Day 1, Wednesday November 30, 2005

We arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport a little early, it usually takes forever to get through the US Customs line, but to our surprise there wasn’t a line. Our flight departed on time and we arrive at Orlando Airport 7 minutes early. Tiffany Town Car service was waiting for us so we grabbed our luggage and hopped into the car. We were off to our favourite place!

We arrived at Port Orleans French Quarter by 2 p.m. and checked in, our room wasn’t ready so we checked our luggage and headed off to MGM. We had no real agenda that day, only an ADR at the Brown Derby. We stopped by the big hat so I could check out the pins and then we went to the Tower of Terror. While we were down in that area Gary rode the Rockin' Roller Coaster twice while I wandered through the shops. We then went on the Movie Ride. After the ride we walked to the Animation Gallery so I could buy my WDCC Goofy. Dave, one of the cel artists was doing some painting so we stopped to have a chat with him. I was very impressed with one of the cels, “The Story Board”, but I also liked the new one that was being released on the 10th, titled “All Mixed Up”. Hmm what to do! 

It was now time for our dinner at the Brown Derby and as usual the meal was excellent, of course the real reason I like to go there is the grapefruit cake, yummy! When we were done we decided we had enough time to see the Osborne Family lights before we left so we wandered over to that area. My gosh they are awesome, just breath taking. As we walked around with our heads looking up I caught, out of the corner of my eye, a familiar face - it was WilCad, a fellow Taginator who was there, as we were, for the 2005 MouseFest. After a quick chat with Will we headed back to our hotel, we still needed to get unpacked and the hot tub was calling out to Gary.

We had a great room, #4317 in building 4, right by the stairway that takes you to the bus stop. It was an excellent location. Gary went to soak for a bit and I did the unpacking. We wanted to get a good nights sleep so we could be ready for MouseFest activities and meets the following day.

Day 2, Thursday December 1, 2005

We awoke early, after all it is Disney and you never want to waste a minute. Dressed and ready we headed down to the Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory for some breakfast, then to the bus stop where we caught our ride to the Magic Kingdom. We were there just as the gates open and started to wander up Main Street. Our first planned meet was Mouse Planet’s Mini Mouse Adventure at 10am. As we were walking through the VMK we ran into Susan (Topaz) and found out we were heading to the same meet and that Christine (BaciBecky) and SusanL were just up the way in Uptown Jewellers. We met up with them and had a bit of chat before going over to Casey’s Corner, where we were joined by Kristen (BriarRose) and Carl. We decided that the best way to win this challenge and to have some fun doing it was to team up, so the Taginators took the challenge and finished the quest with a perfect score.

It was now time for Mike Scopa’s Dole Whip meet at 12 p.m., so we walked over to the Aloha Isle where we met a whole gang of MouseFesters including WilCad, DebWills, Mark (Timon), Ray Sharpton and MikeS. After our Dole Whip a bunch of us decided to take a ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean and we commandeered an entire boat.

Gary and I decided to go to Pecos Bill’s for lunch so we parted company with a “catch you later”. We ordered burgers at Pecos Bill's. They have the best fixin’s bar in the country there and we loaded up. After lunch it was time for Lou Mongello’s Trivia Fest over at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Again, some familiar faces and of course Taginators. We each had a turn playing and it is amazing how much you think you know about Disney until you are in the spot light.

We had a bit of time before our next meet so Gary took a ride on Space Mountain and then we both rode Buzz Lightyear, this time Gary beat my butt! We then walked down to the rose garden to get our wristbands for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before going to WilCad’s Haunted Mansion meet. Now at this meet we got to know a whole new bunch of Taginators, lots of hugs and hellos, it was like a reunion and everyone was talking at once. We proceeded to the ride and filled the room, again a good time was had by all.

We had a bit of time before our next meet so Gary took a ride on Space Mountain and then we both rode Buzz Lightyear, this time Gary beat my butt! We then walked down to the rose garden to get our wristbands for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before going to WilCad’s Haunted Mansion meet. Now at this meet we got to know a whole new bunch of Taginators, lots of hugs and hellos, it was like a reunion and everyone was talking at once. We proceeded to the ride and filled the room, again a good time was had by all.

We had some time before our ADR at the Liberty Tree Tavern so Gary and I took a ride on Peter Pan and It’s a Small World before dinner. We then decided to just hang out at the LTT and chat with fellow Taginators also waiting for their ADR. The dinner was very good and we got to have our pictures taken with all of the characters. After dinner I wanted to get the MVMCP pins before we did anything else, Gary went to the Uptown Jewellers to get in line for pins from the previous parties and I ran over to the Trading Post to get that nights party pin, I then met Gary and we headed over to the rose garden for the AllEars/Tagrel MVMCP Wishes meet. It was the best . . . there were so many people there and the fireworks show was wonderful. After that Gary and I went for hot chocolate and just did some wandering. We decided to call it a night early, it had been a long day and we had run out of steam.

Day 3, Friday December 2, 2005

It was MGM day and we were up and on the bus early, there was a Stop, Drop & Roll meet at 9am. We were through the gates and waiting with some of our Taginator friends for the rope to drop. Once the rope had dropped we proceeded to the Tower of Terror where we met up with about 30 Taginators ready to take over an elevator. We all got fast passes for the Rockin' Roller Coaster and then headed on up to the Tower. 

We filled the preview room and then on to the elevator. We couldn't all fit on one elevator so a few went ahead and we met up with them at the exit. The next stage of this meet was the roll part, that was where I joined the wall-huggers and waited for the brave souls who don’t mind being thrown around upside down at 60 miles an hour. 

A group picture was taken and we separated until the next meet. Gary and a few of the others decided to ride again so I did a bit of pin trading with the cast members in the store. Gary and I then had a bite of lunch at Rosie’s All American Café before the 12 p.m. Muppet Movie meet. After we watched the Muppets we decided to go back to the resort for a little nap and a soak in the hot tub.

After freshening up we hopped back on the bus to the Magic Kingdom where we caught the monorail over to the Contemporary to have dinner at Chef Mickey’s. The food there is okay but it isn’t one of my favourites. After dinner I went to the pin trading that happens every Friday night at the pin station in the Contemporary Resort and Gary sat and read his book. After about an hour we went down to the docks to catch a boat over to the Wilderness Lodge for the Gift Exchange meet. It was loads of fun and well organized; we all had lots of laughs and ended it with another group photo. Cosmic Ray's Limo Service (Ray Sharpton) offered us a ride back to our resort, we took him up on his offer and arrived there in good time. On our way through the lobby the music from Scat Cat's Lounge (the jazz bar) called out to us so we stopped and had a cocktail before going back to our room.

Day 4, Saturday December 3, 2005

Again, we were up early and on the bus to EPCOT to catch the first meet of the day, it was the Soarin' meet at the Land, hosted by Kathleena. What a ride, it is so good. After the ride we grabbed a fast pass to use later and then walked over to the Electric Umbrella to get things ready for the Brunch at the Ball meet that was at 10:30 a.m. I co-hosted this meet with Jim (Jimbolini) and he was there waiting for us. MissBianca and Frogman showed up early as well, Frogman had made an awesome banner for the Tagrel group. We got it hung and a table set up for the door prizes etc. Everyone started showing up right around 10:30 a.m. It was a great crowd, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. We had arranged for a Disney photographer to come about 11:15am to take a group photo, so we herded everyone out towards the fountains and had our picture taken with our official banner. Then flipped the banner around and had all the marathon group gather for a pre-marathon photo.

Gary and Dave (Tagrel) had to leave for the Mega meet, Gary was a greeter again this year and Dave had to go get his table set up. I decided to wander through Mouse Gears and then take some photos before I went over to the Mega Mouse meet. 

I walked through the International Gateway and caught a boat to the Swan Hotel where the keynote event was held. Jimbolini was on the boat so we traveled over together and found our way to the great hall. It was bigger and better this year. One of the highlights for me was meeting Margaret Kerry, the original Tinker Bell.

After the meet Gary and I walked over to the Boardwalk and had ice cream while sitting out on the Boardwalk. Very nice! We then caught a boat back over to EPCOT to meet up with Ray Sharpton for his Christmas tree lighting meet. After that was over we said our goodbyes and went to Canada to have dinner at Le Cellier. For years I had never thought about eating in Canada, why would I, I eat in Canada everyday, so when I went to EPCOT I ate in all the other countries. A couple of years ago we decided to try it, now it is a “must do” every trip. It is one of my favourite places to eat. I always have the same thing, the maple glazed filet and the maple crème brule. Yum!

After a wonderful dinner we walked over to the Land to use our fast pass on Soarin' and then we went back to the resort. We relaxed in the hot tub for a bit and then it was lights out.

Day 5, Sunday December 4, 2005

Up very bright and early, actually it wasn’t bright, it was still dark but WilCad was picking us and BestyAnn up at 7 a.m. to take us over to the Polynesian for the Kona Breakfast meet. It was the last meet that we would be attending and a chance to say good-bye to everyone. The gang was all there and we had a great couple of hours enjoying our Tonga Toast and chatting about the previous few days. MouseFest was over but we still had a whole week of Disney left.

Hugs and promises to see you next year were exchanged and then Gary and I caught a bus to Typhoon Lagoon. 

We found a nice spot to call our own and arranged the chairs and umbrella to our liking. We relaxed for a while and then decided that we should do the Crushin' Gusher before it got too busy, so we did a couple of runs and decided that we would have some lunch an do a little more relaxing. 

We sun bathed for a while and then went in the wave pool and then more lounge chair and more wave pool and – well you get the picture!

We left about 3pm and went back to the resort to get rested and changed before dinner. We caught the bus to the Magic Kingdom and then took the boat back over to the Polynesian for our dinner ADR at Ohana’s. Always a great meal and even without the pineapple I still love it. I really do like the bread pudding better but you will never hear Gary saying that. He likes bread pudding, but I don't think he will ever stop missing the pineapple and caramel sauce

.After dinner we went to Downtown Disney to do some shopping and of course I had to do some pin trading. Gary takes his book whenever we go somewhere that has pin trading. This night he actually decided to take the boat back to POFQ early and I stayed for a bit longer checking out the new pins and the trader’s books. I then caught the boat back to POFQ and called it a night.

Day 6, Monday December 5, 2005

We started the day at a bit of a slower pace, MouseFest was over so we had no meets to race to. We had a bite to eat and then caught the bus to EPCOT. We started at the Living Seas and then went over to The Land. We picked up a fast pass for Soarin' and then signed up for the Behind the Seeds tour. As many times as I have been to EPCOT I have never taken this tour, too bad as it was a very enjoyable time . . . we should have done it sooner. I was chosen to release some of the ladybugs, this was fun except they didn’t want to be released, and I had a hard time convincing them to sit on the leaf and not my arm.

After the tour we had lunch at Sunshine Season Food Court, always a good meal in my books. When we were done it was time for our ride on Soarin'. 

Next we headed over to Test Track, the wait time was about 40 minutes so we took the singles line. It was a walk on and we ended up in the same car anyways. Gary went off to ride Mission Space and I wandered through Mouse Gear, you never know . . . there might be something new for sale that I haven’t seen yet J

When Gary met up with me we started over to World Showcase where our first stop was Canada to see Off Kilter. We both really enjoy their music. After their set was done we went to France and watched the movie, Impressions of France, another of our favourites.

When we came out the street performers were doing their chair act so we watched them until our ADR for Chefs de France. We had the Candlelight Dining Package so I ordered everything, and it was all excellent as usual. I particularly enjoy their Crème Brulee.

We walked some of our dinner off by visiting Japan, Italy and Germany, and then walked back to get in the line for the Candlelight Processional. This year we had Cicely Tyson as the narrator, she was very good. We both really enjoy this performance and it has become a bit of a Christmas tradition for us.

When the concert was over we were pretty tired so we decided not to stay for Illuminations. We headed right on over and caught the bus for POFQ.

Day 7, Tuesday December 6, 2005

Animal Kingdom day . . . Yahoo! Its my second favourite Disney park. I have started telling myself “no more character meals” we’ve done them all, and we eat way too much food, but I had an ADR for Donald’s Breakfastosaurus and I’m glad I did. It is a great character breakfast. 

After breakfast we waddled over to the Kilimanjaro Safari, it was a good day for animal sightings, we actually got a very good look at the lions. 

The Flights of Wonder show was next on our list, we see it every time we go and never get tired of it. We then strolled over to have a peak at Expedition Everest, it is really taking shape and looks very exciting. We finished our day at Animal Kingdom with It’s Tough to be a Bug and the Jammin' Jungle parade.

We took the bus back to POFQ, had a bit of a rest and then caught the boat to Downtown Disney. We had a wonderful dinner at Captain Jack’s, I did a little pin trading while Gary read his book and then we took the boat back to the hotel for an early night.

Day 8, Wednesday December 7, 2005

We decided to try something different this morning so we walked over to Port Orleans Riverside and wandered around the grounds there, it is very nice but I prefer POFQ. We had breakfast at Boatwrights and it was excellent. We caught the bus from there to MGM Studio’s.

Our day included Animation, Walt’s Legacy, Tower of Terror, The Movie Ride and Sounds Dangerous. Gary took a ride on Rockin Roller Coaster while I did a bit of pin trading. We also took in the Light, Motors, and Action! Extreme Stunt Show, it had been open on previous trips but we never seemed to have time so this was our first time there. It was very good, we will see it again for sure.

We had a Fantasmic Dinner package booked at Hollywood and Vine and it was time to have dinner. I know we don’t really need to have the dining package but I do like to have that special ticket to get in the side door at Oscar’s and not wait in a huge line. It gives me more time to shop! After the Fantasmic show we walked right over to the Osborne Family Lights, it is something I can just not get enough of, it is one of the reason I love going to Disney at Christmas.

Day 9, Thursday December 8, 2005

A rainy day . . . go figure . . . we have the Wild by Design tour booked. We have to be there quite early and I didn’t want to leave to chance the bus, so we took a taxi over. We got to the designated spot to meet up with our tour and it was pouring rain. Our tour guide was Paul and he was just excellent. He handed everyone rain capes and earphones and we started splashing our way through the park. We met one of the attendants who looks after the gibbons, Linda, and she explained a lot about the animals and how they are tended at AK. Next we met another attendant, Mark who talked to us about the gorillas. The tour was outstanding even with the rain. I would like to do it again on a sunny day, I think it would be much more enjoyable.

Soaking wet, we left Animal Kingdom and went back to our room. We changed our clothes and had a short nap before going over to EPCOT for our ADR at Italy. On the way over to Italy we rode Space Ship Earth, the ride in Mexico and the ride in Norway. Dinner in Italy always has to be Fettuccini Alfredo, the house specialty. We watched them make the pasta through the window in the waiting area and it tastes like no other. Yummy and filling for sure, no room for dessert that night.

After dinner there were no crowds so we were able to ride Test Track twice, Soarin' and the boat ride through the Land and then Spaceship Earth again. I love Spaceship Earth, it is one of the few original EPCOT rides left and I hope that it never gets replaced, updating it would be fine, but I would be upset if it were replaced.

Day 10, Friday December 9, 2005

It’s always a Magical day in the Kingdom, my favourite Disney Park, I never get tired or bored with it. Wandering down Main Street is a treat in it’s self, today it led us to Mickey’s Philharmagic. An awesome 3D show! This was also going to turn out to be an “eat my favourite stuff day” so I started with a Strawberry Swirl. Now I know there is a huge following for Dole Whips but in my books the Strawberry Swirl deserves more recognition, it is number one for me.

We rode Buzz Lightyear and Gary beat me this time, I used his usual excuse, “My gun wasn’t working”. We then walked over to Adventureland to ride the Jungle Cruise and enjoyed a Casey’s hotdog on the way. 

After the Jungle Cruise we took in Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain before catching the WDW Train to Main Street. I wanted to get over to MGM Studios for the opening of the Narnia stage set.

The Narnia set was very beautiful and made me want to see the movie all the more. After seeing Narnia we had time for The Voyage of the Little Mermaid before our ADR at Prime Time Café.

Dinner at Prime Time Café was once again a wonderful and fun experience. We like to go there every year and every time we go there I say “I’m not having Pot Roast this time” and every time I end up ordering Pot Roast. Well this time I didn’t order Pot Roast, I had something else and it obviously didn’t make as big an impression as the Pot Roast because for the life of me I can’t remember what I had. Next time I go to Prime Time I’m having my old standby (and favourite) Pot Roast.

One last trip through the Osborne Family lights and we headed back to the hotel for a good long soak in the hot tub.

Day 11, Saturday December 10, 2005

We started the day by taking a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then a boat to Fort Wilderness where we had breakfast at the Trail’s End Café. After our meal we roamed around the grounds of Fort Wilderness, exploring the barns and stables.

We caught a bus to the Outpost where we connected with a bus to Downtown Disney. After roaming the stores for an hour or so, Gary was losing patience, so we went to Pin Central where I continued to feed my obsession while Gary sat nearby reading his book. 

From Downtown Disney we caught the boat back to POFQ for a rest before dinner.

We took a cab to Disney’s Beach Club Resort where we enjoyed the seafood buffet at Cape May. An excellent meal . . . we’ll be going back again!

After dinner we strolled the length of the Boardwalk before returning to the Yacht Club pier. I had arranged over the internet to share an Illuminations Cruise with a lady from Texas. What a wonderful way to see the fireworks show. You board your boat at the Yacht Club Resort and tour the waterways around the Yacht and Beach Club, the Swan and Dolphin Resort and the Boardwalk before you cruise past the International Gateway where you moor to watch the show from the water directly below the bridge between England and France.

After the boat cruise we caught a bus from the Yacht Club to Downtown Disney and had planned to switch to another bus for the trip to POFQ, but one of the ladies from Texas, a fellow Illuminations Cruiser, had so much trouble backing her electric scooter onto the buses handicap loading ramp that the driver decided to drive her directly to her hotel. I expect that he thought this would be faster than waiting for her to get herself unloaded. In any case, it worked out very well for us since we were at the same hotel. We ended up getting an “express bus” and didn’t have to transfer.

Day 12, Sunday December 11, 2005

Our Annual Passes expired on Saturday so we did not visit a park until late in the day when we used our tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to enter the Magic Kingdom.

We took it very easy early in the day, starting off with a visit to the hot tub at our resort. Then we hopped aboard the boat to Downtown Disney where we had lunch (for the first time) at the Earl of Sandwich. It’s a good spot to have a quick bite.

I continued to nourish my Pin Trading fetish while Gary continued with his book (thankfully he likes to read) on a bench beside Pin Central. 

Another boat ride took us back to POFQ where we dropped off my pins and I did a bit of packing for our trip home before we caught a bus to the Magic Kingdom. Our tickets for MVMCP allowed us to enter at 4:00 p.m. so we had time to visit a few attractions before our ADR at Cinderella’s Royal Table. It has become our tradition to dine with Cinderella on either the first night or the last night of our vacation. The atmosphere in the castle is wonderful, the food is excellent and we have never been disappointed with the service.

After dinner the party was underway. It was a sell-out night and the park was very busy. We didn’t try to do too many rides, we simply wandered around enjoying the decorations, the festive street performers, the hot chocolate and cookies and the Christmas Costumes.

We managed to get good seats for the special Christmas stage show in Tomorrowland’s Galaxy Theatre and then walked over to Main Street to watch the special Christmas Party version of the nightly “Wishes” fireworks show. The fireworks are outstanding every night, but they go all out for Christmas and add a number of extra effects to take the show “over the top”. It’s just breathtaking!

After the fireworks we wandered through Liberty Square and ended up at the Country Bear Jamboree where we enjoyed watching the special Christmas show.

It was now parade time. We intentionally skipped the early parade, the crowds are always lighter for the second parade. We found a good spot on Main Street and managed to get some good pictures.

Alas, it was now late and we were pooped! Our last day at the park was over and we hopped a bus to the resort where we both fell into bed exhausted. 

Day 13, Monday December 12, 2005

We had a restful morning, no need to jump out of bed and rush off to a park. I finished packing and we were checked out before 11:00 a.m.

Tiffany Town Cars picked us up at the resort at 11:30 and had us to the airport in plenty of time for our 2:20 p.m. flight home.

Our flight was uneventful and landed on time at 5:05 p.m. We were home unpacking by 7:15 p.m.

Now it’s time to begin booking ADR’s for our next trip in April 2006.