Friday, December 16, 2011

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report - The Disney Resorts' Salute to All Holidays... but Mostly Christmas.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Disney loves Christmas. Disney loves Christmas so much, they want to marry it and have a dozen babies with it. Listen, Disney loves Christmas the way they love the One Winged Angel and Falling Villain tropes. That's how much they love Christmas.

Most of this Christmas love is on display in the resorts. In particular, the Bay Lake/Seven Seas Lagoon resorts and the Crescent Lake resorts go nuts for Christmas decorations. Four resorts sport gigantic trees and almost all of them have some kind of gingerbread... thing, like the tree in the Contemporary pictured above. Let's hop on the Monorail and get right to the resort that goes the most insane during Christmas.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

The Grand Floridian. A quick monorail ride from the Contemporary, this absurdly posh Princess-themed hotel has the most elaborate decorations. Here are a couple of close-ups of that giant tree (note the people standing near it for scale):

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

As you can see, there's a some-kind-of-Victorian-or-something theme going on here, with some random large bird ornaments as well. (And a thankful dearth of bronze things with gears glued all over them.)

11.28.11 - The Grand Floridian Giant Gingerbread House

And here's the most famous of all the Walt Disney World resort decorations, the Grand Floridian's Giant Gingerbread House. Made of eight-hundred pounds of flour, six-hundred pounds of sugar, well over a thousand pounds of honey, and the tears of starving children all over the world.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

A-ha-ha, I joke, I joke! Still, the thing is pretty unsettling to see in person. Especially right after the moment you realize there are people inside!

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Yes, during certain times of the day, the Giant Gingerbread House serves as a store that sells (overpriced) cookies and candy. For the curious, the gingerbread is a little meh, the kind of gingerbread you'd use as a building material. Here are the cashiers leaving the Giant Gingerbread House for a sense of scale.

Incidentally, if you are wondering as I was, what Disney does with all the gingerbread after the season's over, the Granfaloon Old Timey Gin Bar's tender assured me that somebody eats it. It all gets trucked over to a pig farm.


Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Let's stick with things that, when they are installed, Bob Geldoff has a psychic nosebleed. As they are not officially official Disney Resorts, the Swan and Dolphin have decorations that are wildly different. This installation in the Swan is made entirely out of chocolate.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Meanwhile the Dolphin has a Poinsettia tree that, while not as tall as the Disney trees, is still pretty massive and oddly proportioned (note the people for scale).

11.28.11 - Boardwalk Gingerbread House

Nearby is the Boardwalk, which sported a neat Gingerbread gazebo with, er, Donald and Stitch. We'll go back to the Boardwalk soon, since I love their decorations, but let's head over to the Yacht and Beach Club.

11.28.11 - Yacht and Beach Club Train

One of the twin sister resorts (the Yacht Club, I think) had an enormous model train.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Naturally, the Yacht Club has sailboats in it's normal-size tree.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

While the Beach Club tree has a seaside theme.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Now as far as gigantic trees go, the very best are in the two Lodges. This giant tree is in the Wilderness Lodge, and it's filled with amazing details:

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Look at that! I want to stick antlers in our tree now! That looks amazing!

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

But by far the most unique giant tree resides in the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Masks, drums, wicker baskets, and full cornucopias. This tree has the most unique decorations of all!

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

It's very, very hard to pick but I think the style of decorating used in the Boardwalk might just be my favorite. This tree is only a little bigger than me, but every branch on it is COVERED in ornaments!

11.28.11 - Boardwalk Decorations

The garlands look amazing in this already spectacular building. And yes, even the garlands are dripping with toys and glass balls and other shineys. Here's a detail shot:

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Next week, we leave Disney for a bit in order experience another kind of magical Christmas.

In the meantime, watch my friend Mitch brew Christmas beer!

And on a more sour/baffling note: the Golden Globe Nominated "Gnomeo And Juliet". (Eh, at least they didn't ignore "Rango", but no love at all for "Kung Fu Panda 2" or "Muppets"?)

But on a more happy/wonderful note, there is this:


On to Part Six!

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Sketch of the Day!

12.1.11 - Magic Kingdomscape

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