Birthdays, surprises, Magic & Merriment *3/25 New PTR Link We leave in 47 days*

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by mrsksomeday, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,654
    What made the Magic and Merriment event really great in my opinion was the D23 cast members. They were so great to talk to.

    That Streetmosphere skit was hilarious. I am so sorry I didn't get a better picture of your Hot Italian.

    I think you were right to wait on 50's. They are a little too young for the joke and it can get loud in there with the servers yelling :rotfl::rotfl:. First Aid is an amazing help to us. We are so thankful for it, I am so happy it helped you too. There are a couple more updates before Cinderella's suite.

    Thanks for reading. Bill is a wonderful man.

    Did I leave you hanging :confused3?

    Michelle was FANTASTIC!! We ran into her many times during those 3 days and she was always so sweet and great to talk to.

    Paige is one of my favorites. Byron is wonderful, such a great CM. Sticker info coming soon.

    Thanks for being here. Bill has a sweet romantic soul, I am very lucky. I think we might try Via Napoli the next trip, every restaurant can't be his pick.

    That was the first thing Bill thought of when he saw the lanyard, he was cracking me up. I am so happy I can share our experience.

    I don't think I could ever forget that birthday it was amazing.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,654
    This day will have many installments, I took a bunch of pictures.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Dec. 11, 2010

    We woke up early excited for what the day was going to bring. We had to be at Epcot to go to the Odyssey Center to watch some presentations. We had never entered Epcot before opening before and weren’t sure where to go, come to find out just get in the line for the Princess breakfast. After we got in the park we all stood around with a CM waiting for her to tell us we could go. Then we were off. Of course I took some pictures, although I am not happy with them, my new camera is not as vivid as the old one:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is so weird seeing a virtually empty park in the day time:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We had to stand outside for a bit, then they opened the doors.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We were handed goodie bags and went to find a table. There was a gingerbread shingle on the table for each of us:

    [​IMG]

    One thing from the goodie bag:

    [​IMG]

    The stage:

    [​IMG]

    The speakers for the first segment:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They were hilarious and informative. We really enjoyed listening to them. As they
    talked slides were shown:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then the servers came out with chocolate/caramel covered pretzels (sorry I took a bite before I remembered to take a picture):

    [​IMG]

    More yumminess:

    [​IMG]

    Then Meg Crofton came out, she is President of Walt Disney Resort. She told us about how Disney CM’s give back to the community and how Walt was involved with Toys for Tots. Walt Disney Studios designed the train logo for them.

    [​IMG]

    After she was done it was time for the pastry chefs:

    [​IMG]

    These two were a riot, the one on the left is the main guy over the building of the Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Continued in next post
     
  4. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,654
    They finished and Steven Clark came back up to ask the people with Pook-a-Looz stickers to come forward. Apparently Bill had won something. Then they told us 5 people won a Gingerbread House from the Grand Floridian. We were in shock they are so pretty and detailed. Bill couldn’t make it up to get it so they brought it to our table. It was in a big box. One of the D23 CM’s came over and took our info saying he would have it sent to our room. We thanked them over and over again. I will have pictures later in the report.

    Next presenters:

    [​IMG]

    This is Mark Rhodes:

    [​IMG]

    This is Gary Gillstedt:

    [​IMG]

    They talked about Magic Ink & Bead Gary’s company. There is a Beads for Life project in which women in Uganda make beads by hand. The women make the beads out of paper to make bracelets and necklaces. Gary worked with Disney to ship old or outdated Disney papers such as park maps to the women. The women use the maps/paper to make beautiful beads that come back to the parks to be sold. You can read more about it here.

    After the presentation was over we headed toward the China Pavilion, we had lunch reservations here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We had never been here so we were hoping we would like it.

    We love the World Showcase the attention to detail is just gorgeous:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My sweet Bill, see the black bags, those are from that morning:

    [​IMG]

    I was sitting outside close to the area where the Kim Possible mission is when a lady saw the D23 lanyards on us and said hello. Her husband is TooExcitedToSleep here in the DIS. I think she said they were going on the DISPodcast cruise the next day and he was sad to miss the D23 event. He came over there and we chatted for a bit. He knows all sorts of stuff about Disney and they were both really nice.

    I had gotten a times guide and knew the China storyteller was going to start soon so we made our way to his stage, we started hearing monkey sounds and saw the Monkey King:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He was very entertaining, calling to people walking past us and had us all laughing. After he was done, he took a picture with Bill:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the explanation of the story:

    [​IMG]

    It was time for our ADR, we got seated right away:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bill’s Pepper Beef:

    [​IMG]

    My Nine Dragons Fried Rice:

    [​IMG]


    Bill has a better time eating with a spoon so we asked for one and got this monster:

    [​IMG]

    I think we got ice cream for dessert but I don’t remember. Now we had time to just wander around. I know we went to first aid.

    Next installment….Bill finds himself another woman
     
  5. RunningGirl

    RunningGirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,528
    That's some spoon!

    I'm so glad that Bill won. That looked like a really cool event! And it looks like such a pretty day outside.
     
  6. tazdev3225

    tazdev3225 <font color=darkorchid>I sucked my thumb up with t

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,272
    An empty EPCOT. I have never seen that. The presentations looked like they were fun. Can't wait to see what Bill won.

    The Monkey King was one of my favorite story tellers. OK I really liked them all but he was funny. I have never really wanted to eat at the Nine Dragons I get Chinese food here a lot so it has never been one that I would like. Looking forward to more.
     
  7. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    27,141
    Yay for being winnders. How cool is that.

    That Bill is a sly dog picking up other women! Shame on him!
     
  8. Tinkermom76

    Tinkermom76 Gawrsh

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,011
    Great Update... how was the gingerbread. I always think it will be the best ever just cause it is from Disney :cloud9:
     
  9. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,294
    That's so cool that Bill won something! The gingerbread houses are so pretty.

    Hope you guys enjoyed your meal at Nine Dragons. I haven't eaten there since they built the exhibition kitchen.
     
  10. All7OfUs

    All7OfUs <font color=darkorchid>We too are so very NOT into

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    13,094
    What a great event to enjoy! How fun to get behind the scenes and hear the Masters talk about their craft!

    And a DISMeet! YAY!! Already a fun day at EPCOT! :thumbsup2
     
  11. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,654
    Even if I ask for a teaspoon, restaurants always seem to give us tablespoons when I ask for one for him but then when the dessert comes out it has the right size spoon on the plate :confused3.

    The presentations were wonderful. I will have the pictures of the Gingerbread house up in a little bit. We want to try to eat at every World Showcase restaurant, now we can mark Nine Dragons off he list.

    Thanks!! I know that Bill is sneaky, wait until you see her :scared:

    I never tried the gingerbread we gave it to friends when we got home, they wanted to try it.

    We liked our meal more than we thought we would.

    Those pastry chefs were hilarious.
     
  12. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,654
    (Shhh…..Don’t tell Toni)

    Dec. 11, 2010

    We looked through Germany and Italy again, we just love those pavilions and kept walking until we got to Morocco. I found the ladies room while Bill went to watch Taarji the storytelling drummer:

    [​IMG]

    After he was finished Mo’Rockin showed up. It was the first time we weren’t in a hurry to get somewhere. I couldn’t get near Bill the way the crowd was, but it gave me a chance to take pictures:

    Here is my “hidden Bill” picture, can you see him?

    [​IMG]

    Various pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bill saw me:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He looks mesmerized here, I wonder why:

    [​IMG]

    Oh here is why:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still mesmerized:

    [​IMG]

    Still dancing:

    [​IMG]

    After the set was over a couple came over to ask us about the D23 lanyards, so we told them about the event. Then she complimented my Mickey earrings so I told them about what Bill had done for me on my birthday and the flowers I had gotten when we arrived. The woman kept saying Bill should marry her and laughed, I told her he was taken lol. Then the bellydancer came up and was talking to the couple apparently they knew her. She was so nice to us. I asked if Bill could get a picture with her (I forgot to get her name, I feel so bad):

    [​IMG]

    The woman on the right was the one trying to take Bill from me. I think I could take her, don’t you?

    Oh no the sun was messing up my picture can we take another? Yes we can:

    [​IMG]

    It was time to go line up for the Candlelight Processional with Whoopi Goldberg, so we walked that way:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    D23 members were let in to be seated first. They were letting people walk down toward the front and at first a CM said she would seat us at the top of the theater. Other D23 members stopped and looked at her like she was crazy and I said “we need to be seated with the rest of the D23 members please”. She looked perplexed then started following the rest of the line down toward the front. We ended up one bench from the right where we were the last CLP we attended. Some pictures:

    [​IMG]

    They were bringing in the globe, the bridge was up:

    [​IMG]

    We see this guy every time we are at an event in WDW, Star Wars Weekend, Super Soap Weekend, now the Candlelight Processional. We think he is an event photographer for Disney, what a great job:

    [​IMG]

    Our view:

    [​IMG]

    The CLP:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We really enjoyed it again. The singing and music was outstanding and gave me chills. The experience was different between Jodi and Whoopi. I think Jodi was more emotional and joyful. Whoopi was more powerful and commanding. We will be going to the Candlelight Processional in the future. We would pick the 6:45pm time though, we liked it better when it was darker outside.



    Next installment…. Dinner at DHS and the Osborne Lights
     
  13. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,901
    What story is it actually that they read at the CLP?
     
  14. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,654
    Still Dec. 11, 2010

    This night is something we still talk about, not only for the good things that happened but for the not so good as well .

    After the CLP, they had us hang back for a picture, then had us head toward a backstage area before getting on busses to go to dinner at DHS on the Indiana Jones set. It was getting increasingly colder at this point as the sun had set. They gave us a potty break.

    There was no upfront planning for persons in wheelchairs/ecv’s. There were all squished in with everyone else making maneuvering extremely difficult especially when waiting to go backstage, it was dim in that area.

    They started filtering people out the door then opened another spot asking wheelchairs/ecv’s to go through there. I could see the Mears busses waiting on us. The ones like the Magical Express, where Bill goes high into the air. They didn’t have the busses ready for the wheelchairs, they didn’t have the seats moved, the tie downs ready, and didn’t know how many spots they needed for this. There were at least 10 guests in either wheelchairs/ecv’s. They made the mistake of letting the able bodied people get on the bus first.

    Why is this a mistake? The bus driver must go inside the bus, move seats forward, get the tie downs adjusted, go outside, open the lift, get the guest on the lift, put a seat belt on them, raise the lift, then go back inside the bus while the guest is hanging there off the side of the bus, have the guest get into place, secure the wheelchair, secure the tie downs, and go back outside to either get another guest in the bus or to put the lift back where it originally was. It is extremely hard and slow to do this procedure if he is scooting past guests that are seated or moving inside the bus. A wonderful CM named Patty talked to us while we waited.

    On the D23 survey we got when we got back home I expressed my frustration about this night. If they would have gotten mobility information on the night everyone registered they would have known the amount of wheelchairs/ecv’s and been better prepared.

    Everyone was getting cold and cranky at this point. I was agitated, this was not organized at all and I knew Bill was cold and upset about this. We finally got on the last bus and went through service roads to DHS. I kept thinking about having to do this horrible process again at the end of the night because they were supposed to take all of us back to Epcot. I knew they had added an hour to DHS park schedule before we went on our trip. There was a very good chance the busses would still be running by the time we were done with the D23 thing. The bus pulled up behind the Backlot Express and Bill was the last person off the last bus, everyone else had made it into the park. Patty was just as bothered as I was. I asked her if we could just use the DHS bus to go back to Pop after things were over, she excused herself and went to talk to the bus drivers and some other CM’s. She came back and said that would be fine and she completely understood why I wanted to do that. She took us toward the Indiana Jones theater with her little light and people were looking at us trying to figure out why we had a CM leading us. It was funny.

    By the time we got down to the actual dinner, it was a mess trying to find a place to sit. The tables were very close together, again not good for maneuvering a wheelchair. Some people were halfway done eating by the time we got there. I was very upset by this point, it was a mess. Bill was not happy either. Patty helped us find a place to sit, she was our angel. We went through the buffet line, sorry no pictures because Bill and I were hungry at that point. The food was fine but nothing to say wow about.

    We ate and talked to our tablemates, everyone was so nice. Some had been on cruises or other D23 events it was great to hear the stories. Steven Clark got on the microphone and asked who had a napkin with a snowman on it. It was the family right next to us. They got to be Grand Marshal’s at MK’s parade the next day, how awesome!! We also talked about how cold we all were. Disney will cancel the Spirit of Aloha show if it is under 55 degrees. I looked on my phone and it said 53 and the wind was very cold. There were no heaters in sight.

    I took a couple pictures of our surroundings:

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]





    They had Chip and Dale come out for pictures, I didn’t want to do it, Bill bullied and begged until I surrendered:

    [​IMG]

    Chip and Dale are always fascinated with Bill’s chair. We were done with the picture and walking off and Chip kept following him:

    [​IMG]

    They said they had an announcement: Anyone that wanted to use the busses at DHS were welcome to use those or they could use the Mears busses and go back to Epcot. Then they told us it was time to head over to the streets of America for the Osborne Lights. This is what happened according to the D23 website:

    “After dinner, the group was escorted to the darkened Streets of America where Walt Disney Entertainment's John Phelan talked about the inception of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights before asking Paul and Lisa Tulley, who celebrated their first anniversary at Magic and Merriment, to flip the switch to ignite the lights — and the night!”

    Patty walked with us again, she actually works for Disney in Celebration and picks up special events shifts because she likes interacting with guests. We were so lucky to have her around.

    I can remember reading about Lurkyloo’s D23 experience and her saying John Phelan went on and on when he talked. I had read other accounts where they said he had taken way too much time talking and they didn’t get much Osborne lights time. Well this year was no different. He even joked that he knew he went on and on the year before and would try to cut it short…. HE DIDN’T.

    It was interesting how Disney acquired the lights, but geez man we only have so much time to look around and take pictures. Bill can finally drive around and look without worrying about people tripping all over him because they either can’t see or it is too packed and people aren’t paying attention. I took these as he talked:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After he was done we were informed we had about 5 minutes to check out the lights, so off Bill went:

    [​IMG]

    They turned on the Phineas and Ferb music so we could see the lights “dance” (CLICK ON THE PICTURE):

    [​IMG]

    They said it was time to load the busses and go. Patty found us again and we talked to her for a little bit. We thanked her again and again for all her help and I asked if she could get a picture with Bill, I am so upset about it being blurry:

    [​IMG]

    We parted ways and started walking toward the entrance.

    Again so weird seeing an empty park, I was so wishing TnT were with us. Toni would have loved this stuff and Terry would have taken some fantastic shots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got a bus back to Pop and this was waiting for us:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These pictures do NOT do it justice but I was not taking the wrapping off. I was so worried about how to get it home.

    Our swag from the goodie bag (we had double this):

    [​IMG]

    To us, this night fell below our idea Disney standards. We think they should have thought things through with the busses, the tables being too close together, how chilly it was, there should have been an alternative dinner just in case of the weather. At least have heaters like the CLP people had or something. What if it had rained? I would think they would have had an alternative for that scenario. I also thought we got way too little time to just look and take pictures of the lights. Mr. Phelan needs to be on a timer.

    What they really need is to hire Bill as a CM to work on the special events. He would have a unique perspective and it would help with guest satisfaction overall.

    Next installment… BLT & crummy weather
     
  15. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,654
    The birth of Christ, the Christmas story.
     
  16. RunningGirl

    RunningGirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,528
    Sorry it was a rough experience. Hopefully they will learn from it and improve the experience for everyone in the future! It makes me wonder if event planning companies have people who specialize in mobility issues and special needs of other kinds. Perhaps Bill can become a consultant which would mean you'd have to travel to all kinds of spectacular places with him!
     
  17. tazdev3225

    tazdev3225 <font color=darkorchid>I sucked my thumb up with t

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,272
    I have never done the CLP. I will have to do it one day. That sounds like a real frustrating situation with the buses. As well as Disney accomodates the mobility challenged, they also fall really short at times.

    the Osborne lights are definitely one of my favorites around the holidays. I love that gingerbread house. I would like to get one someday but getting it home would be the problem. Hope you were successful with that.
     
  18. GeminiAngel

    GeminiAngel DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    2,295
    Wow these updates are packed! Osbourne lights are awesome! How come you only had 5 mins. I missed that. :confused3

    I lost Kevin to a belly dancer too. :banana: Freedom at last!!:lmao:
     
  19. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    28,057
    Awesome Updates !!! I see how mesmerized Bill was at the Belly Dancer !!!
     
  20. GlassSlippers

    GlassSlippers Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    225
    Hi Tracy!

    I don't think I've posted here before, but I wanted to tell you that I sure do love your trip reports. You and Bill are both very blessed to have each other! You're not planning on being in WDW in June, are you? I'm taking my DD on a graduation trip. A grown-up Mommy and Me vacation if you will. Grown up, nothin'! We're doing the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique together! Anyway, If you're going to be around the 19th-24th we sure would love to say hello. I hope that doesn't sound creepy. I feel like I know you from your reports, but you've never "met" me before!

    We got to see the Candlelight Processional back in 2003. David Ogden Stiers was the narrator and he was wonderful! Do they still use the Christmas story from Luke? It was the King James version back then.

    I'm sorry you had such a difficult time with the wheel chair during this event. Disney has plenty of CM-s who use them so I'm surprised they don't take advantage of that resource and make sure ahead of time that chair users won't have any difficulties!

    Can't wait to hear the rest of your story! Thanks for writing!

    Lori in East Podunk
     
  21. Tinkermom76

    Tinkermom76 Gawrsh

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,011
    Great update Tracy! I loved Whoopi!!! I'm sorry you guys had some troubles but I hope you had a good time anyway!

    Can't wait to see the Castle Suite Pictures!
     

Share This Page