Tuesday 24th – Sunday 29th September – My last week at work
Leading up to my last day, I had seven days of work in a row, which meant it passed by really quickly. I also got a special recognition from the Epcot Food & Beverage General Manager for my services on the first day of serving breakfast at the Rose & Crown…
On Sunday 29th September, we got to preview the ‘Epcot Experience’ which showed all of the exciting changes coming to Epcot in the next few years. It was really cool to experience and they had photo ops and props from recent Disney movies to look at.
It was also my last evening shift on the Sunday, so Chloe and I watched IllumiNations together at work.
Monday 30th September – My last day at work
It was finally my last day as a server at the Rose & Crown! We came in early to get some photos in an empty UK Pavilion then started our last shift.
Once we had finished serving our last tables, we were able to choose whatever we wanted off the menu as our last meal, then it was time for the goodbyes. I really didn’t feel sad until this point as I was ready to come home, but it suddenly hit me as I said goodbye to a couple of special people so I started to get upset!
We got changed then headed back into Epcot for the evening to watch the last ever IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Again, I felt quite emotional as this show has been the soundtrack to my evenings at work, hearing and watching it every night for the last year. It wasn’t just our last IllumiNations, it was everyones and the park was heaving. We are so lucky that we get to watch the new show tomorrow, just before we leave!
Tuesday 1st October – Graduation
We had our graduation/ Service Celebration today, something I’ve seen on people’s social medias from before I even arrived in Orlando. I can’t believe it’s our turn!
We met Mickey and Minnie, had some lunch and took some photos. It was a really nice way to end our program with my closest friends.
We went back into Epcot that afternoon to do some last bits of the Food & Wine Festival and to see the new show, Epcot Forever, debuting on Epcot’s 37th birthday!
It was a really good show that brings together the past, present and future of Epcot as so much is changing over the next few years; it even has jet skis and firework kites! I really enjoyed it.
We had a last emotional evening in Epcot where it started to hit me that I wouldn’t be coming back for a while. We also almost got an arrival group photo with all of us in it, something we’ve never been able to do for the whole year! Unfortunately, Roma just missed it so a whole group photo was never meant to be…
Wednesday 2nd October – Magic Kingdom
After a morning of more packing and sorting, Chloe, Emma and I went into Magic Kingdom to get our graduation ears embroidered. Again, this is something I’ve seen people do on social media before I started my program and now I can’t believe it’s happening to us.
Chloe and I had a last dinner in my fave Quick Service, Pecos Bill, then it was time for the thing I’ve been dreading for weeks, our last Happily Ever After. We sobbed through the whole thing. I feel so sad that I won’t be able to see it in real life anymore, not for a few years anyway! It’s a strange thought that the next time I’ll be here is probably when I’m married…
We headed back for our last night in Disney Housing; I certainly won’t miss living here!
Thursday 3rd October – Elin’s birthday
I packed up the last of my things and did a last clean before returning my key and Housing ID to the Service Center. I tell you, lugging all my cases and bags down three floors by myself in 33 degree heat is no mean feat!
Chloe and I had booked to stay in the new Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs for our last two nights in Orlando. I’m so glad we did, it was beautiful and we had an amazing view from our room.
We headed to Universal Studios for Elin’s birthday and did our favourite rides for the last time. I also had a last frozen Butterbeer. Sadness. Then a last meal at Hard Rock Café to end the day.
Chloe and I made the most of our stay at Gran Destino and had a drink at the rooftop bar before bed. It has incredible views of Walt Disney World, especially at night.
Friday 4th October – Last day in Magic Kingdom
The day had arrived… our last full day in Orlando and worst of all, our last time in the Magic Kingdom. I wanted to cry just thinking about it. Although I was so ready to go home, I really didn’t feel ready to leave my favourite place in the world.
I met Aaron, Emma and Chloe there and we watched the parade for the last time, did some rides and got some lunch. Chloe and I stayed for Mickey’s Not So Scary Hallowe’en Party for the evening. As Chloe pointed out, the party was the first thing we did when we arrived a year ago so what a lovely way to ‘book-end’ our year! We had a really good time, got loads of candy and, of course, sobbed when it was time to leave. Chloe was the person I held on to and cried with as we saw the castle for the first time a year ago, so it really was fitting for us to end our year in the same way.
Saturday 5th October – See you real soon, Orlando
We packed up, checked our bags in for our flight at the hotel and spent a couple of hours by the pool, soaking up the last rays of sunshine we will probably be getting for a while!
It was then time to get ready and catch the Magical Express to the airport. I felt so sad to be leaving Orlando but I just had to keep telling myself that it was one step closer to being home! However, I was really looking forward to the next week of travels that Chloe and I had planned…