Today we did what they do NOT say you should do before attending one of the Magic Kingdom’s ticketed parties: We got up and went to a park for rope drop. But we felt we probably should go see Hollywood Studios at least once on our trip, even if it was only grudgingly. We started with a boat ride—always the best part of any trip to DHS!
When we got to Hollywood Studios, we did the usual drill and skipped Toy Story Mania (since we have our own at Disneyland) and went straight to Rock n Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror. (OK, technically we have a TOT too, but ours isn’t as good!)
Little did we know (well, OK, maybe I had an idea) the next time we were here we’d be at our anniversary party shooting pix with the Roots in these very locations!
With those two rides under our belts we wandered around trying to think of something to fill the time until our lunch reservation at the Brown Derby. Disney thought maybe it would be a good idea if we went shopping…
Well you’re never going to believe this, but we got the very same lackluster tour guide we got when we rode TGM a year before! You’d think the intervening months would have given him ample time to hone his technique, but they may actually have made him a little bit worse…
Actually, I was glad we went on the ride cuz Patrick got a bunch of great, empty shots of Munchkinland that I could use to show where you can have a party inside the Great Movie Ride!
Muppet*Vision 3-D was popular at that time cuz it had just received a new digital print. Unfortunately, new digital print + old smeared glasses = same crummy experience as before.
Finally it was time to go lurk in the lobby of Brown Derby for 20 minutes hoping to get seated early cuz we had nothing else to do.
We had the place to ourselves, got a great server, and really enjoyed our meal. For kicks, I’d ordered a “podium cake” when we checked in just to see if the cakes at Hollywood Studios were closer to those at the MK or the EasyBake Oven variety served at many places in Epcot—all part of my obsession with cake at Walt Disney World. (For the uninitiated, a podium cake is one of the generic, supermarket-style cakes you can order on the spot at any Disney restaurant just by asking at the podium when you get there.) At some point, someone asked us if we wanted anything written on the cake and I’d replied, “Oh, I dunno… how about ‘Bon Voyage’?” because it was our last full day at Disney.
Well, bless their hearts, the staff at the Brown Derby took this to mean we were celebrating some grand occasion. When the cake finally appeared at the end of the meal, it was all done up fancy-like with flowers and a candle, and it was accompanied by two free glasses of Champagne! On top of that, our server took our picture and put it in a little commemorative card for us to take home. We felt like huge impostors and totally unworthy of all that attention!
And, for those of you keeping score at home, the cake turned out to be identical to the kind they serve at the Magic Kingdom.
The day was still young (wait—can a day be young, or just a night?) but we had to start heading back to our room to get ready for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Except-For-the-Sticker-Shock Halloween Party. This was another great excuse to ride a boat!
And now, my “Ode to a Friendship Boat”…
Oh, Friendship Boat, I love you so
You take me everywhere I want to go
With a chipper skipper and a horn that toots
Romantic like a carriage, minus the horse doots!
On the way back, we stopped off at the Swolphin to shoot some of their wedding venues. These are an economical alternative for people who have large guest lists but can’t afford a Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding or want more flexibility. The Swan even has a beach you can get married on.
This venue is called Crescent Terrace—I was surprised how close it is to the walkway and the waterway, but maybe the trees shield you from prying eyes…
We also stopped in at Garden Grove, which I’d never seen in person before and is every bit as cool as it looks in photos.
The West Terrace is a good venue for smaller parties. It’s right below the guest rooms just like the Wedding Gazebo at the Yacht Club, but somehow I don’t think you get as many people hanging out on their balconies to watch your ceremony.
When we got to our room at the Beach Club we discovered out first towel…uh… thing!
Also in our room was the Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings purse I’d ordered from the Disney Florist and had delivered at the last minute when I realized I had no place in my Haunted Mansion Bride costume to carry my ID, room key, etc. It worked great and even went with my costume!