Random Chitchats

2014 WDW Tower of Terror Day Two: Being Grand Marshals for the Festival of Fantasy Parade!

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And what a day this was!

So, here’s the thing. Before our all-girls weekend, I had never watched a parade at Magic Kingdom since my boys are ride fanatics and my husband isn’t big on them. This changed on Saturday when we didn’t just watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade … we were selected as Grand Marshals!

Talk about amazing!

I couldn’t believe it. Still can’t, really.

How did this happen? Well, picking up on my TOT Expo recap, we woke early on Saturday morning. A few ladies headed to Magic Kingdom for an early morning ADR, and the rest of us joined them at around 9:00. (Details are fuzzy.)

I do remember having this moment with Mickey, though! Sorry, Minnie.

We met for a ride on Haunted Mansion to say hello to our 99 ghost friends before heading over to Pirates of the Caribbean to visit with those crazy hooligans and their redhead chasing ways. But first … a quick photo with Robyn at the stocks in Liberty Square! (Don’t ask what I’m doing with my hands because I seriously don’t know.)

This is where a super sweet CM named Mindi came up and asked if we’d like a picture of our entire group.

Why yes, thank you!

L to R: Shonna, Robyn, Lynda, Sara, Nikki, Me, Shannon, Angie

Mindi then asked us some questions, like is this our first Disney visit? Where did we come from? Are you celebrating anything special? Have we seen the Festival of Fantasy parade before? Then she asked the best question of all:

How would you ladies like to be Grand Marshals today for the parade?

Oh my gosh. First there was shock and then …

Multiply this by a thousand. Then eight more times for the eight of us.
Multiply this by a thousand. Then another eight since there was eight of us.

I’m talking massive, epic girl squeals. In between our volcanic displays of joy, we yammered to each other about how we could wear our matching Maleficent/Evil Queen selfie shirts. And oooooo, what if we all bought matching Maleficent ears!

To this, Mindy responded with, “Oh, don’t worry, you won’t need to buy ears.”



After getting instructions on where to meet, we just had to get a picture with Mindi since she’s the BEST CM in the world! More squeals and joyous outbursts ensued as we went for a ride on Pirates before leaving for Old Key West to change clothes.


Now, in my previous recap, I mentioned how slow the buses at OKW seemed so I hoped this wouldn’t be an issue. But yeah, they were slow. Agonizingly slow. The longer we waited, the more my anxiety grew. What if we didn’t make it back to Magic Kingdom in time? Most of the other ladies seemed cool and collected, though, so I kept my crazy to myself. But oh my gosh, there was crazy.

At least we had some time to get more pictures!


When we did finally get back to Magic Kingdom, we hustled to where we were supposed to meet Mindi at Frontierland as fast as possible, gathering up quite a sweat since it was a hot one. Once there, I realized I had to pee. Badly. Of course. It was a risk, but I hauled booty to the closest bathroom, only to return even more sweaty and with plenty of time to spare.


Our lovely new best friend, Mindi soon arrived with gifts! Grand Marshal Mickey Mouse ears for each of us! My cup runneth over!

My funky-shaped skull just ain’t made for ears, though. After many attempts for the cutest way to wear them, this was the best I could do:


We then got another great surprise: Our own Photopass photographer who would be taking pictures of us along our magical ride! He was such a sweetie!


So were these hilarious CM’s who stopped to visit for a while. Man, I would love to be a CM one day! It would be awesome having a job like Mindi’s, where you get to bless people every day and make them smile with magic. (Or in our case, squeal like a bunch of pre-teen girls.)


Mindi then escorted us beyond the barrier where we met our two CM’s who would be carrying the banner.

Again, total sweeties! And it was fun chatting about the other performances they do at Disney World while waiting for our car to arrive.

Speaking of which … ta-da! Isn’t she a beauty! Word is, there’s only two cars like this in the world; one is at Disneyland and here’s the other one. I felt honored beyond belief.


Before we knew it, we were loaded and ready to begin our Grand Marshal experience! I had decided to take video of the entire ride, holding my camera in front of me without aiming, hoping for the best. That way I could truly live the moment while capturing it at the same time.

So with that, here’s the good stuff … the view from the Grand Marshal car from start to finish!

Sigh. Seeing this makes me weepy all over again. It was such a wonderful experience and I’m so glad I got to do it with seven other amazing ladies! Love them dearly.

PhotoPass Tower of Terror

Afterwards, it was time to watch the parade. Our blessings continued when Mindi took us to a special VIP viewing area, roped off just for us! Are you kidding me??? It just got better and better.

PhotoPass Tower of Terror1

So, did I enjoy watching my very first Disney parade?

Oh my gosh. You have no idea. Magical, just magical.


As was chatting with this fantastic veteran, who had some great stories to share! Afterwards, I would have been perfectly happy going back to bed at the resort because things just couldn’t have gotten better. Instead, we topped off our fabulousness by meeting more friends for fun dinner at Via Napoli and there’s one more thing I’m forgetting…

Oh, right! The Tower of Terror 10-Miler!!

That post will be coming next Monday. Until then, Mindi darling, if you see this by any chance … thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for our incredible, once in a lifetime experience! We’re so grateful!

Thanks for reading!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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