Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trip Report 2013 - Day #2 part 2 - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

It's close to 4pm and we are on the monorail heading back into the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)!

The kids on the Monorail, they are a lot perkier this time than in the morning.  Especially after a nice nap.

It is nice to get there about 4pm because that is when they start letting people with party tickets in, even though the party does not start until 7pm.  We got a good picture on Main Street USA with the sun up!

The Halloween statues are a nice touch.

At about 5:45 we got in line for the 7 Dwarf's.  They start meeting at 7 but we would rather spend time in line before the party starts then during the party.   This gave us lots of time to get into "character" mode. The girls had fun "fake fighting" all night and Alden kept asking for cheese.   We made some friends as we waited in line.  That always makes the time go faster, they were from Norway.  

At about 7:20pm we met the 7 Dwarfs.  There were quite a few people in front of us but now we were off to trick-or-treat!

Ran into this guy as we were  trick-or-treating.   He was quite full of himself.  
Then we headed down some trick-or-treat trails.   They give out lots of good candy.  We took a break every now and then to ride something.  Alden was enjoying lots of extra attention from cast members.  They thought the Gus costume was great.  We always try to do something the cast members like.  They have been looking at Halloween costumes for 2 months, so when they think yours it good it is a big compliment.  Clair claims that they liked Perry better the year before.  

Clair has either had too much sugar or not enough while waiting for the Carpets.

After the Carpets we went to get a spot to watch the last Villains Mix and Mingle show at the Castle.  Then we watched the light show on Cinderella Castle followed up by HallowWishes.  These are my favorite fireworks at Walt Disney World. 

Right after Wishes we went to get a spot for the Boo To You Parade.  They do the parade twice and we always try to catch the second one because so many people leave right after the fireworks.  We got a spot on the rope and the kids and I left Doug to defend the spot while we went and met a few characters.  There are so many different characters out at the party which means you get to meet some that are not always available.  You want to make sure you are in your spot for the parade at least 15 minutes early to see the Headless Horseman ride by.  

The parade is great and these few pictures just does not do it justice.  

It is weird to see characters in costume.

Dale picked on our kids for a while.

After the parade we went into the dance party with Jessie, Woody, and Bullseye.  This is the only way to meet Bullseye (and really you are only able to dance with him as at the dance parties they don't pose for pictures).  The kids had fun showing off their dance skills.

Last but not least we had to meet the step sisters!  It was a blast.  They talked to the kids for ever.  They gave me a hard time and told me my hair and clothes were bad.  I even got asked if I finished the chores.   The wanted a picture of all of us but with out me.  They just keep picking on Cinderella even after she marries a prince.  They thought it was great that the girls brought Gus along for the evening.

They were lots of fun to meet and talk with.

The step sister's meet & greet was at the train station on Main Street USA. So they had a great view of the town square.   When we were heading towards them they saw us as we were sill near the flag pole and they started yelling at us to come and meet them.  When we got up the steps they made us skip the line but they were so funny about it that I think the 5 or so families in line were actually entertained quite a bit by their antics.  

This was by far the best weather we had ever had at a "Party" (Halloween or Christmas).  We got lots of candy and had lots of fun!  The kids did not seem to mind "missing" halloween at home.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Meal Time Monday - Hollywood & Vine Breakfast and Lunch - Disney Junior Play 'n Dine

Where do you go to find all the stars of Disney Junior at the Walt Disney World Resort?
Hollywood & Vine Disney Junior Play 'n Dine is the answer!  This meal is located inside Disney's Hollywood Studios and is a great interactive experience.   

Looking to Meet Doc McStuffins?  Then this is the only place to find her!

Outside there is lots of benches available to sit and wait for your party to be called after you check in.

Right inside the front doors is a big back drop that is great for a photo op.  Clair even brought her Doc outfit to get in the spirit in spring of 2014.

In 2013 the back drop had Special Agent Oso and Jake was the big attraction.

Way back in 2010 JoJo and the Little Einsteins were present.   I think Sam was enjoying pushing Alden down rather then taking a picture.

June in 2013 just before she was replaced by Sofia the First.

Leo in 2012 before being replaced by Special Agent Oso.

Jojo in 2010.

  Every 15 min or so they do a little dance party with the characters where the kids can all go up and dance.  Sam has enjoyed this but Alden has always been a chicken.  Clair is 50/50 on her dancing mood.

Goliath in 2010 (Jojo and Goliath were replaced my Handy Manny)

Special Agent Oso in 2012 before Jake came along.


Now on to the current line up (2014)

Sofia the First

Handy Manny 


And Doc McStuffins

This is a meal so who's ready to eat!

We have enjoyed both lunch and Breakfast here.  We really like to get a late breakfast if we are paying out of pocket because it is less expensive than lunch, but if we are using the Dining Plan we book a lunch because it is a better use of the credits.  We never book an early breakfast because that is when we are going on rides while the crowds are low.

Tons of food options here.  It seems to be the buffet with the widest selection of food for lunch.  Breakfast is breakfast (Mickey Waffles, eggs, and the other usual suspects).

This is the kids station with mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, and some other kid favorites.

Lots of desserts!

A plate like this makes any 4 year old smile.

Chicken, Salmon, and BBQ pork.  We have always found food we like to eat.

It is a large place and has two sides to the buffet so it is still easy to get up and down with food!

It is one credit on the Disney Dining plan.
As always it is important to make reservations early!

You can find out more here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Trip Report 2013 - Day #2 part 1 - Magic Kingdom Rope Drop,Be Our Guest, PhotoPass

On the first day of our November 2013 trip we wanted to spend a half day at the Magic Kingdom.  This is our first chance to try out FastPass +.   It was a somewhat of a late night getting the kids to bed but we were up bright and early and the 8th car in the lot!

Remember when driving to Walt Disney World in a rental car or your own to take a picture of your row number.  If you rent a car, make sure to take a picture of the license plates because lots of cars look alike! The lots are large and it is easy to get lost.  However if you get to the gates this early it is quite simple to find your vehicle!

Aboard the resort monorail! 

At the rope for rope drop.  The bands let us all in so we were off to a good start.  

This is what the crowd looked like at 8:20 for a 9:00am opining on November 1st 2013.  By 8:30 it will be solid people behind you.

Only way to get this picture with out strangers is by being crazy early.  But it still does not mean your kids look at the camera.

One of my favorite shots at my favorite time of year.

After the first rope is dropped you meet a wall of cast members preventing you from just running to the attractions.  They walk you all the way there so that everyone is safe.

We were first on Big Thunder Thunder Mountain.  Clair chickened out and went with Doug to get an old school fast pass for the princess meets (please note: it is not longer to get the paper Fast Passes from the old days).   

When you are the first ones there you get to pick the back row!!!!

Doug and Clair successfully got paper Fast Passes for Cinderella and Aurora.  To do this we brought old key to the world cards that did not have any ticket media on them.  Every now and then you can find a loop hole.  This was a nice one and we decided to enjoy it while we could, this loop hole was closed just weeks after our trip.

Samantha braved the front row of the Barnstormer.

Too bad the group behind Clair and I did not have enough matching tee shirts for the rest of us.

After walking onto the Barnstormer, we walked onto Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

The back side of an elephant.

Now was time to get dizzy on the Mad Tea Party.

We always have so much fun spinning and spinning.  I almost feel sorry for Doug watching us, almost.

After getting a little dizzy we stumbled past the construction walls for the new Mine Train.  Construction walls have gotten a lot fancier in recent years.  
We were headed to the new Little Mermaid attraction - Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid.  It was our first time, and I think it instantly became Clair's new favorite.

We had a few minutes before our first FastPass+ window opened up so we road some horses.  Sam always tries to find Cinderella's Horse.  She was so happy to find it unoccupied.  Alden also likes the horse next to it because he says it is the Prince's horse.  

Clair seems unsure of everything here…

Fist up was using the traditional paper Fast Pass to see Cinderella and Aurora.

With your PhotoPass Pictures you can add all kinds of cool things when you get back from your trip.  Here I duplicated the picture then added the signature on to the duplicate.

Now it was time to use our first FastPass + ever!!!!   The kids thought it was cool when the mickey head lit up green.  We tried to get a few pictures of the kids by themselves with characters this year.

Not sure if Clair is happy, scared or mad?!?

Now for something else new to us.  Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant.  We had a FastPass reservation for lunch at 10:45am  So here were were all checked in and ready to go.

It is not like other counter service places throughout Walt Disney World.  Here you place your order and are given your cups and told to go find a table.  We got our drinks and found a table and then they brought us our food base of the location of our magic bands.  Doug got the Croque Monsieur pictured above.

Clair got some pasta.  Over all we liked the meal, but didn't love it.  I will be honest, chicken nuggets and burgers are popular for a reason.  

After eating we walked around and took a look around.  Don't sit near the rose in the west wing unless you want an endless stream of people talking pictures.

We ate in the grand ball room.  There was snow falling outside.

This large chandelier is very nice but does not give off much light.  I you like to see your food when you eat the West Wing is not for you.  If you like it to be light enough to see all the people at your table then the Ball Room is not for you.  If you want light, head to the Rose Gallery.  

At lunch time it is a counter service restaurant, but at night it becomes a table service meal where reservations are VERY hard to get, even 180 days in advance!

With full bellies we went to use our second FastPass+ at Enchanted Tales with Belle.  It is a neat show with lots of audience participation.  They pick the kids to be in it before the show in a different room.  Our kids our a touch shy and didn't raise their hands right away so they slid down the ranks fast.  Clair was Chip.

Sam was Maurice.

Alden was one of about 5 feather dusters.

At the end of the show each kid gets their picture taken by a PhotoPass photographer.

Clair had lots of fun.

We were done with princesses for a while, so we headed over to Buzz.

Doug's score.  I don't think I have ever seen him so sad at Disney World.  It was like they told him Dole Whip was under refurbishment.  

Right where they belong behind bars with Zurg.

After that we waited to meet Buzz Lightyear.  You can tell it is day one.  They kids still like each other.

Buzz really liked Alden's shirt and made the Girls get out of the picture.

He finally let them back in.  

A good picture of the kids squinting in the sun.

We used a Fast Pass to meet Mickey Mouse.   It was right around noon and time to head out for the day.

This was the scene in the back seats when we arrived back at our hotel. 

We let them sleep for a few minutes because tonight we are heading to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and it will be a late night!