We’re baaaack! And, admittedly, bummed at not still being at Disney World. I’m pretty sure I’ve said like 15 times since Friday that I wanted to go back ASAP. This was just the vacation that Hubby and I needed. We got to do lots of fun things and reconnect through sharing the experiences. It was so much fun and it’s been a little bit challenging to get back into the swing of things. It’s not as fun to have to make dinner yourself instead of ordering what you want and having it brought to you. Also, dishes. But I digress.
If you ever get the chance to go to Disney World between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I highly recommend it. There are so many amazing holiday things to do! And we did most of them. We saw the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios.
We also attended the Candlelight Processional featuring Edward James Olmos (or for your uber nerds, Admiral Adama from Battlestar Galactica) at EPCOT. That was an amazing performance. There was a 50 piece orchestra and two choirs that also participated in the event. I’m not going to lie, it brought tears to my eyes. I really got weepy though after the choir sang Silent Night in the original Austrian and then the conductor turned to the crowd and we all joined in, in English. I’m getting a little teary just thinking about it. So inspiring to see the story of Christ’s birth celebrated in such a way.
And then, to add more fun to the party, we did my favorite and the thing I was most excited about attending: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! I’m not going to be able to do justice to the awesomeness that was this event but I’m going to try. Magic Kingdom closes early for a ticketed event. There’s hot chocolate and sweets galore. But what makes this worth attending are the shows. Not only is there a Christmas show on stage in front of Cinderella’s castle, but there is THE BEST parade shortly afterwards featuring every character you could possible imagine. Then, there’s WISHES, the Christmas edition. WISHES is the nightly fireworks and light show that is projected onto Cinderella’s castle. It’s amazing to see. I don’t know how they can project the images so clearly onto the castle and make them move and dance the way they do but they do and it’s awesome. Cinderella’s castle is covered in lights that change color throughout the night. Hands down this was my favorite event of all three. It was so beautiful and fun and festive. I can’t wait till Hubby and I have children and we take them to it. I know they’ll enjoy it!
Then there was the food. It’s so nice to have someone actually cater to your food allergy needs and prepare food that is safe for you to eat. The one time we ate at a buffet stye restaurant, the chef came out and actually walked us through the buffet line pointing out what was safe and what wasn’t. Every other time, the chefs would come out to the table and discuss what we could eat and how he could modify things for us. My favorite restaurant was Be Our Guest. It was still being built when we went last year so this was my first time eating there but I’ll definitely be back! The atmosphere is just so cool. We were seated in the main ballroom (where Belle and Beast had their famous dance). Off to one side is The West Wing, also a dining room but much darker with the torn picture of Prince Adam and a rose who drops a petal every seven minutes. Off the other side is the Rose Gallery full of pictures from the movie and a ginormous music box of Belle and Beast dancing. But the best part? That was being present when our “host” Beast arrived and having our picture taken with him as we were leaving! I’m pretty sure that Be Our Guest is the only place in the park you can have your picture taken with Beast. So cool!
Many things had changed in the 18 months since our last visit. One of the more important changes, to us, was to the photo pass. Last year, we were given a free photo pass card that we could use to have our pictures taken professionally at any of the many places in the park. But then you have to purchase the pictures individually and they are expensive. This year we bought into the new Memory Maker, not realizing that the photo pass was still available. But for us, the Memory Maker works much better. Basically, you pay for all of your photos upfront. It was quite a chunk of change but it inspired us to have many more (128 to be precise) professional pictures taken throughout the park. We’ve got pictures with lots of characters (Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Winnie, the White Rabbit, etc) as well as photos of both of us together in front of many iconic locations. Definitely worth the investment, to us.
But now it’s time to get back into the swing of the real world. After all, Christmas is only two days away! And tomorrow is my brother-in-law Sam’s 20th birthday! Which is just crazy! The first thing I ever did with Hubby’s family was Sam’s 15th birthday dinner. FIVE YEARS AGO. Which means Hubby and I have been together for a little over five years. And that makes me happy.
God’s peace to you during this Christmas season. And if you’re still prepping for the holiday (like me), then good luck!