The Weekly Peanut, Issue 163 part 2
My staycation and the Disney Saga continues...
We'd originally planned to do Animal Kingdom Monday morning, but the weather was ominous so we stayed around the house for a while to wait and see what would make the most sense if we left the house. Sure enough, a forecast that was originally "RAIN ALL DAY!!" turned into "ominous overcast all day but not really any rain!" By the time we left the house, we'd decided to just have a casual afternoon at Magic Kingdom to take in the parade and as many Dream Alongs (castle show) as we could before the show is ended for good this coming Saturday. There's currently a monorail that Disney has decorated to promote Zootopia and D is obsessed with it. Unfortunately we've never managed to catch it. UNTIL MONDAY!!
D was OVER. THE. MOON. She kept pointing out all the characters. There's also been some extensive debate with her over the name of the movie. She keeps insisting it's "ZENTOPIA." Like, VEHEMENTLY.
I was worried with the crowds that we wouldn't be able to grab a spot for Festival of Fantasy on such short notice, but we managed to grab our usual area near the end of the parade. Alice stopped for a group hug.
And promptly got chastised by White Rabbit for making everybody late. Sorry, Alice! After parade we made our way up to the hub to try to decide what we were going to do with our time. D saw Posie the Wonderland flower making her way out to the hub and decided a visit was in order.
You can learn an awful lot from the flowers, you know! We had a solid chunk of time before the last Dream Along show so we headed back to Fantasyland to say hi to our friend Sarah.
We had planned to hang out and say high to the Fairy Godmother, too. But her line was moving so slowly that suddenly Amy looked down at her watch and Dream Along was getting ready to start. We hauled down to the hub and thank goodness we had some friends holding space for us otherwise we would have been about 20 people deep (we had to park our strollers off to the side but still got plenty of shade thrown our way as we picked our way up to the spot. Sorry not sorry).
After the show we made our way back to Fantasyland to get in line for Livvy's Favorite Lost Boy. The character attendant (Blueberry) that day was a guy known as "Magic Mike" to the Disney community and it's always a treat to see him. He chatted endlessly with Daphne while we waited for Pan to arrive and charmed her thoroughly enough that by the time Pan came out D was more interested in Mike than Pan.
It's cool, Peter, D will just play hide and seek with you from over here, ok?
Mike came back over to chat with the girls some more after Livvy said goodbye to Pan. He made the girls special personalized buttons.
At the end of Peter's set, Mike called him over to the girls and Peter grabbed their hands and they took a walk through Fantasyland together. D acted as their tour guide...
"Do you like rides, Peter? Dat's your ride. Dat's small world over dere. It has a long line doe."
Peter taught the girls how to not step on the cracks in the bricks. HELP. MY DAUGHTER WILL NEVER AGAIN WALK OVER THESE STONES QUICKLY EVER AGAIN.
Daphne kept asking Mike and Peter to stay and play, but they had to go back and check on the lost boys. She had to settle for high fives instead. Headed to Storybook Circus to ride Liv's favorite, the Barnstormer.
Followed by a relaxing trip on MY favorite, the people mover.
We decided to call it a day at that point, hard to top magical walks through Fantasyland with Peter Pan. Move It Shake It was making its way down Main Street to the exit so we decided to stop and wave at Nick and Judy Hopps as they passed. Got a welcome surprise hug when we saw Dani coming down the street with the parade.
We managed to catch a quick hug from Ashlyn in the Chapeau before heading out to the Poly to finally put food in our faces.
In a truly kismet moment, Maleficent was being screened out on the lawn. Truly fortuitous given our plans for the following evening...
Club Villain. Ian and I went last month on a date night and had a blast. At the time the reservations first opened only 7pm seatings were being done and D was still somewhat iffy on villains and late nights, so we'd opted to go without her. When D saw my pictures from the night? She was REALLY INTERESTED in going. Disney opted to extend Club Villain for a few more months AND started offering a 4pm seating AND they had avaialbility while Amy and Liv would be staying with us. Well, gosh. Since this is likely not going to be a permanent opportunity, I went ahead and signed us up for a ladies' night at one of my favorite places and crossed my fingers.
I had a dilemma leading up to this: what was Daphne going to wear?? Daphne, for all her extensive wardrobe options, had ZERO villain outfits. This would not do. So I got with Sharan, our favorite fairy godmother on Etsy to start coordinating my idea for D's new ensemble. From the moment I saw the Maleficent movie for the first time (much though I may have had mixed feelings about the movie as a whole), I was struck by the resemblance young Maleficent bore to me as a kid, and therefore to Daphne as well.
With Sharan on board for the dress, I also found a seller that was crafting kid sized horns with a 3-D printer. The wings proved the most tricky. A toddler with massive heavy wings? No thank you. I found a woman that made some flexible wings out of felt, then I broke out the glue gun and attached feathers to them all by myself. Hot glue is about as crafty as I get. The final result was everything I could have hoped for, and D was over the moon with it.
Liv dressed up as Aurora from the film.
I really wanted to get us a table on the dance floor so the girls would have a good view of the performances. When I called guest services, they recommended checking in as early as possible and requesting at the check in table. So we waited outside the gate. We started feeling rain droplets. NOPE. There was NOWHERE to take cover. Some cast members came up to put out the sign for Club Villain. "Hi... are you guys going to open the gate soon?" Blink. Blink blink. "I know it's early, it's just that it's about to monsoon, and it might be nice to take shelter under the awnings of the Sunset Showcase building." They looked up, looked back, realization finally dawned. "Ohhhh... uhhh yes yes we'll open the gates as soon as possible." Indeed they did. The gates swung back and we were able to check in and huddle under an awning within 5 minutes, just in time to avoid the serious downpour that started in short order. The cast members came by with trays of champagne and bottled water for the (literally) huddled masses as we waited for Club Villain to officially open. OH we got our dancefloor table, too. The doors opened at last to the thumping sounds of house music. D's eyes were HUGE as we led her into the room. We found our table and D kept taking in everything. I pointed out the poisoned apple disco ball to her. She remained mute until she saw Maleficent's throne. MOMMYYYYY!!!!
She was off like a rocket. The attendant encouraged her to try it out. Up she clambered. I showed her Diablo. I think D would have been happy to just sit there the whole night, but other people wanted a photo op, and I wanted to try to show D the other sets before the opening floor show began. Cruella's couch was next.
It was all over once I pointed out the puppies to her. D made repeat visits throughout the night to pet the puppy that was hiding under the couch.
There was a line to sit in the Snow Queen's throne, so we checked out Queen of Hearts instead.
The thunder cracked and the lights flashed: the signal for the show to begin. We all scrambled back to the table. D was not a fan of the thunder and covered her ears while watching the introductions with big eyes.
Dr. Facilier introduced the ladies of the hour one by one. D remained raptly staring with her ears covered. Maleficent stalked the room until her eyes landed on Daphne. I thought I saw her eyes twitch a little as she stopped by our table.
She addressed Daphne by name, told her how glad she was that Daphne had finally come to visit. "You're going to come see me later, right?" From the moment Maleficent started talking, D's hands came away from her ears and D started grinning from ear to ear. She nodded shyly with big googly eyes just for Maleficent. Mal went back over to her spot on the floor for the rest of the show, and Daphne stared at me with stars in her eyes. I'd been telling her since I'd booked our reservations that Maleficent had asked about her and couldn't wait to see her, but it's like she hadn't believed me until that moment. Her excitement ratcheted to a completely different level than I'd seen. Our Cruella and Maleficent meets were scheduled for immediately following the floor show. Liv has been a little villain-reluctant in the past, so I suggested we go for Cruella first. She's super fun and approachable. (Side note: this night seemed much less crowded than our last trip to Club Villain. No lines for food or meets more than MAYBE one group except for the Queen of Hearts who seemed to have a backup the whole night).
We let D go up solo at first to show Livvy how much fun these villains can be.
In case D was feeling shy, we'd picked out some special gifts to give to each of the villains as an ice-breaker for her. It probably wasn't necessary, but D gets so excited about giving them. Cruella got a bracelet made of Dalmatian patterned beads.
Livvy stepped up to say hello.
Cruella asked if the bracelet was made of Jasper. Then she asked if the girls knew Jasper? No? "Oh, he's a completely useless minion." Dramatic sigh. "Say, would you two like to be my new minions???" Oh dear.
Yes, Livvy and D were quite taken with Auntie Cruella. As the night continued, she seemed to have the most down time with no visitors. D made repeated return trips to pet the doggies, Liv went back to chat with Cruella, and I went back just to watch her dance to the Harlem Shake. Love her. Maleficent was up next. D and I were VERY excited.
It's not in Maleficent's nature to get excited, but she got off her throne and came straight over to crouch down with Daphne. "Daphne, I do not hug. But if you would like to hug me, I will permit you to do so at this time."
Daphne remembered then that she had a gift for Maleficent. We gave Maleficent a brass bejeweled placard that says "YOU'RE INVITED!" Yes, Maleficent received a permanent invitation. To everything. I told her she never had to party crash again. She took D back to her throne for a chat.
They talked about parties. And birthdays. "You're birthday is July 4th, yes?" D nodded. Maleficent held up her invitation. "And I'm invited? I get to come watch fireworks with you?" Big nod. She asked if D would pose for some portraits. D was all ready with her little arms crossing pose. She looked up and smiled. "No dear, you must look angry. Put on your angry face." "But I not angry. I so happy." Gahhh my heart. Maleficent almost cracked. "Well then, dear, as my friend the Queen taught you, just don't smile so you don't get wrinkles."
Livvy definitely seemed over any villain aversion she may have had when she joined in for a group portrait.
Maleficent even walked the girls over to meet Diablo before permitting Liv a hug as well.
We reluctantly left the Mistress of All Evil to get some food. Found out that, if you request it, you can get chicken tenders and mac and cheese for kids. We'd fed the girls before coming, which was just as well since they had no interest in eating when there was DANCING to be had. Especially dancing with BELLA.
A new performance started on the dance floor and we returned to our tables. I let D have her first treat of the evening: one of Cruella's chocolate "dog treats." After the show was our second meeting appointment for the other two lady villains. We went to see the Queen first. Her gift was a bejeweled magic mirror for portability, since her usual one is so big. She approved.
Daphne remembered her pose right away.
They had a little chat, but D must have been feeling extra happy, because the queen got several awkward cuddles. Honestly I blame all the time we've spent with Lady Tremaine for D having no problem with reluctant huggers.
I was very excited for our last stop: the Queen of Hearts. Her crazy energy level is up there with Cruella and I had a feeling D would think she was a blast.
The queen's gift was a bracelet of red roses. "What sort of flowers are these?" "Roses." "And what color are they?" "Red!" "You're sure, dear? They aren't white roses that you've painted?" D giggled. "NOOOOOO!" "Ohhhhh well in that case..."
The queen demonstrated several potential displays for the bracelet through Daphne's giggling protestations before finally settling on her wrist. Another floor show was starting as she positioned D up on her throne for a picture. "OH! OH DEAR! You stay right there I will be RIGHT BACK!" She scooped up her massive skirts and went charging out to the dance floor with Cruella to a rousing performance of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy before charging back over to her throne. "DID YOU SEE ME? Wasn't I fantastic?! I was showing off my new bracelet to everyone!"
Livvy came over for a chat. I can't say I recall what they were talking about or pointing at, but there was much silliness and giggling involved.
The queen declared they needed a portrait on her throne. She helped the girls get positioned on either side of the throne. The queen turned around...
Aaaaaand I died. Perfect.
Dr. Facilier's processional was making its way around the room and Daphne immediately charged over to be a part of it. Kanzo (the host) was handing out beads to the participants and promptly places about 10 of them around Daphne, to her delight.
Honestly D had been pretty spectacular the whole evening. We'd had one incident of not listening to me about running on the dancefloor that required a little chat in the bathroom, but she'd been on her game ever since. So I let her pick out one more treat. She didn't hesitate. She immediately pointed over to Maleficent's table, to the green horned cupcakes.
After de-frosting my kid, I looked around to see that the night seemed to be winding down a bit (and it was only 6:30!). Several of the villains were stationed at their thrones with no guests (Cruella was dancing). I was making D sit and digest before diving back on the dancefloor. "Oh, Daphne..." Maleficent was all alone at her throne, beckoning to my child. D looked at me. "Go on, then..."
D and Mal, thick as thieves. I don't even know how long they were huddled together chatting as if no one else existed about things I couldn't begin to hear over the music. We had to go back to our table for the finale show and wave fond farewells to all of our new friends. It was such a spectacular night. Livvy had a ball and is already asking Amy to come back on their next visit in October.
When Daphne came home from school Wednesday the first thing she said to me was, "MOMMY! Maleficent coming to my birthday party!" Ok, then!