Monday, December 19, 2011

Dreaming Disney - Your Hometown Holiday Touring Plan

The North Pole's Kitchen

Santa's Workshop
Recently the Between Family adventured into Minneapolis for some holiday fun.  We took in the “A Day in the Life of an Elf” display at Macy’s which included a family visit with Santa, followed by a visit to the puppet theater to see “Moose Crossing” a 25 minute show that includes familiar Disney voices in Julie Andrews and Walter Cronkite.  And finally the evening was capped with the Holidazzle holiday parade.  As our night progressed, I looked over at Mrs. Between Disney and said, “our Disney touring skills have come in handy tonight.”  Here are the principles that helped us have a highly successful night.     
·        Have a Plan: Mrs. Between Disney is a planning genius.  She had setup a basic plan for our trip and how we could see everything downtown with the least amount of crying possible (by me).  To be honest, without the plan the evening probably would not have been the pure fun we experienced. 
·        Arrive Early: Previous trips to take in the Macy’s display before the parade ran us into Touring Plans Crowd Calendar like 10s where you can’t see the floor in front of you.  To take care of this problem, we made sure not to attempt to an immediate pre-parade viewing.  Instead we journeyed downtown at a time in the afternoon most would see as too early.  The result, we walked right into the “A Day in the Life of an Elf” display and were able to take it in at a more leisurely pace they we have in the past.  Because we were early when it was time to lineup for the parade we had seats in the front row.
·        Use a Runner: This winter is unusually warm, but watching the Holidazzle parade outside in Minnesota in December still requires coats, hats and gloves.  Instead of carrying our gear with us throughout the day, we left our coats and extra gear in the car until it was needed.  As we got ready to setup for our parade viewing spot I (the Between Family designated runner) grabbed our coats and blankets allowing the rest of the family to finish a quick supper. 
·        Accept Opportunity: Sometimes opportunity knocks and if you have room in your plan, take it.  Our plan gave us time to do other things that we could have never done if we arrived with the rest of the crowd.  By not being in a line with everyone else in Minnesota we could take in the puppet show.  And as we came out the line was short enough for “A Day in the Life of an Elf” that we took the opportunity to walk through again.  As we exited the second time we saw crowds, lines, and switchbacks that would have made Walt Disney World’s Peter Pan’s Flight queue proud. 
·        Prepare the Kids: We wanted fun, not tears.  So we made sure to pack snacks and toys for when we did have to wait.  And it worked like a charm.  In the end we did still buy two light swords from pre-parade vendors.  But they were priced less than similar Disney toys and the effects you can pull off with these swords are pretty awesome. 
·        Family Time is the Best Time: Why do I love Disney parks?  Because it is family time.  So keep in mind while you’re experiencing a Between Disney event to allow what makes your Disney time special invade your moment.
It’s true, the skills you have developed to tour Disney do translate to Between Disney adventures.  This Christmas there will be no Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for my family.  Instead we took in moving elves (sadly with no Sherman Brothers’ theme, song), puppets with familiar voices and phrases, and a lighted parade that included Peter Pan, Aladdin, and Pinocchio.  In the end using what I have learned at Disney helped the night to be a beloved family memory instead of a night of frustration. 
How do you use your Disney touring skills out here Between Disney? 
Santa's Sleigh in the Holidazzle Parade

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