Princess Weekend at DisneyWorld

What a fun weekend! There were definitely a lot of women at this race, and also a lot of great costumes. My personal favorites were the Prince Charming holding his Cinderella’s sparkly running shoe on a little red velvet pillow, and the “extra” dwarves. I don’t even remember their names, but we make up our own characters in my house too, so I got a big kick out of their cute costumes. My other favorite: the guy with the shirt that said “why are all these princess chasing me?”

I finally got a decent picture (okay, a little toothy) in front of the Geosphere. This photo opportunity is always at the end of the race when we’re sweaty and tired, and I have a terrible habit of running with my head back. My turtle pose. I worked extra hard for this photo and it was exhausting! Oh, d-dear.

I LOVED running through all the countries in EPCOT during the 10k. But… note to self: sometimes they close the A corral early. And then you have to sweetly ask to move all the way through the B corral to try to get into the A corral, and you receive many ugly looks.

(Another note to self: it’s gonna be hot in April. And bright. Wear cool clothing. And sunglasses.)

During the halfie, the Magic Kingdom castle was lit in pink and it truly made the morning magical.

We had a great time, and as always, all of the events were managed well, there were tons of helpful cast members, and the green army man kept me going!

EPCOT was making preparations for the Flower & Garden Festival, so we had a little preview of some of the topiaries. Can’t wait to be there next month!

Hollywood Studios had some areas open that were previously blocked, and we were glad to see the life-sized poster of Star Wars Land. We’re training for the Star Wars Dark Side Weekend – one of our FAVORITE runDisney events!


WDW Marathon Weekend

Yep, January can be cold, even in Florida. (February too, of course, but it was warm for the Princess weekend, just 6 weeks after the freezing temps for the January runs! More on that in my next post :))

It looked like everybody had to rethink their costumes. Thank goodness Disney gathers all the items we discard as we run and donates them.

It was so cold that before the race started, we all huddled together in little groups for warmth. People were wearing the blankets you get at the end of races (some people taped one on each leg and used another around their torso or shoulders), bathrobes, hats, gloves, scarves, ear muffs… you name it, we were wearing it to try to stay warm. It was crazy! Once we started running, there was no way I was throwing away my jacket. Still too cold!

On the morning of the 10k, there was a huge empty tent, and we all stood inside like cattle. The next day, the tent had merch in it and we had to “shop” in order to stay inside. “I like this jacket! Look at that hat! Ooooooooh, whaddya think about this shirt? Cute, right?!?” I did actually buy something.

We really enjoyed the 10k route. Running through EPCOT in the dark with the light of the torches is one of my very favorite parts of any runDisney race. We also ran through Animal Kingdom and Pandora in the dark and it was so beautiful! And seeing the Mickey hot air balloon against the beautiful morning sky was lovely!

The walk to the half marathon corrals seemed to add an additional mile (really, it was a long walk), but the entire weekend was well planned and ran efficiently.

Personally, I’d like to have nutrition earlier than mile 8 – for me, that’s too late. So I bring a gel or sport beans with me.

One of my favorite parts of this run is the green army man at the top of the hill (yes, for a gal from sea level, an overpass is a hill, and this one comes after a loooong, slow, uneven climb up the ramp) who encourages us to keep moving! He’s funny and gives me a boost at just the right time.

This was our first time to run during the marathon weekend. We may be inclined to run the full marathon someday, but we’re not ready yet. Doesn’t matter – we LOVE our runDisney weekends!

Star Wars Dark Side Recap

It was great to be back for the Dark Side Challenge! Already hot in Florida, but both the 10k and half marathon were great experiences for us. And although we thoroughly enjoyed our 2 run weekends in California, we missed Epcot and Animal Kingdom.

The Flower & Garden Festival make any trip to WDW so pleasant. We stayed in the Epcot resort area this time and each brought one of our kids. These cousins have always been great friends. Here they are DisneyBounding in the Magic Kingdom as a modern Cindy and Prince, while we’re the ugly stepsisters (of course).

We also DisneyBounded as modern Aristocats who apparently adore the upside down car in front of the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios. I’m Berlioz, my daughter is Marie, my sister is Duchess, and my nephew is O’Malley. In reality, he would wake up each day and say, okay, what color should I wear? Hilarious.

My daughter was Jane at the Gorilla Exploration Falls, a place we try to never miss when we visit the Animal Kingdom.

Star Wars events are so much fun – we love the costumes of runners and the theming that WDW provides. Good character stops (though we never stop) and great music to motivate us. We were so proud to earn our Kessel Run Challenge medals since we ran the Light Side Half Marathon in January in Disneyland!

LOVE seeing runDisney official photographers at the beginning of the races for decent photos (we always hate our “after” pictures). But there wasn’t a massage tent at any of the events, so we were a bit disappointed. And we even remembered to bring our cash!

We had no trouble getting on the buses to/from resorts, the Expo was easy… everything seemed to run well this weekend. The starting line fireworks for the half marathon were amazing! And one of our favorite things was running through a woodsy area with sounds of the speeder bike chase on Endor playing over speakers. It felt like we were a part of the cast of ROTJ!

We’re legacy runners for this event, and we’re already registered for 2018! (By the way, yes, we reuse our running outfits, because money. We might keep the shirt, change the leggings, or use the same leggings with a different shirt, or add a hat, or another new item. No shame in using what you’ve got!)



Hollywood Studios favorites

Big HeroAhhhhhhh we managed one day of DisneyBounding together as the Big Hero 6! So fun.

We saw Baymax and Hiro in The Magic of Disney Animation at Hollywood Studios, and they were adorable. Of course, we turned around and saw a family that really did look like the characters. We were pretty lame in comparison. But it was fun, so no worries.

This was our first time visiting The Magic of Disney Animation, and I just read that this area closed in July. :(( (My sad faces and happy faces always have double chins.) Maybe some new Star Wars attractions will be moving in? Not sure.

We like to change up our Disney World trips by trying some new things on each visit. One year we discovered a pavilion down by the lake past the Flame Tree BBQ restaurant in Animal Kingdom – a peaceful and beautiful place to eat our meal!

Back to Hollywood Studios. Besides the obvious favorites, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster (single rider line), and Star Tours, we like the Writer’s Stop for snacks and funky souvenirs, the Great Movie Ride (good place to sit down, cool off, and enjoy scenes from terrific movies), Lights, Motors, Action (great show!), and Indiana Jones (fun and nostalgic).

Hollywood Studios has wonderful theming with funky signs and characters throughout the park. It’s a good place to watch cast members at their best, such as The Citizens of Hollywood, who are talented and hilarious and engage the guests.

Our other favorite thing in HS is the 50’s Prime Time Diner. We always eat one of our special meals here – the food is great and the waiters and waitresses seriously get into their roles in this Mom and Pop restaurant. Soooooo funny. If you go, just make sure to keep your elbows off the table!