Last Day Rituals – How We Celebrate the Last Day of the Orlando Vacation!
If you’ve been on vacation a couple or more times, the title of our latest Magic Dreams E-zine article needs no further explanation.
For those that are planning their first or maybe second trip to Disney or Universal this summer, please read on and prepare well for those last day blues!
I’m not quite sure when those last day blues actually kick in, but one thing’s for sure it comes way before that fateful day itself. The first realisation of the day probably comes at the ‘midway point’ of our Orlando adventure and often is accompanied by total denial and disbelief that we are indeed ‘at the halfway mark’.
Although we never slouch on vacation and squander our valuable vacation time, we do somehow seem to step up a gear or maybe two in the second half of the tour.
We stay a little longer, get up a little earlier and add some park hopping in to make good use of the second half.
No matter how philosophical we try to be, the day prior to departure is always a humbling and rather subdued affair. If one of the team makes a ‘gee up’ attempt, the silent remainder just glare onwards. Cases virtually packed, essentials remaining, and cupboards and drawers from our lovely home on Reunion Resort are all bare and ‘double checked’ by the packaging warden (yep that’s Mrs TotalO).
The ‘day before departure’ is without doubt the lowest point of the whole vacation.
Strangely enough it seems, we are not alone in this sentiment, as the ultimate day in Orlando takes on its own very special and magical appeal.
As we prepare to leave Reunion, there’s a very business like routine.
Almost as if our sadness is masked by the urge to be busy, before we head to Downtown Disney Springs for the Virgin Atlantic check in service. As the sun warms our faces, the urge to burst into tears is almost overwhelming and bless the VA staff, they do their best to help us smile our way through.
As we skulk away from the check in desks with nothing more than a few carrier bags with a complete set of ‘UK clothing’ (more on that some other time), we begin our steady wander around the Village Lake.
Downtown Disney Springs is our chosen spot for our last day ritual, and has been since we made our very first visits.
With annual passes, we have plenty of park access, and with no need to be at the airport until late afternoon, we could easily squeeze a little magic from a visit to the parks, but for some reason instead, we kind of use Downtown Disney to act as a kind of bereavement process!
We wondered if we were alone, or as odd as we thought, but it really does seem that many of our fellow travellers and Orlando fans have much the same routine.
Our only creditable observation is that the longer you visit Orlando on vacation, the deeper routed your last day rituals tend to be.
If you visit for shorter stays, you’ve got less likelihood to sit around with grim expressions!
How and exactly why we ended up choosing the Raglan Road as our last day ritual location required some deep thinking.
We fell in love with the Ragland Road at Downtown Disney after repeatedly walking past it throughout our first vacation. Sure it looked great, but how on earth could any place selling food from the British Isles appeal to a bunch of Brits that have spent weeks on end enjoying the best restaurants in Orlando?
This was all long before we had ever dreamed of beginning the totalorlando travel guide and our inquisitive nature wasn’t as it is today.
On the last day of our first vacation, we concluded that the Raglan Road should be given a try, mainly because we’d just about hit everywhere else in DTD that vacation.
The Raglan Road was shockingly good during our first ever visit and has never let us down after dozens of visits. from a food perspective alone, the Raglan eventually made our Top 10 Places to eat near Disney list. That is no easy task.
Subconsciously, the Raglan Road perhaps offers that ‘link back to the UK’ that we really now accept as imminent, with just a few more hours before we head back to Orlando International Airport.
Surprisingly, our last day ritual is much more upbeat than you’d expect, perhaps the atmosphere helps, but the food really does clinch it.
Top Tips for deciding where your last day rituals should be!
- Don’t think too much about it, the best last day ritual spot will come naturally.
- If one spot isn’t right, try another next time, there’s no hurry or in fact need to claim your own ‘last day ritual location’
- Most last day ritual locations have something special about them, something that means something to their family.
- Restaurants are great, but we know flight crews that always go karting on their last rest day!
- Try to pick a place that can stick around for many years to come! Orlando changes fast. One of our Facebook friends was very sad to learn that his last day spot at Captain Jack’s closed down forever at Downtown Disney recently.
Above all else, try to make sure that your last day ritual location is actually something to look forward to. No matter how unlikely that may seem!
Most importantly of all, always look forward to returning to the most wonderful magical place on earth!
by Kevin Maw – Editor Totalorlando.com