Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Characters at Resorts, and the Boardwalk

I'll admit, I think I like meeting the characters more than the kids do.  At certain holidays, characters come to the resorts for special meet and greets, and Christmas is the biggest time for that, of course.  They do several days of meetings at the deluxes and moderates starting around the 19th or 20th.

We went to the Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge first.  Jambo is the main building, so Mickey and Minnie were there.  The line was decent, it took maybe 15-20 minutes?  Niall shed some tears over a minor issue, and a Cast Member noticed and brought him some stickers to cheer him up.  It didn't work, but I loved the thought and effort.

I didn't think anyone was meeting at the other main building in Kidani (they were supposed to be alternating), but after listening to some people in line behind us, we decided to go over there and check.  Sure enough, Donald and Santa Stitch were alternating.  Fiona and Niall were feeling a little shy, and because it was dead there, Donald took time to sit down with them and 'chat' for a bit.

They perked up enough to get a group shot, yay!  The lighting sucked in both spots, which was no fun.  It may have been better if we were using Photopass (but given the bad luck we had on our September trip, probably not).  I'm sure if we'd had something fancier than a point and shoot, we could have gotten better shots.  No biggie.. we were here more for the experience of meeting them than the photos anyway.

While waiting for Donald to finish his set so we could meet Stitch, we went out to the Savannah Overlook and got to try out night vision goggles.  So cool!  The boys now have another item to add to their birthday list or next year's Christmas list (way too late for this year!).  We didn't see anything other than a bunny, but the kids still had a great time.  I loved the rocking chairs and the fire, and so did Fiona!

Finally went inside and had to wait a few more minutes for Stitch (thank goodness for the cartoons they show in the lobby).  We were first in an almost non-existent line, and the kids were happy to meet Stitch.  He was funny with Fiona's little stuffed Stitch.  He's one of our favorites, everyone loves him, so I was super happy we got to see him.

After finishing up at AKL, we decided on a whim to head over to the Boardwalk.  We've never been there before so we only knew what we've read online.. which is basically that they have some performers, and that if you park, you have to park really far away.  Well, I guess it would have seemed really far if you've spent all day at a theme park, but the walk really wasn't that bad.  Especially since it was pleasantly cool out.

It was a cute little area, and definitely worth visiting.  I don't know that you could spend more than an hour (two if you rent a surrey bike) there if you're not eating, though.  I was surprised at how close it was to Epcot; at one end, we could hear the band playing in either Canada or UK quite loudly.  The performers were fun, but not necessarily something you'd want to see more than once.  There was one in particular that Niall absolutely loved.. he was jumping up and down and practically shrieking with delight.  Too funny.

As much as I miss the theme parks and can't wait to get our resident passes, I really love taking the time to explore the resorts.  I've always read people on message boards talk about how much more there is to Disney World besides the theme parks, and while I totally believed it, I just wasn't willing to spend my precious vacation time anywhere but in the parks.  I'd probably stick with that plan if we move back north, but the resorts really are cool, and having plenty of time to explore them is a definite perk to being local.

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