Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Trip Report Tuesday - WDW Day 12 | Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic Party at Epcot! {BEST Night of the Trip!}

Day 12 - Tuesday, December 4, 2017

Disney Vacation Club Party Time!
One of the things I was most excited about this trip was our reservations to attend our first Disney Vacation Club members exclusive event, Moonlight Magic at Epcot!  We didn't plan our trip around this event.  It just happened to get scheduled during our trip and we snagged reservations for it!  (They only offer a certain number of spots at these events so we were thrilled to get in on the fun!)

Getting ready and giddy to go! ...

I was so thankful that Little One felt up to going to this party! She really didn't want to miss it and we were all thankful that her time resting at the resort had helped her feel better allowing her to join us! 

I couldn't resist requesting that Jason snap a couple pics of the girls and I in front of the gorgeous Christmas tree in the lobby!

They had a podium with check-in for the event in the lobby.  We were able to give our names, present our Disney Vacation Club card and ID right there to obtain the wristbands that would grant us access to the party to come!  

When we arrived at Epcot it was still during normal park hours so we decided to grab a bite to eat (we'd later find out that was unnecessary, but nonetheless we did).

The girls requested kakigori (shaved ice) from the Japan pavilion in World Showcase.  Jason and I headed back to Katsura Grill for some delicious chicken and beef teriyaki!

During our last meal here Jason had green tea ice cream this time around he ordered an iced green tea.

A look at the event brochure...

Special Event Merchandise
As you can see on the brochure above the only info given about the event merch was that it'd be available from 10:00pm until 1:00am and where it would be sold.  I was pretty sure it'd sell out long before the end of the event as let's face it that's usually how it goes.  So, my sweet family agreed to hang out near the Fountain of Nations close to the kiosk where they'd be selling these goodies after normal park hours concluded.  Soon I noticed a few other people lingering in the area and began to hear people asking if anyone knew what was going to be sold.  The cast members weren't allowed to put anything out until all the other park guests had exited and the event began.  As those guests made their way out the other DVC members and I made our way closer to the kiosk that'd soon sell the event exclusive merchandise.  Funny enough, this was one of the parts of the party I enjoyed most.  It was so much fun chatting with the other DVC families around me in line, hearing where their home resorts were and about their experiences with DVC.  I also loved hearing how much they all loved our home resort (Animal Kingdom Lodge) and how highly sought after the reservations are.  We can take that for granted, so it was fantastic to hear!  As DVC members we can book reservations at our home resort 11 months out, and book a stay at any other DVC resort at 7 months out.  This makes booking AKL simple for us, but as I heard that night others often try and aren't able to get those reservations.  We have that experience with other resorts, some that were the homes of members I was chatting with that night.  It was great fun swapping stories and talking about our love for Disney, Disney Vacation Club, our own home resorts and each others!  There was such a sweet camaraderie among us in such a brief time.  It made for an enjoyable time awaiting the reveal of the merch!  Meanwhile, Jason and the girls stood off to the side talking about how much fun it looked like I was having "making new friends" over there.  

At this point there was no neat single file line.  It was rather a mass of people huddled around the kiosk waiting.  As the cast members put out t-shirts, pins, and Christmas ornaments we found ourselves working as a team!  The guy I'd been chatting with on one side asked how many of us wanted ornaments.  Meanwhile I inquired about who around me wanted pins.  We all helped each other get exactly what we wanted without "losing our place in line".  It was absolutely refreshing! Where else in America do people help each other in that situation?  I've been to many Black Friday sales where people would rather push you out of the way then kindly cooperate so that everyone gets the things they've got their eye on.  It was absolutely wonderful!  

I checked out and wished the people I'd had the joy of chatting with a very Merry Christmas and was off to enjoy the festivities of the night!

Here's a look at what I bought:

I am not a pin trader, yet I am a pin collector.  Our first DVC trip in 2015 I decided to start collecting a pin from each DVC resort we stay at, the DVC exclusive pin of the year, and one from each special event we attend.  This cute pin was a fun one to add to the collection!

Also, a few years back I took my sweet cousin Emily's idea and began collecting a Christmas ornament from each vacation.  Seeing those memories hung with care each year adds such joy and nostalgia to our Christmas season!

Free Food at Disney!
It was time for the first FREEBIES of the night!  We had read prior to the event that there would be "complimentary light refreshments".  We didn't expect that to be a full meal.  We would've skipped grabbing food in the Japan pavilion earlier in the evening had we realized.  But, when Disney wants to give you free food, how can you possibly resist that?!  Ha!

We entered Electric Umbrella to find a line up to the counter. There cast members were handing out trays with a hot dog, bag of chips, and cookies.  We missed the spot where they were giving out cups and I inquired with a cast member where we'd missed it and she immediately asked how many I needed, made her way through the crowd and quickly brought us some.  The cast members seemed to be delighted to be working this party, knowing that they were bringing Disney magic and sheer delight to each DVC member there!

Next freebie, Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars!  There were cast members standing at the refreshment carts literally holding arms full of these and asking each guest that approached how many they'd like!  The food was all complimentary and unlimited!

Special Event Exclusive Fireworks and the Greatest Event Souvenir EVER!

We appeared in an official Disney video!

Does that misty eyed mama above look familiar?  It's yours truly alongside my beautiful oldest daughter taking in a magical moment during Disney Vacation Club's Moonlight Magic Event!  

Just before the evening's party exclusive fireworks show, my family was approached by someone who worked for Disney.  He said they were looking for a family to feature in a video they would be shooting of the fireworks display and that they'd been watching us and really liked our energy.  (We were being really silly and enjoying our family time in the fun party atmosphere, but had no idea anyone was looking!)  He asked if we'd be interested.  Of course we said, "Yes!", to this unique and magical request!  We were brought to a special viewing spot along the lagoon where a crew and cameramen were set up.  Soon multiple people came to talk to us about what to expect.  Each member of my family was asked to fill out paperwork and sign release forms.  After chatting a bit with the nice camera crew the fireworks began.  It was surreal being watched as we watched the incredible fireworks display before us!  We were told that the footage may be used on social media and in various places.  We found it pop up in the video below!

You'll see my oldest daughter and I smiling up at the fireworks during the #1 portion at the end of the video.

I'm overjoyed to have such a fun keepsake to look back at and remember the magical experience!

Meeting Our All-Time Favorite YouTubers!
When we first found a spot for the special fireworks Jason looked down a ways from where we were standing and said, "Look who's standing right there!"  It was Tim and Jenn!  We have watched their YouTube channel, The Tim Tracker, as a family for several years now.  We were so excited to go say, "Hello"!  However, that was the exact moment we were approached by someone from Disney saying they were looking for a family to feature during the fireworks show and we were whisked away to the special area where all the television cameras were set up.  As funny as it may sound to some I had such mixed emotions, I knew being asked to be the featured family was likely a once in a lifetime occasion so I was thrilled, yet honestly bummed that it appeared we were about to miss out on meeting our favorites!  We were going to do our best to make both, the filming and meeting them, happen though!  As soon as the fireworks ended the cameraman said, "You guys were awesome!" I replied, "You're awesome!" Ha!  We exchanged pleasantries, I wished them a Merry Christmas and we darted over to the area where Tim, Jenn, and their friend who had kindly brought them to the event were and we were able to say hello as Tim packed up their camera equipment.  They were as sweet as they could possibly be!  Meeting them and seeing that what they share isn't a "show" and that they truly are every bit as genuine and kind as they've always appeared in their video was a complete joy.  This moment was most definitely one of the highlights of this incredibly memorable night!

The party had a dance party with one epic backdrop I must say!  Characters were out dancing, and so were we multiple times throughout the night!

All in all this was one of the most magical and memorable evenings of this trip (and honestly of all the WDW trips I've enjoyed in my lifetime)!  I'm so glad you popped by to hear about it today!  I hope to see you here this time next week for more Disney goodness!

Direct Links to Previous Trip Report Tuesday Blog Posts:

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Trip Report Tuesday - WDW Day 12 | A Beautiful Morning in Pandora

Day 12 - Tuesday, December 4, 2017

If you were here for last week's trip report you'll remember that Little One was battling a cold, but was content as could be to stay back at our one bedroom Copper Creek Villa while we hit the parks.  She was quite comfortable with having the spacious accommodations all to herself for a bit.  She had a cozy place to relax, Disney channel, and a fully stocked kitchen, so she was having a different type of vacation back in our room as my husband, oldest daughter, and I made our way to Animal Kingdom.

Good morning, Animal Kingdom Christmas tree!  You are such a lovely sight to see!

We started our day, where else but Pandora!  This morning we kicked things off with Na'vi River Journey.

Hearing these drummer play was always fun as we passed by their show.

Time for some fun with The Dino Institute on Dinosaur!

Next time you find yourself in the queue for Dinosaur, look up!  See those pipes with chemical formulas?  They are the formulas for ketchup, mustard, and mayo!  Disney details are the best!

Lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue
My long time favorite Animal Kingdom quick service restaurant was in the plans for this terrific Tuesday!  This place is quite popular.  There is typically a line before it even opens.

I could hardly wait to try these french fries with pulled pork and cheese!

My entree was the 1/2 chicken with coleslaw (that I gave to Jason, not a fan of coleslaw in general) and baked beans.  Yummy!

When you're on a 17-day Disney trip by right around this point you sometimes need a fresh, lighter option.  Jason was in that mode on this particular day and chose a mixed green salad with roasted chicken, apple slices, pecans, cheddar and white balsamic vinaigrette.

Princess had about our 100th all-beef hot dog of the trip - ha! 

Tip for anyone who plans to dine here and would like a lovely view:  Head downstairs and look for a table near the water that looks out toward Expedition Everest!

These two are so patient with my requests for several thousand photos each vacation! 

After lunch we decided to take a stroll down the Discovery Island Trail.

The intricate details of the Tree of Life never cease to amaze me!

Once again, you have to hear this talented musician to believe the beautiful music flowing from that harp!  Be sure to check out my husband's next Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat video for the footage!

A Christmastime Visit to our Disney Vacation Club Home
Being that close to Animal Kingdom Lodge, our DVC home resort, how could we resist popping by to see it in its holiday best?  We took the short bus ride over and entered through the gift shop.  Look at the Hidden Mickey formed with wreath "ears" above the gorgeous lion head behind the check out!  Loved that!

Animal Kingdom Lodge's lobby itself is a sight to behold.  The gigantic Christmas tree adorning its center was nothing short of breathtaking!

Here are some shots of the smaller tree lit up in cuteness near their fantastic table service restaurant, Boma...

We went over to The Mara, AKL's quick service restaurant to grab some treats that we would bring back to the lobby to enjoy while gazing upon that grand Christmas tree yet again!

I stood in front of the refrigerated dessert section for a bit debating what to choose.  I was between zebra domes and some scrumptious looking cupcakes.  A kind British guest approached and I apologized for blocking the refrigerator telling him there were too many good choices to decide.  He asked, "Have you tried the Zebra Domes?  They're lovely!"  I have enjoyed them on numerous occasions and agree.  His remark was the deciding factor, a lovely dessert it was!  I wasn't sure how best to describe a zebra dome for those who haven't sampled one, so I turned to the trusty Disney Food Blog.  AJ described it here like this, "A Zebra Dome is an Amarula Cream Liquor mousse enrobed in panna cotta-esque white chocolate and drizzled with chocolate and chocolate shavings.  The whole thing sits atop a thin cake base."
Princess went with a classic, premium Mickey bar, and Jason got a sweet sip complete with Mickey straw! 

We then headed back to our resort, with three of my zebra domes in hand to find their way to our fridge to be enjoyed throughout the remainder of our trip.

During our afternoon break I folded a bit of laundry.  Having accommodations equipped with a washer and dryer is so nice as it allows me to keep up with it.  Y'all know I find folding laundry relaxing so throwing some in before we hit the parks then folding on a break works perfectly for me!

Some breeze from the sliding glass door to the patio is wonderful too!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  I hope you'll return next Tuesday as the Trip Report I'll share then is one of my favorite of this vacation!  I'll be sharing the full scoop on our first Disney Vacation Club members event where we were the chosen family to be filmed for the event exclusive fireworks!  It was so magical!  I can hardly wait to share more!  See ya real soon, friends!

Direct Links to Previous Trip Report Tuesday Blog Posts:

Join me in the adventures to come!
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I appreciate each comment, & "like"! They let me know that you enjoyed what you read, which makes it worth sharing! ;)