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Orlando Trip Recap Part 1…

January 10, 2011

Day 1:

We had to be at work pretty early to make sure everyone’s luggage was on the truck and we were on our correct buses in time to get to the airport, so we boarded our bus, got the airport and got onto the biggest plan I have ever been on. There was a pillow, blanket and a bag full of breakfast stuff  which we were thrilled to see since in the rush of the morning we both forgot to eat.

Flight was quick and we are staying right near the airport which is also great. This hotel is awesome! It’s brand new, and has every kind of meeting space you could think of. Their staff has been beyond amazing – including greeting us with a HUGE welcoming type of pep rally. It’s fun to work for the team but it’s even more fun to be a PART of the team – that pep rally definitely set us up to be in good moods!

We had those good moods right through the setting up of the office all the way through the time when Albie went to get our luggage. Then we find that my brand new DVF luggage had a brand new hole in it and Albie’s was no where to be seen. We had minor freak outs over this and calls were made to the travel agents – hopefully replacing my bag will get shortened out quickly.  Albie’s bag was discovered about  9 hours later in the hotel room of one of the coaches’ wives. We let out a huge sigh of relief and found the staff hospitality suite…

Day 2:

Second day down there we were up at the crack of dawn to hurry to our shuttle to the parks.

We had heard and read such crazy things about Disney at Christmas and since I am a little bit of a big kid when it comes to Disney we knew getting there early would be our key. First up was Hollywood Studios, we arrived around 7:45 for the 9 am park opening and the crowds were forming right there with us. Once inside it was a mad dash to the newest ride, Toy Story Mania for some fast passes  for Albie while I wandered around and took pictures of stuff.

When I say there was a mad dash for this ride I am not kidding, since everyone else did that first while we just grabbed fast passes we were able to ride about 4 other rides with no wait: Tower of Terror, Rockin’ Roller Coaster etc…Toy Story Mania was a lot of fun but I don’t know if I would have waited in the 120 minute wait line for it!

We ate lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe and watched Lights, Motors, Action stunt show and we did the studio back lot tour all before left around 1:00.

After Hollywood Studios we headed off to the Magic Kingdom where we were already anticipating large crowds and long lines.

We got into the park and ran around trying to figure what had the shortest wait times and what could we fit into our half day. We were able to get fast passes right away for Space Mountain but our return time wasn’t until 9:45 that night (!!) and the only thing without a wait time was The Hall of Presidents. So went in to watch that since we hadn’t seen it since George W and Obama had been added then we set up for (one of ) my favorite parades:

How cute are their floats?? Goofy’s was my favorite! It was so fun and bright! All the little kids were so excited to see Santa since it was Christmas eve so that was a really fun way to end the parade. After the 3:00 parade, we had a little time to watch Mickey’s Philharmagic before we rode the monorail over to the Polynesian Resort for our dinner reservation with the Spirit of Aloha show.

By the time we got back we were able to see another one of my favorite parades:

I do love a parade but the main reason I scheduled Magic Kingdom for the afternoon was so I could see Wishes! This was a holiday version and it was so so special! They even lit the castle up green and turned on lights inside while “Oh Christmas Tree” was playing!

My pictures don’t even do it justice. Wishes has perfectly timed music to the fireworks and every time they shoot into the air is like the “finale” at a normal fireworks show.

After Wishes, most of the families left the park but since it was open until midnight this is when we got to ride most of the rides we had been waiting for all day. We did Space Mountain, Monster’s Inc Laugh Factory (where they put me on the big screen and asked “What has 4 ears and 1 head?” AHH!). We did my favorite slow ride, Carousel of Progress before riding the Thunder Mountain Railroad whose line FINALLY was under 2 hours. We stopped to eat a hot dog at Casey’s on our way out and I got one of the cast members to take our picture in front of the castle.

It was a pretty whirlwind Christmas Eve but it was so so fun!!

My thoughts on Disney at Christmas: AVOID!! I love me some Disney. I love everything about it, but there is no way we would go back over the week of Christmas ever again. It is SO crowded and there are lines for everything! Since we do love it so much, we know how much work and effort go into making the park so magical and at Christmas a lot of that is lost with the sheer volume of people.  The decorations are great, but I’d try to see them earlier in December instead of right at Christmas. It’s just TOO crazy.

Up next will be the recaps from Days 3 & 4 then 5 & 6!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2011 5:44 pm

    Looks like you had a great time despite the long lines! You packed in quite a bit of Disney for one day!

    If you want to do Disney at Christmas without the crazy lines you have to do Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. On selected nights between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas, they open the Magic Kingdom at night for a special event. It’s a separate ticket from general admission during the day – but it’s much cheaper. About $50 vs $85 I think it’s up to now? You can go into the park about 4:00pm or so and stay until 12:00. There are special parades and shows, it snows on Main Street (!!!) and they have free hot coccoa and cookies throughout the park. The lines are MUCH shorter than a regular day at the park so you can see the whole park in that time. It’s my favorite way to do the Magic Kingdown now!

    Looking forward to the rest of your recaps!

    • Katie permalink*
      January 11, 2011 6:32 pm

      I was so so bummed when I realized we would miss the Christmas Party! I have done some of the parties before and they are SO worth it! Good suggestion!

  2. Lauren permalink
    January 10, 2011 5:54 pm

    Looks like it was fun even though there were lines. The floats look really cool. I’ve never been to Disney before and I really want to go (but I think we’ll avoid Christmas time).

    Looking forward to the rest!

  3. January 10, 2011 6:36 pm

    I love reading your recap of Disney! I almost cried when I saw the hole in your DVF luggage. I can’t even imagine how you felt!! I am so glad you were able to see so many parades! And the fireworks! So amazing! I haven’t been to Disney in a couple of years (maybe four now!?) and I realized how much I need to go back! :)

  4. January 10, 2011 9:29 pm

    Looks like tons of fun!!! I love the Main St. Electric Parade! It’s a Small World is one of my favorite rides, too. Yikes…I sound like a 6 year old! :)

  5. January 11, 2011 11:19 am

    You forgot to mention how cold it was! I cannot wait for your next update… you are going to need to teach me how to do the collage of pictures. They are all great!

  6. Dad permalink
    January 11, 2011 3:24 pm

    One of your first visits to DW was under the table at the Polynesian Resort for our dinner reservation with the Aloha show – you were about 3/4 of a year old? And we were right up front on the right side. Maybe Mom has more details and pictures.


  1. Orlando Trip Recap Part 2… « Oui, Bien Sur!
  2. Orlando Trip Recap Part 3… « Oui, Bien Sur!
  3. Christmas Recap… « Oui, Bien Sur!

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