12 January 2016

Deck the Balls

Everyone is back at work or school. The decorations are down and packed away, mostly. The holidays are gone, leaving only the bitter chill of January. As we trudge through our day to day lives there is always a part of us that wants to keep the spirit of the year all year long. That feeling where we are overjoyed to see our friends and family, dreamed of delicious dinners and desserts, and when we recall childhood memories of a time when we cared less about the outside world and more about peering into a night sky to see a speck of glowing red soaring across the sky as we awaited the arrival of Santa Claus. Of course, Santa Claus is now on a well-deserved vacation.

Luckily, you can visit him while he’s on vacation! Sure, Walt Disney World has Christmas shops scattered around property that can give you a jolt of the holiday season in the form of a Christmas countdown, a shiny new ornament, or some Christmas music to listen to in July, but that doesn’t quite imbue you with the same childlike giddiness that Christmas is known for. For that you need to head over to Winter Summerland Miniature Golf.

At Winter Summerland you will find Santa, his reindeer, and his entire crew of helpers have settled in to central Florida for some rest and relaxation. Lucky for them, they settled on a location near Blizzard Beach Water Park, which gives them access to sun and fun and the winter activity they are already familiar with at the north pole. The elves busied themselves with constructing two 18-hole miniature golf courses. One course highlights the Summer season of Saint Nick’s vacation, the other plays with the Winter activities we know so well, but given a slightly different twist.

The details here are truly worth a leisurely stroll throughout the courses, and while each course mirrors its counterpart, there are many unique reasons to invest the time in playing both the Summer and Winter courses. Sand and snow castles are the big wienies that draw in your attention, but be sure you’re looking and listening very closely. The trailers the elves inhabit are not Gulfstreams, but rather Elfstreams, and they are decorated with incredibly witty bumper stickers. Check out the names of the surfboards, the postcards around the fireplace, and clues given to you for each hole. Listen for beach bum carols or more traditional favorites. Sight-gags abound, such as how did Santa manage to leave ski tracks on either side of that power pole, the instructions for chestnuts that should leave you singing, and even the computers left behind by the big guy. There are also gags designed to get even the most cautious of putters wet; I’m looking at you Squirty!

No matter which course you play, and who comes in under par, you’ll leave Winter Summerland a winner. Why? Because by the end of a round you’ll have giggled your way through the wordplay or at the frustration of your spouse six putting their way through a par two. You’ll have stopped to take a photo or two, hopefully with your friends in family in view. Most importantly, however, you’ll have memories to carry with you for the coming year and beyond and you’ll cherish the time you had together. In the end, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

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