We’re Going to Walt Disney World! Christmas Edition

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We’ve been counting down for 7 months, and now we’re less than 2 weeks away from our “Christmas” trip to Walt Disney World!

Our last visit was in April, a trip we planned to coincide with the Star Wars Dark Side races. We also usually go to a Disney park in early fall, when the parks are decked out for Halloween. (Last time was 2016, when we went to Disneyland.) This time I wanted to shake things up and go when the parks were decorated for Christmas. Our last trip during this time was in 2013, when we were there the week before Thanksgiving.

Our original idea was to leave for Florida on Thanksgiving afternoon, after Gary was stuffed from turkey and I had probably eaten too much mashed potatoes. We would arrive at Port Orleans French Quarter on Black Friday, and our celebration “Vacation is Finally Here!” meal was for Boma that night.

Then Gary decided, yeah, let’s just get out of here. And now we’re leaving the Tuesday before Thanksgiving! Yay for longer vacations!


Which meant I had to find us lodging for the extra days. French Quarter was full, and the other resorts that were left were more than we were willing to pay. Enter the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Or in our case, just the Swan.

The Swan will be a new experience for us. We’ve walked around the lobbies of both the Swan and Dolphin before, but we’ve never fully explored. These resorts are located in the Boardwalk area of Walt Disney World, walking distance (or a boat ride) to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I’m very excited to try out another new resort.

Actually, on this trip we will be staying at 3 resorts. After 2 nights at the Swan, we will switch over to Port Orleans French Quarter Resort for 4 nights, and then end our trip with 4 nights at Disney’s All Star Movies Resort. Most Disney planners advise starting out with the lowest level resort and moving up from there, but this is how the room availability best worked for us. We’ve also stayed at both French Quarter and Movies before, so we know what to expect.

So what else is new for us on this trip?

  • Thanksgiving dinner at Todd English’s Bluezoo.
  • Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It wasn’t open the last time we were there. I have 2 fast passes for us at Avatar Flight of Passage. We also plan to eat at Satu’li Canteen.
  • Hopefully participating in the Port Orleans French Quarter Beignet Dash Fun Run. This depends on how tired we are and if we can get up that early!
  • We are going to see Coco at the AMC Dine-In Theater at Disney Springs.
  • Happily Ever After fireworks. The Wishes fireworks were still there in April.
  • Candlelight Processional. Our speaker is Ana Gasteyer and our dinner is at Spice Road Table.
  • The new holiday lights “Sunset Seasons Greetings” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Dinner at The Boathouse at Disney Springs.

This just goes to show you how many times you can go to Walt Disney World and still have brand new experiences.

We’re also considering going to Universal City Walk because I’ve been dying to eat at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen. If not, there is always next time!

We’ll also do our tried and true favorites, and I’m excited to see the Christmas decorations at the resorts again as well.

The giant gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

The gingerbread tree at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Just for a trip down memory lane, here are some photos from our trip in 2013. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was still the top draw at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

We will not be attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this time. Since we have annual passes and didn’t have to pay for tickets on this trip, we couldn’t justify another $200 for party tickets. But I do have this awesome iPhone photo from it. Was this the iPhone 3 then?

Although we’ve never met Jack Skellington as “Sandy Claws” and I’m sure he’ll be at the party this year. 🙁

We have met Santa Goofy though!

Follow us on Facebook at The Happiest Traveling Blog for live updates starting on November 22nd. where we’ll answer the question, just how busy is Epcot on Thanksgiving? 😉

November 9, 2017

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