Trip Report: * Christmas with Mickey 2010 * "The Surreal Trip!" w/lots of pictures!
"We're going to Disney World for Christmas!", that is what we told our children four months ago.
Never in all my wildest dreams did I think I would be planning a trip to Walt Disney World for Christmas THIS year! We will be waking up Christmas morning at the place "Where Dreams Come True"!!!!! Can you tell I'm a wee bit excited about this?!?!?!?! :cool1:
OUR WDW HISTORY
Bill and I never went to Walt Disney World as children. You could say, we didn't have "Disney Parents". Bill and I always thought Walt Disney World was for people with children. So, we never went before we had children. Our first visit was back in 2004. It was a quick trip. We were visiting my Dad at his winter home in Florida for Thanksgiving and thought since we were in the area, let's take the kids to Disney World. They were 4 and 2 at the time, Cole (DS5) wasn't even an idea at that time! ;) We went without any plans or any pre-trip research. We booked the hotel and just showed up. Our first WDW resort was the Caribbean Beach resort. It is cute and reminded us of our honeymoon in the Bahamas. We only made it to two parks that trip, The Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios (MGM Studios back then). We had an amazing trip. I finally got to see Cinderella Castle in person. I think I was more excited than the kids though. But to be honest, the "magic" didn't hit us that trip. I wasn't online as soon as we got home planning a way to get back to WDW. The magic hit us on our second trip to WDW.
Every year, Bill and I take turns planning our Anniversary celebration. His turn always falls on the milestone Anniversaries. For our Tenth Anniversary, Bill surprised me and booked us on a Disney cruise and stay at the Beach Club resort. He knew whatever we did, I wanted to include the children because Cole was still so little. We had a great and romantic cruise taking full advantage of the kid clubs and Flounder's (babysitting for babies). Our stay at the Beach Club was nothing short of perfect. Being so close to Epcot, we finally experienced Epcot. To my surprise, the whole family enjoyed the park. I had always thought Epcot was just for adults. Well, we quickly found out that it's not just for adults. My kids love Epcot! During that trip, we saw our first IllumiNations and I was hooked. I looked over at my family ... no cell phones, no screaming kids ... just a family spending some quality time together. Thank you Walt! Since then, if we're not at WDW, just getting back from WDW, I am planning our next trip to WDW. I can't get enough. Each trip is a different experience. As the children get older, they want to do more attractions. There are many, many more magical years ahead at Walt Disney World for this family. I can't wait!
We've been to WDW numerous times (16 trips and counting). The past few years we have been at WDW for the week of Thanksgiving and the week after. So, returning for Christmas just didn't work out (money and vacation time for DH (Bill) ). Plus, we have been "obligated" to take part in the extended families' holiday festivities. :confused3
This past Christmas Eve, it started to snow lightly during the daytime. We live near Dallas, Texas. So, this was a BIG deal. As the day went on the snow kept falling and got heavier. We had plans to drive to Bill's sister's house which is about 40 minutes away for Christmas Eve dinner with his family. Bill is the "baby" of eight children. So, with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren there would be well over 50 people at the gathering. It was such a winter wonderland outside. We wanted to play. But, I had to make my annual Christmas Eve lasagna (they don't let us in the house Christmas Eve unless I bring my lasagna. ;) ) and we had to get the kids bathed and ready. So, no time for a snowball fight just yet. However, it didn't stop Bill from pelting me with a snowball on my way to the minivan. He's a jokester! We hopped into the minivan on our way and the roads were icy and the snow was well over a foot by now. After sliding a few exits, Bill and I looked at each other and no words were needed, he got off at the next exit and headed back home. Bill made the call to let his sister know we tried but wouldn't be making it. We knew the roads would only get worse as the temperature dropped. So, back home we headed with dinner already made! With Bill driving home very slowly, we made it home safely. Once inside our warm and toasty house, we stripped off our "fancy" clothes and put on some snow playing clothes. Bill is from Texas and has never had a white Christmas Eve or Christmas. So, this was a big deal for him. I have lived in Texas for sixteen years, but I am originally from Massachusetts. I have seen plenty of snow in my past. :headache: It was fun to see my BIG kid get excited about the snow. After the first annual Taylor Christmas Eve snowball fight, we headed back inside to get into some dry clothes and to enjoy the lasagna.
It was such a nice laid-back evening with dinner and relaxing as opposed to the usual chaos of Christmas Eve at the in-laws. After dinner, as Bill and I were sitting on the couch watching the movie marathon of A Christmas Story (we love this movie!), we started to discuss going away for Christmas next year. We are always letting family dictate our holidays. For once, we were doing something for ourselves and going away for Christmas next year.
:confused: Now where ... we threw around the ideas of Colorado or New Mexico so we could have another White Christmas. So, those were the front runners.
Then, Bill and I went on an Adventures by Disney trip this past April with the DISUnplugged Podcast Crew and fellow DISers. Many of the DISers were booked on the Podcast Cruise 2.0 in December. Over the duration of the ABD Tour numerous people asked if we were going on the cruise too. At the time, we were not booked. After traveling with so many great people, we wanted to travel with them again. So once we got home after the ABD trip, Bill booked us on the Podcast Cruise. The dates for the cruise are December 12 - 16, 2010.
CHRISTMAS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD :santa:
Looking at the calendar, disembarkation was a little more than a week from Christmas. We were already there, might as well stay for Christmas too. Bill loves Disney and Walt Disney World just as much as I do. So, it didn't take too much convincing to extend our stay. However, we were out of DVC points for the year after our pre and post cruise stays at WDW. We didn't have enough points to stay through Christmas. So, we were going to pay out-of-pocket to stay at the Dolphin for Chrismas Eve through Monday (December 27th). I love the location (easy access to Epcot and DHS) and we will be at the Boardwalk Villas the days leading up to Christmas Eve. A few weeks ago, Bill was talking with a co-worker that is also a DVC Member. His co-worker was planning on selling some points on the re-sale market because he didn't need them. He was at the point of use them or lose them. So, Bill surprised me and bought some points to keep us at the BWV through Christmas. :woohoo: It was a nice surprise. Also, I am thankful I don't have to pack everything up on Christmas Eve and move hotels. Only downside is that is was expensive and we will be departing WDW on Sunday and not Monday. That was something I was willing to give up. Monday would have been a lost day anyways, because we are going to visit my Dad in Daytona Beach (winter home).
And that is how we have come to this point of planning a Christmas trip to Walt Disney World.
To me, planning is half the fun. I get excited when we get our desired ADRs and I have fun planning which park for which day. I don't use a touring plan site or a tour guide site, I use our past WDW trips as learning tools for upcoming trip. We have been known to go off the itinerary and go with the flow of the day too. But, a "guideline" is nice to have especially during peak times at WDW.
Let the planning begin ...
Cast of Travelers
I will start by giving you an introduction to our Cast of Travelers:
DH 41- Hard working IT Manager. Our WDW trips are his "escape" from the fast-paced high stress environment of work.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Expedition Everest (DAK)
Favorite Disney Character: Donald Duck (Mischievous, but has a good heart.)
Me 38- SAHM and self-proclaimed Disney nut.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Rock 'n' Rollercoaster (DHS) (In the name of all that rocks. Hit it dude! - Stacy)
Favorite Disney Character: Snow White (Brunettes need to stick together!)
DS10: As he gets older, he gets more adventurous. Bill and I no longer have to ride RNR and EE alone.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Haunted Mansion (MK)
Favorite Disney Character: Pluto (Boy's best friend. Who doesn't love Pluto?)
DD8: She is our girly girl. But, still a wild child at heart and up for some of the more adventurous rides at WDW now.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Test Track (Epcot)
Favorite Disney Character: Figuero (cat from Pinocchio)
DS5: He is like most boys his age, he loves anything related to Cars or Toy Story. With each new WDW trip, he is "willing" to ride more rides.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin (MK)
Favorite Disney/Pixar Character: Buzz Lightyear
DM 60 something ;) (w/DS5): This will be her first trip to WDW with our family. She has been to WDW two times in the past with my now deceased Step-Father. She is excited to visit with the Grandchildren. She doesn't ride rollercoasters. So, she will be help out watching Cole while we get to enjoy the thrill rides with Will and Emily.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Cinderella's Golden Carrousel (MK) (recently renamed Prince Charming Regal Carrousel)
Favorite Disney Character: Minnie Mouse
My Mom, Sandy, will be with us on the cruise and few days at WDW post cruise. She will not be staying for Christmas.
Getting there is half the fun ...
Getting to Florida
Getting there is half the fun! We are driving from Texas to Florida. We've made the trek so many times, I have joked with Bill that we need a Sunpass (FL tollroad pass). We've made this trip at least two times a year for the past four years. We had a few glitches with our GPS on our way to WDW this past February. Bill has made the drive so many times, he honestly didn't need the GPS thank goodness. We will be taking a new vehicle with us on this trip. This week, we finally retired my trusty Honda Odyssey. She took us back and forth to Florida eleven times, made the trip to Disneyland California and Pennsylvania this past summer for the DIS Meet at Hershey Park. We traded her in for a Toyota Sequoia. It will be weird not having the minivan for trips. At least there is enough room in the Sequoia to separate the kids for the trip. They can have their own space.
We are a family of five. So, it is more economical to drive than fly. Also, we like the flexibility of having our own vehicle while at WDW. We've flown a couple of times and it was weird not having our own car. We like to go off property to buy groceries and sometimes to dine. We are doing a Disney Cruise Line cruise this trip. We had a bit of a mix-up after our last cruise. We waited and waited and waited for our car service. They never showed up. Finally after we called a few times, we got a vehicle to take us to our WDW resort. This time, we will park our vehicle at Port Canaveral. It will be waiting for us when we disembark. Also, when we did the car service after the cruise, we had them stop at a grocery store on the way to WDW. Bill ran in and had a certain amount of time to get our groceries. It was like the game show "Supermarket Sweep". The clock was ticking ... Never again!
Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to planning we go ...
I have tweaked our itinerary, made ADRs, canceled ADRs, booked Candlelight Processional Packages and canceled Candlelight Processional Packages.
Here's our "current" itinerary (updated 12/8/10):
Stay at a hotel along the way.
Arrive at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House
Head Off Property
Special Event: Drop off donations at Give Kids the World Village
ADR: Biergarten (Candlelight Processional Package) (Dinner)
Special Event: Candlelight Processional - Whoopi Goldberg is the narrator.
ADR: Boma (Breakfast)
Arrive at Port Canaveral to embark the Disney Wonder (Disney Cruise Line) for the DISUnplugged Podcast Cruise 2.0
Port: Nassau, Bahamas
Dining Reservation: Palo (Dinner)
Special Events Only for DISers Onboard:
Jodi Benson Concert and Autograph Session
Guest Speaker Sessions (Bob Gurr, Charles Ridgway and Lee Cockerell)
Port: Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Parasailing (Bill and Jennifer)
Cabana Swedish Massage (Sandy)
Special Event Only for DISers:
Private BBQ Lunch
Palo Brunch (Bill and Jennifer)
Palo High Tea (Jennifer and Sandy)
Special Events Only for DISers Onboard:
Autograph session with Guest Speakers
Disembark the Disney Wonder / Depart Port Canaveral
Arrive at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
Park: The Magic Kingdom
ADR: Crystal Palace (Character Dinner)
Special Event: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
ADR: La Hacienda de San Angel (Dinner)
Special Event: Drink Around the World with fellow DISers
Park: Disney's Hollywood Studios
ADR: Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre (Lunch)
50's Prime Time Cafe' (Dinner)
Special Event: Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Check out of AKV
Park: Disney's Animal Kingdom
ADR: Tusker House (Character Breakfast)
Special Event: Sandy departs for Texas.
Check in at Disney's Boardwalk Villas
ADR: Wolfgang Puck Cafe' (Lunch)
Park: The Magic Kingdom
ADR: Plaza Restaurant (Dinner)
Special Event: Holiday Wishes
ADR: Les Chefs de France (Lunch)
Via Napoli (Dinner)
Special Event: Holiday IllumiNations
Park: The Magic Kingdom
ADR: Liberty Tree Tavern (Lunch)
Special Event: Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (Daytime Parade)
Dining Reservation: Celebration Town Tavern in Celebration, Florida
No Parks! Resort hopping to see the holiday decorations.
ADR: Chef Mickey - Contemporary Resort (Character Breakfast)
Yachtsman Steakhouse (Dinner) "Date Night"
Park: Disney's Hollywood Studios
ADR: Mama Melrose (Lunch)
The Hollywood Brown Derby (Dinner)
Saturday (12/25 CHRISTMAS) :santa:
ADR: Nine Dragons (Lunch)
ADR: Kona Cafe' (Breakfast)
Check out of BWV
Arrive at Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach / Relax
Depart Daytona Beach
Find a hotel on the way home.
:confused: I need help on two ADR dates. I can't commit to one or the other ...
Jiko or Yachtsman Steakhouse for dinner
The Hollywood Brown Derby or Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre for dinner
:thumbsup2 We've eaten at Yachtsman Steakhouse, The Hollywood Brown Derby and Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre in the past.
We didn't have the best experience at the Yachtsman Steakhouse. But, we will be staying at the BWV (just a short walk away). So, we wanted to give it another try. However, I have read nothing but rave reviews on Jiko and want to try it. I have a quandary ... :confused3
We've eaten at The Hollywood Brown Derby and Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre in the past. We enjoyed both. This will be our Christmas Eve dinner. We don't have to do anything traditional, we're at WDW afterall. The problem with these two ADRs is that one is when the park closes. Has anyone had experience with an ADR when the park is officially closed? Are the CMs rushing you? I'm leaning more towards The Hollywood Brown Derby ADR because we are eating at the Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre earlier in the trip.
Any suggestions??? :surfweb:
UPDATE: We're eating at Yachtsman Steakhouse for our Date Night and at The Hollywood Brown Derby on Christmas Eve.
WDW is a foodies paradise!
Dining at Walt Disney World
Bill and I are foodies. Dining at Walt Disney World is part of the resort experience for us. We like to try a few different restaurants each trip and throw in some favorites and annual traditions. When we purchase our Annual Pass, we will also purchase a Tables in Wonderland card. This will give us dining discounts (20%) at most of our sit down restaurants on property.
Here's a list of our current dining locations:
Biergarten (Candlelight Processional Package) (Dinner) *
La Hacienda de San Angel (Dinner) *
Nine Dragons (Lunch)
Les Chefs de France (Lunch) *
Via Napoli (Dinner) *
Yorkshire County Fish Shop (Dinner)
Tony's Town Square (Dinner) *
Crystal Palace (Character Dinner)
Liberty Tree Tavern (Lunch) *
Columbia Harbour House * (Dinner)
DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre (Lunch AND Dinner)
50's Prime Time Cafe' (Dinner)
The Hollywood Brown Derby (Dinner)
Mama Melrose (Lunch) *
DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM
Tusker House (Character Breakfast)
Boma - Animal Kingdom Lodge (Breakfast) *
Jiko - Animal Kingdom Lodge (Dinner) *
Chef Mickey - Contemporary Resort (Character Breakfast)
Yachtsman Steakhouse - Yacht Club (Dinner)
'Ohana - Polynesian (Dinner)
Kona Cafe' - Polynesian (Breakfast) *
Wolfgang Puck Cafe' (Lunch)
Earl of Sandwich (Lunch)
Celebration Town Tavern in Celebration, Florida
* First time eating at this restaurant.
We have a lot of new restaurants (to us) on our itinerary to try during our upcoming trip ...
La Hacienda de San Angel (Dinner)
Les Chefs de France (Lunch)
Via Napoli (Dinner)
Tony's Town Square (Dinner)
Liberty Tree Tavern (Lunch)
Columbia Harbour House (Dinner)
Mama Melrose (Lunch)
Boma - Animal Kingdom Lodge (Breakfast)
Jiko - Animal Kingdom Lodge (Dinner)
Kona Cafe' - Polynesian (Breakfast)
Any reviews, comments, recommendations on the above restaurants would be welcome. :wizard:
Walt Disney World knows how to get dressed up for the holidays!
Last year, we arrived at the Boardwalk Villas on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. There was not a light strung, not a tree decorated when we arrived. There was an Evening Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom that night that lasted until 3 am! We stayed until the very end and slowly made our way to a waiting Disney bus. When the bus pulled up to the resort, the first thing I noticed was that the front of the resort was all decorated for the holidays. Once we entered the lobby, we caught the Disney elves at work putting on the final touches to the strung garland and tree in the lobby. The gingerbread display was "almost" complete. It was fun to see the resort transformed from not a lick of holiday spirit to this beautifully decorated holiday wonderland. Truly magical! :wizard:
To me, Walt Disney World is an even more magical place during the holidays. The resorts and parks are all decked out for the holidays. We WILL be partaking in some of the holiday festivities offered onsite.
We have never attended this event. During past trips, we've walked past while it was going on and could hear the singing from the walkway. We didn't think our children would sit through it in the past. Now that they are older, we decided to give it a try. Also, we will have my Mom (Sandy) with us this evening and I thought this was something she would really enjoy. We are doing the Candlelight Processional Package because I wanted to ensure we got in to see the performance. The narrator for our show is Whoopi Goldberg. I've read that she has done it in the past and is one the more popular narrators. So, I am glad we were able to book the CPP.
:wizard: WDW link to CP HERE
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
We've attended MVMCP twice in the past (2007 and 2008). The first time was great with low crowds and great weather. The second time was more crowded and too warm to enjoy the hot cocoa. But, we still had a great time. When we didn't attend last year, I did feel like something was missing from our holiday trip to WDW. Attending MVMCP just gets you into the holiday spirit. This year, we will be getting off the cruise on our party night. So, we will relax at our resort and head to the MK for an early dinner before the party. Also, with the parties and EEMH we like to stay until the very end to take advantage of the short attraction lines. We know that the MK will be crazy busy the following week. So, we will take advantage of the lower crowds that night.
Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season
This is a special holiday fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. However, starting on December 20th, it is shown at the MK instead of the regular Wishes all week (included with regular park admission). Even though we will see this during MVMCP, we plan to visit the MK one evening to catch it again. We may even catch it a third time after dinner at 'Ohana. We'll see.
Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
This is the holiday parade performed during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (and the one shown on tv Christmas morning). Like Holiday Wishes, this will start playing for "regular" park guests starting on December 20th (No MVMCP the week of Christmas). However, it will be the daytime parade. We have plans to catch it.
:wizard: WDW link to MVMCP HERE
Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
When we first visited WDW back in 2004, we were at DHS (MGM Studios back then) one evening and were exiting The Backlot Tour. When we came out of the exit, we were greeted with this spectacle (perfect word to describe this lights display) sight. I was in awe. It was so beautiful. This is a MUST for anyone at WDW during the holidays. It may even inspire you to go home and add a few more lights to the outside of your own house. Funny thing about this display is that I actually saw it many, many years ago in Little Rock, AR at the Osborne Family homes. It was magical back then. I am glad it has found a home at DHS. We plan to catch it a few times during our stay. We will keep an eye out for that darn black cat!
:wizard: WDW link to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights HERE
Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade
This is the holiday parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We haven't seen this parade in years. I think the last time we saw it was in 2007. However, every picture I've seen posted from past years shows the same parade. We will see it for my Mom's sake. She hasn't seen it yet. Plus, DS5 is older and doesn't remember it from years past.
:wizard: WDW Link to Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade HERE
Epcot's Holiday Storytellers (At least I think that's what it's called. I can't find any information online about it.)
Epcot has "Santas" from the different countries represented in World Showcase out and telling their history. We've seen them in the past, but never really stopped long enough to hear their story or get a picture. Now, that we have been to Epcot so many times, we can finally NOT go commando and enjoy the park. This is something I've wanted to do for years.
Every Walt Disney World resort is decked out for the holidays. Some resorts have huge decorated trees in their lobby. We plan to take a non-park day and visit the resorts to see their decorations. We've done this in the past and it make for some great pictures.
Here are some resorts we plan to visit:
Grand Floridian - Life-size gingerbread house. We have to get a gingerbread shingle.
Contemporary - The last time we were there they had a Pinocchio display.
Beach Club - Gingerbread Carousel. This is always a big hit with the kids. We always hang around to pick out all the hidden Mickeys.
Yacht Club - I think they had a train display last time.
Beach Club - Last year, they had a gingerbread fireplace display with Donald Duck. Not sure if they change up the theme every year.
Animal Kingdom Lodge - Huge tree in the lobby.
Wilderness Lodge - Huge tree in the lobby.
Normally, I am slaving over a stove on Christmas Eve day getting my tomato sauce (gravy) ready and assembling and cooking my holiday lasagna to take to Bill's family for our Christmas Eve gathering. Not this year. I get to sit back and let someone else cook. We are having lunch at Mama Melrose. I thought that was very fitting in keeping with my Italian heritage. We are going against the grain and not doing any of the Extra Magic Hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I hope it pays off. If we don't get to ride anything, I am happy just being at WDW and enjoying time with my family. We do plan to see the O-Lights while people are at Fantasmic! We've seen F! and can do without seeing it this trip. Standing on Streets of America on Christmas Eve with my family looking at the O-Lights. Now, can you see why I call this "The Surreal Trip".
We are doing our own version of A Christmas Story and having our Christmas lunch at Nine Dragons in Epcot. We'll be at the BWV. So, it will be a short walk away. I'm not sure what time we will arrive at Epcot that morning. I don't think we'll have too many presents to open that morning. Probably, one present from each person. So, four presents each. Santa will visit home. Bill and I have a plan on how to accomplish that. We usually leave for WDW when it is still dark outside and the kids are half asleep (we sleep walk them to the car). So, we will load the kids in the car and one of us will go back in to "set the alarm and check the house" and that will be when Santa puts the presents under the tree and fill the stockings. I probably will make a letter and semi-slide it under our room door from Santa letting them know their presents are at home.
I have read the horror stories of WDW on Christmas Day. I've seen those Main Street pictures of wall to wall people. It would make the most sense for us to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom on Christmas Day because it usually has the lowest attendance on Christmas Day. But, we will be right next to Epcot. So, we are taking our chances and will be at Epcot. Also, Epcot should be able to handle the crowds. This is another case of "we'll see". This is our first time being at WDW for the Christmas holiday. We've survived WDW during Thanksgiving the past four years. We'll probably use the same strategy we did then, arrive early if we want to ride and gather FPs for later. On our itinerary, we have some late starts to the parks with relaxing in the morning. I will explain those later. I do have a plan. ;)
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53 Days ...
until we hop in the car on our way to Florida. I don't want to wish time away. But, I can't wait! :cool1:
Part of our upcoming trip will be on the Disney Wonder. We've sailed twice on the Disney Wonder and once on the Disney Magic. We are already booked for a cruise next year on the new Disney Dream. I can't wait!
Before we took our first cruise, I honestly didn't think I would like a cruise. I envisioned older people playing shuffleboard and disco dancing in the nightclubs. I guess I watched too much Love Boat as a child. Our first cruise was amazing and totally not what I expected. Now, we've been spoiled by Disney Cruise Line. So, we haven't tried another cruise line yet. However, we have discussed using Royal Caribbean when we do a Med cruise in a few years. RCI is just so much cheaper than DCL, we can't justify the overpayment on the same exact cruise. Also, RCI has a great reputation. Now, visiting Castaway Cay is the selling point of us sailing on DCL out of Port Canaveral. It is such a peaceful place. I love that you can just hop off the ship onto land and there's the island. So convenient! If you've been there, you know what I mean. If I could create my own personal island, Castaway Cay would be it! :thumbsup2 Sun, beach and cabana massages ... what more does a girl need?????? ;)
Our Cruise Itinerary:
DAY ONE - Embark at Port Canaveral, Florida
DAY TWO - Nassau, Bahamas
DAY THREE - Castaway Cay, Bahamas
DAY FOUR - At Sea
DAY FIVE - Disembark at Port Canaveral, Florida
Currently we have an excursion booked to Atlantis. However, once the DISUnplugged schedule of events was posted, our excursion time clashes with some of the special events onboard. So, we are not 100% sure yet what we are doing on our Nassau day yet.
We are booked for Palo dinner this evening. Palo is the adults-only restaurant onboard. We've dine here during all three of our past cruises. I am looking forward to this adult dinner. I am also looking forward to my annual Palo chocolate souffle'. :worship: It IS as good as all the hype!
We've done the cabana massage a couple of times. We decided to let my Mom have a treat and do the cabana massage. It is soooooo peaceful. You can hear the waves of the ocean in the background and a breeze occasionally enters the cabana. Every care in the world exits your body. I highly recommend it at least once!
Bill and I are going to put the children in the kid's club on the island and go parasailing. We've never done this before. Bill has always wanted to parasail. So, I surprised him and booked the excursion.
The DISUnplugged group is having a special lunch on the island. It will be fun to munch and mingle with fellow DISers.
Bill and are doing the Palo Brunch. We've done this in the past. Since I know how amazing it is, I am really excited! We plan to have a very light breakfast or no breakfast at all that morning. My mom can relax while we are at the Brunch.
Mom and I are booked for the Palo High Tea. I've never done this before. But, I have seen pictures and have heard great things about the scones and Devonshire cream. Yum! Yum! This will be some nice Mother/Daughter time.
Before we know it, we'll be disembarking the Disney Wonder on our way back to Walt Disney World. So, we won't be too sad getting off the ship. More fun to be had ...
52 days ...
Another day here and another day closer to our departure day. :wizard:
52 days until ...
we are driving to the place "Where Dreams Come True" .
Calling all lurkers ...
:wave2: Come on out and let me know you are there. I rarely do a Pre-Trip Report. But, I am so excited about this trip. I had to share our plans. :woohoo:
I hear an echo in here ... Hello! ... Hello! ... Hello!
I look forward to your posts! :flower3:
(If you want to see my Trip Reports style, check out some of the completed Trip Reports in my signature. I love to talk about all our great Disney experiences. Not only Walt Disney World, but also Disneyland in California, Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line. Happy reading ... )
Is 13 days too long?
:woohoo: We will be at Walt Disney World for 13 days (including pre and post cruise stays). :wizard: That is the longest time we have ever been at Walt Disney World (10 days is our current record) during a vacation. I have so much planned. I assume, I'll have to scale back some things to make this actually feel like a vacation. :rolleyes: Bill is great about letting me take the reins and plan our WDW trips. He does just ask that we don't get up every morning for rope drop. It's his vacation too. So, I have made sure to include some sleep in days and even some non-park days. I remember when I was planning our ten days at WDW trip. I planned a non-park day in the middle of the first week. It was such a well-needed break from the parks and people.
As much as I like WDW, I don't like people around me and invading my "personal space". :crowded: I know, WDW is the wrong place to vacation then. :lmao: One of my biggest WDW pet peeves is people who are on your heels when waiting in line for an attraction. People, we are all heading in the same direction. No one is going to cut in front of you between you and me, give me some space! Can you tell I am not a Black Friday shopper type of girl. :upsidedow It was the worst when we visited in June and not only did people hover, but they were sweaty too. Grosssssssss! :eek: From now on, we stick to the cooler months at WDW.
Anyone else going to be at Walt Disney World for Christmas this year. The place is going to be busy. So, I know we are not the only ones. ;)
Just found this and sounds like so much fun!
I love how you have broken everything down. Gives me ideas if we ever go at Christmas! Keep it up!
Lodging while at Walt Disney World
We have been Disney Vacation Club Members for three years. Our home resort is Animal Kingdom Villas. In those three years, we have stayed at the following DVC properties:
Beach Club Villas (2xs)
Boardwalk Villas (2xs)
Saratoga Springs (3xs)
Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
As you can see from above, we have yet to stay at our home resort Animal Kingdom Villas. :worship: We finally get to stay there in December. Pre-cruise we are staying at Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House. Jambo House is the main building at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. They turned some of the regular AKL rooms into DVC Villas while they were constructing AKV. After the cruise, we are staying at the Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village. All the rooms there are DVC Villas. We will have a two-bedroom Villa at both locations. The extra space will be nice. My Mom can have her own room with Emily (DD8). The boys will sleep on the pull-out sofa. Bill and I will have our own king bed room. :woohoo:
We change resorts on the day my Mom leaves. We finish our stay at the Boardwalk Villas. I can't say enough good things about this place. We've stayed here our last two WDW trip. You can't beat the location. A quick walk or boat ride to Epcot AND DHS. It has become my new favorite DVC property. We'll see if this stays true after our stay at AKV. ;)
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