Day 190- Magic Kingdom

Today it is lightly rainy. It has rained all night, so the flowers are especially beautiful and everything looks refreshed. We decide to wait until this afternoon to go to Disney We grab our rain jackets and head for Magic Kingdom. It isn’t misting any more and the weather feels great. It was cool this morning, and now the sky is full of clouds; looks like it could rain again.

As we get to the Transportation and Ticket Center, we are surprised that we are parking so close. As we enter the parking area, it pretty empty, which normally means that it is not going to be very crowded at Magic Kingdom. We park, walk to the Monorail, and board. When get to Magic Kingdom, there are plenty of open tables to get our bags checked, so we each pick a table. Then, we scan our MagicBands and enter into Magic Kingdom.

Pluto is meeting guests near the Main Street Confectionary. He is usually out by the flagpole, but he’s under the covering today since it was rainy. Everyone is so happy to get to meet him!

Going down Main Street USA, the kids check for pins to trade. Twinkie finds one right away and trades for a fun pin. Today is going to be a good day for pin trading.

As we make our way down Main Street, the family behind me is talking about how something must be getting ready to happen, since there are so many people lining up on the sidewalks. They’re right! The Festival of Fantasy parade will begin in just a little while, as long as the rain stays away. If it rains again, they will have the Rainy Day Motorcade instead.

The sky is beginning to clear just a little bit. It will warm up quickly! It is fun to hear people talk about how hot it is right now, in the mid 70s, especially with so many families coming from snowy areas! It’s a nice day today, and it is only going to be near 81 as the high.

We got our hot drinks at the Main Street Bakery, then sat and drank our drinks at the parade was going by. The parade is beautiful! We talked to the family near us, the little girl was so cute. After our drinks, Tooti and I grabbed a gluten free beef and bleu salad at Tomorrowland Terrace, and Twinkie went to Casey’s Corner and got a gluten free, corn free hot dog with apple slices.

The wildlife was busy today. A pigeon sat near us, ducks flew overhead, and the dad behind us pointed out a baby duckling swimming near the Loch Ness Monster shrubs; the duckling was so tiny and looked so alone. I guess he was catching up to his family. It’s so fun to see the little ducklings swim together.

We made our way back to Main Street USA, walked across the street, and as we were going past the doors of Main Street Clothiers, we saw the new spring line of Minnie Mouse clothing. Everything is so very cute! We had to check these new styles out.

As we got near to the front gates, Twinkie was asked to do a survey, so she followed to cast member into the Chamber of Commerce building, where she filled out the computer survey. Toot and I waited, and I saw that the Easter Bunnies are here to take pictures with. Oh, I will have to do that before Easter arrives!

We sat and we talked to a lady who was waiting on her husband to finish a survey. She was very nice. Soon, her husband and young son joined her. Twinkie joined us just shortly after that, and we were off to the Monorail.

It has been fun, and now it is time to head home! See you soon, Magic Kingdom!

Day 188- Birthday Fun at Magic Kingdom

Today is a spectacular day! It is a very chilly 67 degrees on this this early morning. We are going to Magic Kingdom and know it will be a hot 89 degrees by this afternoon. The skies are so blue and there are fluffy white clouds in the sky.

We get to the heroes parking lot and can hear they just called for, “No more boarding…” on the tram. The safety message begins as we decide walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. It is about a 5-minute, fast walk, and not bad at all. If you have little ones, you might want to put them in their stroller and save their excitement for the parks! They can use up a lot of energy dancing all the way to the Monorail. Once they get to the park, 8-10 hours can be a long day for little ones.

The kids have planned a special day for me and gave me a “Happy Birthday!” pin to wear for the day. So, first things first! We arrive at Magic Kingdom and head for our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. We check in and have pre-ordered our meal, so we are seated in a timely fashion. We sit by the windows in the ballroom and I can watch the snow falling as we wait for our server to hand deliver our special allergy friendly order.

Be Our Guest is a beautiful place to celebrate everything. If it is your first time to Disney, an anniversary, wedding, engagement, birthday, or have any other reason to celebrate, this is one of my favorite places. As you walk across the bridge to the Beast’s castle, it is fabulous! Notice all of the details of the lamps as you cross the bridge, and the lion-creatures that guard the front doors. It is incredibly beautiful. As the doors open, there are wonderful archways before you enter the ballroom.

We are so excited that they have a gluten free roasted beef sandwich with French fries; we also have a gluten/corn free sandwich served with green beans, and order French onion soup as well. The food here is delicious!

After lunch, our next stop is the Main Street Bakery for our Starbucks drinks. They are setting up for the Festival of Fantasy parade as we enter. As we are leaving, the parade is coming down Main Street USA. I love seeing all of the floats, the beautiful dancers, and all of the Disney characters.

We stop for a moment in the shade and wait for Twinkie’s tea to brew. We meet a couple from Pennsylvania and they are talking about how difficult it is to make the weather change from very cold to this 89-degree day with 82% humidity. I sympathized and listened. Then, I remember that I need to get my cooling towels out since it is getting hot enough to need them.

Now, my favorite ride is next. So, we head toward Fantasyland. The kids went to look at Sir Mickey’s and I went to see if Gaston was out greeting his loyal fans. He was not, so I walked back up to go to Peter Pan’s Flight. In the meantime, Twinkie met some of the Royal Majesty Makers and was having quite a fun chat with them. As I approached Peter Pan’s Flight, I saw the kids chatting and quickly Twinkie introduced me as, “The Queen” and I asked if I could get a picture with the Royal Majesty Makers! They are such a delight; do take the time to chat with them if you happen to see them out!

Our FastPass+ time is here, so we are off to ride Peter Pan. I love this ride.

Now, the kids and I walk down to see Gaston and watch the girls swoon over him. It is so fun to see him interact and talk with the ladies. He looks across the way, to where buff guy was standing. Gaston left the girls and told the guy that he would “help him” with his sleeves and rolled the buff guy’s t-shirt sleeves back down to cover his arms. The crowd laughs and Gaston picks on him once again. It is just fun watching all of the interactions and pictures.

Next, we have the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. I love this one too! I cannot wait, they have added some more fishes and it is so fun to feel like you are in the movie. The kids loved this movie when they were little, so we saw it many times. I take in a moment of dreamy fishes enjoying the music, then listen to “Under the Sea.” I love this large cave full of so many fish.

We decide to grab another iced drink at Starbucks. It is so hot today and staying hydrated is very important. We drink so much water during the day. I love having a glass to refill in between rides. When we get to Starbucks, they are preparing for the second Festival of Fantasy parade of the day. There seem to be several High School Bands passing as we are waiting for our drinks to be crafted. They are really fun to hear and to see passing by the windows of Starbucks.

As we are walking to a ride or from a ride, there are characters everywhere, or a play, or a parade – there is something always going on when you are at Magic Kingdom.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is our next ride and we get checked in with the FastPass+ on our MagicBands. The cast member greets me with, “Happy 21st Birthday! Oh, and I see that your brought your younger sisters!” He totally caught me off guard, and all I could do was to laugh and thank him! The line is fairly long, but soon we were on the ride. There is a score that I have not attained yet. That score is 999,999 also known as Galactic Hero. My kids have gotten it a few times, but I’m still working on it! Me? My highest score was today: 339,800!!! Oh, yes! I am happy with this new high score! We stop and get the Galactic Hero celebration pin for the kids!

Well, I have had a blast. It has been a lot of fun celebrating my birthday with my kids at Magic Kingdom. I have had tons of, “Happy Birthday!” greetings all day long! I think I am done for the day! We walk back through Tomorrowland to the new hub where there is a parade in process, so we take our time as we are heading for the front entrance. It gets crowded with people stopping to take pictures. The cast members encourage those taking pictures to go under the rope into the safe zones for those who want to stand and watch the parades. It makes it easier for the people coming up and down the sidewalks and aids in traffic flow. I like days that people are kind and thoughtful toward those around them.

As we are exiting, the cast member waving good-bye says, “Happy Birthday!” The cast member at the monorail hollers, “Happy Birthday!” As I am exiting the Monorail another cast member says, “Happy Birthday!” These are some of the wonderful things that happen all day long when you are celebrating! Be sure to get your special pin! It was a very happy birthday!

Day 181- Dapper Day at Magic Kingdom

Today is Dapper Day at Disney World! I am beyond excited! This is a fun day and there will be so many beautiful Dapper Day visitors, and they will be dressed to the nines. The day is sunny and it says it will be 88 degrees today, but it ends up reaching a very hot 90 degrees in the late afternoon. Even though it’s hot today, there are a few clouds and a good breeze.

We arrive and they are just beginning to park in the Villains parking lot, so the traffic is at a standstill as they are getting the traffic redirected. It doesn’t take very long to get traffic moving again and they are filling up both the left and right sides of the Villains lots now. There are a ton of people arriving – I mean a ton! Soon, we are parked and walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. There are people going to the ferryboat and the Monorail. After a short wait in line for the Monorail, we are on our way to Magic Kingdom. 

We disembark and head for bag check, where every table is open. There are so many strollers and bags being checked. Today there are so many people. Soon, we are heading to scan our MagicBands and enter onto Main Street USA. When it is busy, I enjoy seeing all of the families taking pictures, so happy to be here! You can hear all of the “oohs” and “ahhs” as they see Cinderella’s Castle for the first time. As you can see, the crane is now gone and the path to the right of the castle is open again!

I am looking to get a picture for Dapper Day! So, we are heading for Cinderella’s Castle… I want our picture to have Mickey and Walt Disney’s statue in it. “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it all started with a mouse.” 

Now, we are off to find the citizens of Main Street USA. Oh, we see Ms. Trumpetto! She is looking beautiful (as always!). She is a lovely, happy lady. You must meet her the next time you visit; she is very fun and so spunky! As we are fixing to take a picture, she says that she needs something more, something fancy. “Oh, you want my furry critters?”  “Sure, that is wonderful!” Then, she is so cute and gives one of the weasels, as we affectionately call them, a sweet kiss! So very funny! As we cross the street, there are seagulls flying past us, trying to get to the crackers a little family spilt! It is surprising how quickly they swoop down, in and out of the traffic flow. Then, we turn and see the most dapper family and ask if we can take their picture! 

Ms. Trumpetto lets us know that Ms. Beatrice Starr is here. Soon, we find Ms. Starr and say, “Hello!” She is so vivacious. She noticed my fur collar and said, “I missed you, Henry.” She said that he was her ferret and oh, how she had missed him!  I said, “Oh, I call them weasels, ‘cause a weasel gave them to me!” She started laughing and said that a weasel is just a flat ferret! We all laughed and then tried to get a picture! As we are blowing a kiss, Ms. Starr begins to laugh and laugh and laugh! She is adorable.

Next, we met Constance Purchase. She was dressed in a beautiful purple dress and had a parasol! We had not met her before today, and she was a delight to meet.

The Dapper Day group is having a meet up at the PeopleMover at noon, well, that is right now. We know it will be very busy getting everyone on the PeopleMover. I think we will skip this meet up.

We have not had any hot beverages yes, so we are going to the Main Street Bakery to grab some tea and coffee. Twinkie gets her drink and goes to find a table while our drinks are being made. We join her and sit in the shade of a yellow umbrella. Everyone seems to be facing the same way since the sun is already bright and it is getting hot. I saw a nice family sitting at the table next to us, so I asked if I could get the son to take a picture for us, and the older sister jumped up and took one for us and it turned out great. Her brother was so disappointed. So, I asked the dad if we could get the son to take a picture of us with the castle, she did a great job, but I would like for him to be our hero and help us out. Every guy needs to be a hero. The dad nodded and the mom looked surprised, but the dad loved that we understood that dudes, young and old, like to be heroes!

Soon, this area is full. I see a dad waiting for a table, so we offer ours to him since we thought about moving to a cooler area of the park. As we step into the walkway, a couple stops us for a picture. 

We move to another area, and soon another Dapper Day couple sits down at a table next to us, so they begin chatting with us. We just met them earlier; they brought their 2 nieces and a nephew. Their nephew wanted to come for Dapper Day, so he asked them if they would drive! Too neat that he asked his aunt and uncle to come to Dapper Day with him! They’ve just come from the PeopleMover and tell us how busy it was, the line zigzagged and it wrapped all the way back to Space Mountain. The funniest thing was that they took a video on their phone that they showed us, and it lasted a few minutes, she was surprised that it had taken them that long to walk that far. 

Twinkie takes a picture of them in their dapper finery and we have a fun time visiting. Soon, a man walks up and tells us that we, my kids and I, should have a picture of us sitting there. We say OK and he takes one for us, as his family sits across the way watching and smiling. He asks if we would mind taking a picture of him and his family in front of the castle. Not at all! So, Twinkie hops up and snaps a couple of pictures for them.

I love days like today, where we meet tons of people and they take pictures of us and with us. We get to explain Dapper Day to a lot of people who ask us about it, and it is so fun! I love talking to and meeting so many happy people.

We have lunch at the Plaza Restaurant. The kids have wanted me to try the gluten free cheesesteak sandwich. They went with some friends and said that it was over the top delicious. So, here we are. I love the ornate woodwork and detail! It is so art nouveau in all of its décor, absolutely fabulous.

As we are leaving, we can hear and see part of the parade. We see Rapunzel, Ulf, and Flynn, and we see Maleficent’s fire breathing dragon, and some of the other floats as we walk toward Tom Sawyer Island. This is where the next Dapper Day meet up is today. We stop to get a picture with the Liberty Belle riverboat and walk on around to the launching of the boats to cross over to the island. It is so very hot, and we meet a nice family as we are crossing. They are from Texas and close to where we lived. The mom says that the kids are having a little trouble with the heat since Texas has been so cold this winter. I totally understand the difficulty of the transition from cold to hot, especially on a humid day like this. I do let them know there is a rope bridge and barrels to cross if they have time to find them.

Once we arrive on the island, we turn to the left and find the rope bridge that leads to Fort Langhorn. This fort is so much fun! Escape tunnel? We just had to go through to find out where it lead, and we popped out at the back of the fort. Now we go back around and explore the rest of the fort. Oh, look, Dapper Day people! As we get down the spiral staircase, we find that the wind has died down. It is hot on this island. I think we need to find something cold to drink. It is suggested that frozen apple juice is at Gaston’s Tavern, better known as LeFou’s Brew. Sounds wonderful to me, so we make our way over to Fantasyland, where Gaston’s Tavern is just past his statue on the water fountain.

As soon as we have our LeFou’s Brew, we head outside to see Gaston talking with the guests who have come to meet him. It is so very fun to watch, and today there are so many Dapper Day people watching since the line to meet him is now closed. As we watch, the cutest Dapper Day Baymax with his dapper bowtie, Mickey Mouse ears, and his suspendered pants pops up as he’s being carried by a dapper lady! Too cute! With our Brew in hand, we go to find a place to sit and finish our frozen apple juices. As we are sitting, I get a picture of the sparkly fireworks from the Dream Along with Mickey stage show. We stop for a beanstalk picture at Sir Mickey’s, pictures in front of doors at Cinderella’s Castle, and since the crane is gone we can go to the wishing well for pictures.

Today has been fun, hot, and so enjoyable! I love interacting with so many people and I enjoy Dapper Day with so many dapper people! It has been a very good day. With the hot weather, I think we constantly were drinking water and other yummy beverages. Please keep yourselves hydrated, and make sure your kids are drinking enough and you will have a great day at Disney World!

Day 88- Hollywood Studios and Sci-fi Diner (Picnic Burger!)

What a sunny day! It is cold enough to wear our Mickey sweaters. It is very breezy and a fun day to go to Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios is always so exciting to visit! You never know who you will see today; they have so many fun skits that go on down the streets of Hollywood Studios!

When we arrive, it is busy as we get our bags checked, but there is only a short line to scan our MagicBands. I love looking up and seeing the entrance, it is beautiful and there are so many things to see. The Stroller Rental is in a gas station on the right. Too cute!

Baymax is a must find today! Well, we are looking for several things, but the Baymax souvenir mug is at the top of our list. So, we are off to Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and we find Baymax at the popcorn stand to the left of the giant hat! The kids stop to get one, and I go on to Sci-Fi to check-in. The line to check in at Sci-Fi is usually pretty long, so I wait in line until they can join me, just about the same time I step up to the check-in station. The attendant was very nice when he told us that allergies are of the utmost importance to the chefs and they will take great care to make sure you are taken care of. I like that he was so concerned and made sure that we were comfortable with eating here. It made me feel like they were truly looking out for us.

We check in and go to sit outside until our buzzer goes off. It is a beautiful day to sit with Baymax in hand. A girl came up to us and asked where we got our Baymax. We told her, and she was off to find him! Soon, she came back with her very own Baymax. Yay!

We are called to be seated, and we will be on the second row of cars in our very own 50s car. The waitress is quick to get our drinks and soon the Chef comes out to help us with our order. We are going to get burgers today! I am getting a gluten free cheeseburger, and Tooti and Twinkie are splitting the Picnic Burger.

The movies they play are vintage sci-fi clips, and I remember many of them from my childhood. We watch as we wait a few minutes… and our burgers arrive! OMGoodness, they are out of this world! The buns are toasted and the meat is seared nicely! The french fries are perfect and all of this is gluten free! We didn’t talk much at all as we totally enjoyed the burgers. The Picnic Burger includes the classic burger patty, sauerkraut, grilled onions, and even a hotdog. It is one of the most delicious burgers that the girls have ever had. The Picnic Burger definitely made it onto our favorite dishes list.

After our meal, we are looking for a particular Olaf pin, so we turn down Sunset Boulevard and we see one of the Citizens of Hollywood, hiding behind a map. Twinkie sneaks over and asks if she can take a picture with him. He agrees, so we snap a pic and say, “Thank you!” We check the shops for the pin and head back down Sunset Boulevard. I can hear the Citizens of Hollywood doing one of the street shows, singing the 12 days of Christmas. Paige Turner is singing, “8 handsome men [Lords a leaping], 8 men, oh, I want 8 men, I love men! (Giggle, giggle, snort, giggle!)” The crowd roars with laughter, it is so funny!

We turn the corner and step onto Hollywood Boulevard. I love the Art Deco buildings. Of course, we have to step into a few shops to look for pins on the way to the entrance. It is a beautiful day, a little chilly, but just warm enough with the beautiful sunshine! We are soon on the tram and on our way out to our car. What a wonderful day it has been, very relaxed and fun.

Day 87- Magic Kingdom and Meeting Scoop Sanderson

Today we were going to have a quick trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. But, we were having so much fun that it turned into a much longer trip. The sun is shining and the wind is blowing. We park, ride the tram to the Ticket and Transportation Center, get to the Monorail and it is packed! After two Monorails come, fill up, and leave, we get to board and head to Magic Kingdom. It is beautiful today!

We arrive and there are so many people! We see that the ferryboat has arrived, just as our Monorail is unloading. Happily, there are so many security guards to check bags, that the lines only have about five people in each line. Really, it doesn’t take too long. We wait a bit to scan our Magic Bands, but the lines here move quickly too, and it isn’t bad at all.

As we step through the gates, we are near the Mickey Mouse in the front garden, in front of the Train Station. I get a picture of Tooti with the poinsettia Mickey and the train, just as it pulls into the station! As we enter Main Street USA, we see Hildegard Olivia Harding, one of the fabulous Citizens of Main Street! We are instantly translated to this era as she says, “We are so close, ladies, we are so close! Soon we’ll win the right to vote!” Oh my, I had forgotten that it hasn’t been that long since we women didn’t have the right to VOTE! It is the coolest feeling to see her fighting for our right to VOTE! Women, we need to appreciate those who have fought for our rights.

We run into the Uptown Jewelers shop to see if they have seen Scoop Sanderson. No, but they told us to look for (boy, do I feel like a kid right now!) the Dapper Dans, and Scoop should be near them. However, do be sure to give the Dapper Dans a proper greeting so they won’t be too let down that we are looking for Scoop and not for them. OK! We step back out to Main Street USA and search for Scoop Sanderson. Twinkie is the funniest thing when she is on a mission. She gets focused, waves, and hop-skips when she sees him! Oh, look! She finds him. He is very entertaining to get to meet and to visit with! We were laughing so much.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOOP! What a character he is. We have a nice chat with Scoop who graciously lets us trade pins with him. Scoop is so nice! He’s one of the most fun characters to meet in Magic Kingdom, do be sure to look for him on your next visit!

Now, we are going for our coffee at Starbucks. It is very nice and not so busy right at this moment! We see another Citizen of Main Street! She is at the Main Street Bakery and browsing the pastries in the case. She is adorable to watch as we listen to her vintage speaking patterns. What a treat to get to see a Citizen in the Main Street Bakery! We get our coffees and are having lunch for breakfast. 😀 As we head back down Main Street USA, we get in front of Tony’s and The Chapeau. I take a moment to look at the green building on the end. As I do, I see the early 1900s Main Street USA, and off in the distance I see Space Mountain. It is like the past is right beside me, and in the distance is the futuristic Space Mountain. Walt Disney grew up in this era that Main Street USA is set in, and he dreamed about the future that we live in. Amazing.

We have reservations for Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. The dining room is so very cozy and beautiful to sit in. They have the best gluten free spaghetti and meatballs! We are seated quickly and our waiter is very nice. We have our drinks, and soon the Chef comes out to let us know what is gluten free, they can even do gluten free turkey meatballs! We will have two of the spaghetti and meatballs, and one chicken Caesar salad. We were totally surprised that our food came out so fast! Our waiter added the grated cheese, and we were ready to taste our first bite.

It was the most awesome spaghetti and meatballs that I have had in months! I could not believe how wonderfully awesome the flavors are. Our table got really quiet as we were savoring each bite. We are smiling and our faces say it all; it is so good! Definitely, this will be on our “best places to eat” list! The service was great.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is our next stop for a FastPass+. As we made out way to Tomorrowland, I noticed that I had never realized that the supports for the PeopleMover are shaped like spaceship legs that look like they could telescope up if the “spaceship” ever needed to take off. COOLEST thing ever!

The FastPass+ line for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is very, very long. When we finally entered the building, the little girl in front of us was crying a little bit, and her parents were trying to cheer her up. She was about 10. I smiled at her mom and I asked the little girl, “Hey, do you want to beat your Dad’s points?” She said a soft, “What?” Her mom was listening, and she said that I asked if she would like to beat her dad. The girl gave a little smile and said, “Yes.” I looked at Twinkie as I said, “There are some targets that have high points.” Twinkie filled in the details. The girl was so happy and cheered up! I also said that she should hug her dad after she beats his score! She laughed and her mom was also laughing. Tooti got Galactic Hero and claimed her badge.

We walk around, through Tomorrowland and towards Fantasyland. We see the Fairy Godmother as we turn towards Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel. We step into Sir Mickey’s gift shop to check pins. Now, we make our way around Cinderella’s Castle. When the shows are going on in front of the castle, they close off the path through the castle. Never fear! There are paths on wither side of the castle that will take you around. It takes a little longer, but on our way down (facing the back of the castle, we went to the right) we could see Peter Pan running onto the stage. Smee and Captain Hook are hiding out on the bridge from the castle to the stage and Smee is waving at all of us as we pass down the path to the front of the castle. It is so cool!

We enjoy browsing the shops as we head back to the front entrance. I love seeing the Christmas decorations within each shop! I love Christmas at Disney! Well, time to go home for the day. It is a very sunny day, and it was a very pleasant day at Disney!

Day 79- The Candlelight Processional with Neil Patrick Harris

Tonight we are sitting at the Candlelight Processional. The orchestra is beautiful as they begin playing the stringed instruments. In a sudden burst of festiveness, the trumpets sound their joyful call.  The conductor led the orchestra and the music was so beautiful. I see the choir as they begin to come in from the sides of the stage. The choir comes in and fills the green Christmas tree, complete with a giant star on top. The Voices of Liberty, dressed as carolers in red, stand in front of the Christmas tree choir. Then, the beautiful golden choir comes down each aisle, and passing by all of us in the audience. They are beautiful as they enter the stage, flanking each side of the Christmas tree choir. It is a beautiful sight to see the choir all singing as the men take their places, and then the ladies.

When everyone is in place, Neal Patrick Harris is introduced, and comes out onto the stage. As he begins to read the Christmas story, you can feel the atmosphere as it changes and a sense of awe comes into the American Gardens Theatre. I can feel the peace, and I feel my eyes welling up with tears as I hear the story of Jesus’ birth. The Christmas songs and the reading of how God spoke to Mary and Joseph was beautiful. I am going to go back to another Candlelight Processional; it was so amazing that I cannot fully absorb all its beauty.

When the singers finish the Candlelight Processional with the Hallelujah Chorus, my heart is full. It is so beautiful as everyone in the audience stands and sings along. What an ending to a wonderful processional!

We are not in a hurry to leave as the choir is finishes and the orchestra is done. We watch as everyone leaves, and then we move toward the back. The choir is almost gone, and people are leaving. I am forever changed.

It was so beautiful that it made me forget all about the rain this afternoon, my soaked clothes, and our dinner. We did have a marvelous dinner at Biergarten in Germany. We found that if you plan to go, it is best to choose the Candlelight Processional dining packages, since it guarantees you a seat for the show. A couple of days ago, we checked to see if there was any possibility of finding an opening at any of the restaurants; we found we could have lunch in Germany at Biergarten today (Tuesday).

So, we get checked in at the restaurant and wait for a bit. In a little while, we are called, and then another family is called. There will be a table for eight: our three and the family of five. Later, we find that it is a family of 4 and their family friend, they were so nice! Biergarten is a really fun place to eat. There is music, Christmas skits for the holidays, wonderful stories, Christmas tree lightings, and hand-bells! Oh, it is just fun! The gluten free options are many! I especially loved the fruit dessert. It is a wonderful buffet.

The Candlelight Processional is worth everything. I loved hearing the Christmas Story read by Neal Patrick Harris, and celebrated with the powerful voices of the choir. It is a must if you can get a reservation for lunch or dinner. The dining package line for tonight’s first Candlelight Processional was past Morocco into France, and it took 35 minutes for everyone to be seated. When I looked around about 10 minutes before it began, people were still being seated and the theater was almost completely full. I am so happy to see so many people coming to celebrate the Christmas story.

Day 74- Thanksgiving at Magic Kingdom and Liberty Tree Tavern

Today is Thanksgiving Day. My giving of thanks started last year at Magic Kingdom. Last Thanksgiving, we had an early brunch at Liberty Tree Tavern and we were going to have a late dinner at The Crystal Palace. As our day went on, we needed a light snack to hold us over, and my nephew was famished again. That does seem to happen with kids, they love to eat! So, we thought that a quick snack at Columbia Harbor House would tide us over, and they do have gluten free choices. We ordered his meal, and as I was waiting for our gluten free meal, I had a moment that would change my life forever.

There were a few minutes that no one was ordering, so the young cast member was nice and asked about my kids and me. She had taken our order and knew it that it usually takes a few minutes to prepare allergy meals. The cast member began to tell me about the college programs; she was so excited, and loved working here at Disney. Then she said, “They even have programs for people your age!” That made me laugh, but it got me to thinking, I would love to work for Disney after being home with my children for all of these wonderful years. After that moment, our journey to Florida began, and here we are…Thanksgiving Day, one year later!

Today, we arrive at the Ticket and Transportation Center and get to park fairly close, in the Zurg parking lot. That is encouraging since it is a holiday afternoon and I expected to parking lot to be nearly full. We arrive at the Monorail and it is busy, but nice. As we travel around the Seven Seas Lagoon, I see how blue the waters are and how pretty the sky looks; it is a most beautiful day. Once we arrive at Magic Kingdom, it is busy, but it is a steady walk to the front entrance. There are plenty of tables open for bag check, be sure to use both sides of the tables since they check the bags on both the left and the right, alternating sides makes the line(s) go faster. It is a nice setup and keeps the line moving at a good pace.

Main Street USA is always beautiful. It is like you step back in time with the beautiful Victorian era buildings. Love it!

We planned weeks ahead of time for our Thanksgiving dinner reservations. We got reservations for Liberty Tree Tavern at 4:30, so we have plenty of time to get there. (Be sure to allow extra time on holidays, since the parks tend to be busier on these days.)

On the way to the ride, we saw one of Santa’s friends!

Our first FastPass+ is for It’s A Small World. This ride is pretty busy today, but only a 40-minute wait if you walk up for the standby line. We see the Small World Cuckoo Clock sounding for 3:15. It is cool to see the trumpeters emerge and play their tune as the doors open on the clock front and sides.

Our next FastPass+ is in about 45 minutes, and we debate whether or not to go as we are walking. If we go on Pirates of the Caribbean we could be late for our Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, since we were close to Liberty Tree Tavern, we thought we might see if we could check in early. If not, we would browse the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. Tooti checked with the hostess at Liberty Tree Tavern, they were glad to take us early and we were seated quickly.

This is my favorite place to eat on holidays. It reminds me of Grandma’s home. She was a really fun grandmother-in-law and her home looked very much like this restaurant. I feel like I am at home, even in the middle of Magic Kingdom.

Quickly, our server greets us, and soon the chef is at our table advising us on our gluten free options. He is so pleased to let us know that he has made a very special gluten free stuffing for our turkey dinner. Chef Alfonso shares that he created his own gluten free stuffing recipe just a couple of months ago! He says that it is very good! Chef Alfonso will be one of my favorite chefs; he has a great personality, is enthusiastic, kind, and is courteous and conscientious with food allergies. His newly designed gluten free stuffing is a perfect match to the perfect turkey and gravy.

The Washington Room that we sat in is like walking back in time. There are just a few families in this nice large room, making it a nice, quiet place to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Yummy!

After our wonderful meal, we browse Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe on our way to the front of the park. Oh, look! We need a picture in the sleigh out front! What a beautiful Thanksgiving day!