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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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…)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Merry Dapper Day Trip Report: 11/17/2017 “Most Merriest Day!”

Hey everyone! It’s time for a trip report, who’s excited? (ME! I am!) I’m recovering from both the trip and the eat a thon that is Thanksgiving which makes lazing around in yoga pants talking about the trip sort of great!

So, day 1. Travel days are, as I’ve said before, tricky! I flew out of JFK this time instead of Newark because it would up being about $200 cheaper (in a “time and aggrivation as money” analysis however, MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE). I had a 10 o’clock flight, so I left the house at 6 AM to get parked and to the gate by 8:30. It was an uneventful but lovely flight, I even landed early at 12:45, and, true to form, was in my room at Pop Century, an hour and a half later. (SHORTER Magical Express trip than ever.)

Juli and Dom had driven down and arrived the night before, and had headed over to the monorail loop for lunch, so I got to the room to change for our evening at Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

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After Juli and Dom got back to the room I headed to the food court and picked up a flatbread.

Before the party, from 4 to 7, we had a few fastpasses, Splash Mountain and the Tinker Bell meet and greet. Both went well, Splash being just refurbished, it looked amazing.

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I love meeting Tink, too. She’s definitely on my list of people to shoot for most trips! We also stopped by to say hi to Peter Pan, as he’s Juli’s favorite, and since she was wearing her pixie dust outfit. (I’m sure she’ll be discussing this in detail on her blog, during her “Fashion Friday” pieces.)

Then, 6 o’clock, and then 7 hit and it was party time. We walked on to Pirates and Jingle Cruise, after Juli changed into her Elsa Disneybound and we walked around, eating cookies, drinking hot chocolate and marveling at the Christmas decorations, and snow on Main Street. Sometime in there we grabbed dinner at Pecos Bill’s, which was a new one for me, and even though I generally try to avoid Magic Kingdom counter service, I liked my chicken taco quite a bit. (Shocking, that I enjoyed a chicken taco, I know!)

We met Judy Hopps and Nick Wylde, which was also super fun, and paid a visit to Goofy dressed as Santa. Then we hopped over to wait to meet Donald and Uncle Scrooge and, sadly, for my current Duck obsessed self, decided to bail when it was getting close to fireworks time. Then we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave main street and all it’s glory before watching the parade.

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But first I want to talk about Holiday Wishes. I’d never seen it before (obv) and tried to avoid videos of it. But I’d heard about the “Oh Christmas Tree” section in various places, and I’ve got to tell you, it did not disappoint. It’s a breathtaking combination of pyrotechnics, music and lighting, that of course, made me cry like a baby.

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Then the parade. Overall, I preferred the experience of the Christmas party to the Halloween party, and really really enjoyed the Christmas parade, but it can’t touch Boo To You. That said, taken on it’s own, it’s spectacular, and the Christmas costumes on the characters are great, and I’ll always love a visit from Santa.

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Post parade we wound back, rode The Haunted Mansion and then bough some party exclusive merch at the Emporium, before heading back to Pop to sleep.

Up next! Dapper Day at Magic Kingdom, and other thoughts and joys.

Merry Dapper Day Disney Trip Preview

Hey all! So, this time next week, I’ll be in the air about half way to Disney World, for what I’ve decided to call the “Merry Dapper Day” trip, as the main focuses of the trip are going to be Christmas celebrations, and Dapper Day.

This is a basic overview of what I think the trip will look like (obviously, I mean, obviously things often take on their own life.) and honestly, I’m going to try, (SO SO HARD) to not get caught up in the details of things and go with the flow. I’m much more of a passenger on this trip. Juli did most of the planning, (with input, of course! She’s a doll!) And if you want more detailed talk about our plans, you should check out her blog. (You should check it out anyway, because Juli is great and her writing is fun!)

Anyway, here’s the broadstrokes, be sure to check out Facebook, for live videos and pictures throughout the week!

Friday 11/17:

I’m on a 10AM flight, expected to land at MCO by 1-ish, which means I’ll be to Pop Century, by 3, hopefully earlier, but you know Magical Express, I’ve literally had 2 hours each time I’ve used it. Juli and Dom will have already arrived, and then we’ll be off to Magic Kingdom, for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

There are Disney Bound and ride plans in place as well as a few Fastpasses for before the party and I’m really excited about this. I’ve wanted to see the snow on Main Street for years, can’t wait to compare notes with the Halloween Party, and of course, to possibly meet a certain Scottish billionaire duck, who’s going to be in attendance. (I’m speaking of Flintheart Glomgold…natch…He has a kilt McDuck! A KILT!) (I’m kidding, I mean Scrooge.)

The party goes until midnight. So that will be that.

Saturday 11/18:

Magic Kingdom Dapper Day! So there are a few things happening here, it’s our Magic Kingdom Dapper Day, and also, Magic Kingdom is open from 8 AM to Midnight….that’s a long day. Obviously, I will attempt to be totally mellow and NOT demand that we arrive to the park by 7:15 so we can enjoy Main Street and line up before opening.

I make no promises that I will succeed in this, but I’m gonna TRY.

I’m really excited to be back in the Kingdom with Juli, and to see Happily Ever After! We have Fastpasses for morning and afternoon, no dining reservations. (I am trying hard to not hyperventilate at this.) And also, the park is open until midnight, so there’s a good hour and half of post fireworks time (my FAVORITE time in the parks).

Sunday 11/19:

Epcot Dapper Day. Plans include, photos in front of colored walls, I bet. Spaceship Earth, drinking around the world, Frozen Ever After, Holidays around the world, and dinner at Le Cellier, before of course, Illuminations.

This is a more normal park houred day of 9-9, which leaves a deep likelyhood of an evening at Jellyrolls…mostly, I’m happy for light scheduling on Epcot days, because World Showcase doesn’t lend itself to tight schedules. For example had I scheduled by last Dapper Epcot Day, I’d never have wound up doing the Great Princess Hunt of 2017, which was a really fun way to spend that day.

This day also includes one of our only two scheduled ADRs, because, it’s Le Cellier. Juli and I skipped it our last trip for a few reasons (Food and Wine, and we ate at 3 other signature restaurants that trip!) and I’m very excited to finally eat there.

Monday 11/20:

FOUR PARK DAY!

We’re starting at Animal Kingdom, Heading to Magic Kingdom, (though now with MK being open to midnight, this may shift!) then Epcot, then finishing out the evening at Studios.

I’m not entirely sure what the plan is for the evening, because we may go over to Magic Kingdom AFTER Studios closes rather than in the morning, but I know early on there was Monorail Bar Crawl talk. (I always stomp for Monorail Bar Crawl!) Or, Disney Springs, where I know Juli and Dom are spending Friday morning, is also always an option.

Tuesday 11/21:

This is our big Animal Kingdom day! I heart Animal Kingdom and I’m SO SO SO SO excited to have a whole planned day there. Since we’ll have already done the Safari, there’s not going to be much difficulty in heading right to Pandora, where we’ve got a Flight Of Passage fastpass for 9:10, so we can rope drop Na’Vi River Journey, and then head right there.

We have a reservation at Tusker House at 10:45, so we’ll get some character fun in, and we’ll try a restaurant we haven’t before. (I haven’t done a character meal since I was 12, so I’m also excited for that!) But our other fastpasses aren’t until way later in the day (one for Everest, and the other for the second show of Rivers of Light), so it gives us lots of time to just BE IN ANIMAL KINGDOM, which, I’ve only really ever done on solo trips.

I’d love to give my Drink Through the Jungle plan a shot, or finally sit down for Festival of The Lion King, or even just chillax at Nomad Lounge for ages. I can’t wait to see Pandora after dark, walk the Maharajah & Gorilla Falls trails, and, like I said, just wander generally.

Wednesday 11/22:

My flight home is at 9:42 in the morning. My ME will likely be sometime around 6 AM. I will probably not us ME for the return trip. A Lyft at 7 AM ought to do the trick. I am anticipating being delayed anywhere from 1 to 6 hours, as it’s not only my luck trying to get home from Disney World, but the day before Thanksgiving. (I’m also using a car service to and from the airport because when I knew better than to ask any of my family to pick me up from JFK on the day before Thanksgiving.)

I’m really excited to get there! I’m really really excited to be there with my friends, especially, to hit some of the stuff that ignited my love of Disney Vacations with Juli. Since we got home 2 years ago I’ve been in a constant state of Disney planning and it’s been incredible. 

 

 

 

Cosplay Corner: Disneybounding Rapunzel

You know how I said that I was done talking about the Disney trip? I LIED! No, honestly, I just forgot this was a post I wanted to do. And since it’s Halloween, it’s actually a very good day to do this one, where I break down the Rapunzel Disneybound I put together.

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Rapunzel is my second favorite princess, after Cinderella. And I’m saving a Cinderella Disneybound for something special. (It involves mash ups…and other people. And the phrase Work!)

Rapunzel, however, can be on her own, or in combination with other people, so, here she is.

The decision to do Rapunzel came first, and then came the ears.

They came from an Etsy store called Cantina Traders, and I love them so much. They also got so many compliments, especially from cast members. (There’s a special point of pride for me when Cast Members compliment specific parts of my outfits.)

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The tee shirt was another Etsy purchase, and the shorts came off of Amazon. (They are HUE brand. I’m a big fan of HUE, they have the best black tights, and I’ve found their leggings great too in the past. These shorts really worked out perfectly.)

I’m planning on wearing this one again while Juli, Dom and I are down there.

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But I did do a fun Photopass shoot in this while we were leaving Animal Kingdom, so I thought I’d share those!

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Players Gonna Play, Play, Play

I kicked off 2015 with a dance party with two of my best friends in the world. If you would like to take part, you’re welcome to also have a crazy dance party.

Reenie, Katie & Chrissy’s NYE 2015 Dance Party Playlist

  • Kick Things Off With the African Safari episode of Beyond Belief, because you absolutely should just do that. “No a rhino!”
  • “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
  • “Fancy” by Iggy Azaela
  • “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
  • “Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC
  • “Say You’ll Be There” by The Spice Girls
  • “Let’s Go To The Mall” by Robin Sparkles

Have a Happy New Year! I’m off to Vegas! Hooray!