Day 2: Diamond Horseshoe Brunch! Cinderella Castle Suite Tour! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Today was the second day of D23’s Magic & Merriment event, and it was almost more jammy packed with events than the first day!

Looks like we rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures before brunch!

Favorite part of the ride…

There was already a line at the Diamond Horseshoe, but we weren’t too far back this time. The instant they opened the doors, a line formed at the buffet. I dashed to the front to grab a table while Patrick hopped in line and started shooting.

What we didn’t know was that in addition to the clammy cold cuts in front of us, off to the side under the balcony were pulled pork sandwiches, soggy Monte Cristo sandwiches, Walt’s Chili, and (my favorite) Elias Disney’s Irish Cheddar soup.

For dessert there were Butterfinger tartlets and pecan tartlets, lemon squares, Mickey bars and Mickey ice cream sandwiches, and… some kinda pumpkin somethin’…

This was a red-letter day for me: I finally tried that classic Disney dessert the Mickey Bar. I’d always assumed they’d be that grainy, cheap vanilla ice cream with a thin layer of waxy chocolate-flavored coating—definitely not worth the five bucks, or whatever Disney’s charging these days. But since D23 was giving ’em away for free, I figured I’d see what the fuss was about. OH MY GOODNESS! Now I know why everyone’s always talking about these! The ice cream was really creamy and the chocolate was so rich and delicious! We grabbed four more to take back to the room with us…

(Mickey Bar not pictured)

While we were eating, Becky or maybe Jeffrey or maybe both got up on stage and told us about the day’s itinerary. They also gave away the chance to be Grand Marshal in the parade (why do I never think to look *under* the seats when I’m choosing a place to sit?). We didn’t stay long after we’d finished eating because we had a date with the Roots for a photo shoot at Bay Lake Tower!

After we bid the Roots farewell for a couple of hours (til our dinner reservation at California Grill), we changed our clothes and sprinted off to the Magic Kingdom for our D23 Cinderella Castle Suite tour.

Still running…

Where we were headed

They kept us cooling our heels in the tunnel while the group before ours ran long, so we added to our voluminous collection of Dorthea Redmond mosaic photos.

The door is on the right hand side just inside the passageway as you’re entering from Main Street (IF you’re entering from Main Street—is it ever *not* blocked off?)

I "C" my initial in the door!

At last, the door opened and the previous group was slowly pushed out, their fingers clawing at the doorjamb and heels digging into the carpet.

Our turn!

I can’t remember how many of us there were—maybe 8?—but the reason the group was so small is that the suite is so small. This anteroom is where the 24-hour attendant hangs out, ready to service the every whim of the family of pin sharks who kept winning nights in the suite during Disney’s (two) Year(s) of a Million Dreams contest. (Pin sharks: “Less toilet paper!!!”).

"OK, you pin sharks, the toilet is there for a REASON!"

Now, The Roots had earlier taken what I consider to be the definitive photos of the Cinderella Castle Suite, so I’ll sprinkle theirs in with ours just so you can see how absolutely gorgeous the place is when you see it through your eyeballs and not just the lens of our point-and-shoot camera.

After telling us, basically, DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING, the guide lead us into the elaborate elevator. This is the most awesome elevator you will ever ride because it’s actually a tiny gallery, complete with display cases and REAL Mary Blair concept art!

None of us wanted to get out of the elevator cuz we were still ooooohing and aaaaahing over everything in it, but then the door slid back to reveal THIS!

I was dying to swipe some of this stationery for Jensey!

This magical portrait can show you Cinderella or, like, ESPN SportsCenter…

The bedroom is nice, but the sitting room is where I’d be hanging out. The afternoon light made it so inviting!

Why look, they put my initial up in honor of my visit!

The bathroom is the pièce de résistance. You see a lot of photos of the spa tub, with its beautiful light-up starry-night ceiling, but the rest of the place ain’t too shabby either…

The Imagineers thought it would be funny if every time you looked in the bathroom mirror, you saw a couple of tourists…

Towel Art: Is it a glass slipper? Or a bird wearing Groucho Marx glasses?

The Royal Throne

I wanna disco tub too!

They even put out a towel for me!

When our time was up, they stuffed us back into the elevator and sent us on our way.

"Hope you enjoyed it, cuz you'll never get in here again!"

We went around the back and tried to spot the sitting room windows.

The Cinderella Castle Suite tour was definitely the highlight of D23’s Magic & Merriment event for us. It’s just a shame there’s no way any of us will ever get to stay there.

We skipped out on D23’s reserved viewing section for the first showing of the Christmas parade so we could have dinner with the Roots, but we figured we might as well pop in to the rest of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to see what all the fuss was about. As it turned out, we ended up shutting the place down!

We accidentally caught the tail end of the parade, so Patrick grabbed a few shots. I knew I was coming back with The Roots in a few days, so photos weren’t really a priority. Hence this shot:

Goody two-shoes that I am, I can only imagine how freaky this parade would be if you were totally baked…

I mean, really, in a certain light it’s like something out of a nightmare. Goofy’s Candy Company, indeed—that thing looks like a child-snatching machine!

"Come into my house, little child...."

Now these guys are definitely baked!

"I love you, man!"

"And I love YOU guys, and YOU guys, and YOU guys..."

"Dude, are those Cheetos?"

I think after that it snowed, but this is the only shot where you can see it…

Then the special “Believe in the Magic of Holiday Season-time Dreams” fireworks happened—amazing! Definitely the best fireworks show we’d ever seen in the Magic Kingdom. (Root pix of this can be found HERE!)

After the show, we shuffled toward Liberty Square to check out the D23 hospitality suite aboard the Liberty Belle. I was looking forward to this cuz how cool is it to have a private party on that riverboat? Much cooler than my senior prom aboard Sacramento’s Delta King, that’s for sure—and that was MY dumb idea! Apologies, Class of ’94…

They had the queue area set up with tables and beverage stations, and all the food was aboard the boat.

The selection of treats was kinda disappointing—just sugar cookies and Rice Krispy-mas Trees

We were pounding back the drinks cuz, you know, they were free…

We were about to take off after seeing all there was to see (that’s right, we saw ALL there was to see at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 40 minutes), but we decided to do one ride before we left… and then another… and then another! We walked right on to Haunted Mansion, Small World, Autopia, the Peoplemover and Big Thunder. In between we went back to the D23 hospitality suite two or three more times because, hey, free Rice Krispy-mas Trees!

(I know you can't see anything—just guess where we were!)

Thanks—don't mind if I do!

Some sorta stage show in Tomorrowland

Whoa… Mike Wazowski is looking a tad unwell!

Still trying to get that shot from the Peoplemover

Space Mountain with the lights on!

Here's something you never see: Mickey with his mouth closed!

Ah, yes! Looks like we went back for more of these…

Finally they shooed us out of the Magic Kingdom, and that was the official end of D23’s 2009 Magic & Merriment event!

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