The Duncan family plans to go to Amy's parent's new condo in Palm Springs, California for Christmas. However, they are separated on route when Teddy (Bridgit Mendler) makes a snap decision to give up her airline seat for a free ticket for her spring-break trip to Florida with her best friend Ivy (Raven Goodwin). Unwilling to let her daughter travel alone, Amy (Leigh-Allyn Baker) also disembarks the plane, only to discover that the next flight to Palm Springs departs after Christmas. Meanwhile, the rest of the family arrives in Palm Springs, but things aren’t any easier as Bob (Eric Allan Kramer) tries to care for Charlie (Mia Talerico) under the watchful eye of Amy’s mother Petunia (Debra Monk), who strongly dislikes Bob and blames him for things Charlie keeps doing; PJ (Jason Dolley) learns the pros and cons of his grandparents’ pool after getting a sunburn; and Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry) quickly realizes the downfalls of teaching Grandpa Hank (Michael Kagan) how to play his favorite video game after Grandpa becomes addicted to it.
Stranded and in desperation, Teddy and Amy find unconventional ways to get to Palm Springs before Christmas, while keeping in contact with Bob via cellphone. On their journey, Amy reveals that she is pregnant again when they hitch hike with two strangers who turn out to be part of an alien abduction survivors network. When the two arrive in Las Vegas Valley|Las Vegas, they get into an argument, where Amy promptly blames Teddy for them getting them lost in the first place; they later make up. Hungry, they sing and perform Christmas carols to get money for food, arguing and making people laugh, as someone has stolen their luggage. Amy then wants to turn their arguments into a Broadway Musical. Later, they find the girl named Jordan who had stolen their luggage and confront her. She apologizes for stealing it, breaking down in tears and explaining her situation. Jordan wanted to go to a music festival cross-country, but her mother doesn't let her go. So, her mother says that if she goes, she can't come back home. This situation is similar to Teddy's, when she wanted to go to Florida with Ivy for spring-break, but Amy didn't want her to go, as she thinks Teddy is not responsible. Teddy then gives her free plane ticket to Jordan, saying that she doesn't mind losing it if it means getting Jordan home to her family for Christmas. This gesture helps Teddy and Amy bond from their previous arguments, and shows Amy that Teddy is responsible.
PJ, Bob, and Gabe travel to Las Vegas to get Amy and Teddy, but are mistakenly kidnapped on the way and participate in a paintball match based on Gabe's video game so that they can return to their car. Gabe wins the match by taking the "Stone of Mitrios", which he was already planning to do. In return, they get a free helicopter ride to save Teddy and Amy. Grandpa and Grandma then arrive with Charlie by car, and the entire family is finally reunited. Amy admits not only that they finally got the Christmas vacation they wanted, but also that this was the best Christmas they've ever had. She then reveals that she is having another baby, much to the happiness of the Duncans.
In the epilogue, on the way back to Denver from their Christmas trip, Gabe attempts to take the "Stone of Mitrios" on the plane ride back, but it is taken away by a flight attendant. Another flight attendant then announces the offering of a free plane ticket, which Teddy quickly accepts once again. Amy says to Bob, "Your turn", as in it is his turn to go along with Teddy in leaving the plane. Bob obediently goes after Teddy, jokingly reminding Amy that they will be back by New Year's. Amy smiles in response and says that she knows they won't. A short blooper roll follows the epilogue.
- Bridgit Mendler as Teddy
- Leigh-Allyn Baker as Amy
- Bradley Steven Perry as Gabe
- imdbname:3835417|Mia Talerico as Charlie
- Debra Monk as Petunia
- Michael Kagan as Hank
- Eric Allan Kramer as Bob
- Jason Dolley as PJ
- Jerry Straley as Chicken Man
- Raven Goodwin as Ivy
The film is executive-produced by Sheri Singer along with three executive producers of the series, Dan Staley, Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen. The script was written by Geoff Rodkey and directed by Arlene Sanford. The film was shot in Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah from March 2011 to September 2011.
"I'm Gonna Run to You" was co-written and performed by Mendler and was featured in the movie. It was released on iTunes on November 12, 2011.
It was watched by 7.1 million viewers, the premiere also delivered 3.3 million Kids 6-11, 2.4 million Teens and 1.4 million Adults 18-49. The movie became no. 1 live-action cable movie of 2011 in total viewers and the no. 1 live-action scripted telecast across all TV in Kids 6-11. In Australia it was watched by 111,000 viewers and in the United Kingdom there were 562,000 viewers.
The film aired worldwide on Disney Channel. It premiered on December 2, 2011 in Canada, on December 16, 2011 in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It aired in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines on December 24, 2011.