Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 8: Halloween Party Day!

We decided to sleep in a bit this morning. We ended up being ready to go for 8:40. Unfortunately, we just missed the Magic Kingdom bus. Now, when you're using Disney Transportation to get to a park only, it works fabulously. When you're trying to use it to get to other resorts, it's not quite as direct. The next Magic Kingdom bus didn't arrive until 9:05, and our breakfast reservation was for 9:50 at the Polynesian. Keep in mind, the bus would probably get us to the park for 9:25 or so, but then we'd still have to catch something (a boat or train) over to the hotel. Being the time neurotic duo we are, we decided to spring for a taxi. It was a cheap ride, and we ended up getting to the restaurant for 9:20. So they sat us early, which was good, as we were quite hungry by now!

I started off my breakfast with a Mega-Berry Smoothie. It was quite good!

Tamara ordered herself the Kona French Press coffee (which technically serves 2). There are these very cool lights that look like onions in the restaurant.

Tamara ordered the Tonga Toast, which is one of Kona's signature dishes. It consists of Banana-stuffed Sourdough French Toast rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and served with a Strawberry Compote, plus a side of ham, bacon, or sausage. The strawberry compote is these creepy bright pink colour, but it's sooo good!

I went with the Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes with Macadamia Nut Butter, Pineapple Sauce, and I went with Ham for my chosen side. It seemed like the obvious choice.

This was the only place where someone flat out laughed at me for taking pictures of my food. She wasn't mean about it, just probably thought I was a tad silly. I saw at least one other table take photos, so I didn't feel silly. Disney is one of the few places where I feel pretty comfortable taking pictures of pretty much anything.

Here's some of the bamboo (maybe?) artwork along one of the stairways in the Polynesian.

The lobby there has a lovely waterfall feature.

After breakfast, we caught a bus over to Downtown Disney to do a bit more shopping. We had scoped out the stores earlier, but today was the originally planned shopping day. Tamara picked up a super fun Wall-E and Eve ornament. It's a tradition to get a Disney ornament every year. Oh my goodness, it was the slowest service ever!! The cast member was an older man and he really took his time to wrap up everything. And you couldn't even get mad, because you could see how much he cared about getting everything just so. I got way too impatient, so I started wandering around elsewhere. Eventually I settled on a ledge right outside the store. Here, I captured Tamara's triumphant exit from the store.

We walked to whole strip, I picked up a few Christmas gifts, and we saw these hilarious caramel apples. We speculated about what exactly happened with that 3rd one. Did they just run of out chocolate, did they want something a bit more goofy? Who knows, but we are certainly easily amused.
Our "lunch" plans were set for Wolfgang Puck Cafe. We ended up ordering 2 appetizers which were tasty enough. I didn't bother taking any pictures there. We had the calamari and the spinach artichoke dip. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was just let down from the experience. The atmosphere wasn't terribly interesting, we were seated next to a group of nannies with their charges. The Wolfgang Puck Express was better and had a more interesting atmosphere, considering it's essentially fast food.

We headed back to the hotel around 3:00 and just relaxed. Then we got ready for the party! We ended up leaving around 5:30, got a few looks and comments about the costumes, but not too many.

We walked into the park for 6:00 and got our wristbands, then went to ride some rides. We started with Big Thunder Mountain (of course!), which was already down to a 5-minute wait, considering the park was still open to everyone. The party officially starts at 7, but ticket holders can get let in as early as 4.
While on the ride, we learned that our dresses were quite slippery, add that to sitting at the back of the train, and you get a much crazier ride!

We headed over to Haunted Mansion next, on party nights, the cast members there have extra makeup and look pretty awesome!

I had the 50mm lens on the camera, so I tried a few shots within the mansion. This chandelier is from right before you enter the stretching room.

And this is on the ride, right where the spirits start to get their party on.
After the ride we snuck in for a photopass at the carriage that is set up right outside the mansion. We didn't realize that they had just roped it off, as the photopass director was giving instructions to the other photographers. They let us take a few shots anyway! We went onwards to Fantasyland, where we learned that It's a Small World was officially open, so we rode that. Everything was definitely brighter than I remember.

We decided to start our Trick or Treating throughout Fantasyland, then we walked along the Mad Hatter trail, which had these somewhat eerie rose bushes, and into Tomorrowland.

We rode Space Mountain, here's the take-off part, just before your turn out into the other lit up area. I definitely would not wear a dress while riding Space Mountain again! With the short style dress and the awkward straddled position you have to sit in in the cars, it's a bit uncomfortable. In the photo at the end, I saw that I was showing a bit more leg, than I intended.
We passed by a dance party while enroute to Buzz. There was a bunch of bananas dancing, so that was pretty awesome. I got my best score yet on Buzz- 349,000. Of course, one of the only reasons I did so well, was because we were briefly stopped and I found a really high scoring target. I kept shooting it, then I felt kind of bad, because Tamara had stopped playing, since she thought the stopped car meant that the guns wouldn't work.

We made our way back to Frontierland, via Adventureland, but we were stopped by the first parade. We saw what we could, but we knew we'd catch the second parade. So we went to ride Big Thunder again. Yay! It's even better at night. After that we went over to the castle to try and see some of the villains show. Unfortunately there was a whole brigade of ridiculously tall dads who kept putting their kids on their shoulders, making them at least 8-foot tall visual blocks.
We decided to stake out a spot on the street for the fireworks and parade. Tamara grabbed some food before the show, a hot dog from Casey's. The fireworks were good! It was a very cool show, with music and narration from various villains! On a side note, I really need to stop looking at the amazing Disney photographers on flickr when it comes to fireworks. They tend to capture 30+ seconds of fireworks footage. And although it looks amazing, it's really not an accurate representation of what you see when you're there. You also definitely need a tripod to get those kind of shots, so I just kind of gave up and enjoyed the show instead!

Our parade spot was great! I had so much fun watching the floats and the dancers! At one point in the show Tweedledee (or Tweedledum) came to me to say hi. So did Winnie the Pooh, I felt like a kid. Here are some of favorites from the parade:

The main entrance sign:

Kango and Roo:
Pirate guy:
The gravediggers do this amazing dance, they drag their shovels along the concrete in cool choreography. It even sparks. It was so close to my feet that I quickly moved my feet up.

Here's the float with Madame Leota's creepy tombstone:

Some more ghoul/ghostly dancers, this may have been the lady that shouted out "Denise" to someone near by. It seemed oddly enough, within character, although I think she may have actually been basically saying hi to Denise.

I managed to catch these 2 cowboys' entire spin sequence, but here's just one shot.
Here's Pain and...
Panic. I gather they really aren't seen much at Disney, so it's kind of cool to see them in the parade.
Halloween is definitely all about the villains, here's Cruella:

After the parade, we walked back to Frontierland to see how it looks on a party night. They have different lighting to make it all spooky.

There is also the spirit of Madame Leota on a bench to banter at passerbys. They do a really good job of making her look somewhat ghostly and transparent.

We went through Fantasyland and decided to line up to see the Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters. They are hilarious. The one sister made Tamara spin around and stated to her mother that she wanted a dress just like hers. Ha!

Here's the last photo from the night, taken just outside the entrance to the park. Really, we couldn't have had a nicer night. It was great weather! It's also nice to enjoy the park at a limited capacity, no ride was longer than 15 minutes!

As I'm reading through my trip notes, I see I wrote a couple of hilarious observations from the day.
  • I actually heard someone call their Grandma, Meemaw! Amazing
  • There was the bitchiest, most demanding 6 (maybe?) year old child. She was in a stroller and declared to the adult she was with "I need something to eat, and YOU'RE going to get it for me". The adult looked at her with an "Excuse me" look, I couldn't believe it. The kid was a total crazy!
  • I'm sick of wet toilet paper being left on toilet seats. Seriously, if you feel like lining the seat, have the decency to get it all in the toilet after.
That's all for now, only 2 more Disney packed days left!

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