Trip Report *COMPLETED* Simply Having a Magical Christmastime - Nov/Dec 2022

Hellloooo humans! And Happy Holidays! I had every intention of starting this trip report earlier in the month, but work has been busy busy busy ever since we returned from vacation, and of course we had Christmas preparations as well. Nevertheless, I'm ready to get this report cranked out while the memories are still fresh on my mind! Let's get this party started!

Who: Me (Katie), my husband Jason, and our then 17-month-old son, Lincoln


When: Sunday, November 27th - Friday, December 2nd

Where: All Star Movies

As I mentioned in my Pre-Trip Report, we're planning to drop down to one trip per year starting in 2023 - a bittersweet decision after several years of J and I being passholders - so we tried to soak up as much of the magic as possible on this trip. Lincoln is at a really fun age, and he had an absolute blast on this trip. We're already looking forward to next year!
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Saturday, November 26th - Disney Trip Eve

My mom (Grandmama, you may remember her from my last TR) graciously offered to take Lincoln for a few hours the day before the trip so that J and I could get as much packing and preparation done as possible without a clingy toddler underfoot. This proved to be super helpful, as we were able to get the boys' suitcases, the tote of miscellaneous stuff for the room, the pack-n-play, and the bag of Lincoln's snacks and entertainment for the road trip packed and loaded in to the car. All that was left by the time L got home was my suitcase which was mostly packed, and the go-bag of last-minute items that would be added in the morning.


After putting Lincoln to bed that night, we loaded my suitcase in, and played a little trunk jenga to make everything fit so we could still *kinda* see out of the rear windshield. Then we actually got to relax for a few minutes before heading to bed at a decent hour - win-win!


Up next: Travel Day


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Sunday, November 27th - Travel Day

My alarm went off at 4:00 am, and J and I both hit the ground running. We got ourselves ready, packed up last-minute items that we needed to use that morning, and then I got Lincoln up. I was hoping he'd stay mostly asleep since I was just changing his diaper and leaving him in his pajamas, but he was wide awake by the time we loaded him into his car seat. Everyone loaded up, and we were pulling out of the driveway 7 minutes before our goal of 5am!


It was a very rainy drive through most of Georgia, and we dealt with some slowdowns through Atlanta, especially near the airport. Normally, we breeze right through down this early in the morning, so it was a weird start to the day. Lincoln didn't fall asleep until we had made it through Atlanta, but once he fell asleep, he was out cold until we stopped for breakfast. We normally stop at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast on road trips, but since it was a Sunday, that was out of the question. We decided that if we were going to break from tradition, we had better do it in style...


Buc-ee's was surprisingly crowded for 7:30 am! We both used the restroom and I changed L's diaper before we grabbed some breakfast. For breakfast, J got a breakfast burrito, I got a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit, and L got a cream cheese kolache and a fruit cup, and J and I both got iced coffees. I also grabbed some snacks for the road, which proved to be useful later on. I sat in the back with L to help him with his breakfast and keep him entertained until our next stop. We brought the iPad with a few movies downloaded, including "101 Dalmatians" and "Toy Story," which we let L watch on the way down, hoping that he'd recognize some of the characters at the hotel.


We stopped again just past the GA/FL border for gas and another bathroom break/diaper change, and I moved back up front for the rest of the drive. We hit some slowdowns as we were nearing the FL Turnpike, and the Turnpike was PACKED with people headed North. We noticed the same thing the last time we came down the week after Thanksgiving - I guess there were a lot of people headed home from spending the week in Orlando. L had done very well on the drive so far, but started to get a little antsy the last hour or so of the drive. Remember the snacks I grabbed from Buc-ee's earlier? I may or may not have used some animal crackers to bribe L to stay calm. I'm not proud of it, but we made it to our destination without any major meltdowns! 😅 And at 1:09 pm,. we were pulling through the magical gates!


We headed straight for All Star Movies, where our room was not ready yet. We decided we'd get L changed out of his pajamas and grab some lunch, and then if our room still wasn't ready, we'd head out to our first destination for the day. Thankfully, I got the room ready text at 1:21! We requested the first floor, and got the third floor, but we were glad that we'd be able to get settled into our room before heading out for the afternoon.



We grabbed some lunch from the food court -mac and cheese for Lincoln, chicken tenders for me, and a pulled pork sandwich for Jason.



After lunch, we headed up to bell services to grab a luggage cart so we could unload the car and get everything to the room. I grabbed a picture of the lobby Christmas tree on the way out - it's no Wilderness Lodge tree, but it's cute!


We grabbed our stuff from the car, carted it up to the room, and unpacked and settled in. Lincoln had a blast exploring the room, pushing the suitcases around on the floor, opening drawers, and moving stuff around while we were trying to get everything unpacked and organized. 😂 He loved the hotel room, and called it "play room" the entire trip. I don't know if he thought it was like his playroom at home, or if he meant he wanted to play in the room, but he had a ball.


Up next: Resort Hopping
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Ohhh, more cuteness! Can't wait to
Oh just you wait...plenty of cuteness to come!
Getting yourself up, packed and getting a child that young ready to go in less than an hour is impressive!
Jim Carrey Thank You GIF

Chicago Pd Nbc GIF by One Chicago

That’s the motto of parenting sometimes right?
Good call on having your mom watch Lincoln while you packed. I tried packing with lil BES around for our holiday trip and she just pulled stuff out of the bags faster than I could put it in. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂
She was a lifesaver. There's no way we could have gotten it all done in an afternoon without her!


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Sunday, November 27th - Travel Day - Continued

After we had unpacked and settled into the room, we decided to head out a little after 3:30 to do some resort-hopping. I forgot to take pics of the actual room, but here is the view from outside our door! Lincoln loved saying Hi to Woody every time we left the room.


We decided to hit up the Epcot/HS area resorts first, so we took a bus to HS. I was a little nervous when I pulled up the app and it said "No Times Available" for any of the park busses, but one pulled up in no time! Lincoln is very into transportation right now, so he was very excited about riding the bus!


We were all sporting matching t-shirts from Old Navy 🥰


After we got off the bus at HS, we headed to the Skyliner - we took the Skyliner over to Caribbean Beach, and then transferred to the Epcot line. L has enjoyed the Skyliner on our last two trips, but he was especially into it this time around. He still talks about it.


Once we made it to Epcot, we made the short walk to Beach Club to see the carousel - we loved the theme this year! The Tiana horse was my favorite.




We decided to let Lincoln walk with his wrist leash over to the Yacht Club, since the walk is mostly indoors. He loved it, and was stopping to say Hi to everyone we passed. Unfortunately, when we got to the Yacht Club lobby, he got a little too excited, running in circles, and face-planted right on the lobby floor. 😪 He was fine after a couple minutes of me holding him and showing him the train, but he sported a goose egg right on his forehead for the rest of the trip. Once he had calmed down, he enjoyed watching the train for a few minutes...


The Yacht Club is definitely not our vibe, but I do love their Christmas tree.



Up next: More resort hopping and a pyromaniac toddler


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Sunday, November 27th - Travel Day - Continued

After leaving Yacht Club, we walked over to Boardwalk. We just love this area - I always have to take pics of Boardwalk from across the lake. On our walk over, we told Lincoln about how Mama and Dada used to come walk along the Boardwalk at night to get ice cream and watch the live entertainment.


The Boardwalk outdoor tree...


And the gingerbread...deli? Is anyone else still weirded out by that name change?


And then L spotted the "fiwer" - this kid is obsessed with fire, whether it's a fireplace, a candle, a fire on tv...I'm hoping that's normal toddler behavior and we don't have a pyromaniac on our hands. 😂


After we were done at Boardwalk, we headed to their bus stop to ride over to Magic Kingdom. It was 5:30pm on a party night, so the entrance was a bit crazy.


J pushed the stroller through security, and was asked to remove the stroller organizer. In his haste, he managed to break one of the straps loose from its buckle, losing the buckler in the process, so the stroller organizer was dangling from the stroller on one side. 🙃 I looked on Amazon to see how quickly we could get a replacement, but it wouldn't arrive until the last day of the trip, so I said we would just have to tie it on to the stroller and make due. Later on that night, I had a hunch that the missing buckle may have fallen into one of the compartments of the stroller organizer, and I was right! I managed to re-attach it, so we didn't have to untie it every time we went through security (and I unclipped the stroller organizer for the rest of the trip so it wouldn't get damaged again).

Anywho, back to MK -on the ride over, we had discussed whether we wanted to attempt to hit up the monorail resorts, or take a boat over to Wilderness Lodge. We decided to take a boat to Wilderness Lodge, since we'd be back at MK in a couple days, and we could hit up the monorail resorts then. L got a little impatient waiting for the boat to arrive, and he was upset that he couldn't touch the water in the lake. 🤷‍♀️ Thankfully, Jason was able to entertain him and keep him somewhat happy on the boat ride over to WL. This pic is blurry, but I love it. 🥰


Once we arrived at Wilderness Lodge, we mobile ordered some dinner from Roaring Fork, and roamed around the lobby and gift shop while we waited for it to be ready.



Once our food was ready, we headed to Roaring Fork. I didn't take any pictures, but J and I both got the BBQ brisket, and we got L the kid's chicken quesadilla. Once we sat down with our food and got L settled into his high chair, we discussed how we wanted to get back to the resort, since L had been impatient waiting for/riding in the boat. We ultimately decided that since we were already pushing 6:30, we'd splurge on a Minnie Van so we could head straight for All Star Movies rather than having to wait for a boat/bus to MK and then another bus back to our hotel. I pulled up the app, and it said it would take ~25 minutes for a Minnie Van to arrive. Perfect, that gave us just enough time to eat dinner. Except, as soon as I confirmed the ride, the ETA changed to 10 minutes, and then 5 minutes, and then all of a sudden, she was already parked outside. Frantically, we packed our food back up in the bag they gave us, and ran out to the lobby entrance. Thankfully, our Minnie Van driver hadn't left without us.

Our Minnie Van driver (I wish I had written down her name) was great, she was a grandmother herself and was super interactive with Lincoln, and even gave him some stickers. She dropped us off at the All Star Movies lobby, and we headed back to the room to finish eating our dinner.



Once we had eaten, we got L bathed and ready for bed around 8:30, and J and I hit the hay shortly before 10:00.

Up next: A late start to our Animal Kingdom day

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