Magical Midnight at a Colorful Castle

So, we’ve been home from the Magic Kingdom for more than a week, and I have yet to begin logging blog time on all things Disney. There was laundry to do…lots and lots of laundry.  This was our first vacation since kids, and there are all sorts of things I want talk about: from simple gushing about the excitement (Prince Charming danced with Miss A!) to griping about the irritable details (as in – I’m never going there with a stroller again).  Of course there will be pictures…lots and lots of pictures. I have more than a 1000 vacation photos to edit (no –  that wasn’t a typo, and yes –  I probably could have taken more) and some “here’s what I learned” tips I hope will be helpful to you if you’re planning a stay with the Mouse anytime soon.

All shall be revealed in the days and weeks and most likely months to come…and if you get sick of reading about Disney, well then, don’t read it. This is my party website, and I’ll do what I want.

As far as photos are concerned, here is what I learned:

– Be prepared. I asked the husband to order me an extra sd card, he was amazed, saying he doubted I could use up 1 whole 2gb card, let alone 2…but I did.  I didn’t want worry that I wouldn’t have enough memory stop me from capturing one.  I brought my camera charger with, but didn’t plug it in the first night. The next day, I ran out of juice early in the SpectroMagic Parade. After that I made sure to plug it in each night  as soon as we got back to our hotel room.

– Make more mini movies. I was tempted to buy a flip camera for the trip, but didn’t.  I’ve just never been much for doing the recording thing…I’d rather enjoy the experience as it is happening than see it through a camera lens.  I did take  some mini movies with my digital camera, but just a few.  As it turns out,  these are Miss A’s favorite  things to look at: seeing herself play Mrs. Potts with Belle and watching the Dreams Come True parade lets her relive all the excitement again and again. So next time – more videos, I don’t care if I look like a fool recording it.

– Take a much bigger advantage of the photopass system. If a photographer offered at the time, then we did a photo – but I never really went around and “solicited” the Disney photographers for family shots with the photopass. As I look over the 60 or so shots that were taken on the photopass, I realize how nice it would have been to get some of those “landmark” shots of all of us together (in front of the castle at MK, the Epcot sphere, Mickey’s hat at HS, etc).

– Hopefully, I’ll have a better camera next time I go – one that can take a rapid series of photos so I’m more likely to get a perfect shot, and one that can handle nightime photography better – my shots of the SpectroMagic parade, the Wishes fireworks show, and Cinderella’s castle at night are just not so hot. Too bad, because I thought it was so neat to get a shot of the castle right AT midnight.The pics aren’t perfect, but at least the hands on the clock are visible.

castle-midnight-5-10-09

castle-clock

Things are a bit fuzzy and blurred, but with the help of the Pioneer Woman’s “lighten” and “define and sharpen” Photoshop actions I was able to capture a bit of the wonder. Seeing the castle change colors was very very cool.

Miss A's favorite color was pink, of course.
Miss A's favorite color was pink, of course.
Then there was orange, which we think is Lil G's favorite color.
Then there was orange, which we think is Lil G's favorite color.

The golden yellow color was really very pretty too, and set against the night sky it was just incredible. I think I might have been more taken with it than Miss A. She wanted to head towards more rides, I just wanted to keep taking pictures of the castle.

golden-castle-2

golden-castle

I really liked the aqua blue, but didn’t get any good pictures of that version.

I think it was getting ready to turn blue here...
I think it was getting ready to turn blue here...

I did take a picture of the castle when it was aqua while we were watching Wishes, but as you’ll see, the distance and darkness were too much for my puny camera.

Watching the fireworks above the castle with Miss A was so wonderful, I hope my memory of is stays clear and bright, even if the photos aren't.

Watching the fireworks show with Miss A was wonderful. I hope my memories of that night will always remain clear and bright… even if the photos aren’t.

aishtyn-and-wishes

A Disney “expert” told us in his nearly 30 years of MK experience that the best place to view the fireworks was from the train station platform. So I got Miss A some popcorn and a drink and we camped out about an hour before the show was set to start. We probably should have made it up there a bit earlier, for while there was still plenty of room, all the available chairs were taken. Lucky for us, about 10 minutes til showtime a very nice guy (who turned out to be a Cast Member out on a night off) gave up his front and center seat so Miss A and I had the most perfect chair in the most perfect spot.

The advice about viewing location was great.

Below us, Main Street was a crammed swarm of hot and tired people; but up on the platform there was a nice breeze.
Below us, Main Street was a crammed swarm of hot and tired people; but up on the platform there was a nice breeze.
And it was a show in itself to see the sun set and all the lights along Main Street come to life.
And it was a show in itself to see the sun set and all the lights along Main Street come to life.
As for the fireworks, we had a wide open, clear view of everything, including Tinkerbell's flight.
As for the fireworks, we had a wide open, clear view of everything, including Tinkerbell's flight.

Did I say it was perfect?

It was.

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