Day 0It's raining and grey outside - but it doesn't matter because we are on our way to Walt Disney World!
As always we give ourself plenty of extra time to get to the airport as I prefer to be at the gate and set way before it is time to board. However, things don't go the way they should this morning. Usually, the trip to the airport takes us less than a half hour - including parking at an offsite lot and being shuttled to the terminal, but today it takes us over an hour and a half to get over the bridge. Since we live on an island, we have no choice but to take one of the bridges - but this morning they all have the same problem, due to a truck fire on the New Jersey Turnpike. Luckily, I get the opportunity to finally avoid the turnpike entrance and get on to local streets in time to still be at the gate before our flight boards. <whew!>
The rest of the trip is without incident and we arrive in Orlando (after a short layover in Baltimore) almost as scheduled. We get our luggage and our daughter picks us up and drives us to our room at Pop Century. We settle in before our scheduled dinner (with our daughter and son-in-law) at Via Napoli, in EPCOT.
We arrive at EPCOT and after a quick ride through Spaceship Earth, head over to Italy for our dinner. As we finish, Illuminations begins and we catch the final bits as we leave the restaurant. We start heading out - making a stop in Germany for some fresh caramel - and head back to our room.
Day 1Today - it's 10/11/12 - we sleep in a bit and our daughter picks us up and we head to Downtown Disney for lunch at Earl of Sandwich and a bit of browsing for my wife. We will be attending Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) in the Magic Kingdom this evening and don't want to get to the park too early and fade out during the festivities.
We get to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, just before the 3:00 parade. We decide to see the parade (which we have seen a few times already, but it is a Disney World parade after all!) We have an excellent spot right in front of the Main Street train station and we stick around to watch it from here. (Photos of the parade and the rest of the day here in the Magic Kingdom can be seen by clicking here.)
Once over, we start heading down Main Street.
Actually, and more accurately, we start walking through the stores along the right side of Main Street. At one point we pass through the Jeweler and notice all the new Dooney & Burke items. I spot a Disney World/Disneyland backpack which I buy for my wife.
We then continued along our way spotting a glass artist in the Crystal Arts store. Actually 2 different artists as you can see if you have a look at the full set of photos.
We first head into Tomorrowland where we decide to see a show in Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor - which is always fun. Our timing is good and we walk right into the preshow area and only have a three minute wait until we get into the theater itself. From there we intend to get fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear, but as the wait for standby is only listed at 10 minutes, we head right in. The wait is quite a bit less and we soon are fighting the evil Zurg. Next up a spin on the Peoplemover, which stops just as we are in Space Mountain underneath the first lift hill. It gives me a chance to take a shot (no flash of course) of the two spacemen there. (Yes, you can see all of that here.)
Next we head into the Storybook Circus area which has opened quite a bit more than the last time we were here - before the second Dumbo spinner was installed. My wife does her souvenir browsing as I take a few additional shots of the area.
We then hop on the train to go to Main Street and obtain our wristbands for MNSSHP. Once gotten we decide to head to the Haunted Mansion, but the line is long and we defer our visit. Instead, we decide that since our dinner reservations for Liberty Tree Tavern are not too long from now that we will relax in front of the tavern and people watch until it is time to check in. The party starts before that time so just before we check in, we do our first of many Trick-or-Treat stops and start filling our bags with candy. The first one is by the riverboat.
After dinner we start Trick-or-Treating in a very serious manner and work our way around the park to each of the well marked stations. Along the way, as we enter Fantasyland, we see seven electric scooters dressed up as mine carts, driven by the seven dwarves!! While great costumes abound this evening, this was by far the best we saw!!
We continued our march around the Magic Kingdom stopping along the way to fill our bags up - as we did here at the Fantasyland train Station.
Unfortunately we got so caught up with Trick-or-Treating, that the time for the Hallowishes fireworks snuck up on us, not giving me time to find the spot I wanted to set up my camera to photograph them, so I had to pick a less than optimal location (and in the process did not change the settings to those that I really wanted) but still managed to get some decent shots nonetheless. (More shots of Hallowishes fireworks can be seen here.)
Finally we worked our way around to Frontierland and the starting point for the Boo to You parade. While my wife and daughter went to for more candy gathering, I set my camera up and waited for the parade. They returned just before the parade began. (Photos of the parade can be seen here.)
Once the parade was over, we attempted to do some more Trick-or-Treating, but exhaustion and tired feet (and as I would find out the next morning, a bad cold) overtook us, so we headed back to the hotel.
(Don't forget you can see more photos here, here, here, and here.)