Only 34 more days until Christmas!!
And...what better way to spend the 34th day before Christmas than at Walt Disney World?!
(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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
(more on the gingerbread house in THIS post)
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.
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. 😉
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!
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).
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.
I think we’re on to something here with the “2nd Visit” buttons. What do you think? 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The salad was delicious. I’d get it again.
Before we called it a day, we managed to catch the “A Dream Come True” parade.
The BEST part about the parade was watching it next to this little boy.
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. 🙂
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.
Sometimes the easy route really is the best route when it comes to food. 🙂
I have some packing to do! I leave for Titusville in the morning.