Sunday October 30
We originally planned to do Typhoon Lagoon in the morning before we set off to Magic Kingdom, but Stitch and I ended up sleeping late. Really late. Ursula remarked “I thought the girls would sleep forever. Finally I banged around enough they started stirring around noon. It still takes them 2 hours to get ready to go in the 'morning'. I cut them some slack because Tayja turns 30 today! Old people obviously need to sleep more.”
We skipped TL and trundled off to MK with our Halloween finery. I have a really good headband with a glittery skull and purple feathers all over it, which I was proud to wear in lieu of an actual costume. It matched my hair and outfit, and I got compliments on it all day! Stitch had bought a fancy witch hat and cape at an earlier jaunt to Target, and she donned it merrily. She let me put some dramatic eyemakeup on her too, to make her look more witchlike. Ursula wore her regular clothes but of course had her Halloween pumpkin ears on, so we all had a little something festive to wear.
On the way out of the resort we had a whim to go check out the “Alligator Sheds” on the other side of the resort. Described as rustic and Bayou-inspired online, that description didn't sell me, and the pictures I'd seen showed them as absolutely hideous. From the outside they weren't as bad as I'd feared, but they looked really generic. “They could be any hotel, anywhere!” I said. We were quite pleased with our mansion room, thanks to the CM who was able to accommodate us there!
We drove to MK, and I made Ursula take some pics of the decorations above the parking payment booths. Luckily we had free parking so we only ever had to flash our resort card and sail on by. This was our first time experiencing the huge MK parking lot, and we hoped we'd get to go in the Villains section, but were directed to Heroes instead. We decided that Peter Pan was not too bad of a hero, as he was pretty bratty and not insufferable as most heroes seem to be. There was some cute fencing and topiary there too, and we were not sorry we'd chosen this method of travel. The boat ride over to MK was gorgeous, and we enjoyed wandering around a little as we sailed. Better than the bus for sure!
After getting our picture taken in front of the train station by a really charming Photopass guy, we went through the tunnel just in time for the parade. We immediately grabbed some waters and headed up to the train station to see it from there, and there was a wide open space for us. No seats left, but standing next to the rail is a good vantage point! As we gazed out over the Halloween-themed park Stitch thought that the letters above the Confectionery actually spelled out “Bonefectionery” for the season. At first I thought it did too, but when I zoomed my camera in it was revealed to say just Confectionery. We both need to get our vision checked.
While we were waiting I noticed one of my new trader pins had fallen off my bag. I was really bummed until I looked down, and there on the ground far below I could see a shiny thing flashing. I sent Stitch off to find it for me, and she retrieved it quickly. What a relief! Locking pin backs are a necessity, now. Those rubber mickey backs won't even work for traders.
The parade was really cute, I was very taken with the level of detail on the floats. At the very beginning Donald was clowning around and sat down on the curb ostensibly to watch the parade, and his friends had to help him get up and make him behave. The catchiness of the song-- “Celebrate a Dream Come True” still easily comes to me. Mum was taken by one of the dancers whom she referred to as “Mr. Purplesuit” and we all kept an eye on him as he paraded by. Fantastic!
After the parade we nosed around the train station. I took pictures of all the charming old fashioned machines that inhabit the space. Eventually we all got onboard the train and did a complete loop, plus one stop to take us to Frontierland. For the first time (ever?) we passed Big Thunder and Splash Mountain with no waits, and instead went to Tom Sawyer Island. We got on the raft where Stitch and I terrified the small children in our outfits (mostly her). Ursula found a rocking chair on Aunt Polly's porch and relaxed while the two of us ran around, exploring the entire island. We kept running into the same kids that were freaked out by Stitch, especially in dark caves and coming around blind corners. It was good fun checking out all the nooks and crannies, and walking across the barrel water bridge thing. Who says 30 years is old?
It was nearing our ADR time at the Crystal Palace, so we headed back to the mainland and made our way toward the restaurant. We stopped in at the candy store and I took some pictures of the cool rustic stuff on display. A friendly cast member posed for me and engaged us in some banter. I think this sort of thing is the Disney difference! I stopped in at the pin trader shop to see if there was anything new and bought a couple of pins, including a cool Haunted Mansion mystery pin box. It contained two unusual pins and I was pretty happy with the purchase, even if they weren't the ones I'd been hoping for. I really wanted Daisy Duck as Madame Leota but so far hadn't been able to get her.
Once we arrived at Crystal Palace we were seated shortly. There was a family dressed as the roof-hopping chimney sweep versions of Mary Poppins and Bert, and they were really adorable. I was creepy and got a stealth shot of them-- I kind of wish I'd just complimented their outfits and asked for a real picture of them instead! Ursula said this was the worst buffet food of the trip, and she was “reduced to eating rotisserie chicken and mac cheez from the kid's section.” I don't remember it being that bad, but I have different food tastes than my family. Most likely if there was a well stocked salad bar and decent desserts I did okay. I also love mac cheez so no hardship there. The characters were great and we all got plenty of pics with them as they came around. We did notice some pen marks on poor Tigger though—I wish people kept better track of their pens when they go to hug and get autographs! We decided that next time we would go to CP for breakfast instead of dinner.
It was 6 or so by the time we saw all the characters (we did have to wait a little longer for Eeyore as we had just missed his visit to our section before we sat down). It was getting dark and many people were dressed in fun constumes. We got our bracelets, maps and candy bags in Adventureland, and by that time Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party had officially started! We went back to the Emporium to see what kind of special part swag they were putting out. Mum got a bright orange tie-dyed party tee shirt (I think it was also scented!) and a really cool Buzz Lightyear hoodie. I was way jealous of the hoodie but she looked really cute in it so I could hardly begrudge her that. Stitch got herself two hats, one to replace one she lost and another one that Ursula had seen at WOD and thought she'd like. The CM couldn't find one on the floor, but instead of just saying “sorry we don't have it,” she went into the back to find one for us, which was really nice of her. I got some special limited edition party pins and talked Mum into buying the soft and fuzzy castle blanket for me. It was one of those “spend X dollars and get this thing for only Y more dollars!” deals that isn't really a great buy but I loved the blanket so much that I begged Ursula for it.
We put on our glow bracelets and necklaces as it was fully dark outside now, and headed out to Tomorrowland to do some rides with ultra short waits (Astro Orbiter was a walk-on! We just got straight into the elevator, do you believe that?!). Space Mountain was closed for a little while but we just kept checking back and it did eventually open back up. The spiderweb lights cast onto SM were really cool! We danced a little with alien Stitch (all his appendages out) and the Chipmunks and then rode Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters without waiting. The pics were so good that Ursula actually bought them! My sister played a ring toss game in the dump shop while Mum paid for the photos, I believe she won some candy. I did a pin trade with a CM there and got a non-Marie Aristocat pin. Score!
We got on Space Mountain finally, where Ursula nearly lost her glowing Tinkerbell clip. She got scared and took a dive, but a CM rescued her as Mum was scrambling out of the rocket. We then headed over to the Hub to see what was going on at the Villains stageshow. I think we caught about half of it.
We weren't too interested in standing in long lines to meet the characters or gathering candy, we mainly wanted to see the parade and of course Hallowishes, and ride the rides without waiting!
We decided to just sit down on the ground on the inside of the tracks at the hub because we had such a great view of the castle with its cool, spooky lighting, and it was only about 20 minutes until the fireworks. We were a little off center, closer to Tomorrowland. Everyone around us began to sit down, too, and no CMs came to boss us around or wrangle us inside tape lines. When the fireworks started we all just stayed seated and it was so great-- it only would have taken a couple of people standing up and blocking the view to make the entire crowd stand up, too! The fireworks were so beautiful, we just loved the show. At first the castle was blocking some of the fireworks and I immediately regretted not getting a spot farther back along Mainstreet, but I had insisted we stay where we were after the Villains show so I knew I was responsible for our sub-par viewing spot. However our spot was declared a major success-- we could see most of the fireworks and the castle changing colors was so lovely. People were seated and that made a big difference, being able to stretch out our legs and rest a bit and not pushing or being shoved while standing up made the show much more enjoyable!
Once the fireworks were over we joined the hordes heading over to Liberty Square and directly onto the Haunted Mansion. We were delighted to see the CMs in their Halloween costumes! Their costumes were all dusty and draped with cobwebs, and they had ghastly makeup on, too. Completely unexpected. HM is a favorite ride anyway, and we simply HAD to ride it on Halloween! We got on with only a short wait (I am always surprised at how short the line is, even when it looks crowded we get through it reasonably fast), and enjoyed the fancy Southern Belle ghost lady on the bench putting on a show after we emerged. Not sure of her name, it was the first time we'd encountered her, very funny! Later on we spotted her sister in the crowd outside HM. We got both our photopass pics here without waiting too long-- there was a family in front of us at the carriage and we were the only people in the courtyard asking to do a pic there. We managed to get in an argument with my sister who was pouting about having to do "another photopass?!?!" She also wanted to buy the Nightmare Before Christmas CD at the stand outside HM instead of the MK Event Party Music that both Mum and I thought she ought to get, so she was peeved at us for not letting her buy her desired disc too.
By this time it was time for the parade, so we found a spot behind some children and strollers.
I am mad at myself for trying too hard to get photos which turned out crappy in the low light, instead of just enjoying the parade. It was really cool and we loved it-- the grave diggers with their shovels were fabulous, and seeing the characters in their Halloween costumes was just precious. I loved the Goofy float at the end with all the giant candy! Definitely one of the better Disney parades I've seen.
We were thirsty and tired and certainly footsore, so we walked over to get dolewhips. I stopped in at the pin store on the way and got some special event pins I hadn't seen at the Emporium, so I was happy. However, Stitch managed to lose a lot of her dolewhip down the front of her cape, and the pineapple spear they gave Ursula was a complete disaster. It was more like 2/3 of a pineapple with no way to eat it except for a flimsy plastic knife. After ungracefully taking a bite it was discovered that it was all brown and mushy, besides being a mess, and she ended up throwing it away. We washed up in a water fountain and headed over to do Pirates of the Caribbean with no wait. The ride cheered us up considerably (the food probably helped a bit too), and we had enough energy to run over to Big Thunder and Splash Mountain.
We did end up getting candy outside of Splash, it was late and the CMs just loaded up our bags with double handfuls (remember we hadn't collected any all night). We went through the first part of the maze again at the CM's urging and got more (no lines, we seemed to be the only guests in the area that weren't in line for the Seven Dwarfs) and then tried to join Mum in the SM queue. We continued on through the maze and hit two more candy locations where they loaded us up with more handfuls of candy!
Finally, just before midnight we got on SM for the last ride of the night. We got pretty wet, but it didn't matter because as we walked toward the front of the park it started drizzling, then all-out raining. We were cold and worried about our phones and cameras, but all very glad it hadn't started raining any earlier-- it would have made the night pretty miserable, as we weren't prepared for cold or wet at all.
We caught the monorail back to the TTC after insulting a mom with a giant stroller. As we all stood at the platform Mum told us to get in the car on the left because it looked like there wouldn't be any strollers in that compartment. A woman with a massive stroller gave her a dirty look and didn't change her face when Mum smiled at her. We all laughed about it quite a bit after we'd loaded into the monorail car, and no, there weren't any strollers in with us!
It was a fabulous night of short lines at rides, enough candy to satisfy us, and special touches here and there that made it more fun than regular EMH. Well worth our tickets, and a very happy birthday surprise for me! The only thing I regret is that we didn't go to Fantasyland at all, so we didn't get to see Cinderella's pumpkin carriage! Oh well, that gives us something to look forward to next time we go, right?
We made a stop at Taco Bell on the way home, and remarked that we were just getting to know the area now that is was almost time to go home. All in all a very successful party and a great birthday!