Trip Report: 1st Time Going Over The Holidays!

Dec 9th-10th

This trip was our girls 3rd time going to WDW, they are 5 and 7. If you ask them they are old pros, but honestly I cannot believe that we STILL have things we have not done yet, Disney has so much, its crazy to think in 3 visits we still have rides we have never been on and a million other things still on our Disney Bucket Lists.  This was our first time going during the holidays.
I had a couple work meetings to attend and my husband had worked a midnight shift (firefighter) the night before, so we let him rest and the kids go to school, I picked the kids up about an hour early from school to get on the road by 3pm.
The kids were fantastic in the car, but it was LONG….18 hours non-stop LONG. We made it to AOA for our first night to stay in our Little Mermaid room. Luckily right before we arrived we got our text with our room number, my husband who did all the driving was happy to go nap, and the girls and I headed to the Big Blue Pool. We swam for a while, then decided to quietly go change and get some lunch and visit the gift shop. Then we just walked around, trying to give my husband as much of a nap as we could before our first ADR of the trip: BEACHES AND CREAM. I had thought after a long drive the Kitchen Sink Sundae would be just what we needed, and I was right! It was great. I was surprised how small the restaurant actually is, I think I counted about 10 actual tables and then some counter chairs too…makes sense why I had to use RES FINDER to get this ADR. The kids loved how they made a big deal when they brought the sundae to us, the flashing lights and the big announcement. People around us actually asked us if they could take a picture of it. This made the girls even more excited about it because of all the attention. We all stuffed our faces with ice cream and every topping imaginable and when we were all done we looked up and it looked like we hadn’t even taken a bite! LOL, that’s how big this sundae is. All in all, it was a fun experience, a good way to start the trip. The food beforehand was fair, nothing special, just burgers, fries, and onion rings, but the sundae was the real treat. We headed back to the hotel to get to bed early since the real fun would start the next day.


Dec 11th:
Before we headed to Magic Kingdom for the day we took a bunch of pictures of all the Little Mermaid statues around our room area. The girls loved the room, and honestly, if AOA had a hot tub it might be the hotel for all our stays. The busses always seem well organized, the pools are great, this was our second time at AOA (last time in a Nemo Suite) and its was very enjoyable.

After Pictures we drove our car to CSR and took the bus to Magic Kingdom, we had not received our room text yet, so we decided at least having our car at the right hotel after a long day at the parks would be better than leaving it at AOA and driving at the end of the day.
The busses at CSR were CRAZY, people everywhere, people yelling that they had been there for hours already, it was a mad house. This was stop 1, so I figured maybe it was this way because other people like us were just showing up to ride the bus and didn’t have a room yet, so we were overloading this one stop. We finally made it to MK and just like every trip, seeing the castle for the first time is magic! We did our signature first ride, which is always pooh (our girls love the idea of a tradition lol). We road a couple more rides, then we had a VIP Parade Lunch Special at Tony’s. We had never eaten at Tony’s so, we thought the VIP package, plus a new restaurant was a plus (especially since it was only 1 TS credit for the parade package: appetizer, meal, dessert, and VIP viewing ticket). The food was great, we loved it! The girls did the traditional Lady and the Tramp spaghetti thing a million times and the wait staff acted like it was adorable every time lol.

After lunch we road more rides then headed to the VIP parade area. This was such a great experience, tons of space, front row, it seemed like at least 5 or 6 characters came out of the parade to hug the girls…overall, it was just a really fun for all of us. Plus the cast members really protect the VIP area, they did not let anyone in that didn’t have a ticket, they were very on top of this, which was nice.

After the parade, we headed to Hollywood Studios. We met Moana, who was great. Our girls have already gone to see her movie 2 times, so meeting her was very cool for them. Then we headed to our ADR for dinner at Hollywood and Vine. The food here was fair, nothing special, but the character interaction was great! We loved all of their Holiday outfits, and the girls especially loved Goofy as Santa. After this, we called it a day and headed back to CSR to find out room (which funny enough had been sent to us right after we boarded the bus this morning lol).


Dec 12th:
Today we went to Animal Kingdom. We came about an hour after opening to miss the rush, and it was just a nice leisurely day. We took some cute pictures by the tree on our way in, then headed straight for the Safaris. After the Safaris we happened upon street dancers and they asked the girls to come dance, they loved it, it was a really great show. Then we went to Birds of Wonder followed by the Lion King. After this, we met a work colleague for lunch at Flametree, funny enough someone I work with was in Disney the same week as us, and they had planned to be in AK the same day, so lunch just seemed right. I had emailed my work friend because he is known as a Disney expert (writes on a Disney blog site, has been like 40+ times) asking him about December weather, crowds, tips, and funny enough he told me they would be there the same week! He has a 9 year old daughter so it really worked out nicely to meet up and who doesn’t love flametree? 
Shortly after lunch I had a huge list of items I wanted to do, but both girls wanted to go check out that awesome pool at the hotel….so we decided to skip the plan and go swim (I mean we live in Michigan and on this day, our kids had a snow day, lol….so warm weather and swimming did sound nice. I also was secretly happy for the snow day at home, less missed days of school now= less homework I have to help them with making up! Lol)
The pool did not disappoint! It was so fun, warm, not busy at all, and the slide was the girls favorite part! We ended with the hot tub. Then we got dressed and headed to our dinner ADR: Ohana (another first for us, we have done the breakfast there, but not the dinner before). Ohana was so fun! The activities for the kids and the food, were great! Now, I will say this, the appetizers were GREAT (those pork dumplings were my favorite and the kids ate all the noodles), but the items from the grill were not the best quality of meat, but we were not all that hungry by that point anyway. The dessert was VERY good as well. All in all, it was a good experience.


Great pictures! Thanks for the report!


Dec 13th:
We went to Epcot today, it was FROZEN time! The girls had been waiting for this since our previous trip when they had been working on the ride.
We all liked the ride. The girls wanted to go again, but I was not interested in the stand by line of 80 minutes. 
We settled on visiting Anna and Elsa, which only had a wait of 10 minutes. Anna is such a fun character, she had the girls laughing the whole time and somehow found a way to through in “That’s what I was going to say” in while talking with the girls. It was cute.

We then had lunch at Coral Reef and I have to say it may have been the best meal of the trip! Very tasty and we all liked seeing the aquariums around us.
After this we headed back to the hotel for a quick swim and a NAP….we had our MVMCP at night and wanted the girls to be ready!

The party was……not what we thought. I had in my head that main street would be busy, but that most other things would be “walk on”. I thought some characters would be super busy, but others would be easy….well, nothing seemed “easy” on this night. It was our first ever party, so that I am sure had something to do with it. If we ever do another one, I feel I would know better that to do and how to plan better. Honestly it seemed so much busier than just a regular day we had experienced at MK. We made the best of it, we did find a spot for the parade (not a great one, but fine), we were able to meet Nick and Judy (highest on our priority), rode a couple rides, took some pics, went to a dance party, and headed back to our room. It was $380 for our family to go to this, and it probably wasn’t worth it in our opinion…it was fun, just didn’t play out how I had pictured it.


Great picture! Did you see the fireworks?

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We slept in a little from the late party night, and headed straight to AKL for lunch at Sanaa. This was another first, we were able to get a window seat and the food was great! It was fun and different.

After we headed back to Epcot for yet another ride on FROZEN! We also added in some characters: Joy & Sadness, Baymax, Donald, and Pluto…Baymax was so cool, the fact that he blinks had our girls crazy! Lol

After Epcot, we headed to MK for Dinner with Pooh…the kids have done this meal every trip and love it! The food is pretty good, and there is just something about bouncing around with Tigger and hugging poohs belly and makes our kids crazy. After this we took advantage of getting some extra FP+ and riding some rides before we headed back to our room.


Love reading this! Love the pictures!

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Dec 15th:
Princess Day!

First we had our pre-RD BBB reservation. The girls dressed as Belle. They chose the gross looking poof on top of their heads (I secretly wanted them to choose the neat little bun, but this was their special day and decision). They then had some extra pictures taken at the store next to the castle.

After that we had our first ever ride on 7 dwarfs……1 loved it, 1 didn’t….can you guess by the picture who? Lol Our youngest was very proud she did it, but said she doesn’t feel the need to do it again. Haha

Then we had lunch at BOG, we pre ordered, which once we saw the line for those ordering we were SOOOOO thankful we ordered before we came. This was the first time we really did not enjoy the food at BOG, we usually eat here more than once each trip, and in fact my family asked me to cancel our other lunch later in the week and try something else.

After lunch was tales with Belle…always cute. Then we met Gaston…who is hilarious! Loved him, first he was falling in love with both of our Belle’s then he told them to find Belle and bring her back so he can ask her an important question. When we were in line for this we noticed they closed the line after us, then a VIP guide brought a couple of 20 somethings to the line….I decided to start chatting it up and find out about the VIP service (I mean its CRAZY expensive….so what does it include, ect…), come to find out they were the assistants to the Candlelight Processional Reader that night Meredith Viera. Then we turn and see Meredith coming over to them. She sees our girls and tells us how cute they are, she was very nice. After, my husband told the girls that the nice lady who said they were cute was famous…all day they kept telling people “A famous lady thinks I’m adorable”…lol

After Gaston, we road a few rides, then headed to Tiana’s Ice Cream Social. This was so well put together! It wasn’t crowded, they provided so many snacks and drinks, and we basically had unlimited one on one time with Tiana and Naveen. I do know they had a sign in front of the party stating that reservations were still open for this event, but honestly, maybe there were 10 groups total at this event. It was easy to find a spot on the boat, never really waited in any type of line for anything. Plus the Cast members basically told us to pack up our bags with their drinks and snacks…it honestly was unlimited everything. This event cost our family $156, and was worth every penny. The parade view was not ideal, but we did this to add to the Princess day fun, so this was perfect for us.

Right after the Ice cream social, we had time for one ride, then it was time for dinner in the Castle. This was out third time eating there and it was a good meal and fun for the girls. After our meal we had to leave since it was a party night, we went back to the resort to swim.

The girls got these crazy bubble wands…we did not see these on our trip a year ago and they were very cool…we were walking in a cloud of bubbles ALL day! lol


Dec 16th:
Last Day in the Parks! 
We started with a pre-rd breakfast at Garden Grill in Epcot. This was a cute meal and the characters each came by 3 times!

Then we rode a couple rides until the showcase opened, we went and did pick a pearl. The girls loved it, my husband was confused by the whole thing and was sad we killed a clam to get the pearl…lol, he said he didn’t know they would crack it open in front of us. Haha.

Then we rode Frozen for the last time….loved it every time!
From there we did a Gingerbread tour to a the Grand Floridian and Contemporary.
We finished (per the kids request) with the rest of the day at the hotel swimming. We did start to notice a HUGE amount of teens at the resort. There were some sports things going on (sorry not a sports person for the right lingo). These kids were horrible, there must have been boy and girls events going on, they were everywhere. Standing in the middle of the sidewalk and would not move even if asked for us to get through with the stroller, girls were straddling boys on the benches all in their bathing suits, cursing, yelling……ALOT MORE THAN I WANTED MY LITTLE GIRLS TO SEE. My husband said I was being dumb, but I was just irritated, I wasn’t staying at the Days Inn down the road, I paid and chose a Disney FAMILY hotel. Where were the chaperones of these poorly behaved teens? But Oh, well….we dealt with it.


Dec 17th:
Last vacation Day!
After a quick resort QS Breakfast we headed to Sea World.
As a family we had a great day! Took in a lot of shows, including the Dine with Shamu experience. We got to eat right by his tank, they put on a cute show and answered all the kids questions on Killer Whales. They had a free Christmas Party going on, but we headed out shortly after dinner since we needed to sleep before our wonderful 18 hour car ride home the next morning.

Overall, our trip was GREAT! We changed plans when we needed to, the goal was to have fun as a family and not be so intense on a schedule. The only thing we would change would be the driving part. We waited too long to book flights because of my husband’s Fire schedule being changed……we should have just bought the tickets and adjusted if we needed to. Or we could have broken up the driving, but then we would have missed more work/school…
Funny enough, I feel like I got a huge gift going on this trip….little did I know a day after we returned home I would have a gallbladder attack and need surgery to take it out! How crazy that it waited till after the trip….I feel SO THANKFUL that we had a great time.

We may have pooped these two out a little! 


Yes, it was very cool. :slight_smile:

Fabulous report, sounds like a great trip.


Great report, lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing :grinning:

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Great report and pics!

Hope you’re nicely on the mend. So glad that didn’t happen en route or during the vacation.

I have the Tiana ice cream social on my radar for January. If it’s still a walk-up basically, and the weather is nice enough, I think we’ll do it.

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Loved reading your report and seeing all the pictures. Your girls are so cute. It’s also a dream of mine to go at holiday time. Some day. . .

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Great trip report! Your girls are the cutest.

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What a great trip report!! Looks like you all had fun. Glad there was a happy ending with your gallbladder! A family friend just had the same thing happen, that’s very non magical. :frowning:

I do have to ask, did you make your girls’ shirts? They are adorable!! I’m just getting into that myself, got a Cricut for Christmas so my eyes went right to the vinyl, lol! :slight_smile:

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Mz. Disnee did our shirts she paints them and they were only $12 each!


I’ve gotten MzDisnee shirts too and loved them. I’m plotting our order for this summer already.