One word: Awesome!
A little background, though. Ever since The Park announced that they would be doing Family Fun Weekends over the course of the next couple of months, the weekend we've had pencilled in as a "must-do" was "Character Fan Days". In a weird twist of fate though, it wound up being the one weekend out of the entire bunch that up until the day we went, we weren't sure we were going to be able to make it at all, and certainly not all of us at the same time.
Chad had car trouble, Mark wasn't sure he'd be able to make it out by himself, and Amy's weekend was pretty full up as well. For a while it didn't look good one little bit. Fortunately for us, we aren't afraid to do "Banzai Runs" (see yesterday's post) and a small window of opportunity opened up on Saturday afternoon for the three of us to meet up. Mark was able to go out a little earlier on Saturday in case the rest of us couldn't make it, Amy was able to find some free space in between a bridal shower and family dinner, and Chad was able to eat up the road between Rancho Cucamonga and Anaheim in such a fashion that around 3pm (with just about an hour left until the 4 o'clock character stoppage) all three of us were together in Big Thunder Ranch doing our line dance.
We wrote a little bit last week about "Kickin' Country Weekends", but in case you missed it, for the past three weekends The Park has been hosting "family-oriented" weekend activities in the Festival Arena at Big Thunder Ranch. Each week has had a different theme and different set of things designed to draw families into the Arena to spend time together and have a great time. There's been crafts, stage-shows, food (Amy's Sour Balls have had our mouths watering all weekend), merchandise and all sorts of goodies going on. We've really enjoyed both weekends we've gone. This weekend was very special, however, in that about a month ago The Park announced that for "Character Fan Days", the fans (us!), would be given an opportunity on Facebook to "vote" for the characters we'd most like to see in the area this past weekend for meet and greets. They had some awesome ones to choose from! We weren't especially ecstatic with the people who voted for characters that were typically out and about anyways, but there were some rare ones that made it into the show that hadn't been seen in The Park in years (literally). You can probably infer for yourselves why it was such a huge draw for people, and for us! With our new KILT articles on Thursday, we were just itching to "collect" some hard to find characters for our website.
|Esmerelda and Clopin dance on stage before meeting their fans in their Meet And Greet line|
|LOTS of people enjoying all facets of the Weekend -- including coloring and cartoonist sketches|
Each meet and greet line rotated out every half hour as new ones rolled in, and we were able to move from line to line very efficiently. And that is literally what we did our entire time there; we basically just made a big circle all around the Arena. In fact, we'd like to go on record as saying that we think the whole thing was handled very well. We can only assume the fact that we were able to get every character we wanted in just under two hours was just as much due to The Park handling all the people well as it was to our fanaticism. The only characters we did not get were Donald & Daisy, and the Alice In Wonderland gang, and that was only because they're out a lot of the time anyways, and we have already have pictures with them. We'll be sure to get them all posted for you in the near future, as they'll most likely make up the majority of our KILT posts in the coming weeks.
|The Days In The Park and Hunchback of Notre Dame gangs|
|Mark clowning around with a sombrero|