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In November 2015, we spent 9 days at Disney World to celebrate Boston’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It was a wonderful trip. This is my report from that trip. Because it is so long, I decided to break this report up into two parts. This is Part II. You can read Part I here. I hope you enjoy this collection of memories from our magical holiday trip.
One of the reasons why I was so excited about this particular trip was the chance to see Disney World decked out for Christmas. I love Christmas, and I couldn’t wait to see the Most Magical Place on Earth decorated for my favorite holiday. I have to say, it didn’t disappoint! One of the best parts was the Christmas music playing everywhere we went.
Not only did each of the parks have a huge tree, but most of the hotels had their own trees and decorations that blended with the hotel’s theme. During our trip, we visited several of the resorts to see their displays. At the Yacht Club, there was a huge train and Christmas village set up. Boston enjoyed seeing it. At the Grand Floridian, we were all impressed by the giant gingerbread house. It filled the entire lobby with the amazing smell of gingerbread. My favorite display was at the Beach Club. They had a full-size carousel made of gingerbread and chocolate. It was such an awesome sight!
As great as the hotel decorations were, they were nothing compared to the Osborne Family’s Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios. This was the first time we got to experience the Osborne Lights. Unfortunately, 2015 was also the last year for Disney to display them. This is such a shame. I wish everyone had the opportunity to see these lights. Words and pictures can’t do them justice. They are simply breathtaking!
It’s hard to describe exactly what makes the Osborne Lights so wonderful. I think it is the combination of millions of lights covering everything in sight, Christmas music, and the choreography of the lights to the music that makes them so special. I am so thankful that I got the chance to experience them once in my lifetime. It was an experience I will never forget.
Boston’s Day to Plan
Prior to this trip, I told Boston that Thanksgiving Day would be his day to be in charge of planning. He got to decide everything that we did that day, but he also had to be in charge of all of the logistics of the day. He was so excited! His plan was to go to the Magic Kingdom that morning and eat at Garden Grill that night for dinner.
Magic Kingdom’s Family of the Day
Boston decided the night before his planning day that he wanted to get to the Magic Kingdom really early to see if we could get lucky enough to be picked as the Family of the Day. So, we were up at 4:30 am! We got to the Magic Kingdom so early that we had to wait for security to open the bag check lines! We were at the entrance to the park about an hour before it opened that day. It paid off because about 30 minutes before rope drop, we were approached by two cast members asking if we would like to be the Family of the Day and help Mickey open the park! Of course, we said yes!
They led us up to the train station where we met the Mayor of Main Street USA and the opening show dancers. As we were walking up the stairs, Boston said, “See, good things happen when you get up early!” During the opening show, we joined Mickey, the Mayor, the dancers, and the other characters on the balcony. It was awesome! I couldn’t believe we got picked to do this! When we were done, we discovered that there was a Photopass photographer who had been taking pictures for us the entire time!
After the opening show, the cast members had a Main Street car ready to take us to the castle in style. The photographer snapped pictures the whole way down Main Street. When we got to the castle, she took more photos of us in the car and with the castle in the background. It was fun having our own mini photo shoot right in front of the castle! They also gave us a free 8×10 print and a fastpass that we could use later in the day.
Off to Frontierland
After we finished with our magical morning, Boston wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. So, we headed to Frontierland. We rode Big Thunder Mountain three times in a row! Boston really loves this ride. At that point, it was around 10:30 in the morning. We were all ready for lunch since we had been up for so long already. I thought Columbia Harbour House opened at 10:30, so we headed that way. As we passed Peco Bill’s, we noticed that it was already open. Chris suggested we just eat there. This spur of the moment decision lead to another magical moment.
Deputy of the Day
As we were finishing up lunch, two cast members who worked at Peco Bill’s stopped and asked Boston if he would like to be their Deputy of the Day. We didn’t know what this was, but he quickly said yes. They told us to wait for a few minutes and they would come back and get him. When they came back, they led him to the front of the restaurant. All of the cast members were lined up ringing cowbells. They gave Boston a cowboy hat and deputy’s badge. They then swore him in as an official deputy. Next, they paraded him through the restaurant announcing to everyone that he was the Deputy of the Day.
The little parade ended on the front steps of the restaurant, where we were joined by a three piece band. They played a song for Boston and announced to everyone walking by that he was the Deputy of the Day. They gave him a certificate and a chocolate cake and told him he had to patrol the streets of Frontierland for the whole day.
He thought this was awesome and took his responsibility very seriously. I had to convince him that Tomorrowland also need a deputy in order to get him to leave Frontierland! For the rest of the day, he was on the lookout for anyone not following the law. I had no idea that they did this at Peco Bill’s until that day. This is another example of how Disney is always making special memories with little bits of extra magic.
Before we headed back to the hotel for a nap, we stopped in at the Main Street Theater to meet Mickey using the Fastpass we had received that morning. He saw Boston’s birthday button and sang Happy Birthday to him. Boston loved this! Chris didn’t realize that when you meet Mickey here that he will talk to you. He was a little surprised by this discovery!
After our time with Mickey, we stopped by the Photopass counter right outside to get our free print from that morning. While I was looking through all of our pictures, the photographer who had just been in with Mickey came out for a break. He stopped and spoke to Boston and Chris. The next thing I knew, he was snapping pictures of Boston. Those turned out to be some of my favorite pictures of the whole trip! Just another reason why I love Disney World!
Thanksgiving Dinner at Garden Grill
After we took a nap and freshened up, we went to Epcot for dinner at Garden Grill. I wanted to eat Thanksgiving dinner here because I knew they would have turkey and dressing on the menu. Boston wanted to eat here because of Mickey. The restaurant was super busy because it was Thanksgiving Day. We had to wait a long time to get a table, even with a reservation. Once we were finally seated, we had a great meal and wonderful character interaction. Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale all came by our table at least twice.
Once, Dale sneaked up behind Chris and tapped him on the shoulder and then ducked out of sight. He did this about three times before Chris realized who was behind him. Boston thought this was hilarious!
Directing Traffic at Illuminations
Originally, the plan was to go to Hollywood Studios to watch Fantasmic! after dinner. However, because it took so long to get seated, we didn’t have time to make it to Fantasmic! So, we decided to stay in Epcot and watch Illuminations instead. Before the fireworks started, I gave Boston a glowstick. He was still in deputy mode, and used his glowstick to direct traffic along the main promenade of World Showcase! Who knew that a simple ceremony at midday would still be providing entertainment to a kid late into the night!
Test Track Meltdown and Character Spot
Epcot was having Extra Magic Hours that night. When Illuminations was over, Boston wanted to ride Test Track, so we headed over there. But, when we got there, we saw that it still had a long line. By this point, it was close to 11:00 pm. All of us were tired. We told Boston that we weren’t waiting that long to ride Test Track that late at night. This caused a huge meltdown! We compromised by going to Character Spot to meet Mickey and the gang. He still wasn’t happy but he went along with it.
We met Goofy, Minnie, Pluto, and Mickey at Character Spot without much of a wait. This ended up being the fourth time that day that we saw Mickey! Somehow, though, it seemed appropriate for our day, especially since he is Boston’s favorite character. After our last character meet of the day, we went back to French Quarter and crashed in bed!
Chris Gets the VIP Experience
Chris is a huge college football fan and is loyal to his alma mater: TCU. This trip was planned long before the football schedule came out for that season. When we saw the schedule, we realized that we would be in Disney during TCU’s biggest game of the year: Baylor! This was very hard for Chris to miss! So, to make it up to him, I booked the VIP Experience at ESPN Club for him.
ESPN Club is located at the Boardwalk. The VIP Experience will guarantee you a seat in front of a tv showing your game of choice for the duration of that game. It costs $60 per person but includes all of your food and drinks up to $60. This was a super deal and a great experience for watching a big game! I would highly recommend this to any sports fan.
So, on that Friday night, after dinner, Chris headed over to ESPN Club while Boston and I went to play in the parks. This is yet another reason why I am such a fan of staying on property. We were able to easily split up for the evening without any hassles. Chris got to watch the game, and Boston and I got to keep having fun in the parks. Win-win for everyone!
TCU won the game in overtime. It was an amazing game, and Chris loved his experience. Boston and I ended up getting back to the hotel before Chris did because the game ran so long.
Departure Day Tears
On Saturday, we packed up the car before going to the parks for the day. The car was so stuffed that we didn’t have room to take Boston’s balloons home with us. We took the plush Mickey, but not the balloons. This caused him to cry! On the bus to the Magic Kingdom, he was still crying over the balloons. A little girl about his age saw him crying and felt sorry for him. She gave him one of her gold doubloons she had gotten at the French Quarter! It was so sweet of her. When we left the Magic Kingdom for the last time of the trip, Boston cried again. He was heartbroken that it was time to go home. He is such a little Disney fanatic!
We made the long drive home, arriving back at our house on Sunday evening. This was the best trip we have ever taken to Disney World. We had so many firsts and so many magical experiences. We all loved our magical holiday. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. All of these little moments and the wonderful memories they become is what keeps us going back to Disney World time and time again. It is a place like no other. I hope you enjoyed this rather long trip report! Happy travels and have a magical day!