TMSM’s Adventures in Florida Living ~ Meet Up Weekend Recap!

Happy Wednesday Everyone! This past weekend was our big annual meet up, and although I’m still tired, I’m very thankful for how things turned out. We had a great time, lets recap!

The last time we talked, I was busy trying to get things done in preparation for meet up weekend. Not only did I have to make sure we had everything ready for Saturday, but I also had to get my house in order for my friends who were staying with us. We don’t have house guests often, but when we do, I like to have the house looking nice. Oh, and of course we need food in the house…. we even baked cookies. Friday evening, we headed out to the airport to pick up my girls, Michelle and Paula. I was so looking forward to seeing them. I haven’t seen any family for almost 4 months, that’s too long, so I was more than ready. We pulled up to the pick up area, and I ran inside to find them by the baggage claim. As soon as I spotted them I picked up speed, and the hugging and crying began. I can’t go home to Michigan right now, but two pieces of home had come to me, and I was thankful. Being that their trip was going to be shorter this time, I wanted to make the most of our time. After picking them up, we headed straight to Disney Springs. We had other friends who were there that night too. My friend and staffer Susanne was having dinner with her family there, so we were going to meet up after. Also, we had other friends there at Earl of Sandwich, so we planned to get with everyone after they were done eating. It was so nice to get to hang out with the group, have some drinks and some laughs…. it’s just what I needed!

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After Disney Springs, we headed to my house to get the girls settled in. I didn’t want to stay up too late because I knew that Saturday would be a long day, but we probably did stay up later than I anticipated. I’d say I slept maybe 4 hours, and before I knew it, it was time to get up and get ready for the festivities. Every time we have a meet up, I worry. It’s only because I want the day to go well, and this time, I knew the park would be crowded because of Holiday show taping for ABC, and I was concerned. We got ready, made sure to grab the site swag we ordered, and headed out to the Magic Kingdom. Traffic was bad on World Drive, it was Dapper Day at Epcot so there were crowds headed that way too. It was early in the day, and the parking lot was crowded, he had to park in the Rapunzel lot! Far back, yes. As we approached the TTC, the lines to get to the MK were packed, but they were offering bus service so that’s where we went. I feel like it took me forever to get to our group, but I was thankful that Autumn, my friend and admin, was there to greet people. When we finally got to the hub area, I was so happy to see a decent sized crowd waiting for us. I made sure to give out buttons (and hugs) to everyone there before heading to our first FastPass, the Haunted Mansion. We got a quick staff photo and group pic, then were on our way!

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Once we got to the Haunted Mansion, our entire group got inside with no issues, we pretty much got to stay together. Was it a big crowd? Yep. Was is pretty awesome? Of course! Even though the park was crowded, we still did our best to keep everyone together and press on throughout the day. We had various meet up spots and times so people could come and go as they wanted to. I knew others had plans for the day, so I wanted to be as available as I could. We did the Jingle Cruise as a group, then met for our mid day pic. While we were behind the Castle, Disney Parks MC and friend of ours, Mark Daniel, came out to say hello to us as well. All in all, things were going great!

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After the mid afternoon pic meet up, we went to find a spot to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade, which was running at 5 pm instead of the usual 3:00. Seeing the parade in the evening is so nice, it adds a whole new feel to it. The next item on the agenda was Pirates of the Caribbean, then a little break for dinner and what not, then to meet up by the train station for the evening pic. In the middle of all this, Disney was taping their Thanksgiving special up by the Castle, so it was neat to see the filming going on too. Around 8:30, we met near the Christmas tree for our last pic of the day. We saw even more new faces. I was glad that we gave people various times during the day to come say hello, it made it more convenient for our members who had busy plans as well. We did our last big photo, did more mingling, and gave out extra hugs and thank you’s. I was truly thankful that so many came out, and proud of our staff for doing a great job. I was even given a little keepsake book with personal notes inside that Autumn had another friend, Kyra, help her get throughout the day without me knowing. I opened the book and got teary, so I decided to read it later, when I had time to focus….. and not cry in front of everyone.

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The day was long and tiring, but since Paula and Michelle were in town only for the weekend, I wanted them to see Wishes before leaving the park, so that’s what we did. It was crazy getting back to the parking lot, I was so surprised at how busy the park still was. We stopped through Wendy’s drive through on the way back to the house, being that we didn’t take time to eat dinner. Once I was home, I read all the notes in the scrap book that I was given, and yes, I did indeed cry. The sentiment and thoughtfulness was overwhelming. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such a nice gift, but I’m grateful. The next day, we just took our time getting moving, took the girls to lunch, then back to the airport so they could catch their flight back to Detroit. Our visit was FAR too short, but Christmas is coming and I know I’ll see them soon!

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As if we weren’t busy enough, on Monday night, we had to go over to Hollywood Studios to cover the new Christmas show, Jingle Bell Jingle BAM. Autumn is still in town so she met me there to help grab our spot for the show. Usually when we cover events it’s just us, so it was nice having her there with me. The show was good….. not as good as the Osborne Lights, but what can you do? Disney is always changing, that’s for sure, but the show does help spread some Christmas cheer!

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Well, to say it’s been a busy week would be a huge understatement. I’m still tired, and we have more to cover in the days coming up. But…. I have to say this. I’m a lucky girl. No, I take that back, God has blessed me with some amazing people who support me, and I’m thankful. It still, after all these years, blows me away that people care enough about TMSM to come out to see us at these get-togethers. It’s humbling to see, and I know that without the help of our staff and the support of our readers, TMSM would be nothing. It’s not just about me, it’s about all of us, and what comes out of what we do at TMSM. Sure, there are other Disney sites out there, places to read, etc. But, The Main Street Mouse is different. It’s a community. It’s a family. It’s special. There were faces that I missed this year, people who didn’t get to come. There were also a lot of new faces, people we’ve never met before. All in all, TMSM’s big meet up was a success, and my heart is full. Thank you, all of you, for everything. Here’s to more fun to come! As always, thank you for reading, and we’ll talk again next week! Sending you lots of love, blessings and pixie dust…… See ya real soon! ~M

*A special thank you to our staff who did an amazing job on Saturday….. Autumn, Susanne, Erika, Andrew, Susie, Dan and Chris~ your Dad would be so proud, we miss you Chuck. We love you guys! ~Michele and Scott (and to our staff who couldn’t come, you were missed!)

Here’s the video of the new Christmas show at the Studios, Jingle Bell Jingle BAM!

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 5619 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele

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