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Walt Disney World Christmas 2015 Trip Report - Part 2
DisneyDan  Monday, March 14, 2016 2:24:29 PM
Hello everyone,

Last week I shared part one of my Walt Disney World Christmas trip report, which covered Epcot and the Disney resort hotels. In this second part we will take a look at our adventures at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

So, let's jump right in and see what we did at Animal Kingdom.

We met Mickey and Minnie, Goofy and Pluto, Baloo and King Louie and Chip and Dale wearing their Christmas attire. We also met Donald, who in previous years has had Christmas accessories, but for some reason the day we were there, he did not. Christmas aside, we also met Pocahontas, Tarzan, Rafiki and Flik.

We checked out the new Riverside Depot store on Discovery Island. Honestly, it is pretty much the same as every other store in the resort, although it did have a nice mural on the wall behind the cash registers.

I took some other shots needed for the Character Central guide book pages, and photos of the Christmas Tree at the park entrance, and then we were done!

At Disney's Hollywood Studios we attended the Club Disney Dance Party. While I am not usually an advocate of dance parties for many reasons, this one was actually pretty well done and served a better function in the space they were using than others they have held in the past. We managed to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy and Chip. Sadly, Dale was not appearing on any day we went in there to find him! I thought that was quite odd!

Star Wars Launch Bay had just opened before our trip, and so we were quite excited to see it. I have to say, I don't think it is anything really special. The interior is very sparse, and very dull. We did meet Darth Vader though, twice, and Chewbacca. We also ran into a Jawa.

Outside of the Launch Bay we ran into two Stormtroopers who were trying to keep guests in order.

Continuing the Star Wars theme, we watched the new version of the Jedi Training Academy, which now has Darth Maul and the Seventh Sister in it, as well as continuing to star Darth Vader. I'm glad they updated the show and included a brand new character in it. It keeps things fresh and relevant.

We met Santa Goofy at his location near the Streets of America, and Mickey at his (yet another) temporary location (he'll be getting a brand new permanent one along Commissary Lane very soon, according to recent news from Disney!). We also met Phineas and Ferb in their Christmas attire, and Max Goof, who was out around Center Stage one day.

One evening we had dinner at the Hollywood Brown Derby for the first time ever, and it was quite nice. The biggest challenge we face when dining at WDW is vegetarian options, but the Brown Derby had a pretty decent noodle bowl (despite it being $30).

On another evening we went to the new Hollywood & Vine Seasonal Dine which started during Christmas season. Each season the restaurant will offer a different themed dinner. In February we attended the Silver Screen Dine, which I'll share in my upcoming WDW February Trip Report either this week or next. For now of course, let's look at the Christmas one.

For Christmas season there was a dance party around Center Stage, titled Holidays Happen Here. For nearly everyone, dance parties are hell on Earth, and I don't understand why Disney seem to think people want them. They put these random, cool characters in the worst possible setting, and all anyone wants to do is say hi to the character and get a photo. Instead, you spend half hour fighting hundreds of people crowding around the character trying to get the character to pose for a split second so that you can say you "met them". Just awful. Anyway, while we were there we saw Bolt, Genie, Sebastian, Robin Hood, White Rabbit, Chip, Dale, Stitch, Pluto and Baloo. All were wearing festive scarves, which was nice.

Sadly, 2015 was the final year for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Along with the loss of Star Wars Weekends, the cancellation of the lights is a massive blow to the park. I know that obviously they have lots of other plans, but that doesn't stop us from being bitterly sad about the loss of two staples of seasonal entertainment at not just the park, but the whole resort.

We watched the Symphony in the Stars fireworks one evening, which are set to Star Wars music. They are pretty good, and worth watching if you like fireworks and have the time, but I wouldn't go out of my way to make an effort again.

That's it for this part of my report! In the third and final part I'll share with you the fun we had at the Magic Kingdom.

I'll leave you with some photos of the Christmas Tree at the entrance to Hollywood Studios.

Have a great week everyone,

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