We finally went to see this yearís Christmas Fantasy Parade!
I know some folks like long trip reports (have a good time), and some folks don't (well, this one is long, you have been warned!)
We started off late! We live about an hour from DL, so we planned to leave about 3, be there about 4, stroll around, eat at Zocalo (not been there in years). Well, best laid plans of mice (no pun intended) and men sometimes run astray. We got away about 30 to 45 mins late (not too bad), and then ran into traffic which delayed us about another 30 mins (Oh boy, now dinner looks questionable).
Well, we pulled in the parking lot about 5, unloaded my scooter, went to the tram stop and loaded and left for DL. Got to the other side about 5:15 (did I mention that there were lots of people going in at the same time?) headed for security, long lines but smooth, but still took a few minutes. Got to the entrance plaza about 5 minutes later, turned the corner after the ticket booths and hit right in the face, every Disney Fan in the world was in line for DL, and not enough gates open to handle the people, and some people who did not like waiting in line, so they just took cuts (must be OK if you donít like waiting like the rest of us). Anyway, we got in about 5:50 (oh, well, no dinner at Zocalo if we want to see the parade). So I parked and my wife went towards Coke Corner for hot dogs (Oh, yummy, my favorite dinner ). She came back 15 or 20 mins later with corn dogs (it seems that all those folks in line to get in, went to Coke Corner for a hot dog). We ate our dinner (??) and waited for friends and the parade. Our friends got away late, and guess what, well, So. Cal freeways strike again, but at least the lines out front had gone down and they got there before the parade.
The parade was GREAT! We were right in front of the Fire Station so we had a real good place. It has been so long since Iíve seen the parade. Looks like they got some new costumes and changed some of the floats slightly. Really good! Oh, yeah, the Toy Soldiers did some of their drills right there, so that was an extra treat! Overall, we all really liked the parade and thought it worth the trouble we went through to get there.
Fireworks! Now we had to head Up Main Street to an area to see the Fireworks (did I mention the number of people there?). Friends hadnít had dinner yet so they took off and we agreed to meet at Coke Corner. Going up Main Street was, well, very difficult, but luckily I found a beverage re-supply cart to follow! SO I had a CM clearing the way for me and the beverage re-supply cart. Some folks didnít like it that I was moving against traffic, but so was the beverage cart, (Iím sorry, I really am), but at least the beverage cart was there with me. Did I mention that it is really claustrophobic being down on my scooter with people all around, (this is my firstt year at DL on a scooter). Now I can see what folks in wheelchairs and scooters and even kids in strollers go through in crowds, not something I would recommend, Iím glad some folks give just a little extra to those of us, down there.
Anyway, we finally got to Coke Corner, found our friends, and well the folks who were in line for hot dogs when my wife was there were still in line for hot dogs (or maybe it was a new bunch of folks ) so our friends had those wonderful gourmet corn dogs for dinner (donít get me wrong, I like corn dogs, but as a dinner substituteÖ Well??) By that time Main Street was a mess, shoulder to shoulder (butt to butt on the ground) and folks were leaving by the droves (how could so many people be leaving and still be anyone in the park??). They even opened the back way behind Main Street to let folks out, so folks going down the sidewalk, through the stores, and behind Main Street and still not enough capacity (where did all the folks come from??). Anyway, when it was close to fireworks time our friends decided to try to get to a better location to see them, but well, with my scooter and all we decided to just stay put, under the umbrella by the stairs in Coke Corner. Couldnít see much of the fireworks (saw a few glimpses, here and there, and heard the announcements, sounded interesting). One thing I did find odd, it seems that the announcer went from Main Street, to Adventureland, to NOS / Frontierland then to Critter Country, on to Tomorrowland, I didnít hear anything about Fantasyland (??). Did Fantasyland get missed in the tour around the park?? Or did I just miss it?? Anyway, seems like a nice show, maybe weíll try to get out there just for fireworks after the first of the year.
Friends finally got back to the table about 8:15 and we decided to go for dessert. Where to go?? Where to go?? Park too crowded, donít want ice cream or pretzels. Hey!! How about Storytellers? Great!! Inside, should be warm, sounds good. So we left (some of the crowds had died down, or so we thought!!). Got down Main Street OK, but then the tunnel was like a funnel. Finally got through there and headed for the gates. Whoops, no side gates open, another major traffic jam! It all works out.
BTW: I thought they used to open the big side gates when the park was closing?? They only had the front gates open, then not all of them. Anybody know why??
Long story longer, got to Storytellers, found that you could get a side of cookies (thatís what my wife and I had) and you could get the dessert part of the buffet (our friends had that). Anything goes good with a hot mocha! Good company, good visit, but all too soon time to go home. Then had to get up this AM (ohhhhhhh, too early). Our friends have a day and a half work, then off to WDW for a week (lucky them!!).
Anyway, we had a great time, not sure whey it was so crowded on a Wednesday night. Might be that DL closed at 6 (for cast parties) Monday and Tuesday evenings, so maybe more locals out Wednesday night. Even with the crowds (and I donít like crowds) it was a very nice evening.