Holiday Trip 2009!

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For the last three years I have made a trip to Walt Disney World during the holiday season.  This year I shove off on December 13th for an eight day adventure with some of my favorite fellow Disney geeks.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to see my friends and tour WDW at the most magical time of the year.  The usual crew will be coming together to ride, eat, drink and be merry plus we’ll have a few additions.

So what’s on our agenda?

This time around we’re staying at the Boardwalk for most of the trip.  We picked this resort for several reasons.  First of all we wanted to go deluxe for the space since there will be three adults in the room.  On last year’s Christmas trip we stayed at the Polynesian and the day bed worked out great for us.  Splitting the cost three ways also helps keep things more affordable too.  Plus, I was lucky enough to get an email pin code for 40% off.   We were having trouble deciding which Epcot area resort to chose, but we went with the Boardwalk because it did well among Unofficial Guide readers this year and we’d be a hop, skip, and a jump from all of the activities and venues at this resort.  I’ve never been to the Atlantic Dance Hall or Jellyrolls so I’m excited to try them.

Our last few days will be spent at Pop Century.  This seems to be our group’s home away from home.  We didn’t think we could afford a full stay at the Boardwalk so we’re cheaping out for a few days at Pop.  Also during the last few days of our trip we’ll have some additions to the crowd.  My friend Julie’s family will be joining us for a few days of holiday fun and my friend, Kristin, will be driving in from West Palm Beach.  Touring with such a big group will be a new experience for me, but it should be tons of fun.

Like any good Disney World planner, after decided where to stay we decided where to eat.  About two months ago I wrote a post discussing our ADRs.  If you missed it you can find it here.  Since we’ll be staying at the Boardwalk we’ll be eating in that area a lot.  And, of course, we’ll be eating and drinking around World Showcase!  If anyone wants to grab a drink with us (perhaps a spiked coffee in Morocco before staking out a place for Illuminations if it’s chilly outside) let us know!

The first few days of our trip will be spent with the folks from the wdwtoday podcast and their legions of fans during the 2009 Reunion.  I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, and making some new Disney geek friends.

In addition to the wdwtoday events and the usual touring, we’ll be there to see the Christmas festivities!  I’m looking forward to taking a longer Christmas trip than I have in the past.  I won’t feel as rushed to make sure I see the Osborne Lights, the holiday tag on Illuminations, the Candlelight Processional, and all of the other Christmas time offerings.  We’ll be able to relax a little and just take in all of the Disney Christmas magic.  For example, one morning we’re heading to Kona Cafe for Tonga Toast.  After enjoying our extremely delicious breakfast complete with real coffee, we’ll hop on the monorail to see the decorations at the neighboring resorts.  It should be a nice, slow morning.

There’s so much to do at Disney World for the holidays!  In the next few weeks I’ll highlight some of my favorite activities around WDW.  And I’ll talk more about which ones we will be attending.  Hopefully they’ll help you to pick and chose which ones you’d like to see this year.

I will try to blog about the trip while we’re there, but time always seems to slip away from me when I’m at WDW.  At the very least I’ll be twittering all week so follow me and see where my adventures take me @khelmstetter!

Anyone else going to be there at this time? I hope you all enjoy the holiday festivities at Disney World!

Next week I’ll finish up my reviews of park bathrooms with the Animal Kingdom…

Kristen Helmstetter

Kristen Helmstetter is an Unofficial Guide researcher who will share her 20-something perspective of all things Walt Disney World with blog readers. Kristen’s email address is You can also follow her on Twitter: @khelmstetter.

12 thoughts on “Holiday Trip 2009!

  • November 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    We’re going around the same time (the 9-20) and we’re doing the same resorts, just switched! (Pop a few days, then Boardwalk!)

  • November 16, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    That’s great! I hope you have a great time! I love the christmas decorations at Boardwalk. Maybe we’ll see you there!

  • November 17, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Going to be at WDW 12/15 through 12/22(4 weeks from today I will be there)! I’ll be following you on Twitter!

    • November 17, 2009 at 7:09 pm

      have a great time! i’m following you now too!

  • November 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Cool! We’ll be there 12/14-18 and except for an evening at MVMCP, we’ll be spending our time between the Studios and EPCOT. Staying at the POFQ, my new “budget” favorite so I can do 3 or 4 trips a year. Got an amazing AP rate for that week! When it’s one trip a year, it’s Beach Club or Poly for me!

    • November 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm

      we’re skipping MVMCP this year (more on that in a future post) but i hope you have a great time. epcot is my favorite and its even better at christmas time so ill be spending lots of time there too! have a great trip!

  • November 17, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    My wife and I are going 12/3 – 12/10 so we should catch many of things you mention. This is our first trip to WDW and we can not wait. We are staying at POR so we are excited to see what WDW is like.

    • November 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

      i hope your first trip is wonderful! its a great time to go

  • November 18, 2009 at 8:06 am

    We will be at AKL the 4th-12th. Any recommendations on can’t miss resorts for viewing decorations?


    • November 18, 2009 at 10:11 am

      You should absolutely go to the Grand Floridian to see the gingerbread house and its easy to get to being on the monorail if you don’t have a car. I’d also recommend going out the international gateway exit at Epcot and strolling through the resorts in that area. Beach Club has a gingerbread and chocolate carousel every year and Boardwalk also usually has a festive edible display. Wilderness Lodge is also pretty if you get the chance. Pretty much all of the deluxe resorts do something special for the holidays. Have a great trip!

    • December 4, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      I haven’t done it yet, but supposedly taking the hay ride around where the campers are is a “not to be missed” thing. There are people that live in RV’s there that go ALL OUT for decorating. So, you can sit in the back with some hot chocolate and a blanket, snuggled up with your loved ones, and view everyone’s decorations.

      We just got back from Coronado Springs. The hotel itself is gorgeous, but they mostly just have a tree and wreathes.

      Two years ago we checked out Polynesian. They had Christmas in the air. I don’t remember anything being an “absolute must” to see, but they definitely had the Christmas air/feeling nailed. It looks like you should just get on the monorail and visit all the connected hotels. 🙂

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