*COMPLETE* We Can't Be Stuck on the Stairs Again - 2013 Christmas Vaction

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by 1Grumpy9, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Hello everyone...This is my first attempt at a trip report, so please forgive me if I missed something.

    First off I have to say that I am a bad DIS'er as I didn't get any food pictures:sad2:

    Now to the details of this wonderful/busy/crowd-filled trip:

    Who: Me (Amy), DBFF (Stephanie), Mom (Dottie), Dad/Pops (Walt)
    What: Spending Christmas in the World
    When: Dec 19-26, 2013
    Where: Fort Wilderness Campground in a Full Hook-up site

    Now that you have the short details about who/what/where and when...Let's dig into the nitty gritty of the trip...Enjoy the ride!!

    Chapter Links:

    Introductions

    Dec. 19 -
    DBFF and I leave on a jetplane
    At the Airport and In the Air
    Fake-o-Rail and getting Lost at MCO
    All Star/Nap and the start to our first night
    Stuck on the Stairs...Round 1
    Fireworks and Parade Part 1
    Parade Pictures Part 2
    Celebrate the Season and leaving MVMCP

    Dec. 20 -
    Moving from AS Sports to checking into FW
    HDDR and embarrassing the parental units

    Dec. 21 -
    EPCOT Round 1 Part 1
    EPCOT Round 1 Part 2
    EPCOT Round 1 Part 3

    Dec. 22 - Animal Kingdom

    Animal Kingdom Part 1
    Animal Kingdom Part 2
    Animal Kingdom Part 3

    Dec. 23 - Hollywood Studios and where CM went above and beyond with Pixie Dust

    Hollywood Studios Part 1
    Hollywood Studios Part 2
    Hollywood Studios Part 3

    Dec. 24 - EPCOT Round 2

    Christmas Eve @ Epcot

    Dec. 25 - Christmas Day at Magic Kingdom
    Magic Kingdom Part 1
    Magic Kingdom Part 2
    Magic Kingdom Part 3

    Dec. 26 -
    Outlet Shopping and Leaving :(
     
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  3. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    **Double Post**
     
  4. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Introductions:

    First there is me…My name is Amy and I am 37 yrs old (and my birthday was just 4 days before this trip, so it could have been a birthday celebration trip also).

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    I am the planner of the group. For this trip I have done all the planning. My Disney obsession has come at an early age. I was 2 when I first stepped foot into WDW. It was February 1979. My parents and grandparents took me there while they were there for the Daytona races. We visited WDW every year for 5 or so years during our trips to Daytona. I also got the privilege of going down in High School with the marching band (1992 and 1994). We marched prior to the Spectromagic parade the first time we went and the second time we marched prior to the 3pm parade along with marching around World Showcase at EPCOT. My first ever stay on property was Oct/Nov. 2011 when I went with two great friends. It was also my first time seeing WDW at a different time of year.


    Next let me introduce you to the BFF…Stephanie.

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    She is the go-with-the-flow type of person. She is 35 yrs old. She tells me to make all the plans and she will show up with money ready to go. She got her first taste of WDW in 2010 when she went with her aunt. After that trip she is hooked. We went in 2011 with another friend and stayed at Pop Century. She went to Daytona with my family this February so we took a day trip to WDW one of the days we were there. We both love the same things…hockey, NASCAR and Disney. Her favorite character is Tigger.


    Now on to the parental units that will be joining us on this adventure (along with bringing the camper for the main part of the trip):
    Mom (aka Dottie) and Dad (aka Walt or Pops)

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    They are both retired from the Commonwealth of PA. In 2008 they bought a fifth wheel camper to tow to Daytona instead of staying at hotels. It has been an adventure with this camper. Apparently the camper and truck don’t like to travel to Florida on odd number years. In 2009 the first year that they traveled to Florida with the camper, they got to Blacksburg, VA the engine blew up on the truck. In 2011 the Turbo in the same truck went out on their trip. This year (2013) they were on their way down to Florida when they lost the whole wheel and hub off of the camper. So we are all hoping that there is no issue going to WDW in December with the camper since this will be the second trip in 2013 to Florida. They use the camper to go to Florida for the month of February and when they travel to Dover for the NASCAR races. My parents have been to Disney almost as much as I have. Mom says that their first trip to WDW was in Feb. 1972. They also were chaperones during the two trips that the marching band took to Florida. This trip will be their first trip that they will be staying on property.

    I don't have a picture of our camper, but I found one that is exactly like it along with the layout of the camper. Stephanie and I sleep on the pull out couch in the living room.

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    Now that the introductions are over, let’s get into the why of the trip:
    This trip was my brainchild. I came up with the idea of going for Christmas last summer. I had to tread the subject lightly as we are usually home for Christmas and mom is a real stickler for holidays. I mentioned to Mom and Dad last summer that we normally don’t do anything special for Christmas other than open up the presents we all know we got each other and then sit and do nothing the rest of the day. (We have the family Christmas with Mom’s side of the family the Sunday before) After the first mention of this thought, I was certain that Mom would be the one to shoot the idea down. Her first reaction was “How much would it cost?” I gave her an estimate and said that we wouldn’t need to buy any presents for each other as this would be our present to each other. Dad’s first reaction and question was “are there still spots available?” I told him at that time yes there were, but we should act fast if we wanted a spot. I was floored that they both were agreeing to do this trip. So a week after the conversation, mom and I went to AAA to get the spot reserved. A year of planning, getting the reservations that we wanted and deciding on what we would be doing during our trip it was time to go.
     
  5. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    December 19th – Me and BFF leave on a jet plane


    While Mom and Dad travel with the camper from PA to WDW, Stephanie and I are jetting our way to WDW. We sent our clothes with them and we just had a carry-on with the essentials for one night stay at a Value resort.With no extra paid time off from work, I needed to get to Florida as fast as possible. I got the one-way flight from BWI to MCO on Dec. 19th. In August when the American Hockey League schedule came out I noticed that team both Stephanie and I have tickets for play at home on Dec. 18th and this now made the planning a little easier. Stephanie and I decided that she was just going to stay at my house and in the morning we would leave from there. This way takes out a stop to the airport. The hockey game went 11 rounds in the shootout so we didn’t get home until almost 11:00pm and we were just getting dinner by then also. I threw in the final items into my carry on and went to bed. The alarm went off at 4:30am (which I don’t think either one of us slept very much that night) and we both got ready by throwing on some comfy clothes (capris…I was going to Florida) and comfy shoes (flip flops…didn’t want to be bothered with worring with my shoes at security). We both went over our mental checklist to make sure we had everything we needed for the trip and we got everything into Stephanie’s car.

    Now, this winter was a lot colder than recent in central PA, so wearing capris in December is not the norm, so we were both a little chilly when we first stepped out of the house. Mental Check-List done, so we are on the road by 5:05am. Why leave so early you ask…Well that is because we have to drive to BWI and traffic that time of morning might be a little hectic. The first order of business was picking up William (Stephanie’s friend) to drop us off at the airport so we didn’t have a car at the airport during our trip since we were only flying down and coming home with my parents. We arrived at his apartment at 5:50am and back on the road to BWI at 5:55am. We hit a little bit of traffic right before the I-95 corridor outside of Baltimore, but we were not at a stand-still. We inched along at about a 30 mph clip.

    Here is the only picture I took while on the road to BWI...since I was in the back seat, I took a little bit of a nap.

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  6. amberg93

    amberg93 DIS Veteran

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    Just stopping in to say following along!

    I've always wondered what it's like to stay on site in the campground so thanks for helping me out with that ;)

    Wow that camper doesn't like the odd numbers at all. Maybe it's superstitious :thumbsup2

    Sucks about the traffic but at least you weren't at a total stand still.

    Can't wait to hear more :)
     
  7. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for joining...I think this trip broke the odd year curse with the camper (let's hope...LOL).

    I had heard about the campground from a guy I work with who stays there all the time, and it lived up to all the expectations!!

    The traffic is why we left so early. I am not one to want to run through an airport...:rolleyes1
     
  8. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    At BWI and in the Air

    We arrived at the airport by 7:15am and parked the car (William wanted to say good bye and needed a restroom break before going back home. We gathered our stuff from the car, and headed towards the terminal. First order of business for all of us was restrooms. After coming out of the restrooms we noticed a HUGE line by the security, but it looked like they weren’t letting anyone through security. The first thought in my mind was something went wrong and we would miss our flight because no one was going through security.

    After looking at the line again we noticed that the line was for people checking in at Southwest with their luggage. It has wrapped around their cue lines and all the way over to security. They were letting people into security with no problems. We said our goodbyes to William and snapped a quick self-portrait
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    before he left and we made our way over to the security line. There were about 8 people in front of us in Security, but we made it through without any problems. After getting through security we made our way to the big board with all the flight information on it. We saw where our gate was and we headed over to the B side and to our gate by 8:00am. Our gate was close to the Starbucks, but not that far from the Dunkin Donuts and the line for Starbucks was huge, so I sat with the bags and Stephanie went with money to DD. Well, that line was just as long, if not longer, so she opted for Starbucks. After she came back with a White Chocolate mocha for me and a peppermint mocha for her, we still needed something food wise. I decided that Auntie Anne’s pretzels might be the only thing we could find within the time frame before boarding. I took money and went and got two pretzels for breakfast. Even though it was a full flight, it didn’t seem like it was a full flight. They started calling zones and we were zone 5, so we boarded pretty quickly and were ready to go, but we sat there waiting and waiting. The captain came on over the intercom and said that they were waiting for a pushback crew so we could get going. We were already late leaving by a couple of minutes. I texted mom to let her know we were on the plane and I would text her when we got to MCO. We were finally off the ground around 9:35am. Once we were in the air, I plugged in my ipod and listened to music on the 2 hr flight. I had some classic Bryan White music loaded on my phone along with the latest album. Since Stephanie and I both love Bryan White, I shared my ear buds with her to listen to the latest album while we were in the air.
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    It was a clear day, so we could see the coast the whole way on our flight. We snapped some pics out the window (sorry these are from an iphone):

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    While watching the coast, I noticed we passed by Norfolk, Myrtle Beach and then we started descending around New Smyrna Beach and I said to Stephanie, “wave to mom and dad”, we were passing almost right by them, so we waved. The houses started getting bigger and we could start recognizing the palm trees so I knew we were close. I snapped a few pictures while in the air (insert pictures). The landing was smooth and I was ready to get off the plane and get this vacation started. We waited until the big rush was over to get our carry-ons from the overhead compartment. We made our way off the plane and we made our way to…
     
  9. LindseyLou2222

    LindseyLou2222 DIS Veteran

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    Hi :wave2:
    Following along!
     
  10. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for following!! :thumbsup2
     
  11. BOG Obsessed

    BOG Obsessed Foodie & Disney Lover

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    Subbing.....Yay for a Christmas TR. :banana:
    Our family was there this past Christmas, Dec 22-28 and stayed at POP. First time for my family.
    Can't wait to read up on your Disney adventure during the busiest week of the year. Considering it was my DH and DD4's first experience, they loved it. My DH insists on going back during Christmas week again. ::yes::

    Amy~
     
  12. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for following...It was our first Christmas down there and I don't know if we will be going back for a while...I guess because I am older, I just don't deal with the crowds that well. I can say it was an experience though.
     
  13. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Arriving at MCO: aka Taking the Fake-o-Rail

    After getting off the plane we made our way over to the Fake-O-Rail by 11:40am. As much as I love the WDW Monorail, this does not compare. We must have timed it just right as it was just getting there. The monorail was getting there as we walked up and we walked right on. Soon the doors were closing and we were on our way to the main terminal.

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    After the boring ride on the fake-o-rail, I had to stop at the Universal Store because my cousin loves the Minons from Despicable Me, so I had to see if they had anything new that I could pick up for her. There wasn’t really anything that I could have picked up for her, so we headed out of the store and made our way (or so we thought) towards ME. We got turned around and ended up on the B side of the ground floor instead of the A side where ME is. We asked someone and she told us we had to go to the A side, so we walk back up and over to the A Side. We finally see the signs and the setup had changed since 2011, but we had our magic bands in hand and we scanned them and they worked seamlessly. We were instructed to into line 8, now, where is line 8 taking us…

    Once we found our way to ME, we got in the line to the resort we were spending the night until my parents checked in at FW. The CM at the end of the line was asking us about our shirts. They were “ugly Christmas Sweater” shirts. One of the local hockey teams created an Ugly Christmas Sweater jersey and we bought the t-shirts that looked just like them. We explained to the CM about them and one of the CM said she was from that area and knew about the team. The bus was there waiting for us, so we were instructed to go ahead on the bus. We handed the driver our carry-on’s to put under the bus and we found seats.

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    We waited for a few more people to show up, but the bus wasn’t full. We finally got on the road to our resort by 12:20pm.

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    Where were we headed…

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    During our trip on DME we chatted about what we were going to do with the extra time we had before going to MVMCP that night. We decided that a nap may be the best thing since we didn’t get much sleep the night before. We passed under the most wonderful sign. I couldn't get a good picture of it, but I knew as soon as we passed under it, we were officially on vacation. Our resort was the first stop (which was nice), and there was only 4 of us getting off the bus. We got off the bus and went to get our check in packets.
     
  14. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    All Star Sports:
    We walk into the lobby and there was no one in line, so we got right up to the desk and got our check-in packet. Luckily our room was ready and we made our way to find out room. This was a good thing because we were both in need of nap. We were by the Home Run Pool in Building 8 .After walking to our room (which was the furthest building from the main building, we got our stuff ready for the evening.

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    We turned on the TV and we both fell asleep. But before we both fell asleep, we set our alarms on our phones for 3pm so we didn’t sleep the whole night. This will give us enough time to finish getting ready and get the bus to MK. I woke up a little before 3, and it was time to get ready to head to our first adventure of this trip…MVMCP I really only had to get my MB, the bracelets I made, and the tickets out of our carry on and make sure everything was in my camera bag for the night. and head over to the bus to MK. By 3:15 we were out the door and walking to the buses. We decided to take the short cut through Building 9 and the sidewalk to the bus loading area. We thought we might have just missed the bus because there was only 3 other girls in line to go to MK. The bus showed up after waiting about 10 mins and we were on our way to MK. The bus driver was funny and wanted to sing Christmas songs, we weren’t going to sing, but we ended up singing a little. The 3 other girls that were on the bus thought we were nuts, but that is ok…they don’t know who we are…LOL!!!

    We get to the parking gates and we see this first.

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    After an uneventful ride to the bus stops the driver infoms us that the bus we need to get back to AS Sports was in spot 21. We get off the bus and we head towards the bag check. The line wasn’t that bad and I was thinking that maybe we wouldn’t have a sold out party, but as you will read later…I don’t think it was. After bag check, we used the cards to get into the park. The first order of business after going under the train station was exchanging our PP+ voucher for the lanyard and card. The line was HUGE!! There was a nice CM that was asking people getting in line what they were in line for and when she asked me she and I told her, she went to ask if I really needed to stand in that line. She comes back and said I did. It didn't take too long and I was up at the counter to get my lanyard. The CM was explaining everything (including taking a photo of the back of the card). Once we left there, I used my phone and took a picture of the back of the card. The next order of business was that we both wanted Glow With the Show Ears. We walked over to the Chapeau and picked up the ears.

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    Once the purchases were made we walked up Main Street. I stopped to get a picture i have been trying to get...

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    (not what I wanted, but it will do)

    We then stopped at a couple of PP places to get pictures.

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    We decided our tummies were starting to growl and we needed food, but where to go?!?

     
  15. amberg93

    amberg93 DIS Veteran

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    The All Star Sports! That's where I'll be staying in 11 days! We put in for the Touch Down Section though, so I hope we don't end up way out there like you did, sorry for that by the way.

    And that's right, rock your Christmas songs :P It's Disney, you can sing all you want and people can't really judge you.

    Ooh can't wait to hear all about your MVMCP adventures. And food *grumbly tumbly*, food sounds nice.
     
  16. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    It really didn't bother us as we only had carry-on luggage and we were only there for one night. We did find a short cut around the other building and it was almost to the bus stops. I do love the value resorts as most of the time we are just using the resorts to sleep. I am hoping that this coming trip in October I can use some of my parents RCI points and rent DVC for a week.

    We weren't originally going to sing, but we thought...heck we are in Disney...Let's sing.
     
  17. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Since the party hadn’t “officially” started yet, we wanted to get food at one of our favorite CS restaurants in MK: Columbia Harbor House. Luckily there was no one in line, so our service was quick. Both Stephanie and I ordered the Shrimp and Fries. I guess because CHH was closing at 5pm, there was no one in the restaurant, but we got a seat right near the door and there were plenty of seats downstairs. We enjoyed our dinner and I could look out at the wait times for HM. Once we finished up our dinner we wanted to get our ride on. We headed towards HM. The wait time was 20 mins. So we hopped in line.

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    Now here is my complaint about this whole FP+…I am not one to go through the interactive ques for rides. Now, if you don’t have a FP+, you can’t avoid the interactive que. I wish there was a way to have it either way. I had bought Prime lens for my camera and I wanted to try it out on dark rides. Once on I tried getting a couple of pictures, and I didn’t have the settings correct, so there really aren’t good pictures from the ride.

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    We weren’t able to book our stay in the HM, so we decided to move on to another ride. Since it was still sort of warm and daylight we decided to see what the wait time was for Splash Mountain. Both of us really aren’t fond of getting wet and having to walk around a theme park with wet shoes and clothes, but the wait time was 30 mins (and we thought most of that wait would be the que line). We started walking through the que and by the time we got to the stairs to head into the building we stopped. We were stopped on the steps for a good 10 mins without moving (hence the first time we were stopped on stairs on the trip). Finally we started moving and we got to the podium and the CM asked up how many and we said 2, so she says, go to row 1. The one row we both didn’t want. I don't have any pictures form the ride because I didn't want to have to rush putting my camera back in my bag (to stay dry).

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    The only thing is that the picture came out great because we were in the front. We didn’t survive not getting wet…Our shirts were all but soaked.

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    We walked over to another one of our favorite rides POTC. The wait time was posted at 20 mins, so we battled pirates and Davey Jones. Luckily Jack Sparrow escaped with the loot (and the rum) and so did we. Now that we were still a little wet, we saw that the one hot chocolate and cookie station was open at Tortuga Tavern was open so we got our hot chocolate and cookies. As the party “officially” started we made our way over towards Tomorrowland. We went into Cosmic Rays to get our “dance party” on, and Goofy and Pluto were in there so we had to dance along. We figure it is our “Zumba” lesson for the week…LOL!!

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    We walked in and they were playing the Cupid Shuffle, so we joined in. We dance a couple of more songs and decided it was time for another cookie and hot chocolate stop. I opted for apple juice instead. I wrapped up my cookies to save for later and we walked towards the Hub for a spot for the parade.

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    We couldn’t even get close to the Hub, so we went towards the walkway that is in front of the Tomorrowland Terrace. We found a spot and we stayed there for the first parade. While waiting for the parade, we turned on our Glow With The Show ears and took some pictures with them on.

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    We then watched the parade from our spot...

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    The Big Guy came by...

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    and we worked our way up closer to the HUB to see if we could find a spot for the fireworks and second parade.
     
  18. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Once everyone moved after the first parade we made our move towards the hub for the fireworks. We stayed there for Celebrate the Magic and the fireworks.

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    I loved the Frozen overlay along with the holiday one also.

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    Then it was time for the fireworks. It was too crowded for me to try to bring my tripod and work with some of the firework settings so I just tried to take some...

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    After the fireworks we noticed the family in front of us was deciding if they were staying for the second parade. They were nice enough to let us get into their spot before they left and we would lose our spots again. We sat right at the corner by the popcorn cart. Right before the parade got to us, there was a CM that came by and noticed our shirts. He was from Pittsburgh and we got talking about PA and how we weren’t missing the weather. The second parade was starting and we noticed someone had spilled hot chocolate on the street. A parade CM was crouched beside us and made sure all the parade performers knew there was something on the street.

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    It was time for the parade to start...

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  19. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    More parade pictures...

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    Donald and Daisy came by looking cute as ever...

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    The Chip and Dale showed up tossing snow everywhere...

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    Snow looked adorable as ever

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    Then came Cinderella in her carriage

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    It was really tough getting pictures sitting on the curb, so I don't have any good ones of the "mirrored castle" float.

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    Goofy came by and it smelled divine with the smell of candy

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    I loved the gingerbread men...

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    I knew we were getting close to seeing the Big Guy when these guys come through...

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    The Big Guy is finally here...Time to be really good now...

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    Was I good?!?!?! I guess I was...I am at Disney for Christmas!! YAY!!

    I will stop there as we moved closer to the front of the castle for the last show of Celebrate the Season.
     
  20. NoOrdinaryPrincess

    NoOrdinaryPrincess DIS Veteran

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    Awesome start to the TR! Can't wait for more!
     
  21. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!!! I have a little over 2700 pictures from the trip, so it is hard to decide which ones I want to put up.
     

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