Tuesday, September 27, 2016


We got to sleep in this morning, and the beds were just right for doing that.  So was the room, in general.  There weren't too many people walking by outside, so the room was pretty ideal.  And the location was perfect too - we were very close to the pool and the main entrance, as well as our parking lot where the car is.  As the event doesn't start until 4:00 pm, we had quite a bit of time to relax today.  Daddy made his traditional trek down to get some tea and breakfast as well - we got some Mickey Waffles!  These were gluten-free so that Mommy could enjoy them as well.  Even at the All-Star Value Resort, there is a chef that takes good care of allergy needs.  We enjoyed breakfast, and then we enjoyed the pool too - Mommy spent time laying out, while Daddy and Madison explored the pool.  

We got ready to go at 2:30 or so, and as you can see here, Madison was dressed as Rey, and ready to go!

We were going to meet the rest of the family at the Magic Kingdom, but Mommy was having some tummy troubles.  It didn't look that good for us, to be honest.  But we asked our friends at home to pray, and within an hour, things seemed to right themselves a bit.  Mommy was well enough to go with us, and that's all we really wanted.  We'd catch up with the rest of the family soon enough though.

Here's Madison at the Transportation Center that's there at the Seven Seas Lagoon.  We were waiting for Mommy a little there, and you know something?  It was just fine that we were a little behind on the schedule.  Madison was fine, and it was going to be a great night.  It helped to know we'd be coming back the next day, so there was no stress - no worries!

We got on the monorail, and made our way over to the Magic Kingdom.  We went through the lines checking bags and getting our bracelets.  See Madison's pumpkin-shaped bag?  We got that at the Disney Store so she could collect candy in it.  She loved that thing tonight.

So we got there to the entrance inside the park at exactly 5:00.  And we had no idea they do this, but at that time, they lower the American flag at the front of the park.

Here's Madison and Mommy during the ceremony.  And yes, it was a ceremony.  You see, we all did the Pledge of Allegiance.  And then they played the National Anthem.  We took off our hats, and nobody kneeled as it played - because nobody there was ignorant.  As the Dapper Dans sang "God Bless America," the flag was treated with great care, folded, and handed to a veteran who was visiting the park.  It was amazing and reverent, and we're so glad we saw this.  Given the State of the Union currently, something like this was so refreshing.  It lifted our spirits to see people proud to live in this country, and proud of the flag.

We would have missed this if we weren't late.  So to that extent, we were pretty grateful.  We were marching up Main Street though, and we had a mission.  We entered Adventureland, and we were looking for the rest of the family.  We caught up with them at "Pirates of the Caribbean," and there was a happy reunion.  We rode that ride together, saw Davy Jones, and made our way around to the Haunted Mansion after this, skipping by Frontierland for the time being (Madison, Mommy and Daddy will be there a lot tomorrow).

You have to go to the Haunted Mansion on this night.  It was fun, and the line wasn't so bad either.  We had a great time going on this one together, continuing the tradition that will no doubt continue for a few more years.  One note though:  tonight's event was SOLD OUT.  It's not even October yet, and the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was sold out.  This means it was crowded.  And in our opinion, a little too crowded.  There were lines for a couple pieces of candy, and these lines were really long.  One line stretched from the paddle boat, up the hill, turning the corner, following the river all the way back almost to the shooting gallery.  This was a long, long line.  For a tiny bit of candy.

Tonight is the night where stations are set up to get candy, and we did get to that.  But first, we rode on "It's a Small World" together, naming all the countries as we went along.  After that, Ye-Ye wanted to check out the new part of Fantasyland while it was still light outside.  So we made our way back towards the back part of the kingdom.

Here's Belle's Castle, up against a sunset that was gorgeous tonight.  We were able to jump right on the Little Mermaid ride here, which turned out to be fun.  It also was one of the last things we did together as a large group.  The other family members were hungry, and some wanted to go on the Snow White Roller Coaster.  So Madison, Mommy and Daddy went back towards Adventureland, doing a bit of trick-or-treating along the way.  That one line was shorter this time, and on top of that we discovered a few places that had more candy than others.  The Tiki Room had two candy stops inside.  As the birds looked down on us (and the flowers crooned), we got some candy... and then got back in line again to go get more!  By evening's end, our bags were full!

The primary reason for heading back there was the Magic Carpet ride, which we were again able to walk right on.  We did that, and for the first time got sprayed with water from the giant golden camel there.  I had NO idea that thing shot out water at the passing carpet riders!  Nevertheless, we got hit, and of course Madison loved that.

We still had a little time to go, so we did a few other things in Fantasyland.  Daddy wanted to do the Peter Pan ride (we all did), so we waited in line for that one.  It was a longer wait, but the new line is so creative and fun - and cooler.  The temperature was pretty humid outside.  Of course, the ride itself is simply magical.  So nice!

We were running out of time, but we did want to see a few more things in Fantasyland before we left.  One of those was the carousel.  Here's Madison astride one of the horses, next to Mommy and Daddy who were seated in one of those chairs that allows you to simply sit through the ride.  Mommy was weak from her earlier troubles, so this was a perfect thing to do as the evening was winding down.

And after this, we figured we'd best head to the front of the castle to see the show we were wanting to see.  Other rides could wait for tomorrow, but the line for the Teacups was too short to pass up.  Yes, Daddy braved the Disney Dizziness, and the two of us spun like mad.  I love this picture here:

Yeah, that was great.  For some reason, I didn't turn out as dizzy as I should have.  And believe me, I was grateful for that.  Anyway, we used the restroom that was right there, said hello to Alice, and found a place in front of the castle to enjoy a show we were anxious to see:

Yes, we finally saw the Sanderson Sisters.  They first showed up at the parks for this show last year, but Mommy's a big fan of the movie, and you know something?  Madison and Daddy like it too.  We found this perfect spot to see the show, a place where we didn't have to worry about crowding, or Madison not having a view.  There was a fence to lean on in front of us, and things were on the side - but at the same time no crowds, no taller people in front of us, and we were pretty close.  We got there early, so this spot worked out really well for us.  

Yeah, the whole cast of villains was there to help the Sisters celebrate.  We snapped a lot of great pictures, and really enjoyed the show.  When we get home, odds are we'll watch a recording of it someone posted on social media.  It's just fun, and gets you into the season.

The fireworks are at the end, and then there are even more after that.  We're talking about the Hallowishes fireworks show, which is just incredible.  For the third time, we saw that blaze across the night sky, all the way to the thrilling end.  But this time, by the show's end, we were at Sleepy Hollow, our traditional place to see the parade.  Because tonight was sold out, we thought it would be best to get in our spots to see the parade along the line, that way we wouldn't have to worry about crowds and so forth.  

It worked out really well.  Here comes the Headless Horseman again, probably looking for a place to see the parade himself - only there aren't any spots.  The crowd was immense again.

This year's parade was like the last one we saw, which is to say it's our favorite seasonal parade they have.  It's got this insanely catchy tune "Boo To You," one that gets stuck in your head for four weeks, that is, until Christmas season comes round again.  

The characters are great, the floats are great, and there's so much fun.  The gravediggers are easily the highlight for Mommy and Daddy, although all the costumed characters are lots of fun.  Anastasia, Cinderella's sister, came up to Madison to give her a high five... and then fooled Madison, quickly drawing her hand back and making fun of her.  Villains: what can you do?

As always, there were pirates, there were cowboys, and there was the big candy floats - although they don't throw out candy like they used to.  Also, the candy is no longer the end part of the parade.  The final part of the parade is now made up of all the villains, including one of Daddy's favorites:

It's the Bowler Hat Guy!  This is easily my favorite costume.  This character was fantastic, marching right alongside the other villains.  We cheered loudly for him, and for this one at the end of the parade:

The Evil Queen signified that the evening was drawing to an end, just as the parade was.  It was just great as it always is.  The crowds prevented us from doing a little more than we usually do, but on the whole the evening was great fun.  Madison loved it, and Daddy and Mommy had a great time too.

Though we never once made it to Tomorrowland (again, it was too crowded), we know we'll be there tomorrow.  I'm sure we missed something related to the Not-So-Scary Party, but you can't see it all, especially when there are so many other people there.  And we were content to see the Spelltacular show in front of the castle with the Sanderson Sisters.  Speaking of the castle, here's one parting shot Daddy took as we left the Sleepy Hollow side of things.

We made our way out the front gates, that song still stuck in our heads: "Boo to you..."  We rode the steamboat across the lake, and then the tram car to "Hook," where we got in our car, and drove back to the All Star Music Resort.  The signs directing you back there are non-existent (I guess because it's a Value Resort), so we had to do some backtracking.  But we got back nonetheless, and got there pretty late.  We were so tired, we didn't even pile up the candy to look at our loot this time.  We just dropped in our beds, and were asleep pretty quick.  It was a really packed day, full of fun and spooky adventure!

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