Celebrate the Ocean at Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Old Key WestOn Saturday, May 10, Disney’s Old Key West Resort will be celebrating the ocean. Similar to the recent Key West Independence Day Celebration, the resort will be having special games and crafts to celebrate the ocean.

At 1pm the celebration kicks off with Design Your Own Sunglasses.

2pm will be Beach Sundaes

The Dance Party starts at 2:45pm, followed by the Pool Party starting at 3pm.

Guests can participate in Ocean in a Bottle at 4pm.

There will be Sea Life Bingo at 5pm.

Starting at 7:30pm there will be S’mores, and the movie under the stars at 9pm will be Finding Nemo.

Most activities will take place by the main theme pool. As always, everything is subject to change.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Disney Vacation Club – Membership Magic – Me Time Magic

entrance

As one of the new features of Disney Vacation Club membership magic was added earlier this year.  One of the new events was to feature the Spa discount and came with some extra benefits on certain nights.   A few months ago, I decided to try the spa.  I called member services to make my appointment, and then checked in at Saratoga on my appointment day.

 

One of the features for Facials was: Facial Enhancements with a choice of one of the following,

  • Bright Eyes – Reduce fine lines, relieve puffy and stressed eyes, and target dark circles and signs of fatigue as you re-energize the eye area.
  • Hydrating Lip Treatment – Gently erase dryness and fine lines during a hydrating and plumping experience sure to leave your lips looking voluptuous and youthful.
  • Hand Brightener – Turn back the hands of time with this lightening, brightening hand treatment as you naturally say goodbye to hyper pigmentation and darks spots.
  • Facial Boost – Customize your facial for specific areas of concern with one of 4 Facial Boosters, including: Firming Booster (eases the signs of aging), Anti-Blemish Booster (eases the signs of acne), Anti-Redness Booster (especially for Rosacea) and Lightening Booster (lightens pigmentation).

I chose a Facial Boost, the Anti-Blemish Booster.

It had been a long time since I had visited the Spa at Saratoga Springs,  so I noticed that initially when you arrive it reminds you of the spa from Disney Cruise line.  I was greeted and given a tour of the facility.

 

After changing I went into their relaxation room, which is a quiet serene area with chairs, muffins and water.
I got comfortable and then was called in by the Esthetician.

IMG_3280

We walked around the hall to the treatment room.  The Esthetician left while i changed and went into the treatment bed. Once I was ready she asked me which boost I wanted and started the facial.  Before she started the facial she used a Clarisonic to clean my face and then she did almost 3 times worth of masks and treatments. The red rose facial was my favorite since it was featured and it smelled wonderful!

 

After I was done, I was escorted back to the relaxation room but I couldn’t stay since Todd was waiting for me.  I went back and changed and then back to the lobby.  When I checked out I learned that you can come early for your appointment and enjoy the whirlpool and sauna and relaxation room.  I also learned that there is a day pass for about $20 for the spa so that you can go for just some relaxation.

I paid and was given a card that had a thank you since tip was already added and had product recommendations.

The only weird thing was the Red Rose products were not recommended, since they were featured I expected them to be.  I also was asked to take an additional survey for the Disney Vacation Club event.  The cast were very excited about this. After my survey I left to meet Todd and my relaxation time was over.

Overall while the cost is slightly higher than other places, I found the facial to be worth it since there were so many amenities and its a great way to take some time to relax.  The cost was $150 for the facial plus 20% tip, but as a Disney Vacation Club member I received a 15% discount and the facial boost that was complementary was valued at $25.  

I hope Disney Vacation Club will continue these events, they are a great perks to membership.

 

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Facing the Yeti at Expedition Everest Challenge 2014

On May 3rd, I ran in my fourth Expedition Everest Challenge. This race will always be special to me for a few reasons. First, it was my very first runDisney race back in 2011. My mom and I ran in a mother/daughter team and we had a blast. Of course I was hooked on races after that and have run in 11 others since then (plus I’m signed up for two more this year).

Meeting Pluto in 2011
Meeting Pluto in 2011

Also at that fateful race in 2011, I met some very special friends. I knew a bunch of people that I knew from Twitter were also running so I thought it would be a great time to meet some of them in person for the first time. One of those people is now my fiancé, Cliff! In fact, we got engaged at the Everest Challenge race last year. So, I guess you can see why this race is important to me. It’s one that I will always sign up for, even though they’ve significantly raised the price in recent years.

With Cliff back where we first met
With Cliff back where we first met

The Expedition Everest Challenge is a night race and features a 5k course through Animal Kingdom with a few obstacles along the way. After the 5k comes the scavenger hunt where you have to make your way back through the park while solving clues given to you at certain checkpoints. You can run the race in teams of two or as an individual. My mom and I always run this together and I think we make a pretty great team!

Course Map
Course Map
My bib. You may need to refer to this later on ;) *hinthint*
My bib. You may need to refer to this later on 😉 *hinthint*

Since this is a smaller race with an after party going into the wee hours of the morning, we like to drive ourselves to the start. We got there around 8:00PM because we always like to get to races early. Only problem with that this year is that it started raining pretty steadily. It was also a little chilly for us Floridians! So we sat in the car for a while. Once the rain let up we headed to the staging area to check our bag and hang out to people watch. There are always some pretty great costumes at this race!

Getting a view of the start line
Getting a view of the start line

When it was time to go to our corrals, we said bye to Cliff (mom and I were in H and Cliff was in E), and headed to our pens for more waiting. There were 6 minutes between corral starts so we had a lot of waiting….in the cool damp weather. The DJ and hosts did a pretty good job at keeping us moving though.

YMCA in the corrals
YMCA in the corrals

At 10;42, Corral H was off and we began the worst part of the race: running around the perimeter of the Animal Kingdom parking lot. Towards the end of this section, we hit our first obstacle: hay bales. You always have the option of running around the obstacles. Mom usually does because she injured her knee the first year.

 

Hay bale obstacle
Hay bale obstacle

Finally we made it to the park entrance and Mile 1! At this point we also merged with racers who had completed the 5k and were beginning the scavenger hunt portion. This was the only time we really ran into congestion because the scavenger hunt people were stopping on course to solve clues. Once we got more into the park, there were separate lanes set up for runners so it got better.

 

Donald meeting on the course
Donald meeting on the course

We continued through the park, past the Tree of Life and headed toward Africa. Once in Harambe, we turned right to go to Asia. Usually right after this point we head backstage, but this year we kept going through Asia and past Everest to backstage near the Nemo theater. Loved this change!

Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Running through Africa
Running through Africa
Running past Everest
Running past Everest

Once backstage, we soon hit our second obstacle: tires! (and mile 2!)

Trying not to break an ankle
Trying not to break an ankle

Running backstage is kind of a blur because there aren’t any familiar landmarks to orient myself with. About a mile later we rounded a corner and saw our final obstacle: a cargo net to crawl under.

Crawling under the net
Crawling under the net

Just after that was the finish line for the 5k and we received our first clue and a cool marker/flashlight combo!

Pen

The scavenger hunt brought us back into the park. There were 5 total clues. We had a little trouble with the first two, especially the second one. The last 3 we solved pretty quickly and we finished the hunt in about 30 minutes. I edited the pictures of the clues so you can see if you know the answers. I’ll post the answers at the end of the post. If you click on the pictures, you can see them bigger.

Clue1Clue2Clue3Clue4

You had to use clue 4 as a template for clue 5:Clue5

Once we received our awesome compass medals, we met back up with Cliff and headed back into the park for the after party!

Finished!
Finished!
Inside the medal
Inside the medal

Food was first on the agenda. Then we caught part of the awards ceremony in Dinoland where we were introduced to the yeti. We also paid a quick visit to our engagement spot!

Dinoland

Engagement spot!
Engagement spot!

Soon we decided we were tired and ready to head back to the hotel.

I would definitely recommend this race to anyone looking for a different runDisney experience. We always have a great time and being in Animal Kingdom at night is a treat itself. Also, each year it seems runDisney makes small changes that keep improving the experience. I will, of course, continue to run it as long as it is being offered. See you next year, Yeti!

Yeti
Yeti

Clue Answers: 1 – green flag (which is on the right side of our bibs “flag the right color”). 2 – one (in the word done) and three (combine the end of “both” and the beginning of “reenergizes”). 3 – things that keep you warm. 4 – punch out scarf, mittens, fire, blanket, boots, and coffee. 5 – hold up 4 fingers (1+ 3 from clue 2)

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram