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Magic Kingdom and MVMCP

MGM Studios

Epcot

Magic Kingdom

Downtown Disney and Chef Mickey's


Our second Monday in Disney World, and final day dawned clear with crystal blue skies, and a promise of a mid to high 70 degree temperature. Deb and the kids were still asleep, so I decided to take a final early morning stroll around the entire resort area to click off some shots as the sun rose up over the buildings of World Showcase. What a relaxing 45 minutes or so that I had just strolling along the
Boardwalk and taking in the Christmas music that was being played over the speakers. Not too many people were out at this time of the morning, except for a few joggers.

Since today was going to be more of a "wind down" day for us we didn't have much of a plan in mind except to go back to MGM for a bit, and SpectroMagic at Magic Kingdom tonight.

Since I was walking past the Boardwalk Inn, I decided to take a peek at their Christmas display. I had heard rave reviews about the decorations on the DisBoards that I had to check it out for myself. The Dis'ers who sang the praises of this display hit the proverbial nail right on the head. It was a fantastic display of a Boardwalk amusement area made predominantly out of chocolate. I cannot begin to explain the attention

to detail that must be made to turn out something of this magnitude. As impressive as the Gingerbread House is at the Grand Floridian, and the Gingerbread Carousel at the Beach Club, I don't think either of them come close to holding a candle to this display. Congratulations Boardwalk, you get my vote for best Christmas display, for what that's worth.

Time to get the pastries that I picked up at the Boardwalk Bakery back to the room as a final sweet treat for the family. As I arrived back at the room, Deb, Michael, and Elisabeth were just getting up. After a quick bite to eat it was time for us to get ready to head on on over to MGM to see if Michael and Elisabeth could see some of their other favorite characters from Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. Little did we know that Elisabeth would get an extra added surprise. More on this later. Our luck was still holding out as we were able to catch a Friendship boat just as it was coming up to the dock at the Yacht Club. So we hopped on and took another leisurely boat ride over to MGM.

As we walked through the turnstyles we discovered that MGM was not all that crowded. I'm thinking yesterday might have been Early Entry for MGM, so that could explain some of the reason for the small crowd...it certainly wasn't the weather. Now for Elisabeth's added surprise. At the beginning of the trip she was hoping to meet a princess, any princess. On our first trip over to MGM we were so preoccupied with a specific plan that we failed to realize that they had character meet and greets at the Sorcer's Hat. The first group of characters were all ones that Elisabeth and Michael had previously met, so we just decided to mill around the area for a bit to see what the second group was going to bring. Sure enough it was a grouping of face characters that none of us had run into as of yet. I was so
hoping that Elisabeth was finally going to get to meet her princess, although we didn't hold out much hope as we heard that it is very hard to find any of the princesses out an about.

All of a sudden, Deb points towards an area right below the Sorcerer's Hat, and says..."Elisabeth, it's Belle!!". Sure enough, it was Elisabeth's favorite princess of all with hardly any line for waiting. Elisabeth was so excited I though she was going to burst at her seams. The CM playing Belle was very nice. She asked Elisabeth if she was having fun at Disney World, and basically showered her with as much attention as possible. Just a very pleasant experience all around. I wish I had one of those CM award tokens or buttons, because this CM deserved it 100%. I think that was the entire trip for her right there at that moment. This was her goal, and it looked as though the pixie dust wasn't going to come through for her, but hey this is Disney World, and the pixie dust never runs out until you wave your final good-bye as you pass through the gates on your way out. Just to see the smile on her face made the trip for Deb and I.

Now, our focus switched to Michael and a search for a couple of his favorites, Buzz and Woody. I had forgotten how off the beat and path that Al's Toy Barn was, but we finally ended up in the right place. There they were, Buzz, Woody, and Jessie. Michael was really excited to see them, but just as we found a place in line it was a break time. Luckily the break was only going to be about 5-10 minutes according to the CM that was with them, so we just decided to wait it out. Michael started crying a bit because they were leaving, but Deb explained to him that they were simply taking a "potty break" and would be right back. About 5 minutes later, the door of Al's Toy Barn swung open and out came Woody, Buzz, and Jessie. We were second in line, and Michael couldn't wait to get up to see his Toy Story friends. I don't know who was playing Jessie, but whoever it was really paid a great deal of attention to the

kids. Jessie seemed to be much more animated and interactive than Buzz and Woody. To our amazement, Buzz and Woody still signed Elisabeth's autograph book with the old trusty ink stamp, while Jessie signed herself. I guess by looking at Buzz and Woody, it is hard for them to grab even the thick autograph pens. Deb wanted to try and ride Rock n' Rollercoaster, so we decided to head over there via New York Street.

Michael and Elisabeth both seemed to be amazed at the set scenary on New York street. There was quite a bit of construction going on in this area with the new car stunt show that was being built where the old Residential street was, and they also seemed to be doing some rehabbing of buildings right on New York Street. The kids were a bit hungry, so we stopped to get some hot pretzels from one of the street vendors. I'm not a big fan of the hot pretzel, but these were very good. If you get a chance to try them out, do so.

As morning turned into afternoon, the crowds began to pick up a bit. Probably alot of people were just heading over to get some rides in before the parade and then Fantasmic that evening. We decided we better get over to Rock

n' Rollercoaster before the lines started filling up. As we walked through the gate we saw that the Stand-By line wait time was showing as 10 minutes. Deb decided that she wanted to try it, and since I was not a great fan of rollercoasters I was more than too happy to "bond" with the kids for a bit. As I was waiting with the kids I noticed that the wait times for Stand-Bys was updated twice while Deb was gone. By the time she came back out some 25 minutes later the wait time had expanded up to 30 minutes. Still not too bad for this time of day. She said it was a fun ride, but she still liked Tower of Terror the best.

Walking out of Rock n' Rollercoaster Deb wanted to see how long the line for ToT was. If it was short enough she wanted to take one last drop before we left. I guess ToT was more popular today because the wait time was 60 minutes. Seeing that it was well past lunch time we decided it was time to head back to the room, eat, maybe get a quick swim and nap in, and then get ready to head over Magic Kingdom later. We barely missed the boat to get back, so we had about a 15 minute wait for the next one. Little did I know that this was sign that my luck on this trip was about to run out. On the boat trip back to the Yacht Club marina, I was stung not once, but twice by a yellowjacket on my knee. I immediately threw some ice on the stings when we got back to the room, but my knee felt like it had 1,000 tiny needles sticking in it for the rest of the evening. I guess swimming is definitely out at this point. I was hoping to avoid having to trek back to the Centra Care clinic, for if I did I was sure that we weren't going to make SpectroMagic. Luckily I was able to suck it up, and we headed over to Magic Kingdom.

Since SpectroMagic was starting early this evening we decided to stake out a spot on Main Street for this parade. Little did we know that the parade was actually going to start up Main Street, and wind its way back towards the castle and Liberty Square. In fact, I almost missed taping the first couple of floats because of this. I know alot of people prefer the old Main Street Electrical parade to SpectroMagic, but I really enjoyed seeing all the floats and characters lit up. Deb and the kids really seemed to enjoy this parade as well, and because it's not regularly scheduled we felt a bit blessed that we were able to see this parade. Since we hadn't finished packing yet, and it would be a long day for the kids tomorrow, with the flight back, we decided to call it an early evening. I dropped Deb and the kids back off at the hotel, and then ran to McDonald's to get us a quick bite, while the kids ate the last of their food that we had bought at the store. As I was driving back to the villas for the last time it hit me that we would be back home tomorrow. I was already missing the warmth and sun, as Chicago was still suffering in the high 30s and low 40s with snow and rain. I will end our trip report with a few pictures of the Christmas decorations at the Beach Club/Beach Club Villas. Until November 2004, we bid Walt Disney World a fond farewell. Thanks to Disney for making our holiday season a bit more magical than usual.