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Old 12-18-2010, 11:21 PM   #1
Brer Tron
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D23 Magic and Merriment 2010 Afterthoughts...

So, my DW and I just got back from the 2010 D23 Magic and Merriment event at WDW and...

To all those who were upset that they didn't get tickets. No worries. You didn't miss much.

Here's a quick run-down with commentary. This is kind of like a trip report, but as I'm only highlighting the D23 events, I'm posting this here.

Day 1 (really night one): Didn't make it. Our flight was too late. No comment.

Day 2: Morning event at The Odyssey. It ran from 8:30-11:00am. There were presentations by Disney Chefs, Meg Crofton, and by the guy who does the temporary tattoos. There were some samples of food from the German chefs and a goodie bag, but "Magic and Merriment" would not be an accurate theme of the presentations. They seemed all over the place, but enjoyable. Goodie bags had some gingerbread (good), a Disney dessert book (good), a D23 patch, and some other small things. It did include the CD soundtrack to Tangled. I thought that was a waste. The movie came out weeks before. Real fans of the film already have it, so now we have 3 in my family. I would have preferred an exclusive pin!! There were only two fastpasses in the bag. One for Magic Kingdom and one for Epcot. ***From the cost of this event, especially when compared to last year, the reduction of fastpasses was a little shocking. The event cost more AND we had to buy park hoppers this year (they were included last year). I was hoping/expecting to receive the same number of passes from the previous year. Sigh.

We had nothing else that day until 4:30 when we met for Candlelight Processional. Great show, but oddly enough we had the furthest right seats. Poles and trees everywhere blocking some D23 views. The folks who did the dining package got better seats (note to self for next time). When CP was over, we had to get on Mears buses (I'm actually allergic to Mears buses slow service), so that wasn't fun. It took FOREVER to depart. They didn't know how to operate the lift for people in wheelchairs. It was embarrassing and I felt bad for the people sitting in the lift as I'm sure they felt bad for the delay (even though it wasn't their fault) and it was very cold. It took forty minutes to load four buses. Huh?

We eventually got to the Indiana Jones Stunt Show area for dinner. It was a buffet and just okay. No extra show, but we did have a visit from Chip and Dale. That was nice.

After that, we did our private tour of the Osborne lights. It was perfect. No complaints.

The next morning, there was brunch at the Contemporary Resort. I don't know what D23 people think brunch is, but where I come from it's a combo of breakfast and lunch that gets you through the day until dinner. This was more like a few appetizers and that was it. To top it off, the lounge where it was held couldn't accommodate all of the guests (and they KNEW it!), so some of us had to sit outside. That particular morning was FREEZING, so that wasn't fun. We would have skipped it, but we had to pick up the Mickey's Christmas Party tickets. It was really just an ad for Vacation Club. Not what we were looking for.

The next event was a tour of the Cinderella Suite. It is a marvelous place and we're happy we got to do it. I still think they should award a stay in the castle on a daily basis because it's not used that often anymore. Waste of a wonderful place. That part of the event was great.

The event ended with Mickey's Christmas Party. It really wasn't a D23 thing except for the reception of the riverboat (which was just the same cookies and cocoa available throughout the park) and for reserved viewings of the parade and fireworks. The viewing areas were so crowded and hard to actually see the parade and fireworks that we found our own spot instead (and our spots were SOOOO much better). It was actually quite odd how poorly it was executed. There wasn't an ending part of the event. When the fireworks were over, the party was still going on, so D23 people just scattered. I like closure. There wasn't any.

Overall, we enjoyed our weekend, but we came to the conclusion that most of those events we could have done on our own and better suited for our needs (like actually being able to see the parade and having unobstructed views of Candlelight). I was hoping to feel like a VIP and to see very cool things like at the EXPO and Destination D, but instead we paid a lot and didn't get a ton back. It was actually strange to see how much more scaled back it was from what we read about last year's Magic and Merriment. Oh, well. We won't be doing it again, but we wanted to pass along our thoughts to those who thought they really missed out. You didn't.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:52 PM   #2
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Thanks for the review - I sometimes wonder how well-done these exclusive events are. Sorry this one didn't live up to your previous experience. I'm curious what they charged for the event.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:19 AM   #3
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Brer Tron, yes, that was us at your table Saturday morning. My husband did arrive late.

If anyone wants to read my trip report, it's here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2616768. BT and I pretty much agree on everything.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:00 AM   #4
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Your thoughts are right on point with mine. I'll post a TR soon, but for now, some of my thoughts are here:

http://blog.touringplans.com/2010/12...t-reflections/
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brer Tron View Post

Day 1 (really night one): Didn't make it. Our flight was too late. No comment.
You didn’t miss much. I enjoyed One Man’s Dream and sure Archiving the Archives was cute…but nothing was special and for the $$$ I want to feel special.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brer Tron View Post
There were only two fastpasses in the bag. One for Magic Kingdom and one for Epcot. ***From the cost of this event, especially when compared to last year, the reduction of fastpasses was a little shocking. The event cost more AND we had to buy park hoppers this year (they were included last year). I was hoping/expecting to receive the same number of passes from the previous year. Sigh.
Agree 100%. The lack of FP was upsetting to say the least. I don’t understand why they did this AT ALL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brer Tron View Post
Great show, but oddly enough we had the furthest right seats. Poles and trees everywhere blocking some D23 views.
These seats were actually much better than last years but still not great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brer Tron View Post
We eventually got to the Indiana Jones Stunt Show area for dinner. It was a buffet and just okay. No extra show, but we did have a visit from Chip and Dale. That was nice.

After that, we did our private tour of the Osborne lights. It was perfect. No complaints.
I enjoyed dinner but I do not understand why there was nothing between dinner and Osborne – there was time to get in a ride (last year we went on TSM). It seemed like we just waited around for a long time after eating. I was a little disappointed in the Osborne presentation. One song before he talked one song after he talked. I would like if they just gave us the full presentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brer Tron View Post
It really wasn't a D23 thing except for the reception of the riverboat (which was just the same cookies and cocoa available throughout the park) and for reserved viewings of the parade and fireworks. The viewing areas were so crowded and hard to actually see the parade and fireworks that we found our own spot instead (and our spots were SOOOO much better). It was actually quite odd how poorly it was executed. There wasn't an ending part of the event. When the fireworks were over, the party was still going on, so D23 people just scattered. I like closure. There wasn't any.
The Chirstmas Party of the event was a big letdown for us after last year. The Riverboat spread was great kast year(rice crispies, a cookie and drink variety) and to be presented with just the same old blah this year…The parade viewing area was a joke, way too small for the amount of people. We couldn’t see anything and would have done much better on our own had we known. We ended up leaving and didn’t even see the parade this year which was very upsetting to me.

I agree with you on closure and left the event with a very down feeling I wasn’t expecting.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren5406 View Post
You didn’t miss much. I enjoyed One Man’s Dream and sure Archiving the Archives was cute…but nothing was special and for the $$$ I want to feel special.

We hadn't been in One Man's Dream since May, 2008 and had recently been to the Walt Disney Family Museum, so we appreciated the time. And the event was scheduled to start at 9 pm, so those who got there at 8 pm for the earliest possible check-in really shouldn't complain that they had to wait too long for the showings.

Agree 100%. The lack of FP was upsetting to say the least. I don’t understand why they did this AT ALL.

Due to the weather, we didn't use the 4 fastpasses my DH and I got before we headed home on the 14th, so I can't really complain about this either. I think I stunned the guest to whom I gave the extra passes. We have APs, so the tickets were not an issue for us.

These seats were actually much better than last years but still not great.

We sat next a new CM who was a guest of a D23 member at the CP and she had performed in the CP the week before. It was fun hearing about her job and some behind the scenes info on the CP. Our view was fine, which I realize was not true for everyone.[/

I enjoyed dinner but I do not understand why there was nothing between dinner and Osborne – there was time to get in a ride (last year we went on TSM). It seemed like we just waited around for a long time after eating. I was a little disappointed in the Osborne presentation. One song before he talked one song after he talked. I would like if they just gave us the full presentation.

We had the chance to talk with one of the CM is the Archives for almost an hour after dinner, so that was actually one of the best parts of the event for us.

The Chirstmas Party of the event was a big letdown for us after last year. The Riverboat spread was great kast year(rice crispies, a cookie and drink variety) and to be presented with just the same old blah this year…The parade viewing area was a joke, way too small for the amount of people. We couldn’t see anything and would have done much better on our own had we known. We ended up leaving and didn’t even see the parade this year which was very upsetting to me.

The preferred viewing area happened to include our usual spot to watch parades, so this also worked out fine for us. We were able to see the parade fine even though we arrive a little after 8. I was dissppointed in the parade itself, but this was not D23's fault. We did not watch the fireworks from the Rose Garden due to the cold. I have seen fireworks from that location in the past and enjoyed it.
I agree with you on closure and left the event with a very down feeling I wasn’t expecting.
We probably wouldn't go again, but that is as much because DH has said no more December trips! We loved the Cinderalla Suite tour and did not feel rushed. We expected the BLT event to be a DVC presentation and so used it as an opprtunity to look into adding on.

We are excited for Destination D next May, as well as the Expo next August. -- Suzanne
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