Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween on the High Seas: Our Disney Dream Experience

by Nick

Halloween on the High Seas is a new Disney Cruise Line experience available on most itineraries departing late September through Halloween.
Activities include Halloween-themed parties, decorations, and a variety of entertainment.

On this Halloween, I thought I would share our experience aboard the Disney Dream, October 12th to the 16th.

Upon entering the Dream on the 12th, we were greeted by a few Halloween touches.

 Please note the Pumpkin tree on the right side of the photo. 
It had not "bloomed" yet.

There are also small details around the ship, such as these jack o'portholes.

So you don't miss the events held throughout the days, you have a couple of very helpful tools. The Navigator is the paper schedule that is left in your cabin each evening, and there is also a convenient, easy to use app available for use onboard.

On the first evening, as we exited the live show, "Villains Tonight," we were given these "pumpkin seeds," but weren't really sure what for.

A short time later as we walked past the lobby, we caught the tail end of the Haunted Mansion's Caretaker asking for families to drop their pumpkin seeds in a cauldron.

He then led the audience in a chant, to bring the tree to life.

There was also a special showing of the "Nightmare Before Christmas", which was shown in 3-D with lighting effects and fake snow. The words to the songs were also on screen so we could sing along.

At the end, Jack Skellington himself rises from the stage, and proceeds to the outside of the theater for photos and autographs. I had been told by a friend he would be accompanied by Sally as well, but on this evening he was a bachelor.

By the next day, pumpkins had indeed sprouted on the tree!

This ghoulish display was in front of the tree.

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy also made an appearance later in the day decked out in the Halloween costumes.

On Tuesday the 14th, Mickey's Mousequerade Party was held in the Lobby Atrium. Barbie and I dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus on vacation. The Fab Five, joined by Chip and Dale invited guests dressed up in their Halloween costumes to dance and party!

Barbie sewed her dress and cap, as well as my shorts. 
She also attached the facial hair to the Santa hat.

There was also an over 18 party late that evening which we were too tired to attend.

Finally, on our last evening we were lucky enough to see the Pumpkin Tree in it's complete form, with the assistance of the Caretaker, and all of us.

There were also ghost stories very late in the evening up on Deck 11.

If you are a fan of Halloween, masquerading, ghost stories or just a fan of fun, I absolutely cannot recommend taking a Disney Cruise during this time of year enough.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Best Halloween Pumpkin!

by Gaylin

In The Land pavilion at Epcot there is the Living with the Land boat ride. I go on this ride at least once every trip, I find all the eco systems quite fascinating and I also enjoy the nice, slow pace of this ride. A great way to rest sore feet.

While they are not on display every time I have gone on the ride, I do get excited when the Cinderella Pumpkins are on display – especially when the Mickey head shaped one is right at the front, waiting for all of us to try to get a good photo.

I admit I went on the ride twice, just to get the second closer photo. Anyone else like to see the Mickey head pumpkin or the cucumber in the Mickey head form?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trip Report: October 11th-October 17th 2014 - Part 5

by Nick

Wednesday, October 15th

I woke up with a sore throat and felt run down, but was otherwise fine. But I know, when I get that twinge in the back of my throat, a cold or worse isn't far behind.

This was our at sea day and we had nothing planned. We decided to have breakfast at the Royal Palace, which started at 8am.
While we waited for it to open, we took a walk around the Dream taking photos of Halloween decorations as well as the beautiful morning, which would turn gray and rainy later in the day.

One of the reasons I'd wanted to have breakfast at the Royal Palace was I wanted to take photos, which I hadn't done on our previous visit the evening before.

There are many nice touches, honoring the Disney Princesses.

Even the backs of the chairs featured icons paying homage to the princesses.

Breakfast was standard fair. I had the Disney Cruise Line Breakfast trio which consisted of a Waffle, Pancake, and piece of French Toast as well as bacon. I also asked for a side of sausage. Barbie had the Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancake, and a hashbrown. Savory and Sweet for both of us.

We then returned to our stateroom to pack. We both agree, in the future, a 4 day cruise is not long enough. It felt like we had just gotten settled in, and it was time to pack and get off the ship.

We decided to check out the Animation, Creating a Character program at D Lounge. It was a lot of fun. A Cast Member showed clips of Disney Animated movies, as well as Walt Disney.

In between clips, we were shown how to draw Stitch...

...and Olaf.

After this class, we grabbed a snack in Cabanas. Barbie headed back to the stateroom to nap, while I signed up for a Mixology course located in the Skyline Lounge, in the adults only section of the Dream, known as The District.
It was really a great bit of fun, and, as another participant pointed out, at $15, the cheapest way to get drunk enjoy alcoholic beverages on the cruise.
We made 5 different mixed drinks, and I'll write a full review of this highly recommended experience, as well as the Skyline in a future post.

I returned to our stateroom and showered. This was Formal evening, and we both decided, as we had packed already, that we would skip dinner at Animator's Palate, as we had breakfast scheduled there the next morning.

We went to the 6:15 show of Disney's Believe in the Walt Disney Theater. This was by far the best show we'd seen on this or our previous Disney Cruise.
The story of a daughter who believes in magic, and her skeptical scientifically minded father, who is helped to see the error of his ways by the Genie and many beloved Disney characters, it has many a touching and memorable moments, and this is the only show we've seen that I honestly would say is not to be missed.

Right after the show was pin trading with members of the crew, and we got a few great pins from different Disney cruises around the world.

Immediately following this we watched The Pumpkin Tree come alive in the Lobby Atrium, the culmination of the Halloween on the High Seas events. Please stop back Friday for a more in depth look at the Halloween on the High Seas events that we attended.

When we returned to our stateroom for the evening, I called guest services to find out what time we should board Magical Express in the morning. I was told no later than 8:50am.
Our second seating breakfast at Animators Palate was at 8am. As I didn't really think it was actually feasible to eat, disembark, and find our luggage in 50 minutes, I asked if we could please change to the earlier 6:45 seating. I was told no. So, we decided we'd skip that meal as well, and just have breakfast in Cabanas, which we were told would only be a continental breakfast, which, I admit, made me a little perturbed. So we never did get to Animators Palate this trip.

Not the best ending to a cruise, but at least I would be happier about the selection at Cabanas the next morning, as it was more extensive than I'd thought it would be.

Other parts of the trip report:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three 
Part Four