Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Lazy Go Club Level - Day 6

It's party time!  You can't come to the party if you haven't read the earlier parts of this trip report... Follow these links to get caught up!

Today was finally the day! The 3rd reason we booked our trip when we did – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!!

At first, when we planned our vacation, we weren't sure if we would be able to swing the extra $150 to do the party, but luckily, we were able to scrimp and save and come up with it within a month or two of our departure date. The problem? We needed to come up with some kick ass costumes and we were running out of time (and money).  I brainstormed a few outfits, checked out a cool website called and came up with the coolest costumes! (Not gonna tell you – you have to keep reading to find out!)

Since the party would take us to the end of the night, we planned today to be a “Pool Day” – we were not going to a park, not going to Downtown Disney, not going anywhere. Well, except breakfast…

We slept in til 10ish or so, then headed down to the dock to catch a ferry over to Ft Wilderness. We were going to do a late breakfast at Trails End Buffeteria.  They serve breakfast until 11, then it transitions to lunch, which you choose from a menu.  This was our first trip to Trail’s End, and, well, I love a breakfast buffet, so I was really looking forward to it!

In fact, I was in such a hurry to get to breakfast that I forgot to put my battery back in my camera.  That’s right – I was halfway across the lake when I realized that my camera had NO BATTERY in it. And because we were coming back to the Lodge after breakfast, I didn't have my backup battery either. I ended up taking photos of the buffet with my iPod (sorry for the crummy quality!).

Breakfast includes so many different types of food!  Fruit, yogurt, bagels, toast, granola, cereal, muffins, donut holes (from Krispy Kreme!), breakfast pizza, eggs, eggs Benedict, bacon, sausage, pancakes, Mickey waffles, French toast sticks and so many other yummies that there was no way I’d be able to eat it all! 
You can play checkers on the porch while you wait
Assorted cereals and milk
Lots of fruit
Build your own yogurt parfait station
Something I don't remember, eggs benedict, something else, eggs and breakfast pizza
Grits, oatmeal, something else, breakfast potatoes, french toast sticks, BACON!
Lots of mickey waffles! Also syrup and sausage (I think that's what that is)
Assorted pastries, bagels, jams/jelly, butters, etc
More breakfast breads, butter, bagels, Krispy Kreme donuts holes, lox
With our Tables in Wonderland card, I think our huge breakfast came to around $50!  What a great deal – we got all the food we could stuff into ourselves, without characters or screaming toddlers! Not that character buffets are bad, but this same meal at Crystal Palace or Chef Mickey would've cost twice as much, and it would not have been a nice relaxing way to start our morning.

We boated back to the hotel and chilled out for a while, letting our tummies settle.  I eventually locked and loaded the camera, grabbed a lemonade from the lounge and headed out to explore the gorgeous grounds of the Wilderness Lodge.  The kiddo was planning on hitting the pool, and the Hubby was updating his photo stream and tweeting.

I’m going to inundate you now with gorgeous photos of the Wilderness Lodge. This place is magical.  I’m a Florida girl, born and bred, so I've never gone to the Pacific Northwest, but if I ever do, and it doesn't look like this, I’m going to be mad!

Outside balconies (there is a small one a floor above this one - see it?)
This is my FAVORITE shot that I took - I was practically leaning backwards over the railing, but it was worth it!
A quiet nook on the 2nd floor, off the lobby
Secret stairs to the 3rd floor - from this bridge you can see people coming in and their faces when they see the lobby
A GORGEOUS light fixture by Whispering Canyon Cafe
Totem with Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Humphrey - rub his nose for good luck
A view from the drive in
Coming in to the resort - bus stops are on the right; DVC Villas are behind the bus stops (not visible in this photo) 
What better place to have a playground? Kiddo can play - mommy can sit at the table on the beach!
That's what I call a lounge chair with a view!
A view of the boat dock (with Ft. Wilderness ferry) from the Trout Pass Pool Bar
View of the resort courtyard from the boardwalk
Take this leisurely walk to the boat dock - it is so tranquil at night!
Boat dock - one side is for transportation to the Magic Kingdom; the other is for Ft Wilderness and Contemporary
Beautiful 'wild'flowers by Silver Creek Falls
Silver Creek Falls - this 'feeds' the pool
I ran into The Kiddo by the pool, and she was ready to head inside so the both of us made our way inside, stopping for a drink at Roaring Fork in our mugs, then hopped into the magic elevator to take us up to concierge level.

Okay, if I say the following things, what do you think of: 
Blue Team.
In One Ear.
Marc Summers.

That’s right – DOUBLE DARE! That most awesome game show for kids that was on TV (Nickelodeon, actually – don’t tell Walt!) back in the day when I was a kid. 

Remember how I said I brainstormed some ideas? I was trying to come up with some ideas that could be made with tee shirts, and I saw some Double Dare tee shirts. They were $30 a pop though, and I decided that I could do the whole costume for less than that! I ran it by Hubby and he thought it was a great idea. 

$15 Three Blue Tee Shirts
$10 Iron on Paper (for Double Dare logo)
$30 Three Pairs Scrub Pants
$2 Green Paint (Slime)
$3 Orange Flags (I already had safety pins at home)
$3 Three Pair Black Socks for 'knee pads'
$3 Three Pair Goggles
Total?  $66, or $22 PER COSTUME.  Sure beats $30 per tee shirt!

Before we left home, I made the shirts by using iron-on transfer paper and my printer. You can find just about anything on the internet these days and finding a Double Dare logo was pretty easy. After ironing them on, I “splatted” the shirts and pants to that it looked like we had gotten all slimed and goo’ed up. I still have a green splat on my toaster and one on my utensil holder, and I’m gonna leave ‘em there – they make me smile!

After getting dressed, we each pinned a few flags to ourselves in various locations, to simulate that we were of course the winners who went through The Obstacle Course (Space Camp, here we come!)

I had the most fun teasing me and The Kiddo's hair. Let me tell you, if you can’t get Aqua Net, use Frizz Ease hairspray – my hair didn't MOVE! It was like pulling at cotton candy – when you pulled one part, the whole mass moved (oh, how I miss the 80s!)  We each rocked a side pony (of course, with a scrunchie!) and teased bangs. Hubby kept his hair in his pony, as usual (though we debated Hair Band hair). I did hose him down with hairspray, though.  Between the 3 of us, we used up an entire can (albeit a travel size can) of Frizz-Ease hairspray and about 30 bobby pins (most for the hair, some to keep the goggles on ).

Here we are in our 80s awesome glory (photo courtesy of our awesome concierge staff)!

This is the beautiful concierge lobby - elevators at the left of the photo; lounge directly behind us
We headed out to the boat dock and grabbed a ferry to MK at around 5pm or so.

Looks like a beautiful Florida evening sky to me
Lots of people who go to MNSSHP know that they can get early entry to MK at 4pm, even though the party starts at 7, so we avoided that rush and strolled in around 5:30, and got our wristband.  We also immediately started getting “cool costumes!”, “OMG, Double Dare!”, “Your costumes are awesome!” and other comments like that. One CM actually ran over to me to see it up close!  I was beginning to think that I “Won” Halloween with my awesome costumes (no, there’s no competition, but if you know me, you know there’s a competition!).

Hmm, it's starting to get cloudy - but who cares, we have awesome costumes!
Our next mission was to eat dinner before the party started – you NEVER waste party time on something so trivial as dinner!  Halfway to Columbia Harbor House, it began to rain. When we got there, it was CLOSED! Oh, what the hell? Uncool, Harbor House, UNCOOL! Oh, and it’s raining harder now, too. We decided that since Pinocchio Village Haus was relatively close, we would go grab dinner over there.  We ran through the rain and got in the doors before it really began raining out there. I’m talking “red on the map” rain!

PVH (I’m too lazy to keep typing the whole thing!) wasn't too busy, so we were able to place our order pretty quickly and grab a booth.

Both Hubby and the Kiddo branched out and got…. Chicken nuggets. I got one of the new pepperoni flatbreads (they had replaced the individual pizzas with this.)

Pepperoni flatbread and 2 orders of Chicken Nuggets
The nuggets were as tasty as always.  One of my favorite nuggets anywhere (Chik-fil-A will always be tops, in my opinion).  The flatbread was cooked very well, and really yummy! It wasn't greasy or funky and I’d totally get one again.

About 10 minutes into eating, the sky just opened up and it began pouring – thunder and lightning, with crazy winds. It wasn't long before people began pouring into PVH to get out of the weather. Unfortunately for people coming in to EAT, these rain refugees were taking up tables – this is a huge pet peeve of mine. If you go to a restaurant and you are not partaking in the business of said restaurant, DO NOT use their facilities! Don’t sit, don’t take condiments, nothing. You have not paid for the right to use anything in that restaurant! (This is why I don’t pee at McDonald’s on vacations either…)

Whatever she's doing, it must be enthralling!
Anyway, we had paid for our right to sit there, so we leisurely finished our meal and drink while waiting for the rain to clear up. There were a lot of complainers – most of them from people who were here for MNSSHP. These tickets are non-refundable, by the way. You pays your money and you takes your chances. We all just picked a bad day. You can complain about it and be a bitch in front of your kids, or you can splash through puddles and make it memorable.

Guess which one we did? Well, after dropping another $30 on ponchos…. Yep, that’s right, we are now the proud owners of SIX Disney ponchos. In one trip, we bought 6 ponchos. Oh, all the frugal Disney blogs would be so ashamed of me!

Anyway, we hid by the Castle for a while, hoping that it would let up, but it really never did, though we did see that the crowds had thinned out. (I read later on DIS that people mobbed Guest Services, demanding refunds, and because there were really no lines, people were getting in fist-fights because of perceived line-jumping!  Way to set an example for your kids, folks.) 

That's not pixie dust, folks - that's rain... A lot of rain. 
We hooded up and headed over to the Teacups so that the Kiddo could ride (and we could be under the awning). It rained, it poured, it sprinkled, it poured some more. Holy cow, welcome to Florida!

Standing under the awning, looking towards Pooh's character greeting spot
It cleared up for a bit, so we splashed our way to Storybook Circus and Big Top Souvenirs. BTS is a very large gift shop, and thought that it would be a good place to hide from the rain a little more. I love this store because you TOTALLY feel like you are in a circus tent - the ceiling is tented, there are trapeze swings and ladders, and even the carpet is styled to look like canvas that has been strapped together!

The Big Top - in the center is a show kitchen where they make goodies like caramel apples and cotton candy!
While we were there I took advantage of Disney’s poncho-exchange (if you have a Disney poncho that has a rip or tear in it, they will swap out for a new one.)  When I took my poncho off, the CM I was dealing with looked at me a little shyly and asked “What is Double Dare?” 

From across the room, another CM said, “OMG, did you just ask what Double Dare is?! It’s only the coolest game show from the 80s ever!”  We both then tried to explain how the game worked to the first CM (she was probably foreign, but I didn't think to check her nametag).  The 2nd CM and I had so much fun reminiscing about DD that we must have stayed talking for like 10 minutes!

The rain was beginning to slow to a drizzle at this point, so the family and I (now in my new poncho, with that new poncho smell!) headed back out to Storybook Circus to start trick or treating.  We didn't get too far, though – we were told that the Treat Trail wasn't open for another half-hour or so, but we could go in and do the character meet & greets at Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

You can see how totally soaked we are (and what are they doing with their hands?)
Daisy Fortuna
Minnie Magnifique
We did meet Donald, but I can’t find my photos of him.

Can I just take a moment to complain about the lighting Disney has for their Character Spots? What the hell? It’s just SO BAD! Lots of shadows, the lighting comes out way too warm! It’s just terrible!

Anyway, after we went through the characters, Hubby showed me two of the “Attraction” posters for the circus - 
Lambert, the sheepish lion!
He knows that these characters are two of my very favorite characters ever. They are very rare, and not very well known to Disney-goers younger than me. (If you are not familiar with either of them, follow the links under their photos!)

We were told that the Treat Trails were open now (the rain was barely a trickle), so we made our way from Storybook Circus to Tomorrowland, by way of the back trail between the two lands. There were three or four stops along the trail, and at each one, they gave us a handful of candy.

Lines were getting very long now – everyone else who stayed, like we did, was coming out of restaurants or stores or wherever they hid from the rain, and it got pretty busy again. Luckily all the Treat Stop CMs were very efficient in getting lines moving!  We trick or treated throughout Tomorrowland, back through Fantasyland before coming over to Tomorrowland Terrace for the Villains Meet and Greet.

Usually, the VM&G happens in front of the castle after each Villains show. You need to decide which villain you want to meet so that you can stand in their line, as they are only available for maybe 10-15 after each show, and because there are so many people, you can usually grab only one or two characters.

Well, due to the rain, the villains were meeting under cover at Tomorrowland Terrace, and because of the lines and the weather, they were changing up how they did the meet – you all waited in one line, and you went from ‘station’ to ‘station’ and met ALL the villains!!  What a great surprise!

Dr. Facilier (from "The Princess & the Frog") and Captain Hook (from "Peter Pan")
Maleficient (from "Sleeping Beauty")
Frollo (from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame") and Cruella de Vil (from "101 Dalmations")
The Evil Queen (from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs") and The Queen of Hearts (from "Alice in Wonderland")
After the meet, we decided to go ahead and grab a table here to watch Hallowishes, the special Halloween fireworks. I usually like to shoot fireworks from Crystal Palace, but this was covered, in case it started raining again, and it had tables and chairs for our butts!

Hubby and the Kiddo went to the locker to grab my tripod while I stayed behind.  I don’t remember what I ended up doing, but I know that I moved over to the railing to ‘claim my spot’ for photos, but in doing that, I forgot about holding the table, so when the two of them got back, there was no table for them and they were pissed!  Oops.

So, I set up my tripod with the other die-hards near the railing, and waited for 9pm to come.

You can't see me, but I have the poncho on my head, covering me, the camera and the tripod like a cape!
And waited.

And waited.

An announcer came on and said that it would start at 9:30.


An announcer came on and said that it would start at 9:45.

Still waiting.

FINALLY!  The weather cleared and the show began! I LOVE this show!

After the show, we headed over to Liberty Square to try to find a spot for the Boo to You Parade, because I can get a pretty good shot of the Headless Horseman from there. Well, due to the rain, the Horseman was not riding (safety precaution – no skidding horses allowed!)  We ended up getting a pretty crappy spot (near Hall of Presidents), but the guy right next to us kind of let me sidle up next to him with my camera. Turns out that this was his first time ever seeing the parade, so it was fun to surreptitiously watch him enjoy it! I did end up getting a few good shots, though…

Alice, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee
Generic Cowboy
Cruella de Vil - gee, she sure looks different...
If I'm not mistaken, that's Ed the Hyena mooning me...
The end of the parade came way too soon, and we took our time packing up my camera stuff so that the crowds could disperse (a lot of times, families will leave after the parade, rather than staying to the very end).  We continued our candy-begging throughout Liberty Square and Frontierland.

Cast Members were dancing to Cotton Eyed Joe at the exit doors of the Diamond Horseshoe/Woody Dance Party
It was getting very close to midnight when we stopped for a potty break, and the Kiddo was draggin’ ass pretty bad – she was so tired it seemed she could barely keep her eyes open.

Maybe candy will give her the energy to finish?
I asked her if she wanted to hit any more treat spots, or if we should head to the front of the park to get our Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom Halloween card (a special card only given out at the party).  She said she wanted to leave, so we made our way to the front, got our card and headed to the boat to head back to Wilderness Lodge. I think she pretty much passed out on the boat!

Good night, Halloween Party!

This is what I got in MY bag!  Multiply that by THREE and that's how much candy we brought home!! Love MNSSHP!