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A great day at Magic Kingdom

by Meghann on November 20, 2012

Only 34 more days until Christmas!!

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And...what better way to spend the 34th day before Christmas than at Walt Disney World?!

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(I <3 Disney at Christmas time!)

I had the honor of accompanying Mary, Mary’s sister Emily, and Emily’s boyfriend Steve at Magic Kingdom today. It had been years since any of them had been to the parks, and I’m always up for a trip to Disney!

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Did I mention Mary and Emily are identical twins?

We had an early start this morning, so I made an easy bowl of granola, plain Chobani, mixed nuts, dried fruit, pumpkin butter, and almond butter before hitting the road.

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The drive from Tampa to Disney World really isn’t that bad. We made great timing and arrived not too long after the parks opened.

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Before heading into Magic Kingdom, we made a pit stop at Grand Floridian to check out this year’s Christmas decorations. I heard a rumor they had just put the finishing touches on everything yesterday and we wanted to make sure we had a chance to check them out.

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The Grand Floridian is my favorite place at Disney World during the holidays. As soon as you walk in, it just smells like Christmas. I also love checking out the life size gingerbread house they build every year.

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(more on the gingerbread house in THIS post)

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Not only is every piece of this house edible, but there’s a shop inside where you can purchase a gingerbread shingle to take home to try for yourself.

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I didn’t have one this year, but I did buy a shingle a couple of years ago and can attest that they were quite tasty. πŸ˜‰

After we got our fill of Christmas cheer at the Grand Floridian, we hopped on the monorail and headed to our next stop: The Magic Kingdom!

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A little Disney fact: Walt Disney World gives away free celebration buttons to any guests that requests one. You can find them at various places around the park, but my favorite go-to spot for buttons is in front of town hall in Magic Kingdom, which will be on your left as soon as you enter the park (after you walk under the train track).

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They have a cart full of buttons (“Happy Anniversary!” “Just Engaged” “Happy Birthday” etc.) that the attendant will customize for you with his/her trusty sharpie.

Steve had only been to Disney once before (when he was sixteen) and made a joke that they should have a “2nd Visit” button instead of just the first. I thought that was a splendid idea, so I handed the “1st Visit” button to the attendant and asked if she would cross out the “1st” and put “2nd.” She said no problem.

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I think we’re on to something here with the “2nd Visit” buttons. What do you think? πŸ˜‰

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We’ve seriously been lucking out with amazing weather around here lately. Today was a beautiful day to explore the parks. It was nice and cool in the shade, and warm and sunny in the sun – perfect.

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Our goal for the day was to just have fun and enjoy the holiday break. We tried our best to dodge the crowds, rode our favorite rides, and acted like kids again. It was a good day.

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I was so thankful I had the opportunity to check out New Fantasyland the other week thanks to the annual passholder preview. The New Fantasyland was open today, but PACKED! Instead of walking right onto Little Mermaid, there was a solid 75 minute wait.

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Luckily we were able to grab fast passes and bypass the line for this one.

Just a head’s up – take my advice and go the fast pass route for this ride. The fast passes are located by the PhilarMagic ride across from the Carousel so they’re a bit out of the way from the ride’s location. Since the fast passes aren’t right next to the ride, I’m not sure a lot of people know their available. We only had to wait an hour for our fast passes to become valid, which was less than it would have taken us to wait the 75+ minutes in line.

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We had hoped to eat lunch at the Be Our Guest quick service restaurant, but the wait was a little ridiculous (40 minutes until we could order food) and we were too hungry for that. Instead we walked over to the Columbia House and were able to order and eat right away (not waiting for food = awesomesauce). I ordered the chicken and broccoli salad.

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The salad was delicious. I’d get it again.

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Before we called it a day, we managed to catch the “A Dream Come True” parade.

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The BEST part about the parade was watching it next to this little boy.

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He was adorable. He couldn’t wait to give high fives to all of the good guys, but as soon as a villain was near, he would move to hide behind his mom. It was so cute to watch him go through the motions. πŸ™‚

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After the parade, we were ready to head home.

We had nothing at home for dinner, so I stopped at Publix and picked up a rotisserie chicken, a bag of frozen brussels sprouts, and some prepared trail mix wheatberry salad for dinner.

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Sometimes the easy route really is the best route when it comes to food. πŸ™‚

I have some packing to do! I leave for Titusville in the morning.

Good night!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale November 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Next time I go, I’m totally requesting a 3rd visit button!! πŸ˜‰
And watching little kids during fun/childlike events definitely makes it more enjoyable. Their spirit is totally contagious!! πŸ˜€
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2 Tracy Schwartz November 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I am headed to Disney World next weekend for my sister’s 21st birthday…Her only two requests; Stay in the Grand Floridian and Visit Harry Potter Land. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a room at Grand Floridian so we will visit. What else do you recommend for s 21 st birthday over the Thurs-Sun at Disney?
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3 Krissy @ Shiawase Life November 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

For a 21st birthday: EPCOT! PLEASE say you will visit La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion, simply the best πŸ˜€

http://www.lacavadeltequila.com/

Fantastic service and amazing, inspired margaritas!!!
Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K recap

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4 Meghann November 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Drink around the world at Epcot! (if she drinks) You can have cute shirts made with each country and mark them off as you go. πŸ™‚ Also, afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian, you HAVE to get an ice cream cookie sandwich at the mainstreet bakery (NOT at a cart, but from the actual bakery), and the dueling piano bar next to Boardwalk. You can check out other suggestions at my Theme Park page: http://mealsandmiles.com/my-orlando/theme-parks/

And just a heads up that Harry Potter World is at Universal, which is a 30 minute drive from Disney. πŸ˜‰

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5 Tracy Schwartz November 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

Thank you for all the suggestions. Yes we are drinking around the world, but I didn’t know about the shirt and that is a great idea! Ice Cream Cookie Cake!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!
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6 Krissy @ Shiawase Life November 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I always love a visit to Magic Kingdom πŸ™‚
Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K recap

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7 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm

When I was little we stayed at the grand Floridian during the holidays! I have a picture of my brother and I infront of a giant decorated tree, we were probably 5 and 7. I didn’t get to go back until I was 21!
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8 Beka @ rebecca roams November 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Only 34 days until my birthday!
I didn’t know that Mary had an identical twin! I don’t know who is who in those pics…. although I think Mary is wearing the lighter shirt?
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9 Becky @ runfundone November 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I loooove Disney! I couldn’t get hubs to go to Disneyland, even when I had a season pass. He is a Disney hater. Can you even imagine? How sad. I’m glad you had a great adventure!
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10 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles November 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm

I’ve only been once, so I would absolutely need a 2nd visit button!
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11 Jenn (eating bender) November 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm

You are bringing back such great memories, not only from my trip to Disney this summer but the time we were fortunate enough to travel there and stay at the Grand Floridian at Christmastime! I was probably 13 or 14 – might have to do that again someday. It really is magical. πŸ™‚
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12 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope November 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

I am so jealous of your Disney posts! I love Disney! It really is so beautiful this time of year. A few years ago, my husband and I went to Disney during the holidays and we loved it. We went the week before Christmas and the parks were empty! It was the perfect time to go. I cannot wait to go back, hopefully sometime soon. πŸ™‚
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13 Beth November 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

So fun! I had no idea Mary was a twin too. That’s pretty cool. I think this time of year is the best to visit any theme park.
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14 Kathy November 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

Love your Disney pics and posts!!

Next year we are planning a Christmas in Florida…so hope it works out! πŸ˜‰

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15 Emily N November 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

I really want to go to Disney World. I have not been there since I was 7 – so almost 23 years!!! I think that qualifies as a first visit.
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16 Amanda @ Eat More Rabbit Food November 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

I have always wanted to go to Disney! It looks like so much fun! =)
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17 Gwen November 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

Makes me want to go to Walt Disney World again! Hubs has never been!
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18 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer November 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

We were just there last week and lucked out getting into the new fantasyland, they were letting small amounts of people in and we even got to eat at the Be Our Guest restaurant for dinner. it was awesome!
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19 Meghan @ After the Ivy League November 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

Aw, I love Disney at Christmastime too!! I went after Thanksgiving for a week a couple years ago, and it was SO much fun. Plus hardly any crowds, I wish I was going again this year!
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20 Kayla @ Fit Life Forward November 21, 2012 at 11:15 am

I”m super jealous of your access to the park! I love Disney and I LOVE it at Christmas time as well!
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21 LizForADay November 22, 2012 at 2:07 am

I live in the are also, and I have not been to Disney in years. If I was there I this year, I would go to the Christmas parade. It is awesome. So if any of you have not been, grab the kids and go. πŸ™‚
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22 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper November 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

So jealous that you can just pop over to Disney World! If I lived near it, I think I would be there way too often, haha. Though I guess it’s more ‘magical’ not being able to go that often…
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