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JessM 08-30-2013 12:19 PM

3 Days, 2 "Adults", 1 Christmas Trip to Make DBF a Believer! (Update 10/11!-The End!)

3 Days, 2 "Adults", 1 Christmas Trip to Make DBF a Believer!

Hello everyone and welcome to my first ever trip report! I wasn't going to write a trip report for this trip, hence the extremely late start, but I'm getting so excited to go back again this December so I figured I write this up to pass the time! :santa:

First off you'd probably like to know about us!


Hi There! I'm Jess, I'm 24 years old and I have loved Disney my entire life. My parents started taking me to the World when I was 4. I honestly don't know how many times I have gone but it must be at least 20. I love everything about the parks, the atmosphere, the rides, the characters, the smells, the food, ahhh I can't wait to get back! My Uncle turned us on to going in December in 2001 and we have been back almost every year around the 1st week in December since.

My Favorites Include:
Park: Animal Kingdom
Attraction: TSM, Space Mountain, Everest, Peter Pan
Movie: Peter Pan
Show: Celebrate the Magic
Movie: Peter Pan, Tangled, The Rescuers, Aladdin
Characters: Rapunzel, Eugene, Wendy, Chip & Dale


Spencer is my wonderful boyfriend of 2 years. He had only been to Disney once before and he didn't remember much about it. He had only been during Spring Break when it was super crowded so he wasn't thrilled about this trip but by the end he was a believer has now agreed to 2 more Disney trips! I was so excited to take him on this trip and share the Disney magic with him.

Guest Stars!

Also, joining us on this trip were my wonderful parents (on the right). My parents both love Disney. They have been going to the World since the early eighties and have made a yearly visit ever since. They have definitely helped fuel my Disney obsession! On the left are my Aunt and Uncle, they had only been to the Magic Kingdom prior to this trip and we were very excited to show them the rest of the world! We didn't get to spend as much time on this trip with my parents, aunt and uncle but I'll get into that later.

The Why:

Well obviously its Disney! Originally this trip was just supposed to be Spencer and I. My parents, aunt and uncle were all scheduled to hit the World in October. Then, my Grandfather passed away and they had to delay their trip. After much convincing (my Aunt and Uncle don't like to leave their house in the winter time) they all decided to join us for our trip in December! I was able to adjust the few ADRs we had and we were set to go!

Because I have limited vacation time and Spencer was doing and internship we could only go down for the weekend. We were set to arrive late Thursday night and head out Sunday evening. My parents were set to arrive Thursday during the day and they stayed til the following Wednesday.

The Where:

We stayed in Little Mermaid room at the new Art of Animation!

The When:

December 6th-9th, 2012!

I wanted to write this trip report to show that with a little lack of sleep you can see quite a few of the highlights of a December WDW vacation! :rotfl:

JessM 08-30-2013 12:20 PM

Chapter Links

Thursday December 6th

Off to Neverland! I mean Florida!

Friday December 6th

First Park of the Trip!

Saying goodbye to Hollywood and Hello to Epcot!

Christmas Decor Galore!

Soarin and Illuminations!

Saturday December 7th

An Expedition to My Favorite Park!

A Morning of Thrills!

Rounding Out Our Time at the Animal Kingdom!

Photo Tour of AoA and MK!

A Magical Evening!

Sunday December 8th
Celebrating Friendship Day!
A Relaxing Morning in the MK!
Be Our Guest and Heading Home!

Look a PTR!

JessM 08-30-2013 12:53 PM

Off to Neverland! I mean Florida!
I apologize I don't have too many pictures for this update. I can't find any of our travel pictures I know I took in the airport...

The night before I finished packing up everything. I was leaving pretty much directly from work so I got everything together and ready to go!

This pathetic baby was not happy to not be tagging along.

We also had mickey pumpkin pancakes for dinner!

I got up and went to work in the morning. I don't think I got much done, all I could think about was DISNEY!

We flew out of our home airport around 3, it was such a breeze. We had one layover in New York and then we were on our way to Orlando. Again, I'm sorry for the lack of pictures!

We got to Orlando around 9, picked up our rental car and headed to AOA!

Pictures of the room!
Mickey Towel!

I thought the rooms were so cute! I loved the decor. I also didn't really mind the walk to the food court. It wasn't any worse then staying in the 90s at POP or in one of the further building at POR.

I have more pictures starting on our first full day I promise, but we checked in, ate dinner and then headed over to the Boardwalk. One of Spencer's friends was working the DVC desk over there and once he got out we went over to Jellyrolls. We had a great time! The piano players in there were fantastic! We are planning on taking my parents there on our next trip. We didn't stay long because we were exhausted and we needed to be up early the next day!

JessM 08-30-2013 01:35 PM

First Park of the Trip!
Friday December 7th, 2013

We had a big day planned today so we were up at 6:30am, showered, dressed and headed down to the Landscape of Flavors for Breakfast

After breakfast we jumped in our rental car and headed to Disney Hollywood Studios! Side story: I hadn't seen my folks yet and during the extremely short ride over to DHS there was this grampa car in front of us and Spencer and I were laughing out how big this car was, and we passed it my Dad was driving! I don't know why but it struck me as so funny!

We pulled in and parked, my Dad pulled in a couple cars away from us, he hadn't even noticed it was us even though we were waving like crazy out the window. We met up with my Mom, Aunt and Uncle, who had taken the bus for some reason and headed into DHS!

DHS Christmas Tree!

We arrived at the Turnstyles around 8:15am, we were only around 4 families back in the line. The park opened around 8:40am and we were off and running to TSM

We got FPs for around 10am and then hopped in line

I can't even begin to express my love for this ride. It's just so much fun! Spencer did not understand why we had to make RD, why we would want to ride this more than once, and why I loved it so much.

His verdict: He LOVED it! And he thanked me for getting him up early so we could ride it more than once!

I won the first round and...

Got best in vehicle! Spencer was not happy about loosing but we had FPs for a rematch!

My Aunt and Uncle loved the ride too! From here we split up, the "real" adults went to go see the Little Mermaid and Spencer and I went to get our thrill on! We agreed to meet back up when our FPs were ready.

We headed down Sunset Blvd to hit up RnRC first. We walked right on!

After hitting up an awesome concert we decided to check out the Hollywood Hotel. I really hate rides that drop you, but I still always do the TOT. I absolutely love the theming and the drops are not so far that I can't handle them.

This ride is just incredibly well done.

I think we waited 15mins until our ride into the Twilight Zone

I love this ride photo! I actually look like I'm having fun and Spencer's terrified

Hitting RD at DHS is amazing. We were able to do TSM, RNRCx2, and TOT all by 10am. Spencer finally said he understood why I dragged him out of bed so early, and why he didn't have as much fun when he came with his family as a child. They slept in and hit the parks around 11am.

After getting our share of thrills in for the day we headed back to Pixar Place to meet up the rents, aunt and uncle and use our TSM FPs!

Game Face?

Sadly the game face worked and Spencer beat me this round! Just barely but it forced us to grab FPs for later in the evening so we could go for best 2 out of 3!

After TSM we all headed over to do Star Tours. I hadn't ridden since they did the refurb and I was excited!

Sorry for the blurry photo, we had a great ride! I thought the ride seemed more intense than before but that might be because I knew the old ride by heart. Everyone loved Star Tours but not enough to go for another ride, even though it was a walk on. From here, we split up again, Spencer and I were off to try and do the Animation Class and the "real" adults were off to do Indiana Jones.

Stay Tuned!

DisneyKid4Life 08-30-2013 05:52 PM

Hi Jess, glad to see you writing a trip report. This is sure to get you all practised up for the next one! :thumbsup2

Those LM rooms sure are cute.

"Grandpa Car"... Nice. :lmao:

Good on you for showing Spencer the right way to tour!! :goodvibes

JessM 08-31-2013 08:51 AM


Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life (Post 49433833)
Hi Jess, glad to see you writing a trip report. This is sure to get you all practised up for the next one! :thumbsup2

Those LM rooms sure are cute.

"Grandpa Car"... Nice. :lmao:

Good on you for showing Spencer the right way to tour!! :goodvibes

Thanks for reading along!

JessM 08-31-2013 11:40 AM

Saying Goodbye to Hollywood and Hello to Epcot!
Saying Goodbye to Hollywood and Hello to Epcot!

After Star Tours we headed over to the Animation Building. But first we took a detour to Starring Rolls. I had always seen lots of people eating outside but I had never stopped in to get anything during all my trips to the World. I knew I wanted to try the Red Velvet cupcake. We had a little bit of a wait but it was so worth it.

This is the only food picture I got the whole trip. I’m sorry I’m a bad disser. My next trip reports will be better I promise!
Spencer had a cinnamon bun I think, I was too into my cupcake to take note.

Then we were finally on our way to the animation academy. But not before stopping for a picture…

I really wanted to do the Animation Acadamy because I have never bothered to stop and do it before. We got there just as they were letting a group in but we didn’t quite make it. We got cut off and we didn’t have time to wait for the next class so we went over to meet some super friends…

I also completed my first pin trade with their handler!
After an “incredible” meet and greet we headed over to the great movie ride. We got the Cowboy scene! But I don’t have any photographic evidence. I swear it happened!

I love the Great Movie Ride but I would love if they updated and put a couple new scenes in. They could take out the Alien scene and make it something less creepy, just a thought.

After the Great Movie Ride it was time to meet up with the rents and leave the park : ( We only had 3 days to cram in the fun so we were heading off to Epcot for the afternoon. But first we took some photopass pictures:

We could be stars!

The photographer was from Maine! We had a great time chatting with him.
We stopped for one more photo by the DHS Christmas Tree before we headed for the Friendship Boats to go to Epcot!

The Friendship Boats may be slow, but its such a pretty ride and it felt good to take a break!

This is where we unfortunately lost my Aunt, Uncle and Parents for most of the trip. We had a pleasant boat ride and when we docked my Dad, Spencer and I got off. We didn’t notice until we got up to the dock my Mom, Aunt and Uncle hadn’t followed us. My Aunt had gotten dizzy and passed out briefly. The boat captain waved us back into the boat and we waited for the Disney medical staff. They are fabulous by the way! They are so accommodating and helpful. The paramedics checked her all out but everything was normal so they didn’t transport her. My Parents took them back to the hotel but they told Spencer and I to keep going and they’d keep us posted : (

My Aunt said she felt better the next day and came to breakfast with us. Half way through breakfast though, she went outside for some air and she said she just didn’t feel right. My parents went with her and my uncle to the hospital. They held her overnight and didn’t let her go til dinnertime on Sunday. The only thing they could find was her potassium level was low. She felt perfectly find after that! It was really scary, but we were glad she was all right. However, we were even more sad that she missed out on 3 days of her Disney trip! They made the best of their last 2 days but I felt bad that they and my parents spent 2 days of their trip in the hospital.

Anyways, with my parents going back to the hotel to get my Aunt to rest, Spencer and I were off and running to get Soarin FPs. We wanted to get FPs for just before Illuminations so we actually had a wait around til they got a little later and then we were off to our ADR!

Love the Christmas Toparies!

Aren't we just adorable haha. In all seriousness Spencer and I NEVER take kissing photos, the photopass photographers always made him kiss my check just like they knew he didn't want to! It was great : )

We had booked Via Napoli at 2pm for lunch under the Candlelight Processional Package. We checked in right at 2pm and the staff was fine with just 2 out of the 6 showing up.

I love the décor of this restaurant.

We were seated after a 10min wait in the big, noisy dining room. Not ideal but I wasn’t going to complain. Right after we sat down my Mom called and wanted to know if they would wait for them so they could still eat and see the show. Spencer went back out to the podium and explained the situation and they said no problem! However, they wouldn’t seat us until my parents arrived so we went back to sit in the waiting area.

So hungry!

After what felt like and eternity my parents arrived and we were seated right away! I have no food pictures but this meal was amazing! I had the rice balls, pizza, and the dough balls with chocolate (I can’t remember what they are called) everything was fabulous. After we were given our CP stickers we rolled ourselves out of there and decided to talk a way around World Showcase!

We stopped in China so I could see one of my favorite Disney Princesses

Mulan! When I used to dye my hair at College and pile my hair on top of my head all my roomates thought I looked just like her so I had to stop for a picture.

Mulan was a little quiet as I expected but she was very friendly and I enjoyed meeting her!

After strolling around China we headed back towards the theater for the Candlelight Processional. This is hands down my Dad’s favorite thing at WDW. He would go and listen from outside the theater every night for all 3 shows if we let him. I love the show but once is good for me. We went in the tail end of the dinner package line and we still got great seats!

Whoopi Goldberg was narrating. I have to say I wasn’t all that impressed with her. She didn’t seem happy to be there at all. She just read the script and left. It was a little disappointing. My parents saw Andy Garcia later in the trip and said he was much more engaged and thought he was much better. We decided to skip Whoopi for our upcoming trip in favor of Sigourney Weaver.
Regardless it was still a fantastic show!

I love the trumpeters!

Stayed Tuned!

DisneyKid4Life 09-02-2013 08:29 AM

You got the cowboy scene!!?? Lucky!!!

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt. Falling ill is bad enough, but to have it happen on a Disney trip is just heartbreaking. Glad that it turned out ok though. :goodvibes

I've never seen the Candlelight Processional, but it sure does look pretty amazing.

JessM 09-02-2013 10:51 AM


Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life (Post 49453057)
You got the cowboy scene!!?? Lucky!!!

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt. Falling ill is bad enough, but to have it happen on a Disney trip is just heartbreaking. Glad that it turned out ok though. :goodvibes

I've never seen the Candlelight Processional, but it sure does look pretty amazing.

We always seem to get the Cowboy scene! I almost want to get the Ganster Scene again haha.

Thanks, it definitely was heartbreaking, especially because the trip had already been delayed. I'm hoping they will get to come again someday!

The Candlelight Processional is definitely a must see, its incredible! I don't like it enough to wait for a long time in the Standby line but it wonderful with the dinner package.

JessM 09-02-2013 11:24 AM

Christmas Decor Galore!
Christmas Decor Galore!

After the show we headed out of Epcot. We were going back to DHS to see the Osborne Lights and ride TSM one more time!

First we stopped for some photopass pictures in France

When we reached the International Gateway we said goodbye to my parents. They were going to go check on my Aunt and hopefully meet up with us for the lights later.

Our TSM FPs were not quite ready yet so we decided to duck into the Beach Club and Yacht Club to check out the Christmas décor.

We started out at the Beach Club and they had the most amazing smelling and looking gingerbread caurosel in there. It was wonderful!

Next we headed over to the Yacht Club. The Yacht club has a large Christmas Village set up and I was most excited to see this. My Grandmother gave me her ceramic Christmas Village when she moved into her apartment and no longer had room for it. Its one of my prized possessions. My Mom has always had one as well and I was excited to see one done up by Disney.

I was so impressed by the size and detail of the Village at the Yacht Club.

Look at the Disney houses! I would love to add a Disney Village to my Christmas Décor collection but they are so darn expensive, I think starting this next trip I may need to start buying a house a trip… My bank account is screaming at me already!

Spencer had to pull me away from the Village kicking and screaming, not really but close! And we headed over to the Swan to catch the friendship boat back to DHS!

I really loved the colorful palm trees!

While waiting for the boat we saw Santa and Mrs. Claus meeting in their “vacation” attire? The whole thing was really weird and just wrong. The faces of the kids in line showed that they felt the same way. I wish I could have gotten a better picture but I felt like a creeper haha : )

We caught the boat and headed directly over to TSM! We had one more FP to use and we needed to see who would be the champion of the trip!
These were from earlier in the day but I missed them in my last update!

So who won…

Unfortunately for me Spencer won this round! He won 2 out of 3 for the day : ( He won bragging rights and exercised them for the rest of the trip. Next trip I will beat him!

After TSM we met up with my parents, and headed to the lights!
Get ready for Osborne lights Spam!

I love Mickey and Santa

We waited for a few Photopass Pictures, the wait was long but so worth it!

I think this picture is adorable haha. Both Spencer and my Dad are not into PDA AT ALL so it was fun to see the Disney magic bringing it out of them ; )

I'm trying to get my Mom to embrace the "skinny" arm pose.

The details are so incredible!

We stayed long enough to see 3 song sequences, its just so incredible. I'm a Christmas Geek so I was in Heaven! I hope they never stop doing the Osborne lights. I might actually cry if they do.

We wandered around the lights for as long as we could. I absolutely LOVE the Osborne lights, the pictures do not do them justice. I love Christmas and between the lights, the music and the snow, its all just so MAGICAL. The Osborne Lights and Candlelight Processional have kept my family coming back around Christmas time for close to 10 years now. And we got to see both in one night!

We were starting to drag but it was worth it. We still had a Soarin FP to use up and some fireworks to see so we were off to Epcot... AGAIN!

By Lights!

Stay Tuned!

wiigirl 09-03-2013 09:41 AM

Awesome pics! :)

DisneyKid4Life 09-03-2013 09:42 AM

If I make it to Disney this December, I really plan to look around at the resort decorations. So cool!!

Haha, thanks for adding that the Pixar Place photos were from earlier. I was like "Wow is it ever bright in that area"!! :laughing:

Ahhh, I'm looking forward to seeing those lights again! Just unreal. Great photos!

JessM 09-03-2013 01:41 PM


Originally Posted by wiigirl (Post 49462622)
Awesome pics! :)

Thanks for reading along!


Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life (Post 49462633)
If I make it to Disney this December, I really plan to look around at the resort decorations. So cool!!

Haha, thanks for adding that the Pixar Place photos were from earlier. I was like "Wow is it ever bright in that area"!! :laughing:

Ahhh, I'm looking forward to seeing those lights again! Just unreal. Great photos!

The resort decorations are definitely worth the time! The GF is on my list for this year along with FW.

I got myself so excited for the Osborne lights again writing up that section, I can't wait!

JessM 09-03-2013 01:48 PM

Soarin and Illuminations!

After pulling ourselves away from the wonders that are the Osborne Lights we headed out of DHS.

We stopped for a couple photos in front of the DHS Christmas Tree

We split up from my parents and headed out to the parking lot to get our car. We drove over to Epcot, parked and headed towards Soarin to use our last FP of the day.

First we stopped for a couple pictures…

We quickly walked over to Soarin and within a few minutes we were high flying over California. They definitely need to do something about that screen or film but it was still a great ride. Spencer loved it too and said he understood why I made him walk all the way over to the Land earlier to pick up a FP. I really wanted to show him test track but it was still closed for refurbishment.

After Soarin, we had a late dinner at Sunshine Seasons, because we hadn’t eaten enough that day, judge us. I’m pretty sure I had the sweet and sour chicken and strawberry shortcake, completely necessary at 8:30 I know.

We sat and relaxed for a bit after dinner. It had been a long but fun day.
After a nice break we decided to head out and get a spot for Illuminations.
We took some photos along the way…

Meanwhile my parents were also taking advantage of our Photopass…

My parents aren’t normally picture people so I was surprised and glad to see them utilized the prepaid photopass so much!

We met them in the preferred viewing area for the CP package. I actually really love this location. The viewing area is in the plaza between the two gift shops that lead to the World Showcase Lagoon. We didn’t have to wait long before the show began!

I love the laser effects

I like Illuminations but I’m a one a trip type girl. My Dad could happily watch this show every night. I like the fireworks and the music but can they please cut down the globe time, please? I do really like the holiday part they add in at the end, it gives me chills every time.

After the show Spencer was beat. I would have happily stayed for EMH but with an early breakfast reservation we figured we should go back and get some sleep. We said goodbye to my folks and headed out of the park.

Bye Epcot!

Highs of the Day:
• TSM x 3
• Osborne Lights!
• Candlelight Processional

Lows of the Day:
• My Aunt feeling sick : (
• Rushing through 2 parks because we were short on time this trip : (

Food of the Day:
• Red Velvet Cupcake!
• Via Napoli Pizza Noms

Disney Christmas Experiences:
• Deluxe Resort Decorations Yacht Club and Beach Club
• Candlelight Processional
• Osborne Lights
• Holiday Illuminations
• Epcot and DHS Christmas Décor

Missed Disney Christmas Experiences for Next Trip:
• Holiday Storytellers in Epcot
• Gospel Choir in Epcot (we saw them briefly on our way to lunch, I wanna see the whole show next trip!)

JessM 09-03-2013 01:55 PM

An Expedition to my Favorite Park!
An Expedition to my Favorite Park!

We woke up bright and early this morning for our last full day at Disney : (
I got right up when my alarm went off but Spencer was moving a bit slower so I went outside to take some pictures of the sunrise. We had a wonderful room location overlooking hourglass lake. There were a ton of hot air balloons going this morning, it was beautiful!

We were heading to the Animal Kingdom this beautiful December morning! I know most people would skip the Animal Kingdom on such a short trip to the World but its honestly my favorite park. I just love it, and there was no way we were going near the MK with the parade taping going on, and normally Epcot and DHS are busier than AK during December because they have more special Christmas thing.

I also managed to score a pre-park opening Tusker House Reservation and we wanted to take my Aunt and Uncle to a character breakfast and this seemed like the perfect one to try!

Spencer and I jumped in the car and headed off to AK. We pulled in and parked and met up with everyone else right outside the gates.

We headed right in the dining reservations line and stopped for few pictures infront of the Tree of Life.

Continuing on we made our way to Tusker House!

We checked in and waited about 10 mins to get called in to see Donald. His line was really long so we opted to go straight inside. We were really here to meet the main Mouse himself anyways.

The characters started coming so fast and my Mom totally failed getting the camera to work so we only got a few character photos…

The food was great at Tusker House but the characters seemed rushed, the tables were close together and it was hard to get up and out from the table. The chairs were heavy and we were just a mess haha. Probably not Tusker House’s fault but I’m not in a huge hurry to go back either.

Halfway through our meal my aunt got up to go to the bathroom and she never came back. My Mom went to check on her but neither had returned. A staff member came over to get us and brought us to where she was outside. She didn’t feel well again and she decided she needed to go to the hospital. My Dad was just going to drive her but my Uncle decided to just have her transported. They all insisted Spencer and I stayed and had fun in the park but I felt really bad. We stayed after they promised to keep us updated all day.

On their way out of the park, the CM who was escorting them decided she would give them a free 1 day ticket to make up for them missing out on the day today. She had them sent right over to the concierge desk at POP. It was a really nice gesture and my parents actually used theirs back in April while they were down in Florida visiting my Grandfather! Yay Disney service!

Spencer and I re-grouped and headed off to the Safari for our first ride of the day!

The Safari is one of my favorite rides in all of Disney World, and we had a really good ride thru today!

I won’t bore you with too many pictures…

A hippo out of the water!

How many giraffes can you get in one picture!

All the animals were so close to the road this morning!


We actually saw the cheetah!

This guy held us up for a few minutes

I had never seen a warthog before this trip

This guy looked like he wanted to attack the truck

We had a great Safari! Spencer was really impressed. The only time he had been to Disney they didn’t see anything on the Safari because they went in the middle of the day. I personally love to hit it first thing, I think you see the most animals!

Our morning was turning around and we were off to see the more animals! And maybe brave a certain mountain…

Stay Tuned!

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