Sunday December 2nd 2018
Today was a nice warm day without any of the predicted rain. The high temperature was more than twenty degrees above the average reaching eighty seven in the afternoon. The weather roller coaster is now on the down hill stretch. The forecast calls for highs around sixty in the middle of the week.
On my morning walk around the campground I saw many campers packing up to leave. This park is very popular with weekenders. It is nearly full again tonight, but I would estimate more than half of the sites have new occupants. To reserve a site over the weekend it’s necessary to book almost the full eleven months in advance. I’ve had this site booked since last spring.
After my walk I left the park to do some area exploration. Most of my previous touring in the Clermont areas has been along the two main routes US27 and FL50. Today I turned east off of US27 a few miles north of the state park on what looked like a major road. The first few miles were housing developments built on land previously used for orange groves. Once the housing ran out the road got twisty and narrow. Pretty soon I was back into housing developments and the upscale community of Windermere. The community occupies the land north of Walt Disney world up to Florida route fifty. It contains several big golf courses and is the home of a number of PGA professionals. Weaving my way through the area, I found myself on the backside of the Magic Kingdom at Disney. It’s a huge backstage area with massive parking lots and very industrial looking buildings. Indications that it’s Disney are very subtle. You need to look well back from the road to see any Disney signs. I needed to use Google Maps later to confirm what I suspected.
Since I was so close to Disney Springs I made a stop to checkout some of the Christmas displays. Once again my assumption that it wouldn’t be too crowded on a Sunday afternoon were wrong. It was very busy. I wandered through the remodeled World of Disney store. They have taken down many of the interior walls and moved stuff around.
I also walked through the Christmas Tree Trail. It is a path setup in the old bus depot with Christmas trees inspired by Disney Characters and attractions. The trees were a very popular attraction. People were getting their picture taken with every tree. I tried to grab a quick picture of each tree between photo ops, but some of my quick pictures weren’t framed well. I took a lot of pictures without the top or bottom of the tree. In the middle of the Christmas Tree Trail is Santa’s Village. The path ends at the Disney Christmas Shop so you can buy your own ornaments to replicate the trees you’ve just toured.
I’m going to have to go back to Disney Springs after dark to get the full Christmas impact. There was one High School Orchestra playing Christmas Music this afternoon, but there are a lot more acts performing in the evening. The entertainment combined with the lights at night make for a good reason to go back. If I could just figure out when it might be a slow evening.