Category: 2013

Disney NYE 2013: Wrap-Up with Favorite Video Highlights

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By , January 5, 2014 12:33 am

I’ve uploaded select videos from our trip. Now you can see and experience what we did.

First up, a perennial favorite. While our family will ring in the new year cuddled up in their homes watching the ball drop in New York City, we are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios listening to the band, enjoying fireworks and strolling along Osborne Lights until the last song is sung.

In 2011, I parked myself at the head of the street and filmed the last 20 minutes ( This time I took you along with me on a couple 10 minute ride throughs. The jumpiness are all the pot holes on the road. Mid-way through the first video the lights will stop and dance to a special arrangement of Winter Wonderland. It’s a new song for the 2013 season.

Points awarded if you can spot the purple cat. That’s the game my Cuz and I play every year. First one to spot it and snap a picture wins.

FYI, this video was shot around 1am on NYE when 2014 was brand new. We stayed at Osborne between midnight and 2am that night. Crowds go away then and you really get to enjoy the exhibit.

I thought I wasn’t filming at the end of the last video, so I repeated my walk and got more images and another song. This one is the hyper-paced Jingle Bells by Barbra Streisand.

I have two different versions of the NYE fireworks here. This first one I filmed on my Galaxy S3 phone. I like the framing better, but I started filming a minute into the show so I could capture some still photographs.

Most notable thing about the night was the timing was way off. The band was still in the middle of their last song when the clock struck 12. In this day of ubiquitious cell phones the crowd knew and cheered the new year before the band got to it. When they finished it was 12:02am and EPCOT’s fireworks were booming. The band joked that was just China and they were in a different time zone.

This version is complete from countdown to finish. I handed my Canon camera to Cuz and had him do the filming. He just aimed and shot.

And here’s some of the band (Mulch, Sweat and Shears) playing for the crowd. They take the stage under the Sorcerer Mickey Hat and play from 6pm – 1am (alternating with a DJ who pumps out Club Dance and Dubstep music). They had sections for the crowd to form with walking paths throughout so you could just stroll through it and get a feel for the music.

To save our ears, we sat along Echo Lake where we could still hear the music and see the video screens, but have a reasonable conversation without yelling. (And access to bathrooms.)

DHS is our favorite park for NYE. The atmosphere is very partyish but the crowd is not as insane as Magic Kingdom or EPCOT. And the best part is it’s the only park with evening EMH. So we get to stay and enjoy ourselves while the roads are a mess outside.

Oops, I skipped a day, didn’t I? Well let’s continue with the fireworks theme.

To start, here is what we raced from the airport to catch on December 29, 2013. The Holiday Tag to Illuminations. They only show it up to December 31st, then the Grinch takes over EPCOT and all the Christmassy stuff goes away. I hate hate HATE that. So much I boycott EPCOT entirely after December 30th.

Next year, GpaM and I are flying down on December 28 so we can have a full day in EPCOT.

The next day we went to Magic Kingdom to enjoy their decorations and fireworks. The crowd came with us. We couldn’t get over to our usual spot to see the earlier HolidayWishes fireworks, but I found a new place to watch. Outside Hall of Presidents on Liberty Square. It’s a unique place to catch them.

And for midnight we lined up in our golden spot to see the panoramic NYE fireworks.

I know many MOers were across the Seven Seas Lagoon watching from there, but I like being in the middle of the park and staying late.

When we do, we get to enjoy this kind of stuff. Magic Kingdom closes at 3am.

By 2am, DJ Miles has gone home and the Christmassy music starts playing again. By 3:15am, the crowd vacates and only the CMs and stragglers remain. I loved it so much I hung around for another 30 mins enjoying the sights and sounds. I swear it’s like being part of my own Christmas Train Garden.

I’m jumping over to some favorites from our cruise portion of the trip.

One thing that surprised and amazed us was all the decorations in the Atrium. I stayed up until 1am to film this video when everyone else was asleep. I was all over Decks 3-5 snapping pictures and filming from every conceivable angle. It truly is a beautiful place.

And here are the pirate fireworks I filmed just a couple hours earlier. It was windy and a tad chilly up there, but still so fun.

A treat from Nassau, Bahamas. We walked into the Christ Church Episcopal Church (directly across from the Pirate Museum near the Straw Market) and were treated to an awesome organ recital.

Some people enjoy swimming and snorkeling in Castaway Cay. We enjoy a leisurely ride down to Serenity Bay. It was made even more special when I turned on my Christmas music to serenade us.

And before I go, this is the reason everyone wants to be part of the Grandpa Mohawk Posse. It’s the Old Man of course. No purple mohawk this time (weather was too cold at home), but he’s still just a big kid at heart. (Our mom, rest her soul, loved that best about him.) As soon as we rolled onto onto the Landing Strip of Castaway he started to play.

Audio says it all: “Up, Up and Away!”

Now doesn’t GpaM remind you of Mr. Frederickson from Disney’s Up? Best part is we (his family) get to enjoy him every day. 82 years young this year. God I love the ol’ curmudgeon!

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