This is the 3rd time that my in-laws have graciously taken us to Disney World (Maddie’s 1st) and of course we had an absolute blast!! They are DVC members and because of it we get a taste of the “extra spoiled Disney life” too! I’m not kidding, we are EXTRA spoiled.
We went for 8 days, did all of the parks and had a few built in (and much needed) resort days. We stay on Disney property at Saratoga Springs in a roomy 2 bedroom villa. We love that resort! It is a walk away from Disney Springs and a short bus ride to all of the parks. The bus has 3 stops at the resort and then we are off to the park! Although, I do have to admit a few of the bus rides did feel long thanks to a certain wild 1 1/2 year old, but it was totally worth it. My favorite part about checking into a Disney resort is being greeted with a “welcome home”! I know I can’t be the only one that loves hearing that. It’s honestly the best welcome!
When our luggage arrived in our room we noticed that one of our suitcases had been damaged. It had a large crack along the top. We unpacked and put it to the side and figured we would worry about it when it came time to pack.
We had such an amazing week! Disney at Christmas is really like no other. The decorations and shows are all over the top! We had gorgeous 80 degree sunny weather our entire stay. We road rides, saw shows, ate, drank, resort hopped, monirailed, shopped, swam, saw characters (YES, CHARACTERS AND NOLAN EVEN HUGGED A FEW!) and even visited Santa Claus at Disney Springs.
If I had to choose some highlights they would include:
Watching Nolan walk right up to Chip and Dale on our first day at Magic Kingdom and getting their autograph and taking a picture. Chip proceeded to give him a hug and kiss which ran fear through Nolan’s poor little body, but he got past that and we kept reminding him how awesome he did! Seriously, that was major for him.
Chef Mickey’s. Take our waitress out of the equation (because she needs to go back to training on Disney customer service) and we all had such a wonderful time. We all enjoyed watching Nolan and Maddie’s excitement over seeing the characters! They loved watching them walk all around and were so happy when they visited our table.
Splaah Mountain with Nols, Ryan and Grandpa! Nolan was convinced and terrified the ride went under water even though we promised him it didn’t. I couldn’t understand why he was so pressed on it and then when I got off the ride and watched people go down the drop and then disappear and only see a splash I realized how that must appear to a 5 year old and felt horrible that we put him on it, but he did awesome!
Fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Obsessed with their new show! Disney sure does know how to do fireworks like no other! The show was incredible and the castle lit up at Christmas really is like no other.
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam at Hollywood Studios! Again, another great show, amazing fireworks display and then you tie that in with the snow on Hollywood Boulevard! Incredible. I also loved that it was an earlier show. I believe it was at 8pm as opposed to the 9:30 fireworks at Magic Kingdom and with having 2 little ones it made for a wonderful evening and a memory I will cherish watching Nolan and Maddie giggling and dancing in the snow on Hollywood Boulevard!
Avatar with Ryan and Grandma! We rode it twice and holy crap, it’s insane! We overheard someone describe it (before we had went on it) as “Soarin on steroids” and let me tell you, that’s the perfect description. Grandma was shocked when we told her we had never seen Avatar, so awhile I didn’t understand the banshee I was riding, it was still such a thrilling ride, and we left in agreement that it was all 3 of our favorite!
Soarin with Nolan. I am not even sure how many times he ended up riding it, but it was his favorite ride out of them all! He would navigate it to us and tell us what to get ready for. He loved it!
Maddie spotting Mickey and Minnie or all the princesses! Every time (which was a lot) she saw any of them she would excitedly say their name! Seeing the excitement on her face was so much fun.
All the water slides at our resort! Both kiddos did the kiddie water slides over and over and over again. We convinced Nolan to do the large water slide. Even the lifeguard got in on it and gave him a mini football for the pool and a giant cookie for going down the slide. Funny thing is, the first time we got him to go down we didn’t realize they closed the slide and we were at the top so I sent him down with no water and he was going so slow he literally got stuck and I ended up behind him pushing him out. 😂 So, after that we convinced him to go again with the water actually on, he did and then he didn’t look back. I can’t even tell you how many times he went down. He was going on his own and didn’t want to leave!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Y’all we are evil parents. Ryan and I had a date night and went to the party! Although from what I heard the next morning it sounds like the kiddos, Grandma and Grandpa all made sure to party hard too! 😉 It was probably the best date night we have ever had. Why? Because Disney is magical people!! We visited almost all of the cookie stops set up during the party. Literally, so many cookies were consumed. We were able to run onto rides multiple times, watched the show, fireworks and 11:00pm parade! Walked through the snow on Main Street and had delicious ice cream sundaes. Yes, even though we ate a million cookies.
The DVC Christmas party at Epcot! More rides, more fireworks, unlimited Mickey bars and a very nice gentleman named Santa 🎅🏻 happened to be sitting on a bench next to me when I was waiting for everyone to come back from rides. Nolan’s face when he saw him was priceless. He chatted with Nolan a minute and it was great!
I realize I could continue to go on, and on, and on about everything because there really wasn’t anything that I didn’t enjoy.
We resort hopped and checked out the Christmas decor! Visited the Grand Floridian to see the massive gingerbread house display. Stopped by the Poloneysian for a dole whip and we rode the monorail. We shopped in Disney Springs and even got to have a visit with Santa! I really didn’t think that the kids would cooperate so didn’t bother to dress them for the occasion and Maddie sat on his lap and Nolan talked to him!!!!! We were shocked!!! Had I dressed them up, that would not have happened.
Anyways, I won’t carry on much more, but I do have to go back to the cracked suitcase. The night before we left we were packing up before we headed to the Epcot Party and Grandpa and Nolan went for a walk to the guest services and asked if they had any duct tape. We simply wanted to patch up the suitcase just in order to get our stuff home without more damage occurring because we didn’t want our stuff to fall out. Well, we received a text back at the room from Grandpa for a picture of the damage and description of the suitcase. They checked their record and didn’t have any notes that damage occurred from the airport to the magical express, so they said they had to assume it was their fault! Again, we just wanted duct tape. We had waited our entire stay so we weren’t asking for anything more than a simple patch up to get our stuff home. They responded by telling us that “Mickey was going to buy us a new suitcase to replace the damaged one”. We were SHOCKED. They were at our door with a brand new Samsonite suitcase with a $389.99 price tag on it within an hour! They asked “will this do?”. Talk about TOP NOTCH CUSTOMER SERVICE!! 👏 Disney really is something special.
Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for including us on this magical vacation! These memories will stay with us forever! ❤️✨
I’ll try not to post too many pictures, but there are a lot!
Excitedly awaiting Grandma and Grandpa so we can head to the airport!
And then we were off!
And before we knew it we landed and Nols was PUMPED!
Resort check-in sticker success!
Ryan makes fun of me because I was obsessed with all the trees. Which is why we have 394855 pictures in front of all the different decorated Christmas trees!
The elves arrived! Also, we like to travel in December...
Nolan is not a Pluto fan and he made sure to keep his eye on him! 😂
Nolan was learning about Germany in school and so excited to visit there at Epcot! Also, totally got photobombed by the couple in the back! 🍻
Because we went on it so many times, we needed a picture in front of it too!
Maddie sound asleep...
Nevermind, she’s awake!
Maddie only let me put her down for Minnie!
Nolan equally loved Minnie just as much!
Even their sleepy faces are perfect😍
A visit to Santa at Disney Springs. No tears!!! 🎅🏻
DVC Moonlight Magic Party!
Nols favorite ride!
Our new almost $400 suitcase curteousy of “Uncle Walt”
Everything was magical, pixie dust and all!✨
And if you made it through this insanely long blog post in the words of Ry describing our vacation would have been, “Disney was awesome. Maddie was crazy. Nolan had a blast.” Maybe I should have him do them all the time! 😂
THANK YOU GRANDMA AND GRANDPA!!!!❤️
Happy Holidays, everyone!!!