Trip Report: Christmas Surprise Day 2

[Warning! This post may does include horrible and/or terrible pictures that were taken with an iPhone. Professional photographer’s viewing is strongly discouraged.]

A full day of just us in Magic Kingdom. Whoopieee! Tim and I were so giddy, we didn’t really have trouble getting out of bed. I think I only groaned once. 206433_10151359622240630_288222656_n

Because we are geniuses that like to take advantage of the system, Tim had made reservations for breakfast at The Wave at the Contemporary Resort for that morning. If you’ve ever had to drive to MK before, you know that it is a pain to do so. You have to pay for parking {if you’re not staying on property, that is, like we weren’t}, hope that you get a close enough spot to not have to catch a tram, make your way to the Transportation Center, flip a coin on whether you want to ride the boat or monorail {we always choose the monorail}, and then finally arrive at the gates of MK. UGH! No thank you, we are spoiled rotten Disney brats. We make reservations at one of the monorail resorts so that we can have a nice meal, then head to the park from there. The perk about the Contemporary is that MK is walking distance. Even better.

Hello Bay Lake Tower {the round building connected to the Contemporary}, oh how we love you! 400013_10151359622505630_651942816_nWe were a little early for our reservation, so we strolled around the lobby of the Contemporary and were the first to be seated. 556963_10151359609395630_1844182432_nTim had been telling me that all of his fellow forum friends had been saying that The Wave is a little hidden gem. After eating there, we’d concur. And hidden, indeed! Although we ate a quickish meal in an effort to make the rope drop at MK, by the time we left, the restaurant was not half full! And the food was excellent. Tim chose to eat off of the buffet, while I had the signature sweet potato pancakes. Oh. My. Word. I could gobble a whole stack right now. Those things were divine!483334_10151359609170630_2111609936_n307200_10151359623000630_28571820_n734907_10151359622905630_1187716980_nAfter stuffing our stomaches, we walked it off a bit on our way to MK. We were there in time to see the opening celebration, just as planned. We know the show pretty much by heart now, so once the family of the day came forward, we wiggle-wormed our way to the front of the crowd at the right hand entrance. With a sparkle of fireworks we were leading the herd up Main Street U.S.A., which makes me want to tear up. Why do I get so emotional over WDW?!? 409535_10151359660170630_1731247111_n313994_10151359660110630_1229210004_n

I cannot tell you how nice it was to not have the kids with us. We didn’t feel the need to hit up Mickey’s meet ‘n greet, but we did still head straight back to Fantasyland. It was the first time either of us had been there since it all officially opened. Our first stop was the new Voyage of the Little Mermaid ride.734758_10151359770330630_567544024_n534354_10151359769990630_524352860_n 16805_10151359770200630_1947094195_nThe thing I love so much about Disney is that they don’t skimp on the little stuff. Everything is so excellently themed and designed to make you feel like you have stepped out of reality and into the world of the stories you grew up watching. While walking through the queue of Voyage of the Little Mermaid, it actually smelled like you were at the beach! Add in piped-in seagull sounds, a nearby waterfall, and high surrounding rocks that blocked out the castle walls and you really feel like you are by the ocean. Maybe I’m a nerd. Maybe I take it too far. But Tim agreed, so that’s all the crazy confirmation I need. Bravo Disney, I say! The ride was great too. Much better than EPCOT’s Nemo ride, which is very similar in make-up, including the same seashell ride vehicle.

Because we had done such a great job beating the crowds to the back, we were able to walk on twice in a row. The first time around we were taking pictures and gawking over details. The second time we rode it just for fun value.

Afterwards, we walked around New Fantasyland a bit more, but then jetted to Frontierland and Adventureland to hit up attractions we knew would fill up fast. We rode Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean within an hour. A happy feat. And look! Look who I met outside of Pirates!551670_10151359769830630_617577741_n

The flying pose was his idea. Silly Peter…I suggested his hands-on-hips pose, but I guess he wanted to switch it up.

One other thing we wanted to make sure to do while in Adventureland was the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. Can you believe Tim had never done that before? I think it’s kind of a “you’ve done it once, you’ve done it enough” kind of things {something I’m sure he’d say about the Tiki Room, which I strongly disagree with!}, but to have never done it at all?! Well, we had to fix that.

We walked through and agreed that we could totally live in that treehouse together, especially in it’s current location; and that we’d be quite fit if we did, since every room is on a different level. I also snapped this fun picture while up there, which happens to be my favorite from the whole trip, even if it is taken with an iPhone.188772_10151359769620630_1622244935_nYes, I’d say the Swiss family would be very blessed to wake up to that view every morning. “Good morning, Space Mountain!”

Next we headed back to Fantasyland, since we had ridden all of the rides that were non-negotiables for us. Yes, yes! I hear you, all of you thrill seekers! “What about Big Thunder Mountain? What about Space Mountain?” To which we Elrods say, “Eh–Give us a breezy ride on the People Mover over those any day.”

We loved getting to brows through New Fantasyland hand-in-hand, stroller-less, and with nowhere to be. We went in shops, peeked in at the work still being done on the Seven Dwarfs’ Mine Train, and shared a LeFou’s Brew. YUM! It was really sweet on the front end, but I soon got accustomed, and then addicted. The tart apple flavor was dominant, but the hint of marshmallow was what I moaned over {Mmmm!}. Halfway through, we got wise to actually stirring the mango foam into the drink and then it was killer! Ooo, I want one right now. 393030_10151359879375630_924390258_n 71662_10151359879500630_446320196_n734475_10151359879330630_1963738045_n 564728_10151359879030630_1720606178_n 532028_10151359878820630_1683269939_n1212_10151359858070630_1370466834_nWhile in Gaston’s Tavern we charged our phones for a bit and then headed out to find a spot on Main Street for the Christmas parade. Wee!

We found the perfect spot right outside of Casey’s Corner. Tim went in and got us a chili-dog to share while I held down the fort. Or curb. Whatever.546451_10151360151465630_158696271_n 15685_10151360151300630_584686267_n 386600_10151360151350630_1057997474_nThat is cheese, by the way, in that cup, not mustard. Nothing like lovely, warm, fake cheese to dip your Casey’s Corner fries into…it’s the little things. Or fattening things, I can’t decide. 45068_10151360149760630_551303557_n

Hooray! Mickey, Minnie, and Duffy kicked off the parade. I love the Christmas parade! My favorite part is smelling Clarabell Cow’s bakery float as it glides by, and all of the rollerblading dancers. They blow my mind. Seriously. I can’t even stand up on those things, let alone twirl and skate over trolly car tracks! I’m always in nervous anticipation  of one of them eating asphalt. 407394_10151360150150630_1383669294_n 29595_10151360149915630_81881586_n Oh wait! And the toy soldiers that actually play their instruments! They’re my favorite too! Okay, so the whole thing is my favorite. All of WDW is my favorite. 533663_10151360150570630_349254786_n 540922_10151360150365630_1732134226_n

Fun Fact time! When I met Tim, he was a rockstar. He was playing with a Christian band called Chandler {or Halo, or Halas, or something like that} and they had played a couple of gigs out in California. While out there, they stayed at a home hosted by a sweet family that he has since talked about so fondly; almost as if they were kin to him.   Tim has kept in touch off and on with one of their son’s, Micah, and had gotten word that they were going to be in WDW the same week we were down there! Serendipitous, yes?

Tim had been texting Micah off and on throughout the day and we had planned to meet right around the time that the parade was over. We met them on the opposite side of the street of Casey’s and right away I could see why Tim talked so highly of them. They were warm and friendly and eager to meet Tim and I after having pulled an almost all-nighter of WDW fun the night before. We walked to the Columbia Harbor House so they could grab a bite of lunch and ended up sitting there chatting for a little over an hour! They are a DVC family {home resort Saratoga Springs?}, and have been for about 6 years, I believe. They live in CA so they mostly visit Disneyland, but have enough points to come to WDW every 2 out of 3 years for Christmas. They have four kids, all teens now, and Tim and I loved hearing them talk about Disney and their memories they have as a family there. It was like a little peek into our future family, and we definitely liked what we were seeing.

After chatting and catching up with new/old friends, they headed back to their resort for a nap and we headed back to our home resort for a little R&R. 150623_10151360407065630_634007981_nWe wish.

We did go to the Wilderness Lodge to kick our feet up, say “Hello” and “We miss you!”, and charge our phones again. We sat in two rocking chairs, DVC dreaming, and then stopped by our old joint, the Roaring Fork, for a BBQ sandwich before heading back to MK. I also surprised Tim with a little thank you gift. While he was kicked back in front of the fireplace, I told him I had to use the restroom but slunk off to the gift shop instead. We knew that becoming DVC owners would be in the cards for 2013, so I went ahead and bought our van a DVC sticker. We always get antsy when we spot these on other people’s vehicles, and can’t wait until we are officially DVC members and can sport our own. He liked it. We’re nerdy like that. $(KGrHqV,!ksE8OsZTsYEBPR(44heF!~~60_35Once we got back to MK we bummed around; took it slow. We sniffed our way through the bakery, browsed gift shops, rode the People Mover, and a few other things. The crowds by this time were insane. It always makes me giggle when non-Disney people make comments like, “I bet Christmas would be a great time to go to Disney! I bet there’s no one there because people are busy doing Christmas at home.”

HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!

Nope. It’s worse! The week between Christmas and New Years is their busiest time of the year! Like so busy the park reach capacity and turn away park goers–by noon! Like so busy that Tim and I had FASTPASSES to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Spin and the FASTPASS line was wrapped around to the entrance of Tomorrowland! The FASTPASS line! 

Before we knew it, it was getting dark. We watched the Castle lighting show and then went back to Storybook Circus. I had never seen Dumbo at night, which is gorgeous. I love all of the different colored lights in the watery mote below. We also had a quick flight on The Great Goofini since the line was short.15449_10151360368750630_148732315_n

293907_10151360372875630_718589714_nIt was at this point that it decided to rain. No, not rain. Pour. They actually cancelled Wishes! Boo. We decided that although we’d love to be the cool couple that sticks it out and stays until the extended-hours close, we just couldn’t make it. We were tired and wet and knew we had a long ride back in the morning. We bought a balloon to take back to the boys and then hopped the resort monorail to the Contemporary to get our car.25057_10151360525690630_1488896517_n314089_10151360543035630_1499832659_nA watery window view of the MK as we pulled away on our monorail…bye bye, MK! We will miss you terribly until the next time we see you!

Since our BBQ sandwich had long since worn off, Tim bought a gas station pizza as we filled up the tank for the long drive home. It was terrible. But that made it good somehow. It was a terribly good pizza, and we ate it while we watched Top Chef back at the townhouse.

Tim slept like a log, but that pizza kept me up all night. But I didn’t mind so much…being in WDW is like that Aerosmith song to me. When I’m there, “I don’ wanna miss a thang!”

With love, Malorie

2 thoughts on “Trip Report: Christmas Surprise Day 2

  1. So jealous, love Christmas time at Disney!! My wife and I are going the first full week of April…warm weather and Flower Festival 🙂 We are staying at the Beach Club and coming back there in Oct with our grown kids and it will be our first trip with the grand-kids. Since we will be moving to FL at the end of May we will be able to use our DVC points and annual passes more…excited!!
    Thanks for the trip report 🙂

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