WDW Visit With 2012 Christmas Parade Sneak Preview

I know that my family and I are lucky to be alive, but the bleak cold days following Hurricane Sandy were heartbreaking and depressing. Hubby decided to cheer me up and booked tickets for us to fly to Florida. Unfortunately home-related work caused by Sandy forced him to cancel. However, he insisted I still go.

Luggage in hand I fly into Orlando, hop a Magic Express, and arrive in Walt Disney World in time for the soft opening of its New Fantasyland. Yes, I am in the Magic Kingdom’s holiday crowds to be part of the park’s largest expansion ever doubling Fantasyland’s size. Main Street is jammed with visitors eager to be part of the day’s pre-filmed portions of this year’s televised Disney Christmas Parade. Since I love a parade, I decide to make the most of its photo ops and join the merry throngs.

Next I head to Storybook Circus, Disney’s nod to toddlers and tikes. The weather is warm enough to tempt even me to jump into Casey Jr. Splash & Soak. Passing long, wide lines at Barnstormer and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, I head to the Enchanted Forest, site of Beast’s Castle and live trees. I check out the menu in Be Our Guest Restaurant. I see Gaston posing outside Gaston’s Tavern. I ride Under the Sea, the Journey of the Little Mermaid. How I wish my grandbabies are all here with me as I pass now open Tales with Belle and Ariel’s Grotto!

Time for the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, a bite to eat, the iconic It’s a Small World that Disney developed for the 1964 New York Expo, the WDW Railroad for a ride around the park away from the hustle and bustle, and Tomorrowland’s Transit Authority Peoplemover for an overview of what’s happening. I head over to Adventureland for its holiday Country Bears Jamboree Christmas Special. (I was wowed by the Christmas Specials of the Haunted Castle and It’s a Small World in Disneyland and decided I must see this one in the World again.) Alas, when I get to the attraction I learn it was discontinued in 2006.

It’s now past dusk, time for the Main Street Electrical Parade then my Plaza Restaurant dinner reservation. I catch glimpses in the foreground of the castle of its character-filled Celebrate the Magic Show. Cinderella’s Castle Dream Lights: Reflections of Christmas are beautiful.

Since the park first opened in 1971, I have come here literally hundreds of times. Even with late hours and park hopping, I decide to head back to my Old Key West room after one more stop – a photo of me and Mickey. I have enjoyed an almost perfect day in the Magic Kingdom, my favorite amusement park. My only regret is hubby is not beside me. I’m tired and know I’ll be back again next time with hubby.

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