As I mentioned in my last post, we decided about a month before our cruise to stay the night in Disney World the day we got back, instead of getting off the ship at 8am and then driving the 9-10 hours home. So after leaving Port Canaveral we drove straight to our resort for the night, the All Star Music Resort. This is a value resort and we scored a pool-view preferred room for the lowest rate since we were late bookers. Although check-in technically wasn't until 3pm, our room was ready around 10 or 11 and we were able to go ahead and get checked in, which was great!
(And by the way, even if your room isn't ready early, if you are booked for that night at a resort, they will hold your bags for you and allow you to eat, use the pools, etc. At least that is what I was told!)
Here's the view from our room. The pool was awesome! And the kiddie pool was perfect for my kids.
We quickly changed into our swimming gear and went for a dip.
We were closest to the Goofy pool but there is a piano-shaped pool with an Ariel statue too, which was a short walk down the path, and Chad took the older two to get their pictures made with Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian. (I think statues are just about as exciting as the real thing!)
We grabbed a to-go lunch in the hotel's cafe and took it back to the room, where we ate, got baths and then NAPPED! All 5 of us napped blissfully from about 1pm to 5pm. It was the BEST sleep. I guess I was more worn out from the cruise than I thought. Then it was time to get up and head to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! The party was open from 7pm to midnight for ticket-holders only. This is a separate (and cheaper!) ticket than a regular park ticket. I found out later that they actually let people in for the party at 4pm; I didn't really read that much or prepare that much for this party because I knew we had gotten our fill as far as character experiences go, so we were really just going to ride the rides and see the sights.
The kids wore their Hallo-Minnie and FrankenMickey shirts that I made for the cruise and we donned our Magic Bands and off we went!
It's no secret that I love all things fall and Halloween (not the scary parts but just the pumpkins, trick or treating, fun costumes, endless mini Kit-Kats, etc.) so I was beyond excited to see all the fall decorations. Disney never disappoints, no matter the season. Even the entry gates were decked out!
This was our first time driving to the park and it was a breeze. The trolley carts were running non-stop and the parking areas are marked by different characters. My kids were thrilled to find out we were in the "Villains" section and our villain was Evil Emperor Zurg from Toy Story. :)
Ready to go!
One thing I didn't think about last time we went to Disney was the fact that it wasn't quite daylight savings time back in February. This go 'round we were able to see the prettiest evening sky over the Magic Kingdom, which made our time there even more magical. It was gorgeous! Our view on the Dumbo ride was spectacular.
Not sure what's going on with Mary Ella's face here, but oh well.
Flying high on Dumbo
Little Miss was less than a year old on our last trip so it was so much fun to watch her this time. She sat in most of the kiddie rides by herself and pointed at everything.
Since most of the people there were obviously there to see characters and/or trick-or-treat, we flew through ride after ride after ride with no lines whatsoever. I'm talking not even a 2 minute wait on anything, with the exception of the Haunted Mansion, obviously due to the Halloween-loving crowd. We waited a whole 20 minutes for that one. :)
Here's a photo to show you just how vacant the rides were. If you've been to Disney you know that normally even the carousel is full of people. We were practically alone.
We even walked right onto Ariel's Voyage Under the Sea, which I'm pretty sure we waited for-EV-er for on our February trip (they weren't offering Fast Passes for this on the days we were there.)
And speaking of Fast Passes, they don't offer them at this party. Obviously because they aren't needed.
The Haunted Mansion was extra spooky and they even had a ghost lady out on the front lawn entertaining those waiting in line. I think she was supposed to be the wife of the man who lived in the mansion? See, I did no research. But someone will know the answer.
After riding our way through Fantasyland and new Fantasyland we headed to Frontier Land. We were walking down the path and heard music blaring from inside the lodge next to Pecos Bill's so we went inside to see what was going on, and lo and behold it was Woody and Jessie dancing! We were so surprised by this and of course the kids were so happy to not have to stand in line. There were maybe 10 or so other kids on the dance floor and that's it. Woody attempted to dance with all my kids and they were all 3 sort of shy, but we did get some cute pictures. He came up and played Peek-a-Boo with Emma Kate and had her laughing. Then Jessie came up to her later and kept touching her nose and to this day whenever EK sees Jessie or a picture of her, she'll say, "Jessie got my nose!" It was sweet.
This was a huge bonus for us because on the cruise there weren't any Pixar characters.
We watched the Mickey's Boo-To-You Parade right in front of the castle and I didn't get any good pictures with the weird lights and all. After the parade it was 11pm and we headed to Tomorrow Land. Chad rode Space Mountain and then we found another dance party right outside. This time it was Mike and Sully from Monsters, Inc. We let the kids say hello and then headed to the Buzz Lightyear ride.
Our last "character" greeting of the night was Evil Emperor Zurg (a statue.)
My kids love being able to get in the "cage" with him.
As usual, the staff members were so friendly and handed out candy and stickers left and right.
And for some reason the Asian crowd had a fixation with Emma Kate. I had tons of Asian tourists (non English speaking) come up and look at her, try to make her laugh, etc. I never really figured this out. I was able to get a picture right before we left.
Best family picture we could get in front of the castle. The parade is going on behind us.
The kids were such troopers for staying up until midnight for our final "hoorah."
Little Miss was dead asleep before we could even board our trolley to the parking lot.
We had the best time and I would highly recommend checking out the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party if you are planning a trip for September or October! Loads of fun!
And this (finally) concludes our Disney Dream Vacation!
See ya real soon!
See all my Disney posts here.