As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Back in December, our family was able to travel to Florida for a week. We have a timeshare, so we stayed in a nice place in Kissimmee, not far from Walt Disney World, and about 20 minutes from where my parents live in the winters. We had plenty of time to visit with them, and were also very excited to introduce Thi to some of our favorite places in the Orlando, FL area.
Every visit to Florida MUST INCLUDE A STOP AT THE FLORIDA WELCOME CENTER (one year, we got there after it had closed and I was SO disappointed!) I really wanted Thi to be able to try the orange juice – but I encouraged him to try the grapefruit also.
On our last few visits to Florida, the only taste of Disney we’ve gotten is a visit (or two) to Disney Springs. We really do love it there! So, it was our first stop once we had checked in at our resort. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas and always offers a taste of Disney without having to pay for a park ticket.
We can’t go to Disney Springs without a visit to the Lego Store – it’s Ian’s favorite! We all really enjoyed the Christmas Tree Trail and seeing all the themed Christmas trees. It was kind of exciting to see “snow” in Florida (Thi and I agree that snow of the fake variety is much more acceptable than the real thing!)
Thi got a huge kick out of chatting with this soldier!
We were so excited to spend a day at Epcot! I had gotten a bonus through my job at a Sipologist, and I spent it on the family – I made a dinner reservation for all of us at Biergarten in the Germany Pavilion as part of the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package. That meant that we would have guaranteed seating to see Gary Sinise narrate the processional! I LOVE Gary, so I was probably more excited than everyone else!
Epcot was very busy, but we arrived before park opening and stayed for the showing of IllumiNations (since it will be ending this year, I really wanted to experience it one last time and Thi really enjoyed it).
We enjoyed Soarin’, Living with the Land, Mission: SPACE, Spaceship Earth, and the Frozen ride. We ate lunch at the Norway Pavilion, enjoying some of their yummy sandwiches. Thi enjoyed visiting all the countries.
Our dinner at Biergarten was enjoyed by all – but especially by the boys in our group who LOVE to eat! There is so much yummy food there. I think Ashley and I probably enjoyed the entertainment as much as the food! We were seated with a nice couple from Florida and enjoyed getting to know them during dinner.
Seeing the Candlelight Processional was definitely a highlight. I don’t think any of us will soon forget it! It’s a very moving show and seeing Gary made it even more special!
EPCOT stands for Every Person Comes Out Tired, right?! We were very tired after a long and full day, but we loved every minute of it!
Our visit to
But, after a few hours in the park, it got so crowded that we all got a bit grumpy. We had ridden the Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates, and the Carousel of Progress. We got on the Teacups too. But, after that, all the lines for rides were at least an hour’s wait! And the crowds were such that people were shoving and being very rude.
We grabbed some lunch at Casey’s Corner, then decided to hop on the monorail and visit the resorts to check out the Christmas decorations (and, while at the Polynesian, we introduced Thi to my favorite – the Dole Whip Float!
It was only about 2:30 in the afternoon and we found ourselves content to ride the monorail loop about 3 times, before deciding we were all just done and decided to leave and head back to the resort. The crowds were just too much and we were just too tired! I wish we had allowed an extra day or two between our park visits but, with the new ticket structure, that wasn’t possible. Hopefully Thi will have a chance to return sometime when the crowds aren’t so crazy!
All-in-all, I think he would say that he enjoyed visiting Walt Disney World! He said it was something that he had already dreamed about, so I’m so glad we had the opportunity to share it with him! Hopefully we made some memories that he will carry with him when he goes home to Vietnam!