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Holiday 2008 Trip Report

Hi again, everyone.

It's time for another trip to WDW. And with this trip, it'll break our old "record" of 3 trips in a year, since this will be our 4th trip to WDW this year. But then again, who's counting! :)

We leave for WDW early tomorrow morning. This trip will be a lot of fun. We will be attending MVMCP on the 11th, and then doing the Yuletide Fantasy tour on the 13th. We are also planning on waking up at some ungodly hour on the 13th to do the World of Disney "Doorbuster" for passholders and DVC members. All this, among doing other things and visiting many resorts to look at the various holiday decorations and festivities.

As before, I'll try to file a report on each day, hopefully with pictures.

The next transmission will be from the Most Magical Place on Earth. Cheers!

Zz.
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Have a great time, I will be watching for your updates :)

My cousin is leaving for WDW tomorrow too...geez, I'm really jealous right now :lol:.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We made it in yesterday. It was a rough flight from Chicago. No in flight service until the last half hour due to bumpy conditions.

When we got to our resort, our 2-bedroom DVC villa at SSR wasn't ready. So we spent the afternoon at Downtown Disney. Our vacation officially started when we bought our first pins! :)

Finally got our room at around 4:00 pm. It's very nice. It is actually a 1-bedroom suite connected to a standard studio. It has a full kitchen, a jacuzzi, a separate shower area, and washer/dryer. That's why we didn't bring a lot of clothes - we expect to do our laundry some time in the middle of our trip. So more room for stuff to bring back with us in our suitcases. :)

From SSR, we went directly to Epcot since we had a 5:30 pm reservation at Marrekesh. Had a great time since we met up with other friends from the Chicagoland area for the dinner. After dinner, we staked our favorite place for Illuminations (with the Holiday tag at the end). Once staked, members of our group went around the place to snap pictures (I certainly did). Illuminations went off at 9:30 pm. The wind was blowing slightly into our faces, so it wasn't the most ideal condition, but it was amazing anyway, especially the Holiday tag at the very end. It made the hair on the back of my neck and arms stood up. A terrific show full of energy and emotional impact!

Today, we originally planned on starting the day at DAK. However, very bad weather is the forecast for the day, at least until mid afternoon. We are currently under a tornado watch, and severe storm is about to pass through orlando for the next several hours. So we may simply hang around our resort at least until the afternoon, which is fine because we bought a lot of food to stock in the fridge last night. :) I'm just hoping that the storm would quickly and not ruin our MVMCP tonight!

I'll upload the pictures some time this morning and post them on here.

Zz.
 

wdwmemories

New Member
Your accomodations sounds very cool! Thanks for the report and we look forward to seeing the pictures when you get a chance :)
Enjoy!
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

The Christmas tree in the lobby of SSR.
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Spent the afternoon at Downtown Disney. World of Disney was festively decorated.
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Santa was there. This is the Santa Paws, where you can also bring your dogs to meet Santa.
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We finally got our room. This is the common living area (living room) with an attached kitchen.
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We have a full kitchen, which we promptly stocked with fruits, yogurt, milk, juices, and other munchies.... and oh, a good bottle of wine (and yes, they do have a wine bottle opener and wine glasses provided).
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Jacuzzi tub. I'm hoping to get a chance to use it at least once during the trip.
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But the best part is the washer/dryer right in our room. It came with a small box of Tide, but we also brought some of our own, and dryer sheets. Yes, we DID plan on doing at least a load of wash on this trip.
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[... cont]
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
[cont ...]

We got to Epcot after settling in our room. Epcot was decked to the "walls".
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This is the tree at the entrance to World Showcase. This is what it looks like in daylight.
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This is what it looks like at night when the lights come on.
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Of course, once it gets dark, all the magic of the lights becomes the highlight of the evening. Here is a series of night pictures showing all the wonderful light shows.

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[... cont]
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The other highlight of the evening was Illuminations with the Holiday tag at the end. Here are some pictures from it.

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We go oooonnnnnnnn.....................
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The finale of the Holiday tag. It was a rousing finish!
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Cross your fingers that I can get to MVMCP tonight dry!

Zz.
 

HollyBelle

Well-Known Member
Great report thus far! And I love your pictures of the lights at Epcot... one of my favorite things during the holidays. I hope you're able to make it to MVMCP tonight.

We stayed in a two bedroom at SSR last Christmas and your pictures remind me of how much we loved it!
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The morning so far has been a washout, literally! The storm is in full force right now, and it's raining in buckets. We decided to hang around the resort earlier in the morning, and then went to Downtown Disney to do a little shopping. Got the last of the Find-A-Pin pin that was released today.

We scrapped our original plan of going to DAK due to the rain. We had lunch in Downtown Disney, and then went back to SSR to rest and wait out the rain. Hopefully, it'll stop soon, and we plan on going to MK early, around 3:00 pm, and stay through for MVMCP tonight, rain or shine.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We see blue skies and sunshine! Hooray!

We are off to the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon, and MVMCP this evening!

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We had a terrific time at MK and MVMCP last night. The weather wasn't a problem at all, even though it got a little bit chilly late in the night. But hey, we're from Chicago. The cool weather is NOTHING compare to what it is now back in Chicago! :)

We got to MK around 4 pm and stayed till past midnight. We saw the parade, Holiday Wishes, rode everything in Fantasyland, got to ride Thunder Mountain at night, got on Haunted Mansion, and rode Pirates right at when they were about to close. We also drank a ton of hot chocolates, ate countless cookies (there goes my diet), and bought tons of MVMCP pins. It was a good night! :)

And oh, I took tons of pictures as well. Here are a few. I'll post more after I get home and had time to sort them out.

Christmas tree at Town Square
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Holiday decorations along Main Street leading to the castle.
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The castle at night when it is lit up
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Holiday Wishes.
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Leaving MK after a very satisfying evening.
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We're sleeping in, obviously, for most of the morning. And then we head out to AK till mid afternoon before we head out to Epcot to do the DVC members' Merry Mixer. Unfortunately, we can't stay for the whole event, since we have a 4:30 pm dinner reservation at Boma. So it will be a packed day.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We had a late start to the morning since we were up late the night before. So we went to DHS during the morning/early afternoon, had lunch there (the food at the ABC Commissary still sucks!), and then headed out to the World Gateway at Epcot for our DVC Merry Mixer.

This is the large tree in front of DHS.
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The gingerbread carousel at Beach Club.
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The amazing christmas village at the Yacht Club
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The Christmas tree at the Yacht Club
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We got to the Merry Mixer early and stood in line about 45 minutes before it was supposed to start. Lucky that we did because the line grew very quickly and very long soon after that.
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It was very festive once we got in. Free snacks and drinks, pictures with characters, pins for purchase, and a parting gift.
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We then headed out to Boma for our dinner reservation. This is STILL my most favorite place in all of WDW to eat.

As expected, wonderful holiday decorations in the lobby of AKL.
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Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We just got back from the first ever World of Disney Doorbusters. Holy Mouse Ears! I barely got out of there alive!

We got to World of Disney at 5:30 am, and luckily, they were already handing out wrist bands for people who showed up early and wanting to be the first 450 to get the free pin, and the first 1000 to get the commemorative ornament. So we got our wrist bands for the 6:30 am opening, and headed out to go find coffee and hot chocolate.

When we got back to World of Disney around 6:15 am, there were already long lines getting the wristbands, and already a large crowd gathering at each of the entrance to get in. People were still in a joyful mood, even though it was freezing (not that bad to us since we're from Chicago).

As one can imagine, pandemonium took over as soon as the door opened. While no one got trampled, and people were still being "happy", there were nevertheless a lot of hands grabbing left and right for various items that went on sale for 25% to 50% off. All t-shirts, all Christmas hats, all mugs, all Christmas ornaments were on sale for 50% off! It was chaos, but an orderly chaos. And this is before one gets the 10% off with the passholder discount!

Needless to say, we managed quite a big and successful haul. Had 2 shipments to sent directly home so that we don't have to carry them back with us. I also bought stuff that I'm stuffing in my luggage as Christmas gifts. Didn't ship those home since they probably won't get to us before Christmas.

Again, the place was utterly packed with people, but strangely enough, unlike other doorbuster events at malls and other department stores, the crowd actually weren't bad at all in behavior. People were willing to help each other out, especially if when pointing out where items and deals were. And oh, they were serving hot chocolate and bagel to the guests there as well. I didn't stand in line to get those since the line to get the refreshments were quite long as well.

It was actually a fun event, even though it was quite hectic. I was told that this is their first ever WoD Doorbuster. Not sure if it is a success and if they'll do it again, but they certainly got a lot of merchandise moved this morning, and they ran out of many items that got snatched within the first couple of hours.

Here are a few pictures from this morning.

People already waiting to get in at 6:15 am with a separate line still for people to get wrist bands.
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And this is the "zoo" once the door opened and the shopping madness began.
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We are resting a while back at our "home". This afternoon, we have do the "Yuletide Fantasy" tour at 1:30 pm, and then will head out to the Studios to see the Osborne lights.

Zz.
 

DMC-12

It's HarmonioUS, NOT HarmoniYOU.
Premium Member
Sounds like a great trip so far Zz... thanks for the almost live updates! :xmas:
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It was a chilly day and evening yesterday. It was also a very long day for us since we got up at 5 am for the WoD Doorbusters and never went back for our nap.

We went on the Yuletide Fantasy tour yesterday, and it was a lot of fun. We get to hear about the various holiday traditions, starting with Germany, Italy, Japan, and ending with the US, the evolution of the holiday to what we get today, and how each of those pavilion were decorated. We also went backstage to see the storage area where they kept all the holiday decorations, and we got to see the workshop where they are working on this huge 45-foot wreath for next year, to be attached to the Bay Lake Tower (BLT). This 45-foot wreath will take over as the biggest wreath in all of WDW, taking over the record from the one currently hanging on cirque du soleil building.

We visited a total of 3 parks during the tour, Epcot, DHS, and MK, to hear all the did regarding the decorations, etc. A lot of interesting stuff for the Osborne lights, including how the "black cat" got moved all the time, and that the Osborne parents have now actually divorced (love little gossips like that :)).

Anyhow, it was a terrific tour. We were given a small candy, and also an exclusive, limited edition pin at the end. It was Donald and Daisy putting up a snow man, and as someone who collects Donald pins, that was worth the money for tour! :) I definitely recommend it if you have the time (about 3 1/2 hours long).

What was puzzling to me came afterwards. We went to Downtown Disney for an early dinner, and then planned on going to DHS to see the Osborne lights. Obviously everyone else was also planning on doing the same thing. The traffic getting into DHS was HELL! crawlled all the way in, and even getting to the parking lot was brutal. And this was at around 6:40 pm. DHS closed at 8 pm (on a Saturday night, mind you!). We were looking at each other wondering why were there so many people barely an hour before the park was to close. Are they all going to see the Osborne lights for barely an hour as well?

We decided to abandon the plan, and headed instead to MK, since they will close at midnight, and had 2 spectromagic parades plus Wishes. So we did that instead, and left after the 2nd Spectromagic.

So here are the pictures from yesterday, mainly of the Yuletide Fantasy tour.

This is our tour guide Jeff. The other guide was Johnny who took the other half of the group. Jeff was a lot of fun, very friendly, and quite an expert with this tour, I can tell. He was also orginally from Chicago! (Go Cubs?!) :)
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The miniature village.
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The tree in front of the US pavilion
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The tree at the Grand Floridian
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The Gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian.
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When we got to MK, Jeff showed us the two vents where they piped in the "smell" of Downtown Disney - the smell of "candy" or "waffle cone".
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[cont ...]
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
[... cont]

After the tour, we had dinner at Downtown Disney, so these are pictures from there.
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Zz.
 

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