Monday, January 6, 2014

Disney Holiday Trip Report Part 2: Trip Highlights

In my last post I talked about the resorts I stayed in and my experiences with Magic Bands and FastPass+ on my most recent Disney trip. Today we get to talk about the good stuff--what we did and what we ate.

The theme of this trip was relaxation. We didn't make a lot of touring plans or plan to cram in a lot of parks because we knew we wanted a lot of downtime--we didn't want to have to come home and recover from our vacation!

We spent our first evening wandering around the Boardwalk and enjoying the views and performers. I love the General Store at the Boardwalk, and it is usually much less crowded than the shops at Downtown Disney or inside the parks.

Oh, and I had my first Disney treat. Calories don't count on vacation, right?

The next day we were up bright and early to see the opening show at Magic Kingdom--seeing the train arrive is Little Man's favorite thing in all of the World. However, the first thing he requested to see once we got into the park was the Big Cheese himself.

Little Man has been going to Disney World since he was barely a year old, so he's a champ at waiting in line. Things were going pretty smoothly until we got into the same room as Mickey and realized he now talks. My husband and I thought they did a great job with the new Mickey, but for a tot who was used to a silent mouse, this FREAKED HIM OUT. He spent that encounter hiding in my shoulder. Mickey would ask him a question, and Little Man would whisper his answer in my ear.

After the talking Mickey debacle, we hit up Main Street Bakery to find some breakfast at the new Starbucks location. While I miss the old bakery and some of its offerings, strawberry crème Frappuccinos are my favorite drink in the world.

Little Man also wanted to see Tinkerbell--he had seen her fly down from the castle the night before and he told me he had some questions for her. Since Little Man tends to be pretty scientific when it comes to things like flying fairies, I had a little trepidation about this encounter. Once we got to her, however, he was distracted by the pretty blond pixie giving him attention and thankfully didn't ask any questions about aerodynamics.

Little Man needed a break after that, so he chilled out in the stroller (I was thankful I had brought my own so he could relax in it--I think the rental strollers are great in a pinch but they look so uncomfortable!) and my husband and I wandered around just enjoying the park. Since our goal was just to relax, we didn't really have anything we HAD to do.

Well, except eat one of these.  Soooo good.

Rice crispy treat covered in chocolate covered in reeses pieces. Yes, please.

We used a fastpass+ to ride Space Ranger Spin, which Little Man loved so much we rode it twice. We took a ride on the People Mover then headed towards the gates for a break--but before we left we had a quick lunch at Casey's. I LOVE their chili dogs. It is easily my favorite quick serve in the parks.

When we returned to the park after a nap, we hit Space Ranger spin again, saw Captain Jack's Pirate tutorial (big hit with both mom and kid!) and enjoyed having the park practically to ourselves. We watched the Electrical Parade twice, and the second time around we had a great view. This parade holds a particularly special place in my heart as the first time I saw it was the night we got married in 2007.

We stayed until nearly midnight, and then walked back to Bay Lake--not having to wait for a bus, deal with getting a sleepy kid out of his stroller, and then heave said stroller on to the bus was wonderful.

The next day was a day "off", which was good after such a long day in the park the day before. We were lazy, lazy, lazy all morning and that afternoon found Little Man and I at the "beach" at Bay Lake--he was content with a spoon to dig with and my attention. Funny how you spend all this money to go to Disney and that's what makes a kid happy, right?

I also squeezed in a run around property--Bay Lake and the Contemporary have a great jogging trail. I've been able to run a few different places at Disney now, and I'll be writing a blog about the trails and paths soon.

Oh, and I ate one of these. YUM.

The next day I scored morning-of reservations to the Ohana Breakfast at the Polynesian resort--it's our favorite breakfast place hands down. Little Man was much more receptive to the characters--he told me he was glad Mickey couldn't talk--and thoroughly enjoyed playing hide and seek with him.

That night was Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. We got to the park around 4:00 and headed inside--we ate at Pecos Bills and I have to say, their taco salad was pretty good for a quick serve. I was probably more excited about MVMCP than anyone--something that was pretty obvious after my husband and son got chilly a few hours in and went back to the resort while I stayed put.

What's not to love? It snows on Main Street! I was happy just to stand there and take it all in (don't worry, I did it off to the side--I'm not one of THOSE people). Before my family headed back to Bay Lake, we had watched the parade and enjoyed the hot chocolate and cookies, so when I was on my own I just wandered the park, saw some of the Christmas-y characters and spent too much time in New Fantasyland than was probably acceptable as an adult--but traveling with two boys doesn't usually allow me time to linger in places like Belle's Village. Or sit and stare at the pretty lights at Rapunzel's Tower/bathroom. Or discuss the finer things in life with these ladies.

Then it was our laaaaaast day. Sigh. I took Little Man on another run, and then we packed up and headed back to Ohana for breakfast (I'm serious, we love that place. I don't know how they cook that bacon, but I could eat my own weight in it).

And then we spent our last hours wandering around Hollywood Studios before we loaded up the car and drove back to Atlanta. We enjoyed the street performers, visited our favorite shops--and I topped off my sweet treats by biting the ears off of one of these guys.

As always, we had a wonderful trip. I haven't ordered our photopass pictures yet, but I'll be doing that soon. And of course, I'm already thinking about what I want to do on our next trip.

A penny for your thoughts: what is your must-do at Disney? Do you like to relax on your vacation or lounge around?


  1. Looks like you had a fantastic trip! I hope to be able to do this someday.

  2. I love it! I see so many people who power through to "get my money's worth" and the family ends up being miserable. What a nice, relaxing way to enjoy the World! I think I will be taking the Monday after PHM solo at the MK and I can't wait to just wander at will, lingering over whatever I want and taking lots of pictures. Great trip report (and I love the snacks!!!)