Liav and Jody's Excellent DLP Adventure 2005 Part 7 Cast: Liav (13) Jody (Old enough to be her Mom...) Part Seven – Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005… For some reason on Thursday morning we were both really exhausted, so although we woke up early, we stayed in bed and relaxed until much later than usual. I opened the curtains and saw that it was a gloriously sunny day!! I also opened the window a crack to get some fresh air. I really like that about the SL – the fact that you can open the windows… I was disappointed, however, that this year they did not have the lovely music playing at the entrance to the hotel that they had last year. I had loved opening the window and hearing that music, and I missed that… By the time we got moving it was close to 10 AM. On our way out of the hotel we noticed that the restaurants were nearly deserted, so getting breakfast would not mean fighting the crowds… and so… even though (as you already know) I really don't like the SL breakfast, I decided we should stop here for a bite anyway. I had not bothered with the time cards for breakfast, thinking we would never eat here, but showing our hotel card (Pink ID ) was sufficient and they let us right in. Liav had some cereal and I doctored up the machine coffee to make it just passable… then by 10:30 we were out in the sunshine, taking pictures of ducks again on the way to the parks. Now that Liav is into pin trading, we have been going into almost every shop to see if the CMs have pins, and today was no different. In the big shop in the village we ended up buying a pin – a beautiful Tinkerbell from the new 2005 series. Liav was beyond thrilled… Shhhh… Liav thinks I deleted these pictures… Another word about pin trading. Most of the CMs were wearing similar pins – from the starter sets that were on sale that week for 10 Euros – and some of them were not willing to trade for pins they already had. Others were more generous however – it just seemed to depend on their mood… Liav was able to trade away all of the pins from her starter sets even though they were becoming very common and most of the CMs were already wearing those… and she did get some amazing pins! She really seemed to have the luck! When we finally reached the park it was close to noon. As we entered Main Street, the music suddenly became VERY LOUD – like for a parade. We were a bit confused – why this loud music – sort of uncharacteristic for Main Street – very happy and catchy music… anyway we kept walking, and then we realized – it was the Character Bus!! Actually two of them! Suddenly we saw two of the Main Street vehicles (I think it was the fire engine and the police car) full of characters, driving up Main Street toward the castle! I noticed that one of them contained Donald Duck. Now I should tell you that Liav is CRAZY for Donald Duck and had been complaining all week that she never had seen him except for in the Studios parade. She really wanted a picture with him…. I told her – let's keep up with his car – I know he's going to get out and sign autographs and take pictures! Liav tried to argue – she was sure this was just like a parade – the characters would just drive by… but I INSISTED that they would get out – I assumed this was like the character bus at EPCOT… and it turned out (thank goodness) that I was right!!! We followed the cars around the square, and just in front of the castle the vehicles stopped and all the characters got out!! (Donald's car also carried Chip and Dale, and the other car had Japhar and Timon, and I think maybe another character or two… but we only had eyes for Donald…) Liav ran right up to Donald and managed to pose with him.. but… but… NO! Battery dead in camera!! Okay… don't panic… we had batteries with us, and we changed them… but by then Donald had been SWARMED with kids and there was no queue, so it was really just a huge pile of kids elbowing their way to him in no order whatever. Liav hung back – most of the kids were quite a bit smaller than her and I think she felt a bit silly – but suddenly Donald noticed her, and put his arms out to her and then he sat down on the ledge of the wall and patted his lap, invited her to sit on it!!! She was in shock and just stared at him, but I explained to her that Donald really was looking at HER, and she rallied, and asked him if she could pose for another picture. Donald was so sweet – really hammed it up posing, and camera worked and I got a shot. I held my breath until Liav pronounced it a keeper!!! After about 15 minutes the CMs rounded up the characters into the vehicles again and whisked them away. That had been fun! I have never seen anything like this except in Epcot where every morning there is a character bus with about 15 characters. No parade music accompanies them though – here in DLP it was even more magical!!! We went through the castle to Fantasyland and rode Small World twice. I know some people think this ride is boring, but I really never get tired of it. I think it's really incredible, and I always think I see something new every time. I would gladly have stayed on a third time, but since I was with a teenager, you can imagine that twice was the limit. We went over to Space Mountain and rode that just once since the wait without fastpass was pretty long… and we knew we'd be attending the good-bye party for SM on Saturday and would ride a lot… (at least that is what we thought at the time… stay tuned for what really happened…) Little did we know, this was to be our very last ride on Space Mountain as we all know it. We walked over to Frontierland next, and rode BTM a few times, and then had lunch yet again at the Mexican place opposite the entrance to the ride. It was way after the usual lunch hours (must have been close to 3 PM by now) so there was no wait to order. I ordered chili, but was told they were out of it! Big disappointment! As I was pondering what to order instead, a CM came racing out of the kitchen with a bowl of chili in his hand which he said he'd grabbed for me from the next batch. Great! Thanks! Then, the same CM (the one actually taking my order was looking at him like he fell from the moon) said to me, "Does Madame like coffee?" I couldn't imagine why he was taking a survey about coffee, but I stammered, well, yes, I do actually… and he then gave me a steaming cup of cappuccino with whipped cream – free! (As a consolation gift for having suffered a mere two seconds of disappointment over possibly not having chili for lunch!???) And people say the CMs at DLP are not friendly??? I beg to differ! We walked back over to Fantasyland, wanting to stand at the very beginning of the parade route for the Princess Parade. There was practically nobody standing in the area and we had a great view of the parade from sitting down on a bench! That as a first for me, and I really enjoyed it. I guess I must be getting old if I like watching a parade sitting down! After the parade we just wandered through the shops some more on our way out of the park, and had an early supper at Billy Bob's again (I told you we're food-boring!). It was early so there was no show, but we enjoyed the food (yes, chili again - same as yesterday... same as lunch today... I told you... boring) Back to Main Street for Fantillusion. Liav tried to photograph the floats but was frustrated again by not having any luck at getting the lights just right… After the parade we walked back to the hotel and had an early evening watching the Disney channel. Another great Disney day!