Monday, December 16, 2013

Anniversary Trip: Our Day at Disney

I never thought I would want to go to Disney World without the kids.  I think a lot of the magic of Disney is much more fun when viewed through the eyes of a child.  Plus I don't like to ride roller coasters.  Or any ride that moves too fast or spins around or does anything fun.  So spending a day in the  park kidless without riding any fun rides has never sounded like a great vacation idea for the two of us.

But then we ended up in Orlando because we found a cheap flight.  And we found our cheap hotel right next to Disney World.  And we realized that Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party was going on while we were there.  So we decided to give Disney a try without kids.  And guess what, it was  lot of fun!!

I have to admit that it was fun to watch parents struggling with their strollers and diaper bags and souvenirs and crabby kids, while we were able to walk around hands free and carefree and doing what ever what we wanted whenever we wanted.   But I also felt bad for those parents, because I have been there...often.  It's usually me in their shoes, so it was refreshing to be the one not in those shoes, for a day at least.

Here is how we spent our 12 kid-free hours at Disney World

We got there around noon and parked at the Magic Kingdom.  Then we took a monorail around to the hotels on the monorail line.  I had never seen these hotels before, so it was fun to see their themed decor as well as their Christmas decorations.  Taking the monorail was fun for the two of us, but it would not have been fun with kids.  Getting on and off the crowded monorail while messing with a stroller and bags and stuff would have been too hectic for me.

Our first stop was the Grand Floridian Hotel.
Besides that ginormous Christmas tree, they also had a 1000 square foot gingerbread house.  And they sold gingerbread cookies from inside the real gingerbread house.  The line was long, so we didn't try the gingerbread, but it was a pretty cool house.

Then we stopped by the Contemporary Resort, where they had this gingerbread Christmas tree display.  Really, the coolest thing about the Contemporary Resort is that the monorail runs through the hotel lobby.

From the Contemporary Resort, we took a boat to the Ft. Wilderness Lodge.  
 We wanted to eat lunch somewhere fun but not super expensive, so we decided to try the Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Ft. Wilderness Lodge.  It's a fun Western-themed restaurant, where the waiters are known for the loud and funny antics.  For example, when someone asks for ketchup, they may bring out A LOT of ketchup.  And then when the next person asks for ketchup, it is your job to take all the ketchup they brought you to that table.  Daniel asked for ketchup, and this is what he got:

After lunch we took the boat back to the Contemporary Resort and then hopped back on the monorail to the Polynesian Resort.
We were planning to have dessert at the Kona Cafe, because I heard that they serve good desserts.  But we ended up getting there right during the time they were closed between lunch and dinner.  Instead, we went outside and got drinks, sat on the beach and enjoyed the warm sun.  

From the Polynesian Resort, we took a boat right to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom.  It was 4:00, which meant we could get into the park with our Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party ticket.
The Christmas Party was technically scheduled for 7 pm-midnight, but they allow ticket holders admission into the park as early as 4:00.   The tickets for the Christmas Party were $62 (as opposed to the $95 ticket for a one day admission to Magic Kingdom), and that gave us eight hours in the Magic Kingdom.  If you are planning a multi day trip to Disney World, then paying extra for the Christmas Party is probably not worth it.  But for us, it was a great deal to get admission to the park at a discounted rate and enjoy all the extras that come with the Christmas Party.

In addition to most of the rides being open, the Christmas Party also features free hot cocoa and cookies, snow on Main Street, multiple Christmas shows, a Christmas parade, and a Christmas fireworks show.  Plus they only sell a limited number of tickets to the Christmas Party, so the lines for rides are very short or non-existent!  On some rides, people were able to just continually ride without getting off because there was no line at all! 

On the Buzz Lightyear ride...we were seriously concentrating!

Ready for Mickey's Philharmagic in our lovely 3D glasses.

I should also add that I did ride a roller coaster with Daniel.  I should have taken a picture for proof!  I do not like roller coasters, as mentioned above.  But I felt bad making Daniel go on just the lame rides, when he would prefer something a little more fun.  So I went on Big Thunder Mountain with him.  When it comes to roller coasters, I'm pretty sure that Big Thunder Mountain is pretty tame (there was a little girl riding behind us who was only 3 or 4 years old).  But it was enough for me.   I rode it without trouble, but I don't have much desire to ride it again anytime soon.  =)

Enjoying my free hot chocolate and cookies!

One of our favorite parts of the night was the projection show on the castle right before the fireworks.  This is what the castle looked like at the beginning:

Then they projected images all over it to transform it into all kinds of different things.  It was seriously impressive.  And I was sitting with my tech loving husband, who immediately started searching the park trying to figure out how they were doing it.

This was during the Lion King part of the show.

This was during the Tangled part.

I'm not sure about this one.  Maybe during Frozen?

There were even cooler images on the castle, and I would have taken pictures of all of them.  But my phone was dying and I was trying to preserve my battery for the fireworks and parade.  The fireworks were pretty impressive too, but I think both Daniel and I would agree that the projection show (I can't remember it's real name) was our favorite part of the day.

After the fireworks, we scoped out a spot on Main Street to enjoy the "snow" and wait for the parade to start.  The parade was fun (though not as impressive as the fireworks and show we had just seen), and we spotted one of Daniel's high school friends in it!  He is the Mad Hatter in the picture below.

 Snow and 80 degree temps... now that's my kind of snow!

Daniel and I were wild and crazy and stayed until the place closed down at midnight!  For what we paid and for what we wanted, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party was a perfect way to spend the day.  Fun times!!


Post a Comment