Christmas at the most magical place on Earth - Dec '12 TR - Upd 3/28 x3
Once upon a Christmas Time...
This is the story of our little family and our amazing trip to WDW which took place December 18-28, 2012.
First, a little introduction shall we?
Me, Debra -- mommy to 4 amazing kids, wife to a wonderful man. Stay at home mom. This was my 3rd trip to WDW. I have just recently started running. I signed up for the ToT 10 miler in October, and my goal is to do the Princess 1/2 marathon in 2014! Run Disney!!
DH, Bo -- my other half. He is becoming just as obsessed with Disney as I am. This was his second trip to WDW. He works at a University teaching and as a volunteer volleyball coach (he retired from coaching about a year ago). He is working on his Doctorate degree.
DS11, Hunter -- my oldest and definately my adventure child. He will try and ride once. Before this trip his favorite ride was Expedition Everest. Will that still hold true? This was his second trip to WDW. He loves playing soccer, goalie particularly.
DD9, Harper -- my only daughter. Definately not "as" adventurous as Hunter. She was brave for this trip though and did a few new rides. This was her second trip to WDW. She loves to dance. She also declared on this trip that she "would like to get married at WDW". Awww, she has made me proud! Loves Disney princesses.
DS4, Jaxon -- he was 42" for this trip and was pretty brave. This was his first trip to WDW. Donald Duck is his favorite character. How would he react to the characters whom he loves more than anything at home?
DS3, Evan -- he was still a wee bit short at 37", so his ride options were a bit more limited. This was his first trip to WDW as well. Goofy is his favorite character.
So, thats us. The happy family at the happiest place on Earth. Did we survive the crazy holiday crowds? Did the little boys enjoy meeting all the characters? What did we eat? What did we do with all that park time?
Go ahead and grab some Mickey popcorn and sit back and enjoy my ramblings :mic: of this trip report.
And most of all, welcome!! :wave2:
PTR Dear Santa, I'd like a double-deluxe Christmas
Day 1, Part 1 Travel Day Dec 18
Day 1, Part 2 Magical Express to BW
Day 1, Part 3 Our room at BW
Day 1, Part 4 Our Christmas tree
Day 1, Part 5 MVMCP
Day 1, Part 6 MVMCP Holiday Wishes
Day 1, Part 7 MVMCP Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
Day 1, Part 8 MVMCP Finish
Day 1, Part 9 MVMCP bonus pics & final thoughts
Day 2, Part 1 Epcot
Day 2, Part 2 Epcot lunch at Chefs de France
Day 2, Part 3 Epcot fun
Day 2, Part 4 Dinner at Coral Reef
Day 2, Part 5 Candlelight Processional/Holiday IllumiNations
Day 2, Part 6 Holiday IllumiNations continued
Day 3, Part 1 HS H&V bkfst
Day 3, Part 2 HS morning fun
Day 3, Part 3 More HS morning fun
Day 3, Part 4 Jedi Training Academy
Bonus post with Photopass pics from Dec 18, 19
Day 3, Part 5 Afternoon at HS
Day 3, Part 6 Finishing up at HS
Day 3, Part 7 Dinner at Via Napoli
Day 4, Part 1 Breakfast at Crystal Palace
Day 4, Part 2 Having Fun at MK
Day 4, Part 3 Lunch at LTT
Day 4, Part 4 Castle Show & Tomorrowland
Day 4, Part 5 Giggle Gang & Storybook Circus
Day 4, Part 6 Finishing up at MK
Day 4, Part 7 Contemporary Resort & Chef Mickey
Day 4, Part 8 Dinner at Chef Mickey
Day 4, Part 9 Quick trip to Epcot & resort pics
Day 5, Part 1 Kona breakfast
Day 5, Part 2 Poly & Downtown Disney
Day 5, Part 3 Lunch at T-Rex
Day 5, Part 4 Downtown Disney
Day 5, Part 5 Dinner at Yachtsman
Day 5, Part 6 Yacht Club & Illuminations
Day 6, Part 1 Animal Kingdom & breakfast at Tusker House
Day 6, Part 2 Time to see some animals!!
Day 6, Part 3 More animals, music & dinos
Im in Im in!!! :cheer2:
Count me in, too! Not sure if I'll ever get a trip report of our December trip done, so I think I'll join in on reading yours. Really looking forward to it.
Yay, you started!!
I am in! :)
Travel day - Dec 18, 2012 (Part 1)
The days leading up to this trip were sheer chaos! I was in a whirlwind of laundry :laundy: and packing...packing...and more packing! Bo had been out of town all week, and got home the evening of the 16th. We had our family Christmas the evening of the 16th after dinner. Needless to say it was a late night of laundry and packing for him! Bo had to be at work to give 2 finals on the 17th and the kids were at school. The little boys only go to school for 2 1/2 hrs, so I was running around like crazy trying to get last minute stuff packed. Finally, when all was said and done, this is what was coming with us to MCO
6 pieces of checked luggage, 6 roller carry ons and not included in the pic, 1 backpack per person. I drive a Suburban and lets just say we were packed to the gills!!
The boys got out of school at 240pm and I was meeting Bo back at home at 3pm. I couldnt bring the boys inside the house because Santa delivered his presents while the kids were at school ;) So, I am trying to entertain the boys in the driveway and luckily hubby came home right on time. We got the car all loaded up and headed to pick up Hunter & Harper at 315pm.
We were on our way to drive about 4 1/2 hrs to a hotel near the airport we were flying out of.
The drive was uneventful and about 2 hours later we stopped for dinner at Olive Garden -- love that white chocolate raspberry cheesecake!! After dinner, back on the road.
We got to the Homewood Suites about 10pm and immeadiately got the kids in bed. We had a separate overnight bag for tonight that we brought in. Bo and I got to bed quickly after the kids as we knew we had a long day ahead of us tomorrow.
Our flight departed at 840am, so we left the hotel about 620am. We were only a 10 min drive or so to the airport. We debated on how to get all this luggage checked in and in the end, Bo dropped off Hunter, Harper & I curbside and he went and parked in terminal. A few minutes later he was back with Jaxon & Evan and we went and checked in all of our luggage at curbside checkin.
Kids at the airport before heading inside
We got inside and headed towards security. Dallas Love Field has a family line, so once our boarding passes and ID's were checked, we were directed to the family line (which was super short!!). Now comes the fun...remember those 6 rolling suitcases and 6 backpacks -- OH, and Bo has his laptop, so that has to come out -- OH, and Jaxon has his nebulizer and all his medication (mostly liquids) in one of the carryons, well that all has to come out and be xrayed separately -- and it was cold, so we all had on jackets. So, I get Hunter & Harper through the metal detector and they wait right there for Jaxon & Evan to come through, then I go through. Bo has to go through one of the body scanners. So, now here we are with 4 kids and all this luggage to re-pack.
Eventually we get everyone and everything sorted and we are on our way. We take a seat and they announce they are boarding soon. At this time I called the kids schools to notify them they would be absent Tuesday and Wednesday. About the time I got off the phone, it was time to get to our boarding areas. We were flying Southwest and had "A" boarding position.
Within a few minutes, we were seated and on our way for the short flight to Austin. We barely had time to get our drinks and they were coming back through to pick them up for landing.
In Austin we were now getting hungry. We still have quite a bit of time before we board, so we take a seat at the gate, then Hunter, Harper & I go in search for some food. The trick is finding breakfast food without eggs involved, no one in the family eats them except Hunter & I.
We found a place serving pancakes, so we went there. I ordered --
Blueberry short stack (little boys to share)
Blueberry full stack (Hunter)
Buttermilk short stack (Harper)
Buttermilk full stack (Bo)
Fried egg sandwich on wheat (me)
Total for this delightful breakfast...$41.14 OUCH!!
The food was fine, nothing to write home about by any means, but it was cooked fresh to order and it filled us up.
Now its time to board our very full flight to MCO. Luckily we still have "A" boarding position. We board and get everyone settled. Here are a few pics from the flights.
Hunter & Evan
This was the little boys first time flying. Jaxon loved it! Evan didnt like takeoff or landing. He freaked out a couple times because of the sounds the plane made. He held onto my arm pretty tight and ended up sleeping most of the flight.
We arrived a few minutes early before our scheduled 215pm arrival. We headed off the plane and hopped on the "mini-monorail" and straight for Magical Express check in!
Picture of kids with MCO Christmas tree
I can't resist subscribing. Disney at christmas time is so great! Looking forward to hearing all your adventures!
Subbing in. I can't wait to read more!
Day 1, Part 2
Day 1, Part 2 Magical Express to our hotel
So we make our way down to Magical Express. Seeing those CMs with the big Mickey hands...AAAAHHHH!!! Ok, so, we already had our vouchers in hand, so they wave us through and direct us to our line. We get up to our line and there was 1 other couple in front of us. We stood there maybe 2 minutes and they put us on a bus...ok, so it was a DCL bus, but STILL, better than one of the Mears busses :thumbsup2
Evan and I take a seat in the second row, Hunter & Harper are behind us and Bo & Jaxon are across from us. Before we know it, we are on our way!
Evan watching the video
Hunter...so happy to be on our way!
And before we know it, we see this
The bus made 1 stop at Caribbean Beach Resort before arriving at our home for the next 10 nights...Boardwalk :cloud9:
We get off the ME and grab all our stuff from underneath. We head inside and are just amazed. By this time it is about 345pm.
We are met by a CM who has us take a seat in the lobby and she calls to notify the Inkeepers Lounge that we have arrived and asks if she should take us up or if someone is available to come down and meet us. A few moments later, she directs us to the elevators to take us up to the lounge on the 4th floor.
I take care of getting our KTTW cards at the Inkeepers Lounge desk while Bo and the kids are shown to the lounge. Within a few minutes I have our gold KTTW cards, 1st Visit buttons for Jaxon & Evan and a birthday button for Hunter. I head down the hall to the lounge to meet them. The kids were snacking on cookies and drinking a Sprite.
Jaxon with the Christmas tree in the Inkeepers Lounge
A few minutes later we head to our room. We had booked a deluxe CL room. Deluxe CL rooms at BW are guaranteed a BW view and they are bigger than the standard rooms. There are 10 deluxe CL rooms at BW, some of which are on the 3rd floor, some on the 4th floor. The ones on the 3rd floor have a bigger balcony, so that is what I requested back in June when I first spoke with the Itinerary Planning Office (they are basically your personal concierge until your arrival -- book ADRs, room requests -- any request/questions you have you contact them instead of Disney directly).
We arrive at our room, 3229. Bo tells me to open the door and go in first because he knew I wanted to see the room first.
We walked inside and found this
This was a gift from the Inkeepers Lounge for Hunter celebrating his birthday, and one each for Jaxon & Evan to celebrate their 1st visits & recent birthdays. There were signed birthday cards for the kids from Woody & Buzz as well as several different candy bars.
Up next -- look at that view!!
I'm in, we are doing double deluxe in Sept but at Wilderness Lodge. Can't wait to see how your holiday went.popcorn::
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