Thursday, January 9, 2014

Magic Moments: Last Ones Out!

Part of our crew!
Welcome to the world Zoie Chan! Born Tuesday evening after a day of adventure, she, and mom Jennifer Gastler Chan are doing well. and dad Will along with grandparents Hal & Joanne are ecstatic! Aunt Christine seems to be a bit excited as well...

In the summer of 1987 I took a small group of youth and adults from Springfield Friends Meeting (High Point, NC) to Walt Disney World. The trip was designed to stir up new interest in our student ministry at that small church, and it certainly did just that. The entire trip was wonderful, but today I want to share with you a one-of-a-kind Magic Moment on this Throwback Thursday. By the way, I know in the beginning I said I would share 10 Magic Moments. Looks like the list will be considerably longer. So sue me...

The last full day of our 1987 stay in central Florida we were headed to EPCOT for the first part of the day, and then planned to finish our Disney time at the Magic Kingdom that night. We parked our Chevy Suburban and our rented van in the EPCOT lot. At the time, I was a Disney novice. In later years I would have laughed and made fun of people for making the mistake I made. EPCOT was closing at 9 PM, while we would be at the MK until around midnight. This would come back to haunt us! We had a great time at EPCOT, then took the monorail over to spend our final hours with Mickey.

Everything was fine until we met for the last time at midnight to begin the journey back to our motel. It seems that Jennifer Welch had become ill and was at the First Aid Station getting some attention (In case you are wondering, First Aid is located between Casey's Corner and the entrance to Adventureland.  We try to be a full service blog!). In hindsight, we were lucky it was just Jennifer- many of the youth had decided not to eat because they were running short on cash. In any case, by the time Jennifer was released, it was nearly 1 AM.  The monorail to EPCOT and our vehicles was no longer running. It appeared we were stuck at the MK. After much asking, we were finally told we could catch a bus from the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) that could drop us at EPCOT. This bus stopped everywhere, including a whole lot of places we had never seen before. In fact, as Marilyn and I became true Disney Freaks over the years, there were some places we stopped that night that we never managed to find again! The bus finally dropped us at the EPCOT bus stop area. If you know that park, then you may know how far away for our cars we still were. We still had to cross to the entrance and then make our way across the ENTIRE parking lot to our vehicles. The good news was they were going to be easy to spot- we were the only ones left! It was around 2 AM when some guys driving trams and picking up trash gave some of our group a ride to the van. All in all it was quite a night. It gave that group a shared history that helped bond us together. It's not very often you can be the last ones out at Walt Disney World! I took a couple of pics of our lonely vehicles, but I no longer know where they are. They would be classics! But even without the pictures, we still have great memories of a Magic Moment. And we have them all to ourselves. :)

Because of Jesus,

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