Last summer, my best friend had a fairytale wedding at Disney World. As the matron of honor, I had the pleasure of planning her bachelorette party. I mean this honestly, I had so much fun planning this party. However, that's not to say that I didn't have my moments when I was flipping out. We decided early on that we wanted to have the party at Epcot, but that of course was the easy part. The hard part was the plan, but let me first back up and describe the guest list. The bride worked for WDW for several years, so nothing in the park itself was going to be new for her. Some of her guests were also still employed there. On the other end of the spectrum though, many guests had never been to the parks, or even the States for that matter. Her husband to be was from the Netherlands, so several guests from there were invited, and just to add a little more fun to the party, there was even someone from Canada. Not that this really came into play in my planning, but the party was also a boy and girl mix, but not the bachelor. This was a day for the bride to spend some time with all her friends from every aspect of her adventurous life. I spent a lot of time trying to research out of the ordinary activities that we could do while in the park, but it doesn't matter how much you research, unless you are in the area and able to do some recon, you're never going to be able to plan something like this without there being bumps in the road. So, here's how our day looked.
For many, if not all of us, this was the only day this trip we planned on being at Epcot. Therefore, I invited everyone to join us at park opening to meet up and attack Soarin' and Test Track before the world showcase opened. We had a great time, but I was amazed at the amount of people that chose to just meet up with us later. Prior to the actual day, several guests kept asking me what times we would be where. At first, I was shocked they asked, just thinking, how could I possibly know how the day was going to go and where the time would take us. The more I started planning though, I realized I at least needed an idea of when we would be where, just to make sure our schedule seemed logical. I knew that we would get off schedule, and I really didn't even try to stick to it when we were there, but I knew it would be easier to adjust a plan than to make it up as we went along. That being said, I made a sailing itinerary that I presented to our bride when we started around the world.
In most countries, she was given three tasks: something to find, something to do, and of course, something to drink.
- “Since it all started on a boat, ride one now to start this journey around the world.” Ride Grand Fiesta Tour The bride met her groom when they were both working on a cruise ship
- Find the biggest sombrero and try it on
- Try a margarita (or drink of choice)
-“Since you’re “Going to the Chapel” put on your Mickey veil and take a picture in front of the stave church” My friend had made it clear that she didn't want to wear the the traditional Mickey veil, but I thought it was important that she at least got one picture in it. I gave it to her here and told her she didn't have to wear it after the picture. Plus, Norway was under construction for the Frozen updates so there weren't a lot of other choices. On a side note, she did let me get her a Bride shirt (in Disney font) that she wore all day, and a Bride to Be sash that she wore part of the day. I also passed out buttons to the other guests that said "Bride's nauti crew."
- Find a hidden troll in the garden I don't think we really even looked for this one, just assumed with the construction that it wasn't there.
- Visit the Kringla Bakeri a Carlsberg Beer (or drink of choice) Many of us got snacks here, and we took advantage of the somewhat secluded seating area to get to know everyone a little better. Before we started around the world, we had brief introductions, but here we found out more about how everyone knew the bride.
-“Since you “Danced as a Star” find a dancing water bowl” Unfortunately, my friend had already known about this bowl, but she humored us all by trying again. Plus, these activities were more about getting us a little more immersed in each country rather than just having a drink on the outskirts before moving on. The objective was met here since it took us a bit to find it.
-Tell “yourself” you’re getting married Stand in the middle of the temple so that your voice echoes back to you Although I can say we checked this off, it wasn't really eventful since the castmember was not encouraging of us all entering the temple and not staying for the video. Or maybe our timing was just bad with the time of the next viewing. I don't really remember the details (like I said, uneventful) but I do remember my friend entering by herself and saying something so that she could check this off her itenerary
- Visit Joy of Tea and try a Tipsy Ducks in Love (or drink of choice)
- “Since you’re a Disney fan, see how many hidden mickeys you can find at the train village” Unfortunately, the train village was also covered for refurbishment at the time of our visit. This was okay, since we had one of those short Florida rain showers while at Germany and we all took shelter while getting more food/drinks.
- Find a wishing well and make a wish This was a little awkward since there was a line of people waiting to see Snow White. No one really seemed to mind once we explained that we weren't cutting in line and that she only needed to make a wish.
- Drink a beer (or drink of choice)
- “Since your wedding colors are mint and navy, see if there are any Venetian masks meant for you
- Find a red buttoned water surprise At this point, I was starting to feel a little disappointed that so many tasks weren't quite working out as I had planned. Although I had found this from more than one source online, they must have been outdated. We looked for a long time to find this red button that must no longer exist. Amazing friends to the rescue. One of the party guest downloaded a red easy button app and displayed it on his phone. When my friend went to push the button, someone splashed her from the fountain. Yes, it may have been cheesy, but we all found it funny, and it seemed to put us back on track.
- Try some wine (or drink of choice)
- “Since you’re halfway through, let’s grab a red stag lemonade (or drink of choice) and take a break and watch the American Music Machine performing at 3:45 As I said, some of the people in our party work at Disney so they knew one of the performers in the show (the guy in the red pants, he was awesome by the way)
- Pick a pearl experience This had a huge line, so my friend decided she'd rather not do it
- Visit the Sake bar for a pineapple sake, plum wine, or drink of choice
- “Since everyone seeks true love, visit Alladin and Jasmine @ 5:35 and ask for marriage advice Our timing didn't work for this, so awesome friends to the rescue yet again
- Eat dinner at Tangierine Café with a slushi
- Take some time to explore the marketplace
- “Since Jordi proposed in France, take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower showing off your ring
- Search for Disney references in the library I had read online about all these cute Disney references in the library, but the library is now a perfume store. However, we did find a sign
- Try a Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush (or drink of choice)
7:15 United Kingdom
- “Since Disney will always be a part of your past, find one of your old close friends.” The idea here was to get a picture with Winnie the Pooh, but again, we decided not to spend so much time in line.
- You never know where a turn in life might take you. Can you make the right turns to get through the maze?
- Try a drink of your choice
- “Since marriage takes teamwork, make a human totem pole to match the real totem pole”
- Find an abandoned mine and waterfall or two (if late enough, look for the rock that opens
- Try a Frozen Bacardi Mojito or beer of choice
Are you ready for your future?
I know it seems like so many things didn't work out, but we all had so much fun just spending time together, that I don't think it really even mattered what we were doing. I wanted to give my friend a small scrapbook to keep track of this adventure, but I knew I wouldn't have time to make one while in Florida and I didn't really want to mail a scrapbook to the Netherlands after the wedding. So, I actually used the plan as a guide to what pictures I should get, and made a book, minus pictures, before leaving home. This worked out so great, allowing me to quickly print the pictures straight from my phone to a local pharmacy, and I was able to give the book to her at her wedding rehearsal. I had also secretly collected a press penny from each country that I added to the book. Our bride has so many great friends that made this day so much fun!
Have you ever planned an event inside a park without hiring an outside company? How did your day turn out?