It's safe to say that this trip had TONS of events that I was looking forward to prior to going. I can't even begin to rank which one I was most excited for, but Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, or the MVMCP, in the Magic Kingdom was greatly anticipated! This was going to be my very first party event at Disney, and I wanted to dress up a little for it. Prior to the trip I told Kyle glitter would be involved & involved it was! I ended up in a fully sequined top, with a blinged out headband, and a giant black crystal cocktail ring that was in the shape of a bow. Top all that off with a red cardigan and red lipstick, and I felt very festive!
|My ring was my favorite detail.|
You all know that I have no sense of direction, right? Every time we left our room and got off of the elevator at ground level, Kyle hung back to see which way I'd turn. Every time I turned in the direction that would have run us into some shrubs. Every. Single. Time. *face palm* This time was no exception, but I stopped about 2 steps in the wrong direction to look back at a grinning Kyle and told him my shoes hurt and sheepishly admitted I wore the cuter shoes instead of the practical ones and needed to go back for the practical ones. He kindly went back with me. Second time down the elevator in 10 minutes, and I AGAIN turned into the shrubs. I'm convinced that Disney would be better served by bus stops over by those shrubs...
As soon as we got into Magic Kingdom, Kyle said he was hungry. I knew he'd been waiting for a Dole Whip, so I wasn't surprised. As soon as we got into Aloha Isle, another bird attacked him. (I asked Kyle's permission before I blogged about this one because I didn't want him embarrassed. He laughed about it and said to go ahead.) While standing in line for his tasty treat, I heard an odd noise, and turned around to realize a bird had relieved itself all down the front of Kyle's shirt! He was standing there in shocked disgust, quite frozen really. He looked at me and exclaimed, "I need to go to the bathroom!" and literally BOLTED out of line and down the walk towards the bathrooms. I slowly followed him, and at one point he did look to see if I followed. What he doesn't know is that I stood outside the bathrooms and looked like a CRAZY woman because I kept bursting into giggles! Y'all - the look on his face when that bird got him was priceless! I couldn't help it! It was funny! Keeping in mind that I would be annoyed if he laughed at me if the roles were reversed, I quickly calmed my giggles and composed myself before he came out from cleaning up. ;-) After that brief setback, he had his Dole Whip and a place to sit to enjoy it and calm down a bit before we moved on. I don't know what he did to the birds in the Magic Kingdom, but they really had it out for him this trip!
The Jungle Cruise was close and a favorite attraction, so it was our next stop. While Magic Kingdom still had regular park guests in it, the crowds were already starting to thin. We had Skipper Miranda on our cruise, and she was great! All of the skippers are usually good, but her delivery was even better than usual.
Pirates of the Caribbean was our next stop, and the crowds were thinning out more as the afternoon went on. By the time we ended our visit with Captain Jack Sparrow, night had fallen, and we were seeing MVMCP wristbands on everyone we passed. The cast members were beginning to stop guests without wristbands from going on attractions, and the hot chocolate and cookies stands were being stocked.
it's a small world had its typically short queue, so we stopped in so Kyle could see his kinfolk: the platypi!
|This would be easier to see if I used a flash, but PSA time:|
Don't use flash on dark rides!
Before going much further, I realized I was getting really hungry, and we were right by the Mickey Pretzels stand. I'd seen pictures of these seemingly mythical pretzels that are bigger than a small child, but I'd never had one. Much like most all Disney food, the pretzel was wonderful! It was the perfect hot pretzel: soft, chewy, and salty. The hot cheese that came with it was a nice addition. The cast member pointed out that the pretzel is one of the best values on the Disney Dining Plan because it's one of the highest priced snacks you can get for a snack credit, and lots of people can share it. I couldn't finish it myself!
|This is my favorite part of the Haunted Mansion queue.|
|Kyle taking time to figure out the riddle on the busts|
|Love this photo of me playing the organ!|
It really plays when you touch the keys.
(OK I do look a little possessed, but it's ghostly!)
On the way to find some complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, we walked on to it's a small world for a quick ride. As usual, I ended up with the song stuck in my head for a while. There was a hot chocolate station in Pinocchio's Village Haus, so we sat down for refreshments. Some people rave about the cookies and hot chocolate, but I was not a fan. The hot chocolate was basically Swiss Miss, and it wasn't hot enough for me. I like my hot chocolate steaming hot. I can understand why it needs to be a bit cooler for the party though. I found it sickeningly sweet though. The cookies were snickerdoodles, but they were cold and had a slight freezer burned taste to them. It was like they had been frozen after baking which seems odd to me since Disney does so much fresh, and they hadn't been taken out to thaw for long enough prior to the event. I expected warm cookies. Honestly, though, I was ok with all of that. The cookies and hot chocolate weren't the expected highlight of the party for me anyways.
|The cups were cute! :)|
As we walked through Magic Kingdom, we saw numerous characters dressed in their holiday finery. That was where the crowds seemed to gather, so instead of waiting for photos, we watched the characters interact with guests and then moved on. Sometimes a mental picture is just as nice as an actual photo.
I love riding the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and I made Kyle hang back with me as I played with every single aspect of the interactive queue! There were no children playing, so all these people walked by this single, adult woman playing alone. I didn't care! I was having fun! There's a rope that I never saw anyone pull in June. I'd tell you what it does, but I really think you should go give it a pull yourself. :)
Tomorrowland is so pretty at night as it's full of lights. We went over to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, and this time Kyle was safe from the birds. I like riding most of the rides at night, but this one is pretty special. It gives you a higher view of the lights of the park and Cinderella Castle. I don't know why more people aren't in love with this attraction!
In June Kyle beat me at Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. This December it looked like that would be the case again:
|You're reading that right. I only score 18K. Embarrassing.|
|I always get a wide-eyed, cross-eyed, crazy look in this |
ride photo. No idea why, but it makes me cringe.
Around 8:30 we were both finally hungry for dinner, so we went to one of the few places that was open: Cosmic Ray's. I was surprised at how many people were eating dinner at the same time as us! Inside they were having a dance party. I just don't get the Disney obsession with dance parties. I guess kids like them? There were a couple of elves dancing as well and various characters. It was nice to get to watch. The male elf MC could *not* do the YMCA which gave us lots of laughs.
The MVMCP has a special fireworks show: Holiday Wishes and the Magic, Memories, and You show has a little Christmas cheer added to it. We claimed a spot on Main Street, USA with a great view only to have a couple plant themselves in front of us. It wouldn't have been a problem, but the woman kept cleaning out her stroller and purse and moving to throw stuff away during the show which kept blocking Kyle's view. It was a very "I'm starring in my own movie" moment for that woman. I kept wondering if she was even noticing the beautiful show going on in front of her! Not ones to let other people destroy the magic for us, we viewed it all the best we could and ended up with some neat photos. I couldn't pick just a couple of photos, so I'm going to post a handful here.
|Love this angle!|
We had enough time before the Christmas Parade for another ride on the Haunted Mansion. I am finally getting to the point where I can say the narration along with the Ghost Host. Never thought I'd be able to do that! (Keep in mind I was deathly afraid of the Haunted Mansion until a couple of years ago!)
The MVMCP Parade was amazing! I can't say enough good about it! I started to broadcast it on UStream, but then I realized I really wanted to take photos instead:
Streaming live video by Ustream
The music, the characters, the close viewing seats we got... oh wow! It all added up to a phenomenal experience! Enjoy some photos of the parade:
We missed Big Thunder Mountain in June, and it's a roller coaster Kyle enjoys, so we went over there after the parade. We got run over by some teens who forgot life isn't a race, and after some pointed looks from us, they let us get in front of them. No trying to be a witch, but it was late, and they were rude. I started feeling a little ill after that ride, and we were both exhausted. I'd love to be someone who stays in the parks until 1 AM, but when I get up at 8 AM, that's just not possible. Maybe one day I'll sleep in until 10 AM and then stay super late in the parks. As we headed out, we did a little bit more shopping, so I could find a Christmas pin for my work lanyard.
|Snow on Main Street, USA!|
So the question I get a lot is this: is it worth the extra money to go to Mickey Very Merry Christmas Party (especially for a larger family)? In a word: yes. I say do it at least once to have the experience. The parade itself makes it worth it. On top of that the crowds are much much smaller, so you get shorter queues and better views for shows. There are more characters out, and the lines to see them are shorter too. If your kids (and you) can stay up late to enjoy the festivities, go ahead and pay for the splurge. Make it a part of your Christmas presents if money is tight. After this experience I would love to go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!
When we got back to the room, we immediately started packing to go home. In the middle of it we remembered that we needed to exchange Christmas presents. Instead of bringing a gift from home, we decided to buy souvenirs for each other in the parks, and put them under the tree until our last night together. I kept dropping hints for Kyle who said I was impossible to shop for, but really anything pink and glittery would have been fine. He got me this great to go cup I'd been eyeing:
I had him show me 3-5 things he really liked and then picked 2 to get him. Ended up buying him a Vinylmation laptop skin and a DuckTales comic book. It was a fun twist on a gift exchange. (Oh, we set a $20 limit which was pretty smart I think.) Now every time I use my cup, I think of this trip. It's a neat memory tied to my souvenir.
Next posts detail our last days in the parks. Teaser: I finally tried Beverly, and Kyle got my reaction in a video!