For the next week at Dad’s Blog, we are celebrating the holidays with Magical Christmas Memories Week! Each day we’ll feature a personal story from our team of their magical holiday memories at Walt Disney World! We hope you’ll share yours with us too, in the comments below or over on our Facebook page!
This is the story of my Disneymoon (Disney Honeymoon) at WDW with my husband Danny, who had never been to an American Disney park (we’d spent a few days at Disneyland Paris – totally different) and who, having been raised Jewish, was none too fond of Christmas. So I packed him up, and took him to Orlando in November so we could celebrate the holidays and our new marriage at the most magical place on earth!
We knew all the parks would be decked out for Christmas, even if the Main Street Tree wasn’t up and the Candlelight Processional had yet to begin, but I wanted to experience the most Christmas joy possible at WDW so we carefully constructed our PLAN to include a night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
We settled on Tuesday night to avoid as many crowds as possible, and being the responsible newlyweds we were, decided to forgo a couple of table service meals in favor of using the funds to pay for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets.
After spending the day in Animal Kingdom, we went back to the All-Star Music Resort to a quick powernap, then I changed into a cute Christmas inspired outfit and we were off to the Magic Kingdom by 5pm!
Have I mentioned that it was Danny’s first trip to WDW? He was just getting used to touring the parks at all, let alone at the pace I’d become accustomed to after dozens of trips to Disneyland and WDW. So while I was bursting with excitement, he took a snooze on the luxury escorted motorcoach on our way to the park.
We arrived at Magic Kingdom, turned in our tickets for wristbands, and headed off to sneak in a few rides and grab dinner before the party got underway.
At 7pm sharp, we were in Tomorrowland and noticed Cast Members with glowing snowmen signs nicely ushering guests out of the park. We rode Tomorrowland Indy Speedway with no wait, and even got to pause at the crest of the hill so I could take a couple pictures of the under-construction New Fantasyland.
By the time we disembarked, all of the Cast Members were changed into their Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party outfits, and special lighting effects filled the parks with red, green, and projected snowflakes. The crowds were gone – poof! Cast Members were playing games with kids and handing out Mickey stickers – fun! We grabbed some complimentary cocoa and cookies at Cosmic Rays – delicious!
I think this is the exact moment that Danny fell in love with WDW. And maybe Christmas too. Before that night he was just going along with my crazy Disney plans, a willing participant in my game. But when he spilled cocoa on his shirt, he headed right to Mickey’s Star Traders and bought a bright purple classic Mickey tee shirt and wore it with pride (the start of a never ending collection of Disney tees). From that moment on, he was hooked!
We wanted to see everything and took it one land at a time – we were able to ride everything in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland by the time Holiday Wishes rolled around – the plan was to finish the park and watch the second parade to have a better view with less crowds.
Just before the fireworks started, we popped into the hub and got a great spot near Casey’s Corner. The show begins, and it’s pure Disney magic! The colours! The music! Christmas spirit is flooding through my heart!
Then at the end of the show, I look up and see Danny rubbing his eyes furiously. Oh boy, here he goes again! He is very sensitive about his eyes and I thought this was just a case of getting an eyelash stuck in there and thus having a meltdown. Determined not to let it ruin the party I got him some water and tried to help him calm down. But 20 minutes later he was in pain!
What to do? Head right to first aid! I’d never been to first aid at WDW, so I wasn’t sure what would happen. The nice folks there kept Danny calm and took a look in his eyes. Apparently it’s not uncommon on windy nights for firework ash to blow around the park and get in people’s eyes. They gave him an eyewash, and when he was feeling better, sent us off with an icepack to cool the burning sensation. As we were leaving, another couple was heading in with the same problem!
By that point, Danny was done. I gave in and we headed back to the hotel to go to sleep, missing the parade and the other half of the party. I thought I’d lost the chance to have him embrace Disney and Christmas once and for all.
But he woke me up in the morning, having snuck out to grab some coffee in our refillable mugs. And then he pulled out the best Christmas surprise ever: 2 tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on Friday, the last night of our trip! So 5 years and 6 trips later, Danny just can’t get enough WDW – and he’s come around on Christmas too!