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Old 11-08-2018, 05:01 PM   #111
broganmc
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They are live streaming the parade tonight from the top of the train station. Look at the Disney blog guys. I just saw them setting up for filming.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:28 AM   #112
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I'm back from my first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. For the third time in two weeks, I was the very last guest in the park. That had me exiting shortly after 2am and home by 3am. My cousin and I stayed later so we could get some nice after dark photos of the Contemporary's Christmas Tree. (In all my years of visiting WDW during the holidays, I only ever captured the tree from a monorail window. It is much cooler up close and personal. There's also a cool huge patio surrounding it. If you're staying at Bay Lake or the Contemporary, I highly advise you go over to the tree to snap your family photo.)

Cuz and I got to Magic Kingdom shortly after 3pm. I wanted to get there before 2pm but a work thing sprang up and I spent 2 hours troubleshooting. Oh well, it pays for my Christmas merchandise.

There was a huge line forming for the party but those guests couldn't get in until 4pm, so we made our way over to the AP line. Got us in early and gave us time to enjoy Main Street in the daylight. I had a full slate of FPs, but we quickly tossed that aside and went on a whim.

Our first ride had to be the steam train.



It's everyone's favorite ride in my family. It was a very warm, unseasonably warm, day. While the day guests sweated it out in their tanks tops and shorts, I prayed for a setting sun to make my long sleeve Christmas outfit more bearable.

Upon our return, day guests started filtering out while the Party guests entered. The voice over the loud speaker informed us that the park closed at 6pm and would reopen to party guests at 7pm. It was the first Christmas Party of the season and it was also SOLD OUT. Yikes! That made for a bit of Main Street pandemonium while guests filtered in and out.

Up on the Train Station balcony a film crew got ready to broadcast the season's first Christmas Parade. (I hope some of you caught the live feed.)



Our new ride plan was to get a Return Time for Seven Dwarfs and do a few rides before dark. We split up so Cuz could go explore the landscaping and I could get my holiday photo on Main Street. I was next in line for a photo right down the street to the giant Christmas Tree when that Move It, Shake It parade chased everyone to the sidewalks.

I gave up and headed onto FantasyLand. (Had to take the TomorrowLand path since the Castle Circle was closed off.)

We chose Mickey's Philharmagic as our first attraction. (Seven Dwarfs return time was 5:47pm.) They weren't running it during the party so now was the time to see it. Cuz loves Donald Duck. I always get a kick out of that little magic broom Donald taunts, only to get taunted himself by the bigger and stronger broom.

We got our wristbands at the exit and took a quick restroom break before our rollercoaster ride.

The sun was setting in the most gorgeous colors. There was even a rainbow over Gaston's. It doesn't look it, but this really is Beast's Castle behind me. Looks more like a movie Matte painting, doesn't it?



Alas, Seven Dwarfs shut down just as we were about to get into line. Makes you feel bad for all those day guests who waited an hour to get a ride as their last activity in the park. They were giving people FPs for another ride either today or tomorrow. My DAS says it's good for ANY Disney ride thru tomorrow, except for the real hard-to-get FPs (Avatar, Slinky Dog, etc.)

We opted for a stroll thru the park and ultimately a ride on the Jingle Cruise. I've done that many times over NYE but never after dark. Darkness adds something festive to the experience. The jokes are corny but the decorations are fun. Ya gotta love the monkey wrapping station and Santa Trader Sam.

We were getting hungry, so we headed over to Liberty Square and had an early dinner break. As we sat there, the park slowly transformed into Christmas central. All ideas of ride-hopping were put aside in favor of enjoying the festivities. After all, we can ride things any visit.

So we made our way back to the Castle Circle to see the first of the Castle Christmas shows. They use full projections on the Castle. I slipped out to buy myself a Passholder shirt and pin. But Cuz had the best spot saved for us in the FP fireworks viewing area... right behind the wheelchair fireworks viewing area. They rope it off when the party starts but no CM is there to let any wheelies inside.

We watched Queen Elsa light the Castle with her signature icicles (the same ones I was seeing at 3am from my BLT room a couple weeks ago). Then found a PhotoPass lady setup right beside us for some fun magic shots.



I had already snagged one on Main Street at the height of the party.



The parade was an hour away so we decided to go off in search of some holiday treats. Last time I came to the party (some 9 years ago), they only served hot chocolate and snickerdoodles. Now they have a selection of treats throughout the park. You can get hot chocolate, eggnog, sno-cones, apple cider, warm snowman pretzels, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, peppermint cookies, eggnog cookies, sugar cookies and Dove chocolate candies. The map tells you were you can get what.

I went on a cookie and treat hunt so I sampled it all, except for the cider and eggnog. My favorite was the warm snowman pretzels and ice cold sno-cones from Tortuga. It was such a warm night, we went back for seconds on the sno-cones.



After my treat hunt (I came home with a bag full of cookies), we headed back to the Circle to catch another stage show and fireworks. Cuz and I got split up since he made a quick pit stop and got caught by the crowd. I made it back to the wheelchair viewing spot but it was crowded so I kept going to the TomorrowLand side. Folks there ushered me forward so I had a spot right behind Pinocchio.

I videoed the whole fireworks show. Unfortunately my camera screwed up saving the file. So all I can share are some of the stills I captured along the way.











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Old 11-09-2018, 07:50 AM   #113
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From fireworks to parade viewing. Again I filmed almost a third of the parade before I realized my camera wasn't going to save the file properly. (I really need to get a new phone.) Fortunately, I grabbed several stills and managed to film my favorite short segments, e.g. the marching toy soldiers.

Mickey & Minnie lead off the parade along with several of their FantasyLand friends. (I lost that bit.) The Queen Elsa and Princess Anna arrive with Olaf and Kristoff directing his group of able ice diggers.







Next up come Sugar Rush and Wreck It Ralph along with their sweet candy friends.



And then come the royal couples. Cinderella and Prince Charming looked almost as adorable as those little kids in their Fantasy Strollers.





Then come my favorite toy soldiers. (I'll link the video once I get it uploaded.)

And when you see this:



Or these guys:



You know who's coming to town...

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Old 11-09-2018, 07:59 AM   #114
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The rest of the night we raced around hopping on rides and snapping photos.

I discovered I can ride the Carousel. (There's a ramp taking you to a wheelchair spot on the ride.)

And of course, I had to be the last guest out... again. Gave me some cool photos.





















There were two Disney bloggers there competing with us for Last Guest. They had their tripods and we had our lights and handhelds. I guess their deadlines gave us the edge because at 2:11am, we were officially the Last Guests to be invited out.

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Old 11-09-2018, 08:18 AM   #115
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Gosh, you've had a great trip! Thanks so much for taking us along!
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:19 AM   #116
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We made it as far as the Contemporary before we stopped to take some more cool photos... this time of their iconic 60 ft Christmas Tree.

It's gorgeous at night. Those little white lights are ordinary white LED mini-lights. The color comes from custom-made beachball-size plastic icicle balls.











And so goes my last day in Magic Kingdom this year. I really hate to say goodbye to this park. I may not go on all the rides and this park always seems extra crowded, but it remains my favorite place to feel like a kid. As I was strolling through the park saying my goodbyes, I couldn't help but remember the last time my dad ever saw Magic Kingdom it was decorated for Christmas.

Almost 20 years ago when my mom and dad were still with me, my mom pointed out why we all loved Disney so much. We had gone to Crystal Palace for a birthday lunch. The birthday was my dad's and my brother's. As part of the celebration, Pooh and his friends handed out musical instruments and had all the birthday boys and girls parade thru the Palace playing a birthday song. My mom videotaped the whole thing on one of those antiquated miniDV recorders. I was helping her transfer the video to tape when we saw my dad, 69 yrs young at the time, dancing with Piglet, banging away on a little drum and smiling like a goofy kid. My mom welled up with tears and said that's what she loves best about him. That he can be a serious, responsible man everyone relied upon and still become big silly kid.

Disney does that for a lot of us. It's not the ride or park marathons. It's not the merchandise or meals. It's not the rush to do everything. It's the feeling that pixie dust might be real and the knowledge that everyone can be a playful kid here.

I have one more day in Disney, then I go back to my everyday life. I'll be back again in March. God willing, I'll have many more adventures in Disney (and elsewhere), but I am most grateful for all the happy memories I made here with Dad. because of them, I won't remember my dad as old, grumpy or tired. I'll remember him laughing his head off as I screamed my way thru my first ever ride on a rollercoaster.



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Old 11-09-2018, 10:38 AM   #117
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Beautiful trip report.
Thank you for taking us along.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:58 AM   #118
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Great trip Report
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:05 PM   #119
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What a great trip! Safe travels back home.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:59 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broganmc View Post
We made it as far as the Contemporary before we stopped to take some more cool photos... this time of their iconic 60 ft Christmas Tree.

It's gorgeous at night. Those little white lights are ordinary white LED mini-lights. The color comes from custom-made beachball-size plastic icicle balls.




And so goes my last day in Magic Kingdom this year. I really hate to say goodbye to this park. I may not go on all the rides and this park always seems extra crowded, but it remains my favorite place to feel like a kid. As I was strolling through the park saying my goodbyes, I couldn't help but remember the last time my dad ever saw Magic Kingdom it was decorated for Christmas.

Almost 20 years ago when my mom and dad were still with me, my mom pointed out why we all loved Disney so much. We had gone to Crystal Palace for a birthday lunch. The birthday was my dad's and my brother's. As part of the celebration, Pooh and his friends handed out musical instruments and had all the birthday boys and girls parade thru the Palace playing a birthday song. My mom videotaped the whole thing on one of those antiquated miniDV recorders. I was helping her transfer the video to tape when we saw my dad, 69 yrs young at the time, dancing with Piglet, banging away on a little drum and smiling like a goofy kid. My mom welled up with tears and said that's what she loves best about him. That he can be a serious, responsible man everyone relied upon and still become big silly kid.

Disney does that for a lot of us. It's not the ride or park marathons. It's not the merchandise or meals. It's not the rush to do everything. It's the feeling that pixie dust might be real and the knowledge that everyone can be a playful kid here.

I have one more day in Disney, then I go back to my everyday life. I'll be back again in March. God willing, I'll have many more adventures in Disney (and elsewhere), but I am most grateful for all the happy memories I made here with Dad. because of them, I won't remember my dad as old, grumpy or tired. I'll remember him laughing his head off as I screamed my way thru my first ever ride on a rollercoaster.



Beautifully said! You brought a tear to my eye and a big smile.
Iím so glad you had a good trip, so glad for all of your adventures, past and those to come!

Get ready, itís going to be cold back at home!
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