Arrival & Candlelight Processional – 2012 New Years Celebration in Walt Disney World


Friday, December 30th, 2011

Arrive in Orlando just after 2pm and like most people that arrive at MCO we head on over to the Magical Express! Once we arrived at POP Century, since our bags weren’t here yet, we got our keys to the world and then it was off to the food court! I’ve now made it a tradition to start off any Disney trip with a cupcake.

On our way to POP Century Resort! 

Was so excited I forgot to take a photo before I ate it.

Once the cupcake was nicely digested we wanted to see the Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian before it was taken down. Took the bus to EPCOT and then hopped on the Monorail to the Grand Floridian.

As you walk into the Floridian from the monorail the first thing you see is the massive Christmas Tree in the middle of the open lobby. After you’re done viewing the beautiful tree you can see the Gingerbread House! I didn’t expect it to be as big as it was let alone have a small store inside of it that sold sweets! It was quite the site, don’t worry I took plenty of photos for you all.

Grand Floridian Christmas Tree

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House Second Floor

They also had very nice decorations just outside the resort. Went and took some photos of those before we headed over to EPCOT for the Candlelight Processional.

Reindeer

Reindeer

Next on the list was heading on over to EPCOT. We wanted to catch the final Candlelight Processional of the season, also who doesn’t love Marlee Matlin? Once we got there we noticed a few of the decorations that were still up, so we stopped to take a few photos.

Lights at the entrance to EPCOT

Donald & Goofy

We made our way over to World Showcase. The wait times for Soarin’, Test Track, etc were too long at this point and didn’t want to miss the performance. Made our way to the standby line and waited for them to allow us to sit!

The performance was excellent and we were both glad to have had the chance to see it! I’ve never seen a choir of this magnitude before and having a celebrity “read” the story was something special! Was able to find a video of the performance we attended, it’s not the full performance. Credit to JeffLangeDVD over at YouTube for taking the video and uploading it!

After the performance we walked the rest of World Showcase. Got to ride Maelstrom before they closed it for the evening (actually we were the last people on the attraction) and then we got caught in the crowd that was there watching Illuminations. Tried to time it right so we would miss the crowd but alas that didn’t work out. It was rather chilly, thankfully I had my bunnyhug with me.

While going with the flow of the crowd, I noticed something that I haven’t seen before. They project the word “Good Night” in all the different pavilion languages on the EPCOT ball. One thing about Disney I love is, that you’ll always find something you’ve never seen before, no matter how many times you’ve been there.

EPCOT Christmas Tree

Before we left we got our photo with the Mickey and Minnie Topiary. While we were waiting to get our photo taken a big family was getting ready to pose for theirs. They made poor grandma sit on the ground, she had quite a struggle to get up and down.

Mickey & Minnie

Once back at the Resort we did a little walking around just to see the decorations. We noticed they had a table full of smaller gingerbread houses that appeared to have been in some sorta contest. They were of course Disney themed and were very cute. Here’s a couple of them.

3rd Place

2nd Place

1st Place

Our first half day at Disney was rather short but enjoyable. Went to bed (after refilling our resort cups with pop of course) early so we could gear up for our 19 hour day that was awaiting for us the next day. Yes the next day is New Years Eve and we spend the entire day at the Magic Kingdom. Make sure you come back for that extremely long trip report (split into two parts), it’s going to be full of plenty of videos, photos, and music. It’s something to not be missed!

Photos from our first day can be found at flickr. The rest of the trip photos are there too if you wish to have a sneak peak of what the next trip reports will contain!

New Years in the Magic Kingdom