Note to Disney. Prep and Landing is awesome. One of my favorite Christmas specials ever. We need more!
We were introduced to the Prep and Landing elves in 2009, with their last TV appearance being in 2011 in Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice. And even though it's been more than 6 years since they've been out, people still have very fond memories of them. The kids got so much attention today. People yelling Prep and Landing! Where did you get those hats? I have to get one of those. Seriously.
All. Day. Long.
It was awesome.
For those who are curious, these hats were released in partnership with Hallmark and sold in Hallmark stores back in 2011 when Naughty vs. Nice first came out. I remember calling my local Hallmark and having them hold a pair for me because I just had to have them for my hat collection.
After a short backup in the parking garage, we found a long line waiting for us at the elevator. I was really hoping it wouldn't be a precursor to the day.
For some reason, both bubble maces were having issues. I wasn't complaining though. No face full of bubbles for me as I push the stroller.
First up, Mater. Love the new songs. Still need to make recordings of them. Unless Disney wants to release a CD of these and the Halloween songs.
I still miss the old tortilla factory (who remembers that?) but the Ghirardelli chocolate and bread will have to suffice.
We appeased Alli with a ride on Ariel.
And then stepped up the thrills on the Golden Zephyr.
Why's Ian smiling so much?
Cause we're riding the swings!
Let's go eat lunch from the Festival of Holidays. There's still a few items we haven't tried yet.
The booths opened at 10:30am and we were in line shortly afterward, making it an early lunch.
At the Festival Holiday Extras booth, we'd get two items.
The Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Bacon for $6.75 started us off. I don't like green food, but I still tried it. I thought they were really undercooked, and that was confirmed by both Theresa and Jacob. Pity.
The Baked Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes for $6.50 were much better. I love the baked cheese on top, and it felt like a decent portion size.
Right next door at the Grandma's Recipes booth, there were a couple more items to try.
Beef Brisket with Brown Sugar-glazed Carrots for $7.75 was the first. It was a decent hunk of meat and I liked the sauce with it. The carrots were indeed brown sugar-glazed. What they weren't is cooked. More raw vegetables.
The Grilled Chicken Sausage with Red Beans and Rice for $7.25 was the biggest ripoff of the day. I really should watch what other people are getting before ordering something myself. So for $7.75 you get 1/4 of a dry sausage, a little rice, and a little bit of beans.
At the Winter Sliderland, there are a couple different sandwiches. Let's try both!
The Roasted Turkey Slider with Cranberry Sauce for $7.50 was pretty delicious. My go-to sandwich at the Earl of Sandwich is the Holiday Turkey. This one had good flavor to be sure, but for $7.50, I'd hope for something bigger than a hawaiian roll.
The Holiday Ham Slider with Pineapple Relish for $7.50 was equally delicious. I really enjoyed that pineapple relish. Same comment on the price.
And a few favorites from that we've tried already in past weeks, but are going back for.
The Chorizo Queso Fundido with House-made Tortilla Chips for $6.00. Yum.
The Warm Bavarian Pretzel with Whole-Grained Dijon Mustard for $5.00 (not pictured).
And the Chana Masala with Grilled Garlic Naan for $6.50.
Theresa, Jacob, and I crowded around a table and tried samples of all our treats.
Time to use our first fastpass of the day.
And after that, what's that big smile for?
Guardians of the Galaxy!
And I got him to put his hands in the air! Now to work on the smile.
It's just before noon, and since we've come to Candlelight for so many years, we know what's coming next. Time to sit on a curb and wait. The first showing of Candlelight is at 5:30 today, so we've got about 5:30 hours to wait around. We are dedicated.
Upon arriving, the front row of the curb had already been completely filled. A strip of green tape ran a short distance behind them, leaving room for only 1 other row of people. The rest of the area had to stay a walkway. I found a spot, put down my blanket and prepared to wait. No room for the stroller at this point, so T and Jacob have the kids for now.
They'd wait a short distance away and come stop by every now and then. Being in this location gave us a good view of the Christmas Fantasy parade (which could really use an updated soundtrack).
Reindeer are coming! Santa must not be far behind.
We passed the time meeting up with old friends and making new ones.
It's certainly a small world. Turns out I work with the husband of one of the other guests. And work in the same industry, went to the same school, and root for the same football team as another guest. Having so much in common, along with having friendly outgoing guests waiting with me, helped pass the time.
Even the characters came over to visit. Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto all paid us a visit.
And even got serenaded by a wandering band.
Well we saw the parade go in one direction. Let's watch it go the other direction.
Someone needs to teach that boy to dance. The excitement is certainly there. Alli just started hopping and couldn't stop.
Ian and Alli doing everything they can with the rope except hang on it.
Hi Santa! I want candy and money for Christmas!
The kids enjoyed their last few minutes of freedom, finding a play buddy and chasing each other around this area.
But the rest of the chairs weren't far behind. Time to get out of the way of everyone trying to set up.
Right after the parade, around 4pm, the area was opened up to everyone else. Finally we could fit the stroller in. Everyone was asked to stand to make room for people in the back.
Now that the rope is up, the area in front of us became a keep out zone. As our Candlelight friends Armand and Robbin do every year, they brought treats for everyone to share. They gave me a tray of cookies and wouldn't accept it back, telling me to pass them out and make friends. Thanks!
Being on Main Street here, I enjoyed watching the flag retreat ceremony.
Ah, someone is at the podium. I can take some practice shots. Uh oh. I wish the horticulture department would have done a little bit more tree trimming. I've got a few low hanging branches that might be a problem. Just have to wait and see.
Keeping us safe.
Thankfully the cast members weren't unnecessarily strict in the enforcement of the keep-out zone. When the kids had those immediate "I have to potty" breaks, it was much easier to duck under the rope to get to the bathrooms than to fight through the 10 deep crowds and go opposite traffic. Big thank you to them for that.
At 4:55 we sent Ruston a good luck picture. And a short time later he told us that everyone was lining up.
Uh oh. She never did get a nap today. With the show starting in 20 minutes, this one is sure to be a short one.
At 5:30, the Processional arrived.