Another perk of living in the Villages is the community's proximity to Orlando. It only takes a little over an hour to get to Disney World. The regular tickets are about $80 per day, depending on home many days' tickets you buy. The annual pass for Florida residents is $452 the first year and $410 for subsequent renewals, so if you visit the parks 6 days over the year, you've made out. By the end of this year we will have visited Disney World 8 days.
In all the years we have been vacationing in Florida, we never got to visit at Christmas, so we thought we would spend a few days here this week. We could have driven back and forth, but we had some Sheraton hotel points that allowed us a room at the Swan for 3 nights.
|Tree at entrance to Hollywood Studios Park|
We arrived late in the afternoon, so traffic was light. With an annual pass, we never worry about getting to the parks early to get our money's worth. What we don't see one day we can catch the next time. There is always transportation provided from the Disney resort hotels to the parks. From the Swan & Dolphin resorts, we took the Disney boat shuttle to Hollywood Studios. The Christmas tree in the photo on the left greeted us as we disembarked from the boat.
At first we thought this was the only Christmas decoration, but we soon realized that the best would have to wait until after dark. We went on the Studio Back Lot Tour ride and stopped for pizza before heading for the Fantasmic! show. The amphitheater fills up fast, so we tried to get there early. 45 minutes before the start, the seats were more than half full. This is a wonderful show. It takes the theme of Mickey's dream from Fantasia and modernizes it with characters good and bad from all of Disney history. They use water fountains, music, fireworks, projectors, and live performers combined to create an enthralling show. I was glued to the action for the entire show. They warn that this may not be suitable for young children, since some of the scenes are very scary.
|Streets of America Christmas display|
It was a wonderful day. We took the boat back to the hotel and rested up for the next day's adventure.