Tuesday, November 30
We left on Monday afternoon and went to my parents house for the night about 3 hours south of us. On Tuesday morning, we left at 6:30 CST to head to Orlando. We had to take highways to get to 75 south in Georgia and it seemed like we would never get there! According to Google maps, it should have taken us about 7 hours from my parents house to get to WDW. Instead it took us 10 hours. We did have to stop in Valdosta, GA to get a tire patched which took almost 45 minutes. That really set us back. Then traveling with C-man and JAG, we had to stop for stretch breaks, potty breaks and snack breaks. Without kids, it would have been a pretty easy trip! Finally, we were there!
When we got to WDW we checked into the Coronado Springs Resort and got settled in our room before we hit our trail! The Coronado Springs is a huge resort with a large lake in the center. The pool is a Mayan Temple theme that we could see from our hotel window. The food court, Pepper Place, was very good. One of my favorite meals of the week. The Convention Center is very large too and was a great location for the Youth Worker Summit.
First, we drove to The Polynesian Resort to check out the hotel Christmas decorations on the Monorail Loop. The Polynesian was a bit lacking in my opinion- but we didn't get too deep into the resort.
The Grand Floridian was amazing with the Gingerbread House and gigantic trees! The smell in the lobby was to die for! There were so many people milling about and the music playing was perfect to get everyone in the Christmas Spirit. In front of the large center tree there were Photopass Photographers ready to capture the moment.
The Famous Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian
I loved the Mickey Wreath on the Contemporary Resort! The Gingerbread tree was nice too. I even found a small menorah in the lobby for our Jewish friends. I love how the Monorail takes guests right inside the Resort. How convenient if you are actually staying there! Staying at a Monorail Loop Resort is on my Disney Bucket List, along with having a Character meal at Chef Mickey's. I had breakfast there on my first trip in 1983, but I don't remember it- I just have photos to prove I was there!
After this loop, we headed to the Beach Club to see their decorations and eat at Beaches And Cream. This lobby was my favorite! The Gingerbread Carousel was amazing. The staff was very hospitable and interactive. One lady told us all about the carousel and told us to look for a dozen hidden Mickey's in the display. Another man was passing out samples of the gingerbread and sharing copies of the recipe.
After oohing and ahhing over the carousel we went to Beaches and Cream to get a table. There was a 30 minute wait, so we had time to walk around the Beach Club and admire the pool and trail around the lake. They were showing the movie "Alice in Wonderland" on the beach, so we watched a few minutes of that! Dinner at Beaches and Cream was great. My hamburger and fries were very tasty and the boys enjoyed their chili dog and roast beef sandwich. C-man wouldn't eat a thing. After dinner I was too stuffed to get ice cream- which was sad because that was one thing I really wanted to do! JAG got a mint chocolate chip sundae and when he couldn't finish it, I did get a few spoonfuls of his! One of my WDW goals is to have enough people in my party to order, eat and finish the Kitchen Sink!
The Kitchen Sink at Beaches And Cream... who wants to join me?!
I had hoped to have time on this night to go to Fort Wilderness and see the campers all decked out for the holidays, but C-man was getting too tired and we had early breakfast reservations for the next morning. That also ruled out seeing the Campfire movie at FW. That's the beauty of "next time!"