"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" (even though it's the day before Thanksgiving) Wednesday, 22 November 2000 One really neat thing about being at WDW at this time of year was that we got to see the "World" being transformed for the Christmas season. It is amazing to watch the work involved! We had plans to do the Family Magic Tour at MK on this morning, but my husband and I voted to do the Family Sleep Late instead. We ate leftover cookies for breakfast. Ah, the breakfast of champions! I walked over to the Dolphin to meet "SwanDolphin" for a short visit before he left for his vacation. Then, my husband, my daughter, and I caught the bus for Downtown Disney. While my husband and daughter hung out at the Lego playground, I did a mad sweep through the World of Disney, and took care of my shopping duties. We then took the bus to the TTC and caught the monorail to the Grand Floridian. Chef Drew was surprised (and delighted, I am sure ) to see Chicken Girl for the third day in a row. Today was the Wonderland Tea Party day. After I paid for the event, he handed me the receipt and said, "You know the routine by now. You have to give me this at the end of the session to collect your child. If you lose it, I get to keep her." My response? I said, "Promises, promises." My husband and I had a leisurely lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe while Chicken Girl hung out with Alice and the Mad Hatter. Then, my husband took our Downtown Disney packages back to the Swan while Chicken Girl and I headed over to Magic Kingdom. We arrived around 2:45, so we staked out a spot for the Magical Moments parade. We sat on the side of the Emporium near the fire station, so we were at the end of the parade. The Harlem Globetrotters were the grand marshals for the parade! As luck would have it, the first float stopped right in front of us, and the characters descended to dance in the street. One of the dancers (whom Chicken Girl sincerely believed to be a prince) invited my daughter to dance. Suddenly, she had an attack of nerves and hid behind my leg. I had visions of great video coverage, so I resorted to the oldest trick in the book. I shut off the camera and said, "Do it and I'll buy you one of those stupid leashes so you can pretend you're walking a dog after the parade." (She had spotted those leashes earlier and coveted one!) It's not a moment that I'm proud of, and it's not going to win me the mother of the year award, but there you have it. So, the video shows a smiling man beckoning my child to dance. Then, the next scene is a smiling child joining the parade. Talk about Disney magic! (My husband is no fool. When I told him she was in the parade, he said, "What did you have to use to bribe her?") Amazingly enough, after the parade, she tested the leash, decided that she didn't want to carry it, and opted for a pressed penny instead. YES! We picked up our armbands for e-ticket night while we were on Main Street. My daughter really wanted to ride something, but the lines were rather long, so she and I strolled around the park. I had promised her a Dole Whip, so we got in line. The CM was evidently trying to set a world's record for how long it could possibly take to serve each customer, and it got to be a running joke in the line. Chicken Girl--tired and overstimulated--had a complete meltdown in the Dole Whip line. She announced that she NEVER intended to leave WDW and started BAWLING. It was horribly embarrassing! After eating our Dole Whips (finally!), we ran into Capt. Hook and Mr. Smee, two of Chicken Girl's favorite characters, so her mood improved. We saw the Tiki Birds show, and that helped too. We met up with my husband and with my friend and her son. I staked out a spot near the bridge from Liberty Square over to the castle hub, and the others ran around while I stayed put (in parade mode). Everyone reassembled and we entertained ourselves while waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade. Amazingly enough, while I was waiting, a former student of mine walked by. She was equally amazed to see me, and we chatted for a while! I waited in my prime location for an hour and a half. Nevertheless, at the very second that the parade began rolling over the bridge, Chicken Girl announced, "I need to go to the bathroom." AAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!!! Once again, I succombed to the lowest depths of motherhood and said, "Hold it. We'll go after the parade." She agreed to try, but when she began dancing in place, I knew that we were running out of time. I was loathe to relinquish my excellent videotaping location, so I passed Chicken Girl back to her dad and told him to deal with the situation! He always refuses to take her into the men's room, but he knew better than to mess with me! They returned when the parade was halfway over. After the parade, my family and my friend and her son walked over to the castle for our dinner reservation. We got to see the fireworks from inside the castle. During the fireworks, while the grownups were preoccupied, the children stirred about five packets of sugar each into their water glasses. They were slurping that water before we realized why it was so good to them! YUCK! My friend's son had a little meltdown during dinner (and they had to be excused to the bathroom for a "conference"). Meanwhile, Chicken Girl polished her halo and ate every bite of her supper. After dinner, we participated in E-ticket night. We rode the Buzz Lightyear ride first, then headed to the Haunted Mansion. It was such a hit that we rode it twice. From there, we headed to the Country Bear Jamboree. The children had no interest in the roller coasters, and they were getting tired, so we decided to pack it in and call it a night. On our way out of the park, we ran into DISer "marty"! What a coincidence! We crammed ourselves into a bus with about 100 other people and headed back to the Swan. The bus driver asked Disney trivia questions (to which I knew all the answers), and a man on the bus told me that I should work on site! We limped into the Swan around midnight. One more day left!