You have just spent your day walking around the Magic Kingdom. You’re tired, but it’s a good tired. Your skin feels a little pinchy from being in the sun all day. To cool off, and to take some last minute souvenir inventory, you slowly browse through the Emporium. Did you buy what you wanted to? Did you remember to get a little something for the neighbor who watched your house while you were away? How about the friend or family member who took care of your beloved furry family members? Heck, did you even get a new collar or food bowl for that same furry family member that you have missed? Sigh, it’s almost time to leave. You gather your Disney bags (which we all know you won’t throw away) and step out onto the street. A turn to the left reveals one of your favorite things, a lit up Main Street USA with a beautiful view of Cinderella Castle at the end.

The Castle is slowly changing colors, from red to purple, blue to green, and oh my, is it ever amazing. You stop and take it all in. The lights, the view, the excited Disney fans that are awaiting Wishes. A Cast Member walks up Main Street, selling all kinds of fun light up trinkets to make your evening a bit more special. It’s an awesome site. All of it. Before Wishes starts, we see an image of Walt Disney himself on the Castle saying “To all who come to this Happy Place, Welcome.” Then the tears start rolling. Our hearts begin to swell at all of the awesomeness that is Disney.

During Wishes, you watch in amazement, the fireworks shooting over Cinderella Castle are such a magical sight to see. At that moment, you are perfectly content and grateful to be standing on Main Street USA in your favorite place to be. If we’re so happy, why the tears? Why are emotions on overload? There’s a good reason for that. The tears are truly bittersweet. We are filled with happiness, yet have a bit of sadness as well, because we know it’s all going to come to an end.

When the fireworks are over, and people begin to get ready to leave, your heart swells yet again. As you walk towards the train station, you stop. I know for me, I get that overwhelming feeling that I need another look. One more look at the Castle before it’s time to go. I try my best to take a photograph in my mind, of all the magic that I see, so that I never forget being there at that moment. Then another tear runs down my face. Walking under the exit, seeing “See Ya Real Soon” is another bittersweet moment. “Real soon” is never soon enough.

It’s time to take our tired selves, and walk up the ramp to the Monorail. It feels good to sit down in the air conditioning. The ride back to the parking lot is a bit somber. I try to reach my neck around, so that I can watch the Castle get smaller and smaller in the distance until I can no longer see it well. Usually by this time, I’m seeing the torches from the Polynesian Resort. The Monorail pulls into the station, and the doors open for the last time. My only thought is that I’m really, really going to miss this place.

It seems like waiting for our Disney Vacation’s to come up takes forever. It’s like watching paint dry. But once it comes, it seems to go by so fast. Although I’m sad to go home, I’m also feeling pretty lucky and grateful. Yes, we had a great trip, we made memories, we ate a lot of great food and saw some unforgettable things. It’s always magic. This sums up my last evening at the Magic Kingdom. I hope I’m not the only one who cries those bittersweet tears, I’m sure I’m not!


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13 thoughts on “Bittersweet Tears”
  1. Ok I’m behind and just read this today. Oh my goodness…..the tears started flowing. You definitely hit the nail on the head of how we feel and why we feel that way! I am also one who cries when I first get there and cries when I leave! REAL SOON IS NEVER SOON ENOUGH, unless it’s the next day!! =)

  2. I just returned on January 20,2013 from my “Disneymoon”. It was the first trip to WDW for both my husband and I. I also had tears….. Many tears!! lol
    When I first saw the castle I was amazed to say the least. I have read that the best way to handle “Disney depression” is by planning another trip so I have already started planning. Hopefully we can make another trip to the world for our first anniversary next January.
    I can’t help but to shed a tear when I think about the moment I realized I was saying goodbye to the castle on our last magical night 🙁
    Bittersweet of course 🙂

  3. I get misty when we arrive at Disney and when we leave Disney! Both come from the same place in my heart, which is the love I feel for the place that has brought so much happiness to my family and me! Even after more than 20 visits, it is the same each time…bring on the tissues!

  4. It IS amazing how many of us think the same…. it’s so hard to tear myself away from Main Street on that last day. And each time I can’t help but wonder if it will be my last time for some reason. So yes, you try to burn the images into your brain and try to get the kids to do the same. No worries… I see them doing the same thing. And is that a little tear I see in their eyes? Yep, they are their Mama’s boys! 🙂

  5. Yeap! That’s pretty much how it is! Although we take the buses, so we usually stick around in the park a while until its less crowded. Totally worth it! Cried through the article.

  6. Its like you were in my head when we were there to write this. I am so glad to know that I am not the only one crying for these reasons. People call me “weird”, but at least I’m not alone.
    Very nice article and beautifaly written. Now I am going to, once again, scan thru my WDW vacation pictures with my tissues in hand. °o°

  7. Oh my goodness I could have written this!You captured my exact thoughts and feelings on my last moments in the Magic Kingdom on every trip.The tears are flowing as if I am there at this moment.

  8. You certainly nailed it! I am always so sad about leaving! From my very first trip to DIsney in 1985, I have totally been in love. There is no where else on earth that I’d rather be!

  9. After reading this lovely, bittersweet story, I was so pleased, but not surprised at how much we WDW lovers think the same. It was as if I wrote it myself…every word! I have been to WDW 43 times, and it is the same each trip…walking backwards down Main Street to say good bye to the castle and try to imbed the image into my brain…leaving me feeling the same way as I did after my first trip. I am a 62 year old grandmother, but I enjoy every day of every trip…planning my next trip in December!

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The Main Street Mouse