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  1. #1
    Timbo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Disney Dishes Up Royal Treatment


    King for a day: Disney dishes up royal treatment
    By Associated Press
    Sunday, February 25, 2007

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - I am in hundreds of strangersí vacation pictures - the bewildered guy in the sputtering truck at the front of the Walt Disney World parade. Iím sitting next to Daisy Duck and wearing mouse ears embroidered with my name, waving like an idiot and smiling like I just won a toaster.

    Thatís the first place they put you when youíve won an overnight stay in the three-room suite inside Cinderella Castle. Itís the crown jewel in Walt Disney Co.ís ďYear of a Million DreamsĒ sweepstakes, the squeal-inducing fantasy of millions of little girls - and my home for the next 17 hours.

    Each day, Disney randomly chooses one family to spend the night in its new Cinderella Suite, but I got to stay there thanks to an exclusive invitation from Disney to The Associated Press. (Families stay there for free, and the suite cannot be rented, but the AP paid $587 for my stay, the estimated value.) Staying in the suite also means Iím grand marshal of the parade, the honorary guest in an event called ďDreams Come True Dinner,Ē created by Cinderellaís Fairy Godmother, and the front-of-the-line guy at anything I want to ride.

    I am a tattooed 27-year-old guy with Buddy Holly glasses and no children. But Iím just not that into princesses. So to enhance my appreciation, Iíve adopted a family with two little girls (ages 5 and 2) to stay with me.

    I am tired of smiling and waving when the parade ends, and I wonder how the full-grown adults dressed up like Goofy and Minnie do it every single day. Besides that, what will become of all those pictures when they make it back to Iowa or Idaho or Kalamazoo?

    The Magic Kingdom is designed so you can see the castle from just about anywhere, and the walk to our suite seems longer than it should. We are led up a far pathway, past a side door and into a small room with stone walls.

    Our guide, dressed as a 17th century castle guy, swipes a card to call our elevator and takes us four stories up. The suite is brand new. The elevator is not, and moves eerily a few inches up and down when itís boarded or stopping.

    Each of us is given a swipe key with our name and ďCinderella SuiteĒ written on it, and before long there are bite marks all over 2-year-old Emilyís. Her sister Hannah has the honor of opening our door the first time.

    There are golden flecks in the floor and ornate squares on the ceiling, making the whole room feel gilded. The desk in the corner is a 17th century Dutch antique with velvet-lined shelves that Disney has retrofitted with a high-speed Internet hookup. There are two queen beds under headboards with canopies and a fireplace that canít burn anything but holds a fiberoptic display of flame and pixie dust.

    The television in the sitting room is a mirror that converts at the touch of a button, while the ďroyal bedchamberĒ TV changes from a framed electronic portrait of Cinderella. There is television with at least five channels in foreign languages, an array of DVDs (all Disney, of course) and free calls to anywhere on an antique-looking phone.

    I get wild ideas about that last part until I remember I donít know anyone in Paris or Tokyo anyway.

    Perhaps most impressive is the bathroom, which features a 4-foot square Jacuzzi jet tub with a waterfall faucet, a separate shower that could comfortably fit three and a square toilet. Over the tub are three sparkling mosaics made of hand-cut Italian glass.

    All of these things I like - especially the mirror that turns into a TV. But I am disappointed in the minibar. It has juice boxes but no Jack Daniels.

    Much of the royal familyís day - like the parade and dinner reservations - is preset, so there isnít a lot of time for rides. Emily isnít tall enough for the roller coasters, which basically leaves the other category - the ones where you sit in a car, ride along a track and watch animatronic pirates or fish or jungle people sing and dance.

    But because weíre staying inside the park and Disney provides us a front-of-the-line escort, weíve got to ride something. We end up on Peter Panís Flight and then the ride whose name Disney refuses to capitalize, itís a small world. When itís over, the girlsí father and I are yawning. Itís only 5:30 p.m. but weíve been on the go nonstop since the parade at 2 p.m.

    We have dinner reservations at Cinderellaís Royal Table, a place where the Fairy Godmother and other Disney characters weave between diners performing songs. It is expensive, but we arenít paying because itís included in our stay.

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  2. #2
    vixen101485's Avatar
    vixen101485 is offline Queen of the Swaps, bow before me
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    Mar 2005
    What a neat perspective on a stay there. Is there more to the article?
    It's a Disney thing. If you understood, your only question would be "can I go?"


  3. #3
    Shere_Khan's Avatar
    Shere_Khan is offline As the world falls down...
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    Woot!! Kalamazoo!!!

    "Almost everyone is mad here. You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself." - Chesire Cat

    "You have spirit for one so small, and that spirit deserves a fighting chance." - Shere Khan

  4. #4
    Winnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shere_Khan View Post
    Woot!! Kalamazoo!!!
    LOL!!!! That was the one thing that caught my eye as well - especially since I went to college there and still live 60 minutes away! hahahahaha
    BETH ~ I BELIEVE in Make Believe,Dreams & Wishes
    Is It time To Go Back Yet??
    Happy DVC Member - Beach Club Villas
    BCV - October 2011 - Family Trip & Food & Wine Festival (Met up with Lou and the Walk-about Crew! Met Deanna!
    Met the Petermans!)
    BCV - October 2010 - Family Trip & Food & Wine Festival and MNNSHP!!!
    BCV - June 2009 - Family Trip
    BCV - October 2008 - MNNSHP-Just the two of us!
    BCV - May 2008 - Flower & Garden/Epcot - Just the two of us!
    BCV - January 2008 - Marathon Weekend - Just the two of us! (We finally got to meet Lou & his wonderful family)
    BCV - May 2007 Ė Family Trip, Flower & Garden/Epcot and Star Wars!!!
    BCV - October 2006 Ė Family Trip, Anniversary, Food and Wine/Epcot & MNSHHP!!!!
    ASM & BCV - June 2006 Ė Family Trip, Flower & Garden/Epcot and Star Wars!!!
    BCV - October 2005 - Family Trip, Anniversary, Food and Wine/Epcot & MNSHHP!!!!
    OKW & BWV - March 2005 - Quick and needed fun trip! Just the two of us!
    BCV - June 2004 - Family Trip
    BCV - October 2003 - Family Trip, Anniversary, Food and Wine/Epcot & MNSHHP!!!!
    BC - Honeymoon- April 2002
    Off Site - 1997 - I was a poor college student staying with my favorite aunt!

  5. #5
    MayBWeRMnt2B's Avatar
    MayBWeRMnt2B is offline living happily ever after...
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    Feb 2005
    the place where dreams come true...
    I would love to stay in the castle room... hopefully my dream WILL come true.
    - Jeanne

    Engaged at Sunset Point - July 17th, 2008
    Married at Sunset Point - March 3, 2009
    Disney World & Disneyland Honeymoon

    Aulani - September 2011

    Wishes can come true, if you believe in them with all your heart.
    And the best part is, you'll never run out of wishes.
    They're shining deep down inside of you.
    'Cause that my friends is where the magic lives

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