Late one Christmas Eve, as Santa was flying back to the North Pole, he discovered snow in Florida. After surveying the strange sight, he decided to build a vacation destination for his off-duty elves—a Winter Summerland.
Seeing that the only thing Winter Summerland lacked was a golf course, Santa and his elves divided into 2 camps, one that enjoyed the warm Florida sun and another that preferred the snow and cold of the North Pole. The elves then built 2 distinctly different 18–hole golf experiences: a sand course named “Summer” and a snow course named “Winter.”
The Summer Course-Enjoy fun in the sun at the Summer Course amid surfboards, sandcastles and ornaments hanging from palm trees. Deck the balls as you putt around peppermint-striped inner tubes, snapping clamshells and a melting snowman. Don’t wake sleeping Santa buried in the sand!
The Winter Course-Putt your way to the North Hole on the Winter Course—but watch out for Squirty the Snowman! This “jolly, happy soul” sprays water at golfers when golf balls pass beneath him. Merry obstacles include giant peppermints, hockey sticks and the drawbridge of a fantastical, melting castle. The courses combine for the last holes, and after sinking the last putt on Hole 18, golfers receive a special message from Santa Claus, courtesy of the WinterNet! (Excerpt from the Disney Parks Website)
As I wrote about in my one of my previous articles, Disney’s Blizzard Beach – What a Brrrrilliant Idea! , I enjoy the challenge of finding something “new to us” to incorporate into our Walt Disney World trips. During our 2014 trip, one of those things was Disney’s Blizzard Beach and we had a blast. After a little research, I realized that Winter Summerland is conveniently located within walking distance of the entrance to Blizzard Beach. Walking over to the Winter Summerland course sounded like the natural thing to do. I’m pretty sure that the Disney Imagineers thought the same thing when they built the course right outside of the water park. Smart thinking Disney!
After confirming with a Blizzard Beach castmember that we could leave our wet clothes and other items in the locker I rented earlier that day, we set off on foot to our next “new” experience. The walk took no time at all and we found the desk at the entrance to the course easily. We had added the Water Park & More option to our tickets so there were no out-of-pocket costs for us to play miniature golf. The castmembers were super friendly and were happy to answer our questions when we asked which side of the course we should choose. They gave us a few details about each and they both sounded like fun. In the end, we chose the Summer side. They gave us our score sheet, our clubs and we each picked a different color golf ball.
The desk/registers were in this cute little Elfstream “trailer” (check out the license plate….love the fact that Disney pays attention to the details):
The Summer side of the course was to our left and we passed another Elfstream trailer but this one was a tad smaller:
There were little Elfstream trailers everywhere it seemed:
I said it above and I’ll say it time and again, I love how Disney keeps with a theme and pays attention to the smallest of details. The signs at each hole were really cute:
We were on the Summer side of the course and what says Summer better than “sand” and surfboards?
Ya’ll, I am not an athletic person. I take that back, I’m not a sports person. I can walk for miles and miles and not complain. I can help my husband heft up a cabinet in our cabinet shop like it was nothing (okay, so I grunt a little but I do help). But, I’ve been known to be standing not a yard away from someone and throw a pair of socks to them and hit the wall beside them instead of the socks falling into their hands or even getting close to their hands. I’ve had a softball hit me square in the chest because I can’t catch worth a hoot. Oh and there was that time that Hunter asked me to toss him his flip flop and it went into the air and caught on the ceiling fan. Yeah, I’m not a sports kinda gal. Sooooo, with those thoughts in your mind, you can probably imagine the immense joy that overcame me when I got a hole-in-one! Take that boys! BAM! I’m so gonna rub this in your face.
The guys may have gotten a wee bit tired of me talking about my hole-in-one but I reminded them of the ribbing that I took when they laughed their behinds off when I got stuck on the Toboggan Racers at Blizzard Beach not once but multiple times. (What? You didn’t read about that? Click on the link to the article that I posted above so you can have a good laugh. Go ahead, it’s okay. I’m over it.)
In this next picture, you can see the Winter Summerland sign and how close this part of the course is to the roadway:
We continued on with the course again taking note of the signs:
See the hole right beside Goofy in the picture below?
That would be the hole that John, my husband, sunk the ball in with just one stroke of the club:
You’ll notice that John is not rubbing in the fact that he made a hole-in-one quite as much as I did which means that he has much better sportsmanship than I do.
As we neared the next hole, we could hear a snoring sound and weren’t sure exactly where it was coming from. Eventually, we realized that the snoring was coming from Santa who looked to be taking a middle of the afternoon nap:
This poor snowman had melted but was still looking dapper in his top hat:
On the next hole, you were to aim for the barber hole which would take your ball up, up, up and drop it out from the top.
Hunter hit the pole first thing and up and out it went and rolled right into the hole! Clearly, Hunter takes after his mother in hole-in-one bragging department.
When you near the end of the course, you enter into a building and you must hit your ball into a ribbon loop on a gift. It took us each a couple of tries before we mastered just how hard we needed to hit the ball in order to make it go all the way around:
The items at the base of the tree turned and you had to time hitting the ball just right in order to make it to the hole:
Such cute Christmas decorations:
At the eighteenth, when your ball drops into the hole, the computer screen starts up and each of us got a different scene:
I can’t remember exactly how long it took us to complete the entire eighteen holes but I do know that we were entertained the entire time. It was a nice relaxing way to spend time together and experience something that we never had on Disney property.
We turned in our clubs and were offered small wrapped candy canes which we thought was a nice touch.
We made the short walk back to Blizzard Beach and the guys waited on me while I went to retrieve our items from the locker. When I turned in the key, I was given two choices. I could either have my deposit back or be given a cinch bag. Since I make my own customized bags, I chose to have my deposit returned to me. I met back up with the guys and we walked to Caribbean Beach Resort bus stop. Each of us agreed that the two “new to us” things that we chose to do that day were huge hits and we will be going back. Thank you Walt Disney World for having so many wonderful things to see and do even for seasoned Disney travelers!