A Goofy Family's Christmastime Trip to WDW


My First Trip Report (but our 5th trip to WDW)

December 16th – December 23rd, 2005

CAST: Me (Debbie 38), DH (Jimbo 38), DS (Trey 11) & DD (Shelby 11)
My Mom (Ev)
DH’s Mom (Helen) & Dad (Jimmy) and DH’s niece (Desi 15)

Let me start out by saying that this trip was very different from any we have taken before. First because we lost our Dad to cancer about 3 months ago and my Dsis’s family were not with us on this trip. I have NEVER taken a Disney trip without any of them, so I had mixed feelings throughout the trip. Feelings of nostalgia, remembering things we all had done together in the past; not being able to share the moment with all of them, knowing there was something (someone) missing the entire time. I am a very sentimental person and thought about Dad alot on this trip. We convinced my Mom to join us on this trip with us and I think it really helped her (all of us really) through this holiday. This is also the shortest trip we have ever taken to WDW!

Guess I’ll start at the beginning. As you may have read in another thread, I was not in the normal excited mood prior to our trip. I was in Panic Mode, all I could think is, “Why the heck did I plan a trip the week before Christmas and plan to come home on Christmas Eve??” I do 95% of the shopping and preparing for Christmas, I started early but it seems my plate kept getting fuller & fuller as the trip drew nearer. 2 kids to buy for secretly, the entire family on both sides too. Presents to wrap (DH did a lot of that for me tho, he’s such a sweetie!), teachers & scout leaders presents to make and deliver, cookies to bake with the kids, Christmas cards to prepare and mail…for some reason I decided to hand MAKE 65 Christmas cards this year (at Thanksgiving time…what WAS I thinking??) and get pictures made and sent out. Squeezing in the regular schedule of school, homework, sports, scouts, packing, family gatherings, social & work obligations & our traditional visits we do each year with our friends…oh and work at the bank every day too… I just didn’t see how it was all going to come together. But low and behold, it did! So Friday the 16th I took the day off from work,(I was near heart attack mode if I didn’t) took kids to school, gassed up the car, ran to Wal-Mart for last minute items, picked up my Mom’s luggage from her house, back to my house to clean (I want my house spotless when I leave…plus Dsis was coming on Christmas Eve day to make us Christmas dinner so it had to be perfect for company). Once I have the house clean, I take the luggage out and get everything loaded into the Suburban, take the dog to the boarder, go and pick up kids from school, gas up, meet my Dsis and get Mom from her, run back to the house so the kids can drop off school stuff and get their seats ready in the car with their games, pillows, etc. DH gets home from work, changes clothes, does a double check of the house and we’re headed down the road. I finally get to take a deep breath, relax and the excitement kicks in!! It’s about 6:30pm and we drive to Lafayette LA the first night. I think we stopped about 12:30. We try a few hotels, but there are no rooms to be found. We decided to try one more place before getting back on the highway, it has rooms available, but the catch is, there is NO hot water, the boiler is cracked/broken. By now it’s 1am and I really don’t care if there’s any water at all…plus they are only charging $34 per room because of the water situation. Hubby ok’s it and we get 2 rooms. Mom & DD take one, DH, DS & I take the other. We’re up and out of there by about 9:30 and drive on to Orlando and arrive at Old Key West at about 9pm FL time. Of the 1150 miles, I think we had rain for 1000 miles….so we’re tired and ready to get settled in. We check in, go to our room, which was in Building 18…the same building we had back in 2003 when we all (Us, Bdavis & my parents) stayed there, so there are some sentimental feelings there. Luckily, they placed us on the first floor right next door to my Din-laws. (they were able to leave Friday morning about 7am, so they got to Disney Saturday afternoon) So we assign beds, get much needed showers, unpack our bags and hit the hay. I think it’s after 12:00 when we finally get into bed.

Day 1 in the parks Sunday December 18th: We decided to sleep in this morning, knowing that tonight will be a late night. We have tickets to MVMCP and don’t want to miss a thing! Since it’s on the warm side today, but temps are expected to drop…plus it’s rainy we decide to drive to the Magic Kingdom so we can have access to coats, raingear, etc. So the 5 of us left our room around 10am and hop in the Suburban and head for MK. We were going to park at the TTC, but we followed a bus and missed the turn to the TTC so we decided to check out the Contemporary. They gave us a 3-hour pass to park and we head in to see the Gingerbread set up (as you will see, that’s one of our missions of this trip—to see all of the resort gingerbread/candy/chocolate displays). It’s just darling!! We take pictures and head for the monorail to go see the Poly’s display. It really looked so much bigger on TV, but it was cute all the same. We also checked out the chocolate Lilo & Stitch in the 1st restaurant. We head back to the Monorail & the kids ask the pilot if they can ride up front, they’re told YES and are so excited. I insist Mom rides up front with them & they all got Co-Pilot licenses. It was Mom’s first time EVER to ride up front and loved it! So I take a seat in the first car…which I have entirely to myself… something I really needed!! I hadn’t had ANY me time for almost 3 days…those few minutes helped! Ahhhhhh.
Now off to the Magic Kingdom we go, we did not get off at the GF since we have PS’s on Wednesday at 1900 Park Fare & will see the display at that time. Went through bag check, DH and kids go through the entry line while I take Mom to Guest Relations to activate her Annual Pass my Dsis had mailed to her in October. As we stood in a very long line, a CM came out to “work the line” for folks that were there to pick up tickets. I told her we only needed to activate a pass and she looked at it and said, wait over here and off she went. A couple of minutes later she was back with an activated pass and we were headed to the entry gates. It’s so nice to have a CM go that extra mile and start our trip off on the right foot! DH and kids are waiting for us so we can all enter through the tunnel and onto MainStreet together…. Here we are, it’s Christmas at Disney World…something none of us have ever done before!! The tree is so pretty and the garland and the music and characters. The trolley is nearby and the magic just hits me!! I’m so excited, I’m not sure what to do first!! We called my inlaws (they’re early risers and well, we’re not), and they meet us on MainStreet. We took several pictures on Main Street with the PhotoPass photographers and proceeded down Main Street USA!! Now some of this is a little fuzzy, so I hope I remember it in order. I had heard that the Time Keeper was open this week, so we went straight there because we were going to do it no matter how long it took in line! I couldn’t find it so I asked a CM, he said “sorry, it’s not open” they use it for Meet & Greets and Photo’s during MVMCP. He said it would be open on the 24th and 25th and after that, closed for good. How sad, we were so close…oh well, let’s see what else we can find. We walked towards Fantasyland from Tomorrowland, stopped at Pooh’s play area. It’s very cute (I’m a Pooh lover) and even though the twins are 11 yo, they still loved it!! We rode the Pooh ride, and wanted to get FP’s for Mickey’s PHMagic, but there was no wait….so we go straight in and see the show. I love it! I could really smell the hot apple pie this time, Mmmmm. Next we went to the Haunted Mansion, again…no line. It’s a walk on! Can this be??? I thought this week was going to be crowded…. Everyone was hungry at this point so we stopped at the Harbour House to eat, our 1st time, it was pretty good for counter service. Then off to IASW. My DM calls my uncle while on the ride (he was there w/us on our May/June trip and this ride/song drives him crazy) So we leave a message for him on the recorder while the dolls are singing…hehe The boats were stacked up at the end of the ride, so Mom decides to call him again…this time they answer and can hear it 1st hand. They thought it was funny that we’d called FROM the ride! Next we’re off to see the Country Bears, but stop first to visit Jessie & Woody at the Diamond Horseshoe, we take pic’s & get autographs…mom too!! Next we watched the Share A Dream parade from the DVC booth, we had a great view. Then we see the Christmas Country Bear show…it’s a walk in, no wait again, really cute and what a surprise, we had no idea they had a Christmas show!. And then after that we head to Pirates…again NO WAIT. I can hardly believe it!! It’s great!! I had read on DC that we could get wristbands for MVMCP at 4:00, so we asked a CM at PofC, he said it would be 5:00…but as we were walking towards the castle, I asked another CM and he told us exactly where to go to get them now!! The party was a surprise for my kids, they saw it on a Disney TV Special and asked if we could go…I told them if they wanted to spend $50 of their own money, we could…so it was left at that. Little did they know, I had ordered tickets way back in August and had them in hand!! So they were very excited when they found out.
So we got our wristbands and at 4:30 I said I was going to the car to get jackets, DH said he’d join me, and then DiLaws decided to go too and check out the Display at the Contemporary. DM took the 3 kids. They rode the PeopleMover, Buzz & Carousel of Progress. We walked over to the Cont., checked out the display, came out to get our coats and it started to pour!! My inlaws waited inside, we grabbed coats and bagged them up in a trash bag to keep them dry. Ran back into the resort, found the Inlaws & by then it stopped raining so we walked back to the MK…the car was ok too, no Tow sign or tire boot…so we left it there.

We met up again with Mom at 5:30, we got a bite to eat at Cosmic Rays (limited menu due to MVMCP). Then Dfil took the 2 girls to Space Mtn, while the rest of us rode Buzz, then we all went to the Twas the Night Before Christmas show. It was really, really good!! After that , went to get our free Pic’s taken. They were very accommodating. We were suppose to only get one pose, but we wanted 3….my inlaws & niece/my family & mom/entire group….they did it for us!! PLUS, We had pictures sitting in our mailbox when we got home from our trip! They turned out really good too! Then we had hot cocoa and cookies at the Plaza. Pretty yummy! We then decided to go to ToonTown and see what decorations were back there. Mickey and Minnie had their houses all decorated. The lights on the outside of the house were the oldfashion big bulbed style…but they were REALLY BIG! We went back & watched Holiday Wishes from the Walt & Mickey statue in front of the Castle…which was awesome. Mom didn’t get to see Wishes last time due to Dad’s illness… being too tired and having to go back to the room early…So she was REALLY impressed by the Holiday version…we were too! We then rode Peter Pan, it was just a short wait…maybe 15 minutes. Dfil sat to rest (bad back) while we rode this ride (he rode it earlier that morning before we got to the park) and Dmil went to tell him what our next plans were. Then we went to the Cinderella’s Carousel (no wait), Mom has ALWAYS wanted to ride a moving horse, but with her bad back/hip that gives her problems sometimes, she has always sat out. But we convinced her to just try it…DH (he’s 6’6”) said he’d help her up on the horse…but she found a low one and by the time he got to her, she was already on it…all by herself. She was pretty excited!!
Next we walked back up MainStreet near Casey’s and lined up to see the 10:45 Christmas Parade. It was SPECTACULAR!! The snow, the characters, the magic, the music…it was absolutely awesome! We caught it again during the day later in the week and I have to say nothing compares to the night time parade!!! We then gathered to see the Celebrate the Season show at 11:15, but it was cancelled due to weather…it had just begun lightly misting rain…we were pretty disappointed since we could have seen it earlier, but opted to ride a few rides. But no sense crying over spilled milk, we decided to make the most of our time. So off to the Race cars we went. DM, Dfil, & Dmil head to MainStreet to shop, so we take the 3 kids to ride the cars….again…you guessed it, with no wait. In fact when we got off, DS & DH did it again…me & the girls went to the teacups. And can you guess who we met up there? We were first in line….I guess you could say We WERE the line…and the MadHatter himself walked up and started chatting with us. We asked him to ride with us, but he said he had his tea waiting for him and he didn’t want it to get cold…you know how awful cold tea tastes? He told us to have fun and off he went …he was really cute! I had snapped a couple of pics of him and the girls and jumped on the ride. We each took our own teacup and just one other teacup was used by a lady & little girl. We walked down to the cars & DH & DS were just getting off , we headed to MainStreet, but stopped at the Plaza again for 2nd’s on Cookies and Cocoa…Did some shopping, bought some MVMCP pins, closed down the park and walked to the Contemporary & all 8 of us piled in the Suburban and headed to the Resort. I think it was 1:30ish when we fell into bed! What a GREAT 1st Day!!!

Side Note: We came to WDW this week with the thought that it was going to be more crowded than we’ve ever seen it, long lines, lots of people and said we’ll ride what we can but we’re here to take in the decorations and see Disney at Christmastime. We seemed to have covered A LOT of territory, back & forth across the park and rode Many of our favorite rides. Even though it got pretty cold this evening, we couldn’t have asked for a better 1st day!!! Everything was just perfect. In fact, I think the cold really enhanced the Christmas feeling!


What an awesome first day! I would love to be at WDW at Christmas time and have no lines. I’m looking forward to reading more of your TR!


wow!!! I love how detailed this is! Sounds like a great trip so far…what a long way to drive :mickey:

I can’t wait for more…


Wow! I love your trip report! I wish we could have been there with you!!! It sounds so perfect!!!


Thanks so much, I’ll post day 2 tomorrow!

Yes, it is a long way to drive, but it gave me time to do my Trip Report Outline on the way home!! And with a captured audience, they got to help me remember all that we had done and the order of it too!


The only thing that could have made it more perfect, was if y’all could have joined us…we missed you all so much!! :wub:


We missed you, too!! :wub: :heart: :wub:

75 more days and we’ll all be hangin’ with the mouse!!! :cool: :excl: :cool:


75 more days and we’ll all be hangin’ with the mouse!!! :cool: :excl: :cool:[/QUOTE]

Oh yeah!! Can’t wait!!! Still contemplating if I should unpack all the way or not… :tongue:


ooooooh you’ll be there the same time as I get there!!! What day exactly do you go?
March 13th? 12th?


Oh yeah!! Can’t wait!!! Still contemplating if I should unpack all the way or not… :tongue:

I wouldn’t!!! :nuke:


Our first night at WDW is Saturday the 11th. What is your first day “on the job”?? We’ll have to come find you! Actually, that is 74 days away!! Yippie…I just realized my date was wrong in my countdown! Sis, you will want to change your countdown, too! :tongue:

Can’t wait to read all about day # 2!!! :wink:


BDavis & I were just talking about that the other day! We arrive the evening of March 12th (I think that’s a Saturday…if not the closest Saturday to the 12th) And our 1st day in the parks will be Sunday. We’ll leave the next Saturday for home. Let us know your work schedule and we’ll come and find you in Canada!!! Right now our itinerary states we’ll be at EPCOT on Monday. Hope we get a chance to meet you!


Wow, it sounds like we were at the MK at the same time on Sunday. I hung out there before it closed for MVMCP. It was pretty cold weather that day. Sorry you didn’t get to see The Timekeeper. I caught it yesterday and I can see why they are doing away with it–it’s definitely really outdated. :laugh:

And I also saw the Christmas parade during the day (I was doing crowd control in Liberty Square on Wednesday) and it was so magical. I can’t even imagine how cool it would be at night!

It sounds like you had a fantastic time–I can’t wait to hear the rest! And hopefully see some pictures! :mickey:


while you were at Magic Kingdom …we other Texan’s were over at MGM :slight_smile: love it … but sure wish our paths could have crossed … chances are they did … we just dont know it yet :slight_smile:


thats cool! I arrive evening of the 13th, but I don’t think I’ll be on the job untill at least a week after that, I’ll have days of training and what not to do. But maybe we’ll run into eachother at some point!!! We’ll be sure to keep in touch :mickey:


I was so happy to sign on and see this report posted. I have been anxious to read it. Welcome home. Thus far, this report is awesome and I know the more you post, the more exciting it’s going to get. Can’t wait to read on. :heart:




BDavis will have to help me with the pictures…
I didn’t realize you were there…silly me! Maybe we can look you up when we’re there in March!
Glad somebody got to see the Timekeeper. I may have in 1999, but everything was so new to me then that I can’t pull it from my memory bank.
Oh well…


And here’s day 2 of our trip:

Day 2 Monday December 19th

Since we got in so late last night we sleep in again today. The kids do SO much better when they have proper sleep and I didn’t want to risk them getting over tired and become sick, not to mention the attitude change you get with tired kids! So I think the 5 of us left the room around 10:30. Again, it was suppose to get cooler this evening & we’d need jackets tonight so we decided to drive ourselves. It’s really not that bad driving…in fact it was really convenient. Didn’t have to wait 15 minutes+ for a bus! When I suggested driving on Day 1, DH was NOT a big fan of it, but after doing it, I think he realized how convenient it made everything for our group. DinLaws left before us that morning, but arrived at MGM at about the same time as us. We entered the park, Took Pics w/Photopass, DD took traditional photo on the mechanical horse and went to ToT for FP’s, we also checked the line for RnR, but it was too long. We called inlaws to see where they were. They were just getting to the Animators Studio. Not sure if they did the tour, but when we caught up with them at the drawing room, they were just coming to line up to go in. We always sneek in through the gift shop and straight to the drawing room, but they’ve never done the tour & I assume they did today. We waited about 2 minutes and in we went, all 8 of us. This was another 1st for Mom, Inlaws & niece. We drew Donald, and we did quite well if I dare say so myself. DM had A LOT of 1st time things on this trip, even though it’s her 5th trip! We saw Chicken Little & The Ugly Duckling in the Studio too, we didn’t do the Meet & Greet, but I took pic’s between families.
Narnia was really cool!! Wish we had time to do it again—hopefully it’ll be there in March. Took pic’s inside & alos at the prop outside. So beautiful! We plan to see the movie on Friday with Bdavis!! Couldn’t find time to squeeze it in before our trip.
It was time for the girls’ FP’s at ToT, they told us there lunch order and we got food while they did the ride…oh DH ran to get FP’s for RnR too. By the time the girls returned, their lunch was being brought to the table. Perfect timing!! After we finished lunch, we shopped for awhile. DM headed to Beauty and Beast to grab seats while we were checking out in the store. Good thing…It filled up fast!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS SHOW!! I could watch it over and over again……but it seems like they changed it just a bit…I didn’t get other’s opinions from our group, but it had parts I didn’t remember… It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen it though. We missed it this past summer and the time before that, they had to close the show within the first little bit due to the fact that an older gentleman in the audience was having what seemed to be a heart attack. I still wonder if he was OK……
After the show, it was almost time for the Holly-Day Parade. So we go and find a place to stand up by the Drew Carey show. Since we have about 15 minutes until showtime, I ask the kids if they want ice cream…of course they say yes…I have them get me one too. They go over to Gertie and 5 minutes go by, then 10…then they announce the parade is coming. So I call them on the cell phone and tell them…4 minutes go by, still no kids…I want them to see the parade!!! So I call them again and they had just placed their order (guess they didn’t want to lose their place in line and then not be able to get icecream later) I don’t know why they do those things to me. I was getting anxious thinking they were going to miss it. They did miss most of Mickey and Minnie’s car, but saw the rest…I took pic’s and we have it on video…so it’s fine they said. Kids! Well they got their icecream but have to watch from the opposite side of the street…my wafflecone is melting, but they got a cup and turn the cone into it, it was so chilly outside that it hardly melted at all and I got to eat it after the parade. It’s such a great parade! I’ve never seen an entire MGM parade so this was pretty special!!

It’s time to use our RnR FP’s, so off we go, DH, Me, DD & Dniece….DS and parents head to the Great Movie Ride. We go straight thru the line and are on the ride in no time at all! We head back to The Hat to check out pins, etc and wait for the others. Then who do you think walks through the Hat and takes their places at the bottom of the steps?? Well it’s Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip & Dale!!! As soon as DD saw them, she made a beeline straight to the line!! They were taking pic’s as group, no autographs and DD wants to take a pic!!! I was about to have heart attack again…wouldn’t this be a Perfect Group Picture?? So DH calls his Dad, my Mom wouldn’t answer her phone. He asked where they were…on the GMR…and hangs up. I asked “where on the ride”…so he calls him back…Wizard of Oz….Oh Gosh…it’ll take forever!!! So we’re in line, getting closer and closer to the front of the line. I’ve NEVER seen a character line move this fast in my life!!! Can we slow it down somehow?? We’re 2nd in line, so we start letting folks by. I called Dfil again and told them not to mess around getting off the ride and get to the front of the Hat ASAP!! We start to allow one family at a time pass us by…they have already called for the end of the line so they are not adding anyone else to the line. We asked the CM if we could move to the end of the line and she said No…I told her we were waiting for Grandparents to get here & take pic’s, we weren’t adding to the line….just changing our place in line…she got special permission & we moved to the back. I kept watching the GMR exit doors and we were 3rd family from picture time and I see my MiL come out…I RAN to them and told them to RUN & follow me…as we get the to characters it’s our turn, everyone steps into place and PRESTO, we have the perfect character pictures. They took photopass AND offered pics with personal cameras too….so we got both!! I was SO excited we got all 8 of us and if they had been even 5 seconds later, we wouldn’t have gotten the photo!! I’m not sure if EVERYONE felt my excitement, but it was a wonderful moment for me!!! Whew!!
We then take a vote on what to do next and decide on Who Wants TBAM….DM, Dmil, DH & I are chosen for the Fast Fingers Seats!! How exciting is that??? The kids and Dfil get to sit 1st row directly behind us. We had to wait about 10-15 minutes for this, but it was really worth the wait. It was a lot of fun, even though none of us made it to the Hot Seat. We got to see 2 rounds since it was the last game of the day. DH made the top 10…coming in at #4 I believe.
When we came out of WMTBAM, it was getting dark, so we headed down to the Osborne Family Lights. What an awesome display!!! The snow, the gazillion lights, the creativity, the imagination!! It was So beautiful, colorful, wonderful!, the lights just go on and on! Again it was pretty chilly and gave such an atmosphere to the streets!!
We all decide it’s time to leave since we’ve seen what we wanted to and we want to check out a couple of the resorts. On our way out, we stop at the Star Tours gift shop and also had DS take his traditional pic on the Mechanical Horse (with a little persuasion that is), we stop and check out our group photo with the characters…which are great, but I decided to wait and order online when we get home. So off to the parking lot we go, jump on the tram and then into the Suburban and off we go to AKL. 7 of us had never been there before. Mom went w/Dsis a couple of years ago for dinner. It’s such a beautiful resort. We walk through the doors and the tree is in the middle of the lobby, so beautiful…in a huge woven basket. Across the lobby is a chimebell choir playing, It’s so welcoming and wonderful! We found the gingerbread display downstairs by the 1st restaurant, take pics and check out the restaurants, they smell absolutely yummy, but Dfil is a little picky so we choose to move on. We check out the pool area (folks are actually swimming!! ) The pools are so warm you can actually see the steam coming off of them. A swim would be nice, the walk to the room….not too appealing!

Wilderness Lodge is our next stop! It’s 8:00 and everyone is hungry. The resort is beautiful (we’ve all either have stayed or visited here before). I asked at Whispering Canyon how long for a party of 8…first they said 15-20 minutes, but our pager went off within about 2 minutes….everything seems to be clicking for us on this trip!

Our server gave DS such a hard time, kicked him out of his seat so she could sit down and take our orders. We gave her a hard time back too. Of course Grandma (my Mom) had eaten there before, so she tricked the kids in to asking for ketchup…it was so funny!! The twins did the stick horse race, got the opportunity to deliver ketchup to another table, got wooden nickels from “aunt Lisa” and we all ate way too much!! Oh and during dinner DM called Dsis (Bdavis) and got in trouble. Hehe While she was on the phone, the waitress walked by and saw her talking on the phone during dinner. She took Mom’s phone and said “who is this?” into the phone…DSis told her, Heather. . She said “don’t you know it’s rude to call people during dinner?”…She told her that Mom had called her, she didn’t call Mom! She said “oh, then I better put her in time out!!” hehehe! She then hollered around the entire restaurant and told everyone I was on the phone and got all the guests to yell “HOWDY HEATHER”!!! It was great!! Later we found out that Dsis had told the waitress to make Mom do the Stick Horse race instead of going to timeout…neither one happened, but it was pretty funny!!!
It was REALLY cold at this point, but we headed out the back doors of the lodge to find the geyser…it was about 10:30, so we didn’t get to see it take off. We did get to see the end of the water parade tho. We also walked over to the Villlas so DH could show his Dad the Train displays….the men in our family LOVE trains!!

As you can tell, we do LATE nights when we go to WDW. We just readjust our days in order to get enough sleep!! Looks like we’re sleeping in again tomorrow morning!

Side Note: There was suppose to be a Gingerbread Tower of Terror at The Brown Derby, but due to kids damaging it, it was removed for repairs. IF/when they repair it, it’ll be taken to Hollywood & Vine and placed in the glass case. Pretty sad when people tear things up…where were those parents??? And why didn’t they teach them how to respect things??

Also, a couple of times today we really “felt” the crowds…didn’t really hinder us in any way, but there were a lot of folks in this park!! Crowd Predictor said it would be a 7 & MGM/DS would be the best park to visit…wonder what the other parks looked like?


Thank you! We had an awesome time and saw so many things. I’ve never Resort hopped before…it’s kinda fun! Now I want to go and see the rest of them!