We arrived on Thursday, Feb 21st. We had a great flight and our room at the Port Orleans French Quarter was ready when we checked in. I received a birthday button from the front desk. Sharon had called and had them prepare one for me without my knowledge. After having some beignets off we went for a day in Epcot. We headed straight for Soarin. Love this ride! Then we rode the land and went to see Turtle Talk with Crush. We did some pin trading on the way to World showcase. The skies opened up and spread some of that liquid sunshine. But we are strong Jersey girls so off for fun. Sharon got to see Mo’Rockin and Mom and I watched the Candy Lady in Japan. I even got a birthday phone call from Goofy. All in all a great start to my birthday weekend vacation.
Friday was a beautiful day. Sun was shining and the air was warm. And we all laughed when we were sent a picture message of the 4 inches of snow back home. We spent the morning at Downtown Disney and did some major shopping damage. Mom and Sharon got me pins for my birthday. I had a cupcake for my birthday lunch and even took a nap before we went to the Pirate and Princess party. Dinner was great, as always, at the Liberty Tree Tavern. The party was incredible.
Not only did we get to meet Captain Jack Sparrow, see the castle get bombed by Captain Hook but we got to do the Cha-Cha slide with Pirate Mickey and Pluto. We had so much fun! So, after having such a great time at the Pirate and Princess party Friday night, I wasn’t sure how the rest of the trip would measure up. I was in a great mood and was ready to enjoy the rest of our trip just as much. Not only did we get to meet Captain Jack Sparrow, see the castle get bombed by Captain Hook but we got to do the Cha-Cha slide with Pirate Mickey and Pluto. We had so much fun! So, after having such a great time at the Pirate and Princess party Friday night, I wasn’t sure how the rest of the trip would measure up. I was in a great mood and was ready to enjoy the rest of our trip just as much.
I’m always ready for fun in Disney World and I was feeling fabulous about our vacation so far. I was looking forward to a full day in the park with dinner at the Whisper Canyon Café and then finishing off with my favorite parade, Spectromagic. It looked to be a day full of liquid sunshine, so we packed our ponchos. Better to be prepared than wet. I started off my day with Mickey Waffles, boy they were good and we were making good time when we headed to the bus stop.
While on the bus to Magic Kingdom we traded some of our pins with three very polite and friendly children. My guess they were anywhere from 8 to 11 years of age. Their father tried to give Sharon extra pins for trading with us since what they were trading us weren’t exactly Limited Editions but there was no need for that. What pins we wear we are willing to trade so it makes no difference if I trade my crappy pin or your crappy pin that you traded me for a treasure in your eyes. I think it made us all feel better that we could make some kids day, to spread some magic. As we walked up to the park, Mickey and the gang were performing the opening celebration.
The first place we hit was the Photopass store to make sure our pictures came out and then off we went to character stalk, pin trade and oh yeah ride some rides. I saw Clarabelle Cow across the courtyard and headed over that way. All mom and Sharon heard was mumble and then off I went running. They caught up with me and I got Clarabelle’s autograph for my character quilt. They of course had to tease me about my character stalking and how I have eagle eyes when it comes to characters and pin trading. I was very excited to get her since she is a very rare sighting. Now off to ride some rides.
We started up Main Street USA and I saw a Cast Member with a pin lanyard up ahead. Again, Mom and Sharon teasing me for having eagle pin eyes. We all approached our “Magic Maker” and mom asked to see your pins. The “MM” told us that they were going on break and would be back in 20 minutes. Sharon quickly asked, “What are you a character?” Then my response was, “Yes they seem to be a character of some sort!” We all laughed. We continued to talk to them for a few more minutes when the “Magic Maker” wished me Happy Birthday! Birthdays in Disney World are the best. Every Cast Member made me feel so special by wishing me a Happy Birthday but not as special as “MM” when asked me how my birthday was going so far and when I told them great and they pulled me over and said, “I’m going to make it even better” because that’s when the magic happened! The “MM” asked us if we would like to be the Grand Marshal’s in the 3 o’clock parade. I scream “YES!” Thank you!” We were all yelling and jumping up and down. It was the best Disney moment I’ve ever had. I just kept thanking and thanking the magic maker. I gave MM a big hug and thanked again. I was so happy; I started to tear up and cry, something that I only do at Disney. Then the MM teared up. MM said that working there was the best job ever because you get to make people happy and bring magic into their lives. It was a fabulous moment. We made so much noise that some of the CM came out of the Emporium to see what was going on but once they saw MM they knew. We got our instructions as to how, where and what in, between more thanks. Then MM told us to enjoy our day and MM would see us later. Then we all started making the phone calls. Anyone and everyone in our phone book got called, whether the understood what an honor it was or not. I don’t think that if I had been give a million dollars I would have been any happier. It was an amazing moment.
About a half and hour after we were told the skies opened up and it began to spread some of that liquid sunshine and continued to do so for 4 hours. All day Sharon and I were sending out our good mojo and asking for the rain to stop. Rain, rain go away……. About 30 minutes prior to our meeting the sky cleared up and we could see blue. It was beautiful. Being as excited as we were we were at our meeting spot at 2pm even though we didn’t have to be there till 2:30pm. At 2:30 MM came down the path and asked us how we were doing. MM asked us if we were sure we wanted to still be Grand Marshal’s if not this was our chance to back out. We all said no way. So off to the back stage area we went. We told MM that our cheeks were starting to hurt from all the smiling we had been doing all day. MM asked us how our day was and said MM was glad the weather cleared up for us. MM told us that we normally would receive a certificate but the printer was down and it would be mailed to us. (We received it about 2 weeks after we got home) MM also gave us the tradional black Mickey Mouse ears with our names stitched on them. Super cool! We all immediately put them on and the good MM even had bobby pins for us. We waited for the Cinderella Castle winners to arrive. Still smiling we were all super excited.
Our cars arrived. We were in a red car that had a banner on both sides saying Grand Marshal. Roy was our trusted driver. I use the term trusted loosely because we were told that he lost a car in the mote around the castle, found out his dads air bags worked and was hoping to do ok driving since he seeing eye dog had passed away. These were just few of the jokes Roy and MM were telling us. We were laughing and whooping it up. One of the guys from the band told us that we need to learn to have a good time because it didn’t look like we were having any fun. We took a few pictures back stage and then the time came. It was so trilling to hear my name announced over the loud speakers for the whole park to hear. “Welcome today’s Grand Marshall, Tammy Kubus and her family from Trenton, NJ.” I almost started to cry again. But no time for that we have to wave to the 40,000 people or so lining the parade route.
When we first pulled out it was so overwhelming. It was exciting yet terrifying at the same time. All those people starring at you. But we soon developed a way to overcome this, find the children and wave to them. We waved to all the adults too but the children were a safety so to speak. It was cool to see them smiling and waving back. Another great thing was since they said were we were from the Jersey people stepped up and supported us. We got yelled at a few times, “Go Jersey!” I did take a short video and a few pictures while in the car but I wanted to just enjoy the experience.
Let’s talk about waving. We had to wave the entire parade route. I truly admire those who do this for a living. Our arms were hurting before we hit Liberty Square. We did get a 5 second brake at the bridge. It takes a lot longer than you think to travel that parade route. Although our arms were killing us at the end, none of us seemed to notice or complain and we were all still smiling. At the end of our journey we had some really cute pictures taken and MM gave me a ticket for a free 5X7 which I happily got before we left the park. The picture is framed and on my desk at home. Every time I look at it I smile and remember our magical day. We all had a wonderful time. It is an experience that will stay with us forever.
I don’t know if I can describe how much this meant to me or how special it was. Things like this don’t happen to me. And for me and my family to be picked and to hear my name over the loud speaker is just amazing. I’m still pinching myself. It was such a great honor to be apart of the magic. If MM gets to feel like that every day, then truly MM has the best job in the world.