Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Disney Trip Post


Walt Statue at Magic Kingdom

I've been doing some catch-up posts these past few days. I think this is the last of those - but certainly the biggest. I had a conference to attend at the Walt Disney World Resort from November 9 - 14. It just happened to be in the magical overlap period between the end of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival (which I was lucky enough to attend last year in celebration of my birthday while Gayle and her friend Debbie went to a conference), much of the Disney holiday activities, and the three day Festival of the Masters which brought my coolest purchase of the trip (more on that a bit later).

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and headed to the hotel. We set out for a walk over to Hollywood Studios to pick up some tickets. Gayle picked up the tickets while I shot the big Christmas tree.

Christmas tree at Hollywood Studios entrance

My conference ran from Wednesday through Friday but we had some extra time to kill in the evenings. We managed a delicious dinner at Shula's restaurant - which we hadn't eaten at before and an evening at the Food and Wine Festival with my aunt Idris and uncle Ron who were in Florida at their winter place for a few weeks. I got the best recording of Illuminations fireworks I've ever gotten that night.



After the conference ended, Gayle and I spent a few extra days, including a return trip to the Food and Wine Festival where we enjoyed the Sweet Seats at the "3D Disney's Dessert Discovery".

Me - with cotton candy
We also spent a day at Hollywood Studios - which neither of us had done for a while. We enjoyed Rockin' Roller Coaster, the new Toy Story Mania ride (although I really don't get why that ride is the crazy draw that it is) and the revamped Star Tours. We took a break in the afternoon and went back in the evening to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights which I'd never done before.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

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Sadly, I picked up a cold while we were there - which in our normal fashion Gayle then developed after we returned from the trip. So, our visit to Festival of the Masters was a bit short as was our visit to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Short doesn't mean we didn't pack in quite a bit of fun though.

Festival of the Masters entry sign
Love that Pluto was front and center in the official logo of the festival.  Festival of the Masters is where I bought my souvenir of the trip - an awesome underwater photo of an Elephant similar to the one linked there shot by one of my now favorite artists, Christopher Guglielmo.

Christmas time at the Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle for the Holidays
Very Merry Christmas Party was a neat experience and the special Holiday Wishes show - as well as the lighting of Cinderella's Castle was beautiful.


All in all, a wonderful trip and it definitely helped put me in the holiday spirit!

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