My sister, sister-in-laws, and I have been dying to do a girls’ weekend for over a year now. We’ve gushed on multiple occasions how much fun it would be to leave the husbands and kids behind for a night out on the town. Of course, nothing came of it until a couple of months ago when my sister texted the group out of nowhere and demanded we stop discussing and start doing. So we picked a date, booked a hotel, made a dinner reservation, and made it happen. Sometimes you just need one person to speak up to get something done. Thank you, Kelly, for being that superstar.
Saturday morning I was up early ready to go. I finished packing my bag, gave Derek and Annalynn a big kiss good-bye, and headed to Walt Disney World for our girls’ getaway. I know Walt Disney World doesn’t seem too crazy for most, but it’s the perfect meeting spot halfway between my sister/SILs on the east coast and me on the west coast. Plus, we were able to score a great deal on Priceline for the Hilton Bonnet Creek and Disney Springs has a ton of new restaurants we’ve been dying to try.
I left on the early side since I wanted to make a quick pit stop at Hollywood Studios. They had recently announced that the Great Movie Ride would be closing in August and I wanted to ride it one last time before they shuttered the doors for good and replaced it with a new Mickey and Minnie ride.
If I’m being honest, I’ve never been a fan of The Great Movie Ride. It scared the crap out of me as a kid and I think a lot of that anxiety has stuck with me as an adult. I’ve probably ridden it less than a handful of times in the last decade or so. Still, I can appreciate that it is one of Walt Disney World’s classic rides and it will always have a place in my heart because of that. I wanted to get one last ride in and give it a proper good-bye.
p.s. the ride anxiety is still there. I would be lying if I said my last ride filled me with rainbows and feel-good vibes.
While I’m sad that Hollywood Studios is losing one of its iconic attractions, I’m excited for what will replace it. Hopefully Annalynn will grow up enjoying the Mickey and Minnie ride and it will leave nothing but happy memories for her. Farewell, Great Movie Ride!
I headed to the hotel after that and was thankfully able to grab an early check-in. My SIL Ashley and I quickly changed, made a couple of mimosas, and headed poolside.
The pool is the main reason we wanted to book the Hilton Bonnet Creek. It has an amazing pool with a lazy river attached and a slide, too. We lathered up the sunscreen, found a couple of chairs, and hit the relax mode button. We pretty much dedicated our afternoon to the lazy river. It was perfection.
When some clouds started to roll in, we headed upstairs to shower and get ready for our evening out. The room had a mini-fridge, which was perfect for chilling our drinks and snacks. It felt like college again, as we cranked up Pandora and passed around the blow dryer and straightener, then took turns debating which outfit we were going to wear. I know all of it is super cliché, but getting ready together really the ultimate girly bonding time.
Our hotel had shuttle buses that ran between the hotel and Disney Springs, but there was a 30 minute wait for the next bus. Instead of twiddling our thumbs, we requested an Uber, which arrived in minutes. I’ve heard a lot of people recommend taking an Uber when hopping around Walt Disney World property, and I could definitely see the allure. For less than $6 we saved ourselves 30 minutes waiting for the bus and were able to go directly to our destination, without any additional stops or detours. It was definitely worth the expense.
My parents were randomly spending the weekend at Disney as well, and met us at Raglan Road for drinks and appetizers.
Then it was time for our reservation at Paddlefish.
When Downtown Disney began its big transformation into Disney Springs it was announced that the Fulton Crab House would be gutted and transformed into Paddlefish. Honestly, besides the new name and a fresh coat of a paint there didn’t seem to be too much of a difference between the two restaurants. The menus do differ a great deal, but are still both seafood focused. If anything, I’d say the updated Paddlefish menu felt like a step in the wrong direction. It felt uninspired and lacking in some way.
Our meal started with pull-apart bread that was served with a cinnamon butter. The cinnamon butter was an interesting accompaniment, as I didn’t find the bread was particularly sweet on its own and didn’t really work with the sweeter pairing.
I had a cup of the clam chowder, which I would definitely recommend. It wasn’t too rich and had the perfect balance of potato and bacon flavoring to it.
Ashley and I split the low country boil, which was way overpriced considering how much food you actually receive. For a $49 dish, we were expecting more than 4 pieces of shrimp. The dish also didn’t automatically come with butter or cocktail sauce. It was very bland on its own and didn’t wow me at all.
Meh. I’m glad we tried Paddlefish, but I would be hesitant to return. Considering the high price tag I was expecting something to really wow me, but it just didn’t do the trick. There are just too many other restaurants I’d rather eat at in Disney Springs that it’s not worth wasting another meal there.
On another note. Can I talk about how much I loved this Free People dress from my Le Tote box? I had a really crappy box the week before, but this one really wowed me. It’s the perfect summer dress and I felt awesome in it all night.
We spent the rest of the evening wandering around Disney Springs and browsing the shops. The crowds really picked up after dinner, but it was a Saturday evening during busy season, so that was to be expected.
We caught the shuttle back to the hotel, then headed to the pool for a late night dip.
The hotel was playing “Brave” on an inflatable projector for an added entertainment bonus.
Our plan for the weekend was never to get too crazy or go all out with drinks and clubbing. I don’t think that matches any of our personalities. Our perfect girls getaway was all about relaxing and keeping it casual – which is exactly what we did. We were all in bed by 10:30pm – early by some standards, but late for us. Even better – we managed to sleep in past 8! That’s HUGE!
Celebratory handstands were in order.
Just kidding. See my Instagram post for the full story on that photo.
Also, need to give a shameless plug to Brooks for my latest running gear obsession. My new Distance Running Tank and bright pink Chaser 5” Running Shorts are currently on repeat in my running wardrobe. Super comfortable and I love the fit and color combo.
We had a casual breakfast at the hotel, made some mimosas, and enjoyed our final morning at the pool.
Then lunch at Blaze Pizza in Disney Springs.
If you’re looking for something filling that won’t drain your wallet at Disney Springs, I highly recommend Blaze Pizza. For $10 you got a decent size pizza and they didn’t nickle and dime you on toppings (it was a flat rate no matter how many toppings you chose). I was full on half and ended up enjoying the other half for lunch the next day. Two meals for $10 isn’t bad, especially on Disney property.
And before our final send-off we ordered an enormous cookie sundae from Ghiradelli.
This thing was MASSIVE. The 4 of us could only eat about half. Don’t worry we made sure to get all of the cookie pieces first – priorities and all.
Then it was time to say good-bye. *tear
I love my sisters and am so thankful to have them all in my life, especially all within a 2-hour drive of each other. It was a much needed girls’ weekend that I hope will turn into an annual outing. I’m already saying next year that we meet at the spa – fingers crossed!