We Have Arrived

We are, once again, at the Happiest Place on Earth…Walt Disney World. The EPCOT Flower and Garden festival is under way and that is the primary reason for our visit. We are only here for four days / three nights and we are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge–Kidani Village.

We arrived today, Friday, March 13, 2015 and checked in. We are now headed to the Magic Kingdom. We don’t have Fastpasses until later this afternoon so we can spend some time walking around. We have dinner reservations at Chef Mickey’s tonight.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Magic Kingdom Last Day

Friday, December 12, 2014 was our last day at the happiest place on earth. After checking out of the hotel and getting things situated with bags and airline tickets, we headed to the Magic Kingdom.

We first used some of our remaining snack credits to have a baked good for breakfast. I had a piece of chocolate, peanut butter fudge. We then used our fast passes for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. I rarely do well with this game.

As we were walking around we saw Stitch out in Tomorrowland so we got our pictures and then we saw the White Rabbit by the Mad Tea Party. Since we had time we played Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom and finished the portals in Fantasyland. We also got the magic shot of Sebastian by the Little Mermaid area.

For lunch we ate at the Columbia Harbor House which finished our quick service entitlements. After getting my daily allotment of cards for Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom, we used our fast passes to get pictures with Tinkerbell and Mickey Mouse.

The Mickey Mouse fast pass experience was anything but fast. We were in the fast pass cue for almost 25 minutes. To make matters worse we were standing in front of a family with four kids who did not watch their children. They were running into us, pushing us and crawling into us the entire 25 minutes. At one point I looked over at the mother to be mortified as she had pulled her breast out of the bottom of her shirt so the youngest could feed. No covering…nothing. I was so happy when I finally could get out of that line.

One last stop to the Emporium was in order as we did have a snack entitlement left. I got wrapped Frozen themed Rice Krispie treats so I could take them home with us. We had quite the wait to check out as well. And when I told the cast member who waited on us that I was using the dining plan snack entitlement her response was “I hope this works”. I told her that made me feel reassured but it did actually work.

The last thing I did was visit guest relations. I shared with the woman who waited on me my experience with the photographer. She was horrified and even more interested when I said the photographer had a tongue ring in as she said that is against dress code. She apologized and gave me a voucher to take to the photo area to get a free photo print out of my choice which was nice. We got one of our Very Merry Christmas party pictures printed with a Christmas border.

We then headed back to the hotel and that marks the end of this Disney adventure!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Thursday

On Thursday, December 11, 2014 we attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the second time this trip. Honestly if you want to do all that the party has to offer you need at least two days.

The party officially begins at 7 PM but with the party ticket you can get into the park at 4 PM. We had already been in the park with our annual passes so it didn’t much matter. After we got our wrist bands we used our fast passes for Peter Pan’s Flight. We then played a bit more of Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom and got our daily cards. They also gave us the Very Merry Christmas Party card which is Elsa since we had our wrist bands.

The first official Christmas Party event we did was to watch “A Frozen Holiday Wish”. This is where Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf come out to greet everyone on stage and Elsa freezes the castle. It does look quite beautiful.

Next we went to the Aladdin area to wait for the characters to come out. We met with Aladdin & Abu. Aladdin was in his Prince outfit and Abu had a Christmas scarf. We then went back into line as they change out the Aladdin characters every half hour. By the time we got through it was Jasmine and Genie. Jasmine was in her winter dress and Genie had a Christmas scarf.

We stopped by the Holiday Hootenany at the Diamond Horseshoe and I had pictures with Clara Cluck, Horace HorseCollar and Clarabelle Cow. All of these were first time meets for me.

It was then time to visit Peter Pan who had Wendy with him at the Adventureland Veranda which is Peter’s usual meeting spot. Both were wearing their winter outfits.

Next we had a late dinner at Casey’s and we ate outside as the first parade was finishing up. From there we also watched Celebrate the Magic and then Holiday Wishes–Celebrate the Spirit of the Season. Carey’s is a great spot for the fireworks but not so great for Celebrate the Magic since you can only see the top half of the castle.

I then went over to the Pirates of the Caribbean area and they had a pirate band playing. When they were done Captain Jack Sparrow came out and I got a picture with him for the first time ever.

New Fantasyland was my next destination where I had my picture taken with two Christmas elves in front of a giant ornament. The Haunted Mansion had a soft opening and there was no wait so I walked right in. The initial scene had started so I missed a few seconds of Master Gracey’s transformation. Overall the ride seemed more crisp but no major changes. I asked if the hitch hiking ghost magic band experience was up and running but no cast member I talked to seem to know so it will be a surprise when I log on to my account.

There was only a 20 minute wait for the Seven Dwarfs so I jumped in and got a picture. By this time, the 11:20 showing of Celebrate the Season was about to begin. The crowd was sparse so I was very close to the stage.

At that point I called it a day!

Magic Kingdom

Thursday, December 11, 2014 was our last full day in Walt Disney World. Since we had tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party we slept in and got to the park mid-morning.

As we walked in Snow White was just inside the entrance taking pictures so we stopped by. Then we did some shopping and saw the horse drawn carriage with performers on Main Street. Tianna was in her Garden Glen so we stopped by to say hi and get a photo.

Storybook Circus was our next stop and we meet Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse in their circus outfits before getting a snack (I got the chocolate peanut butter cookie which is awesome) at Big Top Souvenirs. We had our snacks before going on Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid which we used our fast passes for.

As we were walking around we saw the line for Gaston. He was very boisterous and when I went up to him he had me flex with him. I then headed back to see Goofy and Donald Duck at Storybook Circus.

At this time I had a bad experience at Disney. I approached a photographer by the Little Mermaid ride about getting the Sebastian magic shot and she wouldn’t do it. I got short one word answers from her but in the end she said only people who are trained to do it can do it. I then went on to the Beauty and the Beast area and got a photo and the photographer said he would do the Lumiere magic shot when I asked him. I told him about my other experience and he said all photographers are trained in magic shots.

We then met Ariel with our fast passes and she was wearing her sponge top in the pictures which was great. I’m guessing she did this because of the temperature but I have never seen her wear that outfit.

It was then time for our lunch at Be Our Guest with our fast pass. Well they couldn’t find my reservation in the system but I had taken a screen shot of my confirmation so they let me in. I have to say the food was ok but not great. I got the roast beef sandwich with fries. The fries were like warm and hard. The sandwich wasn’t the warmest but was good. The Master’s Cupcake was great.

I then played a few portals of Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom so I could get my daily cards. It was then time for the Festival of Fantasy parade which I still find amazing even after seeing it so many times.

Peter Pan began meeting shortly after the parade and it was my favorite cast member who portrays Peter that came out. So getting that picture made my day. I was then able to get my wristband for the Very Merry Christmas Party.

Back to EPCOT

So our plan was to go to Hollywood Studios for dinner and then watch the dancing lights. So we stood in line for the bus at the bus stop and when the bus pulled up the driver asked us if we were intending to go to Hollywood Studios because it was closing at 6 PM. Turns out there was a private event. So we went back to EPCOT where we did some window shopping and then went and saw Duffy again. We then had dinner and the Fife and Drum Tavern. We then called it a night since Thursday will be a long day with the Christmas Party.

Animal Kingdom

Wednesday is Animal Kingdom day for us. We had 8:30 AM reservations for the Tusker House character breakfast. We met Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Daisy Duck all in their safari outfits. We had another magical moment as the cast member with Daisy Duck was great and was telling us jokes and took our pictures for us. We played along and joked back with him including when he was teasing Daisy for kissing me (he told her he was going to tell Donald and a hysterical encounter happened). Well as Daisy left us to go to the next family the cast member said that for being so sweet he had something for us and gave us a post card that had a picture of the four characters in their safari gear by the Tree of Life!

After breakfast we went around and visited with characters. We saw the following:

Goofy and Pluto (Goofy was dressed as Santa & Pluto had a Christmas collar on)
Donald Duck in Safari Outfit & Holiday tie
Tarzan (now located on trail where Pocahontas was)
King Louie & Balloo with their Christmas scarves

We then had Fast passes to the 12 PM showing of Festival of the Lion King. After the show I went to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where I had pictures taken with Chip and Dale in their Christmas hats & scarves. It was then time to use our fast passes for the Kilimanjaro Safari. We were in the last row for the safari so it was quite bumpy and at one point the driver made a turn a bit too sharp and we ended up having the right back tires coming up off the road so we were really bounced hard!

We ended our day at Animal Kingdom by visiting Mickey and Minnie. The duo was in their Christmas sweaters instead of their safari outfits which was nice.

After Animal Kingdom I decided to head over to EPCOT before going to Hollywood Studios in the evening for the lights.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has become a yearly tradition for us. For this trip I purchased tickets to two nights of this party. I decided to focus on characters during this party as there were some rare characters. During this visit I had my photo taken with:

Jack Skellington as Santa
Snow White with her Prince
Aurora with Prince Phillip
Scrooge McDuck with Donald & Daisy Duck (Donald in flannel and Daisy in Christmas outfit)
Minnie Mouse in Christmas dress
Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, & Piglet in their scarves
Rapunzel with Flyn Rider
Cinderella with her Prince
Aladdin in Prince Outfit with Abu wearing scarf

After meeting characters I had some cookies and cocoa and then watched Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.

Before the night was over I visited Mickey Mouse. Mickey was wearing his scarf and plaid vest for the party.

As I walked out of Mickey’s area Mary Poppins and Bert were meeting guests. I had my picture taken with them and as I left the penguin joined them so I got back in line and got a picture with all three.

It was then time to call it a night as the party ends at Midnight.

Magic Kingdom Continued

We ended up waiting about 50 minutes to meet Anna and Elsa but it was worth it. They were so great as always and we ended up talking to nice people in line.

After we finished with Anna and Elsa we walked over to Adventureland where we had pictures with Peter Pan. It was a new Peter Pan and while he was good, he wasn’t as good as the seasoned performers. As we walked from Adventureland to Frontierland they were getting floats ready for the Christmas Day parade which will air on ABC. These floats were of the Princesses and their Princes.

After watching the segment of the parade we used our fast pass for the Seven Dwarf Mine Train which was fun as always. At one point the ride had stopped when we were starting an elevation. Next we used our additional fast pass to go on Peter Pan’s Flight which is one of my favorite attractions.

We then played some portals of Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom and did some shopping including at the pin store in Frontierland. Tomorrowland is where we headed next and got our picture taken on the side of the castle. This was when we went on another must do attraction, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. I have to admit the fatigue caught up with me and I fell asleep on the Carousel of Progress.

After the Carousel of Progress we got our wrist bands for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.