Cosplay Corner: March Disneybound Challenge: Week 3

You guys, a month is a long time, and it’s been a while since I’ve had to put this much though consistently into what I’m wearing. It’s fun, but it’s also, like, work.

Which is not to say I’m not still having a blast! I 100% am. Just, you know, if the outfits start to seem lazier, that would be the reason. (Also, I didn’t do laundry this week…)


March 14th

Theme: The Little Mermaid

Character: Ariel

When I was talking about my influences with another writer friend once, I said flat out, “to be perfectly honest, I’d say the things that influenced me the most are Star Wars, The Princess Bride and The Little Mermaid.” (Dawson’s Creek comes right after that.) His answer was a caustic, “yeah, Reen, it shows!” Anyway, that’s why I went for this outfit, which is a take on the pretty pink princess dress Ariel wears after she gets her legs and Eric is all, “Hey, I’mma bring this hot silent girl to my house now.” (Their relationship is weird.) (I still love him.) (That’s why I named the visiting prince in The Marina Chronicle after him!) (My Eric also has a boat!) (My love of men with boats come from my preppy roots)

March 15th

Theme: Parks Attractions

Character(?): The Jungle Cruise

Oh, I was excited for this day. So excited. What was I going to do? Would I wear any of my various Haunted Mansion ensembles? Combine my wardrobe’s natural amount of purple and orange into some sort of Figment tribute? Toss some shine on some white as a tribute to Space Mountain? No no, for I realized, that my Peggy Carter cosplay has an excellent second use! I could look just like a skipper heading out on the jungle armed with only animal based puns!

March 16th

Theme: Mulan Characters

Character: Mushu

Mushu was easy for me, since I have a lot of gold tops (seriously, I don’t know how this happened.) and that red cardigan, so you know, it was done. I’m also wearing jeans, because did I mention that I didn’t do laundry? Ok, cool.

March 17th

Theme: Characters Who Wear/Are Green

Character: Louie Duck

This is not my best you guys, but whatever, it was St. Patrick’s day, and whatever I wore had to be comfortable/warm enough to wear walking around NYC for the parade. Thus, my Notre Dame Fighting Irish tee shirt and a black skirt and yellow leggings (like Duck feet). I wanted a hoodie, but couldn’t find one I liked in time. Very in line with our laziest triplet, no? (I also don’t have a picture)

March 18th

Theme: Villains

Character: Maleficent

Uhh, March 18 is a lazy day for me usually, so here, braids for the horns, purple and black. I also missed instagram for both this and Saturday. Eh. (Again no pics…sorry$

March 19th

Theme: Fantasia

Character: Ave Maria Light

I figured for Fantasia it was worth getting a bit creative and abstract. Schubert’s Ave Maria is easily one of my favorite pieces of music, and while as I kid I often fast forwarded through this segment of the film, I’ve really grown to appreciate it as an adult, especially as a stunning come down from the highs of the Night On Bald Mountain (which I also fast forwarded through a lot, because scary) I’m wearing a royal blue highlighted tunic, and holding an electric candle.

March 20th

Theme: Star Wars

Character: “Do I Have To Say His Name?” – Bruce Springsteen

I have so many versions of Poe Dameron that it seemed almost silly to even bother wearing it today, but I did. Orange dress, white vest. You know this one. If I didn’t have work, I’d maybe have gone for Ren Faire Poe, but you know, I did have work.

So that was this week! I got through it. I’ve got more snow coming (ICK!) which derailed some of my plans as I was hoping to go more springy for the coming week. But I’ll work around it!


My Disney Year: Top 10 Magical Moments

So, I did a tally, and I spent 20 days in Walt Disney World in 2017. 18 of those were in the park.

I had a lot of magical Moments but I thought I’d do my best to pick 10!

10. Mary is amazed by Chewbacca


There are lots of moments with my family that I’d pick but our visit with Chewie was a HUGE deal and kind of sums up what I was looking forward to with them.

My sister’s face of pure wonder remains one of my favorite pictures ever taken of her.

9. Twirling with Snow White dressed as Snow White

My Snow White Dapper Bound was a true triumph of my cosplaying genius, if I say so myself. But when Snow asked if I would like to twirl upon seeing me I nearly swooned!

8. Truly being the 1,000th Ghost

The Haunted Mansion is my favorite ride. I rode it at least 10 times this year. But the last ride on my solo trip was incredible! I was the only one there and it was soooo creepy and fun.

7. “And May All Your Wishes Come True”

will watch “Happily Ever After” from the deck of The California Grill someday, and it will not ever compare with the moment of watching “Wishes” explode over Cinderella Castle with my family (And Meg and Dino) after completing a half marathon earlier during the day. It was such a magical moment I can barely think about it without my heart bursting like those fireworks.

6. “You can tell he’s a male because he’s alone”

Oh really? Is that why you can tell this elephant is male? OK, in reality, this wasn’t so much a magical moment as it summed up so much of what made my quick weekend trip with Tom so much fun, lots of laughing and enjoying the little things…or in the case of this male elephant…not so little.

5. “Let There Be Peace On Earth”

I tried really hard to not spoil any of the holiday entertainment because I really wanted to enjoy all of it fresh. I also don’t have many pictures of a lot of it, because I wanted to just be. And choosing which of the three viewings of “Illuminations” was my favorite was going to be hard, but it came down to hearing that Holiday tag, with my best friends, crying out eyes out. So beautiful.

4. Sometimes  you should meet your heroes.

I don’t really regret anything about my Disney year, except that it prevented me both financially and time wise, from getting to go to many Comic Cons in 2017. Granted, I always joke that with Disney Bounding in the mix, the difference between a con and Disney World is negligible. I spend too much money, wear a crazy outfit, get dehydrated and stand in lots of lines! And, on my November trip, when one of those lines LITERALLY ended with a meet and greet with a nerdy celebrity, that became even more true. Chatting with Ashley Eckstein and Ashley Taylor was so much fun and that Ashley remembered me was one of my most cherished memories. We nerd girls are a tiny corner of the world, but we are mighty when we stand together.

3. 15 Minutes


It’s hard to pick a moment that I loved more in my trip with Tom than when we walked on to Frozen Ever After. It was amazing. Especially since we’d pretty much decided we weren’t going on that ride, and then poof! No lines.

2. The Wilderness Must Be Explored.

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My whole day at Animal Kingdom in November. THE WHOLE DAY. I loved it so much. It was something that I’d wanted to do for such a long time and I was so grateful to do it with my friends. If you want more details, check out my post about it, and Juli’s.

1. Running Right Down The Middle Of Mainstreet U.S.A.


Obviously, number 1 was my race. Obviously. But which moment? The start? The finish? Countless little points in between? No it was smack dab in the middle. Running down Main Street USA, hearing my parents and Aunt and Uncle cheering for me, was so incredible I can barely think about it without crying. It was a really great moment.

I had an incredible year, and there’s more to come. (Trust me! I’m not ready to give up on Disney yet. I’m addicted.) But there’ll never be another year like this one and I’m so grateful for it.

Merry Dapper Day: Hotel Review and Favorites

OK, so, the trip went really well, so it’s time, obviously, to talk about staying at Pop Century, and my favorites from the trip.

So, we stayed at Pop Century and it was pretty great. We were in the 80’s section in one of the newly renovated rooms. (We requested it. I also requested a top floor room, this was a mistake that I felt bad about the whole trip.)

The resort is great, huge, and well laid out, with a great food court, and a good gift shop. The new rooms though, are the real reason to stay here. (besides price, the price really is great.)


The rooms feature a queen bed, and a queen sized murphy bed that when it’s folded into the wall is a small table for two. This allows for extra space when you’re not sleeping and a table is a great way to make that space also functional. The rooms also feature linoleum floors instead of carpet which also allows the room to look sleek and modern.


Also there’s cool pop art of Mickey and Pluto.


Given the choice, I’d spend the little bit extra to stay at Riverside, just because having a proper lobby bar rather than just the food court is something that’s important to me. But I was a tag a long this trip, so I happily tagged along and really enjoyed Pop!



Fligth Of Passage holds on to the top spot, it’s so special and beautiful and amazing and wonderful. Runner up goes to Dumbo, which after 30 years on this earth I have finally ridden and really is quite magical.


This was a tough call between The Very Merry Christmas Parade and Festival Of The Lion King, and I think I have to stick with the parade. It’s a beautiful tribute to the Christmas spirit and the costumes are absolutely divine.


Tusker House takes the cake, not just because of the characters. I loved the food and atmosphere and service too. Le Cellier was great, really, and I’m glad to have done it, but in the future, if I’m going to spend that money, I’d rather go back to Jiko or California Grill, or try one of the signature restaurants at a resort that I haven’t tried yet. (I still have to do both Narcoosee & Citricois, plus Artist Point and Flying Fish and Yachtsman Steakhouse.)


This one does go to Le Cellier, the Coudoulet de Beaucastel Grenache Blend I drank with that dinner was divine. I’ve even passed the label and name on to the wine shop that I go to, so that they can keep an eye out for it and let me know if they order it. I know just enough about wine to know what I like and what pairs well with different meats, and this fit the “good with steak,” and “I like this,” bills quite well.


Pongu Lumpia for the win! Sweet, tangy and a cool texture, this was for sure my favorite thing I ate the whole trip.

Special Bonus: Holiday Favorite

It was really cool to see the parks all done up in their Christmas finery, but I have to say that my favorite park Holiday decorations were at Studios. They fit with the Hollywood motif perfectly, and really make it look like something different for, ahem, that time of year.

Merry Dapper Day: 11/21/2017: “The Wilderness Mus Be Explored”

I’ve gone on seven trips to Disney World in the past 2 years, and the one thing that surprises people more than, “and you don’t have children?” is when they ask what my favorite thing to do is, and I say, “Walk around Animal Kingdom.”

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My Disney trips have had me fall head over heels in love with the Animal Kingdom, and this was even before Pandora opened and gilded the lily as it were.

And this day, this magical wonderful day, had us (mostly because Juli is something of a genius.) really diving into exploration of the park.

We started the day in Pandora, at 8 AM sharp. We had a 9:10 fastpass for Flight of Passage, so we started on Na’vi River Cruise, which I really love riding, it’s such a beautiful and peaceful and lovely experience. I also love the woven queue, the explanation of the various animals you’ll see on the cruise, and of course, the incredible Shamaan Audio-Animatronic.

Then we did some running around and exploring, before our fastpass came up, and then we did Flight Of Passage.

I’d wondered if maybe, maybe I’d with the long wait, and hype for it, been overwowed by Flight Of Passage.

I no longer feel that way. This ride is exceptionally wonderful. It’s beautiful, well executed and didn’t even make me queasy this time around. Hooray! Then we stopped by Pongu Pongu, to get some snacks. I was excited to try the Lumpia, and I also grabbed the Mo’Ara High Country Ale, since I’d tried the Grog Ale last time, Dom got the Grog Ale, and Juli got the Night Blossom, for the Insta of the thing, and also, because it did not occur to me when I ordered it, it wasn’t yet 10 AM. (Our early start had my internal clock off by a bit.) Ah, whatever, it was vacation, if you can’t drink at 9:30 in the morning on vacation, when can you?


Juli with her Night Blossom

The Lumpia is really good and I get why people were freaking out about it back when Pandora first opened. I’m a sucker for anything desert-y with a cream cheese base. I also liked the beer, again, I’m a sucker for an Amber. Though I preferred the Grog Ale. And if I had a choice, I’d go with a Safari Amber instead.

We then decided to begin the “Wilderness Explorers” part of our day, which allowed for much of the exploring that we did. This was something Juli insisted on, and she was absolutely right! We chatted with the Explorerer troop leaders in Pandora and took a boatload of pictures, before making our way to Harambe to check in for our brunch at Tusker House.

Tusker House has a mixed internet reputation but it’s Kristi’s family’s favorite and my friend April also counts it as a stand by for her family. Plus in these seven trips in two years, I hadn’t yet done a character meal.

really loved this restaurant. The layout is a market style for the buffet with lovely thick wood tables where we sat. And of course there’s the characters in their safari finest!

During the meal we met with Goofy, Daisy, Donald and Mickey. This was our third encounter with Goofy and we were thrilled about it. Specifically though, I was psyched to meet with Donald and Daisy, since I was wearing my Webby Vanderquack Disneybound this day.

The food is really interesting and cool, and we specifically book at 10:45 so that we could get a taste of both the breakfast and lunch options. Also, the drink options at Tusker House come from Dawa Bar, which means I got to have a Sugar Cane Mojito, which, as I’ve stated before, is my favorite bar made mojito I’ve ever had. (Disney is one of the few places I let myself have rum, because my opportunities to be ah “friendly,” the way I tend to get when I drink rum, are limited.)

Once we finished there, it became clear that it was about to rain, and we decided to head in to Festival Of The Lion King. Neither Juli nor I had done this show before, and I think that I’m going to fit it in to every itinerary from now on. It’s truly spectacular.

Then it was on to more Wilderness Badges, this time, by going to Gorilla Falls again, then after that, we had Everest Fast Passes, and completed those badges. It was then on to my favorite (very super favorite) thing in Animal Kingdom, The Maharahja Jungle Trek. Unlike Gorilla Falls, the trek is almost never crowded, it’s tucked back in a weird back corner of the Asia section, rather than in a highly trafficked ride exit dump, and it’s residents are a bit more subdued. We talked to a cast member about the tiger cubs. (I was really hoping we’d see them.) He explained that they’re not on display yet, as they want to limit human contact with them. Disappointed but understanding we were happy to at least see their proud papa wandering around.

We had a truly magical moment, however, as we reached the aviary. I’ve walked the Jungle Trek many times and never, have I seen this area so alive. Birds were zipping above our heads, skittering around on the ground and perched happily singing in the trees. It was exceptional.

Post Jungle Trek we headed to Disney Springs where we all did some shopping, and then back to the hotel, where we picked up dinner and relaxed in the room. (And had one of those quiet exhale moments that I’m so crazy about.) We headed back over to the park to experience Pandora at night and Rivers Of Light.

I was head over heals for Pandora having only seen it during the day. Seeing it at night just further cemented my love for Animal Kingdom. Seriously, I’m obsessed. Maybe someday I’ll have an Animal Kingdom trip, where I stay at lodge and only go to Animal Kingdom, except for one night when I go over to the Poly to have drinks at Trader Sam’s. (This is not a logistical reality, just something that I fantasize about.)


Then it was off to Rivers Of Light. We stopped by the Thirsty River Bar first, where I tried to Himalayan Ghost, which is, I must say, incredible. I really do need to incorporate Guava Juice into my home mixers.

The show was spectacular. I really like it, and I think the only reason that it will never eclipse Illumiations as my favorite is because I don’t have childhood memories of it. (And for the moment, it’s sort of a pain in the butt to see.)  It’s so beautiful and interesting and well done and the song is great.

After that, it was time for our party to part ways. Juli and Dom were getting up super early to begin their drive home, and still had packing to do. The park was still open for about an hour, so I decided rather than be in their way while they packed to further explore at least in some fashion.

I knew I had a few options, but I landed on heading to Nomad Lounge and having a night cap, and then hopping on line to ride Na’Vi River Journey one more time.

Settling in at Nomad I had a Night Monkey and chatted with the bar tender, before settling up and heading over to River Journey, where I talked to a family as we wound through the cue, and then headed out to the bus and back, where I crashed out.

BONUS Departure Day:

I had a 9:42 flight. I didn’t book it that way. I’d booked in the afternoon hoping to get in a morning at Studios to do Star Wars stuff. (Juli and Dom have no care for a galaxy far far away and I wasn’t going to force my super-fandom on them) But, American Airlines changed their flight times, so, here we are. I skipped Magical Express, since it was picking up at 5:35 AM for the Holiday rush, and I knew I didn’t need that much time.

I got up, took some pictures of the room, and grabbed a Lyft to the airport and then it was home, with no hiccups.

Overall, this was an incredible trip. Longer than I usually do, and much more strenuous. Coming up later in the week, we’ll do a hotel review & favorites, and then I’ve got a special, things I’ve learned in my Disney Year post!

But for now, well, as they say, See You Real Soon!

Merry Dapper Day: 11/20/2017: “That Time Of Year”

If there’s one thing that I’ve done in this year of Disney that I do not every feel the need to do again, it is the 4 Park Day.

While very fun, these marathons are exhausting, and made more so by the discontinuing of the Express Bus Service. (Seriously, such a bummer that this isn’t a thing anymore.) If other people I’m with want to do it, I’ll nope out at lunch time and take a nap.

Anyway, all this to say, that I’m glad I did both of my 4 Park Days this year, but I am not doing it again for a very long time.


So, we got up early, there was a 7 AM extra magic hour at Animal Kingdom, and we drove over. We were through the gates by 7:45 and on Kilamanjaro Safaris by 8. After the safari, (which went well, again, I don’t know that I’ll ever top February’s safari trip, but again, this one was very good.) and then did Gorilla Falls, before grabbing a fastpass picture and then driving to park at the TTC. (We planned on finishing the day at Magic Kingdom, so this made the most sense.) Then we caught the Monorail to Epcot, since we had some Fastpasses (and a burning desire for some Via Nappoli Pizza.) there. We rode Living With Land, then got on The Friendship Boat, and hit Italy, hoping for a walk up to Via Nappoli. We got a table in about 10 minutes (I always forget how fricking HUGE that restaurant is) and a pepperoni pie and a bellini made the whole day a little better. (I was feeling my hangover from the day before, LET ME TELL YOU!) We then backtracked to the Land pavillion again, to ride Soarin’ and followed that up with a ride on Imagination.


Somewhere in there, we managed to take this picture.

I haven’t done either Living With The Land or Imagination since I was kid and they were fun to revisit. Living With The Land is super relaxing and the tour of the Greenhouses is really cool, and honestly, who doesn’t simply adore Figment?

After that we worked our way to the back exit, took a Friendship Boat to the Yacht and Beach Club to check out the Gingerbread Carousel. Juli’s always said that The Boardwalk is her dream resort, where as I lean more Yacht & Beach, and I think after catching a glimpse of Storm A Long Bay, I’ve brought her over to my point of view. (STEP INTO MY WEB!) We then got back on the boat, and headed to Studios.


Because of lines, we opted out of any of the rides there, but did catch Muppets 3-D, For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing A Long, (which featured a special ending with “That Time Of Year” and “When We’re Together” from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.) We also hung out on Sunset Boulevard and watched the projection show “Sunset Season’s Greetings” which goes onto the Tower of Terror. It’s a really cute show, and I especially appreciated that one of the segments is based around “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” which has always been my favorite version of that story.


We settled in for Fantasmic after that, and golly, what a good show that is! I haven’t seen it in a while, but it’s Juli’s favorite, so we were definitely not skipping it. We managed to see the actual fireworks from “Jingle Bell Jingle Bam” while we waited, as well as the finale of Illuminations! (Pretty cool stuff!)

Fantasmic really is great though, it’s sweet, and an excellent use of characters and has some great music in it. The five minute long Pocohontas section is a little bit dated. (I mean, I’m just saying it wouldn’t be hard to say, switch that up to be about a young Polynesian girl wondering how far she’ll go…) But otherwise, this is a stone cold classic.

Our final stop was Magic Kingdom, where we arrived just as the lights were dimming for “Happily Ever After.” Our plans were all Fantasyland based, so we saw the fireworks, but not the projection show. (Still really good.)


Also, got these cool pics with the fireworks in them!

We rode Under The Sea, and then Dom wanted to check out Winnie The Pooh. I’m not a huge fan of that ride, and was wearing my Rapunzel Disneybound, so I went to meet up with Punzie herself (and my girl Tiana!)

As I talked about my “best day ever” with Rapunzel, I thought about how lucky I’ve been this year, to share my favorite place with so many people I love so much, and how happy I am to have made these little touchstones for myself.


Chatting with Rapunzel = My favorite thing to do on trips. For serious.

Juli, Dom and I met up altogether at the latern photo spot by Rapunzel’s tower, and then we headed out to get to the TTC and then home.

The lines for both the monorail and the ferry were bonkers, so we walked to the contemporary and took the monorail from there. Once we got back to the hotel, we all quickly crashed out.

Our final day might have been my favorite…I’ll get into why when I talk about it tomorrow! (Yes, I’m burning through these write ups…I had to do something to distract myself during the boring/terrible parts of the prequels…so you know…most of the prequels…)

Merry Dapper Day Trip: 11/19/2017: “Dapper World Travel”

Crazy early rope dropping is crazy. Normal things kick off at 9 AM rope dropping…way better. Which made our Sunday much easier than our Saturday.


It was Dapper Day at Epcot, all three of us were bounding as Inside out Characters. Juli as Disgust, Dom as Anger and me as Fear. Our first stop was obviously the Character Spot to meet Joy and Sadness. It worked out perfectly, we were the first ones in the door and our friends were just so happy to see us.


Our next stop was Test Track, which because of the speedy Joy and Sadness meet, we waited 20 minutes for. (HOORAY! I ❤ Rope Drop!) And then thanks to Dom, we crushed all of our tests (except efficiency, which you know, fine.)

Our next stop was Spaceship Earth, and I mean, you all know how I feel about Spaceship Earth, but this ride was, well, rough. It’s normally a 20 minute experience and due to breakdowns in every single room it took about an hour. It may have even cured me of my love for it. (Not really, but I mean, maybe.)

After that we had a fast pass for Character Spot, which again, is on my top 10 character meets. It’s just a lot of fun, and you get the classic looks for the characters.

At last, we decided to begin our trip around the world, where we would eat, drink and be holiday merry! Juli wanted to do the Chip and Dale Oranament Scavenger Hunt, which wound up being a great deal of fun! Our first stop was Mexico, which meant, of course! Margaritas!

I decided to skip La Cava (I know, blasphemy!) And to check out the new tequila stand, La Choza. I went for the classic lime frozen Margarita which was delicious and refreshing. We also ate a couple of snacks from the holiday kitchen, and then shopped in the pavilion, and rode La Fiesta Tour! (I still think that ride has some weird racial elements, but everyone else tells me I’m nuts, so you know, whatever.)

Then came Norway, where we had a fastpass for Frozen Ever After. I still love it. I will always love it. Post ride, we split a beer and got some pastries at Kringla, and HOLY CRAP am I planning on doing that every time from now on. Everything was sensationally yummy, not too sweet and delicious.

China netted another beer, some pot stickers and egg rolls, and a wander through the exhibit on Shanghai Disneyland. Someday I will attempt the Asian parks, though Disneyland Paris seems way more likely this half decade. (I have some vague Europe plans, that include Paris, and well, it’s something I’d like to do for a day…) then Germany, (beer and cheese fondue…) then Italy, (Rose Regale), American Adventure, where we not only chowed down on turkey and stuffing (and a citrusy wheat beer,) but we shopped and I bought some mega cute Mason Jar Glasses featuring Huey, Dewey and Louie enjoying New York and New Jersey.

In Japan, we skipped drinking or eating (nothing really appealed) and just wandered around Mitsokoshi.

Morocco brought more wandering through the market place (and Sangria) followed by a bit of Bouche De Noel, (and Kir Royale) in France, plus some more shopping. We reached the UK, and I demanded a Snake Bite! Juli wanted tea, so we got that too, and again, our search for Chip and Dale lead us through the shops.

Finally we got to Canada, and decided to check in for dinner early. The desk actually advised against it, and we instead found out way to the front of the park to take some pictures. I love a picture of Spaceship Earth at night and honestly, I think this picture of the three of us in front of the Epcot Christmas Tree is one of the best we took.


During this, we squared with the fact that we just might miss Illuminations. I was bummer, but excited to try the new restaurant, which was, once we checked in, truly great. We ate the Cheddar Cheese soup (natch) and a special Poutine only available to Annual Pass Holders (Woo hoo! That decision paid off again!) and then split the Porterhouse for 2 among the three of us. (It was more than enough!) We were finished by 8:50, and the meal was well paced, but not super rushed, and able to find spots right on the railing for Illuminations.

I love this show, and everytime I’ve seen it this year, I’ve remembered that it may be the last time, and I’ve cried. This time, I held it together, until, well, until the end. After the normal finale, there was a very special Holiday Tag, which aside from being a lovely blue color scheme, is soundtracked by a children’s choir singing “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”

So, I was basically a puddle.

After that, we strolled to the Boardwalk and over to Jellyrolls. A few beers, and a lot of fun (though more mellow than the usual brand I’ve had there) later, we decided to hop in a Lyft and head back to the hotel.

Ummm, with a Lyft driver, I will only describe as eccentric, (who didn’t use GPS, God help us) we all did out best to get through the ride without bursting into giggles. The giggles came, once we exited and headed back to the room.

We were in bed well before midnight, ready for our 4 park day, the next day…stay tuned!

Merry Dapper Day: 11/18/2017 – Dapper And Curious

I’ve made my thoughts on being on hand for rope drop extremely clear. I think it’s an important way to remove a lot of stress from a day in Disney park day. Of course, sometimes, life doesn’t care about your plans and ideas about theme park touring.

At the sort of last minute, this trip, Disney changed Magic Kingdom’s opening from 9 AM to 8 AM. To compensate, Juli and I got up SUPER early, and were at the turnstiles at 6:50 (YES REALLY). Magic Bands didn’t start scanning until 7:20 and Main Street didn’t open until 7:50.

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Finally Inside!

Is this weird? You BETCHA. Main Street usually opens about an hour before park time, not 10 minutes. Regardless, we got a lot done. I purchased a lovely dress at the Emporium, that doubled as a ticket to a meet and greet with Ashley Eckstein and Ashley Taylor of Her Universe. My mania to do this was kind of unfounded, because unlike at Comic Con, not many people at Magic Kingdom, give a rat’s ass about Ashley. (Which is unfortunate. Because Ashley Eckstein, and now Ashley Taylor are incredible women who are doing awesome stuff for women in fandom. They were very nice to me too!)

Once we were permitted in, Juli and I walked over to the tea cups, took some pictures with Alice, (to go with our Cheshire Cat and White Rabbit ‘bounds) and then rode said tea cups, whileJuli took pictures. We were still waiting on Dom, because you know, he didn’t want to wake up at 5:30 AM (amateur!) which lead to a certain amount of just wandering and taking things in, although at 9, I had the meet and greet.


While I waited on line to meet the Ashleys, I thought a lot about this blog, fandom and what this all means to me. I was about a year into my commitment to doing the fangirl thing for real when I found Her Universe, and it really changed a lot for me. It was another two years before I opened my heart to the Star Wars extended universe stuff, which brought Ahsoka to me. (#AhsokaLives!) What meant the world to me, was that Ashley remembered me. Her work and designs have created such an incredible space for women in fandom, allowing us to express our love of media while still being girls, coming to it on our own terms, rather than those laid out for us.

After that, we all managed to meet up and started using our fastpasses, and just going on rides.


All Together!

Also, taking lots of pictures. At 10:30 we came up with a GREAT IDEA to go over to Via Nappoli for lunch. (Hint, this wound up NOT being a great idea. We didn’t get there until Monday…there was a bunch of reservation drama too.) In the end, we wound up hitting a few rides, and then going over to The Wave at the Contemporary for lunch. After that, it was back over to the park, where we did a meet up with some folks for a photo op.

I mentioned this in April, but it bears repeating. I’ve really enjoyed Dapper Day and my general dive into Disney Park fandom this past year, but meet up wise, I’ve been underwhelmed, and my comic com experiences have spoiled me. NO ONE talks to each other outside of their groups at these meet ups, and it’s a huge ass bummer to me.

Post meet up, we rode the train, which I haven’t done since I was a kid, and then got some Dole Whips and headed to the enchanted Tiki Room. After exiting the Tiki Room, we got caught up in the Frontier Land Hoe-Down, which was amazing. Juli and I were pulled in to dance with Clarabelle and Horace, and neither of us could stop smiling for quite a while. We then road the River Boat (again, something I haven’t done since I was a kid. It’s way more fun having written over a hundred pages on Mark Twain!)

We then had a Peter Pan fast pass, and then picked up a Small World one. While on line for Small World, we discussed dinner plans and wound up deciding on going back to Pop and eating at the food court, which was kind of perfect. I had the fried chicken, and a giant ass Corona.

Juli and I both decided it was time to de-dapper, as we headed back to the park for the fireworks. We got an OK spot, and even made some friends as we waited.

Happily Ever After is a technological marvel, with a delightful soundtrack and a few really stellar sections. I’ll never love any framing quite as much as I love Wishes, nor will any likely make me as emotional, but it’s a truly terrific show. We’d already decided not to stay for closing, but I suggested we ride something rather than get stuck in the crush. We landed on reriding Pirates, which is always a favorite, although, as you can tell from the below picture, we were less than engaged.


Juli isn’t yet literally asleep, though she assures me that she did at one point.

So then it was back to the resort and time for our longest sleep of the trip…and the next day…well, we’ll get to that!