Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  We enjoyed ourselves, with a quick afternoon Turkey lunch with the in-laws on Thanksgiving day and then we headed over to the Disney Pop-Century Resort at Disney World through Sunday.

We went to Downtown Disney for dinner Thanksgiving night and you would never know it was Thanksgiving.  Lots of people, festive party atmosphere and all restaurants/shops were open as normal.

We had dinner at Paradiso 47, which is one of the places we always like to go when we're there.  It is a Latin / Mexican type place with a loud festive atmosphere and good food/drinks. Lots of Tequila to choose from, but not a big fan of Tequila.

Friday we had a marathon day at the parks with a 1 day Hopper Pass.  That allows you go to as many of the 4 different parks as you want in 1 day.  Our initial plan was to do Animal Kingdom in the morning and Epcot in afternoon/evening, but we actually ended up also throwing in the Magic Kingdom after dinner.

That was the best decision we made, because the holiday lights and festivities at Magic Kingdom are really over the top!  From the moment you walk down Main Street USA is all decked out with wreaths from one side of the street to the other and the castle is at the far end all lit up.  It is really a site to see.

We avoided the light parade at 9pm and instead hit a few rides like it's a Small World (ack), Haunted Mansion and we also checked out the new area in FantasyLand, which was mostly centered around the Little Mermaid movie/characters.

Afterwards, around 9:45pm we headed to the area right in front of the castle and saw a pre-fireworks show where they project various movie and holiday scenes onto the castle along with sound/music and that was really amazing!  I have no idea how they turn the castle into a makeshift movie screen, but it really seems to come to life.

I captured a few of the different individual scenes like a GingerBread house, Xmas presents, etc.  Those were just a few still shots.  The video scenes where they appeared to make the castle completely transform and move at various points really made you just say WOW.  They really know how to do it up right for the holidays!

That was a bit of a long day, but really we were more awake than we ever have been before when hitting the parks.  Typically when walking around all day we're exhausted by around 9pm, but because we really weren't rushing to hit a ton of rides and didn't wait in a lot of long lines and the weather was nice and cool, it wasn't bad at all!

According to wifey's FitBit, we actually walked 12.5 miles that day and boy did we feel it afterwards.  Luckily we weren't real sore until Sunday, which is when we left.

On Saturday, I had a pre-scheduled Exotic Driving Experience scheduled for 10am.  That is a race track within the Disney area where you get to drive a luxury sports car such as a Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc.

I decided on the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.  I've always been a fan of Lamborghini's since I was real little and being able to drive one is one of those things I never really thought I'd ever get to do.  So when I found out something like that was possible and it was right in Disney World, wifey told me to do it up!

I will do up a separate review of that experience, but I'll include a picture or two of that as well.  It was fun, but surprisingly more nerve racking than I expected.  I made the mistake of selecting to use the "Paddle Shifters" to switch gears rather than doing a fully automatic mode and it took a lot more concentration than I expected.

It was certainly an experience I won't forget and I may do a similar one again some day, but next time I will choose full automatic mode for sure.
We then headed back home Sunday morning and began cleaning the place up for visitors coming in town this week and setup the Xmas tree.  Mom arrived Tuesday night and her sister, our aunt, Kathy and John will be arriving Wednesday night.  They'll be staying until Monday, with a quick trip over the weekend for them to visit their sister Shirley celebrating her 80th birthday.

Lots going on!  Then the weekend after we have the wifey's Xmas party on Friday and the Buffalo Bills/Jacksonville Jaguars game festivities the rest of the weekend here in town.  The weekend after that it's off to Atlanta to hang with the family for Xmas!

That is nuts, I have not even had a free second to think about Xmas gifts and it is already Dec 3rd.  I guess it does make a big difference with Thanksgiving being so late this year.  Anyhow, hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday and here are a bunch of pictures from the weekend!

Downtown Disney

Paradiso 47 Tequilas
Love all the great visuals at the T-Rex restaurant

Disney Animal Kingdom


Epcot decorations

Magic Kingdom

Main Street USA
Disney Castle Holiday Lights
Fireworks Finale
Gingerbread Castle
Christmas Packages
Wifey's favorite pic

Exotic Driving Experience

Off I go!
Back Home

Buddy and Wookie's first Xmas with us


Mock family said...

Love the recap and pics! Can't wait to take the kiddos! Ps thanksgiving is late next year too

Jen said...

I knew it would be a quicker transition between Thanksgiving and Xmas but I am overwhelmed for sure! Looks like fun. Max is ready whenever you want to go back.

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