View Full Version : The Tunkkari Christmas Trip Part 10--The Wonderland Tea Party, The Pirate Cruise, and Tree Lighting

01-12-2001, 05:22 PM
Me 33, avid Disney vacation planner!
David (DH), 33
Katja (DD), 4
Annika (DD), 18 months
My mother
My father

After Steve, Sarah and Riley took off for the airport, the rest of us headed to the Grand Floridian—Katja was scheduled to do the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party at 1:00, and our plan was to have a relaxing drink at the GF while she was there (NO ADULTS ALLOWED!). My parents had not yet seen the Grand Floridian, and they looked forward to checking it out. We arrived and handed Katja over to the CMs at 1900 Park Fare, then attempted (and failed!) to find someplace to get a drink. Nothing was open at the GF (apparently they do not serve drinks until the more civilized hour of 4:00) except for one restaurant that had a hugely long waiting list and the grille (counter-service food court). David decided to take Annika back to the Cotemporary for a nap. My mom and dad and I did some shopping at the gift shop, then went to the grille for a beer. It was not very relaxing as the very noisy arcade is smack in the middle.

Finally, it was time to collect Katja. She had had a fantastic time, and enjoyed telling us all about it. They got to do things backwards, the way they do in Wonderland; first they had desert, and THEN they had lunch! Katja had a special surprise for me (flowers), and a very cute picture of her with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The tea party is a great thing for kids, but I learned that the adults had better have a PS if they want to do more than hang out in the arcade in the GF while the kids are at the party!

After collecting Katja, we headed for the CR and FINALLY sat down for a drink at the Outer Rim. This is a very nice and relaxing place with a good view of the pool and the marina (and it opens at 12!). David and Annika joined us a bit later and we had dinner at the Concourse Steakhouse, which is located across from the Outer Rim and next to Chef Mickey’s. Dinner was good, but Katja did not understand why Mickey and Minnie did not visit her—we separated from Chef Mickey’s by only some potted plants, so the characters came within 3 or 4 feet of us. It was tough to explain! After dinner Mom and Dad headed back to Dixie Landings, and we went up to catch the fireworks from our room and turn in early.

The next morning was departure day for my parents, and Katja had the Pirate Cruise at the GF scheduled as well. We slept in and then hooked up with my parents. We delivered Katja to the CMs at the Pirate Cruise, then headed to the airport to drop off my parents for their return flight to Seattle. Time goes by so quickly! At 12:30 we returned to collect Katja. The Pirate Cruise was a HIT. The kids leave from the GF marina, where they are given some pirate headgear, and “sail” to several resort beaches and Discovery Island is search of treasure. When we picked her up, she had a goody bag full of little favors and toys. All of the kids were quite excited—a good time had been had by all. We then went to Downtowm Disney Westside to the House of Blues for lunch. Very good! After lunch we returned to the CR for naps (the girls were pretty cranky!).

Later, we returned to Downtown Dis and caught the launch from the Westside to the Marketplace. Katja and Annika had a blast at the Legoland playground with David while I did some “power” Christmas shopping. We then took the girls on the train ride which Annika absolutely loved—she yelled “choo choo! choo choo!” when she saw the train and squealed with delight when she got on. We then took them to the carousel, which made me sick because Katja insisted on riding on “teacaup” , and boy does that puppy spin fast!!!! Much faster than the teacups at the Madhatter in MK. We rode twice in a row, so I was feeling very queasy by the time we were done. When we got off the carousel, a crowd was gathering by the big Christmas tree, so we wandered over to take a look. We got a spot right up front for the Tree Lighting Ceremony. It was great fun. The pre-ceremony activities consist of a CM posing as a maintenance/electrical guy fiddling with the lights and “setting things up.” Then the announcer comes on to begin the ceremony, announcing that some very special guests from the MK will be arriving to light the tree. As we wait, the announcer stalls and then tells us that there is a problem and the guests are not coming. He says that the maintenance guy will light the tree. Of course, the maintenance guy is reluctant, and all kinds of weird things are going on with the wiring—it is set up to make you think there will be an explosion when the tree lights up. A kid from the crowd is chosen to light the tree, and the maintenance guy scootches as far away as he can get. The whole thing ends when Goofy and Pluto arrive (after a brief delay), and have some fun with the crowd. All in all a pretty cute show for “free.”

We were all pretty tired at this point, so after picking up some munchies and dinner makings from a Downtown Dis gourmet shop, we drove back to the CR to spend a relaxing evening in our room. Tomorrow would be our last day at the Contemporary, and our last visit to one of the parks.

Up next—A Perfect Day in the Magic Kingdom


01-13-2001, 06:27 AM
I've never heard of the Pirates Cruise, what a great idea! Is it very expensive, and how old do the kids have to be?
We ate at House of Blues and really enjoyed it. There's lots to see at DTD!


01-13-2001, 07:46 PM

The Pirate Cruise is really fantastic, especially if you have boys! Katja loved it, and there were quite a few girls on the cruise--they all had a blast. The cruise costs the same as the tea party, about $22.00. It is from 10-12:30, so you have a bit more time to do something. I believe the kids need to be 3 years old.


Marla Hellwig
02-09-2001, 09:50 PM
DD did the pirate cruise in July. Then that evening we did the villain dinner at 1900 Park and Captain Hook was there. DD had fun telling Hook about stealing his flag and treasure - he didn't like it one bit! Thanks for posting!