Sunday, November 13, 2022

On This Day Last Year: WDW Trip Report - Day 4 // Morning Magic, A Delicious Date, and Evening in my Favorite Christmastime Park

Hey, friends!  A year ago today we woke up to Disney Christmas magic, our family split off for sister time and a hubby/wife date day, then we finished it off as a fam taking in the twinkling holiday goodness at Hollywood Studios and took in Epcot at moonlight too!  It was a day well spent and I can't wait to capture it in blog form all while sharing it with you too! Trip report time!

Day 4 - Saturday, November 13, 2021

We awoke to a beautiful sunshiny day at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Christmas magic awaited us just beyond our villa doors!  When we stepped out to begin our day we were greeted by a lobby of holiday cheer for the most wonderful time of the year!  We've spent multiple November trips here at Animal Kingdom Lodge and they don't always decorate for Christmas on the same date, so we always hope for, but are never sure if we'll awake to see they've transformed this lovely lobby overnight.  It feels like pure magic when you enjoy this sweet surprise!  It makes even a girl in her forties feel like a kid on Christmas morning! :D

Elevator mirror family selfie!

Epcot Time!

It's really fun now that the girls are older to have the opportunity to part ways in fun pairs from time to time!  The girls went off on their on for some sister time in World Showcase.  They made their way around the world experiencing each pavilion through the shows, shops, and snacks offered within.  Meanwhile, Jason and I began with breakfast at our favorite quick service spot, Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in France!  

While we all took pics throughout this day, I'm choosing to take you along for my date with Jason and will leave the girls' fun photos as a personal keepsake just for the two of them to look back on. :)  

His and hers scrumptious with a beverage to share. 

We followed France up with a pavilion we don't typically spend much time in, Morocco.  It's fun to really take your time exploring the pavilions of World Showcase.  

Many people don't go deep within the pavilions so it's fun to find little nooks of somewhat secluded spaces to spend time in.  We often notice empty table and benches in quiet and lovely areas whenever we explore World Showcase.  If you need a break from crowds I highly recommend making your way into a pavilion and then keep going beyond the masses, you'll often find a refreshing "hideaway" for a peaceful moment.

Next we decided to catch a viewing of The American Adventure with a look around the lobby before the show.

A Special Lunch Date

On this day in 1998 Jason and I gathered with family and friends for our wedding rehearsal.  That night we had our rehearsal dinner at a pizzeria in our area.  On this day, 23 years later, we had reservations at Via Napoli for a pizza date.  A lovely lunch for just the two of us, celebrating our upcoming anniversary and enjoying the memories of a special pizza party over two decades ago.  It's the little things (...and a big pizza) that make me smile!

Parmesan cheese and red pepper flake Mickeys are the best addition to a pizza!

I'm so glad he's my pizza partner for life!

After lunch we took the Skyliner to check out Disney's new Rivera resort.

From enjoying Neverland murals back to the Skyliner, and away we go!

A warm chocolate pudding cake from the Ireland booth of Food and Wine Festival makes for a sweet treat for two.

Time to meet back up with our girls!  They'd each made some fun purchases that morning.  Another Sanrio plush for one and a helpful hat to shade from the sun for the other!  They had some pizza too.  Only theirs was from Sunshine Seasons.  This was a perfect meeting spot because when they finished their final bite we all boarded a boat together right there in Living with the Land.  

One of my favorite rides in the park!  It's so wonderfully relaxing and seeing the seasonal scenes created here always makes my heart smile. :)

I'm so thankful that these plexiglass queues are now a thing of the past.  Each time I see a photo from this trip featuring one I feel a little claustrophobic just thinking about those small fingerprint covered mazes of 2021.

We missed you too!

Hidden Mickey!

Back to France for a family first, riding Ratatouille!

Super cute wallpaper!

Love these cute queue complete with a talking Gusteau's sign!

Two thumbs up for an awesome ride, Little Chef!

Next ride, a skyliner to Hollywood Studios!  She clearly counted this as a thrill ride! ;)

Hooray for Hollywood!

Some of these snapshots are pretty blurry.  I took them on my phone after dark and I tend to not hold still enough.  We'll just say that's because I'm too excited by the sight of Hollywood Studios lit up on a Christmasy night.  I'm still going to include them and hope it captures the atmosphere well enough.  Hollywood Studios is not my favorite park any other time of year, but it is my favorite Christmastime park!  Especially at night!  I absolutely adore vintage decor!  I love an old fashioned American Christmas feel and this park has my heart during the most wonderful time of the year!  A few years before Jason brought me here on our 20th Anniversary night just to see the Christmas lights real quick before we headed off for our celebratory dinner at California Grill.  I just have the best memories of this place during this season and I love adding to them with each November/December trip we are thankful to enjoy!

While the girls headed off for a thrill ride I savored the sight of a lit Echo Lake with this cutie by my side!  

I love the projections that transform the Hollywood Tower Hotel into a gigantic gingerbread house!

Time to take in the show projected on to The Hollywood Tower Hotel through the night.  It's a sweet Christmasy delight!

The Hollywood TOY Hotel - too cute!

This buffalo chicken grilled cheese and fries from the ABC Commissary was delish!

One final skyliner ride of the night back to Epcot to get our rental car.  

Seeing Spaceship Earth all lit up for the 50th again was definitely the icing on top of a super sweet night!

What a fun day to share with you here!  I'm extra excited for tomorrow's post as a year ago tomorrow Jason and I were celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary!  I invite you to return to hear all about it!


Previous Trip Reports from this Vacation:


  1. I can only imagine what it would be like to wake up to all things Christmas at Disney World! Incredible!


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