As our second race of the year, on a repeat course of the WDW Half, I was wondering how the Princess would be different. And it was, totally, both for the good and bad. But I have to do a quick plug and saying meeting the WDW Radio Running Team was one of the highlights of my trip!
Okay, so here's how it went down. We ended up driving into Orlando on Friday night and staying at the Hilton Homewood Suites, which was very nice - even though it wasn't on property - because we all had our own beds!!! :D But it was for only one night, and then we were headed to All-Star Music, which was tiny in comparison, for the rest of our stay.
When we woke Saturday, we had Mickey waffles at our hotel and thought about hopping in the pool but decided to meet up with the BFF and her family at Epcot. Ride lines were so quick. We got into the park after 11, but we still got Fastpasses for Soarin' and Test Track and rode Mission Space with little wait (5 minutes?). It was awesome!!!
Even though we'd planned on park hopping, we decided to head back to our hotel kind of early to rest up for the race and chow down on the pasta special they were offering for runners. We were staying at All-Stars Movie, and I have to admit Value food court isn't my favorite, but everyone was happy and fed, and we spent some time in the arcade, something we rarely do, but it was too cold to swim.
So, after a night's sleep and an early morning jog around the park (a note on this, for some reason I like the WDW Half much better than the Princess. They're the same route and I don't know what it is, if there are more characters or more people or what, but I just liked it better... except for the fact I got to run through the castle with my BFF), we headed out into Orlando for some grub and some liquid bandage for the injuries I incurred prior to the race. Then it was a day of Animal Kingdom, which again was nearly empty.
Since we decided to celebrate our engagement on this trip, having been engaged for a whole two weeks prior, I was wearing a) a Cinderella crown that I'd bought to run the Princess, b) my recently acquired Princess medal, and c) a "Happily Ever After" pin. I guess not so many runners came to AK, and everyone stopped us to look at the medals, with even one cast member asking us what they were for. In addition, everyone was super nice, and we got offered a "Himilayan Honeymoon" from a cast member, who gave us two fast passes for Everest, even though we didn't need them because the wait time was like 5 minutes.
Another great part of this trip was finding Hidden Mickeys. Thanks to some app the fiance had found and my interest peaked about Hester and Chester thanks to a WDW Radio Podcast mentioning their story, we explored Dinoland and found two Hidden Mickeys (the pin in the dinosaur near the Dinoland gift shop and a Mickey head in the pavement just in front of the dino) and saw the picture of Hester and Chester in the gift shop. We also found the formulas in Dinosaur. One of the best parts of Disney, for us, has become finding all these little details, all these little historical elements that are stuck in the parks, hidden in plain visibility.
So, after our adventures in AK, we headed to MK. Again, we found little wait times, and we were able to grab Fast Passes for Space Mountain, ride the People Mover, Buzz Lightyear, and enjoy a Mickey shaped pretzel and frozen drink in the little time we had. Then we headed over to Polynesian for dinner with the BFF and her family at one of our favorite restaurants, O'hana's. Yummo!
By the end of dinner, we were exhausted and glad we'd drove. We drove everywhere this trip, something we never do, but the shuttles from All-Star were so long and we had such limited time, we just decided to hop in the car and zoom around. It actually worked out well, especially since we had free parking. :D
On Monday, the fiance wanted to go see the Braves in spring training. After spending some time in the gift shop at ESPN, we headed down to the field. It was really cool to be able to see our hometown team so close up. We watched Freeman (my favorite) and Uggla (my son's favorite) and Chipper at work for a little while. My daughter was bored to death and managed to drag us out of there by 10 or so, which worked out in time for us to head over to HS.
Again, lines were short, and we managed to get on Rock'n'Rollercoaster within 15 mins and walk-on to Tower of Terror with Fast Passes we picked up before R'N'R. The fiance and son skipped on ToT and visited The Man Behind the Mouse exhibit, which they raved about and have declared that next visit we must go back and see the movie. Before we left we ate at Starring Rolls, a new restaurant for us. Though I'm not sure we'll be dining there for lunch again, we'll definitely be stopping in for desserts and snacks. It's a cute little shop with all kinds of fab desserts.
And then, our magical little weekend was over, and we all headed back to real life, work and school. The good news is, however, that our trip to Everest is just around the corner. The first week of May, and I'm already super excited. We'll be staying at AK Lodge and the kiddos will run their first runDisney race and we're going to the Luau and to have lunch with an animal tamer. So much to do, so little time. BTW, is it May yet????