Day Three, Nov. 19 Part II The Magic Continues Until... Cast: Please see previous posts When last we met on the Trip Report Board, we had just exited the Castle and were positioned for the rope drop and opening of Fantasyland. The game plan while standing in line was to head straight for Space Mountain, get Fastpasses, do Buzz or Alien and then use the FP. While waiting for opening I spotted Mickey and Minnie at Dumbo. This triggered the memory in my old and decaying memory of children being able to ride Dumbo with Mickey or Minnie on the first ride of the day. So...at rope drop I grabbed my niece and we beat feet to Dumbo. My son (and DH) have learned to just follow me NO MATTER WHAT because I know what I am doing. Unfortunately the rest of our group is not as malleable and they insisted on stopping and screaming at me. I had to take a few seconds to turn around and holler "Dumbo first. Dumbo first". These seconds cost us. By the time we got to Dumbo the little boy right in front of us had asked Mickey to ride with him and off they went hand in hand. (Minnie already had a child chosen and was sitting their Dumbo). Both children were excited to be the ones riding with their character and I'm sure it was a magical start to their day. My niece didn't want to ride so we exited the ride and met up with the rest of the party--who thought I was crazy. I explained how my niece missed riding with Mickey by ONE child and oh well on to Space Mountain. On the walk over to Space Mountain we stopped at Pooh and got fastpasses for Pooh. As we neared Cosmic Ray's, my DS walks up to a man in front of us and puts his arm around his shoulder and they walk off together. EXCUUUUUUUSE ME!!!!!!! They turn around when I yell at them and I see it is my cousin. He walked right THROUGH us and we never even noticed. Yeah, observant, that would describe us. Any way at Space Mountain we got fastpasses and then got in the stand by line to ride it. HUH? There's a 30 minute wait. WHY are we waiting? Anyway, not wanting to start off by arguing about where to go and what to do, I bit my tongue and got in line. I wasn't riding but still went through the line with everyone so that I didn't have to sit by myself for the over 45 minutes it took to do this ride. They gave my cousin front seat, since this was his first trip to WDW, and I waited at the baby swap area for them. After Space Mountain we walked back to Pooh and rode that. Then back to Space Mountain so they could ride again. While everyone rode Space Mountain, I took all of their passes and room keys and went to Buzz Lightyear to get fastpasses for it. While at Space Mountain we ran into the family we shared a cruise with last night. When everyone got off Space Mountain, we hung out in the arcade and then stopped for a drink before going to Buzz. We really wanted my nephew to see it because he is such a huge Buzz fan. He wasn't that impressed with it. (Oh those jaded college kids.) We then decided to head across the park and do Splash Mountain. We got fastpasses for Splash and headed over to do Pirates. The line for Pirates was really long so we headed for the Tiki BirdsÃ¢ÂÂwhich is one of my niece's favorites. I think the show is ok but I must have been either really tired by then or enjoyed it more than I ever have because it seemed like such a SHORT show and before we knew it we were on our feet again and walking out the door. We then returned to Splash Mountain for our fastpass ride. After Splash Mountain we decided it was time to go and stake out a spot for the parade at 3:00 pm. It was close to 2:00 now. Our game plan was to watch the parade from the Main Street area and then head out to go check into our condo at Westgate Vacation Villas. We found a spot on Main Street and took turns shopping, eating fudge(which would be lunch) and playing checkers at the table outside the confectionary. I took this opportunity to run over to City Hall and get a birthday badge for my niece. (Something else we didn't have time for this morning). Before the parade I ran to Casey's and got a hot dog. I came back and split it with my niece (I share everything with her). This would prove to be very worthwhile as it would be over five more hours before we can get dinner and those who didn't have the fudge for lunch hadn't eaten since breakfast. As the parade came by several characters waved to my niece and mouthed Ã¢ÂÂHappy Birthday" to her. They have changed the way they take children from the sidelines to participate in the parade. It used to be that a CM would come by before parade time and give stickers to the children selected to be in the parade. Then it seemed that they went to just a general announcement that ANYONE could go out join the parade and today it looked like the characters and other parade participants were going out into the sidelines and picking people out. I personally liked the CM giving stickers out beforehandÃ¢ÂÂjust a little extra perk for the people willing to get there early for a seat for the parade. We didn't have any problems with people wanting to cut into our spots or squeezing us. Everyone seemed very polite and well behaved. Of course, we squeezed together to make room for the two little kids behind us to move up to the curb. I think that's one of the best parts of being early. We also get to play "fairy godparents" to the people behind us. To us, it's no big deal to save spots for our group and then at parade time we adults stand to watch the parade and give kids behind us a chance to sit down curbside. (After all, we've usually been sitting for an hour anyway). It's great to see the look on their faces and know how happy they are because they can be "front row" and they weren't expecting it. After the parade we took the monorail back to the TTC and headed over to Westgate Vacation Villas to check in. This is where the magic ended. For a detailed report on both mine and my cousin's group's experience at Westgate please check the Orlando board. I have posted a detailed report there. To be short and to the pointÃ¢ÂÂif you are considering staying at Westgate Vacation Villas you want to think twice about itÃ¢ÂÂespecially if you are an RCI member. Ghetto is the term my nephew used to describe the first unit they tried to put us in. I have exchanged timeshare for over 6 years and this was the only really BAD experience I had. After finally settling the condo problem, and DH arrived from his trip, my DH & I went out for dinner and the rest of the group went out for their dinner. They left saying they were looking for a Taco Bell and came back with tales of a Bob Evans dinner. It sounded like they had a great time. Their waiter was new and kept them laughing (in good humor-not making fun at him) with his demeanor and mistakes. They said they tipped him well because they knew he was new and it was great to be able to laugh after the horrendous experience we had just had at check in. TomorrowÃ¢ÂÂare we being stalked?