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Pre-Trip I'm Back!! Short December 2021 Trip

Hello everyone!!!! I think it's been about a year since I've visited the forums and I've missed all of your trip reports. I have had to reschedule multiple trips over the last couple of years because of moving, health, new jobs, pandemic, sick pets, pet sitters falling through, etc. It just got to the point of where I was like "screw it" I'm not even going to try to Disney any time soon. But a good friend took pity on me after I had to cancel yet another trip that was supposed to be next month (we haven't had a vacation since our last trip in April/May 2019). She is going to travel a couple of hours and work remotely just to house/pet sit for us. I'm still paranoid that something will happen to cancel this trip but I went ahead and bought plane tickets. That's just how hopeful - or desperate - for a vacation I actually am at this point LOL. This trip will be very different than any we've done in the past. For one, we're going in December, which I've never done before (anyone have good packing tips?). I'm so excited to see everything for the 50th and the Christmas decorations. Although, I sure do wish I could see Cinderella's Castle decked out in all of the lights. Another HUGE difference is that it will be the shortest trip we've done. We're leaving on a Sunday morning and flying back on a Wednesday evening. In some ways, I'm more stressed planning a shorter trip. There's too many variables - such as Genie+. Because the trip is so short, I decided to pay the crazy Very Merriest After Hours prices and got tickets for Sunday. Fingers crossed JetBlue doesn't mess up the flights - I had a horrible time finding direct flights that worked with my friend's schedule and ours. We're currently booked at Port Orleans Riverside but I'll switch it if French Quarter opens up. We're going to focus Monday and Tuesday on Hollywood Studios to see Galaxy's Edge and Epcot for their Festival of the Holidays. I've watched plenty of Molly @ Allears YouTube videos to try to stay current on everything happening in Disney but I would love to hear any of yall's suggestions and tips! Anyone else planning on being at Disney in the middle of December? The pandemic has turned me into the hermit I always suspected I could be LOL. I think I've turned feral yall and have forgotten how to interact with a larger public :) I'll update as I get more details planned and finalized.
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Oh how exciting!! I'm in! I want to go in December for my birthday sometime. My daughter turns 21 the same year I turn 50, so we're thinking of doing a mother/daughter trip that year....we can maybe hit the end of food and wine in November, be there for my birthday, and maybe even do a Christmas party. I think December sounds like a magical time to go....it's not blazing hot, and as long as it's not right at Christmas, I don't think it's as busy. I hope nothing falls through for you!! Traveling has been so hard with this pandemic!
 

LSV

Well-Known Member
December in Central Florida is unpredictable, if a cold front comes through it can be quite chilly, sometimes we get dreary rainy days, and sometimes its swimming weather! You may experience all three during your short trip, so think layers of clothing and be prepared with rain gear, and keep an eye on the short term forecast, which may or may not be accurate!
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sounds like packing is going to be interesting since we are trying to not travel with any checked luggage :) We might have to have one that we share.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Has anyone walked from the All Star resorts to Blizzard Beach/Winter Summerland? I remember there being good sidewalks between them all and the McDonalds on the corner but I don't know how long it takes to walk it. It's been too long since I've been down that road on the Magical Express.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
I'm glad you have the trip planned! I'll be interested to see what you think of the Christmas After Hours event. I have tickets for one too, for the one right after Thanksgiving.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm glad you have the trip planned! I'll be interested to see what you think of the Christmas After Hours event. I have tickets for one too, for the one right after Thanksgiving.
Definitely let me know what you think of it and how long lines are, etc. We were supposed to be there the Sunday after Thanksgiving to December 4th but the dates didn't work for the pet sitters I contacted after my go to decided she was no longer doing overnight visits. Which I just found out my cousin and his family would've been on our flight LOL. That would've been funny since we no longer live in the same town! I can't make up my mind if I want to stay at Riverside, Pop/AoA, or ASMusic. I keep seeing rooms become available and I just don't know the money savings would be worth it. Tonight at dinner, I asked the husband if he would regret not staying at Port Orleans if it was another 3 years before we got back. That kinda changed perspectives a bit :)
 

Zipitidoda

Well-Known Member
On my arrival day I made sure to wear my bulkiest clothes and shoes so I didn't have to try to get them in my personal bag or carry-on. I'm always cold so I had a cardigan for the airport. Since you're going in December I would make sure and pack shorts and t-shirts then wear pants and a long sleeve then carry a sweatshirt with you. That way you'll have everything you need if its either warm or chilly.

It'll be here before you know it!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Echoing everyone else, we go in December every year, and I'd recommend packing layers. I always bring a lightweight packable down jacket that I can have on when it's chilly first thing in the morning, throw in the backpack when it warms up mid-day, and then put back on when it cools down again at night. I also throw a beanie and a pair of gloves in the backpack in case it gets really cold. We've experienced temps in the 40's and temps in the 80's in December. You never really know.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
On my arrival day I made sure to wear my bulkiest clothes and shoes so I didn't have to try to get them in my personal bag or carry-on. I'm always cold so I had a cardigan for the airport. Since you're going in December I would make sure and pack shorts and t-shirts then wear pants and a long sleeve then carry a sweatshirt with you. That way you'll have everything you need if its either warm or chilly.

It'll be here before you know it!

I was thinking of packing my lightweight tennis shoes and flip flops for the room (I cannot walk barefoot in the resort rooms!!). Packing my jeans bc I can't stand traveling in them and instead wear my lightweight pants. Wear my fleece since we'll be leaving from VA and I'm sure it will be cold. So I will have pants I'm wearing, the jeans I'm packing, and 2 shorts in case it's hot, 2 tank tops I can pack inside my shoes, a short sleeve shirt, and I'll be wearing a long sleeve shirt leaving VA. I have to have travel sized bottles for my contacts, my own body wash, shampoo, and conditioner since my body and hair HATES the H2O products. And I can't forget my travel sized contour pillow, which I really hope fits into my carry on. I think I have that figured out. Now I'm wondering if I should switch from Riverside to Caribbean Beach for the convenience of the Skyliner since our 2 full park days are at HS and Epcot but I don't know what the lines are like in the morning. I'll be watching the transportation at the reopening of Riverside closely.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Disney surprised me with Wednesday being the date my dining reservations opened. I thought it was going to be Thursday or Friday so I'm really glad I logged onto the website to do a little planning. No countdown, no email notification, nothing like in past years. That was annoying. So I grabbed what I thought we might want while they were available. Figured it's much easier to cancel later than to add. My husband wants to eat at Polite Pig when we arrive (and he'll be starving). I don't want to waste dining at our limited time at MK for the After Hours so I booked an early dinner at Boathouse. I wouldn't mind cancelling this and eating at a food truck or something. I want to go to GF to see their lobby decorated for Christmas before going to MK. I didn't make any reservations for Epcot bc I'm hoping they will have Candlelight Processional dining packages but if not, there's plenty of places to eat. Tuesday at HS, I got an early lunch at the Brown Derby bc I want that Cobb Salad!!!! Then a dinner at Boma, which has been on my bucket list. From there, we want to wander around DS at night. I think our departure day will be relaxing around the resort. We still don't eat inside restaurants here during busy hours despite being full vaccinated so I'm a little skittish at eating inside restaurants at Disney. My comfort level isn't there yet.

Questions for those that have gone to WDW: what has the transportation like to and from Disney Springs? And what has Magical Express been like? I'm glad we get to ride the free bus one last time before it switches to paid Mears!!
 

Zipitidoda

Well-Known Member
That Cobb salad has been on my list for years! It looks so good!

We waited an average time for a bus at ME a few weeks ago. I've already started to forget wait times but I'm guessing 15-20 minutes for the All Stars bus. I remember thinking it wasn't horrible. The bus transportation to DS was quick. We got on at our resort but when we left we hoped on Boardwalk's bus. Our plan was to get on the first bus that was part of the skyliner since riding it was our goal for the evening. I would also seriously consider switching to Caribbean, as much as I love Riverside the skyliner makes it so easy to get to HS and Epcot. When I stayed at POP in 2019 the mornings were very easy to get on with little wait BUT it was very new and I'm thinking people were a little unsure about riding and the transferring station. I'm guessing the mornings may be different now and you may want to look into that first.

Sounds like you got your packing all planned and it sounds like a good plan. No need to stress. :happy:
 

cgersic

Well-Known Member
The Skyliner can have long lines in the morning, but since it moves constantly, the line goes fast. Much better than bus waits in my opinion. I'd definitely switch!
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
That Cobb salad has been on my list for years! It looks so good!

We waited an average time for a bus at ME a few weeks ago. I've already started to forget wait times but I'm guessing 15-20 minutes for the All Stars bus. I remember thinking it wasn't horrible. The bus transportation to DS was quick. We got on at our resort but when we left we hoped on Boardwalk's bus. Our plan was to get on the first bus that was part of the skyliner since riding it was our goal for the evening. I would also seriously consider switching to Caribbean, as much as I love Riverside the skyliner makes it so easy to get to HS and Epcot. When I stayed at POP in 2019 the mornings were very easy to get on with little wait BUT it was very new and I'm thinking people were a little unsure about riding and the transferring station. I'm guessing the mornings may be different now and you may want to look into that first.

Sounds like you got your packing all planned and it sounds like a good plan. No need to stress. :happy:

I stress. It's what I do best. I come from a long line of women who stress LOL. When I don't have plans, is when crap really hits the fan ;) During my 2019 trip, we were able to get a table at the Brown Derby Lounge with very little wait. The salad on that menu was a much smaller portion. And it was delicious!!! It made me crave more and I've been salivating over it for years :hungry: I have a Boma reservation for this trip and I really hope I'm able to go. I've had dinner reservations for it in 2016, 2018, and 2019 and each one got cancelled for some reason. I think in 2016 it was bc of Hurricane Matthew. In 2018, my husband caught a stomach bug while at Disney and we had to cancel. I really thought 2019 was going to be my year but R was still too full from his lunch and didn't want to pay buffet prices if he wasn't hungry enough to eat. So, I made reservations for Boma (again!!!) for my April 2020 trip, which was cancelled by the pandemic LOL. Boma is definitely my Achilles heel! Will this be the year? Who knows :joyfull:
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Skyliner can have long lines in the morning, but since it moves constantly, the line goes fast. Much better than bus waits in my opinion. I'd definitely switch!

How long did you have to wait in the mornings for the Skyliner? If HS opens at 8:30, how early would I need to get in line for the Skyliner in order to get to the park before it opens?
 

Zipitidoda

Well-Known Member
I stress. It's what I do best. I come from a long line of women who stress LOL. When I don't have plans, is when crap really hits the fan ;) During my 2019 trip, we were able to get a table at the Brown Derby Lounge with very little wait. The salad on that menu was a much smaller portion. And it was delicious!!! It made me crave more and I've been salivating over it for years :hungry: I have a Boma reservation for this trip and I really hope I'm able to go. I've had dinner reservations for it in 2016, 2018, and 2019 and each one got cancelled for some reason. I think in 2016 it was bc of Hurricane Matthew. In 2018, my husband caught a stomach bug while at Disney and we had to cancel. I really thought 2019 was going to be my year but R was still too full from his lunch and didn't want to pay buffet prices if he wasn't hungry enough to eat. So, I made reservations for Boma (again!!!) for my April 2020 trip, which was cancelled by the pandemic LOL. Boma is definitely my Achilles heel! Will this be the year? Who knows :joyfull:
Wow, Good luck with Boma!!! My son and I caught a bug in 2013 and we had a Boma reservation then next day. We still went but I hardly ate anything and we haven't been back. Maybe someday....
 

cgersic

Well-Known Member
How long did you have to wait in the mornings for the Skyliner? If HS opens at 8:30, how early would I need to get in line for the Skyliner in order to get to the park before it opens?
I believe they start running the Skyliner at 7:30, I was generally there by 8, but I would judge that by how busy your resort is. You can hit the line and it seems like it will take forever, but as long as it's running smoothly, it goes quick.
 

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