Christmas Day 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Our Christmas stockings from home.

Christmas 2013 was the first time we ever spent Christmas away from home. We missed our family and we missed our boyfriends!

While I had Christmas off, Caroline worked all Christmas day, from 7:30am to 6pm. Because of traffic, she had to leave for work extra early and then got home late.

We opened our presents that night. At home, we always open our stockings first. Mom had sent us our stockings, loaded with goodies, the week before Christmas. We opened so many wonderful gifts and cards from family and friends, and then we exchanged presents with each other.

Opening our stockings first.

Opening our stockings first.

Without my sister there to celebrate with me, Christmas would have been very lonely and I would have been even more homesick! Merry Christmas, Caroline!! 🙂

Christmas night.  Our roommates were all still at work.

Christmas night. Our roommates were all still at work.

Christmas Day at Disney World

Christmas Day at Disney World

Jingle Jungle Parade.

While I had Christmas off, Caroline did not. On Christmas Day, she worked from 7:30am – 6pm, a long shift. The Animal Kingdom has been staying open late for extended hours this holiday week, most nights until 9pm or 10pm. She was hoping for an early release on Christmas Day, but too many people called in sick.

6am Christmas morning:  Waiting to catch the bus to work in the cold & dark!

6am Christmas morning: Waiting to catch the bus to work.

Because of all the sick call-ins this holiday week, she’s been pulled out of the store during parade time to help with crowd control. That’s always exciting duty! Nobody wants to be told they can’t cross over the street during the parade! That Caroline is a toughie!   🙂

Caroline working at Island Merchandise in the Animal Kingdom.

Caroline working at Island Merchandise in the Animal Kingdom.

The cast member exclusive ornament that we got from Disney Program as a thank you!

The cast member exclusive ornament that we got from Disney Program as a thank you!

The Magic Kingdom reached capacity by 10am of Christmas morning. (Theoretically holding 100,000 guests, but because of parking lot restrictions, closer to 60,000 guests.) That meant that overflow guests were directed to the other three theme parks.

Animal Kingdom is the largest park in terms of size, but has the smallest guest capacity. So you really, really notice when it gets crowded. The wait times on the popular rides (Everest, Dinosaur) exceeded 100+ minutes for most of the day.

Park Closures

Disney uses different closure “phases” to gradually restrict the types of guests allowed into a theme park. Closures start at Phase 1 and progress up to Phase 4, where no additional guests of any sort are allowed into the park.

Phased closures do not necessarily last all day: for example, if Magic Kingdom is under a Phase 4 closure at 10:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, sufficient guests might leave by 7:00 p.m. that all restrictions on park entry are lifted.

Phase 1 Closure
Casual visitors are turned away at the automobile toll plazas. This means that people without tickets, those with one-day, single-park tickets, and those intending to use cast member passes will not be allowed to park.
Other guests that may enter during Phase 1 restriction:
Those with multi-day or multi-park tickets
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day
Those “hopping” from another park.
Those with in-park reservations or appointments.
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 2 Closure
The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day
Those “hopping” from another park
Those with in-park dining reservations or appointments
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 3 Closure
The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those with in-park dining reservations or appointments.

Phase 4 Closure
The park and parking lot are closed to all arriving guests.

 

Christmas tree at Animal Kingdom.

Christmas tree at Animal Kingdom.

 

So many cool ornaments!

So many cool ornaments!

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney World in the Disney College Program: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tal

Taping the Disney Christmas Day Parade at Magic Kingdom

Taping the Disney Christmas Day Parade at Magic Kingdom

Taping in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

Taping Video: http://video.disney.com/watch/christmas-day-parade-4eca9c3dcf29db8919faa813

We spent the day at the Magic Kingdom watching them tape the Christmas Day parade events.

Taping today!!

Taping today!!

Main Street USA ready for parade.

Main Street USA ready for parade.

Caroline on Main Street

Caroline on Main Street

Lara Spencer from ‘Good Morning America’ was in hair and make-up all day over by the Plaza Restaurant. We watched her do all the cutaway intros, take after take! Look for us during the broadcast on Christmas Day standing in the crowd right behind Lara!

Lara Spencer from GMA.

Lara Spencer from GMA.

Our view of Lara Spencer taping her intros.

Our view of Lara Spencer taping her intros.

We got to see “American Idol” winner, Candice Glover, perform her song from her album. We also saw The Wanted (an English-Irish boy band) perform their segment. Neil Patrick Harris was the parade MC.

The parade.

The parade.

The Magic Kingdom was mobbed with people! In the late afternoon, we went over to Fantasyland where it was much less crowded. We had never seen Belle’s new show “The Enchanted Tales with Belle”, and that was fun to do.

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tale