Trip Report T & E’s Christmas Wish: A Land and Sea Adventure! (12/7 - 12/17)

Howdy, All!

After many years lurking the depths of the forums, I have finally come to the surface. As you all have been so kind and generous to share your trips, I finally worked up the courage to pay my “trip tax” and return the favor. And what better time than an insane 10-day land and sea holiday adventure?

I might be in over my head.

Meet the Cast:

I’m E/Radiorae/Rae/anything but late for dinner. My travel companion is T – we are longtime friends, former roommates, and college program alumni. We complement each other well – I hold down Adventureland, while she has staked a claim in Fantasyland, and we both agree on the supremacy of The Muppets and Casey’s Corner. We don’t travel together often, but when we do it’s usually a thing. The last thing was our pilgrimage to the motherland, Disneyland Resort, almost ten years ago!

Look at us babies 🥰 (E on left, T on right):

This time, we had two missions in mind. One: we both had never experienced a Disney cruise and wanted to see what the hype was about, and with the new Wish sailing short itineraries, it seemed like a time to try a brand new ship without locking ourselves into a week+ cruise. Two: we wanted to see Disney World at Christmas. I am more of a Halloween girl, but T is BIGGGG on Christmas. So a Very Merrytime Cruise seemed like the perfect fit. This would also be the first time in over ten years that I had been on property during the Christmas season, so I was excited to see the decorations (and snoap!)

Our travel dates were set – Dec 7th through Dec 17th we’d be walking in a Winter Wonderland. Part Disney Cruise sailing, part Disney World trekking. 100% holiday mayhem. Come along with us for the ride!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Grand Plan
This trip was going to be a doozy. In the accommodations department, we were slated for no less than three resorts and a cruise ship. We planned to hit every park and Disney Springs, attend MVMCP and Jollywood Nights, and even run the Castaway Cay 5k. It felt like every trip before trained me for this marathon moment… would we succeed?

Lets Fight About It GIF

Thursday, December 7: Fly Out, Disney Springs, All Star Movies

Friday, December 8: Embarkation for Disney Wish Very Merrytime Cruise

Saturday, December 9: Disney Wish (Nassau, Bahamas)

Sunday, December 10: Disney Wish (Castaway Cay)

Monday, December 11: Debarkation, Saratoga Springs Check-In

Tuesday, December 12: Resort Day, Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party

Wednesday, December 13: Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios

Thursday, December 14: EPCOT

Friday, December 15: Magic Kingdom, Check into Beach Club

Saturday, December 16: Resort Day, Jollywood Nights

Sunday, December 17: Fly Home

Bonus Mission: The Very Merry Holly Jolly Tree Trial

Because this was a holiday trip, and we really wanted to take in all the Christmas splendor, we set ourselves an extra challenge: to document as many Christmas trees as we possibly could. The rules were simple: the tree must be at least 6ft tall, decorated with more than just generic lights, and duplicates don’t count (so if a resort lobby had two identical trees on each side of the door, it would only count as one). Any bets on how many trees we found?

Decorating Christmas Tree GIF


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Cannot wait to hear more of your vacation. We did our first trip report recently and thoroughly enjoyed doing it and loved all the feedback. You have got off to a great start.
It’s a lot harder than it looks :oops: Everyone here makes it look so easy. Maybe I’m just not a naturally observant enough person lolol

I love the Christmas tree challenge idea - Can’t wait to see the photos!
Get ready… there are A LOT 😆

*fan girl screech* it is an honor. I was trying to channel my best Tuvalu note taking skills this whole trip.
Cbs K GIF by Paramount+

Driving Lets Go GIF by The Animal Crackers Movie


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I tried to do that with the Christmas trees our last trip and then totally forgot to keep count after 20 something LOL. Hope you had better luck :)
It was… a LOT of trees. I think we stopped even registering anything beyond “vague tree shape” after awhile. Turns out there is such thing as too many trees 🫣
what she said yes GIF by


Can't wait to read more!

Welcome to the trip writing vs lurking! It's definitely time consuming, but I know I truly appreciate you taking the time, because this sounds like a LOT of fun!

Excited Jersey Shore GIF by Jersey Shore Family Vacation
It’s nice to finally step into the light and join the party!

This sounds AMAZING!!! Thank you for sharing with us!

Im Ready Independence Day GIF


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1 (12/07) – And So It Begins...

I woke up at 8:00 AM bleary, but ready to go. I was overconfident the night before – usually, I’m a 10 PM night-before packer, but this time I packed most of my things the weekend prior, so I was feeling good. For once I wouldn’t be up at 2 AM stuffing things in a suitcase to catch a 6 AM flight! Or so I thought.

I went to trivia with friends Wednesday night thinking life was great, then came home and on a whim decided to reorganize my entire suitcase into a configuration I normally don’t use, and then was unable to find anything because of the new arrangement, so I had to rearrange it all back. At 2 AM. Ah well, I gave myself points for trying.

So yes. Back to 8 AM Christmas Disney Day (it does feel like Christmas morning, doesn’t it?) – I woke up, organized some last things, and zipped up Ol’ Reliable.


T was driving up to my place, so while I waited, I ran out to get gas for the car and pick up coffee for our chauffer/my sister, who graciously offered to drop us off so we could avoid having to pay for the exorbitant airport parking fees with an arm or leg. T arrived at 10:30, and then it was off to the airport!

Check-in and security were both quick and painless -- within 15 min, we were through to the terminal where we spotted Christmas Tree #1! (bonus points if you can name that airport)


We had some extra time before takeoff, so we stopped at Smashburger for a bite. While in line we chatted with a very nice gentleman sporting a fantastic holiday tie. He was flying out to meet his family to take his granddaughter on a surprise Disney trip – you know the ones, where the parents say you’re driving to the beach or Gatorland or a manatee tea party, and don’t tell the kids until they figure it out themselves while driving under the magical arch. It was really sweet, and you could tell he was super excited. I remember my parents doing the same thing for me and my sister when we were little – it is definitely something you never forget :)

Before long it was time to board the plane. The flight was short and uneventful – T and I caught up and read books; she was determined I would finish Iron Flame by the end of the trip (IYKYK). Because we were flying JetBlue, we landed at the new Terminal C. Let me tell you guys, it was… something.

We arrived at a new, shiny gate, walked past your standard pod of gates + bistro + grab n' go + restrooms, and then we entered into what can only be described as... the Concrete Funnel. Imagine a concert hall, or convention center… massive, high walls, zero windows, general curvy path, and a lot of grey concrete. For miles. Okay not miles, but it felt like miles. No artwork, no fonorail, no Buddy Dyer… just a long endless grey hallway.

Brainstorming Never Ending GIF by Blobby Barack

After a good 5-10 minute walk (time has no meaning in the Concrete Funnel), we finally emerged into the Money Pit aka the only part of the terminal that has any ornamentation and is clearly where all the money was spent. It even had THREE tinsel Christmas decorations. Here is one to prove that truly, they spared no expense:


After a quick restroom stop, we ventured out into baggage claim. Good news – our friend Buddy Dyer is still there to welcome us to the vacation capital of the world on the many tvs near the carousels. I’m glad they were able to squeeze him in—he’s an icon. Our luggage came fairly quickly; I don’t think we waited more than 5-10 minutes. While waiting, we were able to take in the majesty of Tree #2 (it’s a big one) :


(okay so this one technically already breaks the rules, but it was massive, and the big guy was trying REALLY HARD to spread Christmas cheer throughout the place, despite being the only conifer in sight)

Bags in hand, we met our ride right outside the door. While I love me some Magical Express/ Mearsacle Express, it was really nice to not have to go down a level, pick up bags, go up a level, go across the busy terminal, go down again, and walk to the ends of the Earth to get to the buses. This time, we simply hopped into the car and were off. At 4:07, we were welcomed home:


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