I think the hardest part of taking a Disney Theme Park vacation is marrying the expectations and the actual planning of your trip. I don’t think, no matter how often you go, there is a more emotionally charged “vacation” to take. Your childhood visits, visits with your kids, and then now all of the blogs, vlogs, information now at your finger tips about what you can do, how to do it, why to do it… expectations just grow.
Understand, this will be our third trip into the parks in 2019. Each trip- from the very beginning, was going to be very different. January we went all out for our kids’ Christmas gift. In May, we were meeting friends and kicking off Summer. This trip is centered around a business trip for me and adding on family time before the conference starts.
So, the first thing we needed to figure out, was where to stay pre-conference. Our plan was to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on our second night, so we wanted to stay on the monorail line. Katie and Mikey (our younger children will be joining Mike and I as our oldest is in college and has finals and moving back home for the next 4 weeks while we are away) asked to visit Disney Springs during our time as well.
We decided to reserve our pre-conference stay at the Contemporary Resort. Why? Well, we can walk home from the Christmas party. It will also be Mikey’s first stay there and that leaves us all with just one resort left on our Deluxe Resort overnight stay bucket list.
Complicating our plan for this trip- in September, I got our information as far as conference activities- and it includes going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as part of our conference fee. So, we can now all still go together- but later during our stay. So, now what?
We decided to keep our pre-stay at the Contemporary. Why? Well, to be honest- the other deluxe resorts were pricing higher and we knew we wanted to stay deluxe. We haven’t stayed here since before Mickey was born and Katie was only 2 years old and she is 17 years old now- so it’s practically new to all of us as well.
So, now we map out what we want to do.
We land on our first day just before 1pm, so we assume we will be checking in no later than 3:30pm. The Electrical Water Pageant is at 10:10pm on Bay Lake at The Contemporary Resort- and since we have a room with a view, I would REALLY like to be back inside our room it see it.
After check in- we plan to head to Disney Springs. We will likely mobile order at D Luxe Burger because we will be starving, I am sure. Mike and Mikey will head to The Void as Katie and I stroll around checking out the shops and Christmas Tree Trail.
The next day, we are heading on the monorail and into Epcot. We have 3 Fast Passes already set beginning at 10am (including my favorite Soarin’), before our lunch reservation at Via Napoli. We booked the Candlelight Processional Package- which is pre-paid and includes 3 courses and seating for the 5pm show- read by Gary Sinese tonight. After lunch and after the show, we will wander around World Showcase, likely following the Cookie Stroll within the Festival of the Holidays. There are quite a few holiday kitchens available as well- I am just assuming the crowds will be a bit high on the weekend and assumed we would appreciate the break Via Napoli will give us and we really do love it there. We can visit the kitchens for cookies and maybe a drink or two as we collect our cookies. Italy’s Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila that I loved during the Flower and Garden Festival is being offered again and a Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini (Grey Goose Vanilla Vodka and Chocolate Milk) I might have to try. Mike LOVES Egg Creams (Milk, Chocolate Syrup and Seltzer), which are being offered in the L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen and plenty of hot chocolate for the kids. At 8:30pm, I did reserve a table at La Hacienda de Angel so we can unwind with even more drinks, apps, and desserts while we watch Epcot Forever from the comfort of the restaurant.
Monday, we check out of the Contemporary Resort by 11am. Now, I might have to leave a tad earlier to check into the conference, I am still waiting on more information on that. Either way- Cast Members will take our bags and bring them into our 1 bedroom villa inside the brand new Riviera Resort.
Today we head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and have a 12:55pm reservation inside Oga’s Cantina before our 2pm reservation inside the Droid Depot to build TWO droids. Then at 3pm, we head into Savi’s Workshop to build TWO lightsabers. I left time to wait for the two Galaxy’s Edge attractions or we can head back to the Riviera if everyone needs a break. Coolest part? We can take the new Skyliner!
As far as Fast Passes, all 4 of us have Fast Passes for Star Tours, Slinky Dog Dash, and Fantasmic later that night. No formal plans for meals today. We really love Mobile Ordering- inside Hollywood Studios we have Mobile Order options in 10 different locations PLUS it’s the Riviera’s Grand Opening- so there might be a few options there to check out AND we have a full kitchen, but I am not cooking tonight or any night on this trip.
The next day, I am super busy from breakfast through the late afternoon.
Mike and the kids are heading to Animal Kingdom with Fast Passes beginning at 10:30am through 1:30pm- including Flight of Passage. Mike and the kids are also huge fans of the Rainforest Cafe- I wouldn’t be surprised if they head there after their time in Pandora.
That night, I get to meet them inside the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! I am SO EXCITED for the party this year! In Tomorrowland, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor will have a new show, Space Mountain will be filled with lighting and high-energy holiday tunes, and Tomorrowland Speedway will be filled with thousands of lights and stylized décor. In Fantasyland, Mad Tea Party will feature four new holiday combos of lights and music. Plus and amazing new fireworks spectacular is debuting and you all know how much I love that AND the parade that night is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES!
The next day- I am totally booked from breakfast through after dinner.
Mike and the kids are heading back into Hollywood Studios- if we missed Slinky Dog earlier in the stay- they have another Fast Pass for that plus this gives them some time to ride the Galaxy’s Edge attractions before heading home later today.
This next day, I check out after breakfast and head home, in time for Katie’s Winter Concert that night.
If that isn’t busy enough… the night after the concert we are going to see The Rise of Skywalker, then I have family coming in for the weekend to celebrate Christmas!