Happy hump day y'all!! I'm in the heart of moving apartments today, but I wanted to take the time to share the second part of my Disney Christmas Vacation! I hope y'all enjoyed Part I yesterday!
Thursday, December 24 - Christmas Eve
After a busy first two days, we decided to slow things down a bit and venture to Animal Kingdom.
This is another park that you can do in about half a day if needed. **PRO Tip: Animal Kingdom is the first park to close, so if you're going to do two parks in one day, I recommend starting early in the morning at Animal Kingdom.
My favorite part of Animal Kingdom is the Safari Ride. You would never know you're in central Florida. Once you board the truck, you're instantly transported to an African environment.
In this 25 minute tour, you get to see so many different kinds of animals. Everything from elephants, giraffes, gorillas, ostriches, to alligators and flamingos! No two safari rides are the same, so my family and I like to do the ride several times while we're at Disney.
One of the coolest things we saw were the giant gorillas and their babies! They came so close to us and were extremely active for the time of day we were there. I got so many pictures and the babies were absolutely adorable!
One of the best roller coasters can be found at Animal Kingdom as well! Mt. Everest is one of the longest and more fun coasters at Disney! It goes backwards, and has a huge drop towards the end. **PRO Tip: The single riders line is by far the shortest wait. We literally rode the ride three times in a row, just by choosing this line!
After a few hours at the park, we headed back to the resort to change for our Christmas Eve dinner. My mom got us reservations at Artist Pointe; one of the nicest restaurants on Disney property and can be found at the Wilderness Lodge.
Prior to dinner, we took the boat from Magic Kingdom to Disney's Grand Floridian resort.
By far the nicest and most fancy resort on Disney property. They had a giant Christmas tree in their lobby, plus a life-size gingerbread house! You could buy the actual gingerbread shingles off the house! They were incredibly delicious!
Once dinner was over, we rode the boat back to Magic Kingdom and took the bus back to our resort. We had some family time back in our room and rested up for an eventful Christmas Day!
Friday, December 25 - Christmas Day
Christmas morning we woke up and watched the Disney parade on TV, while at Disney! Kind of funny. We saw a similar version of the parade just a few days prior at Magic Kingdom! How great is this shot of Santa?!
My family and I decided to keep one tradition, by filling stockings with a few goodies. Our room had the perfect place to hang them for the week. I ended up getting my mom the Kendra Scott necklace she had been wanting and my dad a brand new Steelers sweater vest he asked for. It was the least I could do for my parents planning such a wonderful Christmas Vacation!
After opening our stockings, we got ready and headed to Hollywood Studios for the day. This is my favorite park of the four. It has the most rides, the coolest shows, and has the best nighttime water show!
We spent the entire Christmas Day at Hollywood Studios. Just riding rides and ending the day watching the Fantasmic water show. This nighttime show shoots hundreds of gallons of water in the air and projects a show, right onto the water! There are floats and the night ends with a huge boat, carrying all the major Disney characters! I definitely recommend getting a fast pass for this show!
Saturday, December 26 - Last Full day
Our last day at Disney we had nothing planned. We originally were going to go to Universal Studios and Harry Potter World, but we were just too tired to wake up early to take full advantage of a day at these parks. So we slept in before deciding what to do.
My mom had the idea of seeing how much it'd cost to add an additional day at the Disney theme parks. Thinking it'd cost quite a bit to do this, my mom still headed to the concierge to inquire. She was greeted by a man, who unbeknownst to her, was one of the resort managers. She asked about adding an additional day, and he said, "let me make some magic happen for you! Wait right here." About five minutes later, the man came back out with FREE passes to all the parks for our last day + three fast passes to use on any rides we wanted!! How is that for some magic?! We couldn't believe it!!
Disney really aims to please and this truly made our trip that much better! We first headed back to Animal Kingdom, then hopped over to Magic Kingdom for dinner at Be Our Guest. This restaurant is Beauty and the Beast themed, with characters visiting throughout your meal. Our host was The Beast, and he greeted you several times while you ate.
If you're visiting Disney in the near future, make reservations for Be Our Guest now! This dinner fills up months in advance and my brother actually was able to find a cancellation for us on the Disney app. So we thankfully got in last minute.
The meal was the best we had all week. The french onion soup is incredible as an appetizer, and my meal of shrimp, lobster and scallops was the best I had had in years! My dad loved his pork chop and my mother's pork roast was to die for. And honestly the food isn't that expensive when you think about the fact you're at Disney. It was worth every penny! Plus, you get your picture made with The Beast at the end of your meal!
We ended the night back at Hollywood Studios for a few more rides and to checkout the Osbourne City Lights Display once again!
Y'all, this is the largest light display I've ever seen! Sadly this is the last year for the display, but it was an incredible sight to see. Lights everywhere you looked, and themed music that coordinated with the flashing lights. We stood there for nearly 30 minutes both nights, just watching the show!
Sunday, December 27 - Back to DC
Ahh, the end of my vacation. I was exhausted at this point and had averaged about 15,000 steps a day! You definitely don't need to watch what you eat throughout the week, because you're most certainly walking it off!
Sadly all good things must come to an end, so I packed up and headed back to the airport to fly back to DC.
It was a truly magical week in Disney and I loved spending it with my family! If you're thinking of visiting Disney soon, have any questions about my trip or for your own upcoming trip, feel free to email me! Happy to answer any questions or provide any tips!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with loved ones as well. I know it's a little late, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours!! Xo