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Magic Kingdom and MVMCP

MGM Studios

Epcot

Magic Kingdom

Downtown Disney and Chef Mickey's

It's Tuesday morning, and the sun is shining brightly with promises from the weatherman that the skies will remain this way with the temperature hitting somewhere in the mid to upper 70s. A perfect forecast in our minds. Today is going to be an awfully busy day for us. We have a character breakfast scheduled at Cape May Café this morning, and we have tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party tonight at the Magic Kingdom. We are also still trying to secure a Priority Seating at either Liberty Tree Tavern or Crystal Palace for dinner tonight before we embark on our MVMCP adventure.

Unfortunately, Daddy woke up with a plugged ear. I thought it was lagging over from the flight yesterday, so I really didn't give it much thought. Sometimes it goes away on its own. As I was to find out later this was one of those times that it didn't.

It's off to the Cape May Café in the lobby of the Beach Club. This will be a first for everyone in the family as we have never experienced any type of character meal before. We had a 9:45 Priority Seating, but unfortunately it was somewhat crowded, so we had about a 10 minute wait for our table. The wait was not that bad, as Cape May has a waiting area just outside that looks into the restaurant. Michael and Elisabeth were able to get a preview of what was to come as a couple of characters visited the table right where we were waiting.

Finally our beeper went off and it was our turn to be seated. We ended up with a pretty good table as we were right up by the buffet area.

Our first visitor to the table was the head beach goof himself...GOOFY!! Mommy and Daddy were a little concerned as to how Elisabeth and Michael would react to a character being so close to them, but they both really enjoyed it. Goofy took a liking to Elisabeth's pony tails. He must have thought that they reminded him of his floppy ears. We had visits from several other characters including Chip and Dale. Daddy finally found out from Mommy how to tell Chip and Dale apart. We had heard that Minnie Mouse was also supposed to be at the breakfast, but she was nowhere to be found. Elisabeth and Mommy were disappointed as they were looking forward to meeting the second most-famous Disney character.

All of a sudden I saw a group of people heading up towards the front entrance of

  the restaurant. Sure enough the reason for all the commotion was that Minnie Mouse was actually in her own little area near the entrance of the restaurant. You had to go to Minnie to get your picture taken rather than having her come to your table. We were prepared for the worst as we knew that there would be quite a few people waiting around to take a picture with her, and from what I found out she was only out there for 30 minute blocks of time.
 

We were fairly close to being done with breakfast when we saw Minnie waving good-bye to the people who were still in line. I thought that was kind of odd that she would be leaving with people still up there waiting. Our waitress came back to inform us that Minnie just went for a "potty break", and that she would be right back. Whew!!!, that was a relief. I think Elisabeth would have been pretty bummed out had she not been able to meet Minnie.

As soon as Daddy saw Minnie coming back, Mommy took Michael and Elisabeth up to get in line while Daddy was left with the bill. Isn't that how it always is fellas?? Mommy, Michael, and Elisabeth finally reached the front of the line just as Daddy arrived with the camera. SAY CHEESE!!!...CLICK!! Minnie gave Mommy two "thumbs up" for her shirt, which had Minnie's main man proudly displayed.

Just as we were about to walk out the door, Michael and Elisabeth spotted this case that contained a sand castle-based beach scene. We had a hard time prying them away from this until we told them that our next stop was Stormalong Bay. Time to go and do some swimming.

 

After a quick change into our suits we were off for our trek down to the pool. With some of the posts that we had read regarding the length of the walk down to Stormalong Bay from the Villas, we were concerned that it would be a problem for the kids. You know, it really wasn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

We all had a marvelous time at the pool. Elisabeth and Michael scoped out a spot out near the Boardwalk where there was a zero entry point with a sandy beach. Elisabeth was a bit skeptical of getting into the water, so Mommy had to do a bit of coaxing. Once she was in though she started splashing up a storm. Michael, on the other hand, took to the pool like a fish.

Time now for naps before heading out to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

While the kids slept, Daddy got on the phone one more time to see if there were any possible Priority Seatings for Liberty Tree Tavern or Crystal Palace. After making a couple of calls, DVC Member Services finally came through with a 4:45 P.M. time at Crystal Palace. This worked out well for us, since Crystal Palace is a Pooh and Friends character meal. After the kiddies awoke from their nap, it was time to hit the road to the Magic Kingdom. We pulled into the TTC parking lot with plenty of time to spare before our Priority Seating time, or so we thought. I guess I underestimated the amount of people that would be waiting to take the monorail at this time, so it looked as though we were going to miss our PS time.

After waiting about 10 minutes our monorail showed up. This is what Michael and Elisabeth had been waiting for...a ride on the famous monorail through the Contemporary and on to Main Street U.S.A.!!! I could just see the excitement in their eyes, and you know Mommy and Daddy were feeling the excitement as well. As the monorail traveled steadily through the Contemporary, we pointed out to the kiddies where Chef Mickey's was, and told them we'd be dining with Mickey there on Saturday. As we pulled out of the Contemporary Elisabeth said, "There's Cinderella's Castle", and Michael shouted..."Castle Castle", while pointing at the spires of Cinderella's Castle rising above the Magic Kingdom. As we exited the monorail and walked down from the Main Street U.S.A. station, we caught our first glimpse of the 75 Mickey statues that were created for Mickey's 75th birthday celebration. It was really incredible to see some of the artwork that went into these creations.

Looking at my watch it appears as though we were going to miss our PS by 20 minutes at Crystal Palace. We raced over there to see how long of a wait it was now going to be. I went up to the CM at Crystal Palace, and explained to them what had happened with the long backup at the TTC. She was very sympathetic to our situation, and told us that there wouldn't be a problem getting us in. We would be able to get the next table. With the amount of people already there I knew we must have had some "pixie dust" dropped on us, and we had a table in 5 minutes. Just as we were walking in Daddy snapped this shot of the castle. We knew this would be a good spot for Wishes, and to see Tinker Bell's flight from the castle.

We lucked out again with our table location. We were one of the first tables that the characters came to. Lo and behold who was the first character to show up, but the Pooh bear himself. We learned rather quickly that we were going to need to buy one of the character autograph pens, as Pooh had a bit more trouble handling the one we had than the characters we met at Cape May's breakfast. We also had visits from Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet.

At various times during the meal music started playing and all of the characters picked up signs and started marching around the entire restaurant with children in tow. We tried to get Elisabeth to go, but she didn't want any part of it. Michael was ready, willing, and able, but he was too much of a wanderer to participate, so we just all sat back and watched. As we watched I noticed a little girl with no hair leading the parade around. It brought a tear to Mommy and Daddy's eyes as we are so thankful that we have two healthy children. When you see a child who's sick with a huge smile on their face, you know just how magical Walt Disney World is. I hope and pray that the little girl had a magical time, and that she is well today.

Now for the main event...MICKEY's VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY. The park was closed to all non-MVMCP guests at 6:00 P.M., and it wasn't until 7:00 that most of the rides opened back up for the party's guests. Our first stop was Adventure's of Pooh, which Elisabeth got a little spooked on due to the "bumpiness" of the ride. Next, it was on to the Mad Tea Party. Daddy and Michael decided this was a "girls only" ride, so we watched while Mommy and Elisabeth spun and spun to their heart's content. It was now on to Dumbo, and to our surprise the Seven Dwarves were on the ride when we arrived. After countless attepts at coaxing Elisabeth to ride Dumbo with either Mommy or myself we finally gave up. Unfortunately, Michael was a bit too small yet for this ride.

We decided then, that since the crowds were still relatively light in Fantasyland that we would take the opporotunity to go catch Mickey's Philharmagic. Mommy, Daddy, and Michael all loved the show, but Elisabeth got a little spooked by some of the 3-D images shooting out at her. We tried taking her glasses off, but by that time it was too late, and she basically closed her eyes for the rest of the show, except the part where we were sprayed with water. Not much mind you, but enough to get your attention. It was now time to stake out a good location for the early Christmas Parade. Mommy and Daddy both figured that with such a long day in the books and short naps, that the kiddies wouldn't last until the late parade. Hi Ho...Hi Ho...it's off to search we go...sorry I couldn't resist. We found a great location right across from the Liberty Tree Tavern to watch the parade.

While Mommy, Michael, and Elisabeth kept our spots, I went off in search of Pal Mickey, other souvenirs, and some hot chocolate. I should have taken the video camera, because I missed my chance to get a shot of the snow on Main Street U.S.A. It was really amazing when it hit you because it actually felt like real snow. After tracking down Pal Mickey, and 4 Mickey Ear Santa Hats it was time to settle in and enjoy the parade.

The parade started off with two local high school marching bands playing a variety of Christmas carols along with their marching flag corps and cheerleaders. You just can't beat the sound of a group of tubas belting out "Jingle Bells". There was a slight pause and then we saw in the distance a group of characters from Alice in Wonderland, along with some of our favorite Fab 5'ers Goofy and Pluto. Next came Minnie and Mickey on top of a tree decorated float, and then came the parade of Princesses including: Sleeping Beauty on her horse, Belle and The Beast, and Cinderella and Prince Charming in Cinderella's Coach. Surprisingly though Michael and Elisabeth seemed to really enjoy the Green Army Men band from Toy Story, and the Toy Soldiers on Parade. How the soldiers kept totally in synch is beyond me. I'd have trouble just walking in those suits. There were other floats with various character ensembles on them including the Brer Bunch, Chip and Dale, Toy Story/Toy Story 2, Song of the South, and Pooh. Mrs. Claus was there on her own float, and of course the finale of the evening...SANTA!!!, perched high atop a float in his sleigh.

With the parade over we followed Santa all the way over the bridge from Liberty Square to the circle in front of the castle, and there we veered off towards the Crystal Palace to get our spot for "Wishes". What a spectacular show it was. From the very beginning where Tinker Bell makes her flight from the castle to start the show, to the Grand Finale that lit up the sky all around the Magic Kingdom. It was if you were totally encircled by the fireworks.

We decided to hang around for a while longer to let some of the crowd thin out. We took a nice walk through the rest of Magic Kingdom and picked up some hot chocolate, and I do mean HOT, and some yummy cookies. On our way out we paused just to take in some of the decorations at night on Main Street U.S.A. Unfortunately, for Mommy, Michael, and Elisabeth, the snow had stopped, but the other decorations were beautiful. The massive tree at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom sparkled with thousands of lights, and the Main Street station was like a bright beacon all lit up for the holidays.

It was now time for us to say so long to the 2003 edition of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. All in all I'd have to say it was a completely magical day. Michael and Elisabeth were both exhausted. This is a good thing, for Mommy and Daddy now knew that a good night's sleep was just ahead.

There was still a little bit of magic left in the evening, however. Instead of fighting the crowds going back on the monorail, we decided to ferry it back to the TTC. We lucked out and were at the very front of the boarding line, so we were able to move all the way up to the front of the ferry. As the ferry was getting ready to pull out the timing worked out just right, so that we were able to see the Electrical Water Pageant that works it way across Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. This was just the perfect end to a great day in the most magical place on Earth.

Tomorrow...Disney-MGM Studios.