It was another early morning as we readied ourselves for our first park day. Even though we were in a bigger than normal hotel room with 2 beds and a pull out couch there was still only one bathroom. Just let that sink in for a moment: 5 girls and one bathroom. Boy were we really roughing it! Just kidding. It was actually kind of like old times. We lived in a very old farmhouse growing up and regularly one of the two bathrooms would need maintenance for something. One bathroom was pretty much the norm.
Erin surprised us that morning with tank tops she had printed for the occasion. They were aqua (her wedding color) and had the words “Runaway Bridesmaid” printed on them with Mickey silhouettes. She made one for my mom that said “Runaway Mother of the Bride” and a black one for herself that said “Runaway Bride”. How fantastic! I was not only excited to wear the shirt, but also excited that Erin had such a wonderful attitude towards the whole situation. Go Erin!
We made our way to Hollwood Studios for our first park and not ten minutes out of the car could we already hear murmurs of “Runaway bride?” “What’s that?” “Bachelorette Party?”. Yes, these definitely were not your average “Disney Family Vacation” matching t-shirts.
We hopped in line for security and the security guard was beyond amazed. He was the first one to actually get our t-shirts! “You ran away? Like from your wedding?” he asked Erin. I thought she was going to be embarrassed or upset at having to explain or respond, but she wasn’t. She really took delight in the attention she was receiving. “Yep! He wasn’t a prince charming, so I came here!” she said. “Good for you!” he yelled. He excitedly talked with the rest of us as we made our way through the line. He complemented our shirts and told us what a great idea it was to come to Disney. We explained to him that today, July 31 was the actual date of the wedding. He was beyond thrilled at this exciting, non “run of the mill” story.
While at Hollywood Studios we made our first stop at Toy Story Mania (after the bathrooms, of course). After that we rode Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, and then Tower of Terror several times. For it being a sunny July day the park was not crowded at all. We were all a bit worn out at this point and decided to take a rest and watch the street performers. I was kind of hopeful that they would choose one of us since we were wearing such statement making t-shirts, but no luck.
We were all hungry at this point. We wandered over to the ABC Commissary where my mom got chicken nuggets and fries, but I wasn’t too enthused about any of the offerings at this location. After lunch Heather and my Mom had fastpasses for Toy Story Mania. Erin, Sarah, and I waited on Sunset Boulevard for them to return. We looked at various menus for places to eat in the park, but this isn’t really our favorite place to eat on property (besides their bakery items). We made the decision to wait for Magic Kingdom.
Once Heather and my Mom returned we made our way back to the car and off to Magic Kingdom we went. We parked and took the ferry.
Once we entered The Magic Kingdom we decided to part ways to get the food we wanted and then bring our trays and meet at Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Fantasyland to eat. Erin and I stayed together making a trip to Casey’s for her corn dog nuggets and fries. I loved having alone time with my sister during this special trip. We snapped a few castle selfies before heading towards what I thought was Friars Nook for the coveted Pot Roast Mac and Cheese for me. I had never had this delicious sounding concoction before, but I had read blog post about it, heard podcast about it, and watched YouTube videos about its creamy, fatty goodness. I. was. ready. I was not ready, however, to actually find this gem. I was under the impression that Friars Nook was the place that sold the waffle sandwiches. Nope, wrong. That’s Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. Friars Nook is actually in Fantasyland by Story Book Treats. So really, Erin and my food locations were not near each at all like I had originally thought, but we were on our way to Fantasyland anyway to meet the others at Pinocchio’s so all was A-okay. Once I received my treat I wouldn’t let myself take a bite until we found a seat at Pinocchio’s. The steaming hot plate on my hands, plus the steaming hot Florida sun in July made our short walk just a tad unpleasant, but I knew it would all be worth it.
We found a table with a perfect view of It’s a Small World. We couldn’t wait for the others to dig in to our food so we decided that it would be okay to start without them. The creamy macaroni and cheese plus the tender pot roast was melt in your mouth perfection! I gobbled the whole thing up fairly quickly. Once the others arrived at the table I decided that hot Florida in July and heavy, steaming hot Pot Roast Mac and Cheese really isn’t the best combination. I felt better with a cold Diet Coke, but I really felt pretty sluggish for the rest of the day. I now know why so many people opt for the veggie and fruit bowls that Disney sells. I told myself I would make a note of that for the next vacation: eating healthier = having more energy = seeing more Disney. It’s a win, win, win really.
The rest of the day was filled with attractions, shows, characters, and more attractions. We did Under the Sea: Journey with The Little Mermaid, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Haunted Mansion, The Riverboat, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and last but not least Splash Mountain.
Towards the end of the day we made our way for a spot to watch Wishes. After such a busy day we were worn out and ready for some time to sit.
Since our Runaway trip, Wishes will be replaced with a new show “Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular”. I know so many people are still sad that Wishes has been replaced, but as Walt said himself we must “keep moving forward”. The music from Wishes will always hold a special place in my heart since it seemed to be the soundtrack to so many family vacations. I will treasure those moments and memories along with the lyrics to the beautiful melody. However, we can’t just stay where we are doing the same old thing. If we aren’t willing to move forward how can we ever expect get anywhere but backwards? I think that Erin would be the first to say that sometimes you just need to keep moving. You’ll get to your happily ever after one step at a time (or one Disney trip at a time!).