My Very First Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug
Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

{Editor’s Note: My friend Alicia is back with a post recapping her joy at seeing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!  Even though it’s been a month since Christmas, let’s enjoy her photos and get her take on the event!  Thanks, please give Alicia a warm welcome!}

As I get older it is getting harder and harder for people to get me birthday and Christmas presents (my birthday is 12 days before Christmas).  So this year my sister, who I share my birthday with, told me when I mentioned that I wanted to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that she would make that my joint gift if I wanted.  And I hesitated for oh about a nanosecond before saying, “OKAY”

The next thing was finding a partner in crime to go with me to the event. I wanted to take my niece who is a Disney lover like myself, but she had school and midterms, so that was out. There were a handful of friends I asked and there were other commitments, and blah blah blah, but eventually I found a Disney loving soul to join me. And as fate would have it this was also her first time going to MVMCP as well.

Let the planning begin!

I originally wanted to go on a Tuesday or Thursday night since I happened to be on vacation the week before Christmas, but due to scheduling conflicts we were not able to go until Friday, 12/20. Since the event lasted until midnight, we decided to spend the night. We drove up early Friday afternoon checked into the “offsite” hotel and then headed over. It was super cool being able to get in at 4 knowing that people that were there would be leaving in a few hours and the park would be ours!!

We walked around for a bit. She bought my FIRST ever pair of ears (EVER….I know bad Disney fan) as a birthday present. And of course being the sparkle lover that I am I got the black and red Minnie sequined ears. HEE HEE!! Totally in love with them and managed to keep them on all night long!!! We ate a little and found our first Holiday Treat location. The small serving of hot chocolate and cookies were just the right amount of sweetness after dinner. I wish it had been colder though so it would have felt more seasonal or more like Christmas. But what can you do, it’s Florida!

  IMG_0771

Like any good photographer, I made sure that I had my camera on hand. I mean who goes to Disney at Christmas without their camera? Only crazy people! I can not even tell you the level of excitement and anticipation that I was feeling about the pictures I was going to get to take. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Walt Disney World at Christmas time. It becomes even more magical, if that is even possible.

IMG_0770

Despite the fact that the event was sold out we were able to walk around with ease and not feel crowded. If only every day that the Magic Kingdom could be like that… I can dream can’t I? We leisurely strolled through the park and had rode a few rides here and there and eventually made it to Main street USA for the SNOW!!!! OMG…. I felt like a little kid. It was so neat. Despite that fact that it wasn’t real, that didn’t take away the wow factor for me. I still very much enjoyed the “snow” in Florida….. and I was still able to be in shorts!!!

IMG_1003

IMG_0992

IMG_0777

We didn’t feel the crowdedness until we went to Main Street to watch the parade. It was hard to find a spot to see the parade with ease and not have to do some kind of bending and twisting to take pictures. But I got a few good ones. My FAVORITE part of the parade were the toy soldiers. I was watching them with my mouth gapping open like I a little kid. They walked like soldiers and their shoes had to have some sort of metal on the bottom because they made a “clacking” noise as they moved down the street.

IMG_0786

IMG_0800

IMG_0810

IMG_0824

IMG_0878

IMG_0912

IMG_0915

IMG_0917

My least favorite part of the parade were the reindeer… sorry they were a little creepy to me… hence no pictures.  I wish I could have gone back and watched the parade again, and maybe get some better pictures. Maybe next year when I go back, because BELIEVE me I WILL be going back!

Immediately following the parade we went to get in place to watch “Celebrate the Magic” at Cinderella’s Castle.  We got as close as we could but it was crowded there also. We managed to land a spot in front of, or rather close to, the Partners statue. I love that statue.

IMG_0926

 I had no idea what to expect when the show started. I was in awe of all the images that came across the castle and the way it was transformed. As the scenes changed I was ooing and aahing like a 5 year old. It was so unique and well cool how they managed to mesh all the movies together and add the music in there too. I never would have thought that could be done. This was HANDS DOWN my favorite part of the party. And then the fireworks started…. How I LOVE me some fireworks! And not only were they behind the castle… they were all around us, encompassing us and lighting up the night sky. It was … MAGICAL!!!!

IMG_0942

IMG_0967

IMG_1023

Then sadly our night came to an end. We took our time leaving the park to try and take it all in. It is always hard to leave Disney, but it is even harder for me during Christmas.  Of course, there is comfort knowing that it is there and I can always go back. It really is my happy place.       

IMG_1016

Love

Alicia

Let’s Get to know Alicia, our new My Dreams of Disney contributor!

{Editor’s Note: Fresh off her recent post talking about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, our newest writer Alicia is back to talk about herself and her love of Disney!  Everyone, please welcome Alicia!}

Hello fellow Disney fans. My name is Alicia and I am thrilled to be joining Mike here at My Dreams of Disney as a contributor. I can’t think of anything better than sharing Disney memories and future plans, can you??

At the Italy Pavilion in Epcot

So how did I come to love Disney? Well I am not exactly sure of the exact moment. It was probably when I was a little girl. Growing up I would get a Disney movie every year for Christmas and we made a family trip here and there.  In high school, I was privileged enough to be able to perform at the Magic Kingdom with my high school marching band in a parade during the Christmas holiday. That was truly one of the coolest things I have ever done. Then for senior year there was Grad Night in 98. My classmates and I got all dressed up, rode rides, walked around and enjoyed concerts.  It was a magical night.

But it wasn’t until I became an adult that Disney really connected with me. It was then that I was able to really appreciate the parks for what they were and it was the first time I went to any of the other parks. Up until that point I had only been to the Magic Kingdom. Now I can say that Epcot has become one of my favorite parks, but Magic Kingdom will always be the bees knees! Of course, like any good Disney pass holder, we have the park hopper option. Who wouldn’t invest in that? It is the greatest option and it makes me feel like we own the park when we go from one to the other with no hassle.

One of my favorite things to do at the parks is take pictures. I know nothing changes but it seems like every time I go, things look different or I catch something that I overlooked before. The boyfriend and I do not ride many of the coasters or anything like that. We prefer the classics like Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World. We mainly like to walk around and enjoy the weather and atmosphere. We generally try to go to the parks when the weather is nice and the parks are less crowded. It’s our preference to stay away during the weekend if at all possible. We generally try and plan our 2 main trips around the Flower and Garden festival and the Food and Wine Festival, both held at Epcot.

So for a few of my fave things about Disney:

  • Fave park: Epcot, Magic Kingdom
  • Fave movie: Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Cars, the Princess Movies too
  • Love the Boardwalk area. It’s so peaceful and pretty back there. It’s like a hidden gem.
  • Love shopping at The World of Disney at Downtown Disney
  • I have a serious addiction to Disney coffee mugs
  • We love to eat at Seasons at Epcot in the Land. It offers a great variety of foods and it’s a good place to regroup for your next outing.
  • I have recently started collecting pins too.
  • Fave character is Tinkerbell

Well that’s a little bit about me and my Disney history. I look forward to meeting all of you and sharing our love of all things Disney.

 

Alicia talks about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Mater after the Flower and Garden Festival
Mater after the Flower and Garden Festival was over

{Editor’s Note:  Give a warm welcome to Alicia, who is guest posting for us today and talking about her enjoyment with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!  Alicia comes to us from the blog, On a Tangent!  Welcome, Alicia!}

Spring is one of the best times to go to the parks at Walt Disney World. The weather is wonderful and the parks aren’t too crowded.  From mid-March to early May guests of Epcot are treated to the delightful visually appealing and green thumb friendly Flower and Garden Festival.

The festival, sponsored by HGTV, focuses on all things botanical. Seminars, demonstrations and hands on presentations are offered for the duration of the festival. And to sweeten the pot, these are offered by way of familiar faces that grace the HGTV station such as Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder.  The presentations that are offered are not solely regarding the exterior of your home. Rather they offer a glimpse on how to improve the inside features of your home as well.

A Flower Power concert series also takes place during the festival. And appropriately enough the artists that perform are those from the “Flower Power” era. In the past the artists have included Chubby Checker, Starship and Davy Jones.

One of the main draws of the festival is the wonderful way the Disney characters are captured through foliage. It’s truly a treat for park goers and photographers to see the way the characters spring into a 3 dimensional form, completely out of flowers and other greenery. The attention to detail and likeness to the characters is impressive as you will see in the pictures I have included.

image001

 

image003

image005

image007

image009 image011 image013

 

When I attended the festival in the past, I was particularly smitten with the character displays all throughout the park. It’s so impressive to me what can be done with flowers, greenery and who knows what else. It’s a different way of seeing the characters and makes them a bit more interesting.

This is a festival has something for everyone, adults and children alike. If you have any interest in getting tips from the professionals, live and in color, then it would be worth your time to check out this event. Even though, I myself do not have the greenest of thumbs, this is definitely an event I mark on my calendar as a not to be missed event, especially since we are annual pass holders and there is no additional fee for the event. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Festival and who knows what WDW has up its sleeves to commemorate the event. For more information on the event this year make sure to check out the Disney website or their Facebook page frequently for all the details.

I don’t get to Disney as often as I like,  but when I do I talk about my trips and post pictures on my blog and on my Flickr account. I hope you pop on by and stay for a while.

Alicia

  • 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Begins March 6 – May 19, 2013