2009 Disney Moms Panel – The Evening of Day 2

At about 5:15, our group joined Cathy in her room to assemble the gift baskets we talked about putting together to share with our fearless leaders.  It doesn’t take too long, and we soon have these enormous – and heavy – bags of wonderful gifts and delectable treats.  We coordinate who will come by Cathy’s room to help deliver the items to breakfast the next morning, and we all head down to the waiting bus.

Tonight, we are going to spend the evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!  First on the agenda is a trip to the Osborne Lights – my second most favorite thing to do at Disney during the holidays (second only to the Candlelight Processional!).  New York street is already mobbed with people, and they are literally minutes from turning on the lights when we arrive.  We wait off to the side as they count down to flipping the switch, and in no time at all, the street is a brilliantly lit palette of colors – an electric rainbow, dancing the whole length of New York Street!

 

Efforts are made to get the group together for a group photo with the lights behind us, but the overwhelming crowd makes that impossible.  We pass on the photo, and we are free to head to Toy Story Mania. 

If you have not yet been to this attraction, it is incredibly fun, but oh so crowded.  Fast passes for this attraction usually “sell out” early in the day, and the wait can be upwards of 90 minutes.  So how lucky are we that we have immediate fast passes handed to us by Laura, and we head over to get in line.

Even with the immediate fast pass, you have a few minutes to wait and enjoy the decor inside this attraction.  Once through, we find out that I am not a high scorer by any means, but I am 91% accurate – which I accept as a consolation prize!  It’s much more accurate than I was on my SATs, so it confirms for me where my true knowledge lies – DISNEY WORLD!!

After Toy Story, we gather as a group in front of the not yet open American Idol attraction, where we have a series of photos taken.  I sympathize with the photographer, who is trying to not only make sure we all look our best, but trying to do so in time with the turning of the American Idol sign, which rotates on the board behind us.  It took a couple of tries to get this photo, and I didn’t have to worry about everyone’s hair, smiles, eyes, etc.!

We are given another small block of free time, and most of the moms and Doug run off to find an attraction they can ride in the limited amount of time we have.  It’s raining, though, so I head with a couple of other moms off to a gift shop to browse.  It’s then off to the Hollywood Brown Derby for dinner with a special guest.

Now, we have all wondered who the special guest might be.  With the taping of the Christmas parade taking place at the Magic Kingdom over a few of the days of our stay, I’ve heard rumors that it could be Miley Cyrus, Regis and Kelly, or even David Cook from American Idol.  None of us are really prepared for Gary.  Gary is in charge of the American Idol attraction and has more energy than a truck load of Red Bull.  He is funny, loud, and friendly, and he has our end of the table in stitches the whole time he’s there. 

Another amazing meal ends, and we all head back to the sneak peek at the American Idol attraction.  Shhhhh!  I can’t say much, but I think this is going to be a lot of fun for everyone who has the chance to participate in the attraction. 

Exhausted and excited, we head back to our rooms, but just like nearly everything this trip so far, Disney is not finished blowing us away yet!  I open my door, and inside, I find my very own welcome celebration!  A 3 foot Mickey Mouse rests on my bed, offering a large box full of goodies.  There are banners on my walls, a cookie bouquet, and I even spot Tinker Bell’s shadow sprinkling a little pixie dust over the whole room!  What an amazing end to another incredible day with the 2009 Walt Disney World Moms Panel!

   

Cookie Bouquet
Cookie Bouquet

   

Tinker Bell's Shadow
Tinker Bell

2009 Disney Moms Panel Does Day 2 at Disney Resorts

After the excitement of yesterday, sleep is a tough commodity to come by.  So when I receive my Stitch wake up call at You Cannot Seriously Mean I Have To Get Up Now-thirty, the old bones don’t jump quite as quickly as they probably should have for such an exciting day!

We are meeting this morning for breakfast in the convention center part of the Coronado Springs.  We are really conveniently located in the building most of us are in, and it’s just a few minutes walk to the room where we are meeting.  The buffet that they have for us is incredible.  We are treated to steak and eggs, hash browns, fresh fruit, and pastries that look like they would melt in your mouth.

Kay, sweet thing that she is, shares with us a tradition she has in her family.  It’s a Disney Dollars game, and we all come out of the game at least a dollar richer – some of us a little bit more!  What a fun game and a great tradition, and I’m so glad she shared it with all of us.  I don’t know that I could do it with my children, because their mother raised them so that one of them would win a larger prize, and the other two would spend the day plotting the richer child’s untimely demise.  I’m hopeful, though, that my grandchildren will be raised better and I can play the game with them!

Just after Kay’s game, Cathy stands up to announce that her family is unable to change their travel plans to stay the extra night at the Cinderella Castle Suite with her, and she is allowed to take 5 moms with her!  The excitement in the room is palpable, but then Doug withdraws his name from the race, so we refocus ourselves on the prize at hand – a night in the suite!

Everyone’s name – except Doug’s – is put in a hat, and 5 names are pulled out.  Kay, Diane L., Joanne, Tanya, and ME!!!  Not being an audible squeal kinda gal, I was surprised to hear one escape from my mouth, and turned to see if one of the Pop Warner cheerleaders had snuck up behind me.  Nope – the squeal was all mine!

Tanya, after winning the prize, opted to transfer her spot to Jo, so the Suite 6 of us are now set!  I don’t think it took more than 10 minutes for the phone chain to be activated, husbands and children were called; mothers and fathers were notified; brothers and sisters were let in on the news; and I’m sure there were a few of us phoning our 1st grade elementary school teachers to share the excitement with them (sorry, Sister Josepha, for not phoning you in the previous 38 years, but I had no real news to share until my name was drawn from that hat!). 

Finally, breakfast is over, the exciting news shared throughout the planet (after all, the Suite 6 are an international bunch!), and we are on our way for our resort tour!  This private transportation thing is going to spoil us from ever taking buses again!

Our first stop is at the All Stars so that we can see the family suites.  I hang back a little on that one, as we’ve stayed in the family suites before, quite by accident.  My experience in the suite occurred when someone at Disney assigned myself, my husband, and our three children to a room with a king size bed.  Granuaile was just a baby, and she would have been fine squeezing in with us, but having Brighid and Eilis in the bed with us as well would have forced us to stay up all night singing that song – “There were five in the bed, and the little one said….”.  Not willing to risk sleeplessness and getting that song stuck in my head for the duration of that particular vacation, we phoned the front desk, and were quickly reassigned to a family suite.  They are phenomenal options for a larger family looking for value accomodations!

When we leave the All Stars, we head to Caribbean Beach.  I have stayed here before, but we are being treated to a preview of the new Pirate themed rooms at the resort!  Even though we are DVC owners, these might be worth a night or two!  My girls would LOVE the pirate ship beds! 

When we stayed at CBR, Eilis got sick, so I spent the first two days with her in bed with a fever.  By the time she was well, we played catch up at the parks, and never got time to go to the pool.  I don’t know how long this has been here, but the children’s water play area is fantastic – like what they have at Vero Beach. 

I know my kids would spend hours here.

The next stop on our tour is the samples of the two DVC resorts currently being sold.  We already own Animal Kingdom Villas, but I am so excited to have the chance to see the sample of the Bay Lake Towers rooms!  They do not disappoint!  The rooms are chic, with extra space at the table and a pull out pantry!  Oh yes, a pull out pantry!  I LOVE that!

       

Gee, all these pictures of Bay Lake Towers almost feels like a sales pitch to me.  I wonder if my husband is reading???

Once we are through with our DVC tour, we head to the Contemporary for lunch at The Wave.  I love the look and feel of this restaurant, and the private room is very nice.  I’d love to do a party here!  I completely enjoy my lunch selections, although reviews from around the table are a bit hit and miss.  Leaving The Wave, we are free to do whatever we’d like, so I head with a few of the moms to EPCOT.  Once there, we split up, with some of the group going to hit the rides, and another group heading to Mouse Gears to do some holiday shopping.  I’m in the shopping group, and pick up some stocking stuffers for the girls and some flannel PJs for me.  Gotta love flannel – it’s the new sexy.

I head back on the bus with Tanya, Whitney, and Jennifer – my first bus ride at Disney!  I have time now to take a few notes so I can blog when I get home (aren’t you glad I wasted that time like I did?) and pick up a few things in the gift shop for Ann and Brighid for Christmas.  If only there was enough time for a nap…..