of Disney Internet Fans from Around the World
Gathered at WDW for MouseFest 2004
IS MOUSEFEST? -- An offshoot of
the annual RADP (rec.arts.disney.parks) community meet, MouseFest
officially began in 2003 bringing Disney fans from around the
world together. Many other Disney fans who have connected through
other Disney-related websites and message boards have also gathered
at Walt Disney World, and other locations, to share their love
of the Most Magical Place on Earth.
imagine if you can a gathering that encompasses ALL these groups...
a gathering that unites the enormous family of Disney enthusiasts
from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all over the
country, from all over the globe! Imagine all of these people convening
at Walt Disney World for a short Disney cruise, followed by several
days of fun and merriment, special meals, events, and an all-round
spirit of Mickey Mania! Now you've imagined MouseFest
Scrapbook of MouseFest 2004 Follows...
December 5, 2004
2004 began on the Disney Wonder with almost 200 cruisers including
AllEarsNet.com® founder Deb Wills, Passporter Guidebook
authors Jennifer and Dave Marx, and Hidden Mickeys
Field Guide Author Steve Barrett. (Photo - Ray Sharpton,
Carol and Bob Ray, and Deb Wills)
began with an informal meet and greet in the Port. Many folks stopped
by to say hello and pick up their complimentary MouseFest badges.
Ray recalls: "I spotted Deb Wills , so introduced myself and
Bob. I was wearing my Passporter "Ripkensnana" pin, and
she recognized my name . We were introduced to Deb's friend, Linda,
and wandered over to the coffee shop for the first of many MouseFest
meets. Ray was already there, waiting patiently. Later, as
we stood in line, I spotted someone with a "Passporter Guide
to the Disney Cruise Lines". I said, "Hey, I have a copy
of that!" . He smiled, and said he thought it was a really
good book. I agreed, and told him that the authors would be aboard
the ship. He gave a startled look, and exclaimed, "No way!"
I said, "Way...They're right over there," pointing in
the general direction of Dave Marx (whose hat I could just glimpse
over the crowd)."
ship, there was also a hospitality desk for folks who booked the
MouseFest package to pick up their credentials and goodie bags.
(Photo - Curt and Marsha Smith check in with Doris Thompson)
the safety drill we made our way up to Deck 10 for the Sail Away
Party. Many MouseFest folks were present and we created quite
a scene blowing bubbles! The music was lively and everyone was dancing
around the deck. There were lots of smiles as friends from Mousefest
2003 reunited and we welcomed all our new friends whom we would
spend the next 4 days with, celebrating the holidays and enjoying
the magic of Disney.
Baby Alexander Marx dons his life jacket for the Safety Drill
Matt, Tracy and Nikki are ready for the cruise!
George and Ann Freeman Enjoy their 2nd MouseFest Sailaway
The Klusewitzs enjoy the bubbles
Dave, Annette, Vicki, Linda, and Steve enjoy the warm Sun!
"When You Wish Upon A Star..."
the official sail-away, Mickey, Minnie and friends all appeared
and helped us celebrate leaving land. The confetti flew, the horn
sounded and off we went! There is nothing like a Disney Cruise
Line Sail-Away Party to get you in the mood!
Crusin' with MouseFest 2004" magnets were handed out to
decorate cabin doors with and every night a special MouseFest
Navigator was delivered to each cabin.
Ray shares: "Bob and I looked aft, and saw some dolphins
breaking water beside the ship! How cool that was!!! I'd never
seen dolphins in the wild before. Soon, the ship began to move,
and as the ship's whistle played those seven notes, I started
to tear up again (and I'm tearing up now, just remembering and
writing about it ). Bubbles, streamers, and confetti filled the
air, and the band was playing on Deck 9, where the Goofy Family
Pool had been covered so the kids could dance. There were characters
in nautical garb....Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale.
What a great beginning to our cruise."
Disney Wonder had a beautiful Christmas tree in the atrium,
just outside of Triton's restaurant. I lucked into being
there for the tree lighting ceremony our first night on board. There
were holiday songs and then Mickey, Minnie, Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer (aka Pluto), and Santa Goofy came down the stairs to
light the tree. Not only did they sprinkle the crowd with Pixie
Dust, but as the tree lights came on, the snow began to fall.
It was very magical.
first evening meal was at Parrot Cay. The tropical environment got
everyone a little excited, especially Jennifer's brother-in-law,
Chad! During the Conga Line put on by the Crew Members, Chad hopped
up out of his chair and joined them. Chad was definitely the life
of the party that night and a riot for the family! Most of the tables
for MouseFest families consisted of other MouseFest attendees, so
they made for a more magical environment!
activities included Hercules - the Muse-ical, Diamond
Bingo (MouseFest cruiser Matt won a prize), '80s night
at Wave Bands and Karaoke in Studio Sea (Chad
did his Elvis impersonation). Other MouseFest bingo winners throughout
the cruise, in addition to Matt, included: Carol Ray, Dave Marx,
Kim and Chad, and the Martin family.
DECEMBER 6, 2004
first full day onboard had a port stop at Nassau. Two MouseFest
meets were on tap for today, an Early Morning Walk with Deb,
and a Tour of Nassau town hosted by Dave Marx.
a dozen cruisers met with Deb on Deck 9 for a morning stroll around
the ship. After everyone got their coffee, we headed upstairs. We
all enjoyed the beautiful (yet breezy) morning and walked a couple
laps around the ship. We even had a couple join us that approached
us at the Port wondering what all the MouseFest hub-bub was about!
Wills and Tim Larison enjoy some laughs prior to the walk
photo before our first steps...
and at the end... we gained a few folks and lost a few along
the way :)
Marx offered a laid-back tour of Nassau town that lasted
about two hours.
writes: "About 25 of us gathered for a walk round Nassau
town. This tour has become a tradition for me all too many
cruisers are deterred by the aggressive locals hustling business
near the pier, so I lead folks for a casual, two-hour walk that
takes them to the charming sights that lie a bit farther from
the ship. The view from Fort Fincastle was as glorious as ever,
but the waterfall that used to grace the Queens Staircase
was dry as a bone. An elderly street vendor offered to tell us
why, if only Id buy a soft drink from her. It seemed like
a fair deal, especially since I was as parched as that waterfall.
Turns out, the water pump that fed the cascade burned out, and
theres been some disagreement over who should pay for the
replacement. Considering the hurricane damage that is still being
repaired all over town, the government has been less than enthusiastic
about footing the bill for this project, too, but it looks like
thats what will happen, eventually."
to tour Nassau
Dave prepares for the Tour
Richard, Tom, Bruce, Dave
MouseFest cruisers spent the day enjoying the sun (like the
Finder family, photo left), the spa or watched movies like the Incredibles
and National Treasure!
"Match Your Mate" game preceeded dinner. Carol Ray shares:
"I was hoping that Bob and I would be chosen to play, because
I thought it would be lots of fun! The
game is similar to the "Newlywed Game", and Bob and I
were the only couple in our "age bracket", so were in
automatically....Hooray for us!!!
questions were mostly funny. At the end, though, Bob and I came
out the winners, and received a bottle of champagne in a bucket
with ice and two glasses, plus a couple of ribbons with medals attached
sporting the Disney Cruise Line logo and the words, "I'm a
Winner!" The MC made a comment about us knowing each other
so well that we even dressed alike (Bob's wanting to wear our matching
outfits turned out to be a good idea!)."
it came time for dinner, well, we all cleaned up real nice :)
if there wasn't enough excitement for one day....the evening included
entertainment by Mark Nizer (juggling and comedy), Vista Spa Bingo
(our own Carol Ray won 2 spa gift certificates) and the late night
Tropicali-fragilistic-expialidocoius deck party (featuring live
music and desserts galore).
to December 7, Castaway Cay Day on the Disney Wonder
your calendars for MouseFest
2005... Everyone is welcome!
2005 -- November 30 - December 8, 2005
Mega Mouse Meet Saturday - December 3
2005 Disney Wonder Cruise December 4-
2006 -- December 3 - 12, 2006
Mega Mouse Meet Saturday - December 9
2006 Disney Wonder Cruise December 3
- 7, 2006