Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December '14 Walt Disney World Trip Report: Part 1

by Nick

Barbie and I went on vacation with our friends Jill and Josh to Orlando from December 4th through the 12th.

 Me, Barbie, Pluto, Jill, and Josh at Epcot

We'll start the report on Saturday, December 6th.

What happened to the first 2 days of the trip? Were they so bad we don't want to discuss them? No.
In fact they were totally awesome. We had a blast. But it wasn't at Disney. It was at the park that shall not be named, AKA, The Dark Side.

Yes, that's right, Universal Studios. -gasp-
Let's address this dragon elephant in the room.

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, which is terrific, experienced extreme generosity from friends (You know who you are, and thank you again!), and the Harry Potter areas, heck, all of Universal and Islands of Adventure are extremely well themed. Absolutely spectacular.

Okay, moving on.

We arrived at the Wilderness Lodge about 830am and checked in for our stay at the Villas side. Since our room wasn't ready yet, we checked our bags and walked around the main lobby area, taking photos of the amazing decorations.

We split the cost of Memory Maker, part of the PhotoPass system, and we started getting photos the minute we saw a photographer. More on our Memory Maker experience in a future post.

Then it was off to Epcot, to partake in some of the Holidays Around the World food and entertainment. But first, the ladies wanted to get a Croissant Donut.

We continued on around to France where we found Père Noël.

After this, it was off to Japan where we learned the story of the Daruma doll and other New Year celebrations and customs.

While there, I tried one of the many special holiday food offerings available at each of the World Showcase Pavilions.

Next stop, Germany, where we heard Helga tell the story of the first Christmas tree and the tale of her first Nutcracker.

We both received a text that our rooms were ready, so we continued toward the front of World Showcase, stopping in Mexico, where we split a couple of meals for lunch, as well as another holiday offering, the Sweet Tamale. All the food was delicious!

We went to our rooms and unpacked, then met for a dip in the pool and hot tub. It was the last warm day of the trip, so it was the only time we'd actually take a swim during our stay.

A little later in the evening we met our friend Josie in the main lobby of the Wilderness Lodge.

We took a boat to the Magic Kingdom.

Barbie, me, Jill, Josh, and Josie

Luckily, we'd made it on time for the second Frozen Holiday Wish castle lighting show, which I had all intentions of taking video of and sharing here. But, as we weren't directly right in front of the stage, this happened. 

 Oh well, I moved a little bit to the right and...

There is a castle back there, honest!

I did manage to position myself in a spot where I could at least capture this much video:

After a ride on the Under the Sea -Journey of the Little Mermaid, our next stop was for a bite at Gaston's where Josh and I split a pork shank.

We made a stop at Pete's Silly Sideshow for photos with Donald, Goofy, Minnie and Daisy.

After that, we had a FastPass+ for the Jingle Cruise, a fun holiday overlay of the Jungle Cruise.



We took a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, then made our way to Main Street, where at midnight we celebrated the arrival of Josie's birthday, a wonderful end to a very full first day.


  1. I love that photo of muscle-man Nick in Gaston's chair!
    What a fun couple of days.


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