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Trip Report Livin' La Vida Local


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Saturday, December 15 cont.




Pirates had a 5 minute wait after HEA, so we wandered over there next. We grabbed a Peter Pan FP in a little while, so we wandered toward Fantasyland in search of something else to do in the meantime. We happened across a relatively short line for the Tangled photo op, so we decided to join!

We love this one, but agreed that it's probably more of a "couple shot" than a best friend one. 😂🙃

The photopass CM was great and let us do some solo, too!

It was time for our fastpass when we finished, so we walked over and flew off to Neverland! We were running out of fuel fast, so we soared with Aladdin before heading out for the night. 😊


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Sunday, December 16

We started at Epcot today just for the sake of getting Dana's passholder magnet... and ice cream for me. 😋 We also had a FP for Test Track! We were excited to test our design, but per usual, nobody else in our car scanned their band so we were alone in the contest. 😒


We made our way to WS and headed straight for America. We decided to share the Apple Pie Sundae since neither of us were hungry enough to eat one by ourselves. SO GOOD. 🤤

We finished our snack and then headed out of the park and over to HS! We browsed the shops and watched One Man's Dream, but we were there for a much more important reason.

When I say that Equity Ben is my favorite Disney human, I'm not kidding. My other favorite Disney human is Guy Behind the Magic. Dana made shirts to make this known to the world.

Caitlin is equally as obsessed with them as I am, so she joined in on the fun. 🙃 Brett was so excited when we approached him and spent a significant amount of time standing and chatting with us. He escorted us all over Toy Story Land, showing our shirts to all of his CM friends lol. When Woody and Jessie went in for a break, he took us over to their meet and greet area for pictures. 😋


He ended up asking if we could make one for his fiancé, so I'll be delivering that in a couple of weeks for her birthday lol. He said that Ben is going to love them, too, and told us later on Instagram that he had texted Ben the picture of us after work and said "look what you missed out on today!" since he was in Disneyland at the time. 😊 Guys... this is why CM's are the best. Brett ALWAYS takes time to stand and chat when we bump into him and it's just that little bit of extra magic that leaves a lasting impression on us and so many others that visit WDW.

I don't think that we actually rode anything because wait times were so high and we couldn't get any fastpasses. It was getting close to when we had to leave for the airport anyway, so we just decided to head out in case we hit traffic.


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Original Poster
Monday, December 17

When we visited Guy Behind the Magic the day before, he informed us that tonight was the last time he was performing in Candlelight Processional and asked if we were coming. Well.... yes of course we'll come! 😄 Dylan decided to join us and we agreed to meet Caitlin outside of the theater.

It was a little chilly, but overall a beautiful evening!

On our way in, there was a father/son walking in front of us. The son was probably 14 or so. They were fooling around as they walked, bumping in to one another and pushing each other back and forth. It went on for long enough that I was getting annoyed and told Dylan that this is why men need women... A woman surely would have told them to stop by now. 😉 We continued on and as we passed Spaceship Earth, they began to push each other even harder. We realized that they were now trying to push each other into other people passing by. 🤨 I made a comment to Dylan about it being rude, loud enough that they could probably hear me. Then, as we passed the fountain, the dad gave the son a big shove right toward a little girl, narrowly avoiding knocking her over. 😡 Dylan yelled directly at them and they turned to look at us before veering away to continue their game on the other side of the fountain. How immature and rude can you be? We were absolutely appalled and I can only hope that they bumped into the wrong person and got themselves into trouble.

Anyway, we reached America and an Apple Pie Sundae sounded like a great dinner choice. 😉 We enjoyed our treats as we waited for the show to start, and soon, Gary Sinise was telling us the Christmas story. 😊 We stood at the back of the theater to watch, but ended up leaving part way through. We saw what we came to see, so we were perfectly content with heading out ahead of the crowds!


A few pictures from earlier! I love the Epcot tree so much. 😍




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Monday, December 24

Last year on Christmas Eve, I started a tradition of going to look at the resort Christmas decorations since we're blocked out of the parks at that time. Dylan's mom and siblings were in town for the week, so they tagged along. They didn't seem to be even remotely interested in looking at anything, so I was a little irritated throughout the day because I felt like I had to rush to keep them happy. 😕 If you recall when we took his mom to the parks last fall, her reaction was the same. I was hoping for a better outcome with this, but no such luck. Oh well! I refused to let that take away all of my fun and enjoyed the day regardless! 🤗

We parked at the TTC and walked to the Poly to start. That path is so peaceful and the weather was perfect! When we entered the lobby, there was a table setup and CM's were handing out cookies (leftovers from MVMCP). I was thrilled, because I absolutely love the gingerbread molasses cookies! 😋

We walked around the lobby for a few minutes before heading upstairs to the new and improved Tamboooooooo Lounge. 😬 It looks great! John hooked me up with a Pina Colava for the road and we headed back outside.

We started walking along the beach to GF, but stopped to take in the sights for a few minutes.

I was hoping that the Wedding Pavilion would be open today (as this was the day that I got to go inside last year), but no such luck. 🙁 We continued on to the GF and were soon surrounded by the sweet smell of gingerbread!


We walked around the lobby for a bit and then took the elevator upstairs to get a view from above. The band started playing when we got up there, so we listened to them for a few minutes! Next, we hopped on the monorail and continued on to the Contemporary.

There was a backdrop nearby, but there wasn't a photographer anywhere to be found. We helped ourselves. 😉

We got back on the monorail and returned to our car at the TTC for the next leg of our journey!


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Original Poster
Monday, December 24 cont.

We arrived at Yacht & Beach Club, though we weren't sure that they were going to let us park in the parking lot. We pulled up and Dylan greeted the CM, explaining to him what we hoped to do. He was an older gentleman who very clearly loved his job. 😊 He said "oh you're hoping to see the gingerbread houses and those things?" Dylan said yes and he says, "well, you're not going to be able to do that... it's all gone." At that point I'm thinking "what in the world Disney? It's not even Christmas yet. Why would they take it down?" Dylan said oh okay and the CM responded with "I ate it all."

😂😂 We all cracked up and Dylan said "all by yourself?" and he said "well, I had some help but yeah it's gone." CM'S ARE THE BEST.

He waved us on through and soon our noses were greeted by the wonderful Yacht Club lobby smell. 😍 Their tree was beautiful!

We admired the adorable train set for a little while, looking for all of the Disney touches!



We continued on, walking past Yachtsman on the way and dreaming about the day we can return. 😉 Soon we arrived at Beach Club!

The carousel is incredible! I'm so happy that I finally got to see it in person.

We explored the rest of the lobby before heading outside to continue on to the Boardwalk. I thought this was very picturesque, so made Dylan stop for a picture. 😋



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Original Poster
Monday, December 24 cont.

When we got to the end of the Beach Club walkway, we saw Pluto doing meet and greets nearby! I made a beeline for him, not caring if anybody decided to join me or not! Lol. He had lots of energy and I'm happy that we stumbled across him!

Can you spot Dylan in the background? 👀😂


We strolled along the Boardwalk, stopping to look in a few of the shops along the way. We went into the lobby to see the incredible gingerbread display! This is the only picture that I took, but there were models of all of the Boardwalk shops and restaurants. It was really neat!

We headed back outside to return to the car, but we stopped for one more picture on the way. 😊 There was a lot of kids activities happening down below on the grass, including making a pair of ears (for a cost). You could make light up ones, which was tempting, but I refrained. 😉

Overall, it was a great day and we accomplished everything that I hoped to accomplish! Nobody does Christmas like Disney. 🤗


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Original Poster
Friday, December 28

We decided to head to Disney Springs for the evening and I was on a mission to visit the Christmas Tree Trail! It wasn’t terribly crowded, which was a nice change of pace from when I visited last year. 😳

Here are some pictures of my favorites!

The parks one was awesome and so incredibly detailed!


For my Elsa-loving niece. ☺

Creepy? Yes. But I LOVE it! HM holds a special place in my heart. 😍

There were so many amazing details on this one, especially the lanterns. 😊

The Toy Story one is so cute, and so nostalgic. 🤠 This is where I saw the alien ornaments that are on display (though much bigger) at HS.

We spent some time in World of Disney.. Dylan and I each got a new shirt and I got my purple ears. 😍💜 We perused some other stores, including the one displaying all of Greg McCullough’s artwork. I drooled over this piece that goes for an affordable price of $45,000 😂 A girl can dream.

There were a few prints that I really liked but we decided to wait until Festival of the Arts kicks off before we buy anything. 😊

We left DS and played a round of mini golf at Fantasia Gardens before heading home for the night!


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Saturday, December 8

Dylan and I were headed back to Studios, this time with a little more time to explore! We stopped for a picture with the tree before it got dark. They actually do a little tree lighting ceremony, which I didn't realize before this night. It's basically just them counting down and then turning on the lights, but it's something. 😊
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We watched the projections again and FINALLY got to try the hot chocolate flight. 🤤
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First of all, can we acknowledge how adorable the baby mugs are? I briefly considered washing them off in the bathroom and bringing them home, but I didn't have a bag with me. 😒 The Cherry Bourbon (far left) wasn't great. I drank most of it, but Dylan only had a sip before declaring it "nasty." A little too strong for our liking. The one with vanilla vodka (middle) was amazing, probably both of our favorites. The one with Bailey's and cinnamon (right) was really good, too. I would definitely get this flight again and it wasn't terribly priced for the size.
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We had a FP for Tower of Terror, so headed over there next. I believe that we also did RnRC in the single rider line.
View attachment 338195

I wanted to see the Christmas decorations in Toy Story Land, so we decided to wander over there even though the park was now officially closed (at 8pm 🙄). I didn't realize that there was an After Hours event tonight until the CM at the entrance of TSL asked to see our wristbands. I apologized and told her we had just walked over to see the decorations, and much to my delight she told us to go ahead! 😬

Woody looks adorable in his scarf!
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Could Rex be any cuter? 😍
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I NEED these for my tree. I saw them a few weeks later on the tree in the Christmas Tree Trail, so I know they're out there. GIVE THEM TO ME DISNEY.
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The cutest Christmas cookie you ever did see! I didn't even notice at the time, but there's a green army man holding him up from behind. 🙃
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Buzz got left out of the Christmas attire, but he still looks great! 😋
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We finished our loop around Toy Story Land and then headed out for the night!
I love your sweatshirt! So cute! And wow, your hair is getting long! Are you growing it out for the wedding?


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Good morning! ✨ I made two resolutions this yesr.. 1. Spend more time at Disney (aka less time at work) and 2. Read more books. Working on them both this morning! ☺

I noticed this new booth on my way in. The CM was handing out buttons, but I’m not sure of its other purposes... maybe related to the “walk up dining reservation” initiative?


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Update.. these booths are popping up all over the park. The CM’s working them, as well as other CM’s walking around the park to answer questions, are all wearing the new blue shirts like you can see here.

I used my FP for Big Thunder and then looked around the Christmas store. I thought this ornament was adorable. 😍 I’ll add it to my ever growing list of “must haves.” 😉

Next, I hopped aboard the Liberty Belle and took a peaceful ride around the Rivers of America!


I’ve never noticed this before... overflow HM queue area.

I was getting a rumbly in my tumbly, so headed to Friar’s Nook for some mac and cheese. 😋

They were selling these adorable mugs, too!

While I was waiting on my food, another family stepped up to order. The following interaction occurred...

The child orders for herself.. Then it’s mom’s turn. “Um I’ll take an order of chicken nuggets.” The CM says “we actually don’t sell chicken nuggets here.”

She is DISGUSTED and says, “then what’s the chicken thing?” And the CM says “that’s the buffalo chicken tots.”

“Well WHAT is that?” LOOK AT THE PICTURE. OR JUST USE YOUR BRAIN. The CM does her best to explain the dish that is completely self explanatory.

But wait, there’s more.

“Well what’s the fried twinkle?” I’m sorry the fried TWINKIE? The CM again tried to explain it to her.

“Well what do you have?” At that point the CM is just like 😳😐 and she’s like “okay well then just this (the kid’s food).” The CM rings them up and she is legitimately unsure how to count the money. The CHILD is counting the money for her.

After the transaction is complete, the dad says “oh and a bottle of water.”

I had to walk away. 🤦🏻‍♀️

A very sad, quiet Speedway. You don’t realize just how loud it is until the cars aren’t running!

I hopped in a very long line for the PeopleMover. The CM holding the “line starts here” sign told the people ahead of me that it was a 30 minute wait. 15 minutes later I was PeopleMovin all around Tomorrowland. 😉


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As I walked through the PeopleMover line, I couldn’t help but think that this (whatever it is) looks like a face. As I got closer, I noticed that somebody else must have thought so too because the black thing is one of those stick on mustaches. 😂

Tron construction!

Monsters Inc. got an upgrade!

And another booth.. this one has a screen showing wait times for all of the attractions.


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I thought this ornament was adorable. 😍 I’ll add it to my ever growing list of “must haves.” 😉

OMG this is adorable!
What an awesome way to spend your day. I also made a resolution to spend less time at school. Jealous that I can't spend my extra time at Disney like you, though!


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I used my last FP at Haunted Mansion!

I stopped by the Emporium on my way back down Main Street.. I’ve had my eye on a mystery pin pack for a little while now so decided to finally buy one today!

I’ve always been too afraid to buy a mystery pack in fear of getting something I don’t really like. But this pack only has one that I’m not interested in adding to my collection so I figure my odds are pretty good. 😉 I was pleased with what I got! 😍

I’m now on the ferry back to the TTC to continue on to the next leg of my journey. 😉


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Found a few characters when I arrived at AK!


Oh, oops! 😋

We went to It’s Tough To Be a Bug and when we exited, the skies were ominous. We headed for FOtLK but the line was outside of the queue. We were worried that we either wouldn’t get in or would get poured on before we did, so we ditched that idea and briskly made our way to Pandora.
We grabbed some food front Satuli. Like with everything, Disney can’t leave a good thing alone and changed the sides that come with the bowls. The rice they serve now is awful.. it’s basically Mexican rice and tastes terrible with the mixture of other flavors. I am NOT pleased. 😡😤


I’ll just eat my mousse and stay away from the bowl. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Side note.. here’s some new ears I saw on our way into the park. They’re for Mickey’s 90th!


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What is the "walk up dining initiative" you mentioned? Is this something from the News and Rumors thread? I haven't heard of it, and I never go into those threads.
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