Florida (Disney) … At Christmas Time?

   disneymickey       There seems to be so much circulating my personal Facebook page and on the Twitter feed about Disney parks! Spring break takes a lot of people down south. I love looking at everyone’s Disney pictures! MelHal and I went twice as teenagers and we made great memories on the LONG drive to Florida and being there with our aunt and grandparents.

     In 2011 my parents came to me and my husband with the idea of going to Disney for Christmas 2012. It was a hard sell to my husband, and I was on the fence. Seriously, Christmas at Disney? What about the traditions, Santa Claus, tree, stockings, gifts, turkey? I couldn’t handle the thought of “losing” a Christmas with my then 18month old and 6year old! These were the years of making memories during Christmas.

christmasdisney

     Time progressed and I ended up selling the idea to myself and my husband and we agreed to Disney for Christmas 2012. Twelve of us went. We rented a house just minutes away from the entrance to the Disney parks, and my aunt assured me there would be a tree and a turkey dinner!

     The trouble of gifts. We wanted to maintain the Christmas day traditions with and for the kids. So, Christmas gifts were flat and light! We were flying after all and needed to comply with the baggage restrictions. After all the concerns of Christmas traditions were taken care of, we were set to go to Florida with an 18month old and 6 year old.

     We went with a game plan – which parks to see, what things our children would want to see, etc. It was like a university course for 3 months to prepare for our trip! Once our plane landed and we felt the warm breeze on our faces on December 20th we knew we were going to have fun. After all, we had just survived a long international journey with two kids – even complete with flight change!

A few of highlights from our trip:

Seaworld

     Going over Christmas has its perks for sure! One is the décor. Wow! Every corner screams Christmas. The characters are Christmas themed, the shops have Christmas themed gifts, and there is artificial snow. Believe me, even though we are from Canada, we all got a little excited seeing those flakes fly in the sky

.disneytree

     Seaworld had dinner with Santa. How cool is that? We had a buffet meal, the elves were there to entertain us, Mrs. Claus delivered warm cookies to us for dessert, Santa read us a story and of course the kids sat on his lap. If you want to do this, book ahead!

     Oh Wondrous Night is a show that Seaworld puts on during Christmas. Again, wow!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o2VbLOlUGw

     It is a live show of the Christmas story, including live animals. It was amazing and well worth viewing. It was another perk of going at Christmas.

Disney

     We went to a character breakfast at Chef Mickey. While it was pricey, it was a great way for the kids to get autographs and photo ops from all the characters without the line-ups and have a Mickey-shaped waffle! If your child has an allergy, please know they take it seriously! The chef came out to check on my dairy-free son and directed us to which items were safe for him. He even brought him an almond milk drink!

disneycharacters

     Going during Christmas provides you with a whole other experience like no other time of year! The decorations are breathtaking. Don’t get me started on watching Cinderella’s Castle lighting up. Every night they light the castle. Stop what you are doing and go watch. In the meantime, watch this video! (You can skip to the 5 minute mark if you’re short on time.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGoOkIuyc_0

     People warned me about the crowds at Christmas and by people I mean the internet. It really wasn’t as bad as I had myself prepared for but that could be because my kids were not old enough to go on rides. We were more for characters and shows. We did use the fast pass too, which helped a lot.

     The Osborne light show at Hollywood Studios is out of this world and worth staying till after dark to see! The Christmas music and dancing lights make it so exciting for the young and old. We did not stay and watch fireworks anywhere, because it was just too chilly in the evenings for us and the kids. Even though we are from the North, we were not prepared for the chilly evenings. We will be next time though!

disneylights

     I have to say that the REAL Santa is at Disney World! We met Santa at Downtown Disney and it was not a Santa Helper. It had to be the real deal! If you go at Christmas, find Santa. He is wonderful!

*TIP-about Photopass cards:

     Use them! With small kids moms never get in front of the camera. With the Photopass cards the photographer just scans the card and takes the picture and they’re at all the characters and hot spots. It was great. I was able to be in the pictures and see the excitement in the kids’ faces instead of being worried about getting the pictures. We bought the CD and we were able to print the pictures as we wished!

     So after all my nervousness, apprehension, Christmas tradition concerns and my husband not really sure about going, we all had a great time seeing Florida and Disney. When Christmas 2013 rolled around we were wishing we were packing up to go again.

    Well, ok NOT the packing part (we had to buy a new bag to bring back the gifts!). We will go back and see Disney again, probably not Christmas next time – but I certainly recommend the Christmas season at Disney!

disneystillchristmas

As you can see there was Christmas!

 

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