Sunday, January 9, 2011

Disney Magic . . .

 On November 30th we embarked on a family trip to The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  When I say a "family trip" I mean EVERYONE - there were fourteen of us from my husband's side of the family, ranging in age from 3 to 70.  While it was a challenge to plan all the dining for such a large amount of people, it was a great experience to be there together!

We stayed at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, in the Epcot area of Disney World.  The resort is arranged into "villages" all named after different islands (we were in Jamaica), and each village has its own bus stop and pool area.  The main area of the hotel (called Port Royale) houses the main pool with a large water slide, the dining and shopping facilities and concierge services.

Our "village" - Jamaica

The main reason for choosing Disney World as our family vacation destination was the season.  Christmastime at the resort is beautiful; every resort hotel and park are fully decorated with unique and colorful decorations.  As our resort was island-themed, it featured brightly colored decorations and reggae Christmas music.  I could do a blog entry every day for the next week on all the special things that happened on our trip - but I will focus on my favorite experience.

Decorations on Main Street, U.S.A.

We dined at The Liberty Tree Tavern on our second evening of the trip.  Because some members of our group wanted to see the Main Street Electrical Parade at the Magic Kingdom, we had a rather late dinner reservation.  Subsequently, by the time we had finished, the park was closed and was almost empty. 

Liberty Square  . . . almost empty!

We proceeded back over the bridge toward Main Street, passing Cinderella's Castle decorated for the holiday season with a beautiful covering of "ice".  It was stunning - I couldn't take my eyes off it and spent quite a bit of time walking backward to keep looking at it!

Its color faded into different shades of purple, green and blue, while sparkling like ice on a sunny winter day.  My favorite photo of the entire trip was taken that evening:

The "Partners" statue of Walt Disney and Mickey

My oldest son in front of the castle (with my younger son and nephew in the background left)

As the park closes, "When You Wish Upon A Star" is played on Main Street, U.S.A. and for a Disney fan like myself, it is a touching moment.   It was truly magical!

A video of the evening - I love it when my son says "it's magical"!

If you have never visited Walt Disney World, I would recommend going in early December.  The weather was a little chilly, but the crowds were light and the Christmas experience was spectacular.  I look forward to planning a trip back next year!

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