Day 4 - January 26, 2014 Part II

Monday, July 28, 2014


So there we were, the saddest family in all of Walt Disney World. We were feet from the entrance to the International Gateway at Epcot and I had literally emptied our bag onto the sidewalk searching every nook and cranny of our day pack for our missing tickets. I unzipped and zipped the "safe" travel folder I had placed them in. Panic began to set in and then settled securely in my throat.

When we collected ourselves and accepted the terrible reality that our tickets were missing and probably long gone, I approached the guest service booth outside the park to see how they might help. The first cast member I spoke to apologized for our inconvenience and shook his head because clearly, there was nothing we could do to replace them. A few minutes went by and I approached a second cast member and requested they call over to Hollywood Studios on the off chance that they might have been turned in to Lost and Found. She did and miraculously through some unknown force of Disney magic THEY HAD THE TICKETS.

We rejoiced. I cried tears of joy. Yes, real honest to goodness tears. Then I stopped and stood frozen and silent. They had the tickets...all the way back at Hollywood Studios. I abandoned Steve with our bag, the kids, the stroller and with that travel wallet and my phone in hand, I took off back to the Friendship Boat dock to head to Hollywood Studios.

I settled into my seat, took a deep breath and calculated that this slow leisurely trip had taken thirty minutes and this new round trip was going to cost us at minimum an hour, more likely ninety minutes if I allowed for time to collect the tickets and wait for a ride back. I briefly considered renting a boat somehow at the nearby Epcot resorts to garner a faster ride down the river, where I could leave it idling by the shore (obviously) while I raced to the entrance to get the tickets and then Miami Vice style it back to Epcot. If I am being transparent, I began a google search for Epcot area boat rentals, but then I had a moment of clarity and put my phone away. If the Friendship Boat had taken off as soon as I sat down, I wouldn't have had the time to jump up from my seat and literally and completely unnecessarily leap to the dock. This resulted in interesting looks from the crew as I jogged off towards the walking path. 

In my planning, I had come across information about the walking route between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I planned for contingencies and because I had familiarized myself with the route and had a mental map of a shortcut through Boardwalk in my head, I knew I could run it faster. I hadn't run all winter (thanks you very much New England never ending winter), but today, today I was going to run.

I ran a 5K at Disney World, in denim, and I received no runDisney medal for my efforts.

I ran over the bridge near the Beach Club, cut through the pool area at the Boardwalk, and jogged along the water all the way to HS. I collected the tickets at Guest Services where they looked at me breathing rapidly, clearly disheveled and asked, "did you... run here???" I turned right around to start my run BACK to Epcot, passed the boat I should have taken still en route to Hollywood Studios, waved to the stunned crew who were now being lapped by a runner and tried to keep focus because DENIM.
By the time I arrived back at Epcot (approximately 30 minutes later), Steve and the kids were two shows deep on an iPhone and they had eaten all the snacks in the day pack, but I had the tickets. If you ever thought you were your kids hero when they cheer for you as you approach a finish line, I suggest you try it holding Disney tickets in your hand, waving them wildly and feeling like you just saved the universe... because you kind of did. Out of breath, sweaty, deeply in need of an adult beverage and a cronut we made our way into Epcot.
The cast members in the guest services booth outside MAY have applauded my efforts. As you can imagine, I am a big fan of linking park tickets to Magic Bands. I'll even spring for a Bit Belt to never have to go through that again.
We hit a kiosk to make our evening plan just before 3pm. This day was about to right itself and we were determined to finish strong.

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