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Magic Kingdom and MVMCP

MGM Studios

Epcot

Magic Kingdom

Downtown Disney and Chef Mickey's

Friday was the first day that we had where the weather was not ideal. The skies were very overcast for the better part of the morning and early afternoon. According to the trusty weatherman, the rain was supposed to miss us. We certainly hoped that this forecast was true because today was a full day at Magic Kingdom. We were hoping possibly to see some of the taping of the Christmas parade that airs on ABC on Christmas Day, but by the time we drove out to the TTC lot, trammed over to the TTC, and monorailed over to Main Street U.S.A., we basically caught the very last floats as they made the loop in front of the station. Regis and Kelly were nowhere to be seen. Our first stop was Cinderella's Castle. Elisabeth was insistent that we walk right through the opening in the castle. I think her hope was to actually run into Cinderella herself. After making our way through the castle without a Cinderella siting, we decided that a ride on the Carousel was in order.

For some reason, Elisabeth decided that she didn't want to take a ride on the Carousel. I don't know why as she likes to ride on the one back home in the mall. Whatever the case was, Daddy and Michael got to do the honors. Even though he seemed to have a death grip on the horse, Michael thoroughly enjoyed his time aboard his trusty steed. When the Carousel stopped I basically had to pry his hands away from the horse's neck, and he kept shouting AGAIN...AGAIN!! The line was starting to back-up a bit, so I decided to see if I could convince Elisabeth to go for a spin. Not a chance. If time permitted we would try again later in the afternoon. "It's a Small World" was next on our agenda. The wait wasn't too long for this at this point. Elisabeth again didn't want to do this ride because it was on a boat. I finally convinced her to come along, but it wasn't a very enjoyable

experience for her as she was very much on guard for the boat possibly sinking. We kept telling her that he boat wasn't going to sink, but she wouldn't believe us. I felt a bit bad for both her and the others in our boat. Finally, the end of the ride was near. I never thought I'd be wishing for a ride to end, but that was it.

Mickey's Toontown Fair was our next destination. It was getting close to lunchtime, but both kiddies decided that they simply wanted to snack on their cereal for lunch. So I found a hot dog vendor standing right outside the houses of Mickey and Minnie, and Mommy and Daddy both had what I feel was a great tasting hot dog. It was not a small dog either. Definitely worth the money. After Mommy finished her hot dog, Elisabeth wanted to go through Mickey and Minnie's houses. After not doing the Carousel and not being very happy in It's a Small World, this was a good opportunity to get her back in a happier mood. Judging by the photos to the right it seemed to have worked. Michael wasn't too interested in taking a tour through the houses, so he stayed outside with me while we waited for Mommy and Elisabeth to return.

All of us wanted to take a spin on the Walt Disney World Railroad, so we jumped onto the train at the Toontown station. Michael and Elisabeth both enjoyed the ride, but there really isn't much to see of the park from this vantage point. There were a couple of scenes that Imagineers developed around the Tom Sawyer Island area, but much of the trip was looking out at forested areas. Once we returned from making the loop of the park, Michael and Elisabeth wanted to go into a playground area that was just outside the gates of the train station. We still had a while before the parade started, so we decided to let them run around for a while. The both had a great time sliding down the slides and crawling through tunnels. Needless to say this was a pretty popular area, and it was difficult to get the kids to leave. However, the prospect of seeing a new parade did the trick, and we were off to find a spot for the Make a Dream Come True parade.


We ended up getting a spot for the parade just before the bridge that leads into Liberty Square. We had about 30 minutes before the parade was due to start, so Mommy went into a couple of the shops in Liberty Square to see what souvenirs were to be had here. The overcast was thinning a bit, but the Sun was still unable to break through. Off in the distance we could hear the faint sounds of marching bands beginning to grow closer and closer until we could see the first banners turning the corner out of Liberty Square to come down the road and over the bridge on their way towards the castle. There was a bit of a lull between the marching bands and the first parade floats, but then we saw the first snowglobe float pull around the corner and come towards us.

The first float featured the head mouse himself...MICKEY!!! It was really kind of neat to see the characters basically dancing inside this snow globe contraption. I'm wondering how they ventilate these things. I'm assuming there has to be some sort of air conditioning in there as well because that has to become a hot house on those 80+ degree days.

As the parade wore on we discovered that we weren't in as good of a spot as we had thought. Many of the character skits that are performed during the balance of the parade were taking place further up the road from our location. Because of this there were several times where there was a bit of a gap between floats. Nothing too major, but I think the kids would have like to seen more skits.

We did luck out, however, when the float with Aladdin showed up. For some reason many of the characters from the 100 Acre Woods were riding with Aladdin and the Big Blue Genie. I'm still trying to figure this one out. Anyhow, they did this little skit right in front of us where Aladdin waved a magic wand and Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger began dance. After a couple of minutes the characters, with help from some of the Cast Members chaperoning the parade, pulled some the kids from the crowd out into the parade area to dance alongside them. As the end of the parade went past us, and the ropes came down, we basically followed the parade right over the bridge to the castle.

As the parade wound past the castle and down towards Main Street U.S.A., a character meet and greet was taking place right below the castle. With all of the characters we had already met up with, Elisabeth had yet to get Donald's autograph. We did see him at Epcot yesterday, but the caravan loaded up before we were able to get up to the front of his line. So, we took this opportunity to get the big duck's autograph. Little did we know that he'd be at Chef Mickey's tomorrow evening for our dinner. As luck would have it, another of Elisabeth's missing autographs was also here...Lilo.

Daddy thought that a picture of just "the girls" would be appropriate here. In reality, I think the kids have had the most fun meeting the characters, and that's fine by me. As long as they are happy, that's most important. It also kept Daddy from getting frustrated standing in ride lines...LOL!!

Mommy remembered reading something about a "to die for" dessert that she thought was available in the Magic Kingdom. It was called a Dole Whip, but we had looked just about everywhere for it, and couldn't find it. There was only one other land that we hadn't been to visit today, and that was Frontier Land. We came up on Splash Mountain and decided to watch a few of the logs come down the hill. Would Elisabeth (Michael's too small for many of these rides) decide that she'd want to try Splash Mountain just to get all wet...NOPE!! She did, however, allow me to take a picture with Mommy and Michael in front of the giant mountain.

It looked as though Mommy was going to have to go without finding her Dole Whip dessert. As we were making our way out of Frontier Land and walking towards the bridge over by the Swiss Family Tree House, here was this little shack of a building on our left, and what do you know...they were selling Dole Whips!!! I don't know how to describe this dessert except that it was outstanding. It was basically soft-serve ice cream with a Dole pineapple flavor to it. You could get the straight pineapple, vanilla, or a pineapple/vanilla swirl. Definitely go for the swirl. It was now around 5:30, and this happened to be another evening for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, so the park was going to be closing at 6:00. YIKES!! we had to get a move on.

Well...we couldn't leave without getting the kids pictures in front of the Walt/Mickey statue, so Mommy got to do the honors again. Do you see a recurring theme here?? Time to hit the road, one last look down Main Street U.S.A., and one last look up Main Street U.S.A. We'll see you on Monday night for Spectromagic!! Back to the TTC, then McDonald's for Happy Meals for the kids, and it is pizza night for Mommy and Daddy from Spoodles' Take Out on the Boardwalk.