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!