This is a great time to be here with the Food & Wine Festival still going on and some of the Christmas season events beginning tonight. Christmas decorations are starting to appear here and there too.
We began our day with a walk from our resort to Downtown Disney and back. It was a beautiful morning – a little cool, but sunny with a cloudless sky. There is a path you can take that loops through the Saratoga Springs property, mostly along the lagoon, and skirts the edge of the Lake Buena Vista golf course. Once through Downtown Disney you can pick up the path again to return to the resort. This gave us a chance to get the lay of the land and to appreciate the beautiful setting we are in. At the beginning of our walk we saw a hawk perched in a tree at the resort that didn't mind sitting still to have his picture taken.
We drove over to the Beach Club and parked there so we could enter Epcot through the International Gateway. We had some time to browse and take photos in France, Morocco and Germany before our lunch reservation at the new restaurant in Italy - Via Napoli. Our waiter-in-training was the shy yet disarming Allesandro. Rick and I shared a salad and a large Neapolitan Pizza Quartro Fromaggi (four-cheese). It was fantastic! I had their Merlot San Giuseppe and Rick had the La Rossa Italian Lager. We loved this meal and the charming and attentive service. We'll definitely be back. We spent the rest of the afternoon grazing at some of the Food & Wine kiosks. I know I remember having a Prosecco in Italy and a Margarita in Mexico and who knows what else! So much for watching my diet on this trip!
When we got back to our villa, Rick took a nap and I tried out the hot tub at the quiet pool near our building. Then we went over to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. The castle was all lit up with beautiful icicles and the park wasn’t at all crowed since this was the very first party of the season. We enjoyed the complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, went on a few rides, saw the perfectly choreographed and beautiful Holiday Wishes fireworks show, the Celebrate the Season castle stage show, and of course Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. We left an almost empty park at midnight, very glad we decided to go to the party this trip.
It was a really great Disney Day!
All of the photos from this trip are here on Flickr.