10th Anniversary DVC Christmas Trip Report

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alicemouse's picture
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10th Anniversary DVC Christmas Trip Report

Hi there everyone,

As we close in on the 2-week mark, my husband Benn has started to completely block out my planning conversations, so I thought I'd share with all of you what we are planning for our fabulously fun 10th Anniversary Trip. Our anniversary isn't actually until December 27, but we've spent the past decade wanting to go back to WDW for the Christmas season and I promised Benn that I will never between Christmas and New Year's again, so first week of December it is! We leave on Saturday November 30 and return home on Tuesday, December 10. We've received our Magic Bands (pink for me, blue for Benn), made our dining reservations, and made our FastPass+ selections. Our tentative itinerary is as follows:

Nov. 30:
Arrive at MCO at 4:30 and pick-up rental car from Dollar. Drive up to the apartments near Full Sail University and pick up our friend Jordan who is a student there and his BF Greg who will be in town for the weekend. Drive over to Saratoga Springs to check in and drop our bags, then take the boys to Bahama Breeze for dinner. (We wanted Planet Hollywood because that is Jordan's favorite, but we decided to add this adventure to our trip a little late and there's not a late enough reservation to be had, but I'm still checking every few days.) Still, I like Bahama Breeze. I've been there several times and the food is tasty, the atmosphere is nice, and the prices are very un-Disney wink After dinner, we want to take Jordan and Greg to the Top of the World Lounge for the Electrical Pageant and Wishes! I'm really excited for this because when I took Jordan to WDW last summer to meet Greg for the first time, they had been out all day together and were supposed to meet my friend Amanda and me on the beach at the Polynesian for Wishes!, but they messed up their transportation connections and missed fireworks & dole whips. They won't have park tickets this time, so we have to do something that doesn't require park access. Then we'll drive the boys back, return to Saratoga, and try to get some sleep before our first full day!

Dec. 1
The first official day of vacation starts with rope drop at MK. We're starting the day with FastPass+ reservations in New Fantasyland, which Benn has not seen at all yet! I've been to WDW twice without him since our last trip together in April 2012. We're going to Enchanted Tales with Belle and Under the Sea. The only other must-do for the day is It's a Small World because it is scheduled to close for refurb on December 2. In the afternoon/evening, we have a 12:55 reservation for Biergarten so we can catch Gary Sinise for the 5:00 Candlelight Processional and we may try to see a few of the story tellers at the various pavilions. Looking at the schedule from last year, there is virtually no way to see them all sequentially regardless of whether you start in Mexico or Canada, so we will probably break that goal into several days. If we're hungry, I think we'll probably do dinner at the Tangierine Cafe just because we've never eaten there.

Dec. 2
Rope drop at EPCOT and with our FastPass+ selections, I think we can ride Soarin' and Test Track (we saw the old on on its last day, but haven't been on the new one yet) at least twice each by 10:30. After lunch, probably at Sunshine Seasons since we'll already be in that area and we tend to eat early at Disney, we'll head over to the World Showcase to try to catch a few more storytellers. After dinner (Earl of Sandwich--Benn's favorite Disney restaurant!!), we're going to DisneyQuest for the first time. We scored a really cheap Premium Annual Pass because of when we bought into DVC, so we're making it a point to try all of the "free" stuff that comes with it that we would never pay for otherwise.

Dec. 3
Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios, bee line to Toy Story and ride as many times as possible before the line gets insane and then check out Voyage of the Little Mermaid and/or the Animation Academy before our Star Tours FastPass. Lunch at Starring Rolls, then One Man's Dream before I send Benn off to Tower of Terror and I *attempt* to get into Animation Academy again. This class seriously needs a FastPass. I could spend the whole day learning how to draw various characters. The highlight of the trip for me is Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party on Tuesday night!!!

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Dec. 4
We start out at MK for rope drop (of course). I LOVE being at the park first thing in the morning. The energy is just amazing. This is a pretty chill day for us with the biggest morning plan being lunch at Pinocchio's Village Haus. Benn has been waiting to try these flatbreads that I have been raving about. I'm a super big fan of a Caprese salad and to be able to get this flavor on a super convenient flatbread at counter service prices is aces for me. This is a nap/pool break day and we'll probably pop over to Earl of Sandwich to grab dinner before going to see the Osbourne Lights for the first time!

Dec. 5
Rope Drop at MK at 8am (yay morning magic hours!!) I don't care if we have to stand in line at 8 in the morning. This is Be Our Guest lunch day. We'll also plan to catch the Dapper Dans and the Casey's Corner Pianist before we break for nap/pool. The evening is slated for EPCOT where we'll probably just grab some dinner at Sunshine Seasons between our future world FastPass+ reservations. My must-see if we haven't managed to catch them yet is the 7:15 Jeweled Dragon Acrobats performance. (I coach gymnastics, so stuff like this is a really big deal for me.)

Dec. 6
All day at Hollywood Studios most likely. Lunch at Pizza Planet (once again for the simple fact that Benn has never been and he loves pizza and arcades). Dinner probably at ABC Commissary. We'll probably see Fantasmic! on the 6th and try to catch Osbourne Lights again. The evening here could be kind of a crap shoot because it is a MVMCP night and the folks from DISUnplugged have rented out Pixar Place for their annual DISapalooza event and I'm not sure what time that area of the park will begin to shut down to accommodate the event and if other areas will be impacted. Maybe we'll just make this an early night.

Dec. 7
Our one and only Animal Kingdom day. We are planning to see Festival of the Lion King and try Dinosaur, both of which are new to us. We're trying to find a reason other than Kilimanjaro Safaris to go to AK. We've just not been that impressed with this park, which is weird because we both love animals and we love to go to the zoo and we find African and Asian culture interesting. I'm just not sure why this park has not resonated with us in the past. I've heard that the Jingle Jungle Parade is a don't miss, so we're planning on hanging around for that. After the parade, we'll probably hit Bahama Breeze again for dinner and then head to DTD or maybe back to DisneyQuest if it's awesome or maybe go hit some mini golf at Fantasia Gardens. We have a car on property because of using it to transport the boys on our arrival day, so I feel obligated to make use of it.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Dec. 8
This is an EPCOT rope drop day. Our FastPasses are for Test Track, Soarin', and Maelstrom (I know, it's a weird choice since the wait is only ever like 5 minutes, but we don't do Mission Space *shudder*, once per trip is enough for The Seas and EPCOT character spot, and we've seen Spaceship Earth plenty of times, so Maelstrom is basically all that's left. Dear Disney, maybe we could put something besides the 40-minute nap at the Universe of Energy? Or maybe we could put something in the Wonders of Life Pavilion or create Horizons 2.0?) This is our last EPCOT day and we are pretty much spending the entire day between EPCOT and Boardwalk. The goal is to see any remaining holiday storytellers and to see the Boardwalk are hotels decked out for Christmas. We'll probably do lunch at Boulangerie & Patisserie in France and dinner at La Cantina de San Angel because I love Mexican food and I think their "drawer full of churros" is hilarious.

Dec. 9
This is Benn's sleep-in day. We may head over to Magic Kingdom early, but probably we will start the day with our ADR at 1900 Park Fare at 11:15. I've been very excited about doing this particular character meal because it's Mary Poppins and Alice at the same place and there's pretty much nothing better in my world. This is also the day that we intend to see the Christmas decorations at the monorail resorts and the Wilderness Lodge. Our FastPasses are for BTMR, Splash (which we may not use pending weather), and the Rapunzel Meet & Greet. We may spend some time playing Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and we'll probably just grab a hotdog at Casey's for dinner. On the to-do list for the evening are the Main Street Electrical Parade, the castle projection show, and Wishes! because this is our last night in WDW sad and I can't think of any better way to spend it.

Dec. 10
Finishing up our trip at Hollywood Studios most likely. We'll at the very least take one more ride on Toy Story and Star Tours before we head home. We have an 8:10pm flight, so we may end up hopping to another park for a bit. I have some FastPasses scheduled, but Touring Plans is predicting a crowd level of 2 and it's a Tuesday in early December. I'm thinking that even without FastPass, lines are not likely to be an issue.

Thanks for reading and indulging my procrastination posts. I should probably try to get some work done so that I can go on vacation in peace!! Trip report to follow some time before Christmas!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Sounds like a great trip. awesome

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I'm so happy to hear that it's not just my husband who blocks out my Disney planning conversations. Although, we go every 4-6 weeks, 9 months out of the year, so I can't blame him because I am ALWAYS planning for Disney. biggrin
But when I talk about Disney planning, I know he's hearing the teacher from "Charlie brown" in his head Wink

This sounds like a fantastic vacation!!! We will be there Nov. 27-Dec. 1. My husband has to be to work at 7am Monday so we leave Sunday afternoon. We will be in HS on Sunday before we leave. It doesn't look like our plans match up at all, but I hope you have a wonderful vacation stars

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Be sure to check out Cinderella's Holiday Wish! It's a show to turn on the holiday lights on the castle. It's really cute! That sounds like a great vacation!

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That sounds just perfect alicemouse. Not a crazy pace, but good stuff to do. I don't think you can really go wrong that time of year - it is just so beautiful, even if you only ate and looked at all the decor!

I am about to jump out of my skin too.....next weekend for me! yay

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Sounds like a great plan! I haven't been to the Bahama Breeze, please let us
know how you like it when you do your trip report! mickey

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Quote:
I am about to jump out of my skin too.....next weekend for me!

I know, right! It's worse than waiting for Christmas when you're a kid!! Have a fantastic trip, disneydoc! How long are you staying? I think if I remember correctly from mrhub's meet up posts that we're just going to miss each other.

Quote:
Sounds like a great plan! I haven't been to the Bahama Breeze, please let us
know how you like it when you do your trip report!

Bahama Breeze is very good. The food tastes reasonably fresh and they have a lovely outdoor seating area (though maybe not for December!) It's close to Downtown Disney, so it's not too far to drive off property. I was in Orlando for "work" in June and we ate there three times! If you're renting a car, it's a great way to save a few dining dollars and still get good food. The only caveat is that the traffic on and off the exit gets a little hairy at times and the congestion seem to be kind of random.

Quote:
It doesn't look like our plans match up at all

That's a bummer, Annie. Hope you have a great trip, too and we'll try to catch you another time!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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sounds like a great trip

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Sounds fantastic! You're just days away now! clapping

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Festival of the Lion King is absolutely worth going to Animal Kingdom to see. It's one of the best shows in all of WDW. Finding Nemo - The Musical is pretty cool, also. Those shows and the safari are the only must-see attractions at AK for me. And when I was at WDW alone, I didn't even bother going just for those three.

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Thanks everyone! We'll be ticking over to the one-week mark in just over 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it's going to be an eventful week. I'm hosting one of those infernal direct sale jewelry parties on Sunday. I have two major real estate appointments on Monday. My grandmother's "boyfriend" passed away yesterday and the funeral is on Tuesday. My dad is doing cardiac testing and probably getting another stent on Wednesday. Thursday is Thanksgiving. Friday is deal with whatever crap I missed during the week. Saturday we fly!!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Great plans!
Animal Kingdom grows on you. On our previous trip it was our least favourite park and now it is second only to the MK for both me and DH.
Loved EE, KRR, Safari, Primeval Whirl, Walking tours, general theming of the park.

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We've made a few last minute adjustments as we close in on the 3-day mark!!

We'll be trying to meet up with MagicMirror at MVMCP on Tuesday, Dec. 3 and on Sunday, Dec. 8, we're probably going to pop over to HS and try to meet up with karlipants areound Osbourne Lights.

I've been anticipating this trip for 17 months and I can't wait to have feet on the ground in Florida!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Hope you have a wonderful time yay

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awesome mickey clapping biggrin

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To quote my dear friend Peter Pan, "here we goooo!!!" (Incidentally, Peter Pan's Flight is always our first ride at Magic Kingdom.)

DAY 1: November 30

The week leading up to our trip was insane. On Sunday, Nov. 26, I had 20 ladies over to the house for a jewelry demonstration, which means that the weekend was spent cleaning the house, preparing the food, exerting the energy required to be a good hostess, etc. Our best friends just moved into their new house, so right after the party, we went to see how they were coming along with their unpacking. On Monday, I did two listing appointments and finalized paperwork on a third listing. My grandmother's boyfriend had passed away the week before, so on Tuesday, we attended his funeral and I did a showing on one of the houses I had just listed. On Wednesday, my dad had minor heart surgery. Somewhere in between I put together three virtual tours, shot and uploaded pictures of my new listings (in three different towns, of course), placed signs and lockboxes, and coached my regular 13.5 hour weekly schedule at our local gymnastics center. There was no way I was flying to Disney before I had seen Frozen, so we hit the theater at 9:30 Wednesday night. Thursday was Thanksgiving. We decided to divide and conquer this year, so Benn spent the day with his family in Maryland and I spent the day with my family in PA. Friday is kind of a blur. I showed the house a second time, did some last minute trip shopping, packed at some point, attempted to finish more of the Christmas shopping, finalized trip plans, organized travel documents, etc. Needless to say, when I finally got the opportunity, I slept in on Saturday morning! I actually ended up being glad that the cheapest flight I could get didn't take off until almost 3pm--especially since it takes us at least an hour to get to the closest airport. Luckily my parents had offered to drive us so we didn't need to allow extra time for parking. Our flight took off on time and it was smooth sailing to MCO. I actually fell asleep on the plane for the first time ever. (I only started flying three years ago and I still don't love the idea, but I was so exhausted that I didn't even care that we were hovering way above the ground and we were only a critical hit by a bird or an engine failure away from certain death.)

When we arrived at MCO, we proceeded directly to the Dollar Car Rental desk. No Magical Express for us this trip! We had our own "bus" for the week. When they called this thing a "compact", they weren't messing around. It was almost as compact as a tin can, so we named it "the bus". From there, we drove north to pick up my dear friend Jordan who is a student at Full Sail University. He's a poor college student at the moment, so the only way we were going to get to see him is if we rented a car. We picked up Jordan and his boyfriend, Greg, and took them for groceries (and took ourselves for groceries). Originally, we were trying to get a dinner reservation for Planet Hollywood, but we decided to do it too late and I couldn't get an ADR. SO then the plan was to stop for dinner at Bahama Breeze and go up to Top of the World Lounge for fireworks. Well, travel time was a little bit longer than I had estimated and grocery shopping takes longer when you're not familiar with the store, so we were running short on time to make it to wishes. Burger King it is! Once were were fed and checked in, we headed over to Bay Lake Tower.

Driving and parking at BLT was so fast and easy! We had a parking pass for Saratoga Springs, so the guard waved us right in and we had no trouble finding a parking space. Thus began our week of feeling like VIP's. When we walked into the lobby and inquired about directions to Top of the World, we were carded (for our DVC member card, not our ID's) and given a ticket or some sort that we had to present to a person at a second checkpoint to gain access to the lounge. The lounge is small, but very nice. There was plenty of room for the crowd that had gathered that evening and the terrace is just beautiful. If you go up to Top of the World, I would recommend taking a light jacket or a sweatshirt because it was the one time during the week that I was chilly. In the pictures, we look very far away from MK, but it looks so close in person, especially since we are used to watching Wishes from all the way over at the Polynesian beach. We were close enough to actually see the castle transform during the Celebrate the Magic projection show.

After Wishes, we did the monorail resorts tour, looked at the Gingerbread tree and house (more on those later) and stopped at Polynesian for a Dole Whip. It was a great way to share some Disney magic with our friends without them having to buy a park ticket. We drove Jordan and Greg back to Winter Park and made out way back to Saratoga. At around 1am, we finally took a moment to study our surroundings and noticed that our studio room was substantially nicer than any other room we had ever rented on Disney property. Our private balcony (don't get those at the moderates!) overlooked one of the springs in "The Springs" section. Also, our room was the closest to the stairs and only two rooms away from the elevator. We were fortunate to have plentiful parking directly in front of our section all week and our building was very close to the check-in building/Artist's Palette food and shopping. We bought points here on resale and after reading up on the various DVC properties, I was hoping that we would be able to transfer our points all the time and would never have to actually stay here, but I was VERY pleasantly surprised by how much we both loved it here. We didn't have too much time to gush over our amazing room because it was time to rest up for park #1: Magic Kingdom!!

PreviewAttachmentSize
"The Bus"
"The Bus"3.49 MB
MK from Top of the World
MK from Top of the World1.84 MB
GF Christmas Tree
GF Christmas Tree2.4 MB
Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs4.01 MB
Saratoga Room
Saratoga Room3.33 MB
Saratoga Room View
Saratoga Room View3.59 MB
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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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great report and:
In reference to your rental car, one good thing about a car that size is if you flood the engine, you can just pick it up, put it over your shoulder and burp it. laugh rolling

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LOL!! We actually really grew to love this little car by the end of our stay and having a car on property was AWESOME! We had considered renting it for the day that we were seeing Jordan and then returning and taking Magical Express to the resort, but I'm so glad that we kept it. We had such a great time and the little car took on a personality all its own.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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What a week you had before your trip! I'm glad your first night was good!

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When I see a car like that, I picture how many clowns can fit in it.

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Great start! awesome

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The Colonel wrote:
When I see a car like that, I picture how many clowns can fit in it.

And I picture how happy I am at the gas pump - and driving by a station without needing to get more!

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Hi Holly! Great start to the TR. I went to Full Sail University too!

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Hey Karli! That's awesome! What was your major and are you doing something with it?

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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I went for Recording Arts back in 2005. When I got out I was determined to find a job in a recording studio. Eventually I found one in New Jersey and worked there for 6 months, unpaid. They did wind up hiring me, which was pure luck because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I stayed for 3 years after that. It was nice following my dream, but the pay was horrible... So I had to leave.. But I made a good run of it! haha.

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"There's a great big beautiful tomorrow just a dream away"

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alicemouse's picture
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Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

I know the feeling, Karli. I graduated with a BA in Economics and I was so excited to get a job offer at the Federal Reserve "in my field." Dream job right? Not so much. Turns out it was in IT (seriously not my forte. i went to staff meetings and I was pretty sure that people were speaking a foreign language). My job function wasn't really IT related the salary was great relative to my home town, but cost of living was 3xs more! Also, it was boring. A not-very-well-trained monkey could have done my job with ease and there were very few days that I had more than 2-3 hours of real work to do. I'm much happier working out of my field in a place where I feel needed and I feel like I make a difference and where my pay is decent relative to the cost of living and I can afford to go to Disney!!

My friend, Jordan, is in Cinematography. I think he really has a talent for it and I hope he can get through all of the road blocks in the film industry and actually use his education. It's all he's ever wanted to do and he could be great someday!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

alicemouse's picture
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Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

DAY 2: December 1

We took the big bus today instead of our little bus. We were park hopping including MK and the whole parking at TTC makes taking the Disney bus an attractive offer.

MAGIC KINGDOM!!!! We decided to start at Magic Kingdom not only because it is our favorite park, but also because this was the only day of our trip when It's a Small World would be open. The first MK ride of any trip is always Peter Pan's Flight. It's our favorite non-thrill ride and with the line that forms there all day long, it's best tackled first thing!! We got to see some special Disney magic while we waited for our ride. There was a cutest little boy in front of us who was dressed as Peter Pan donning both a birthday button and a first visit button. His face was happier than anyone's I think I've ever seen! Here he was on his birthday on his first Disney trip riding his hero's ride. So sweet.

For convenience (and to kill time before our first ever FP+, we hit It's a Small World next. I love this ride because it makes me feel like I'm taking a trip through time because there is so much Disney history about the creation of the ride and it's so immersive and beautifully done. Benn used to hate Small World, but he's coming around! Our first FP+ was for Enchanted Tales with Belle and I picked it largely because I wasn't sure how "little kid-ish" it was going to be and I didn't want to wait an hour and then be disappointed--I especially didn't want to wait and then have Benn disappointed. He loves Disney, but not nearly as much as I do and if something is borderline cheesy, he's out. Well, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that there is plenty of fantastic storytelling, charm, and character to be equally entertaining to children and adults. Our second FP+ was for Under the Sea and my first impression holds. I wouldn't wait in line for this ride. I have an appreciation for the creativity and craftsmanship (I do like the enhanced animatronic technology) that went into every aspect of this ride, but I remain underwhelmed and uninspired by a ride through that is all too similar to The Seas with Nemo. Call my nostalgic, but I still like Snow White's Scary Adventures better. Our last FP+ for the day was Big Thunder Mountain--my favorite Disney coaster. I'm going to say that I rode it 5 times this trip. I haven't counted officially, but that sounds accurate. We hopped a quick ride on Pirates and then headed off for EPCOT!

Lunch was at Biergarten (YUMM!!!) with the reserved seating for that night's Candlelight Processional with Gary Sinise. I'm not a huge regular fish fan except for Salmon, but there was a Cod dish on the buffet that was fabulous. Then of course there's my real reason for choosing Biergarten--Schnitzel and Meatballs!! We also particularly enjoyed the Christmas flair to the entertainment. After lunch, we stopped to see Helga, the holiday storyteller in Germany. She was just magnificent. It doesn't hurt that her presentation was about my favorite holiday story--The Nutcracker.

Next we were off to Italy and we happened to catch Sergio the Juggler who was just delightful. Then while we waited for La Befana, the Christmas Witch, we were treated to the Ziti Sisters who not only entertained us, but upon learning that we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, staged an impromptu vow renewal for us!! This turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip! La Befana was also amazing. I gained a new appreciation for the Italian pavilion on this trip. We usually don't eat Italian food out; we don't drink wine (although I made an exception on this trip--that's another day); and neither of us care for overwhelming perfumes, so we usually swing by Italy, snap a few pictures to prove we were there, and then go get bratwurst. laugh

Those of you following along on your World Showcase map can probably figure out that the American pavilion was next. The Hanukah storyteller was one of the weaker presentations that we saw. The story is interesting, but the presenter that we happened to see was a bit sing-songy and over smiley. Voices of Liberty, on the other hand, was magnificent.

We caught the tale of the Daruma and other New Year's traditions in Japan and then realized how long the dining package line already was for Candlelight and decided to get in line! Candlelight Processional was lovely and quite impressive. I don't know that I would devote that much of my trip to doing it again. I did choir/chorus for a long time and I much more enjoy singing along than listening. Just like I don't like to go to the symphony. I don't think that my ears are finely tuned enough to care about the difference in quality between recorded music and live music and I get antsy sitting and listening for a long time. So, I can appreciate Candlelight for the splendor that it is and I'm glad we saw it, but it wouldn't top my list of must-do agains.

Making our way around the rest of the World Showcase, we listened to the story of Ramadan in Morocco with a very engaging storyteller. This is one of my must-see recommendations for the holidays. The storytellers are great in general, but the man who was presenting in Morocco was fabulous! Afterwards, we stopped for dinner at Tangierine Cafe. We split a chicken and lamb combo platter and it was quite tasty. I prefer other EPCOT counter service, but it was a nice change of pace.

We caught Father Christmas and British Revolution in UK and saw O'Canada before heading back to Saratoga Springs. We skipped IllumiNations to beat the park close rush because we had a FP+ for reserved viewing later in the week.

Pictures to follow...

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

crazycatperson's picture
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Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3709

We got stuck with Saratoga Springs on what turned out to be hubby's solo trip - that was what was available - but hubby said he loved it, also, and we hope to exchange there again. And if we ever decide to break down and buy into DVC (it will be resale for sure), I think we'd be happy owning at Saratoga Springs.

Biergarten...mmmmmmm.

More trip report, please!

Vettelover's picture
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Joined: 03/28/2009
Posts: 4651

crazycatperson wrote:
And if we ever decide to break down and buy into DVC (it will be resale for sure), I think we'd be happy owning at Saratoga Springs.

Biergarten...mmmmmmm.

More trip report, please!

We certainly are happy owning at Saratoga Springs even though we do stay at different DVC's now and then.

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