It was magical. Thats how I felt watching the fireworks burst over Disney’s Castle at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, FL. Magic is what Disney and in this case, Mickey does best at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas.
I took a trip with my sister’s family to Walt Disney World to get in the Christmas spirit. It was my first time at Magic Kingdom as an adult and it was quite the experience.
We were only there for one night – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. I had no expectations about lines or food or kids running around. Usually, the world is my amusement park – I love visiting cities like Seattle and LA. So trading in hiking and skyscrapers for Mickey ears and roller coasters is new to me.
Dressing Up for Mickey:
But it’s not new to everyone. From the moment we were in the parking lot – we saw the outfits and the Mickey ears and the t-shirts. This was a costume party and everyone couldn’t wait to meet their host – Mickey.
Even some of my favorite Chicago bloggers were going to Disney for the holidays.
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Based on our Insta feed, we know that quite a few Chicagogrammers were getting their Mickey on this week (our very own, @thehungarybuddha, for one!). Here's @alyssazeet_ sporting some serious Disney style, and now we all wish we were there living the magic! #santagrammers #chicagogrammers #tuesdaytravels . . . . #disney #magickingdom #disneymagic
But let me tell you, it took parking, a transit corral, and from there a train or a boat, and then a finger scan – yes they scanned our finger – to get into this party. Writing this makes me think the experience was similar to a James Bond film in slow motion. Que Trey Songz.
I think the Magic began on the boat when I saw the Disney castle. I don’t know if it was seeing Beauty and The Beast this year but I became a little girl inside seeing the iconic castle.
If You’re Going to Wing It – Here’s a ProTip:
From the moment you scan your finger, you enter into this magical space.
The first thing we did was read an article to with tons of tips. One of those tips was to make sure we had a plan. We had no plan unlike this guy. The other was to get the Disney Parks app. It tells you vital information like wait time for rides and for people like me who walk in the wrong direction, it’s the Google Maps for Disney.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party started at 7 pm but you could enter as early as 4 pm.
When we got to the theme park, we started with an easy ride – Swiss Family Treehouse – which is like walking in a well-built tree house. There was no wait and we got to see a great view of the Disney Castle. If you haven’t read the book, The Swiss Family Robinson about the shipwrecked family – it’s kind of fascinating. It goes in depth in how they used their resources on the island to survive.
Next, was dinner time! You could tell the theme park was probably at half the capacity because we could grab a table and eat with little commotion. They shutdown the park early for regular guests so that there were less crowds. Pro tip: you can bring your own food into Disney and I highly reccomend it, but also the Lobster Roll was on point.
Waiting in Line:
We then walked to our first ride – the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – where you drop and turn through a haunted gold mining town. I was with my 5 year old nephew and we were so close to being next in line when he had to go to the bathroom. This is the part where I emphasize with parents taking kids to Disney. The wait time during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas was fantastic. We literally only waited 10 minutes to go on rides. I cants imagine having to wait for an hour and then your kid had a bathroom emergency.
So, this is the part where I go on my first roller coaster this year and I’m so glad my nephew wasn’t there to hear me scream (some obscenities). Honestly, right turns, dark tunnels and the fear of the unknown had me dropping more f*bombs.
My nephew and his dad came back and we were ready for round two. Well, this was my nephew’s first roller coaster and he didn’t like it.
So, after that, we had to think of something besides rides. We tried to get him on the Magic Carpet ride but it was too soon. I personally loved the Magic Carpet ride. We got to fly pretty high but the speed was slower so it was like a horizontal Ferris Wheel. It was low key and nice.
The Mickey Parade:
Up next, we went back to the Disney castle and saw the end of the Mickey show. One of the biggest events of the night was the Mickey parade. We waited with tired kids and rows of strollers and then it began. There were flips. There was the muffin man and Snow White. There was Aladdin and the Beast. And last but not least, there was Santa reading off names of boys and girls. Everyone was happy – all the performers had an extra bounce in their step and a forever smile on their face.
Fireworks Over The Disney Castle:
We finished the night in Tomorrowland at an underwhelming car ride. Our lips were blue from the free blue snow cones and we caught a second wave of energy from the dancing polar beers. We walked past the spinning tea cups and met back at the Disney Castle with a fireworks finale. The streets were lined and the iPhones we’re up as the Disney Castle lit up with shooting fireworks. My nephew was tired and so were a lot of kids at 10 pm. As we headed towards the exit and I saw the last firework fade, snow started falling from the sky. I still get goosebumps thinking about that moment. Thinking about how perfect and magical it felt.
We followed the parents who were walking with their kids fast asleep and hanging onto them. We took the ferry and then as we went on the trolley back to our car my nephew out his hands up in the air like we were on a rollercoaster.
We finished the night at the 24 hour drive thru Starbucks for some hot cocoa and then fell asleep too fast.
Disney: Why It’s The Happiest Place:
When I woke up the next morning, I hoped into the jacuzzi and thought about this experience – Disney is magical because your smile is met with a smile and everyone’s nice. Imagine a world where everyone is nice. Nice is nice.
I hope you spread the Magic this year where ever you are. To wear that velvet blue dress or red skirt and to wear it with arms that reach out and help someone with their bags and lips that smile back at a passerby, and patience in a time when there’s too many parties, too many gifts and not enough alone time and sanity.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I’m thankful for all of you – my loyal readers and inspiration and party goers. Let me know if there’s something I can do to make your spirits bright!
Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.