- Mark, Jeanne Ty
- Phillips: Dave, Bev, Martha, Margarette, Clara
Month of Trip: December
Where we stayed: BeachClub for 2 nights and Contemporary for 3 nights
Where we ate: Yachtsman, Italy, Cape May Cafe,
The Beach Club was awesome as always, and we had a special treat sharing a Contemporary Concierge Suite with the Phillips family for a few nights. The suite was huge – the equivalent of four hotel rooms. It included two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a dining room/kitchen, a living room with a 70-inch Ultra HD TV and four balconies overlooking Bay Lake. We also had access to the Concierge room on the same floor with free food for all meals, free drinks including beer and late night cordials, and two balconies from which we watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks. The firework audio was broadcast to the balconies correctly timed to the fireworks. Mark enjoyed several glasses of cognac while watching the show on a couple nights.
One of our reasons for this trip was because this is the final year for the Osborne Family Dancing Lights at Disney Studios. They were awesome! Even better than the last time since the entire display had been redone with LED lights. Well, apparently everyone else in the world was thinking the same thing since the park became very crowded as dusk approached. The crowds going through the lights were crushing. We ended up walking back to our hotel since it looked like we’d be waiting for hours to get on the boat. It was only a 20 minute walk, but difficult after a full day of walking.
Since it was the week leading up to the release of Star Wars VII, the park was buzzing. We saw a cool video in the Star Wars Launch Bay that had the major producers of Star Wars talking about how their careers were impacted by watching the original. The one guy spoke about getting into the movie business because of that first Star Wars. He said if he knew then that he’d end up making Star Wars VII that he’d have spent the last 36 years planning. Along with the trailer and phenomenal scoring it was actually emotional – at least for Mark.
During our Epcot visit we had a dine & show reservation at Italy. The food was excellent. Afterwards we had excellent seats for the Candlelight processional. This show is an extremely well-done and emotional telling of the story of Christ’s birth through words and music. Meredith Viera was the speaker, and seemed to be quite touched by the experience (we were at her ninth and final show). There was a full orchestra with perhaps the best and most animated Director I’ve ever seen. There were about 100 people in the choir. The arrangements were all special and very well done and the quality was breath-taking. Most of the choir are high-school students in gold robes on either side of the stage. In the center stage were about 30 Disney cast members – just normal folks who enjoy singing. They were in green robes arranged on a special stage that made them appear to be a christmas tree – really very cool. Then there were the “ringers” – eight professional singers in tuxedos or beautiful bright red dresses. Incredible voices! Afterwards, we had a chance to talk to some of the choir members and two of their teachers. They were from a high school in Fort Lauderdale, and had practiced all year for this single day. Apparently each day brings 2 or 3 new school choirs into Disney. What a great experience.