Celebrating the Holidays at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We had such a blast during out visit to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween (even with getting poured on!), that I was trilled when the opportunity to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party arose. I was so eager to check out the Magic Kingdom all decked out in it’s Christmas best.

And the timing could not be better, as we went the night before Autumn’s 4th birthday, so she thought we were the best parents ever taking her to Disney World for her birthday. Sure! Unlike last time’s surprise, we warned her this time that we were going, so she told everyone within shouting distance that she was going to Disney as well for the week leading up to it. Repeatedly.

Thankfully we made good time and only had to hear ‘are we there yet’ 1,000 times and not a 1,000,000! ha!  But, of course, she started to scream with excitement in the car once she saw the Mickey Pylon that is visible at the exit you take for Celebration on I-4.  ‘I SEE MICKEY!!!!!!!!”

 

 

Before we knew it we were on the ferry to the Magic Kingdom.

One of the Captains gave her a sticker and called her a princess. Stuff like that is just so awesome.

And then heading into the park for an awesome time!!!!

I just can’t get over the charm that is all over the park. From the moment you get to the entrance you are welcomed with holiday decor. Main Street USA is heavily decorated for the holiday season with candy canes, wreathes, ornaments, soldiers

We arrived when they were doing the Flag Retreat service, which was really cool to see. Especially since it was the first time Autumn had seen anything like that. She stood there quietly, watching the service with her hand over her heart.

We are counting down ’till Christmas. Are you?!

There is a perfect photo opportunity by City Hall that everyone should check out.

 

And of course you can’t pass up the chance to take a selfie in front of the castle!

One of the best things about these parties is that the lines for the rides virtually disappear and you are able to get on the rides almost instantly. Autumn and I went on The Little Mermaid ride, which is a favorite of ours, just by walking right in. No line, no wait! Then Price and Autumn went on the Aladdin ride and then on the It’s a Small World ride.

 

While we were by the Aladdin ride, we bought Dole Whips!! Actually, we got a Dole Float, which is the pineapple whip topped cup of pineapple juice, and a *new* Pineapple Upside Down Cake that is topped with Dole Whip.  Both amazing and give life meaning.

Yeah, we like Dole Whips that much…

 

Autumn isn’t such a big fan of cold treats so she didn’t like the Dole Whip that much (fine, more for me!!!!), but she was thrilled about getting cookies and drinks around the park at the various locations where they have blow up candy stick markers.

There are 6 locations for these treats throughout the park. We only stopped at a few but they were all yummy.

Even more thrilling was telling us that she wasn’t sharing as she jammed the cookies into her mouth. It was all for drama as we all had our own cookies and she does share well but she just loves to say she isn’t sharing, esp when it comes to food. She is like Joey from Friends.

While the Dole Whip treats and holiday treats were enjoyable, they were not very filling, so we decided to stop for a bit to enjoy some food and drinks. We wanted it to be quick and affordable so Price and I split an order of beef nachos ($12.49) from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café in Frontierland. I trashed them up by covering them with just about every topping at the toppings bar to make them even more filling and delicious.

While we gobbled them up we watched the clock in hopes of getting to the 7.40pm show time for Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (7.40, 9.25, 10.30, 11.55pm)at the Castle Forecourt Stage. We missed the first few minutes of it, but Price and Autumn still snuck in on the side and had a great view on all the dancing.

 

After that, we hung around so that Autumn could see the gang from Frozen in the A Frozen Holiday Wish show (8.15pm).  Since this is the only showing of this show I suggest making this a priority of the night, especially if you kids like the Frozen movie.

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf come for a visit and has a  gift to the kingdom, Elsa transform the castle into a icy winter palace with her powers. It’s really pretty awesome.

Autumn was in complete awe!

There was some chanting as part of the Frozen show and she even participated, which she hardly ever does so she was really into it.

 

Soon after the Frozen show was the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade (8.30 and 11.00pm). The parade winds through Adventureland, then Liberty Square, in front of the Castle, and then down Main Street USA. That’s a lot of fun Christmas music, waving, and dancing!

Since having a good spot for the Frozen show was our priority, we didn’t have great spot for a parade, but with Autumn on Price’s shoulders, she still got to see her favorite princesses, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Olaf,

It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride down Main Street, U.S.A. in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.” Santa Claus, gingerbread men, elves, reindeer and other friends from the North Pole join Mickey and his pals for the happiest holiday parade.

Since we missed the start of the Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, Price and Autumn caught the 9.25 showing while I browsed the shops. Basically I want everything from Pandora to make a Little Mermaid bracelet. #disneygoals

Then we met up for Autumn to do some birthday shopping before we left to head home.

We didn’t plan on staying late enough to see the Holiday Wishes Fireworks that start at 10pm, but we were having such a wonderful time that we caught some of the fireworks that light up the skies above Cinderella Castle timed with holiday music as we were waiting for the ferry ride back to the parking lot.

Unfortunately, we had missing packing up a key piece in our stroller set up that allows the use of the 2nd seat. So, again, we were piggy backing Autumn across the parking lot. But this time, she was not freaking out with excitement, but was utterly exhausted. And so were we.

Our shoulders and backs were killing us the next day but it was all worth it.

Mickey certainly knows how to throw a Merry Celebration!!!

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs through December 22nd

Tickets are available select nights, making the park close earlier than normal for this ‘private’ event. You do not need to purchase general admission to the park to attend this event.  Tickets start at $89.00

You can purchase tickets HERE.

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While I was invited to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with my family for free, all opinions are my own.

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Having fun at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

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I still can’t believe that it is September! The year has sped by and that just means that the holidays will be around the corner before we know it.

I love living here in Florida but I have to admit that I do miss the fall season in New England. The cool mornings are refreshing, the color changing leaves are stunningly beautiful, and the decor is spot on. At least we can enjoy the decor here.

 

In fact, one morning while I was watching the local news, I learned that Walt Disney World had just decorated for fall. They brought in trucks of decorations and decorated the area called Main Street, U.S.A in the Magic Kingdom over night. It’s like magical elves bring fall right into Florida for everyone to enjoy. I immediately texted Price saying “Disney has Mickey Pumpkins!!! EEEEEEEE!!!!” I was pretty excited. I’m sure he rolled his eyes at that one.

I was extra super excited when an invite to attend the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a seasonal event at the Walt Disney World Resort, popped up in my inbox. OMG!

They close the park early for this after-hours ticketed event that takes place at Magic Kingdom Park from 7 p.m. to midnight. It’s a limited-ticketed event so the crowds are smaller than normal park hours for a more intimate feel. An added plus is that the lines for the rides are super short too!

We decided that we wouldn’t tell Autumn where we were going so that she would be surprised when we pulled up. Plus then we wouldn’t be subjected to her talking non-stop about going to Disney the whole car ride, only have to hear her ask when we would arrive 100x in the 90 minute car ride.

As soon as she saw the entrance into Magic Kingdom parking she understood where we were and got really excited. The excitement was even more elevated when we took out a new Elena of Avalor costume out for her to wear. ($19 at Costco!!)

Once we were cleared through security the fun started happening!

I was loving all the decorations and Autumn loved every bit of everything since there was so much to see and do. She wanted to run off immediately to check out rides, but we decided that taking our time and enjoying some dinner from Casey’s Corner would be best, so we could focus on rides without being hungry/hangry. Hot dogs for everyone!

Once we were done with dinner, we were ready for the real fun to begin!

Price and Autumn took a ride on Dumbo while I hung out with Hunter. I could have taken a ride with her next on Dumbo but we decided to move on to take a trip under the sea to visit Ariel. There were hardly any lines for either of these rides as the visitors to the park at this time were just people for the special event.

 

As well, we did a bit of trick or treating, which Autumn loved. She was so into her treats, especially the “fruit M&M’s”… skittles. ha!

 

It was coming up on 8pm at this time and we were thinking that a show would be fun to check out. We headed over to the castle to see the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”. Knowing that it would probably be too loud for Hunter, I decided to head over to Adventureland so that we could meet at Aloha Isle for some Dole Whips.

A short time later, I started to see people scurrying around and I knew instantly that it was rain. I quickly packed up our stuff and Hunter from under our covered seating and started to head back towards the castle, hoping to meet Price and Autumn before it really started to rain. I made it about 150 feet before it was raining buckets!!

Thankfully, I found a spot under an awning in front of Frontierland’s Frontier Trading Post to camp out and wait for the rain to stop. And before I knew it, Price and Autumn were there as Price and Autumn took off running as the first drops fell and were able to hop from covered awning to covered awning in Frontierland. Unfortunately, they only got through 1 song of the performance before it was shut down from the rain.

While we waited out the rain, Price ran over to get us some Dole Whips. They certainly helped pass the time, as it poured and poured. After awhile, the rain lessened so we decided to head back towards Main Street USA to be able to get a spot for the “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade”. Ultimately, we decided that since we were all a bit wet already and it was still drizzling that we would heave home.

 

To make up for the fact that our night was cut short, we treated Autumn to a fun gift from a shop. While I browsed Halloween related gear, she picked out some Elena of Avalor figurines.

A boat ride back to the parking lot and we were all set for our travels back home.

While the night didn’t work out as planned, we all had a blast. I am looking forward to checking it out again next year. Then Hunter can join in with some trick-or-treating as well!

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You can purchase tickets HERE. Event runs through November 10th.

Can’t make it? Then check out a live stream of the Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade

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A big thanks to Disney World for the invite for us to experience the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party as a family. I was not compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own. 

Our Disney World Anniversary Trip: Magic Kingdom

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The second day of our Disney vacation to celebrate our First Anniversary brought us to the Magic Kingdom.

We took the free bus from the Coronado Resort and to get to the Park.  (You can arrive by boat if you stay at the nearby Grand Floridian or Polynesian (among others).

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The Magic Kingdom is the jewel of Disney; it’s amazing, it’s unbelievable, it’s magical.

To get to the magic you need to be prepared to wait in some long lines to get through security if you have a bag with you.  Once you make though security you are taken back in time and place to Main Street USA.

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It’s so cute with nostalgic looking, gingerbread ornamented shops, and stores with a little park at the center. All your senses become engrossed with the small train going by, the Barbershop quartet singing, or the caramel shop opening.  It is the head of Main Street where you get the view of the Magic Kingdom.  The one that will have any kid young or old saying “WOW!!” Everyone stops for that photo, you kinda have to.

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We walked down Main Street USA looking in all the shops and stores for goodies to eat or trinkets to buy. It was early in the day so we stay away from filling our bellies too soon or have to walk around with  bag all day but we did get ideas for things to buy later.  The castle beckons everyone to go to it, off we went.

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We took a bunch of pictures in front of the castle. The gardens and flowers were so beautiful around the castle all just in bloom which was amazing.  Our walk continued up the stairs of the castle, where you have a great view back towards Main Street USA.

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With a few thousand steps already under our feet, our bellies began to growl. We stopped off at the Sleepy Hallow Refreshments for breakfast. I got the Belgian waffle and Price got a Funnel Cake. Of course we couldn’t resist topping it off with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. The sweet smell was just so intoxicating. We sat in some shade next to the castle munching on our breakfast right by where a couple had just gotten engaged, magic!

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After a short break we checked our map and decided the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride would be our first ride.  The line was short so we didn’t have to use our Magic Bands just yet.

The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride was fun and easy.  For the two of use it was a good start to the day since the seats are made for two.  The ride takes you through all the Pirate movies and a glimpse to key scenes.  Plus you get a short and much needed break from the Orlando Summer heat which had bitten Price early.

Mickey Meltdown Meter – 30%

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Our next stop was The Hall of Presidents, which houses a visitor area with historical artifacts along with a huge theater.  The show was about 30 minutes long and very impressive.  The animatronic Presidents were all dressed in historical clothes and all appeared just like you would imagine. Abe’s Hat, Washington’s coat, and Taft’s big belly. There was even a speech by our current president, Barack Obama.

Besides enjoying the show, it gave us a chance to enjoy some AC. I highly suggest stopping here when you need a real break from the heat!

Leaving just makes you wanna walk outside, blow off some fireworks, drape yourself in the American flag and drink a Sam Adams in the bed of a Ford F-150! #Merica!

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Still on the west side of the Magic Kingdom we visited the Haunted Mansion. So at this point, we did the castle, pirates, Presidents, and now ghost.  Oh Disney!

The Haunted Mansion was something I did when I was little and always had fun memories of so I was looking forward to doing it again.  The line was extremely long but it moved fairly quickly. Plus there’s fun activities to do outside- like play music on the decorations. \

The haunted House is corny, fun, and sweet.  It was fun to do again after all these years.

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After all our morning activities we had to get inside, get well hydrated, and have a real meal. Prior to getting to Disney we made a reservation at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in Main Street with our Disney Travel agent. She told us about a brand new deal they had that allows you to get a 3 course lunch and get reserved seats for a parade later. Sounded fun to us so we had to do it.

Tony’s is a really nice Italian restaurant, big portions, good food, ice cold water (I’m sure each place has it but Price was drinking as if he was melting from the insides!!!). We enjoyed great service, amazing food (the tuna! omg!) while there. Unfortunately, my tiramisu dessert was frozen. We received our bill with to free passes to see Tinkerbell, which we presume is due to the frozen dessert.

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These character interactions usually have very long lines but not with the free pass, we went right to the fronts.

Meeting Tinkerbell was so neat (and a bit silly). The cast member was on point with anything to say to stay in character.

Tink was a great sport saying ‘hi’ to a friend of mine on video. My bud loves Tink so it was so fun to send her that video. ha!

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We started to make our way back through Main Street Disney and towards the Castle. Price splayed out on the “lawn” area with a Mickey Meltdown Meter set at about 50% when we noticed people lining up to watched a parade.

We soon discovered it was time for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. We stuck around to see the characters, floats, and musicians for a long time. The parade ended with a fire breathing dragon. (FB live video!)

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The next area of the park that we ventured into was Tomorrowland. The sculptures, exhibits, and buildings appear futuristic or sci fi. It’s silly looking but still fun.

We jumped on the People Mover Ride. This allowed us to loop around above Tomorrow Land in the shade. Bliss.

Then we headed over to the Carousel of Progress. It was personally created by Walt Disney for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair using cutting edge animatronics technology. It is so dated but fun. It shows how life has changed for the average middle class American family since at points in time from 1900, 1920’s, 1940’s, and ‘today’. That today Act looks like it’s in the 80’s? early 90’s? It’s so strange but fun. (Again, more AC!)

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We decided to speed things up from the slow pace of the People Mover by heading over to the Tomorrowland Speedway. Accept there was no speed…

I understand that this is for ‘All Ages’ but it’s really for kids, maybe 12 and under, that would get a thrill of driving on a track but this ride is a huge waste of time and space for Disney. The cars were very difficult to maneuver on the guided track, it was impossible to steer without hitting the middle guiderail that would jerk you to your lane and around the track. The other aspect was that pushing the peddles was very difficult. Price said it took all of his 220 lbs to keep the peddle down the whole time, so how could a little kid do it? In Prices opinion, it was the worst thing about Disney.  Mickey Meltdown Meter: 60%

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We perked ourselves up with a treat after that lame ride on the Speedway. After all, we couldn’t resist get Mickey shaped ice cream and having the castle in the background.

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Towards the northeast corner of the park is the Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak. Sorry kids, the adults need to cool off too. We walked through some sprinklers and cooled off a bit without being drenched the rest of the day.  By this time it was mid afternoon but we still had a lot to see and do.

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Near the Splash Park is Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid ride….

This was my dream come true!!!!!! I have always loved The Little Mermaid. So this was something we had to do while at the park. I loved every bit of it from the clam shell ride seat to the music and animatronics.

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I mean… come on now!!! Ugh! I loved it.

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Early in the morning we made a FastPass+ reservation for Space Mountain with our Magic Bands. Good thing because the line was almost 2 hrs long!! We skipped a majority of the line (to the point when the regular line and fast Pass lines meet) so it was a great use of one of the 3 FastPass+ reservations you get a day.

I was really surprised Price did so well at Space Mountain, as he doesn’t like roller coasters much. Space Mountain is dark, fast, twisty, with lots to laser lights all over. It’s was a blast for me but he was glad that we are not going back any time soon. ha!!!

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We needed another cold beverage and I had to have the infamous Dole Whip. We were on a mission for one so we went across from Tomorrowland to Advenureland to get to the Aloha Isle stand. While Price would have used all our food vouchers on Dole Whip, we shared one and moved on with our day.

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During our wait at the Haunted Mansion earlier in the day we saw a bunch of people on an island and wondered how would we get to it. Well, we figured it out!!

It was Tom Sawyer’s Island which was accessed by a few boats and docks. Pricer and I waited around a few minutes until we saw a worker and asked if we could go.  There response; “You can now!!” (I assume they were closed for a short while).  We had the entire island to ourselves for about 30 minutes; we wandered the caves, we walked the bridges over and over, we got into all parts of the forts, we sat in the rocking chairs, and no one else was around.  For a short time, we had our own private island at Disney! We had been surrounded by thousands of people for two days so getting away from everything, was really nice.

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We used another one of our Fast Pass+ ride reservations for Splash Mountain. Again, really worth it since the line was crazy long.

Thankfully, we ended up in the front seats since you get the biggest splash in those seats when you down the log flume part of the ride.

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Our lunch and afternoon treats were so filling that we didn’t want a ‘real’ diner so we opted for using our Snack Credits from our meal plan to grab a Churro and Pretzel from a cart. I didn’t love the churro that much. It was decent but not stellar. But it was still so nice to just hang out with Price and take a moment to reflect on our busy day.

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As the sun began to set we started to make our way back to Main Street, USA to get our seats at the Town Square Viewing Area for the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Man, getting reserved seats with our lunch package was so great! We sat right in front for perfect viewing, without being crowded.

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Characters and floats of all sizes will lit up for a fun parade around Main Street. Everyone was there from Tink to Snow White to Pete and his Dragon.

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Yeah, this might be the best photo of the day!

Everyone was great, but this guy was extra awesome. He saw me taking pictures and ran right up to my and yelled (in character!) so I was able to snap this.

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(The Light Parade is moving to Disney Land in October, so be sure to see it while you can!)

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There was a little boy waiting for the nightly fireworks who had just had enough and decided that laying down on Main Street was a good idea. To be more specific, he decided that laying on my right foot and looking up at me was perfectly acceptable. I didn’t even have the heart to make him move since I couldn’t blame him at all. If it was acceptable for a 31-year old woman to lay down and whine on Main Street USA, I would have.

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Thankfully, the Fireworks show (9pm) was well worth the wait. It was magical to watch it all. The start of the fireworks was awesome with (an illuminated) Tink flying all around The Castle, and then a real life one flying (ziplining) away from The Castle for the fireworks to begin. The Castle gets all lit up with fireworks going boom all around it.

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We were so thankful to get back to the room and just collapse in the bed. It was a day filled with lots of miles walked, lots of food eaten, and lots of fun had by both of us.

My feet were beat and Price’s knees were sore from our endless walking, but so worth it!! Mickey Meltdown Meter 70%

And we still had 1 more day to go!!! Next up: Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow).