This story starts several months before our trip to Disney World. Our beautiful city of Colorado Springs was particularly taken with the trend of rock painting in the summer of 2018. Adam and I loved finding these painted rocks along our bike route and re-hiding them for other people to find. Also along our bike route was a super cute “fairy door” in a neighbor’s front yard – a place where you could take a rock if you left a rock. One day, we switched out a sunset rock for a Minnie Mouse rock. It was pretty adorable, painted by someone we clearly had a lot in common with.
I posted this on the local Colorado Springs Facebook group, 719 Rocks!, and in a stroke of luck, the mother of the little girl who had painted Minnie Mouse responded! She told me about how much the 9-year-old girl loved watching the fairy door and how excited she was when a new rock appeared. I told the Mom that we were headed to Disney World on our Honeymoon in a few months and would see if we could do something special for her daughter.
I was really determined to figure out how we could get that rocked signed by Minnie Mouse for that little artist, especially without having to wait in line for hours. Character meals are expensive, but are also a very easy way to meet Disney princesses and characters. The only place to specifically meet Minnie at a character meal was at Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood Studios – a buffet-style restaurant that serves American cuisine. Watching the reviews of the restaurant, I wasn’t super stoked about the food, but it seemed like a decent enough place to try out, plus we would get to meet Minnie!
We held onto the rock for another 7 months, then packed it into our luggage and headed to Disney World with it. This rock was on the large size for carrying around all day, but it was totally worth it to go on this adventure. When we got to the restaurant, we realized we had forgotten a marker for Minnie to sign with! Thankfully, we had an incredible server, who took some extra time to help us procure a marker for Minnie Mouse to sign.
The food at Hollywood & Vine was okay, nothing spectacular, though Adam did help himself to like three servings of Macaroni and Cheese. But the characters were AWESOME. We had so much fun with them, as you can see on our faces in these pictures. Out of all three characters meals, these really were the best interactions we had with the characters. They were fun and charming and really put us in the spirit. Plus, Minnie Mouse did a marvelous job signing the rock!
We posted pictures from the restaurant to the 719 Rocks! Facebook group announcing we had succeeded in our mission, and got back a bunch of sweet comments from strangers, and a really appreciative note from the artist’s mom. When we got home, we put the rock in a gift bag with a framed picture of Minnie holding the rock and left it for the little artist to find. It was such a fun side-adventure for us, and a very special memory.
I am not sure we would eat at Hollywood & Vine again. It was quite expensive for food that was not memorable, but the characters definitely made it worth it for our honeymoon!