December Trip reports

FtW Mike

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Just got off the phone and got the 2 days before our current reservation so we now are pulling in on Friday the 20th. Called our stops along the way made the adjustments and changed last stop over to KOA at Whipporwill lake. Waiting on Kenny at TeeTime to finalize new golf cart plans. Need to secure a dinner at Trails End now
 

WeLovePluto

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Yesterday was a full day of animal kingdom starting with breakfast at Tuskerr House. 7 y/o loved Flight of Passage. DW hated it. I bailed on it.

Today was a Magic Kingdom day with an early park closing (4:30 for private event...boooo, but we’d set dining reservations up before we knew and didn’t want to change). Travel area after closing was chaos, so we walked to contemporary and caught the boat from there, which I’m guessing saved us an hour.

Now we’re back at the campsite, cooked some dinner, and putting the Travelling Fire Pit to use.

Next up..s’mores!

456215
 
  • elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    Less than a month away now! We go Dec 23-Jan 7. A bit nervous about my wacky idea of flying with our piles of tent camping gear with all 5 of us...but this train is chugging along and somehow or other, this trip will happen! I have started packing bags and weighing them lol.

    To add to the crazy ride, our friends are joining us - they have never been to Disney before and the husband has never tent camped lol. But they are all gungho. They started off joining us for just a week. Just a couple of weeks ago when my friend realized the itinerary was go-go-go exhaustion, she made a snap decision to extend another 4 nights.

    Then last night, DD18’s friend texted and said that she thinks she would like to take us up on our invite to join. I made that invitation in July!! And she has never expressed a hint of any serious interest in the months since! I crunched some numbers but the prices now are beyond the friend’s budget. Plus, I’ve added on a number of expensive things (like deluxe DDP for one night), 3 days at Sea World/BG, additional meals out, etc that we would have skipped if her friend was coming. So while I am not good at saying no, the answer is no.
     

    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Less than a month away now! We go Dec 23-Jan 7...this train is chugging along and somehow or other, this trip will happen!
    Sounds like a fun trip. Hopefully your friends husband lives through his first camping experience. No better place to start than the Fort!

    j
     

    RagonkForce

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2019
    We fly out tomorrow for 7 days. 3 daughters (8,6,&3) and their first trip to Disney during Christmas season. I’ll be using everyone’s alcohol credits at mealtimes...ha!
    Just arrived at POR. We let 3 yr old sister wake up the older girls with balloons surprising them with the trip. It was quite anticlimactic because they were drowsy from being woken an hour earlier than usual. But their excitement built as they got dressed and the reality of it set in.
    My 8 yr old hugging me and saying thank you (unprompted) before we left was worth it! “Just to see you smile”
     

    tltay2005

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2015
    Since we are not doing any parks during our stay, we did a quick trip over to AK Sunday morning to check out the Christmas Decorations as I had read in some blogs that they added a lot more. Well, if they did, I could not find them :confused3, but did enjoy what I did find. I did see the new puppets, and they were cool. Definitely pays to go early as most people head straight for Pandora, the rest of the park was empty. We rode Everest with a less than 5 minute wait, the safari was 20 minutes and Dinosaur was about 15 minutes, so no need for fast passes. I am sure there is more to see at night, but Greg had an Eagle Scout ceremony in the afternoon, so we could not stay. Maybe another time. Here are a few pics.
    IMG_20191201_092756344_HDR.jpgIMG_20191201_092559171.jpgIMG_20191201_092828054.jpgIMG_20191201_092913196.jpgIMG_20191201_104229351.jpgIMG_20191201_104615812.jpgIMG_20191201_103948873.jpg
     
  • bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    I didn't see anyone post this yet so here are the Movies at the Fort for the folks who will be there:

    FW Dec19 Movies.PNG

    There was nothing on page 2 about a Christmas Eve golf cart parade or other Christmas Activities but there usually are some activities (parade on the Eve in the late afternoon or day of and more on the day) so watch for signs around the Bike Barn.

    Ho ho ho! :santa:

    Bama Ed
     
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    boat guy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2017
    Hi Everyone! I will be arriving on December 17th. Each trip to Fort Wilderness is special for me. A little over 3 years ago, the doctors sat us down and told my beautiful wife of 20 years that at 52 years of age this would likely be her last Christmas. We had just purchased our first and dream RV and tow vehicle. We lucked out and someone cancelled so our last Christmas would be at Disney World. They same place I proposed, the same place we watched our family grow up.

    We arrived early and set up, waiting for my daughter and boyfriend to fly in. Our 3 day drive from Canada was like a first date all over again. We talked for hours, sang along with the soundtrack of our lives, and told each other everything we had been to busy to share for the last 20 years. Chemo had made her weak, and sometimes a little forgetful, but we enjoyed our road trip more than anything we had done in the past. Upon arrival we were floored by the decorations. So many decorations. It was as if we landed in a Christmas village. Alas, we brought one blow up. “Buddy” the elf is the family favorite and a tradition so he stood proudly near the road.
    The next morning, 5 days before Christmas we were waiting for the girls to get ready for a long day including MVMC party. I suggested we do a quick loop on the bikes with my mini dog until they were ready to go. Long story but I had a fall. The dog was fine, the bike was fine but I had a wrist issue. We sent the kids off to enjoy the park and said we would catch up later.
    I went to Celebration hospital, with my wife in tow. She wouldn’t stay back despite being somewhat immune compromised after being on chemo for 2 years. Turns out it was a bit more serious and I was moved to specialist hospital about 30 miles away for surgery. I would go it alone since it was unsafe for her to join me. Too much chance of her catching something.

    So my wife drove my brand new dually which she had never driven before back to the Fort. She went to the main desk, fighting back tears, to explain she didn’t know exactly where the site was, how to dump tanks, how to turn on the heat or A/C. This was our first trip....ever. I had been the guy who takes care of everything. She never planned on being without me. So my sick and weakened wife, was stuck in a 42’ fifth wheel, with two 18 year olds, my dog, and no idea about plans, gifts, reservations or anything. This is her last Christmas and I took care of everything.

    From behind the guest services desk, came our Fairy Godmother. She could see the distress on my wife’s face. She hugged her, helped her through a good cry and then got to work. She drove with her in the dually, so she could find the sight. A cast member followed with all the packages we had shipped from Amazon. Our fairy godmother spoke with neighbors who helped to dump the tanks, turn on the heat, inflate the solo buddy. The kids came back from Mickeys Christmas party, and immediately took over taking care of everything.

    The next day, I was being prepped for surgery when my phone rang. It was the Fairy Godmother checking on me. I told her I was fine but someone needed to look after my girls. I was panicked, nobody knew what plans I made. Nobody knew the reservations or fast passes. Who would make my wife’s coffee, who would setup the decorations. I would be home for Christmas Eve at the soonest. The Fairy Godmother assured me she had taken over the “My Disney Experience” and everyone was having the best time. Kids we out at the parks, dog was walked and she personally had stopped and visited with my wife bringing her Starbucks and staying with her for over an hour.
    After three nights in the hospital and an $83k (yes 83,000 US dollars) bill I was released with some new hardware in my wrist and arm and light cast. So glad we had travel insurance. I arrived at the campsite, to meet my Fairy Godmother, and after hugs and kisses and tears we were finally going to get started on what they called our last Christmas. I took over control of the My Disney App only to find all of our missed reservations had been credited. Every picture was there since she added a complimentary Memory Maker, reservations that were missed had been credited and new ones created including 6:00 Christmas Dinner at Be Our Guest followed by a premium viewing location for the fireworks. Since I was still recovering and my wife was in wheelchair our schedule would be toned way down. The Fairy Godmother removed everyone’s Fast Passes and replaced them with a special any park any attraction any time passes. That way when we were able we could enjoy some rides without worrying about schedules. Our Fairy Godmother came by every day to check up and often visited on her own time. On Christmas Day she brought her daughters acapella choir by and they sang for us. This was no longer the last Christmas, it was now the best Christmas.

    My wife had me make reservations for the next year and the next. She said this will be where memories live and none of us will forget the best Christmas we ever had. I wrote countless letters to Disney execs telling them about the magic provided by our Fairy Godmother. She was humbled by the commendations and promotion she received. She and my wife became fast friends, often talking on the phone for hours after we returned home. My wife stopped her treatments shortly after. But instead of the growing weaker, she has grown stronger. The Cancer while never going away had stopped spreading. She is still considered stage 4 and terminal. It turned out we would have one more “Last Christmas”. I bought another Buddy The Elf blow up and we enjoyed a second Christmas without injury and with the whole family, and with our Fairy Godmother and her family!

    So here I am, in Canada. I just packed a third Buddy the Elf blow up. I have my dog, and a packed trailer and gifts for our family and our Fairy Godfamily. This will be the first time it’s ever just been me and the dog for the 1000 mile 3 day trip. I am hoping to be all backed in and setup in the 700 loop by the 18th. The kids will fly in on the 21. The Fairy Godmother and her family are waiting for me on December 14th.

    Perhaps the greatest Christmas miracle and Disney Magic is that I have to pick up my wife from the airport on the 18th. This will be her third “Last Christmas”. The cancer is still there, and she still takes so many meds. We still need a wheelchair but we are together for Christmas with new family and friends and old traditions. Christmas dinner with the Beast and THREE Buddy the Elf blow ups.

    So if your going through the 700 loop (I hope) and see three Buddy the Elf blowups, please yell out “Buddy!” because everybody does and it makes us smile!

    Merry Christmas
     
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    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    @boat guy I just cried my way through your entire story and am so so happy you shared it. Even better is that your wife will still be by your side to celebrate your third “Last Christmas”! Your Fairy Godmother went above and beyond - wow. And so wonderful that she and your wife ended up becoming such great friends. We will definitely look for your site when we get down there.
     

    boat guy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2017
    So sorry to make you cry. It’s our life. We love it and we live it. I really just wanted to share the kindness of what was once a stranger. When you get extra time, you have a responsibility to use it, without regret. We laugh harder, love stronger, and share more. And remember “Buddy!!!!!”
     
  • bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    @boat guy I just cried my way through your entire story and am so so happy you shared it. Even better is that your wife will still be by your side to celebrate your third “Last Christmas”! Your Fairy Godmother went above and beyond - wow. And so wonderful that she and your wife ended up becoming such great friends. We will definitely look for your site when we get down there.
    Yeah, it's definitely misty in here. That was a well told story, boat guy. ::yes:: Bama Ed
     

    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Boat Guy,

    Thanks for sharing. It's stories like this that keep us in love with "Disney".

    Have a great "last/best Christmas" again and post in here when you can.

    Don't worry about the 1000 mile solo drive. I have the same distance and have done it solo a couple of times. Take your time and enjoy the view.

    j
     

    2goofycampers

    Sounds like something a camping trip could cure!
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2008
    I hope your Christmas trip is as wonderful as the last 2 put together.
     

    WeLovePluto

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2019
    We have made it home! I’m sure there’s more to update...

    Regarding the Christmas decorations at AK, I thought the dinosaur lighting in Christmas colors was a cool touch (blurry picture taken from the ride)

    457481
     

    friendofeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2014
    @boatguy, yes I cried reading this wonderful story. So glad you & the family will be sharing another magical Christmas trip, and many many more!
     

    tltay2005

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2015
    Another day trip over to Epcot for the Festival of the Holidays. Again, if you want to avoid crowds, go early. Epcot has sure learned quick what draws people in and makes money FOOD!!!. Just like Food and Wine, then Flower and Garden, now Festival of the Holidays is mostly food kiosks, not that I'm complaining, lol. Ate ourselves around the world. Of course, we ate everything before I remembered to take pictures. The warm caramel filled pretzel with ice cream and chocolate sauce from the Africa outpost was our favorite, so yummy and plenty big enough to share. There is a neat gingerbread display inside the America pavillion. Did not stay for the candlelight processional, as since they started the dinner reservations with priority seating, we gave up. Last year we waited in line for almost an hour, then couldn't get in so had to wait in line another hour for the next show. Never again.
    They do have some nice decorations and are trying their best to hide all the construction. I am so looking forward to the transformation of Future World, it has needed an overhaul for a while.
    IMG_20191208_124729956_HDR.jpgIMG_20191208_124733895_HDR.jpgIMG_20191208_113653466_HDR.jpgIMG_20191208_111135621.jpgIMG_20191208_115650815.jpgIMG_20191208_113128809.jpgIMG_20191208_121037461.jpgIMG_20191208_115536959_HDR.jpg
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Thanks for the pictures, Terri. Everyone is walking around in short sleeves and it appears beautiful and sunny in Central FL. :cool2:

    BTW for those of you headed to the Fort in December, I am requesting some pix of the resort construction (and new TCD) down behind Pioneer Hall. Don't cross any construction lines for super close-ups but anything you can get holding a camera/phone up over a fence would be appreciated.

    Bama Ed
     

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