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Thread: 3dog2kid Family's Less Than Magical Christmas Vacation

  1. #21
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    poor Dave.
    Been here for almost 10 years...eep.

  2. #22
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    Default Day Three: Saturday, December 26 – Magic Kingdom

    Saturday’s wakeup call came at 5:15 since we wanted to be Magic Kingdom bound by 6:15 in order to catch the “good morning” show at the train station and be among the first into the park. Everyone had a granola bar for breakfast and I filled my mug in Everything Pop before heading to the bus stop. Again, a bus was waiting. It was strange riding to the park in darkness! Our efforts paid off, though, and we arrived at the Magic Kingdom by 6:40 in time to watch Mickey and friends arrive at the train station and open the park.



    Along with everyone else who got there early, we speed-walked to Space Mountain to obtain our first set of Fastpasses. We had to stop for a couple of castle pictures though.



    We grabbed our Fastpasses for Space and rode in the standby line too since there was no wait. You hear about rides that are “walk on”… we found most of the rides this day to be “run on.” There wasn’t even time to experience the new interactive queue. We all loved this ride and were tempted to get on it again, but there was much to do this day and we wanted to take advantage of being the only ones in the park. We rode Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin before leaving Tomorrowland and headed over to Frontierland to conquer the other mountains. Since it wasn’t yet 8:00 and the other lands hadn’t opened, we rode Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World in Fantasyland and a cast member gave us surprise Fastpasses for Mickey’s Philharmagic to use later. Once we were admitted into Frontierland, we rode Big Thunder and grabbed fastpasses for Splash Mountain. It was still too chilly out for that water ride! Next was Adventureland – I had a date with some pirates Pirates of the Caribbean is still my favorite attraction in all the world. It’s not a thrill ride but I love it. Sadly I only got one ride in this time since there were so many other things to do. We rode the Jungle Cruise next and got our fill of corny jokes, and flew Aladdin’s magic carpets before leaving Adventureland.



    It was finally time for breakfast – we’d been looking forward to the giant cinnamon rolls from the Main Street Bakery for months. We stopped in and rode Haunted Mansion on our way to the bakery and there were no lines there either. So far we hadn’t waited in line for anything as we’d been warned: buses, bathrooms, rides… nothing. But the line at the bakery was growing as people who slept later than we did poured into the Magic Kingdom and were drawn in by the yummy smells. I still don’t think it took more than 10 minutes to get our breakfast but it was the longest line we’d encountered so far. The bakery is a pretty good use of a counter service credit on the meal plan. We each got a ham/egg/cheese croissant; one of those incredible cinnamon rolls, and the kids got smoothies for their beverage while I had a cappuccino. Since this was to be our only “meal” till dinner at 4:25 we ate every bite!

    After breakfast we headed back to Tomorrowland to ride Space again and grab another set of fastpasses, and we sat in on a showing of Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor too. The crowds were picking up by then, and I debated going back to the hotel for an afternoon break. We decided not to, however, since I was afraid the park would close to capacity as it had the previous day and we wouldn’t be able to get back in for our dinner reservation or the castle lighting – the main reason for coming at Christmas. Not willing to take that chance, we headed back to Frontierland since the kids wanted to ride Splash. It was still too chilly for me to get wet, so I took a few photos and staked out a spot in Frontierland to watch the parade while they rode two or three times.



    to be continued...

  3. #23
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    You are making me drool for one of those cinnamon rolls from the bakery! That's a must for us every trip! The line always seems daunting, but surprisingly goes fairl quick. Can't wait to see the Castle lighting pics again!!
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  4. #24
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    we thought main st bakery was the BESt use of dining credits. You get so much. And we LOVE LOVE LOVE their cinnamon rolls. We talked about them for weeks after we got back from there last year.
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  5. #25
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    After the parade was over and the kids had conquered all three mountains, Princess Tianna came out so we watched her and then visited the Hall of Presidents, before heading to Main Street for ice cream. I wanted a Dole Whip pineapple float from Adventureland, but I was outvoted and settled for a double scoop of chocolate and peppermint from the Plaza Ice Cream parlor instead before heading back to Tomorrowland for our third ride on Space Mountain. The standby line was 100 minutes so we felt lucky to have ridden 3 times! The kids then rode the TTA a time or two while I went to meet up with Dave who was feeling a bit better, and we all rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and Carousel of Progress together. He was taking it easy, so no mountains for him! Robert wanted us to do Monster’s Inc. (again) but realized our dinner reservation was coming up before the show would be over so we got out of line and strolled through the mass of people towards the front of the park to Tony’s Town Square. It was really getting crowded!

    We actually caught the end of the second parade before checking in and took a nice spot on the front porch to people-watch. It didn’t take long to be seated, and we were waited on by Claude – the best server ever. Dave and I had steaks, Robert had seafood pasta, and Taylor had chicken parmesan. The portions were large and we could have easily shared (except no one was getting any of my steak...), but we had enough dining credits so we didn’t need to worry about it. Everything was delicious, and we topped off our meal with scrumptious desserts – the most memorable was the tiramisu and my espresso



    After dinner Dave headed back to the hotel for some rest and the kids and I went to stake out a spot for the castle lighting. I had this built up in my mind and it did not disappoint. Thousands of people were crowded into the hub area in front of the castle, and we were right there with them. I wanted a front and center view of this! We stood and admired the beautiful castle and the lights and decorations. It was magical! Amazingly with that many people there was no pushing or shoving, and we only lost Taylor once! Fortunately we all had cell phones and were able to find her once the crowd thinned.



    Once the castle was lit we’d pretty much seen and done everything I wanted to do except wait for the SpectroMagic parade and fireworks. But Robert still had a Fastpass to use for Splash so Tay and I waited for him and then we used our Fastpasses for Big Thunder again before riding the train around the park a time or two. We stopped in Toontown to visit Mickey & Minnie’s houses before they are relocated with the Fantasyland expansion, and finally caught another show at the Monster’s Inc. Comedy Club. We headed to the front of the park at around 9 for Spectro, and I camped out on top of the train station for a prime viewing spot for Holiday Wishes. By then everyone was tired and crabby and it had really turned cold. We were all in our long sleeves, hoodies, and rain coats and still shivering but the fireworks spectacular was worth it. I’ve now seen regular Wishes, Hallowishes, the Princess & Pirates version of Wishes, and Holiday Wishes. Have I missed any? Anyway, I’d read that the top of the train station is a great place to view the fireworks if you are leaving the park right afterwards and I can’t disagree. A family who had some chairs or a bench up on the train station was even kind enough to let Taylor sit next to their child. Although I much prefer Magical JenK's secret spot where we watched during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!!

    We caught a bus right away – there were numerous charters in addition to the Disney buses getting people out of the parks and back to the hotels so we were home in no time. Over 15 hours at the Magic Kingdom… what a great day!!



    Up next... Hollywood Studios!

  6. #26
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    I'm loving the trip report and can't wait to read more. Your picture of the castle lighting is awesome!
    Robin
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  7. #27
    chipndale's Avatar
    chipndale is offline All this talk makes me want a ginormous glass of bubbly!
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    Loving your trip report. Reading your report has made me really hungry! I so want something sweet!
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  8. #28
    bbangel's Avatar
    bbangel is offline Those of us on the fun coast can party some more!

    I know what it's like to be stupid for days
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    Being sick on vacay is no fun but yeah for Traci!

    Reading about your trip makes me wish I were there right now.
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  9. #29
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    I love the report and all the great photos...

    This last trip was our first seeing the monsters inc show. My daughter was so excited that her father texted in her joke, and it got mentioned in the show. This is a really fun show.
    Faith
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  10. #30
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    Default Day Four: Sunday, December 27 – Hollywood Studios

    Our wakeup call again came much too early – Hollywood Studios opened at 8 and, you guessed it – I wanted to be there at rope drop. Disney during Christmas week necessitates getting to the parks before opening and using Fastpasses if you want to do anything, and I wanted to do it all. Today’s mission was Toy Story Mania. I’d been to Disney twice since this attraction opened and had yet to ride it. In March by the time we could get Fastpasses they were gone for the day, and we did not go to this park in October. Dave was sleeping in again, so the kids and I shared a couple of quick breakfasts and I drank some hot stuff from the Nescafe machine and headed out to the bus stop. We weren’t quite as early as I’d have liked since this was not an EMH day and we were getting there at the same time as the general public, but we were still able to get Fastpasses for the 10 o’clock hour.

    The fastpass line took forever to get through it seemed, but we were still able to get a set and make it over to Rock’n’Roller Coaster by 8:30. We walked/ran onto this ride and the kids rode it a second before we all headed over to Tower of Terror.

    Next we did the Great Movie Ride before returning to TSM. We grabbed another set of Fastpasses for later (by this time the return time was after 4:00 so we knew they would be gone soon) and went for our ride around Andy’s room. I love love loved this! I couldn’t imagine that it was as great as everyone had made it out to be, but they were absolutely right on!



    After Toy Story Midway Mania we headed over to the backlot tour. Do not like the back seat of the tram for this ride! Normally [SPOILER ALERT….] if you avoid the left side you don’t get wet in Catastrophe Canyon, but the back seat does and it was too cold out to be wet this day. Needless to say I didn’t enjoy this ride as much as I usually do.



    We then met up with Dave and watched Muppets 3D together, and Robert and I went to get another set of Fastpasses for Rock’n’Roller Coaster while Dave and Taylor found seats and waited for us at the Lights Motor Action stunt show. It had started to sprinkle again so thankfully our seats were covered.

    Next it was time for our lunch at Mama Melrose’s. I had booked us for the Fantasmic! dinner (actually lunch) package giving us each an appetizer, entrée, beverage, and dessert along with reserved seating for the 6:30 showing of Fantasmic! I realized then that we had Italian two days in a row, but we love Italian food so all was good. We did have a bit of a wait for our reservation time because we were a tad early, but waiting in the warmth of the restaurant while it rained outside was a good thing! Soon we were seated; I had a glass of Pinot Grigio while the others had soft drinks and we chose calamari and Caesar & tomato/basil/mozzarella salads for our appetizers. I can’t remember anymore what our entrees or desserts were, but I do remember another delicious espresso and we left stuffed as ticks.

    We shopped a bit and rode Star Tours, before returning to TSM for our Fastpass return time. Since Dave hadn’t been in the park earlier we only had three, so I sat out and let him ride with the kids. He agreed it was a great ride and goes on our “must do” list for future visits. Next I went in search of a blanket since the kids and I were staying for Fantasmic! and the temperature was dropping. I’d seen someone earlier with one that I liked but we shopped our way down Sunset Boulevard to no avail. After Dave left to go back to the hotel, I finally found a beautiful plush brown throw with Mickey & Minnie appliquéd on it – EXACTLY what I wanted! Knowing we’d be warm enough we found our special dinner package entrance to Fantasmic and went in to wait for the show about 40 minutes early. As we were sitting there Taylor broke it to me that she hadn’t seen her brand new Ipod since the day before in Hall of Presidents. Grrr… I didn’t know who to be more angry with – the kid who lost it or the mother who bought an expensive electronic for a 10-year-old kid in the first place. Needless to say I was distracted enough – lost Ipod, bickering children, sick husband… it totally ruined my favorite show . I sucked it up so as not to ruin the evening for the kids though, and afterwards we made it through the massive shoulder-to-shoulder crowds (THIS is what I expected it to be like crowd-wise all week) to Rock’n’Roller Coaster to use our Fastpasses.

    We’d planned to have dinner at T-Rex in Downtown Disney that night, but since Dave still wasn’t feeling great and his sister couldn’t make it we decided to finish out the evening viewing the Osborne Lights. They were beautiful as ever… the Christmas music, the snow, people dancing and singing along… it’s impossible to be in a bad mood.





    When we got back to Pop, Dave met us in the food court to share a couple of quick service meals (bacon double cheeseburger and fried chicken) and we called it an early night. I intended to pack before going to sleep but I just didn’t have it in me. I set the alarm for 6 and resolved to pack quickly in the morning instead.

    Up next... the last day

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