You didn't see the Parade, but the Magical Party Express, which is a nice little way of introducing the main characters for a meet & greet at the hub, several times a day. The actual parade is at 19 o'oclock these days and is really good IMHO.
Great trip report, its sad to see just last year much of the Resort was painted and cleaned up for the 20th Anniversary. And yet things are falling apart so quickly. POTC recently went into a huge refurbishment hence the reason why things were looking good. The issues you picked up on in regards to Phantom Manor are not new and have been this way for some time! Closing of the Restaurants is another lame Management decision. Disney have this wonderful new Dreams show. And instead of leaving Restaurants open late so Guests staying in the park will spend more money which will increase revenue. Disney instead close things early leaving Guests inside the park not spending money.