December 16, 2013: Chef Mickey's, Hollywood Studios, & EPCOT

Our first full day in Walt Disney World in Florida was on Monday, December 16, 2013. Our day began with breakfast at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary. Since we are staying at Bay Lake Tower, it made getting to our 7:20 AM reservation quite easy. The breakfast buffet was amazing and had a large selection of fresh fruit. The characters that greet guests include Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto.

After breakfast we did some shopping in the Contemporary gift shops. I picked up a set of 4 "Frozen" pins and the Holiday iPhone case. We then returned to our room as it was quite chilly outside and we needed our sweatshirts before heading out to the parks. The wait for a bus to Hollywood Studios was exceptionally long and I ended up standing the entire trip as the bus was packed.

Upon arriving at Disney's Hollywood Studios we went to the Animation Courtyard and went to the character meet and greets with Sorceror Mickey, Minnie Mouse, and Wreck It Ralph with Penelope. Next we went to "Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage" for which we had a Fastpass+. In retrospect the fastpass didn't get you any better seats so therefore it was a waste.

EPCOT was our next destination as we wanted to attend Disney Vacation Club's Merry Member Mixer. We have been fortunate enough to have attended this event the last several years and it is a lot of fun, especially the character meet and greets. We took the Friendship boats from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT which is always fun. When we arrived in EPCOT we saw that the Limited Time Magic of the Mary Poppins with Bert character meet and greet was just starting. We therefore got in line and upon joining the line a cast member gave us an autograph card of Mary Poppins and Bert. After having our pictures taken we were given a movie poster which was double-sided. One one side is the Mary Poppins release on bluray movie poster and on the other is "Saving Mr. Banks". This was the first limited time magic offering I have been able to get to and it was great.

At that point we decided to get in line for the Merry Member Mixer and surprisingly we ended up being second in line. After waiting a little over an hour for the event, we entered and did the typical completion of the ticket for a prize drawing and were given a voucher for a snack (I got a rice krispy treat that I haven't eaten). Immediately I bought the exclusive DVC and Passholder pins and I picked up a green Mickey Mouse with a Santa hat t-shirt. We then went to the Mickey and Minnie Mouse character meet and greet. Mickey and Minnie were dressed in their Winter sweaters. After that we went and had the character meet and greet with Santa Goofy and Pluto. As we exited the mixer we were given the traditional gift of an ornament and this year it was a toy soldier with the DVC logo.

Since we had time before our next Fastpass we took pictures of the Christmas Tree in EPCOT and then went to Duffy the Disney Bear's Meet and Greet. Duffy was dressed in his Santa outfit and before we got to Duffy they announced that Duffy was going to go get a cookie and would be right back. Well whatever was in those cookies made Duffy fiesty when he came back. I have never laughed as hard during a character meet and greet as I did with this one. Duffy started getting fiesty with the photographer and would wipe his eyes as if to call her a cry baby and he would keep touching his nose to make fun of her. The photographer played along and kept telling Duffy that she was going to call Santa on him so Duffy kept trying to hide behind us. It was hysterical which is why I am laughin so hard in the pictures.

After the encounter with Duffy I went to the store that carries his merchandise as I wanted a Duffy keychain to clip to my backpack but to my surprise I found the 2013 Christmas t-shirt in my size at the store! I had been searching for it at several stores with no luck. Duffy really was my good luck charm today!

We took the Friendship boats back to Hollywood Studios where we had a Fastpass+ to Toy Story Midway Mania and the Little Mermaid. As we got to Pixar Place the toy soldiers were out doing character meet and greets and I got my picture taken with one of them. There was still time before our Fastpass return time for Toy Story so we went to the Woody and Buzz Lightyear meet and greet. The line wasn't horribly long but it moved extremly slow and that caused many of the kids to get tired and upset which in turn lead to a bunch of kids crying. We almost left the line but I'm glad we didn't as Buzz and Woody were a hoot! Woody was joking around with me the entire time asking me where his presents were since I had a picture of Mickey on my shirt and Mickey had a bag of presents. Woody wanted his presents and I told him he'd have to call Mickey for them. So he proceeded to steal the cast member's cell phone and was pretending to call Mickey. It was a blast! But if they joked around like that with everyone, it would explain why the line moves so slowly.

It was then time to go on Toy Story Midway Mania which we essentially walked right on to. We got to ride this attraction twice in two days which is unusual for us. Before Voyage of the Little Mermaid we did a little window shopping. For a 7:30 PM showing of Little Mermaid when the park closed at 8:00 PM it was fairly full.

After the show we headed back to the resort and the busses were packed, of course. For dinner we decided to get take out from the cafe in the Contemporary. When we got back to the room it was in time to watch "Wishes" from the Magic Kingdom from our balcony.