Sunday, January 2, 2011

Disney World for Christmas!

Well this post is pretty over due! A few weeks ago we went to Disney World and did tons of fabulous things! this visit marked my fifth time there, and Chuck's very first. We decided to go at Christmas time because I had always wanted to, and boy am I so glad we did. It was BEAUTIFUL! The castle was lit up with tons of little Christmas lights and flooded with colorful spotlights. Every corner you turned there were decorations or lights. Each park and hotel had it's very own perfect tree.

We stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort. It was a nice enough hotel. The restaurant left a little to be disired. But the grounds were beautiful and the staff was pleasant. The hotel has lots of lakes around, and sandy beaches with hammocks, and steamy pools. It was a relaxing place.They had the lobby decked out for the holidays with a beautiful tree and white poinsettias everywhere you looked. I loved it!

The Magic Kingdom was probably our favorite park. Every time we turned around there were characters to meet or parades going on. We rode almost every ride in the park, and completed everything on our list of must dos! We watched Wishes, the fireworks show, from Main Street and just enjoyed being there. We met tons of Characters there including Ariel the Little Mermaid! Chuck insisted I get my own picture with her since she is from my favorite Disney movie! Others that we met at the Magic Kingdom included Pinochio, The Fairy Godmother, Belle, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Cinderella's evil step-mother and step-sisters, Buzz, Woody and Jesse from Toy Story!

We had a special lunch in the Crystal Palace one day where we met Pooh, Tiger, Piglett, and my favorite of all the Disney characters, Eeyore.

We also went to a special event called Mickey's Christmas Party. You were only allowed in the park if you had purchased a special ticket. There was a special parade and fireworks show. They had real snow falling from the sky even! It was very magical! They also had some special characters out, like all seven dwarfs together!

The fireworks for the Wishes show were amazing. In all my visits I have never been able to see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. I was so happy and touched to be there I almost cried haha. It was probably the best display I have ever seen!  
While we were in Florida it unusually cold. Even the workers there said it never gets that cold. One day it was about 20 degrees out! We were totally not prepared for that as I had packed minimal warm clothes but tons of shorts, tank tops, and sundresses. But we made do with our sweatshirts and bought some gloves and festive Santa Hats to keep our heads warm! Even though it was cold Chuck still had to ride Splash Mountain. I agreed that he needed to ride it, I mean, you can't go to Disney and not ever ride it! I however declined on getting wet, since I had already been on it before haha. But he didn't get too wet.  

The Animal Kingdom was our next favorite place although it feels like we didn't see too much there. We went straight for the Kilimanjaro Safari. You get to ride through a free roaming zoo basically. The animals can get really close, sometimes even crossing your path on the road, or they can hide away if they don't want to be bothered. When we were there they were out and about, AND I got to see my favorite animal of them all, African Elephants. Most zoos only have Asian Elephants, so I usually don't get to see any. I was so thrilled to see so many, including a baby.

Another park we loved was Epcot. We met lots of characters here and it was just a fun place. Chuck loved the ride Spaceship Earth which is the big ball Epcot is famous for. He even got me on a motion simulator and I actually liked it! Chuck loved The Sea just like I knew he would. We spent a long time in there looking at all the fish and aquatic life. I was surprised to find out they have six dolphins, and one of the largest aquariums in the nation. We got to watch one of their dolphins playing a memory game. It was very neat!
Chuck really wanted to eat at a restaurant there called The Coral Reef. We were able to get reservations that included the Christmas Event they have there at Epcot. It is by no means cheap! Anyways, we arrived early for our reservations, which was at 5:30. We did not get seated till 7:00! And the event started at 8:15 on the other side of the park! When I asked the hostess about our wait (this was at around 6:30) she was very rude, and told me I would just have to be late to the event, and hurry and eat my food. The more we sat there waiting, watching others that had later reservations then us get seating, the more ticked off I got! We came to find out they weren't seating us because they were waiting for a two person table to come available. So I waited an hour and a half after my reservation to be seated, because they couldn't put us at a bigger table. When our waiter came Chuck told him how long we had been waiting and he was appalled! We obviously did not make the Christmas event, but our waiter did not charge us for the tickets, and we got a free desert. But still, I would never expect such things from Disney. Not a good experience at all. And the food wasn't even that great!

Some of the characters we saw at Epcot included Belle with the Beast, Marie from the Aristocrats, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine and Aladdin, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Alice in Wonderland, Mulan, Chip and Dale, Daisy, and Snow White! We cleaned house!

 We didn't spend a lot of time at Hollywood Studios, but we did have a good time there. They had an amazing Christmas lights display that danced every ten minutes.

We had such an amazing time! Chuck is already wanting to plan a trip back there in a few years. They are building Belle and Beast's castle behind Cinderella's, and he wants to make sure we go back when that is open. What a wonderful holiday vacation!