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Brett's Christmas Trip Report 23-27th

Hi everybody! Just got back and settled after another fantastic trip to Walt Disney World. It's my first trip for the holiday season and I wasn't dissapointed.

Day One: Dec 23rd
We drove overnight and arrived to Lake Buena Vista around 6:00 in the morning. It was the first time I ever stayed off property. I stayed at Masters Inn in Kissimmee to save some cash, but I must say, wish I would have just forked over the dough to stay on site. Nothing wrong with the hotel or room, but it's just not Disney.

After checking in Holly and I headed over to the Beach Club Resort and Cape May Cafe for breakfast. The tree was awesome at the Beach Club and the Chocolate Carousel was neat. As for Cape May Cafe, I loved it! Same old kind of buffett breakfast with Mickey waffles and such, but the characters were so much fun in beach gear. We met Goofy, Minnie, Chip and Dale!

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After breakfast, we went to Disney MGM Studios for the day. Immediatly we ran into a lot of characters including Santa Goofy, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Lilo, Stitch, Baloo, Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tiger.

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After taking tons of pictures we went and rode the Tower of Terror and the Rock 'N Roller Coaster. The lines weren't too bad early in the morning, but by late after they were huge. So we went and checked out the Backlot Tour, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (3 times!), and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Don't know if Indy has much life left or not, but I still love that show.

After fast-passing RNRC, we got a quick lunch at the Backlot Express. Once again, trying to be spend-thrift. Not bad, but wish I would have ate at the Sci-Fi.
Wasting a little time around the backlot, we waited for the Osborne Lights. All I can say is WOW! When they cut on the lights and it started snowing, it kind of got me. Definently Holly's favorite Christmas moment of the trip. I was extremely impressed by the display as well. I also was surprised when we strolled by Al's Toy Barn to find Santa Goofy, Rudolph Pluto, Chip and Dale hanging out.

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After soaking in the lights for awhile, we left the park and went to Coronado Springs for dinner at the Maya Grill. The tree at the resort was very nice. One of the better trees with all the poinsietas. As for dinner, it was so-so. I had the filet and it wasn't really on par with what I have had at other restaurants around WDW. All and all, it was rather disappointing.

Anyways, I'll be back with part two (Animal Kingdom) later!
 

Brett

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Alright, back for part two. Sorry about the wait, I've been a little busy since getting back, but here we go!

Day Two: Dec 24th

After a good night sleep, Holly and I headed over to the Animal Kingdom at 9:00. The crowds didn't really hit the park until late afternoon, so we hurried to get some stuff done. First off was Dinosaur, which I always enjoy. I know it gets a little slack for being too dark and not as fun as the Indy ride at Disneyland, but I love it. After the ride, we walked to the Character Landing where we met Holiday Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger.

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I really liked how each Pooh character had a tree next to them. Tigger's tree was my favorite. After that, we headed over to Camp Minnie-Mickey to check out the other character trees. All the trees were great, but my favorite had to be Mushu's tree. The dragons wrapping around it was awesome. It was about time for the character greeting trails to open, so we waited. Koda and Kenai came out first. I really like Brother Bear so it was a treat meeting those guys. Mickey, Minnie, Santa Goof, and Ranger Donald made an appearance soon after.

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Holly is in love with Donald Duck so she was incredibly excited to him out. She also loved Minnie's outfit. After those pictures we headed to Africa to check out the Pangani Exploration Trail. We had a Hidden Mickey book with us and were having fun checking them out. Along the Exploration Trail, I kept looking for a giant hidden Jafar with no avail. Finally after a good while, it found his head. I must say if you haven't seen it, go check it out. Impressive and definently easy to see when you finally see him.

We kept walking around AK towards Asia. Everest is so massive. I can't wait to go back in a month for the AP preview and ride. I wanted to hope the fence, run around, and discover the attraction, but I'll have to wait like the rest of us.

After a fast-passed ride on Dinosaur, we headed to It's Tough To Be A Bug. Love that show. Lunch time!! We went to the Rainforest Cafe and split a pizza. Great place to eat. Almost eat there every trip. After finished up lunch, we decide to go back to the room, change, and then go check out some of the decorations at the resorts.

We went by the Caribbean Beach, both Port Orleans resorts, the Boardwalk, the Yacht Club, and the Wilderness Lodge. My favorite two trees were at the Yacht Club and the Wilderness Lodge. The big sailboats of the Yacht Club tree was neat! We then snuck back to Disney MGM Studios before heading to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner. I'm so glad we did cause we got a fantastic picture with the gang as soon as we showed up!

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One of my favorite Disney character pictures ever!!! Afterwards, it was time for Jiko! The Animal Kingdom Lodge had some cool holiday decorations as well as another surprise. More characters!! We ran into Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Timon hanging out.

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I like Goofy's sweater. Then it was time to eat at Jiko. It was one of the best places I have eaten at Disney World. We had a bottle of wine and enjoyed and atmosphere. I had the filet again and I must say if you haven't tried it, make plans and go. Well worth the price.

After dinner we headed over to the Magic Kingdom to check out Holiday Wishes. I thought it was a nice show, but the regular Wishes has more bang. Maybe I'm crazy. We went and rode my favorite ride, Splash Mountain. It was nice to see all the animatronics working. The hopping Brer Rabbit was on as was both the little bunnies before him. Best ride all trip! We then watched SpectroMagic and it was awesome as always. I love the part with Chip and Dale on the pianos. It was time to pack in for another day.

I'll be back later with Day Three (Magic Kingdom Christmas Day!)
 

lawyergirl77

Active Member
Great report - I can hardly wait to hear about MK on Christmas Day!! (And the fact that you saw characters at my fave resort has me sooooo jealous!! :lol: )
 

Brett

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day Three: Dec 25th

We awoke early to arrive at the Magic Kingdom for its opening. The weather wasn't looking that good as the other days, but we marched along anyways. First we headed towards Space Mountain (Always a favorite). We grabbed a fastpass for Space Mountain to ride again later and then hopped on the TTA. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority may very well be the greatest ride ever. It's always so much fun. Relaxing too. After a trip around the super skyways, we headed towards Mickey's PhilHarmagic. PhilHarmagic is Holly's all-time favorite, so of course it was great!

After PhilHarmagic, we went and rode Splash Mountain (my favorite) and got soaked!! The first little dropped drenched Holly. Didn't really matter cause it started raining soon after. We then headed over to Mickey's Toontown Fair to see who was hanging out. I was delighted to find Daisy Duck as the mystery character with Minnie and Goofy. In the Pooh room, Rabbit was the mystery character.

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After taking the pictures, it was pouring outside, but we ran on the back route to Tomorrowland and went straight in to Space Mountain with our fastpass. Right before the line branches the power went out!!! It was kind of neat to have emergency lights kick on. We couldn't see the tracks because weren't far enough in line. After leaving the mountain, we were gonna hop on the TTA to see the tracks but noticed it wasn't just Space Mountain without power. All of Tomorrowland was down!! Don't know if it was the whole park, but I would suspect so. The rain and the outage killed the crowd for awhile, which was nice.

We headed up to Main Street after the rain died down to check out if any characters were hanging out and much too my surprise there was many! Suzy, Perla, Terk, Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, Prince John, Max, Baloo, Louie, Gepetto, Pinnichio, Honest John Foulfellow, Gideon, Chip, Dale, Minnie, Mickey and Launchpad McQuack were all out. But most important was my absolute favorite, the ever elusive: DARKWING DUCK!!

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I have been trying to find Darkwing Duck for years and finally met him back in February, but Holly's camera broke and the pictures didn't come out. I was psyched to finally find him again. Best christmas ever!! We asked a cast member if my other fav, another elusive duck, Scrooge McDuck would be making an appearance on Christmas and she called the Chips Hotline. She told us he would be out at 11:50 and 12:15 in town square, so we grabbed a cookie and waited around on Main Street for him. Alas! He never came out.

We then headed over to Frontierland to check out the Very Merry Christmas Parade. Very nice. I really enjoyed this parade more than the normal one. The Donald/Daisy float at McDuck Meadows was my favorite. After the parade we went through Fantasyland and ran into Donald at his tree lot. Holly just had to get a hug from him.

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We had priority seating at the Kona Cafe for lunch, but didn't want to leave the park because we didn't know if we would be able to get back in. The crowds were pouring in now and so I just grabbed Cosmic Rays and Holly snagged a pretzel. After eating, we headed back to Space Mountain, hoping it was up and running and to use our old Fastpass. We quickly got on the ride and loved it.

After Space Mountain, we went back to Toontown Fair to see if any different characters were out. We waited in the Princess line and luckily met Belle in her Christmas dress.

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After a while, we decided to see if the park was going to be closed off, as we had priority seating for Tony's Town Square at 8:00, but we really wanted to check out the trees at the resorts on the monorail loop. So asked at the gate and a cast member said they were not going to close the gates. So we hopped on the monorail and over to the Contemporary. There tree was so huge!! The Polynesian's tree was nice and I really liked the gingerbread village the had, but it was nothing in comparision to the Grand Floridians. The tree was gorgeous and the gingerbread house was neat! When we walked back up to monorail, I looked over the side and noticed Belle was in her yellow dress just hanging out near the Mary Poppins topiary. We have never found Belle in her yellow dress, so Holly and I took off as fast and safe as possible down the big stairs and the lobby to the courtyard to find Belle walking in. Barely missed her!! We waited around for a while, but she never came back out. Boo.

So we headed back to the Magic Kingdom, and just enjoyed ourselves some more until dinner at Tonys. I must say, I love Tony's Town Square. I had the Baked Ziti and it was just fantastic! It's another restaurant I tend to eat at almost every trip. After Tony's, we decided to hop back over to the Ticket and Transportation Center and go to Epcot for Illuminations.

We hurried to Epcot thinking that Illuminatinos was starting at 9:00, but it was starting at 9:30, so we burned a little time by checking out Turtle Talk with Crush. There was absolutely nobody waiting so for a minute we thought might get the theater to ourselves and Crush. But a couple of families eventually showed up. I still got to talk with Crush, as he asked me what I liked to do at the beach. The technology behind this attraction excites me for the future. Maybe a conversation with Mickey isn't too far away!!

After Turtle Talk, we walked through the Lights of Wonder. I must say that the Lights of Wonder with the fountain and tree were my favorite Christmas thing at the whole Walt Disney World resort. It really felt like Christmas underneath the lights. Impressive!

Illuminations rocked as always and the Peace on Earth finale was fantastic. I couldn't believe the sheer illumination of the finale blasts. Incredible.

And that's it for day three. Be back later with day four at Epcot!!! (Best park ever!)
 

surfsupdon

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
What a greta trip report. Aren't the trees and decorations at Yacht Club just great?! That's our favorite Resort to stay at!! I'm looking forward to what you did at Epcot on 12/26--that's my birthdaY!! And I was at Epcot for it last year!!:xmas:

Thanks for the thorough read.
 

nibblesandbits

Well-Known Member
Brett said:
So we headed back to the Magic Kingdom, and just enjoyed ourselves some more until dinner at Tonys. I must say, I love Tony's Town Square. I had the Baked Ziti and it was just fantastic! It's another restaurant I tend to eat at almost every trip. After Tony's, we decided to hop back over to the Ticket and Transportation Center and go to Epcot for Illuminations.


I'll be eating at Tony's in just 3 days...it's good to hear that I made the right choice!
 

Computer Magic

Well-Known Member
Brett said:
We went by the Caribbean Beach, both Port Orleans resorts, the Boardwalk, the Yacht Club, and the Wilderness Lodge. My favorite two trees were at the Yacht Club and the Wilderness Lodge. The big sailboats of the Yacht Club tree was neat! We then snuck back to Disney MGM Studios before heading to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner. I'm so glad we did cause we got a fantastic picture with the gang as soon as we showed up!

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One of my favorite Disney character pictures ever!!! Afterwards, it was time for Jiko! The Animal Kingdom Lodge had some cool holiday decorations as well as another surprise. More characters!! We ran into Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Timon hanging out.

That is a great picture. How did they all end up together so you could get a picture. You don't find them like that very often.

When we were in MVMCP in Dec we were the only ones in the area for Mickey and Minnie pics. We tried to get them together and they refused. :veryconfu
 

Brett

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day Four: Dec 26th

Alright, here we are again. The day after Christmas and we finally got to spend more time at the greatest park in the world, EPCOT!! After getting in the gate, we strolled over to Soarin' and quickly just hopped on. I'm a gigantic fan of this ride. Out of all the Happiest Celebration stuff, Soarin' is easily the best. After the ride, we grabbed a fastpass knowing as the line would never be the same all day long.

We then went over to the Living Seas to check out Crush again. The technology just knocks my socks off. After Crush we walked by the new Character Connection near Club Cool. We walked in and we were the only two people there. We quickly grabbed a picture with Mickey and Goofy. After taking the picture with Goofy, Holly asked a CM is there was anyway we could get all the chracters together. She politely said no, but as I was taking a picture with Dale, a bunch of his friends stolled over.

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It was an awesome moment. Afterwards, Holly told Donald that he was her favorite and Donald wouldn't let her leave.

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That kiss lasted about a minute. After the Donald picture, we were so excited. We turned the corner to leave and, wham, there was Mary Poppins just hanging out as well!

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I never have seen Mary in anything but her white dress, so it was great to meet her here. Brer Bear was also hanging out, which I thought was weird. Holly asked him why he wasn't hanging out near Splash Mountain and I think it blew his mind. Anywho, I didn't really liked the backgrounds of the Character Connection, and I will miss the Holiday bus. But it was still awesome.

After meeting the characters, we headed over to Mission: Space. I absolutely love this ride. I can't get enough of it. After the ride, we hopped over to Test Track and got a fastpass. Then we hiked it over to Soarin' to ride with our fastpasses. After Soarin' and then Test Track, we walked over to Mexico and enjoyed another one of my favorites, El Rio Del Tiempo. We walked through World Showcase for a while, checking out the American Adventure and the Maelstrom, until it was time for lunch at the San Angel Inn. I had some nacho plate with sausage, chicken, tons of cheese and such. It was awesome. My favorite lunch during our entire trip. After lunch, it was a bit windy and cold this day and Holly really wanted to change. So back to the room for a change. When we got to the room, Holly decided she could use a quick nap, so Nap Time!!

After getting refreshed, we headed back to Epcot for the Candlelight Processional. We didn't get seats, but stood ride next to the rope gate in the back, so we could see the whole thing well. We watched about half of it and it was a real nice. John Stamos was getting catcalls from the chicks in the audience, which was pretty funny. We decided half way through to book it over to the tree lighting ceremony on the other side of the lagoon.

We waited there for the tree lighting ceremony and it was fun. I just was in awe of the tree and the Lights of Wonder, so I really didn't what was going on stage. I would have loved it anyway! But the show was nice and fun. Holly was jealous she couldn't get a picture with Donald in his sweater.

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After the ceremony, we heading to Ellen's Energy Adventure and rode it. Fun little show, great time burner till dinner. We then turned around and booked through the whole park to Morocco for dinner at Marrakesh. My food was great, I had lamb for the first time and it was good. The bellydancers and music didn't come out till we were paying for our meal, so we stayed around and watched the festivities for a minute. Fun.

After eating, we decided to book it over to the Studios to catch a late Fantasmic. We got to the park with plenty of time to spare, so we checked out the Osborne Lights again. Just beautiful. The area was really deserted when we strolled back there, so it was ever better. We then headed over to Fantasmic, great as always. And that would be Day 4.

They'll be one more quick update for Day 5 and I'll answer some questions you guys had in a little while
 

MissM

Well-Known Member
SO jealous!! I was there Christmas Eve (MK) and didn't see Darkwing. Bah!! I've been trying to find him forever myself! :lol:
-m
 

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