Chuck and Dave We’re ready to go around 8am so armed with 3 children, 2 buggies, 1 changing bag, snacks, drinks, cuddly toy, and a partridge in a pear tree we load the vehicles. One plus point on the 7-seaters is that we could get the buggies in the back without having to collapse them. We make it to The Magic Kingdom parking lot and are parked in Pluto row 11, right near the front. Why don’t we ever get in Chip and Dale anymore; I remember on my trips in the late 1980s and early 1990s we would always be parked in Chip and Dale but now it’s always full whenever we get there. Is it used for CM parking or something? Anyway – umm, I can’t remember whether we walked or trammed to the TTC, let me check the photos – ah yes, we caught the tram to the TTC. Steven was in his shorts, t-shirt, Mickey cap, and Guest of Honor badge (thanks WQ). Nice sunny day, slight breeze, but a nice shorts and t-shirts day for us hardy Brits. When we reach the TTC Ellie gets to choose our mode of onward transportation as, after all, it’s her birthday. She correctly chooses the ferry boat: I always take the ferry boat on the first visit to The Magic Kingdom. We turn left and head toward the loading dock. And them we see them. Characters. Waiting to greet the guests as they head for the ferry. I yell, “Chuck and Dave!” and everyone looks at me like I’m an idiot. Explanation – thanks to a trip report posted on another Disney board, Chip and Dale will forever be known as Chuck and Dave to me. So I yell, “Chuck and Dave,” and everyone else yells, “Pluto.” And there was the dog and the two chipmunks standing there in their sailor outfits: well Chuck and Dave were, I can’t remember what Pluto was wearing, probably a collar of some description. Well as all the other guests appeared to have made the wrong choice and were thronging up to the monorail, we pretty much had these guys all to ourselves for a while so we – grown ups – break into a swift jog. Then we think – children, first character encounter, better slow down a bit. We stop a safe distance away and get ready with the cameras. Ellie’s straight in there, rushing up to Pluto for a big hug. Harry’s not so sure: Pluto’s definitely a bit gairy, but Chuck and Dave may warrant a second look. Eventually after some chipmunk persuasion he wanders up for a quick hug but is not going to stick around long enough for a photo. Steven had taken little interest at this point so we decide to take a chance and I carry him up for a photo with Chuck and Dave. What a non-event that was. He wasn’t scared, he wasn’t excited, he wasn’t anything. Did manage to get him to test out a furry paw though so he knows what they all feel like from now on. OK first test over; looks like we’re ok with Ellie and Steven, we’ll have to see with Harry. Eventually we make it on to the ferry where we make two discoveries. Firstly we discover that we totally forgot that the children had autograph books for the characters to sign. Secondly we discover that it was freezing on the water. We try and put a blanket (we kept one in the buggy at all times) over Steven but he was having none of it, and the rest of us huddle together with all the other silly Brits on the ferry. Ellie suddenly cries, “Look, it’s Chip and Dale.” I correct her, pointing out that they are actually called Chuck and Dave, before looking up and spotting them on the upper deck of the ferry. Cool! Ellie and Harry grab their autograph books and dash upstairs. Steven and myself stay where we are: not leaving the warmth of the group for a chipmunk’s signature. They return a couple of minutes later with books signed and big smiles. The ferry docked and we all trooped off and – ahh warmth. Back down to shirt sleeves we hit the security line – hypothetically speaking of course. Safely through there we head up to the turnstiles and immediately get behind the person who cannot comprehend feeding a small card into a slot. Beckoned over to another turnstile we insert our cards and – we are in! Ellie announces she needs the restroom. This will become a pattern throughout the holiday. I don’t know how it happens but we stop for a coordinated restroom break and everyone who needs to does whatever they need to do. Five minutes later someone, usually Ellie, will announce that they are desperate for a restroom so we have to stop all over again. Wasted a lot of time studying the exteriors of restrooms on this holiday. We stop at the restrooms by City Hall. Once Ellie has taken care of business I instruct everyone else to wait there and we’ll be back shortly and I take Ellie into Guest Services. I march to the counter, announce to the CM there that it is the young princess’s birthday and may she possibly have a birthday button. He hands over a button without a word: no Happy Birthday, no here you go, nothing, nada, silence. I imaginarily poke him in the eye. Ellie says thank you to the CM and attaches her button to her top proudly. It is so big it almost rips the top from her body but she sports it proudly as she dashes back to show Mummy and Daddy. I follow behind imagining myself jamming the button sideways into the mouth of the CM. Ellie was happy with her acquisition though and that’s what really matters.