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MouseStation 247 - Party! Party! Party! with Eric M. Davis

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Thanks to our sponsor

Today's show is sponsored by Advantage Vacation Homes, a great vacation home rental company that gives you a place to stay with lots more space than a regular hotel room for a lot less money.

Remember, if you're planning a trip with a large number of people, a multiple-bedroom vacation home can be a lot cheaper than multiple hotel rooms.

For more information on what a vacation home is and what to expect when renting one, check out our interview of Fred Zorayq from Advantage Vacation Homes in Episode 219!

Featured topic: Party! Party! Party! with Eric Davis

In this week's feature, Mark and Mike are joined by Eric M. Davis of MousePlanet Orlando Fun Tickets to talk about the three hard-ticketed nighttime parties at the Magic Kingdom: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey's Pirate & Princess Party.

We're nearing the midpoint of this year's running of the Halloween party, we're a month away from the Christmas party, and Pirate & Princess starts up again in January.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)

Eric loves the Boo To You Parade. They change the Fab Five's costumes each year, and this year Mickey and Minnie look very cute in their new purple outfits.

Cast members are wearing neon costumes at the trick-or-treat stations. The new decorations look great, and Mark loves the new Jack o'Lanterns on Main Street that are themed to the shops that they're above. Eric notes that the parties are all about having unique experiences in a familiar environment.

The signature moment of the parade is before the parade as the Headless Horseman rides down the parade route. It's one of the toughest photos to get, as he's moving really fast and the lighting is really poor; it's even tough to get with a flash. Watching the parade from Liberty Square is a perfect setting because you can see the Headless Horseman ride past while you have the aura of Sleepy Hollow around you, and you also have the Haunted Mansion nearby as you watch the gravedigger drill team as part of the Haunted Mansion unit of the parade.

The fireworks show features a Radio Disney-like soundtrack.

Everyone can go trick-or-treating using bags that are handed out as you enter the park. Eric says that it seems that they've cut back a bit on the quantity of candy that they're handing out at each stop, but you can always get back in line. Mark noted that you can always use your Owner's Locker to store your excess candy (in a Ziploc bag, of course) until you return.

Eric noted that he and his friends went as dodgeball players this year, which reminded Mark that one of the big things at the Halloween party is that everybody goes in costume. Mark remembered a particular family that had everybody dressed as a different Peter Pan character. Eric remembered that lots of people came as Mr. Incredible before The Incredibles was even released to theaters.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP)

This party runs from early November until the Friday before Christmas, at which point they make the special entertainment available to all guests for the holiday season.

Eric thinks that there's nothing like snow on Main Street. He remembers going to the park at Christmastime and having one of his best times with his family ever.

Mark notes that the Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas show is probably the only place that you can see Mickey and Minnie in bed together. The first show gets pretty crowded, and the shows keep getting more crowded as the nights go on. There's also a show in the castle forecourt stage that's very popular.

Eric noted that the lights on the castle will be even better than last year, and that there will also be lights on the back of the castle this year.

Note that the MouseFest meet for MVMCP is on Thursday night, December 11.

The freebies for this party are the cookies and hot cocoa (though carrots and juice are available for those wishing to be a bit healthier). Mark will take hot cocoa and snickerdoodles any day.

Eric thinks that the fireworks show is the best show ever.

Mark talked about how the Very Merry Christmas Parade at the party is similar to the parade that you see on TV every year, but not identical. He also talked about how the parade is filmed in advance weeks before Christmas and the effect that it has on the Magic Kingdom. Eric remembered working as a manager at the Boardwalk Resort when people were storming the front desk because the TV was showing a parade running in sunshine while it was storming outside and the parade had actually been canceled that year. Mark noted that that was the specific reason that they record it in advance. Eric's favorite float is the Festival of the Lion King float because of the singers, dancers and so forth. Mike agreed wholeheartedly (surprise).

Mickey's Pirate & Princess Party (MP&PP)

We don't know what dates this party is going to run in 2009 yet, as Disney hasn't officially announced the run dates, but it is expected to start up some time in January.

The party first ran in January 2007 and kept running intermittently through that summer, then returned for January through March 2008. We'll have to see what months the party runs this year.

It's Eric's least favorite of the three parties, but he still thinks that it's worth attending.

Posters on the MousePad discussion forums noted that the quality of the candy that they're giving out has gone down this year, and Mark notes that the decrease in quality of the free candy makes it less of a good value. (They give out candy treasure and beaded necklaces to the pirates and princesses at the party, this party's freebies.)

The parade is great, and includes a pari of floats built specifically for this parade, a pirate ship and a treasure chest carring Tinker Bell. Mark noted that the Magic, Music and Mayhem fireworks are his favorite Magic Kingdom fireworks, with his two favorite parts being the battle between the fairies from Sleeping Beauty over whether the castle should be pink or blue and the pirate siege on the castle that ends up with them "blowing up" the castle.

General stuff for all parties

On party nights, the Magic Kingdom closes to day guests at 7 p.m., with the party running from 7 p.m.-midnight. The hard tickets for the party will generally get you into the park as early as 4:30 p.m., depending on how generous they're feeling on any particular day, which will give you time to grab some dinner in the park before the party starts.

The parties are a great way to experience the parks, with crowds generally lighter than during the day as the events are generally limited to 25,000 guests.

Be sure to get your tickets in advance, as the most popular nights do sell out. Don't expect to have tickets available the night of the party. Friday nights and the last nights before the related holiday are the most popular and the most likely to sell out.

Tickets for the three parties can only be purchased through Disney, but any other park tickets can be bought through Orlando Fun Tickets by clicking the "Walt Disney World Tickets" link in the left-hand navigation bar on any page on the MousePlanet site or by clicking here. By buying your tickets through Orlando Fun Tickets after linking over from MousePlanet, you help to support the MousePlanet site! They have an office about a mile from Downtown Disney, and you can either pick up your tickets, have them delivered to your resort or mailed to your home.

CHOC Walk/Team MousePlanet

For more information on supporting Team MousePlanet at this year's CHOC Walk, go to the Team MousePlanet page or get information on the MousePad discussion forums.

Listener Feedback

Due to the length of the show, we just did a couple of listener feedbacks this week.

Stuart Sternberg from Howell, NJ wrote in to thank us for the Disney PhotoMovie that he won in our PhotoPass contest. He and his family had a great time and think that the PhotoMovie is "very special, a magical movie memory of [their] trip."

Sharla called in from Athens, GA, with news that the All Star Resorts also have the H2O products. Mark was a little surprised that they reached all the way down to the Value resorts. Mike noted that just a few years ago, the All Stars used soap dispensers on the wall.

What do you think? Let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Send us your Adventurer's Club memories

The MouseStation is planning to give the Adventurer's Club a proper sendoff as it heads to YesterWorld at the end of September. You can be a part of it by sending your memories of the Adventurer's Club to podcast@mouseplanet.com or calling them in to 1-866-939-2278. Please get them in by September 28 to make sure that we get them before we record the show. Kungaloosh!

Facebook

We're now on Facebook. Join the MousePlanet and MouseStation groups. If you join the club and use Pieces of Flair, you can get your MousePlanet and MouseStation flair from Mark (though you have to friend him first).

MouseFest

Registration is now open for MouseFest! You can sign up now, and check out the many meets being hosted by MousePlanet as you plan your trip.

Wrapping up

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

 

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

Thank you for listening!

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).