Thoughts on the “No Smoking” Ban and Stroller Restrictions starting Tomorrow

rsz_1img_0715When Disney announced a couple of weeks ago that they would be banning all smoking from it’s Parks and restricting it to the outside of the Park entrances only, I was THRILLED.   I am one of many that gets sick from the smell, and yes, I try to avoid the Cancer corners as much as possible. Going into effect tomorrow, this should be interesting since I have yet to meet a smoker who was happy to be asked to move or smoke elsewhere.  No, really. I have seen them, like all of you have, randomly lighting up anywhere in the Parks. Now I understand that many of our friends are from other Countries where they may be permitted to smoke anywhere they want. But that being said, I have never understood why someone’s bad habit needs to be in my lungs and affect my health. Not ok.  I bite my nails on occasion, it’s my bad habit, it doesn’t affect you. Now if I ran up and started to bite YOUR nails, you may not be to happy either.  Besides with all of the children around, we can do better and give them a healthier environment.  (Cue everything else unhealthy in the Parks comments now).

Speaking of kids…the strollers. This one I know is touchy with many tourists and I GET IT. I had babies brought to Disney World, helped friends with theirs, I KNOW that the stroller is LIFE in those Parks in which everything you need lives in.  BUT as the other side of that coin, the traveler who is by herself and is minding her own business, I have watched the strollers get bigger and bigger and bigger.  I can’t even begin to tell you what my brain tries to process when I see these large wagons getting onto a packed monorail…I actually feel bad for the parents.  They are trying to contain their little humans in an occupied and comfortable space, but when they practically take up the floor space of one Monorail cab…me thinks it may be time to downsize the limo.  I think the one that actually took me off guard was the mini Cinderella Coach model in MK one night.  All I kept thinking was “HOW IN THE WORLD DID THEY TRANSPORT THIS BACK AND FORTH TO THE HOTEL??” I know that these companies move some of them, but I am sure that Disney has wrestled with this gator for awhile.  I hear all the time “Disney was made for families” – well yes and no. It’s made for everyone, family or not.  And I know that EVERYONE should be able to enjoy it, but I feel like at the end of the day it’s more work for those parents to be pushing or pulling a larger model.  I guess we are going to find out.

I feel that I can predict a lot of “I smoked here yesterday” or “I did last trip here” conversations or even possibly angry shouting. I mean are they seriously going to make them walk from let’s say from near Norway to the front or the back entrance of Epcot? Who are these BRAVE Cast Members? Can we give them a hug or medal tomorrow? I can’t even imagine Guest Relations tomorrow…it’s going to be like the “Upside-Down” in “Stranger Things.”

Strollers? I am curious how they are going to police this one. Maybe at Security? Someone has a measuring tape? That won’t hold up the lines AT ALL…… Maybe they will get smart and have a large strollers line so that they can check them, kind of like luggage at the airport.  Resorts would be smart to stop them there first, save the parents the “What do we do now” when they are denied the stroller they brought with them.  I could see them comping people with a nice hard plastic Disney stroller- complimentary love bugs included. (Yep, they’re heeeeeeeere). Between the Studios Anniversary tomorrow and all these rules starting, should make for some interesting daytime fireworks.

Stay tuned and let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Our Experience with Disney Floral and Gifts

I had heard of the ability to have Flowers and other various gifts delivered to your resort room in the past. I searched and came across the Disney Floral and Gift website – http://www.disneyfloralandgifts.com/home.html

ON the website you have the ability to choose the park (WDW, Disneyland, or Home) and you can then view all the items, or by category. I had took some time to look through the things that jumped out at me, and made a few lists. I could have ordered the items online, but I wanted to customize them slightly, and did not want to leave things to chance by clicking my mouse – I wanted to have a person on the other end of my order to make sure everything went perfect.

I called, and they first asked if I was staying at a resort. I gave her my name and date, and she was able to pull my reservation to assign my order to. I told her what I wanted, how I wanted them customized a little, and she was perfect in getting the details exact. She informed me that the order would be at the resort the day I arrived, most likely before checkin, and the resort would then take care of bringing it to my room.

I called them again the morning of our check-in, and she gladly told me that the order was filled, and waiting for me at the resort. I then coordinated with the resort to make sure it would be in our room by the time we arrived.DisneyFloral1

One thing to note – I did have two orders, and they mistakenly didn’t put them together. My one order was at the resort right away in the morning (by 7:30 am – the roses) but the second item did not arrive until probably 5:00 that evening. It worked out that I wanted Amy to open that gift after dinner, but it was a bit nerve wracking making sure the second part of the order would get there. They were more than gracious with my many, many calls during the day to check on the status of when the second piece of my surprise would order.  Anniv30

If you want to celebrate just about anything there is to celebrate – take the time to check out the site. They have everything you can imagine and the prices are fairly reasonable.DisneyFloral2

Craig treated me to 20 beautiful red roses with a bonus Disney Charm that was hidden inside the flowers, along with a beautiful wand later that came with a GORGEOUS bracelet!  Disney and Craig did NOT disappoint, it was perfect!

Our Experience on How the Disney Magicbands Work

We spent this past weekend at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and were lucky to be able to try the Magicbands out.  Here is how they went for us, enjoy!

Before we left home, I received an email from Disney asking if we wanted to participate in a trial on the Magic Band, and FastPass+. It prompted me to either create a My Disney Experience Account, or link my existing account to my reservation. Since I already had an account, I linked my reservation and my Annual Passes to my account, which in turn linked them to our magic bands.Magic Band 1

Once on My Disney Experience, I was able to see my resort reservation, and dining reservations that I had made. On the right of the screen there is an option to ‘Make Fast Pass + Selections’. After clicking, asks you to choose the date for your FPP reservations. (It allowed me to go out several weeks) it then takes you to a screen to choose which members of your party the selections are for (If you link other members of your party to your account)MMP - My Plans Page

You are then prompted to select a park for your FPP selection. Keep in mind – you can select 3 rides, but they have to be in the same park. Once you have selected the park, it will list all the rides available for FPP selection. You can select three attractions from the list, order them in priority, and click next – and it will give you a number of options preselected for you with times.MMP - ParkSelection

The times will come in 4 predefined options – the ‘Best Match’ and three other options. You will need to pick which option best fits what you want to do, but keep in mind you can change the times for individual selections later in the process. To make a change, select the attraction, and chose ‘Make Change’. From that screen, you can opt to change the attraction selection, or the time for the FPP. On the next screen, you can pick from all the available times for that attraction.MMP - Prioritize Selections

On the ‘My Plans Page’ on the website and the app, it will detail the attractions you have selected, and the times for each attraction. Similar to current fast pass, they are within a one hour timeframe.MMP - Ride Selection

Keep in mind – your three selections have to be in the same park. You can change the park anytime before you use your first Fast Pass Plus for that day, but once you have actually rode one of the attractions with your Fast Pass Plus time, it will only allow you to change your remaining two selections for other attractions within that same park.MMP - Select Time Change

You are able to choose and customize your Magicband, and after we chose our colors we had them delivered to our house within 10 days.  UPS delivers them and you will get an email giving you the tracking number and date of their arrival so you can track them.  The box came and our bands were inside with our names printed under each one, as well as our name printed on the inside of the band with the identification number.MMP - Times

The bands come activated, so when you are ready to shop, play in the Parks, etc.. there is nothing extra to do but put it on your wrist.  Now, they aren’t synced with parking yet, so have your hard ticket or parking pass available when driving into the Parks.   We took ours to Magic Kingdom the first day and touched the Mickey that is on the band to the Mickey on the post- that simple! If nothing is registering, roll it a bit to see if the signal catches.  Sometimes my band would go green immediatedly and other times it would take a couple of tries.  Just be patient, everyone is learning to work with them- guests and Cast Members together.003

If you aren’t sure if a cart or store doesn’t take the band for purchasing, just ask.  While it is in the trial phase, and even in its newborn launch stage, I would encourage you to always have a secondary method of payment in case they don’t take it or it doesn’t work for some reason.

I LOVED that they took that “Have to get to the Park and book it” feeling away by having it all set up before you ever left home.  It was so nice not to have to rush over to “Soarin” or “Peter Pan,” we just sauntered in and took our time- AS IT SHOULD BE.  Knowing we were going to be able to enjoy, no matter what the crowds may be, was priceless.  I truly feel that My Disney Experience will change the flow of crowds, and give people the peace of mind that they won’t miss their favorite attractions due to the time of year and/or crowds.  Yes you can only pick three attractions per day, but that’s plenty for the big ones. It’s genius.

The FastPass Plus times worked perfectly, had no problems there. We chose Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Journey under the Sea, Peter Pan, Test Track, Soarin, and the Epcot Character Spot.  You touch the band at the start of the FP Plus line and then again at the second point.  So in other words, the first point before where you showed your paper fastpass and the second spot where the CM would collect it inside the attraction.Anniv3

Our Magicbands were linked to our annual passes, so we were curious if they would continue to be after our Resort stay was over. Well I brought it with this morning to Magic Kingdom, and nope, the band didn’t work at the turnstiles, had to use my hard pass instead. The CM did say that in the next  “Mickey Monitor” there will be instructions on how AP holders can get their Magicbands- guess we will wait and see.  BUT for some reason I can continue to pick FP Plus attractions online, which I did. I used my Magicband today and it worked on Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with no problem.

We were curious if while having the Magicband Fastpasses, would our hard ticket work to try and get the paper Fastpasses? I can answer that YES they did and it was cool to be able to get them both.   Probably only going to happen during this transition, but still pretty cool.

So there you have it! You can decorate them up, as most Disney Resort gift shops have the charms and covers to play with.  I felt the band was very comfortable, and honestly didn’t ever think about it being on.  It’s FL and it’s usually warm out, so yes, you may sweat under it- but it does nothing to the band except give you a funny tan line there.  I am very excited to hear how everyone else likes them, we loved them!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

 

My Review of “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” on Friday the 13th

MNSSHP5

Nothing says Fall in Florida than the arrival of MNSSHP- I mean, who doesn’t love trick or treating among the shadow of the most famous Castle in the World?  Here is my review of this year’s party, enjoy!MNSSHP6

As a reminder, you can ALWAYS check-in with your party ticket starting at 4:00 p.m., even though the party says it’s at 7:00.  What DOES happen at 7 is they start to sweep the park of the “lurkers” who haven’t paid for the party, and all of the events begin. You will know that hour when you hear the Ghost Host come over the Park’s speakers and begin to chat about the night- and then everything becomes spooky and it’s time for the fun!MNSSHP37

I was at special event before the Party started where the directors of the MNSSHP explained what would be new at this year’s. First off Jack and Sally from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” are here this year and can be found in the front small garden area next to the Town Hall.  Club 626 turns into a “Monstrous Scream-o-Ween Ball” in Tomorrowland where you can dance with your favorite Monsters Inc Characters.   A few new fun treats were out this year, and some new candy corn floats were in the parade.   Last but not least, the popcorn bucket this year is Mickey as one of the hitchhiking ghosts from Disney’s Haunted Mansion – filled to the brim with the best popcorn around, this is a great snack and souvenir at $12.MNSSHP45

I thought for a Friday night party, this was an empty and uncrowded one.  Now, keep in mind the Villains bash was going on at Studios, but it was a Friday also in September and I believe maybe the 2nd or 3rd Party of the Season.   The trick-or-treat bags given out this year have the “Muppets” and “Frozen” on them, but they were also selling the Mickey pumpkins at the entrance (for candy) as well.  The Park Map is always a must to grab, as it will let you know where to find the candy but also the parade and show times.  Make sure when they put your band on your wrist that they bend over the end when they snap it so you aren’t being poked or scratched all night with the excess strap.

Because it was pretty dead, there wasn’t really anything to rush too.  We HAD to try out the special treats for the night, so we had the Candy Corn Soft Serve first from Storybook Treats which is located across from the NEW Fantasyland area.  It tasted like a dreamsicle with candy candy corn sprinkles- delicious but what a mess they will make in the humidity and heat of FL.  I wouldn’t suggest it unless it’s cooler out and you aren’t already carrying a bag of candy ( it gets hard to hold everything after awhile).MNSSHP40

We headed on over to Gaston’s Tavern to try the “Ghost Cupcake” next.  The cupcake was vanilla and that part was VERY good, but the ghost was made up of thick sugar on top of marshmallow and when we tried just the ghost part, it was WAAAAAAAAY to sweet.  Cake good, Ghost bad.MNSSHP55

The Seven Dwarves were outside of the NEW Fantasyland Entrance this year, and the line was about an hour wait.   Pooh and the Gang were all dressed up for Halloween and were in their spot near the Pooh attraction, while Mad Hatter was hanging outside in front of the Tea Cups across from Cosmic Rays.  I was able to walk right up to him with no wait.  Donald and Daisy were all dressed up and hanging out in front of Dumbo back in Storybook Circus- their wait was VERY small as well.

The Trick or Treat lines were very little to no wait, and we were in and out in minutes on each one.  The lane from Storybook Circus to Tomorrowland has to be walked from the Tomorrowland side to the Circus entrance, they will NOT let you walk the other way. It Is a NOT MISS as there are 4 spots to grab candy along the way here, PLUS, a side note, the weird looking playing cards that used to be standing on the lawn here are not here this year.MNSSHP39

The Candy spot located in Storybook Circus is actually hidden, we had to look for awhile to find it. The light for it is near the Casey Water play area, but the candy station is located near the FP area back in the corner.   Also a side note that they did NOT have the lane of candy near Splash Mountain this year, and no Cinderella Carriage either (where the Tangled Toilets are now).MNSSHP44

Wendy I checked out the Dance Party that was now reimagined to be the “Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball” and basically it is the same thing they had at Studios BUT Sully and Mike are down in the crowd to dance. Boo and others are supposed to make an appearance, but I wasn’t there when they came out.  Again, the dance area was quite empty.MNSSHP43

After the AMAZING Hallowishes fireworks, we headed to grab a seat for the second parade.  On the way we grabbed popcorn in the Mickey holder and a Spiced Pumpkin Waffle Sundae from Sleepy Hollow (line was a bit long but doable). We were able to get first row seating in Frontierland about 10 minutes before (thanks Jeff and Erica!), CLEARLY, it is the less crowded parade.  It was the perfect spot because we saw everything, and we were close to the dance party with Woody and Jessie located in the Diamond Horseshoe. We headed on in there just as “Always a Good Time” came on and Wendy and I tore it up – TOO FUN!!MNSSHP52 MNSSHP51 MNSSHP50MNSSHP46

Here’s the thing about MNSSHP, you either can stick to a schedule, because of course you want to get your money’s worth but you can also just go from one land to another and see what cool things are happening.   We just kind of went around and did whatever we saw- even had time to grab the special Sorcerer Card with the Hitchhiking Ghosts on it.  They have the Fire Station and the Liberty Square posts open for picking up the card.MNSSHP38

One of my FAVORITE things to do during the party is visiting the ghostly sisters who hang out in front of the “Haunted Mansion.”  Since I had just been at 2 blogging events in one week, I noticed that our ghostly gal sitting up there looked very familiar- and who knew, SHE is Mya Space as well! (She was the entertainment at the CA Grill meet up!)  She recognized Wendy and I so we had a nice and silly chat- love her to DEATH!  (rim shot please!)

I can’t stress enough of FUN this event is and how it is SO worth the money!  The people watching alone is a great time, so many fun costumes this year.  My favorite was someone who came as the Magicband- genius!!MNSSHP53

If someone asked me would it be worth going in September, I would say yes but that you have to be prepared for the heat and humidity.  It’s also key on costume choice, as it can get hard to enjoy much of anything when you are sweating to death even after the sun has gone down.  I loved it, I had a great time, and everyone should try it once.  Check out the tips below and have a great time. Boo to you, Happy Halloween!!

~~~~~TIPS~~~~~

*Bring a larger bag, pumpkin, whatever to hold your candy in- the bags they give you are small. You can find cute Disney bags and pumpkins at the local Walgreens, CVS, Target and Walmart here in Orlando.

*You will get A LOT of candy, keep that in mind that you don’t want to attend a Party at the end of your vacation when you will have nowhere to pack, bring, etc. all the candy you received.

*Any Characters you want to check out, make sure to get IN line before 11:30 p.m., as the line will close by then even though they are out until midnight.  I found this out the hard way with the Dwarves and Pooh and the Gang.

*Hallowishes has what are called “Perimeter” fireworks and can best be seen further away from the Castle, down Main Street U.S.A. or if you want to be in the middle of them, you can stand in the hub.

*Prime seating for the parades can be found in Frontierland and Liberty Square because most fight for the Main Street USA and Castle curbs. Handicapped seating is in front of the Liberty Bell.

*First Parade is always more crowded than the second one.

*Be ready with your camera before the parade officially starts, as the Headless Horseman riding by is something not to be missed and ONLY happens at MNSSHP!

*If you are planning on picking up the special Party Sorcerer Card, you MUST have your MNSSHP ticket on you as they will ask to see it- your Annual Pass or anything else will NOT be accepted.

*You can go through the Candy Stations as many times as you want.

*If you are able to go to the Magic Kingdom and ride the rides another time, do so. You want to make sure you get everything you want done that is party specific.  5 hours goes much faster than you think!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Disney Parks Blog Treat-Up

I am always happy when I make the list of a blog meet because it means that I will get to experience and enjoy something that I may not have normally, and this one was a whopper of a treat!   Follow me along on an evening of sweet moments as I scare up the memories from this past Friday, enjoy!MNSSHP7

Friday the 13th, a night for superstitions and scary delights -perfect for not only a Blog Meet-Up, but also for a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  I will be focusing on the Meet-Up on this post, but watch for my highlights and review of MNSSHP coming this week.  Wendy and I were pumped- you can’t argue a free ticket to MNSSHP, I don’t care how many times you have gone.MNSSHP34

We got there early at 4:30 p.m. to the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, and the line to check in for the Treat-Up was only a few people deep. The email for the event said we should get there by 4:30 so that we could get the free posters they would be handing out. Now, I had no clue if these posters were going to be 16×20, 8×10, etc… so I went into it thinking that if we got them, awesome, but if not, no big thing. Well, I take that back now.  I was given tickets when we checked-in for the posters, which I thought meant we were guaranteed the posters. (It was a first come, first serve situation).  So when we got back to “Tomorrowland Terrace,” where the event was being held, we were asked to give the tickets to one of the gals and it was for getting each poster (yes, plural posters) SIGNED by the Disney Artist themselves who were PRESENT at the Event.  (Insert my Disney geek out here.) !!!!!  They were even clever with how to keep them nice the rest of the night, a poster tube with top.MNSSHP8 MNSSHP9 MNSSHP10 MNSSHP11

If the posters weren’t cool enough, they had magicians walking around entertaining everyone AND they were doing digital caricatures of random people who got in line early enough.  I will say though that they say the event starts at 6:00 p.m., but a lot of the exciting early stuff happened well before that, so it’s my best advice to always go early to these events- you never know what could happen.MNSSHP12MNSSHP25 MNSSHP13

Lots of fun people dressed up in costumes walking around, including the Pixar lamp! They opened up the bottom level for the refreshments portion of the Treat-Up and we grabbed a table near the front so we could see and hear the presentation well enough.  When I tell you the FREE stuff they were handing out, I wished I had brought in a larger bag to just somehow take it all home with me. FREE Mickey Ice Cream Bars, Mickey Rice Krispie Treats, Mickey Pretzles, Halloween cookies, soda, water, punch, and lots of fresh fruit.  There was even a table full of free bags of peanuts, nutria grain bars, and trail mix.  It. Was. Heaven.MNSSHP15MNSSHP14

After a well earned sugar coma was in place, the Disney Parks Blog team discussed what was new with the Party this year and what we had in store for the evening. First, they announced we were getting to tour  “Princess Fairytale Hall” which I squealed at.  But then they closed with “Each of you are getting a free pair of “Glow with the Show” ears and everyone cheered!  Hey, free stuff is free stuff- and when it’s something you wanted to buy anyways, it’s a bonus!  We were told we could come back for the VIP seating for “Hallowishes” in the same spot, and enjoy more fun edible goodies- score again! So as we exited, we each got out ears and a bag full of Halloween candy- score again!MNSSHP16

You know when you get so excited you don’t know what to do first? That was me on Friday night because the Treat-Up was already so fun, I almost forgot it was MNSSHP going on!  After grabbing a free Coke, we headed to “Princess Fairytale Hall” where we got in line asap to meet Rapunzel and Snow White. The other side had Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty- it was so easy who to choose because “Tangled” is a near and dear movie to our family’s journey to FL so ANY time I see her it brings tears to my eyes. To hear about the Hall, and see pictures, click HERE.MNSSHP2

The Treat-Up was wrapped up with the VIP seating, where they hold the Dessert Parties, and it was nothing but perfect! With free Cheetos, Coke, and our Glow ears on, we watched Hallowishes with the biggest smiles you can imagine. (Funniest moment was trying to sync our ears together, my tapping each others ears together- just imagine people smacking their heads together- hilarious). It was one of THE best Meet-Ups I have ever attended, so a HUGE thank you to the Disney Parks Blog- you put on one awesome event!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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My Review of “Muppetvision 3D”

I can’t tell you the time or date, heck not even my age, when I first found the Muppets.  But what I can tell you is that they are attached to my childhood heart strings.  When I saw the recent Muppet Movie of Walter growing up watching them, I put myself right in his tiny little Muppet shoes. Sitting Indian style in front of the tv in my living room,  hands under my chin, smiling from ear to ear as Kermit would say those famous words “It’s the Muppet Show with our very special guest…”  So when I found out that Disney had an attraction devoted to my favorite friends, I was hooked. This is “Muppetvision 3D.”Muppet1

The first time I saw Kermit and his gang at the Attraction was 1991. I remember being so excited, as it was like being a part of the Muppet Show.  When you walk in, to your immediate right is the “Check in” office window which has a sign that lets you know the key is under the mat. Yes, it really IS under the mat so make sure to check it out as you enter!Muppet2

The pre-show area is one of my favorites on Disney Property because it hosts some of the most funny items you will see.  Most come in, grab their 3-D glasses, and stand to watch the television screens overhead- they don’t take the time to walk around this room. Now I realize when there are heavier crowds it’s near impossible to just “walk around” but when you can I highly recommend it.  There is no bad spot to stand in this room, but if you don’t want to be asked to move down all the way to the end of the row, let everyone file in front of you first and go in last to have more of a choice on where to sit.Muppet3

Whether you sit in the front of the Theater, or the back, the 3D is no different.  There is a small live action part that goes along with this, but it can be seen by any seat.  From start to finish, this is 100% Muppet awesomeness.  I won’t give it away, but I wanted you to know that it is not frightening as “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” or the old “Honey I Shrunk the Audience.”   Fun, happy, silly, and loveable is what this show is all about.Muppet4

This has always been a “Must Do” for our family, and I encourage you to see it for yourself. Now if I can just get them to make “Fraggle Rock” in the Parks, I would be golden!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

 

“Night of Joy” 2013 at Magic Kingdom

“Night of Joy” is an event, held by Walt Disney World at the Magic Kingdom where Believers come together to see their favorite Artists rock it out in the name of our Lord and Savior. Some it is a time for praise and worship, others it is a time of fellowship with other believers, and some are curious as to what it is all about.  Whatever you come for, it is worth coming to enjoy all the different artists plus you can explore the Magic Kingdom as well!  Here was my experience this year, enjoy!noj1

I decided that I would spend the day at Magic Kingdom, not only sharing the magic with all of you, but I knew it would be a quiet and uncrowded.  I got there roughly after 10:30 in the a.m. and enjoyed walking on pretty much everything.  I think the only thing I waited for was Winnie-the-Pooh, where I watched a grown woman rub the honey off the honey wall with her hiney.  Yes, her rear end. So keep that in mind the next time you are rubbing your hands all over it.Noj6

As 4:00 was rolling in, so was a rough storm.  I sought cover in Cosmic Ray’s, it’s funny how I actually had to give it some real thought on WHERE to take shelter that would be sufficient for an hour wait or longer.  I know there is the Carousel of Progress, Country Bears, Hall of Presidents, but nothing I want to repeat over and over again for an hour.  And due to the lightening that was occurring over the Castle, literally, I was betting that any type of ride outside, such as the River Boat or TTA would be out of the question and out of service.  So Rays gave a great view of what was going on outside, with it’s huge windows.  There were a few times I was a bit nervous at how loud the thunder was honestly how close it came to Ray’s, but I figured it was the safest bet for the time being.noj7

Now for the “NOJ” party, it runs like a “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” in which you can get admission to the Park as early as 4:00 p.m.  Now if you are already in the Park, as I was, you can go to the Rose Garden area, or Tortuga Tavern, and pick up your bracelet and guide map for the night.  I didn’t see anyone being asked to leave when it was party time, nor did anyone ever ask to see my bracelet.  So here lies the question, if you aren’t riding rides and are there strictly for the Concerts, in such a large crowded venue, how are they checking who paid to be there and who didn’t? Interesting since I have seen at MNSSHP in the past them sweeping the Parks and watching for guests who have the bracelets. Who knows.noj8

With bracelet on and map in my pocket, it was time to figure out how and where to stand for the first show which was Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. It was after 6:00 pm that I started to look for a spot, and saw that a line was forming on both sides of the hub.  With a friend, we got in line on the left side facing the Castle and stood in the pouring rain for what seemed like eternity.  Due to the rain, they hadn’t had a chance to set up- so they could have no one in the front area until they were done.  Handicapped filled in the immediate front on the sidewalk, then they roped it off and allowed the rest of the area for anyone else.

What happens is that you have your rule followers, and your rule breakers.  We had now been standing in line for over an hour and a half, when at about 7:30ish they dropped the rope to let both lines fill in the center space. Many cut in line before we even got to that point, many pushed, and it was an all out “Grab a piece of pavement.”  It was ridiculous for ANY event, but especially since this was a Christian event.

Then the real fun began.  See, it was raining. Sometimes it was pouring, would lighten up, get heavy again.  I get it, nobody wants to be wet.  I had a poncho on, many did…and then there were the ones with umbrellas.  Now, if you want to use an umbrella in a concert situation, or during a show outside, etc.. have the common courtesy to close it when the show begins. Why? Well I will state the obvious- NO ONE behind you can see.  You are blocking someone’s view, if not MANY someones, and it’s just rude.  I realize you don’t want to be wet, again NO ONE wants to be, but in this setting, if you want or NEED to use an umbrella, stand in the back.

The line cutters, yes them, decided to rush to be in the front row.  Then opened up a patio size umbrella, I’m not even talking a small one.  The show began, and everyone behind him were asking “Can you put them umbrella down please?”  He was in his teens, so was the group he was with, and yes, understood English. I know this because I was right behind him and tapped him on the shoulder to ask him for myself and others, could you please take it down.  His response was “No, we will get wet.”  I wish I could say he said it kindly, but he didn’t.  So I didn’t push, but MANY behind me were yelling at this point “PLEASE PUT THE UMBRELLA DOWN, WE CAN’T SEE.”  To which he ignored, over and over again.  At one point he put it down to shake the water off, in which everyone cheered, and then put it right back up in the air in which I thought all heck would break loose. But it didn’t because, again, it’s a Christian event and those who were upset, me included, just made the best of things and tried to enjoy what we could see.noj5

Steven and Michael were AWESOME and sang many of my favorite songs including “Friends” and “Dive.” Steven Curtis Chapman had both of his sons playing behind him, and Michael sounded exactly the same.  It was a great combination, and although I felt it was cut short because of the delay, it was well worth it to see them together.noj2

Mercy Me was playing after them, but my feet were so sore at this point- they had been wet for hours at this point and were just feeling raw.  I decided to get out of the crowd, headed to Caseys for a hot dog and soda, and sat for awhile to dry and give my feet a break.  By the time I filled my stomach and dried my feet, the rain had finally stopped long enough for me to buy a shirt, pin, (Shirts cost $23 and Pins cost $10 but for $30 you could have both cheaper) and then head back to the “Partners” Statue to see and listen to Mercy Me. noj3

Now if you plan on watching from any point past Partners, you can catch them on the big screen and that’s about it. After the stress of trying to be up and close the first time, I decided the roomier area was ok since I had seen them up close and personal last year.  They were excellent as always and closed with “I Can Only Imagine.”   Skillet performed next, heard they were awesome, and ended the night with fireworks (thanks Tim for the pictures!).noj4

Here is my best advice if you are thinking about going to the “Night of Joy” tonight or in the future.  One, if you REALLY want to be up close to any of the stages, be prepared to wait for an hour or more in the spot, and for some of the areas, just to get in.  If you are at all claustrophobic, stay a good 20 feet back from the stage and you should be ok.  Apparently this event gets rained on A LOT, because of course it’s Hurricane season here in Florida.  SO with that in mind, bring a poncho, umbrella, and make sure you have something to keep your camera, phone, etc… from getting wet as well.  I found it very difficult to take pictures with it raining, but I got a couple of shots.  I had to keep wiping it off on my shirt under my poncho, and with wet hands all night, it got to be quite the feat.

Some of my favorite highlights were that THE Jodi Benson, aka “Little Mermaid”, was there IN PERSON and came out between Artists on the Castle stage to promote awareness of the millions of children around the globe who need our help in sponsoring. She sang “Part of Your World” before “Mercy Me” and I was incredibly geeked out at that moment!   Also a HUGE THANK YOU to Z88.3 for all the shout outs, retweets, and for following me. I LOVE what you do, what you stand for, and that you are “ok for the little ears” to hear. God bless you!

It is worth the money? My ticket was $60 something and for how many Artists you get to see, it is well worth the value.  Keep in mind you also have quite a large number of attractions still open to enjoy, as well as food locations and a dance party at Cosmic Ray’s.  I never made it to any of the other stages, but we will see how they are tonight.   It was a great day and I felt very blessed to have been able to enjoy it.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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