Thursday, December 3, 2015 - Friday, December 11, 2015
A melange' of a trip for us 'home' this time around; a bit of Disney time, visiting Andrew at Florida State, and a class for Jill in Tampa.
Headed to Syracuse after I got done with work on Thursday morning; took the JetBlue direct flight from 'cuse to Orlando arriving mid-afternoon there. Grabbed our bags and car and headed straight to property (as is our usual M.O.). This time around we did something a bit different - instead of going directly to Epcot, like we usually do, we headed to Hollywood Studios. With this being the last year for the Osborne Family Light Show, we wanted to make sure we got to see them. Hung around Hollywood Studios until it was 'dusk' and then made our last walk through the lights (one of a few 'lasts' we would encounter on this trip).
After the lights we headed to Celebration; as I couldn't find any rooms on property for this trip (there were a few rooms but all were incredibly expensive) we were finally able to check out/stay at the Bohemian Celebration Hotel, a locale we had always wanted to try out but never really had the chance before. Checked into the hotel, and then made the long 1/2 block walk to our favorite pub (in Florida) the Celebration Town Tavern! Met up with Paul and Della Riccardi there for drinks and dinner. Back to the hotel for some MUCH needed sleep after dinner.
Friday rolled around and it was a broken up park to park to park kind of day. We stared out at Hollywood Studios (again) as we had Fast Passes for three rides there. The first (another 'last chance' on this trip for us) was Muppet Vision 3D; an attraction that is (was) one of Mike's favorites and one we would make sure we went out of our way to see anytime we were in Florida or California. Sadly, the California location has been 're-imagined' and the Florida location isn't far behind as the locale here will be gobbled up by the new Star Wars Land. A Star Tours Fast Pass (complete with a scene from the new movie!) and Rockin' Roller Coaster (of course ;-) ) rounded out our rides at Hollywood Studios. We were able to sneak in a lunch at the Sci-Fi Drive In too! Full up of Hollywood Studios, we took a quick jaunt over to Animal Kingdom where we were able to get on both Dinosaur! and Expedition Everest (front row of course), as well as Primeval Whirl. As this was as much as we usually do at Animal Kingdom, we headed out and went back to the hotel.
In the evening, after changing for dinner, we wandered up to the main street in Celebration (only a block away) and we were able to see it 'snow' there - another thing we had always wanted to do! It was very cool, with Christmas music playing and lots of people there! Afterwards it was back to property for our anniversary dinner. As with all of our special dinners in Florida, we went to the California Grill. This was the first time we had been there since they 're-imagined' the space and menu, but we were not disappointed in the least! Great meal at a very special place for us. Back to the hotel after dinner.
On Saturday morning we were up bright and early! Why not wedge a half marathon into an anniversary trip, especially us right? We ran the OUC Orlando Half Marathon, a run that we had been wanting to do for a couple of years at least but never found the chance to do so. We actually got to see/sit with/talk with Jeff Davenport after the race too so that was a great surprise as well!
After showers and changing at the hotel, we FINALLY headed to EPCOT! (being this was day three and we usually go there first this was a record of some sort for us ;-) ). Straight to Mexico for a tequila flight (YUM!) before continuing our wander around the world. A month previous, someone actually had too much tequila and scaled the temple in Mexico - hence the new signs; and our friend Samantha Byrnes had mentioned a holiday drink in Germany, so I just had to get one to try!