OK, so, to bring you up to speed… Decade of Dreams is a year-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of PassPorter’s Walt Disney World guidebook. They are holding multiple celebrations around the country in 2009, but the WDW leg was special because it fell on the actual anniversary of the release of the first PassPorter. That anniversary party was ostensibly the reason for my last-minute trip to WDW, but, let’s face it—we all know I was there for the desserts.
So the kick-off event for the WDW leg was the check-in at Aloha Isle (a.k.a. the Dole Whip stand) in Adventureland. I was signed on to co-host the event, which I thought meant I would be bustling around with an official-looking clipboard, checking off names, and fielding pressing questions. I got there a little early and stood in the shade, melting quietly to myself. (Seriously, it was the kind of hot where you can be standing in the shade perfectly still and you’re still sweating from places you didn’t know you had.)
Gradually other people started to drift over, look around cautiously, and then practically whisper, “Are you… with PassPorter?” until we had a big enough group toting a reasonable number of blue guidebooks that we were easily identifiable. However, my VIP dreams faded when my boss Dave commandeered the only clipboard and began efficiently checking people in without any need of assistance. He kindly invented a job for me as Lanyard Passer-Outer, which I took very seriously. Not only did everyone get one, some people got more than one, as did a few random passersby and inanimate objects.
Fortunately my pal and fellow PassPorter author Cheryl Pendry is quite the shutterbug, so I will steal a couple of her shots for you:
I’ve met a lot of people from the online Disney fan community over the last year, but never so many all at once! It was fun putting faces with screen names (which Jennifer and Dave had helpfully put on our badges) and getting to meet in person. This was also my first time meeting Jennifer in person, even though we’ve been working together on PassPorter’s e-books for more than two years!
After everyone checked in, we made our way out to the Hub, where Cheryl had arranged for a PhotoPass CM to take a group shot of us. This was accomplished through much shuffling and squooshing and squinting in the sun.
I had to steal a this shot from another PassPorter cuz I wasn’t paying no $14.95 to download the actual photo from PhotoPass.
The next item on the agenda was a trivia/scavenger hunt thingie, but a lot of us pooped out due to the heat. I decided I’d just go on one ride and then make tracks for my hotel room, so off I went to Haunted Mansion. What a treat! Besides being blessedly cool and dark, it’s pretty much the awesomest ride ever.
This was my only day scheduled for the MK, so it was kind of depressing that I was letting the heat drive me out of the park so early. I remembered that a Mickey’s PhilharMagic do-over was on my To Do list in honor of Jensey and my friend Spanky. It’s their favorite attraction in the MK, but the only time I’d ever seen it I had been so tired from our 5am Magic Kingdom photo shoot that I fell asleep. So I wanted to give it another try.
As I settled into my seat, the bored-looking grandpa next to me asked Grandma if this was one he could sleep through, and I assured him it had definitely been done (but encouraged him to give it a try first). I really enjoyed Mickey’s PhilharMagic this time! I’m no great fan of shows, and movies are only one step higher in my estimation, but how can you go wrong with 3D and Disney’s greatest hits?
After the show I stopped in the gift shop to blog a bit. It’s one of the only end-of-ride gift shops I’m interested in cuz it’s all about Donald, and Donald is my “OK, if I have to pick a favorite Disney character and it has to be one of the Fab Five” pick cuz he has the most personality. And Donald always makes me think of DISer Wazzo, cuz she’s a real Donald fan.
Now Wazzo is getting married in Japan at Epcot in July, and when she was looking around for an alternative to a veil, she found a beautiful Japanese headpiece called a kanzashi:
However, that day I discovered something that I think would be even better bridal headgear for a diehard Donald fan like Wazzo:
I mean, it’s white and everything!
I was completely useless after expending all my brainpower on this stroke of genius, so I wandered around Fantasyland snapping crappy photos like these…
I tried to get some good shots of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but once again I found that just because you are looking at a good shot doesn’t mean it will turn out as a good shot on film, er, pixels…? (I have the same problem with drawing—somewhere between my eyeballs and my hand the message gets scrambled, cuz what comes out on paper looks like it was done by monkeys!)
Since nothing very interesting was happening at that point for me to write about, how about I throw in some of the photos I took earlier in the day but was too embarrassed to post up near the Roots’ photos?
“Clang, clang, clang went the trolley…”
“Ding, ding, ding, it’s hot as hell!”
“Zing, zing, zing went my hamstrings as we tripped on some horse doots and fell…”
I think because of Magic Music Days they had a school band marching down Main Street, so I hopped into the crowd of proud parents to get a few pictures.
Whoohoo – go bells! This was me in junior high:
Hardest working members of the band right there. People think it’s the bass drummer, but all that kid has to do is thump away at a big drum. The bells players have to carry 30lbs of metal and hit all the right notes.
And then came my marching-band arch nemeses… the flag girls!
In our band they would march down the sides, and I was constantly getting whacked in the hat or the shoulder with a flag pole!
The last thing on my To Eat list for the Magic Kingdom was some of the fudge at the Main Street Candy Shop. I dunno if it’s the same as the fresh fudge they recently stopped selling at Disneyland, but since people make such a fuss about that stuff, I thought I’d better try the MK’s while I could.
Flavors I got: Chocolate, Oreo, Butterfinger, Peanut Butter, Celebrate Today Flavor (vanilla with cake pieces) and S’mores. They hooked me with the “buy four, get two free” scam. I mean, it can’t be real pricing ‘cuz that would mean that four pieces of fudge cost almost EIGHTEEN DOLLARS! I’m used to overpaying at Disney, but this one made me cranky. Let me save you a $20 bill by giving you my foolproof recipe for fudge that beats the pants off Disney’s:
Dottie’s Prize-Winning Marshmallow Creme Fudge
1 jar Marshmallow Creme
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup margarine (not butter!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (or peanut butter, butterscotch, etc.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I skip these)
1 teaspoon vanilla
In medium saucepan combine marshmallow creme, sugar, milk, margarine and salt over medium heat. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and stir until morsels are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in chopped nuts and vanilla. Pour into greased 8-inch square pan and chill until firm.
Now where were we..? Oh yes!
Sometimes people on the DIS Cake Thread ask about ordering chocolate-covered strawberries. I was pleased to see you can get them right in the MK, and the smaller portion makes them more affordable.
(And ladies, if you’re not ready to say “I do,” simply eat the evidence—it’ll be like he never asked!)
As I was leaving the MK, it looked like some heavy stuff was going down on Main Street:
From there I whizzed back to Pop Century for a quick shower and a change before dinner and Christin’s cocktail hour. I’m a little rusty on the wedding etiquette, but I think major B.O. is probably still frowned upon. On my way back to my room I spotted the Hare of the Baskervilles. Unfortunately, he also spotted me (dang those glowing demon eyes!) and twitched his nose menacingly before loping into the bushes.