very scary! But we made it!
We got her to an outlet and charging, and were about to try to leave the park, but then they announced over the loudspeaker that due to the crowds from people getting ready for fireworks, that they had closed Main Street—the only standard exit from the park! So we were stuck in the park with a bunch of service dogs who had not been adequately prepared for fireworks. Callie Mae was the only one who was prepared as she goes to the Disney fireworks all the time.
Just then Emily and Misha called us, and they were stuck in the park, too! They had not been able to exit in time. So we told them to head our way and we’d figure something out.
In the meantime, there were about 15 minutes before the fireworks started, and there was one last thing I had wanted to do in Magic Kingdom but thought I wouldn’t have time for—eat cheeseburger egg rolls! I had heard they were super delicious, and the stand that sold them wasn’t too far away. So Karin, Brad, Faith (with German Shepherd x Malinois mix Brida), and I headed over to get them, and brought them back to the group. They were indeed excellent!!!! Brad got a picture of me getting the egg rolls, and of our group talking while Sabrina’s chair charged.
By the time we got done eating, the fireworks were about to start. We tried to head to a spot where we could see the fireworks but they wouldn’t be too loud. Unfortunately they were still quite loud. Callie Mae was totally fine for the fireworks. Felix was uncomfortable, but I just held him close to my chest with my hands over his ears. Brida was next to us and handled it better than Felix, but still didn’t love it. Emily and Misha took Lulu inside a store, which was a very smart decision and probably what I should have done with Felix. Indy, Sabrina’s Golden Retriever, wasn’t with us, but Sabrina reported that Indy handled it about like Brida did.
Brad got some lovely shots of the fireworks with his special lens on that makes the outside edges of the pictures into whirlpool looking things. And he got pictures of us watching the fireworks.
I have to say that I felt like I had failed Felix big time during the fireworks. I had not intended to expose him to them, and I felt so badly that I had not planned better for the possibility that we might be there by bringing his ear muffs just in case. I think you can see that feeling on my face in the pictures.
After the fireworks were over, we headed back to where Sabrina’s chair was still charging and hung around for about 10 more minutes to let it get up enough charge to get out of the park. Then we headed on out of there. Brad got a few pictures of us navigating the crowds and going through Main Street.
We got on the ferry to get back to our cars, and the dogs all did well on the ferry. We were at the very back of the ferry, so it wasn’t very crowded for us. Brad got a few pictures of us chatting and relaxing, and one picture of lights with Mickey head effects. We were so tired when we got back to our hotel room that we just crashed (or at least I did!). We needed a good night’s sleep to prepare for the next day at Epcot!