ABC Christmas Parade Taping for 2011
Tradition- it’s a strong word. One of our favorite family traditions is opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning, then watching the Disney Christmas Parade on TV while something yummy cooks for lunch. So when we first discussed moving to FL it was on all of our minds that we could all be a part of this fun parade, in one way or another. Here is what happened today and how we have finally checked it off our bucket list- enjoy!
Let’s start with our first mistake. Upon arrival to the MK ticket entrance, we noticed the hours for the Park and with much sadness saw the Park had already opened. Here we thought we were getting there an hour early, the Park had already opened at 8 a.m.- not the normal 9 we are used too. Bummer. We parked in the Simba area, so we weren’t too far back as parking went, which can usually tell you how busy It already is. We hopped the first parking tram and headed for the Monorail which we also rode quite quickly.
I sent Craig and the kids in right away, while I had my bag and purse checked. We all met inside by the hub and were told that if we were there for the PARADE taping we had to line up near Town Square. We got in line, then were led down Main Street, among the empty spots that lined the parade route. We must have asked a dozen people if we would be able to sit for the parade SOON, and they said either yes, or that the “good seats” were held for families of those in the parade. Here is my beef, and yes, I am getting on my soap box now. Please Disney, I BEG of you, INFORM EVERYONE who will be working that day of WHAT is going on. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find out what and where so you can plan for your day, and no one wants to say anything, can’t say anything, or they don’t have a clue. We ran into all three types, and I am not stupid, I get it. We KNOW sometimes you can’t because of confidentiality agreements, we got it. I would like ONE answer and it be the same from 4 CM’s I ask. Ok, I’m done with that.
Why I was so wound up about that was because we went to WDW to see the PARADE. Sorry folks, but we weren’t huge Bieber fans so we weren’t there early for that- we wanted to be a part of everything else. So after we were corralled into the Castle area, we really couldn’t leave that easy. We also thought, hey, let’s enjoy this and then scoot to Main Street for a spot right away. Here was the problem with that, there just wasn’t any CLEAR spot of when he was officially finished, and with the gossip around us that the Shake it Up girls would sing after him- we stayed probably too long to see what would happen.
Now, we line up for Bieber and we didn’t even realize that we were at the end of the catwalk where he would perform as well. We were far from the stage, but 5 feet from the catwalk. We got comfy for the performance and saw that Nicole Siscaretti was standing RIGHT in front of us- AWESOME! Love this girl!! So we all drank the Bieber koolaid this morning, and it went down well as he came out close to us several times. The coolest part was being a part of the countdown to the parade which will be on the air for the parade. They said the countdown taped yesterday was too fast, so we got to redo it and we were more than happy too. He will open up the parade, so it will be exciting to see it and know we were there! Also we got to see Gonzo hanging around in front of the Castle, and they were VERY protective of him. YAY for seeing a Muppet!!
After that they broke down the stage, so they moved us all again like cattle. At this point the place was PACKED. We went to Main Street and couldn’t find a seat to save our lives, not one place was open. We wound up finding a place near the Castle after the stage was broken down, but it proved pointless because it was more of a staging area for those IN the parade. It was neat to see them all before they were on tv, but it got old and tiring after awhile so we opted for lunch at Rays.
We were exhausted eating, and I was happy to have the caffeine to revive my senses. We took a ride on the TTA, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Yes, they ALL had 20 minute waits or more, hence why we only did three.
You could tell we were all winding down and pooped, so we headed back to the mayhem that was known as Main Street USA. It was towards the end of the parade, so we got to see Santa Claus and the gingerbread men. Kyra and I walked up to the front of the Park and got pics of Mario Lopez on top of the Confectionary and also of the crowd host who was pumping up the crowd inbetween takes. The parade was finally done and we left to beat the crowds to the Monorail.
Side notes- Beauty and the Beast area is looking AMAZING!! We could even see Ariel’s area taking shape, so excited for the new Fantasyland!! Another thing I noticed is that the Carousel is under renovation, but it still running. The Adventureland renovation for its sign near POTC is done and the sign looks great! Both Tortuga Tavern and the Tomorrowland Terrace were both open for lunch today.
So, would I do the Parade Taping again? Yes, if I knew when and where I could sit on Main Street, and what time to be there for it. I would go and plant it and not move until it was over- hence the plan today that never was. We were happy to be a part of Bieber Fever for the parade sake, and it was a nice blessing to be able to share it with Nicole. Would I recommend it for others? I would say that if you have the time to stand for 8 hours, and you can get a REALLY good spot, then go for it! If you are on vacation and you’re time is limited, it may be fun to go and say you were there, but I wouldn’t sit there all day when you have the Park to play in itself. Hope this has helped someone for next year’s and make sure to watch the Christmas Parade on ABC this Christmas- kids have Stitch ears, I have my Minnie polka dot shirt, Craig has a burgundy shirt, and Nicole has a pink sparkly Santa hat. Keep an eye out!
One more thing- WATCH FOR THE VLOG on Justin Beibers performance today!