Walt Disney World Trip Report, Part 1

I’ve actually been asked if I could get tired of going to Walt Disney World as often as I have…22 times in 36 years. I think of Disney World as a combination of old familiar experiences and fresh, new adventures; as such, it never grows old for me.

That said, Disney World at Christmas time is an even more magical place than it is any other time of year. Here’s the first part of a day-by-day account of the trip…

Day 1 was a travel day. For years we’ve travelled overnight so that most of us can (try to) sleep during the drive down. This year we decided to leave in the middle of the day. I think it was a good idea; it seemed like a much shorter drive trying to entertain ourselves that it ever was dozing in and out of consciousness in the dark. We arrived around 8:00 p.m. Kenzie was asleep, and the rest of us were tired. Once we checked into our rooms at Pop Century, Ashley, Michael, and I decided to go over to Downtown Disney for a little Christmas shopping. After waiting 20 minutes on a bus that never arrived, we decided to give it up and go another day.

Day 2 was ALL DAY at Epcot! It wound up being a warm day, with rain off and on (mostly on). We got there before the gates opened and rushed to ride Soarin’ (my dad watched Kenzie while we rode), and we picked up Fastpasses to ride it again later on. We then rode Journey Into Imagination, which I hadn’t ridden in years and was reminded of why.

After that, we made our way to the Norway pavilion for the Princess Breakfast at 10:05 (it’s all about Kenzie, ain’t it?). Kenzie wasn’t terribly cooperative with the princesses until she got some food in her, but she seemed to have a good time. After the late breakfast, we rode Soarin’ again, using our Fastpasses, and then we took Kenzie to ride The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

After riding the new and improved Spaceship Earth, we split up so that Michael and I could ride Mission: Space, after which Ashley met up with us to ride Test Track. We then started to make our way around World Showcase and ate dinner at Le Cellier at 3:45. That’s right…breakfast at 10:05 and dinner at 3:45; that’s what we get trying to get reservations at some of the most in-demand restaurants in December. Le Cellier was the most amazing meal I’ve had at Walt Disney World; the Prime Rib was out of this world, and the Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes were perfect!

We then made our way most of the rest of the way around World Showcase, including the Japanese department store, which is always a treat for me; after that, we got in line for the Candlelight Processional. The Candlelight Processional is one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had…an orchestra and choir sings classic Christmas songs while a celebrity narrator reads the Christmas story from the Bible, as well as other poems and statements related to Christ’s birth. Marlee Matlin was the narrator, signing while her interpreter, Jack Jason, spoke. It was an indescribably special evening. After Candlelight Processional, we went back to the rooms and turned in for the night.

There’s more to come…