My wife and I recently had the opportunity to attend the D23 event Magic & Merriment that took place at Walt Disney World from December 10th until December 12th. To view Part I, click here.
Day Three – Sunday, December 12th
Sunday brunch at the Top of the World Lounge the following morning was our next event. Despite staying at Shades of Green, we had…uhh…magically found our way into this lounge earlier on the trip, and we were enthused about seeing how it would look during the daytime hours. We arrived fashionably (more like inadvertently) late thanks to monorail delays, but luckily that only cut into brunch by about 10 minutes. As soon as we got there, we received a reusable DVC tote with loads of DVC advertising materials. If any of you out there are looking for a confident with whom to share secrets, I suggest steering clear of Disney. I can only imagine how it treats “normal” secrets given its blatant advertising of its “Best Kept” secret.
The food here was delicious and the Top of the World Lounge was a great location. Although it was exceedingly windy outside, the morning views were gorgeous, and the photo op set up with Mickey was a nice touch. My only complaint would be the in-your-face DVC advertising. Between the bags and the subsequent constantly-announced tours, it was a little much. I understand that this was probably part of the Faustian Bargain made in order to secure the exclusive Top of the World Lounge, but if that was necessary, maybe D23 should have looked into getting the California Grill or some other location? Even with the advertisements, this event gets a respectable B.
The next event would be one, if not the, biggest events of the weekend for us. The Castle Suite Tour. It would only be fifteen minutes long, but we made the most of that time, balancing the desire to take photos like a madman with the desire to enjoy the experience. Like everyone says, the Suite is surprisingly small. I managed to get some neat photos, too, so I was pleased. The 15 minutes passed in no time, but given that they had to get all of us through in one afternoon, I understand the time constraint. Part of me was hoping at the end of our tour, we would be told we had won a stay in there for the evening, but it was not to be. I guess my only recourse for that is to change my last name to Cruise and have some cosmetic work done. This event gets an A-.
The Castle Suite Tour was the last unique event of the weekend. We also were provided Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets for that evening (with “reserved” spots for the fireworks and parade—in terrible locations). For those unfamiliar with this event, the tickets were priced at $235 each, and sold out in a matter of seconds (literally). I don’t think this necessarily speaks to the value of the weekend, as the tickets were so limited that it’s somewhat of an artificial market. Overall, I would not say it was good value for the money, but reasonable minds may differ on that. The event suffered from poor organization and unreasonable waits between events, at times. It was, however, a lot of fun and gave me a new appreciation for some of the D23 Cast Members as it appears most of them have a genuine love of Disney and enjoy their jobs. While the weekend was not perfect, it was pretty good. Hopefully, as these events continue, D23 will fine tune and make them more enjoyable.
Did any of you attend the event? If so, what are your thoughts? Have any of you attended a different D23 event? What was your experience with that?