Trip Report: More Thanksgiving Surprises

What’s better than waking up on Thanksgiving morning to learn you’re going to Walt Disney World? Surprising your cousins during their vacation! They visit every other year at Thanksgiving so one of the first questions my kids asked when they were checking on our plans is if we’d see them. Their cousins, however, had no clue we were going to be there!

The park was opening at 8am. By 7:10 we were passing through the Walt Disney World gate and very soon being dropped off at the park. There was a short wait before being let into the park, but it was still early enough to get some beautiful pictures in front of the Castle.

The crowds were ready to enter Tomorrowland. We lined up with no rushing. We made our way through several rides: Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, The Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, and Barnstormer. Other than waiting about 15 minutes for Space Mountain we walked right on everything else.

I had to break the surprise to my sister-in-law that we were going to be at the parks because of the live video I had done the day before. They arrived at the park and now it was time to coordinate with her where to make the surprise happen. They wanted to meet Ariel so Prince Eric’s ship outside the ride was a good landmark to use. We step a little out of view so we could watch for them to arrive. It was so cute when the kids first saw each other! The look of surprise, at least for my older niece, was the best! The younger one didn’t really think anything was different about meeting up with her cousins.

We were able to experience Disney together for a short time before separating so they could do some of the plans they had with the rest of their travel party.

When we split up my kids wanted to finally get onto Tom Sawyer Island. We spent about 45 minutes exploring the island for the first time. The kids were thrilled with Fort Longhorn. It was relaxing or me to just sit back and chill while they wandered through the Fort. The cave, on the other hand, was a little creepy.

After leaving the island we headed for a bit of comedy on the Jingle Cruise. We had extra laughs as we tried to convince Diva the entire walk to Adventureland that it was no longer the Jungle Cruise. There was a quite a bit a of banter back and forth. Even a Cast Member tried to tell her it was Jingle. She didn’t believe her or the sign. We couldn’t stop laughing.

Dessert for lunch? And with a view? Yes, please. We shared a giant Mickey Brownie Sundae from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Yummmm! It’s my favorite!

After snacking it was time for another meet up with the cousins and their group. The kids did a fantastic job modeling at the Purple Wall and nearby. We shared some more laughs on the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and took a few more pictures.

On my trip a few weeks back, I made it to the Grand Floridian to see the Gingerbread House and the kids loved the idea of it. We needed some real food too. We took the long way by doing a Monorail look. On the relaxing ride around I placed a mobile order to pick up a very late lunch/early dinner at Gasparilla Island Grill while at the hotel. I love eating here because we always find a seat outside the restaurant along the waterfront. It provides a perfect view of the Castle and depending on how many boats are docked of Space Mountain too.

After filling up we checked out the gorgeous lobby. It’s another one of those places I could sit all day and be happy, especially at Christmas time. The tree and Gingerbread House were a hit. The kids are just as amazed as I am at the enormous size of every perfectly decorated Christmas tree around the property.

I still had intention of seeing the tree at Wilderness Lodge. I was outvoted. They wanted to go back to Magic Kingdom. We went back with no real plans other than to use an early evening FastPass+ to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and watch Elsa light up the Castle. We leisurely took pictures, enjoyed the sounds of the Dapper Dans, and milled around on Main Street.

Our family was still at the park so we met up with them near the entrance to Mine Train and very politely asked if we could bring my niece along with us through the FastPass+ line. Wish granted! She was so excited to go with us for her first ride on the roller coaster. It may be her last though. Even though she been on other coasters before, she was a little nervous after this one. She still said she had a great time.

It was finally time for Elsa! All the girls had been waiting for it. I had been waiting for it since I had missed the show during my last visit. The kids went a little wild waiting for the lights to come on. They were laughing and just having a great time being together. The lights around the Magic Kingdom dimmed and the show began.

To end our evening I showed off the picture spot that recently became from favorite place to stop for a quick snap. There was a lot of commotion and excitement so the pictures weren’t perfect, but the memories of seeing each other at Magic Kingdom couldn’t get more perfect!


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