Friends and Family Holiday trip to WDW Dec 9 - 16, 2011 Update Post #156

mvf-m11c

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Hey there fellow DISers and readers. My name is Bret and I am a huge fan of Disneyland. I am mostly over on the Disneyland boards and have done a lot of different trip reports on the Disneyland Trip Report thread. I like to videotape the nighttime shows (fireworks, WoC, F! at DL & DHS, Illuminations, etc) and take pictures at the resorts. I have a nice trip with pics. We are only 43 days away till the Friends and Family Trip during the Holiday season at WDW.

I have just finished the One Day trip to DL during the Halloween Season and the [post=42368230]D23 Expo back in August[/post]. You can check out My TRs plus Pics & Vids on the Disneyland Trip Reports. Before going to WDW in December, I got an upcoming trip to DL during the Holiday season next month with my DA. My DA always go to DL during the Holiday season while we did WDW during the Holiday season last year this year she will be going with me to DL during the Holiday season next month and skip the WDW trip.

Going to the DLR is one of the best times in my life since DL is the original park that Walt Disney created. After a fun and great trip to the DLR during the Halloween season last month and just finished my PTR for my annual Holiday trip to DL next month, it is now time to get my plans all set up for the Holiday season at WDW.

I just concluded my [post=42759685]Unexpected Halloween Day Trip to DL[/post]. When I first heard that my dad offered me to go with him to LA for that Saturday, it was a great opportunity to go to the DLR during the Halloween season. I was originally of not going during the Halloween season since I just got back from the D23 Expo and have two more trips in November (DLR) & December (WDW). Since it was only a one day, I could do all the picture taking in one day. I got to take a lot of pictures at the DLR and go on my two favorite rides (MFW and Monorail). I was sad of not going on the DLRR, but it was just way too busy that afternoon. I didn’t have the chance to ride SMGG or HMH, but I will get the chance to ride HMH next month. The wait time for HMH was just way too long for me and I can ride it next month.

Now I am planning my pre-trip for December 9 - 16, 2011 during the Holiday season at WDW.

Cast: Me Bret, my DB Matt, my dad Dennis, my dad’s friend Eugene, his wife Phyllis and their two daughters.

This will be my 2nd time to WDW during the Holiday season which the last one was last year [post=39198475]December 10 – 17, 2011[/post] and this will be my 8th time coming back to WDW. This will be my DB 6th time back to WDW and my dad’s 7th time back to Florida. My dad friend family is back here for the first time since 1996.


Our trip is not until the 2nd week of December. This will be my 2nd time back to WDW during the Holiday season. For all the times I have gone to WDW, I have went during Spring Break season and Summer time. Mostly I go to DL during the Holiday season in December for my birthday, but my dad and his friend family wanted to go to WDW during the Holiday season after showing him all of those wonderful photos and experience at WDW and the Wizardy World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. There were all excited about it and decided to have a family vacation together.

Last year trip to WDW during the Holiday season was great and exciting to do for the first time. I got to do MVMCP, EPCOT with all the Christmas decorations and how they celebrate the Holiday season, the Osborne Lights at DHS, and the Wizardy World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. The only bad part of that trip last year was that Orlando had one of the coldest weathers in decades. At night, sometimes it was around high 30s and during the day in the 50s. Talk about cold weather in Orlando, but that didn’t stop the two of us to have a great time together. Very funny about that time is that when we got there, the bad weather was in affect. But when we left, it started to warm up. I am hoping that the weather at Orlando in December will be very nice. I don’t want to experience that kind of weather again. You can’t control the weather in Orlando, but just hope that it will be nice.

I don’t want to be rude to the people that like WDW during the Holiday season, but DL during the Holiday season is so magical than WDW. After experiencing the first time last year and it was great, but there is something different compare to the DLR and WDW. I will definitely enjoy another year back at WDW during the Holiday season and hope that everything goes well.

We will be flying from Sacramento to Los Angeles first thing in the morning around 6 am. It will be around one hour to get to LAX airport. When my dad, DB and I get to LAX, we will meet up with my dad’s friend family and head on over to Orlando International Airport. Than we will be leaving LAX airport around 10 am and head straight to Orlando. It will take around 5 hours to get to Orlando airport. We should get there around 6 pm eastern time. Then when we get to Orlando we will get our rental cars and head on over to our hotel during our stay. We should be at our hotel around 7-8pm and than get settled in.

We will be staying at Sheraton Vistana Resort just right across from the Highway 4 of the WDW property. I have stayed at the Sheraton Vistana Resort last year with my DA during our WDW trip. It was a nice timeshare with a master bedroom, two double beds, a livingroom, kitchen, washer & dryer, plus a patio. We did spend some time in the room during our trip, but we didn’t do any of the activities at the resort. But there was just way too much to do at Florida and had no time to do any of those things at the resort. We will be getting two rooms while my family will be in one of them while my dad friend family will be in the other. Here are some pics of the room from last year.







We are planning on going to the parks for 4 days of our trip and will be doing a lot of different activities at WDW. We are also planning on going to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure to see the Wizardy World of Harry Potter. I will be using my Premier AP. I love this AP after getting it last year and used it for both the DLR and WDW. It did save me a lot of money on the parking and merchandise, so I am planning again on taking advantage of the Premier AP when I am at WDW. I plan on going to WDW all the days during our vacation from Saturday 10th to Thursday the 15th. I am hoping that I will be able to get one day on Friday the day we show up, but we will wait and see.

The whole goal for most of my group during our trip is the Wizardy World of Harry Potter. After seeing my pictures from last year trip, they are all excited to go to Florida during December. My goal for this trip is to do a lot of picture taking of any Christmas decoration at WDW. On the Disneyland at Christmas Time Superthread, we all do a Tree & Wreath Quest that Sherry E had started and find as many Christmas decorations around the DLR. I plan on doing the same at WDW. This will be a tough order since WDW resort is 150 times the size of the DLR, but it is fun to look around the place for both the parks and hotels. Plus we got MVMCP on Wednesday the 14th. I am looking forward back to MVMCP after a disaster one last year. The bad part about last year was that it was so windy that I didn’t enjoy the party last year and didn’t get good spots for the fireworks and parades. This time, I will do my waiting game like I do at DL for any of the nighttime shows or parades and get a good spot for the videotaping. Do all the nighttime shows at WDW (Wishes fireworks, DEP, Illuminations, & F!). Not only that, but also do the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at DHS. Plus I am looking forward to see Neil Patrick Harris during the CP at EPCOT on Monday night.

Here are some of my pics from WDW & the Wizardy World of Harry Potter at IoA last year during the Holiday season.















Here is my plan for our trip in two months. I will update it later on.

Plan

Saturday 10th: Magic Kingdom

Sunday 11th: Island of Adventures

Monday 12th: EPCOT

Tuesday 13th: AK & DHS at night

Wednesday 14th: Island of Adventure & MK during MVMCP event night. I might go to DTD that morning and do some shopping before its time to go to the MK for MVMCP.

Thursday 15th: DHS & EPCOT


Dining at WDW property

Thursday: Dinner @ Bistro de Paris @ 6pm

I don’t have too many plan dining at WDW since I wanted to eat at Le Cellier at EPCOT, but there wasn’t anything available when it was time to make the reservations. But I am looking forward to eating at Bistro de Paris like the time I ate there last year. This might also be a good time to get the Tables in Wonderland card since I have an AP. I know that it doesn’t seem worth it if we are eating at WDW only once right now, but since Bistro de Paris is expensive and we have a large group which is 7 people, it might be a good idea to get it. I might make one more reservation before we leave on our trip. Mostly we will be eating at the quick service restaurants or the off site restaurants to save some money.


I will keep planning on my WDW trip while I am still planning out my Annual Holiday trip to DL in a few weeks. I am so excited to go back to the DLR during the Holiday season and I am looking forward again to WDW.

Please feel free to say something about my trip in less than six weeks.

Thank you

Bret
 

skiingfast

<font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
A TIW card should work well, also it may come with a AP discount to purchase, I just don't know if this is currently in effect. Also remember your AP gets discounts too but at mostly just Disney operated locations. It's a bit confusing since so many third parties opererate within the parks.

Make sure you don't get too close in the MK for fireworks of you won't get everythin in view over the tall castle. If the trees are away maybe inside the hub against a railing would be best. I wonder if the fireworks will be different since they have the projectors there for MMY.

Also this is tough to do being from the West Coaster. If you can get up early you can have a pre opening breakfast in the parks. Crystal Palace works well and at least get some empty park shots around the Hub.

It will take a lot of time to get to the resorts for photos. But you might do a mid day trip around the GF, Poly and CR on the monorail. Also it's about a 10 minute walk from the CR to the MK gates.
 


mvf-m11c

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
A TIW card should work well, also it may come with a AP discount to purchase, I just don't know if this is currently in effect. Also remember your AP gets discounts too but at mostly just Disney operated locations. It's a bit confusing since so many third parties opererate within the parks.

Make sure you don't get too close in the MK for fireworks of you won't get everythin in view over the tall castle. If the trees are away maybe inside the hub against a railing would be best. I wonder if the fireworks will be different since they have the projectors there for MMY.

Also this is tough to do being from the West Coaster. If you can get up early you can have a pre opening breakfast in the parks. Crystal Palace works well and at least get some empty park shots around the Hub.

It will take a lot of time to get to the resorts for photos. But you might do a mid day trip around the GF, Poly and CR on the monorail. Also it's about a 10 minute walk from the CR to the MK gates.
When I did my calculations at Bistro de Paris for 7 people, I would guess that the bill would be around $500-$700, so it does make sense to get the TiW card this time. I almost got the TiW card last year when I went to DL last year in December, but it wasn't worth the price of the restaurants that my DA and I ate. It will be a little pricey at $75, but if we get in one more restaurant during our trip it will be worth it. I might get it on Saturday when we are in the MK. There are just a few discounts at the quick service and sit down restaurants at WDW, but not the ones that I want. It was really confusing when I used my Premier AP last year in December at the stores.

Oh yeah no question. I am planning on getting a spot right around Casey's Area or the Plaza Area. I have checked out the MK Fireworks viewing chart and see that the best spot to see the fireworks. I did that last year during both MVMCP and a day at the MK at night. The only problem I have about seeing the fireworks around that area is that I have tall people in front of me and I don't have the extra height on the curb like I do at DL Hub when watching the fireworks. I have to plan really well for something like that. I am also wondering how the Magic, the Memories and You is played when the castle is decorated during the Holiday season. Just like Cinderella Castle, I am also wondering the same thing at IASWH at DL. During Wishes, Cinderella Castle at the end of the firework show is so great when it shows the icicles.

It was difficult at first when you have to add three more hours on the east coast then the west coast. But we should have no problem with it if we go to bed early that Friday and get up early. If we do a rope drop at the MK, I will try to get some empty park shots.

During my trip last year during the Holiday season at WDW, my DA and I only stopped at the Boardwalk Resort during our trip. I wanted to stop at more hotels, but we had a time schedule to keep. So maybe this time, I will stop at the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian during this trip.

Thank Matt for your input.
 
  • tksbaskets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2002
    I'm in! We are busy planning our DL trip. Glad I'll be able to share with your WDW trip to see that at Christmas time too!

    It's going to be a great December!

    TK
     

    mvf-m11c

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2009
    Subscribing Bret!!
    Thank you Kaitlin for coming along. :thumbsup2


    I'm in! We are busy planning our DL trip. Glad I'll be able to share with your WDW trip to see that at Christmas time too!

    It's going to be a great December!

    TK
    Thank you TK for following along. :thumbsup2 I hope that you have a great time at DL during New Years and I am very interested in hearing what it is like during New Years at DL. I'm hoping that I will be able to finish most of my TR before you go on your adventure to DL.

    It's definitely going to be a great time in December.
     

    skiingfast

    <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2010
    Hopefully the rain ends as the day goes on and it's a dry evening and night.
     
  • mvf-m11c

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2009
    Just one week away till my trip to WDW during the Holiday season. I am so looking forward to this trip.
     

    mvf-m11c

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2009
    Dear Moderators, can you please put my thread on the Disney Trip Report since I am now doing my live TR.

    Thank you


    Just got back from the MK this morning and it was really crowded later during that morning around 10am. But overall, it was so nice to see the MK decorated during the Holiday season. I am about to go back to the parks in just a few minutes and here are some pics from the MK this morning.













     

    kaoden39

    <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Hi Bret!

    I hope you have a wonderful trip!! It all looks so pretty.
     
  • mvf-m11c

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2009
    Hi Bret!

    I hope you have a wonderful trip!! It all looks so pretty.
    Hello Michele

    Thank you and glad to see you here on my TR.


    Looking forward to your reports from back east!
    Thank you Allison. I have more pics down below.


    Very nice pictures of the MK Bret. Hope you are having a fun trip.

    TK
    Thank you TK. I am about to head on over to AK today. Wait, the park is about to open so I better head on out. I will get back to the TR later today.

    Here is an update of my TR. As I wrote at the beginning that I started the day at the MK since the park opened at 8am. It was fun to go through a part empty park that morning, but the park started to pick up around 10am with a lot of guests. The wait times for most of the rides started to pick up and MS was already packed with the guests coming in the park. I left the park around 11am since I was going to meet up with my group.

    I didn't go back to the parks that afternoon since everyone wanted to go shopping at the outlet mall right by Highway 4 across the highway of WDW. Later that night, I went to DHS and see the Osborne Lights that night and it was amazing. I don't have pics of it yet, but I will upload them later today.

    Here are some more pics of MK yesterday along with some pics of the New Fantasyland under construction.























     

    tksbaskets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2002
    What beautiful pictures. I'm very excited about the new Fantasyland as Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney film.

    The two black and white pics with colorized accents are great! How did you do them?

    The Osborn Family Light Show is not to me missed. Just beautiful. Did you see the stunt car show while you were visiting?

    TK
     

    mvf-m11c

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2009
    I just got back from the MK tonight after seeing DEP, Memories and Wishes. Everyone in my group were all amazed and glad to see the DEP again after not seeing it for years. They loved Memories as well as Wishes. We also went to Islands of Adventures today and I got to go in the Wand Shop and ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

    I will have the pictures up later when I get back since i am having trouble uploading the pictures from the hotel. The internet over here really sucks so I won't load a lot of pictures as I usually do on my flickr account.


    Joining in !! Love a live TR .. looks so pretty there right now. :thumbsup2
    Thank you for coming along Michelle.


    What beautiful pictures. I'm very excited about the new Fantasyland as Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney film.

    The two black and white pics with colorized accents are great! How did you do them?

    The Osborn Family Light Show is not to me missed. Just beautiful. Did you see the stunt car show while you were visiting?

    TK
    Thank you TK. The new Fantasyland is very nice and it will be very nice to see in a few years.

    I use my new Nikon DSLR camera for the two color pictures. It is a mode called color sketch. I select a color from my camera or get a color from an object. Then the camera only shows the color that I select or multiple colors. It was neat to get something like that on a picture. When I saw Deej picture with only the red and black and white, I want to get something like that and found out how to do it on my camera.

    THe Osborne Family light show is a must see during the Holiday season at DHS. I just can't upload any pics so it might take awhile to show some of the pics from the Osborne ligts. I didn't see Lights Motor Action Extreme Stunt show on Saturday and I might not see it during this trip since everyone is not interested in that show.
     

    skiingfast

    <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2010
    From far away the FLE looks very distance with the castle up on the ridge.
     

    mvf-m11c

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2009
    Sorry for not responding since I was so tired from getting back late at the WDW and left early in the morning to go on the rides and shows. But overall it was an enjoyable vacation at WDW. I really like this trip a lot since i helped plan this trip with my dad's friends family. I will get to the TR another day, right now I have to answer some questions below and show some more pics from my TR.

    So I'm guessing this is of the Beast's castle from F'land? Looks pretty cool so far!
    You are right Allison. I had to use my long lens to get castle. It was so neat to see it in person after seeing it on these different websites.


    From far away the FLE looks very distance with the castle up on the ridge.
    It does look long when you look at it Matt.


    Here are some pics from my trip. Most of these were the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. I'm just going to show a couple since I have to put them on my TR.

    I can't believe the wait time for ST was only 20 minutes at DHS compare to about 30+ minute wait at DL. Why is it so short of a wait time at DHS while DL can be up to 50+ minute wait? We rode it a few times during the trip and we were all excited. The lowest I have seen was at 10 minutes.
















    I will get back to the WDW TR after I finish my DL TR from last month.
     




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