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In November 2015, we went to Disney World during the week of Thanksgiving. This trip was to celebrate Boston’s 6th birthday. Obviously, we also celebrated Thanksgiving while there. Additionally, we attended our very first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that week as well as took in all of the wonderful Christmas decorations. This trip report is a collection of memories from our magical holiday celebration trip. Because this report is long, I am going to split it into two different posts. This is Part I.
Our trip was from November 20-28, 2015. We stayed at Port Orleans-French Quarter in a garden view room. We had 8 day park hopper tickets with the Disney Dining Plan and tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the night of November 20.
The Original Plan
Originally, we planned to leave as soon as Chris and Boston got out of school on Thursday, November 19 and drive all night. This would have had us arriving at Disney World sometime around 9-10 am on Friday. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to change the plans and go with the flow. This was one of those times.
The Revised Plan
After we booked this trip and bought Christmas party tickets, Chris got a new job. In August, he discovered that he would not be able to take off on Friday, November 20. That meant that he would not be able to leave town until 4:00 pm on Friday. There was no way that we could leave Texas that late and still make it to the Christmas party on time. So, we had to change our plans.
Under the new plan, I pulled Boston out of school on Thursday and Friday. Boston and I left home Thursday morning and drove down, just the two of us. Chris worked on Friday and then flew down to meet us Friday night. Chris ended up missing the Christmas party, but Boston and I were still able to attend. At first, Chris thought I was crazy when I brought up the idea of driving down by myself, but I was excited about the adventure. This was the only way any of us were going to be able to go to the Christmas party, and I was bound and determined to make it to that party!
The Drive Down
Boston and I left home at about 6:00 am Thursday morning. We had a great drive with very little traffic and beautiful weather. We stopped for the night at a Holiday Inn in Tallahassee after being on the road for about 13 hours. Because Boston is a great traveler, I didn’t have any problems being the only driver. We got up early the next morning and were on the road by 7:00 am, ahead of schedule. We drove the final few hours to Orlando without much of a rush.
About an hour or so outside of Orlando, we stopped at a Florida visitor’s center. We looked at the baby alligators and bought some salt water taffy. This was a fun little detour that we wouldn’t have done if Chris had been with us. It was kinda nice to have some mother/son time.
We pulled in to Port Orleans-French Quarter at about 11:00 am. We checked in and got Boston’s birthday button and our mugs. Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we grabbed some lunch in the food court and then explored the resort. At about 2:00, we got the text that our room was ready. We couldn’t have asked for a better room location. We were about halfway between the main building and the pool right in the center of the resort on the third floor. The only bad part of the room location was that the elevator was on the other end of the building, so it wasn’t really convenient to use it. This wasn’t a problem except when I was lugging luggage up to our room with only Boston to help me.
We unloaded the car and got everything settled in our room just in time to head to the Magic Kingdom for the Christmas party.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Boston and I got to the Magic Kingdom at about 4:00 pm. We entered the park on our party tickets. We had a Fastpass+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Goofy’s Barnstormer, two of Boston’s favorite rides. As soon as we got inside the park, we went straight to Big Thunder Mountain. After that, we rode Barnstormer and Dumbo. Boston was too excited to eat any dinner at that point, and this would come back to haunt me later.
The Seven Dwarfs
At about 5:30, we went and got in line to meet the Seven Dwarfs. I knew that they probably wouldn’t come out until close to the start of the party, but I also knew that their line would get long quick. Meeting them was one of the main goals for the party, so we lined up early. When we got in line, there were about 6 families in front of us. Within 30 minutes, the line was about 4 times longer than it was when we got in it.
After waiting for a while, Boston got hungry and cranky. If Chris had been with me, I would have sent him to get a snack while we stayed in line, but unfortunately, he wasn’t there yet. So, Boston had to just wait. He played on my phone while we stood in line, which helped with the crankiness. Once the dwarfs came out, our turn came quickly. We met the dwarfs and then headed back to Storybook Circus.
Other Character Meet and Greets
Once in Storybook Circus, we got some popcorn and drinks. This greatly improved Boston’s mood. Then, we queued up to meet Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws. We waited about 45 minutes to see Jack. It was well worth it because he was hilarious! Boston wasn’t sure what to think of him though! After we met with Jack, we walked a short distance to line up for the last must-do character meet on our list: Scrooge McDuck.
Scrooge was meeting guests along with Donald. You had to wait in one line to meet them as well as Minnie and Daisy in their Christmas outfits. This line took longer than it should because of a young international couple ahead of us in the line. This couple had no consideration for anyone else in line behind them. They took about 20 photos with each of the characters. It was ridiculous, and the cast members were reluctant to move them along.
Parade and Fireworks
After meeting the ducks and Minnie, we were very short on time. We made a beeline to Main Street USA. We got there a few minutes before Holiday Wishes. The fireworks were wonderful. I enjoyed the snow on Main Street, but Boston was not impressed by it. After the fireworks, the crowd really thinned out. We peeked in the Emporium and then found a spot on the curb on Main Street to wait for the second parade to start. Boston fell asleep once we sat down. It had been a long day, and he was running on very little sleep. When the parade started, I woke him up. We both loved this parade. My favorite part was the wooden soldiers. Boston enjoyed the gingerbread men.
We had talked about riding a few rides after the parade, but by the time it was over, we were both exhausted. So, I made the decision to call it a night and head back to the hotel. Chris had flown down and taken Magical Express to the hotel. He arrived about the same time as we did. Magical Express is one of the reasons why I love staying on property. It was so convenient for Chris to take it from the airport. This allowed me and Boston to go to the Christmas party instead of driving to the airport late at night.
Before this trip, Boston told me that his stuffed Mickey Mouse, whom he calls Mouse, had told the real Mickey that he would be there for his birthday. He was convinced that Mickey and the other characters were going to give him presents while we were there. I didn’t want him to be disappointed, so a couple weeks before our trip, I contacted Disney Floral and Gifts to help me make some magic. I arranged for a birthday balloon bouquet to be sent to him from Mickey and the other characters. The plan was for it to be delivered to our room on Saturday, the first full day of our trip.
By the time we got to Disney World, I had forgotten about the balloons. On Saturday, we got up early and went to the parks like usual. After lunch, we went back to our room for a nap. When we walked in the room, there were the balloons sitting on the table. Boston was very surprised. He said, “See Mama, I told you that Mickey would get me a birthday present!” He loved the balloons and the plush Mickey Mouse that was attached to them.
Our Sleep-In Day
Most days, we get up crazy early and are at the parks in time for rope drop. However, there is always one day during the middle of the trip that we sleep in a little and spend the morning doing something outside of the parks. On this trip, we told Boston that he could pick what we did. He wanted to go fishing and play miniature golf.
On Wednesday, we slept until about 7:00 am. After breakfast, we walked over to Riverside and went fishing at the Fishing Hole. This costs about $12 for 30 minutes. They provide you with cane poles and live worms so you can fish off of the dock. It is catch and release. While this sounds exciting to a little boy, it isn’t as much fun as it sounds. After a few minutes, Boston was bored. We only caught one little fish. When our half an hour of fishing was up, we went to Winter Summerland to play mini golf.
This was the first time we visited Winter Summerland, but it quickly because a favorite activity for us. Boston got a free round of golf because of his birthday. The backstory is that this is where Santa and the elves play when Christmas is over. There are 2 18-hole courses here, one themed around summer and one themed around winter. We played the winter course. Christmas music plays all year long here, but it really helped to get me into the Christmas spirit on this trip.
Winter Summerland was not crowded at all. It was a nice break from the crowds. We all had fun playing. We enjoyed it so much that we will probably play mini golf on all of our future trips.
After we finished at Winter Summerland, we drove over to Disney Springs. We had lunch at Earl of Sandwich. This is such a great place to eat! It is delicious! It may be the best sandwich place I have ever dined at in the world. Afterwards, we did some Christmas shopping and let Boston spend some of his birthday money. When we were done, Chris drove back to French Quarter while Boston and I took the boat back.
This concludes Part I of this trip report. I hope you have enjoyed reading about our magical holiday celebration so far. You can read Part II here soon. Until then, happy travels and have a magical day!