Walt Disney World Trip
Day 8 (Thursday, Dec. 9)(Click on any image to see a larger version of the photo. Click on links to see additional information or photos.)
Lunch at the 50's Prime Time Café Dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Because I knew it would be a late night tonight, I slept in and lazed around in the morning, spending some time on my balcony watching the animals.
It's so great to be able to sit there and see such a variety of wildlife without even leaving my room! But I had places to go and things to do, so finally, I left AKL and made my way to the Disney-MGM Studios.
I had a little extra time before I was supposed to meet my friends at the 50's Prime Time Café for lunch, so I started walking down Sunset Boulevard to see what the wait time was at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I was hoping that the line would be too long for me to do it before lunch. :-) I sort of wanted to try it, but was also looking for excuses not to. As I was walking, I spotted two women wearing the "9 Broads & A Mouse" shirts that one of the people in our group had made. I asked, and sure enough, they were two people from our group I hadn't yet met, Lynne and Kathy. I accompanied them as they browsed some of the stores on our way back towards the PTC, thus successfully avoiding getting anywhere near the Tower of Terror. :-)
The 50's Prime Time Café is the sort of place you'll find only at Walt Disney World. The décor of the place sure brought back memories! Not surprisingly, even the Christmas decorations were themed to the restaurant, including an aluminum Christmas tree. I remember those!
The concept of the PTC is that your "mom" serves your food and makes sure you mind your manners during your meal. Our mom was nice, but I wished that she had gotten into the spirit of the place more. I even baited her by resting my elbows on the table, but she only asked me to remove them once and never punished me for further violations. By contrast, we heard another mom across the room dishing out punishments for a variety of transgressions. Luck of the draw, I guess.
We left the PTC a little before 2:00 p.m., heading our separate ways temporarily before joining up again at the Magic Kingdom. Tonight was our big group get-together: a dozen people having dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern and then spending the evening at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Although I had called more than five months in advance, I wasn't able to get a reservation for so many people any time in the 5 o'clock hour, so I had taken one for 4:25 p.m.
I was among the first to arrive. I puttered around the Magic Kingdom for a little while before wandering over to the LTT. Mindy, Debbie, and I staked out some rocking chairs on the porch and waited for the rest of our group to show up. Three friends who had planned to join one person in our group had to bail out, so that left the original "nine broads." We were split between two adjoining tables.
The dinner was a lot of fun. Even though I had tried not to eat too much at lunch, it had only been about three hours earlier and I was still fairly full, so I didn't eat much of the turkey, potatoes, etc. But I enjoyed all the attention we got from the characters.
Kudos to Disney for thinking of sending someone around the restaurant with MVMCP wristbands. I believe she said that was a new idea this year. A few of the people in our group had come into the Magic Kingdom after 4:00 p.m. and gotten their wristbands at the entrance. But several of us had been at the park longer and were planning to find a wristband distribution stand after dinner. Having a CM come right to our table with the wristbands was very convenient for us.
When we left the LTT about 6:00, we joined the other party attendees who were being herded toward Tomorrowland so the CMs could remove all non-attendees from the Magic Kingdom. We agreed to meet back at the Tomorrowland bridge at 9 o'clock, then we split up to go do different things. I went with Barb and Brenna on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Brenna then headed off to stake out a place where she could run to Frontierland as soon as the party officially started.
Barb and I stayed in Tomorrowland and went to the Merchant of Venus (as a Shakespeare fan, I love that name!) to get some MVMCP souvenirs. I discovered that they sell a different pin every night of MVMCP. The one for that night was a slider with Mickey skating across an ice pond. I also bought an official MVMCP photo frame for my complimentary party photo. (That's complimentary as in "included with admission," not as in "makes me look 20 years younger." :-) )
Barb and I then headed over to the Galaxy Theater to take in the 7:15 performance of the "Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas"show. It's a fun show with lots of great Christmas songs and some goofy (er, Goofy) humor. Barb then went off to do other things, and I got in the short (about six minutes) line for Buzz Lightyear, which I had never ridden before. I operated both guns in my vehicle and got 41,000 points with one of them, which I figured was respectable for my first try.
I then walked down to Peter Pan's Flight. The line for it had been long when I was at the MK a few days earlier, so I was hoping for better luck during the limited-attendance MVMCP. Indeed, the line wasn't too bad--about 13 minutes. And the ride stopped for a minute while I was suspended over London (my favorite scene in the ride), so that was a nice treat.
I continued around the park to the Haunted Mansion, rode that, then got some cocoa and a cookie (included with the MVMCP ticket) at the Columbia Harbour House. After finishing my snack, I went back to the Tomorrowland bridge to meet up with everyone for "Wishes." I waited for a few minutes but didn't see anyone else from my group, so I walked down the path into the Rose Garden to meet up with the Mousefest folks.
I watched the fireworks from the Rose Garden, then ran into Barb and Brenna on my way out. Brenna was headed for Big Thunder Mountain, so after making a fairly brief visit to the Timekeeper building to get our MVMCP photos taken, we all walked over to Frontierland. Brenna and I did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while Barb sat on a bench and chatted with other partygoers.
When we finished the railroad ride, it was getting close to the time for the second parade of the evening, so the three of us found a spot at the very end of the route, right near the big gates where the floats and CMs disappear into the backstage area of Frontierland. The parade was pretty, although I was put off by Disney pushing the new Stitch attraction by putting Stitch on Santa's float. Hey, Disney people--Santa works alone. Got it?
After the parade, Barb, Brenna, and I slowly started making our way toward Main Street. We were in no hurry, since we knew that the exits and Disney transportation would be jammed right after the parade. B&B hadn't had any cocoa and cookies yet, so we kept an eye out for some as we wandered through Frontierland and the hub. We soon saw people carrying cups and cookies, and discovered that food was being handed out at the Plaza Pavilion, so we headed there.
As we stood in line, we realized that there was a show starting in front of the castle. That turned out to be the midnight performance of the "Celebrate the Season" show. Although we were a fair bit away from the castle, we had an unobstructed view of the forecourt from the raised area of the Plaza Pavilion. It was a great way to end the evening, sitting there enjoying our cocoa and cookies and watching the beautiful show. When the show ended, we wandered up Main Street, leaving the park at about 12:30 a.m. I took a bus back to Animal Kingdom Lodge and hit the sack immediately.
Pre-planning | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 |
Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Days 11-12 and Tips for Solo Visitors
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Last updated 2/5/06