After spending a wonderful four days back in Seattle with family and friends celebrating an early Christmas, we arrived back in Orlando early Tuesday morning for a Vantastic Christmas!
After running some errands, including getting our first window chip repaired, we headed towards our hotel near Disney for the next five days.
This ended up being perfect because I got extremely sick and having a bed and full shower was a very welcomed comfort.
The first night in the hotel we had an interesting experience. Apparently the hotel had misbooked our room, and at 12 am we woke up to someone opening our door! Luckily we had the safety bolt on, but after some confusion it was clear the hotel had checked another guest into our room.
Yeesh. The next day we complained and they gave us a $15 credit to their convenience store, not a great experience, and we will not stay at that hotel ever again.
Oh, we also woke up that morning to a torrential downpour and a tornado warning! Being from Seattle we were pretty uncertain about the whole tornado thing, but nothing happened besides a lot of wind and buckets of rain. Thank goodness!
We spent two days working from the hotel and dropping in at Mousetrap CrossFit which was conveniently across the gator pond from our hotel.
Harry Potter World
Friday we hit up Universal Orlando and Harry Potter World, spending a full day in the park. Harry Potter World was very cool!
Saturday, call us crazy, we tackled Disneyworld.
Christmas at Disney
Man oh man. We started at Animal Kingdom, and waited three hours in line for the Avatar ride. Which was in fact the best ride of the whole day, so I’m glad we did.
The whole park was insanity. So so busy, but we knew this going in and were mentally prepared.
After making it onto four rides at Animal Kingdom we headed over to Epcot. Being that it was already early evening we went on two quick rides then walked through the different Countries of the World to our dinner reservation.
Per a recommendation from a friend we met in Orlando we ate an AMAZING meal at Tokyo Dining. The food and service was wonderful.
After our meal, I grabbed a quick Beignet for dessert before we settled in to watch the Candlelight Processional. This is where Disney has a celebrity read the story of Christmas accompanied by a full orchestra and choir. It was a really cool celebration of Christmas and we were happy we stayed.
And we weren’t done yet!
At 9pm and we hopped on the monorail to Magic Kingdom. That’s right three parks one day!
We got to Magic Kingdom just in time for the amazing Christmas themed firework display. And by amazing I mean super amazing!
After watching the show we did a few quick rides and hustled back to our shuttle.
We made it back to the hotel at around midnight spending the whole day doing the Christmas at Disney bonanza. And although there was a lot of waiting there were a few highlights that made the day totally worth it.
The Beach for Christmas
We left Orlando the next day and drove a few hours out to Oscar Scherer State Park where we had a camping reservation for the next few days.
Oscar Scherer State Park is near Venice, FL (not California) where I had cousins heading in from Canada and California to spend Christmas.
We were able to meet up with Ewen and family, splash around in the pool and have dinner on Christmas Eve.
We then spent Christmas day at the beach with our friends Joe and Maraea which was a new experience for all of us, but there were quite a few festive beach goers out.
For Christmas dinner we headed to Myakka State Park, where Joe and Maraea were staying and had a prime rib and shrimp Christmas dinner.
Having friends to spend the day with made it feel like a special Christmas even being far from friends and family.
The next two days we spent with cousins Ewen and Erin and their families on Casey Key. Catching up while hanging out at the beach and enjoying some tasty meals. Unfortunately, Joe got a nasty sickness and had to spend one night sleeping it off for about 15 hours.
Being close to family and friends over the Christmas holiday was incredibly special. Catching up and making memories, sharing moments of our trip made our hearts full.
We set off ready for more Florida Sunshine and our goal of tackling all the Florida National Parks!