Though it's been a little over a year, I had the unique experience of spending the night in Mickey Mouse's Penthouse. It all started early in the morning on September 25, 2007, when I was invited by some friends to join them for a day at Disneyland. Being a passholder, I had little to worry about as far as expenses went. As we pulled into the parking structure that morning, we were directed to park on the Chip and Dale level. This alone was a new experience because I had new parked on that level before since the time they built the structure. As we exited the car and prepared to walk towards the tram, one of my friends had asked how we were going to remember where we parked. Without any hesitation, I blurted out as I pointed to the marked pole, "That's easy, we are at my lucky number and my initial."
As we boarded the tram, little did I know what was about to happen that day. We exited the tram, went through the checkpoint, and I headed straight for the lockers to the left of the entrance while my friends paid for their tickets. The timing ws perfect, I met up with them as the neared the ticket booth window. We then proceeded toward the front gate and with a short line, quickly into the park. When I asked what would they like to ride first, they both wanted to see if we could get on the Finding Nemo ride since it was still new. So off we went, only to find out the line was too long, and then one friend suggested Space Mountain since we were right by it. The line was extremely short, about a 10 minute wait, and we were soon riding. My friends sat in the front seats with me directly behind them in the next seat. What we didn't know was how the day was going to change when we got back.
As we returned from our ride, I notice off to the exit side lined up where I was seated was the Dream Squad. As I exited the car and saw her hand come up to congradulate me, I left my two friends in the dust. I knew I had won something big, but I wasn't going to find out for a few more minutes. After walking out th exit with her, we waited for my friends to catch up at the photo display. From there we proceeded back to City Hall, which seemed to take forever because of the excitement. When we finally reached City Hall, they brought us into a room just off the side of the building where they proceeded to tell me what I had won.
As they laid out the details of my prize, I hear my friends discussing whether they would or wouldn't be joining me. This of course, was a little alarming, as I had ridden with them and might be stuck if I accepted the prize. As they haggled on what their plans were, I made it clear that if I had to I would go back to get my car just to be able to keep this chance. In the end, they decided to stay, which made my next decision harder. Who to invite? What the offered to me was a night in Mickey's Penthouse, dinner at the Blue Bayou, and Grand Marshall of the parade, and Dream Fastpasses for everyone, and I got to share it with five other people. It's moments like this that send your mind racing.
With the details mostly ironed out, we went out to get a picture in front of the big Halloween pumpkin on Main Street. After which we headed down to Mickey's house in Toontown so Mickey could congradulate me. The feeling of taking forever was gone, now I was floating across the park. As we got to Mickey's House, we went in through the exit to see him and then had our photo taken with him. When we had finished there, I was asked if I wanted to go on any particular ride with the exception of Finding Nemo. Of course, I picked my favorite, Pirates of The Caribbean. Which meant the easiest way of getting there was the train. As the train enter ToonTown Depot, our guide noticed it had the Lilly Belle caboose on the end of it. Normally this is reserved for V.I.P. members, but she asked if we wanted to ride in it. Which of course, I immediately responded with a yes.
As we got to New Orleans Square, we headed toward the exit of Pirates and I asked if we could get our own boat. We immediately boarded and she told us she would see us at 3:00 pm for our room check-in. After we got off the ride, I tried reaching other friends to join me. Everyone I tried couldn't make it, and I finally got my roommate to come down. Which worked for me because I left home without any supplies thinking it was going to be a normal day at Disneyland.
The time flew by, and it was already time to head to the hotel to check-in. I was then guided to the special elevator to the concierge lounge, where I was informed we had access to as well. We went down the hall, to the front door of the penthouse, and I was given the keycard to open the door. We were given a quick tour, and then had to leave for our dinner at the Blue Bayou.
As we sat for dinner, we had a hard time containing the excitement from the days events so far. They gave us special menus which had no prices listed, but we were given some very nice choices. We ordered and had a wonderful time while we ate our dinner. When we were finished, it was back to the room so I could meet my roommate who would be arriving any minute. By the time he had arrived, we were rushing to get back to the park in time for the parade. We barely made it, and then the quickly escorted down the street to Small World to get to the beginning of the parade. We were taken backstage, where we got special greetings from Mary Poppins, Bert, Eyeore, and Pooh. We were then loaded onto the fire engine, where my name was on signs attached to both sides of the car. It was time for the parade.
As we traveled down the parade route, every five feet or so, my name was announced as the Grand Marshall and of the prize I had won. It was impossible not to have a smile on your face, especially hearing your own name announced like that. When we reached the end, they had told me of two more surprises I had in store. I got to keep the signs with my name on it and the handed me two big bundles of balloons. I didn't know what to do with the balloons, then it struck me. I began to walk down the parade route and handing out balloons to all the kids nearby until they were gone. Then I was escorted to a special seating area to view the parade for which I was Grand Marshall.
With the rest of the evening free from engagements, we headed back to the room to enjoy it for as long as we could. I made a trip to the store to buy three disposable cameras to use since I had forgotten my. I wish I had bought more, because I still didn't get enough pictures. Once in the room for the night, I looked over two different gift baskets that were also part of the prize. I chose to stay in the kid's room that night because I wanted to sleep on a round bed. During my stay in the penthouse, I was asked to enter a log of my experience into a book. I also took the time to read what everyone else had written before my stay. Two and a half pages later, I finished writing the book, and then went to bed for what little sleep I would get.
Morning came in a flash, and my roommate scared me out of a deep sleep by turning on the lights which activated the two animated Mickey lamps by my head. I got up, got dressed, grabbed a bite to eat, and then finished with what pictures I had left in the cameras. Then it was time to go.
Though the time spent was a blur, it was one of the best days I've ever had. I can't express how much that day meant to me.