Day 4 – Monday – Is that princess and her family stalking us?
Today was kind of a day off from the parks. We planned to spend our morning touring some of the resorts and checking out the Christmas decorations. We were up and at ‘em and off to our first stop – Animal Kingdom Lodge. Not my first trip here, but it was a first for the rest of the family. I dropped them off and went to park. They waited to go in until I got there, and then the jaws dropped! The lobby is just huge!!! We had decided earlier to eat our breakfast here in their food court, but had a little trouble finding it, since you had to head outside past the pool. I think our food court actually had more options and better choices. But it was all good, and I had a few calls from DWT people back home checking in on me.
After the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we headed over to The Boardwalk. Mom, Dad and I had seen the place before, but not Kaitlin. She loved everything, and we took tons of pictures. The Christmas decorations were lovely, but I almost expected more on the way outside.
We decided to get on the boat and ride it around. Our first stop was The Yacht and Beach Club. We wanted to eat lunch at Beaches and Cream, so it was a bit too early to stop there. We took the cruise around, stopping at The Swan and the Dolphin and even heading over to MGM Studios. On the way back, the driver stopped at the Yacht and Beach Club first. We didn’t get off here, but went back to the Boardwalk. Dad and Kaitlin walked around and mom and I drove the car around to meet them at The Yacht Club.
The decorations here were very nice, I love the theming of the ornaments. We walked around a bunch and took pictures and then strolled down to Beaches and Cream to grab some lunch. I was surprised, there was no wait for a table at all, we were seated inside right away. Since the burgers here are supposed to be the best on property, mom, dad and I all ordered a single with cheese. Kaitlin got a Cobb salad with chicken. I got a cherry coke, with the intention of getting a Mickey sundae at the end of my meal. Mom got a vanilla malted, dad a vanilla shake and Kaitlin got a rootbeer float, aka a brown cow! They were all very good and we enjoyed our meal – but I was way too stuffed after eating to order a sundae, I helped dad finish off his milkshake. They do take the Disney Dining Experience Card here, so again, we saved 20% on this bill. We then had to take a picture of the guy behind the counter – he looked just like my cousin, Chris. Mom, Kaitlin and I had our picture taken with him, and then continued on our journey.
After leaving the Beach Club, we decided to just head back to our value resort and rest some before heading out for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. A short pitstop at the HESS station to fill up the tank and we were back in our rooms. Kaitlin even set a wakeup call for us, just in case we fell asleep, which, we did.
Day 4 – Monday – Is that princess and her family stalking us?
Stitch and Mickey woke us up about 20 minutes later and we both got our shoes back on and got ready for a night at the Magic Kingdom! We swung by the parents room to pick them up and headed for the car. When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, we parked and got directly onto a waiting tram, I think we were in the Dopey section. I didn’t realize how close we really were to the front of the entrance, we could have walked – but best to save as many steps as you can.
It was about 4pm and people were pouring off the monorail, which I found amazing, but a good thing! Maybe this party won’t be as crowded as the Halloween party we attended a couple of years ago. I learned a couple of lessons then, don’t book a FRIDAY night party, and don’t plan to eat offsite, you can enter the park using your tickets starting at 4pm.
We had 4:50pm reservations at the Crystal Palace. Yes, I got the time right this time – triple checked it even. We took our time strolling up main street, stopping to have a photo pass photographer take our picture a couple of times. Since we had our wristbands on for the party already, one of them gave me a special photopass card for the Christmas Party. It seems that you can get a discount on any of the pictures taken that night on this special card. (But for future reference, if you plan to get the cd, you can put both cards onto the cd!)
I checked us in at the window at the Crystal Palace a few minutes early and received a pager. I don’t think that the CP is open during the party, but since it was still pre-party time, the place was pretty packed. However, we were beeped and called within a few minutes. We were seated right inside the door, practically, against a wall. But that was ok, I knew the characters would come by, no matter where they sat us.
We waited for our waiter, and I am sorry that I don’t remember his name. He was very good, and always kept our glasses filled. We all took turns going to the buffet and filling up our plates – me, mostly from Pooh’s Corner (or the kid’s buffet). Everyone enjoyed their food and I think we all agreed that we ate too much.
Unfortunately, when we sat down, Piglet had just passed our section. We had to wait awhile for him to come back around. But we got visits from all the characters, and mainly Eeyore – remember, he is my mom’s favorite.
At the table across from us, sat this unusual family. We kinda decided that it was mom, dad, 2 daughters and an uncle. Well, this uncle was one of those loud an boisterous types – wanting so much attention, and getting it by being loud. Well, the younger of the two girls had obviously visited the Bippity Boppity Boutique earlier and was dressed as a princess with the glitter, makeup and fake hair extensions. When Tigger came by, the “uncle” kept telling him that the princess was in the bathroom and would he please wait as he is her favorite. She came out soon enough and they made sure to take a million pictures of her with Tigger. I think out of hindsight, they finally took one with the older girl as well – I felt so bad for her, as they also had her videotaping the youngest with all the characters. This table of people was there before we were, and they were still there when we left. The “uncle” kept filling his plate with food, and stating, loudly I may add, that this was definitely his last trip to the buffet. All I can say is that they definitely got their money’s worth on this dinner.
We paid for our dinner, using the DDE card I saves us 20%, but then you just add that amount back on for the tip – so in essence, you save the tip with each purchase you use the card on. I do think that I saved us more than the cost of the card, especially since I did get an AP discount on the Disney Dining Card.
Our waiter said we were ending our dinner just at the right time. Wishes was starting in 15 minutes, and right outside the Crystal Palace was a great spot to view from. Kaitlin and I found a bench to sit on and Mom and Dad ended up at the end of the porch on the Crystal Palace. I really enjoy Wishes, and Kaitlin enjoyed the fireworks – but asked me if I had the thing memorized. I said not complete, YET!
With full bellies, we headed out into Adventureland, and I thought we should take in some things that were not listed as being open during the party. First stop was the Tiki Room – since Kaitlin’s dad had specifically requested that she go to this. The CM working there insisted that they would be open during the party, so we headed over to the Jungle Cruise instead. The line was listed as 10 minutes and I think it was just about that long. We got on our boat and we told that we had psycho as our driver, but it must have been shift change, as he stepped off and this other girl stepped on. She was pretty funny and we enjoyed our cruise in the dark. Man, I just love seeing amazing things like the back of water!!!
Dad did not take the ride with us, he sat this one out. He said we were pretty lucky, just 2 boats in front of us was that family from the Crystal Palace, we were just lucky we weren’t in line earlier.
We then headed over to the Tiki Tiki Tiki Room to take in the show – we missed the whole pre-show and walked right in. I really need to remember to not sit in the front row here, as you may get a krick in your neck. Kaitlin enjoyed the show, but was bummed that she wasn’t able to take pictures during the show to send to her dad. Speaking of dad’s, he sat this one out as well. He said that the princess and family had passed by the Tiki Room – shew, avoided another one.
Walking out of the Tiki Room, I spotted Aladdin and Jasmine doing a photo op! Kaitlin and I ran over to get in line, and we had to show our wristbands. The line was kinda long, and I was hoping they wouldn’t shut it off before she had a chance to get her picture and an autograph. The CM’s controlling the line did have to send some parents and kids away, they did not have wristbands for the party, nor did they have tickets. They were told they would have to leave the park. They did begin to argue, as they knew nothing about this. I just don’t see how – they have it announced all over with signs and stuff saying that the park would be closed at 6pm that night for the Christmas Party.
Aladdin and Jasmine were very nice to a couple of girls that may have had Down Syndrome, I am not really sure. Aladdin said something about them being sisters, and they giggled so cute that they were just friends! Aladdin also said something to another kid about there not being a prince breakfast like the princesses had, and no one would come just to meet the princess. Kaitlin’s turn to have her picture with the royal couple, and Aladdin shakes her hand and shakes and shakes and shakes – she was giggling so hard by this point, it was really cute. My turn to have my picture (yes, I had to call my friend, Jerrame to tell her who I was having my picture with), I did tell Aladdin that if there was a just princes breakfast, I would go to that. That made him smile and tell Jasmine “See, someone wants to see us!”
Next up, we rode Aladdin’s Flying Carpets, there was no line at all, and we got into our flying carpet. Kaitlin of course took the front seat where the controls are. I told her to just not to go up and down a lot, since I was still full from dinner. She tried to have fun, but not make me sick! Unfortunately, she had us right at the height to get spit on by one of the camels. He spit just as I was yelling hi to my mom on the ground below. Yup, camel spit, right into my mouth – UGH!!
After getting away from Agrabah, we headed over to pirates. On our way, we were stopped by some glowing ghost signs and CMs checking for wristbands. I think this was very good to keep out the party crashers! Now we got some bad news, Pirates was down and there was no estimated time of restoral. We continued around to Frontierland to check out the line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It was listed at 10 minutes, so we got in line. By the time we got to the lines to arrange seating, we all got our own seat, I figured it would be easiest with the whole lap bar situation. And guess what!? Do you know who got in line behind us?! Yes!!! The princess and her family. They were all having a discussion on who would ride with the princess….good grief!!! Thank goodness they were not on the same train we were. I love riding this at night, it is great when you get to the top of the hill and look out over the Magic Kingdom.