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Old 01-31-2010, 02:29 PM   #1
nantrev
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Join Date: May 2009
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Our Magical Pre Christmas Trip 12-13 to 12-20-2009 - Updated 04-15-2010

This is our first trip report
The Who:

DH - great hubby, fantastic father and hardworking guy
DS - 13 years old, that loves roller coasters, taking pictures and Disney Quest
ME - Stay at home mom, that loves to scrapbook, in between homeschooling DS

When: December 13th to 20th, 2009

Backgound for our trip:
We are transplants from Disney Land, been in New England for 9 years. This will be our third trip to Disney World (2003, January 2009) and I have to say this was the best one so far! And before I forget we want to send a BIG THANK YOU to all the other DisBoarders for their helpfull comments, great ideas and tips! With all of your help, my family had a fantastic trip! So onto our trip; Our last trip to Disney Land


was in December 1999 before we moved, and I still remember the big Christmas tree . So when I found out that Disney World was having the 4/3 special, we decided we needed to do a December trip. What a Special trip it was! We took over 2,000 pictures on our 2 cameras and over 200 pictures on Photopass.

Next up Day One

Last edited by nantrev; 04-16-2010 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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Day 1 - December 13, 2009 - Part 1

Up at 4am to drive up to Manchester, NH. Luckly no snow and our flight was on time . Oh, I almost forgot it was 17(F) outside. Arrived in Orlando, FL around 10am, it was 63(F) a heatwave for us. Walked quickly to the Disney's Magical Express Service, no line and only a small line for our bus. Our DS knew we were going to Disney World but thought we were staying at the resort we stayed at in January. So he was surprised when the bus driver didn't mention the resort. He was shocked when we arrived at Animal Kindgom Lodge and mom & dad started to get off the bus.

He was thrilled Walked right up to pre-check in and our room was ready for us. Our room was on the 3rd floor, pool view

The nice thing was we were very close to the lobby and stairs that went to the pool and out front to the buses. We were pleased to find that there was no noise from any of these areas in our room, even through they were not far away. This was very nice espically late at night. After checking out our room, we went back to the lobby to check out the beautiful Christmas Tree

WOW is an understatement, it was so beautiful. We had an early lunch at Mara's, very nice small food court. Then it was Savanna time. It was so neat to see Giraffes, Gazells, Ankole Cattle and more.

Viewing the animals like this was really nice to be able to do without leaving our resort. The CM's were so helpful and had lots of information. There were a ton of native lizards for our son to look at and take pictures.


Next up where do we go after the resort tour?
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
nantrev
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Day 1 - December 13, 2009 - Part 2

We took a bus to Downtown Disney

for the boys to go play at Disney Quest

I found a somewhat quiet corner to relax. We stayed for a couple of hours. Then we jumped onto a bus and headed to Swan & Dolphin Hotel to catch a ferry to Hollywood Studios. We did have to wait for 2 or 3 ferries before we could get on one,but we spent the time watching the beach Santa in his decked out golf cart.

At Hollywood Studios

We found a place and waited for the Osborne Lights to be turned on, another WOW!

It was so cool to see the lights come on and watch them dance while the bubble snow came down. We got some photopass pictures taken, which are beautiful and was worth the small wait. Even our DS loved the lights. I didn't want to leave, but we were hungry so off we went to find a turkey leg.

(The past two trips we never had one, so this was a must on this trip.) It was messy but good. Lucky for us they had a 2nd Fantasmic Show and off we went, to enjoy the show. DS rode Rock 'N' Roller Coaster twice, using the single rider line, which was moving very quickly. After a couple of other rides.

We took the bus back to our resort.
I had read how noisy the AKL rooms were, but our was nice and quiet, during our stay.
We all agree that Osborne Lights, were our favorite thing of our first day.
Thoughts on 1st Day: It was a WOW factor being at Osborne Lights when they were turned on, also staying to watch them dance.
Photopass Pictures:


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Old 02-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Love all the pictures!

I live roughly 25 minutes from the Manchester airport - it's so nice to be able to get to Orlando non-stop from there.

As a family, we've only stayed at AKL - my DH loves the animals and can't see a reason to go anywhere else. We actually had the same room two years in a row - just a few doors in from the lobby. I have never noticed any noise, even being that close. Glad you didn't, either.

Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:35 AM   #5
nantrev
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Love all the pictures!

I live roughly 25 minutes from the Manchester airport - it's so nice to be able to get to Orlando non-stop from there.

As a family, we've only stayed at AKL - my DH loves the animals and can't see a reason to go anywhere else. We actually had the same room two years in a row - just a few doors in from the lobby. I have never noticed any noise, even being that close. Glad you didn't, either.

Can't wait to hear more!
We are about 30 minutes from the Machester Airport, we love to fly out there instead of Logan in Boston. It so easy to get into and out of

We have stayed at All Stars Movies, Caribbean Beach and Animal Kingdom Lodge and we loved Animal Kingdom Lodge so much. On this trip we actual cut some park days short just to come back to AKL to just hang out. When we go back, we will stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge again.

Last edited by nantrev; 03-10-2010 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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Great pics!
What a great surprise for your DS to stay at AKL!!
I tried to find the photopass photogs at the Osbourne Lights but never did find them. Your pics look beautiful!
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:01 PM   #7
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Day 2 - December 14, 2009 - Animal Kingdom Part 1

It was hard, but we got up early and headed over to Animal Kingdom on the bus for rope drop.

It was an Extra Magical Hour Morning.

My DS & I rode Exedition Everest twice with no line, then he rode it again by himself.

Then we decieded to do the Safari, on the way we stopped and I got a very yummy frozen Chai tea & my DS got a frozen lemonade at Royal Anandapur (during winter these are very hard to find in New England). We made it to Kilimanjaro Safaris and rode it twice, (the 2nd time we had a wait, but it wasn't due to a people line, it was a animal line. The Wilderbeast decided they wanted to cross the road and of course the jeeps had to wait). It was a different Safari this time as it was FOGGY! In fact our driver said "I think the fog is getting thicker instead of thinning out", the fog made the ride very unique and if you get a chance ride in the back row, we loved it as you can turn around and get some awesome pictures. This Rhino cross in front of our jeep and then walked right next to it. My DS got a great picture.

The boys went to It's a Bug Life and I headed over to Camp Mickey & Minnie. I wanted to see the Christmas Character Trees and some special characters. The Character trees were so cute!

Mickey and Minnie gazboos were decorated so nice .

Our special or maybe my special treat was seeing Santa Goofy (the boys made it, to have a picture taking Mickey & Santa Goofy)

The lines were not bad at all, I think Mickey was the longest at 15 minutes and part of that was a cheese break for Mickey. We also met Thumper and his girl Ms Bunny


Up next lunch and we head over to Magic Kingdom for the Wishes Dessert Party
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Disneychix View Post
Great pics!
What a great surprise for your DS to stay at AKL!!
I tried to find the photopass photogs at the Osbourne Lights but never did find them. Your pics look beautiful!
He loves animals and he loved Animal Kingdom Lodge.
We loved the Osborne Lights and I was very surprised that they were taking picutres.

Last edited by nantrev; 03-10-2010 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #9
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Joining in!

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:12 PM   #10
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The safari looks so cool in the fog!
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:38 PM   #11
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Day 2 - December 14, 2009 - Animal Kingdom Part 2

Lunch was at Flame Tree BBQ, it was good, even with the begging birds & ducks.

The boys rode Kali River Rapids while I took pictures and squirted them from the bridge

We walked the Maharajah Jungle Trek, the tigers and fruit bats were active, in fact this is the first time we saw the bats moving around

We saw DeVine for the first time in Asia, wow even with her moving it's hard to tell it's not a plant.


DS was missing his bearded dragon at home, so he took a ton of lizard pictures.
We left Animal Kingdom and headed towards the Contempary.

Up next Wishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom



Last edited by nantrev; 03-10-2010 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:38 PM   #12
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:43 PM   #13
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Day 2 - December 14, 2009 - Animal Kingdom Photopass

Here are some of the photopass pictures from the Animal Kindgdom



We ran into a lot of great photopass people, they really gave us some great pictures
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:30 PM   #14
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Day 2 -December 14, 2009 - Part 3 - Contempary & Magic Kingdom Wishes Dessert Party

After we left Animal Kingdom we took the bus over to the Contempary and we walked around and the saw the giant Mickey Head wreath, it was very cool

We went upstairs and saw the Gingerbread Tree and I got a United Kingdom Gingerbread treat & DS got a Rice Krispee Treat. They were both very good.

After we finished our treat we took the monorail to Magic Kingdom (on our trip they were not letting anyone ride in the front).
At Magic Kingdom

we saw Santa Claus
He was very nice and jolly. He was super sweet with DS. We rode our favorite rides Splash Mountain & Buzz Light Year Space Ranger Spin.

We made the Castle Lighting Ceremony at Cinderella Castle and watched the Fairy Godmother light up Cinderella's Castle one area at a time. It was so cool and pretty to watch the castle come alive with the sparkling lights.

Even more amazing was during the daytime it was very hard to see the lights on the castle.
Now it was time for the Wishes Dessert Party, we had a great table right in front of the castle.
Our name was on our table, with castle confetti. Now for the good stuff, the desserts: chocolate covered strawberries, mango shooters (yes you drink the mango shooter with a straw), cheesecakes, cookies, fruit and many more that I have forgotten about. The desserts were great and they never ran out of anything. when one of the CM came by and saw DH was drinking water & eating fruit, she asked him if he wanted any sugar-free desserts. They were very attentive. When it was time for Wishes to start we moved up to the railing (about 15 minutes early). There was no crowding and Tink flew right over our heads. We had the perfect spot for the fireworks. We all really enjoyed this!

As I write this I wish I could have one or two more chocolate covered strawberries and a mango shooter now, yum
After our tumies were full and we saw a great fireworks show, we took the bus back to our resort. Magic Kingdom at night was the only time that we had to wait for a 2nd bus.

It was warm enough our DS to enjoy the pool, when we got back to our resort.

Favorites of the day: Wishes and Wishes Dessert Party and the chocolate covered strawberries
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:36 PM   #15
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Day 2 - December 14, 2009 - Magic Kingdom Photopass Pictures

Here are some of our favorite photopass pictures from Magic Kingdom



Soon to come: Day 3 off to Blizzard Beach & Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
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