Packing Like A runDisney Princess!

Truth be told,   I had my first official foray into the world of RunDisney at the 2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  Needless to say I am no expert, but I AM hooked!

Pack like a runDisney Princess Mickey and Minnie Jacqui with her medal

Since the completion of that run that lasted over 3 hours in the nonstop, driving rain, I’ve since signed up for more magical miles. I started out 2015 with the Walt Disney World 10K, and am heading back for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  I can hardly believe that I will be tackling yet another half marathon! Perhaps it’s not so surprising. 

Pack like a runDisney Princess Mickey and Minnie
Photo: Disney

Just recently, I read a blurb from the great Jeff Galloway who said that the half or full marathon has become a mission of many individuals in the 40+ age range. Like it or not, I fall in that category! I won’t bore you with the details of my fitness history; that’s for certain.  However, I will say that I always maintained that I would never be a runner…too boring! Ha! Still, I was long intrigued by RunDisney.  Why wouldn’t I be? The prospect of combining a lifelong love (Disney!) with a healthy activity was very appealing.  Thanks to the persuasive powers of some very special friends, I ran (and completed!) my first runDisney race. 

Pack like a runDisney Princess 10K with Donald


A humble beginner, I hope I can help some of you with a newbie packing list for the upcoming Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

How I plan to pack like a runDisney Princess!

The first thing on my list is SHOES.  Whatever you do, please run in shoes you have already put some miles on.  I pack my stability running shoes for the races and my Minnie RunDisney shoes for the parks.  If you want to pack sandals for after your run, I recommend some with support.  FitFlops or Skechers are a great example of these.

Pack like a runDisney Princess

1.   Shoes
2.   moisture wicking athletic socks
3.   comfy (and cool) top and bottoms such as capris or shorts
4.   tutu or SparkleSkirt (It IS Princess Weekend after all)!
5.   clothes you are willing to throw away as you run. (It can be cold at the start and       you can just peel those babies right off as you run). Some runners prefer to use a large garbage bag for early morning warmth.
6.   sports bra
7.   Gym Boss timer to track your intervals
8.   A running belt or fanny pack.  There are plenty of water stops along the course, so I find that a running belt with water bottles is not necessary for RunDisney races.
9.    phone or camera for pictures with the characters
10.  smartphone holder
11.  small energy bar for sustenance as you go
12.  sunscreen
13.  baseball hat or headband to comfortably keep your hair back
14.  hair ties
15.  sunglasses
16.  race paperwork and confirmations

Pack like a runDisney Princess

I am sure I will learn much more along the way. In the meantime, I hope my packing list helps other beginners with some essentials for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. 

I hope to see you on the course! See ya real soon!


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Going runDisney Dopey With Carrie Burrows

We are super excited to have Carrie Burrows sharing her runDisney Dopey Challenge experience with us today! You should check out Carrie’s site for some awesome fitness tips and motivation and you can also find Carrie on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

Running 48.6 miles is no joke. Running it in four days divided into a 5k (3.1 miles) a 10k (6.2 miles) a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a marathon (26 miles) is just plain gruelling.

I was pretty excited about Disney Marathon Weekend and the runDisney Dopey challenge until the day before it all started. That’s when the doubt started to kick in. I didn’t train enough, I have a couple of injuries that I’ve ignored and worst of all… I still have to my work AND get up at 3am!!!

Am I going to finish? Can I get through 48.6 miles without making my injuries worse? Will I sleep through the 5 alarms I have set?

Well, I’m very to report, I finished. I had a great time and while the injuries are still there, they didn’t get any worse and I’m ready to sign up for Dopey 2016.

Here’s a quick run down of the four days as I took on the runDisney Dopey Challenge.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 1 – Walt Disney World 5k

Pluto’s 5k was the c-o-l-d-e-s-t run I have done in a long time! Mother Nature wanted to test the runners and see how they did with 20 mph winds and temps in the 30’s /40’s.

I’m Canadian. I “should” be able to handle this type of weather – nope. I was shaking and shivering like a Chihuahua! I wore 4 layers….4.  From all of the shivering and shaking, I was exhausted later that day. I mean, exhausted. The 5k route is by far my favourite. Running through World Showcase is just fantastic. I love it!! There were some great characters along the route. We said that we weren’t going to do any character pictures but then we saw Chip n Dale in Japan. Picture time!! Because they were wearing kimonos!!!!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Chip and Dale 5K Pluto

Chip and Dale in Japan wearing kimonos!!

Post race, we had the Runners World race retreat and it was awesome. I highly recommend getting the race retreat for marathon weekend/Dopey challenge. We finished and went right to the warm tent for hot coffee and hot food. We were able to sit, relax and get a few character pics!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Runners Retreat

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Bart Yasso Selfie

Selfie with Bart Yasso -Runner’s World Chief Running Officer

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Goofy and Max

Max and Goofy!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 2 – Walt Disney World 10k

Oh hello 3am –what an unpleasant time you are, even if you’re going to Disney.

Another crazy cold morning. I had a cute outfit planned and it was tossed aside for warmth! I wore 3 layers, so it was better…but still, I was wearing 3 layers! Burr(ows).  There were no crazy cold winds, so stopping to characters was doable! I didn’t push myself to get a PR because I wanted to save my legs/feet for the half and the full. Now mind you, it was cold so I did pick up my pace to get through the course so I could get to that awesome race retreat to warm up.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

Bathroom selfie!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

10k in the books!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 3 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon 13.1 miles

Dear 3am, I hate you. You would think I’d get the hang of this by now, but no such luck. Another cold morning, another cute outfit planned and scrapped. Yes…running is about the cute outfits. Don’t judge. I did manage to only need 2 layers…progress!! Seeing all of the costumes people wear is always fun. I love that runners put effort in to make this a total experience.

Another reason I love runDisney events is because that running community is a lot of fun and supportive. I love seeing familiar faces or people I interact with online.

I had a plan for this run. No stopping for pics in the dark, those pictures never turn out. Going off track for a sec, so stay with me…I use to do these runDisney events and blast through them always chasing a new PR. I never had a character picture or any pics from the course just the memories in my head. This last year I have realized it is important to stop and ‘smell the roses’. Take pics with friends, characters, the Castle, everything! This is an experience run…enjoy it!!! If you are chasing a PR do local runs at home. Some of the best pics I have are from runs and some of the best conversations and laughs I have had are during runs. Get the full experience not just the post run medal pic.

Ok, back on track. I love this course. Running down Main Street USA and having people chEAR you on, running towards the castle is just a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! If you don’t have a bucket list, then put one together and add a runDisney run to that list!!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Golfer Mickey Mouse

No matter what…you ALWAYS stop for Mickey!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Mickey Mouse Golf Cart

Fun with friends – DON’T TOUCH THE CART!! @dave_mari @bamagirlruns

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Half Marathon

Running 13.1 miles was worth getting your medal Donald!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Cinderella and Prince Charming

Cinderella & Prince Charming selfie…check!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Phineas and Ferb

Ferb, I know what we are going to do today…” oh hey, where’s Perry??!!

I felt good for this run. It was cold but it was manageable. Seeing familiar faces along the course route gives you that added boost to keep going! Stopping for character pics with friends is just fun! I felt like I was on autopilot with this run. I knew not to push hard because I needed all that I had for the marathon. The sun was out and it had warmed up but it wasn’t crazy hot so I was thankful for that! I finished and felt good and again. Back over to race retreat to unwind, fuel up.Have I mentioned race retreat is a really great thing to do?

runDisney Dopey Challenge Day 4 – Walt Disney World Full Marathon 26.2 miles

I was fortunate to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando located on property at Walt Disney World. I still had to get up early 2:45am. We were going to take the bus but at the last minute decided to drive and knew we had to leave early because of the roads being busy and some of them shut down for the race. The Waldorf and Hilton Bonnet Creek do special runDisney race weekend packages and part of the package is a pre race send off party.

Now this is how you do 3am. I wasn’t hating it as much.

They had ever kind of drink (hot/cold) bars, bagels, fruit. The staff was energetic and gave their all to pump up these tired runners! It was quite the send off and I highly recommend it if you are doing a run. I did write more about it here.

We arrived early…ugh. Race retreat is open before the half marathon and marathon. We did our bag check, sat down and got ourselves put together.

I don’t mean to go on about the race retreat BUT another big feature is they have their own sets of porta-potties. That means you don’t have to wait in a line of 50 people to use the potty. They have people their keeping them clean-so that means there is always toilet paper, hand sanitizer.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows

Runners World Race Retreat Potties – no lines!

We stayed in there until they kicked us out. (Race retreat, not the porta-potties.)  It was another cold morning, but I did manage to wear a cute outfit (but I had a jacket on). I had planned to give it to a friendly face along the race route to hold for me when I got warm. The plan was simple – slow and steady. No stopping for characters in the dark! Miles 1-13 seemed effortless-autopilot kicked in.

Mile 14 is when you need your mind to kick in and stay strong for the remaining 13 miles. I saw friends just outside of Animal Kingdom! Hello Kelly Christine!


My fellow Disney Parks Mom’s Panelist, Laura gave me a diet coke – love her for having food and drinks on hand.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Laura mp

My family was just up ahead and when I saw them it was the best thing!! I needed those hugs. We snapped a few selfies and I grabbed some snacks from them and we were on our way.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Family

The run along Osceloa Parkway into ESPN Wide World Of Sports is looooonng and boring. This is when you need great music or great conversations with your running partner. Thankfully,runDisney and Cigna provide the music and Bama provides the conversation.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Baymax

Coming out of Wide World of Sports is mile 20. The Dreaded Wall…and oddly I felt fine. Mentally I knew it was almost over. My feet were beyond sore, I mean stabby sore but I pushed on. The run up the ramp towards Hollywood Studios back entrance is another long, boring stretch. That’s when I needed to buck up and keep telling myself I was in single digits and its almost over! Got to see some familiar faces at Hollywood Studios so that was fun.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows emt jeff

Glad to see @Jeff_EMT 

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Disney's Hollywood Studios hat

The Hat” was still there!!!

Then it started raining…come on Mother Nature. My family was on the boardwalk in front of the Yacht and Beach Club so I knew seeing them again would give me the last blast I needed. Hugs and kisses and them telling me they were proud was all I needed to finish up. The rain kept coming and got harder while we were in World Showcase. I got a soggy pic with Duffy. He was brave standing in the rain, he did smell like wet fur and sweaty runner though…lol.

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Duffy

The gospel choir was there again at mile 26 –praise the Lord and Hallelujah, I made it!!

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Gospel Choir

It was a fun 4 days and Im ready to sign up for 2016 #perfectDopey

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Medals

Now I lay me down to sleep…

runDisney Dopey Challenge Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Carrie Burrows Congratulations Banner

See ya real soon – 2016 Dopey Challenge #PerfectDopey


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runDisney Announces Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Details

runDisney Let the Wookie Win Star Wars

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Makes Its Intergalactic Arrival at Disneyland Resort in 2015

May The Course Be With You!


Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is a four-day race weekend is first collaboration with Lucasfilm; Aerospace company Sierra Nevada Corporation to be inaugural event’s presenting sponsor; Race registration opens June 10

Joining forces with one of Hollywood’s most iconic brands, runDisney is creating another transportive race weekend – the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort. The intergalactic journey begins January 15 and runs through January 18, 2015.


The Star Wars event is the fourth runDisney race weekend scheduled for 2015 at Disneyland Resort, doubling the number of races held in 2013. The new race weekend offers runners a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – kids races, a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. And for those who show an event greater strength for the Force, there will be a two-race challenge involving the 10K and the half marathon with a commemorative medal awaiting every finisher.

In addition, there will be a slew of family-friendly events throughout the weekend, including a Health and Fitness Expo and a Star Wars-themed pre-race party, plus popular Star Wars and Disney characters and other entertainment. Registration opens June 10 at


The Star Wars event at Disneyland Resort joins the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, the recently announced Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend.

“This melding of the iconic Star Wars franchise and the runDisney brand creates an ideal race experience that will resonate with core running groups as well as attract new runners to the sport,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “We will continue to identify opportunities to collaborate with other Disney franchises and partners to develop more unique runDisney race weekends that will appeal to an increasingly wider range of runners across the country and beyond.’’

“This is an ideal intersection of family, fitness and Star Wars fun for our global, cross-generational audience and runDisney fans’’ said Howard Roffman, executive vice president of Franchise Management at Lucasfilm. “Star Wars is all about reaching deep within to realize your true potential and runDisney embodies that message in a very real way.”

As presenting sponsor of the race weekend, Sierra Nevada Corporation will have a presence throughout the event. Sierra Nevada Corporation, based in Sparks, Nevada, provides rapid, innovative and agile technology solutions and is best known for its Dream Chaser spacecraft, the company’s solution for providing the United States with human spaceflight capability.

“With the passion and creativity of runDisney and Lucasfilm, this race weekend is going to be out of this world, which makes it a natural fit for Sierra Nevada Corporation because we are in a race of our own to take humans into space with our Dream Chaser spacecraft program,’’ said Sierra Nevada Corporation president and chairman Eren Ozmen.

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

As with other new runDisney events, the inaugural Star Wars event sponsored by Sierra Nevada Corporation is expected to be an instant hit. The new Avengers race at Disneyland Resort sold out in less than two hours. In general, runDisney race weekends have regularly sold out in record time, and last year attracted more than 163,900 runners to Walt Disney World and Disneyland – a 40 percent increase over the previous year, making the runDisney series one of the largest in the nation.

The surging popularity of runDisney events has created significant economic impact on the surrounding communities. For example, in Anaheim it’s estimated that the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend drives approximately $20 million to $30million in additional economic activity locally by attracting thousands of runners to Southern California. In suburban Orlando, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which is considered to be the largest race weekend in the country, attracts more than 50,000 runners and 50,000-plus spectators, for a total attendance of more than 100,000 in Central Florida.


About runDisney

runDisney, one of the largest race organizers in the nation, hosts a series of nine event weekends providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks.  Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.  The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in February, Expedition Everest Challenge in May, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation in January, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in May, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend during Labor Day Weekend and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend in November. More than 163,900 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) andTwitter @runDisney.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties, including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd is headquartered in northern California.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd and/or its affiliates. TM & © 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

About Sierra Nevada Corporation

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, avionics, aerospace, propulsion, micro-satellites, aircraft, and communications systems. For over 30 years SNC has been under the leadership of CEO, Fatih Ozmen, and President, Eren Ozmen, the company’s sole owners. SNC is also the top woman-owned federal contractor in the United States.  Among SNC’s most revolutionary advancements is its Dream Chaser® spacecraft, SNC Space System’s answer to the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle. The primary mission of the Dream Chaser is transporting up to seven crew members and cargo to the International Space Station. With a workforce of over 3,000 personnel in 30 locations in 16 states, SNC has six unique business areas dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base. For more information on SNC visit and on SNC’s Dream Chaser visit


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Week In Review And News – January 3, 2014

With the start of a new year and with so much going on after the holidays, I thought it would be a great time to restart our Week in Review and play a little catch up on this week’s highlights and news from the Orlando and Central Florida Attractions and Venues!

Week in Review – December 30, 2013 to January 3, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Parks Blog announced a new contest where you can win a 5-day/4-night vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.

We’ve just launched where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January.


On, we are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 12/31/13 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 1/31/14. Click here for Official Rules.


With Walt Disney World Marathon weekend right around the corner, runDisney was everywhere when they released details about the Limited Edition runDisney 2014 New Balance shoes!


You can find out more about these shoes here.

Universal Orlando Resort

Harry Potter Diagon Alley Week in Review

With construction on Diagon Alley ramping up, A Celebration of Harry Potter drawing close, Cabana Bay opening reservations being taken, and CityWalk undergoing a HUGE transformation, the Universal Orlando Resort is buzzing with energy!

Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013. Week in Review
Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013.

Antojitos Update Week in Review

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for everything that is coming to the Universal Orlando Resort!!!

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando

January is Passholder appreciation month at SeaWorld Orlando, and they are offering some great deals!

Bring a friend for FREE! SeaWorld® Orlando Pass Members receive a friend for free ticket*. Online registration is required. Valid for one single-day admission by January 31, 2014. Register Now.

Double Your Discount**

  • Save 20% on dining in all of our cafeteria-style restaurants
  • Save 20% on merchandise in our gift shops

*Pass Member must be present for guest to gain admittance. Free ticket offer valid for active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year and FL Platinum Pass Members. Not valid for Fun Cards, Teacher’s Study Passes or Friends & Family Passes. Free ticket is non-transferable, not for resale and may be revoked for misuse.

**Offer only valid between Jan. 1-31, 2014. Must present active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year, or FL Platinum Pass to receive savings. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Not valid on All-Day Dining offers. Merchandise offer valid for in-park purchases only.

Amway Center

The Circus is coming to town!


Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus LEGENDS is coming to the Amway Center January 9-12, but Monday the circus train rolls into Orlando.  Fantastic photo opportunities will be available as the Ringling Bros. pachyderm performers parade to the Amway Center. 

The Ringling Bros. animal performers will unload at 8:00 p.m. and walk beginning at 8:30 p.m. Animals will unload at railroad tracks near 1035 W. Amelia,  then travel east on Amelia, south on North Hughey Ave., then west on West South St. and enter the GEICO Garage behind Amway Center. (Note: route and time are subject to change without notice.)

Tickets are still available and start at $16. Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included.  All seats are reserved. Tickets are available or, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone:407-440-7900).  For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.


If your house is anything like mine, you have watched the trailer for ‘The LEGO Movie’ four times daily and I was excited to see that they are going to be having a weekend of activities in February!


LEGOclubweekend [3]

February 8 & 9, 2014 Enjoy fun for all with activities to celebrate “The LEGO Movie”, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure featuring an all-star cast and set to open in theaters February 7. Guests will enjoy a special movie-themed building activity, movie-themed scavenger hunt in Miniland USA and meet and greet sessions with costume characters Emmet and Wyldstyle, who play leading roles in this epic movie.

Busch Gardens Tampa

BG Bring a friend for free Week in Review

January is also Passholder appreciation month at Busch Gardens Tampa!

Double the Fun – Bring a Friend for FREE

During January, Pass Members can bring a friend for free! Online registration required. Limit one free ticket per active Pass Member. Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply. Log in now to register your friend’s ticket and learn more about this limited time offer.

Triple the Savings – 30% off merchandise, food, and beverages

All month long, Pass Members get 30% off merchandise, food and beverages when you visit the park! Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply.

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex

A Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift-off during a dramatic SpaceX launch scheduled for January 3, launch time is subject to change but the launch window of 5:05 p.m. to 7:17 p.m. EST. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex.

Launch viewing from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, located in Kennedy Space Center, includes live mission control commentary and is available for Visitor Complex guests for $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to the Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3:15 p.m.

Launch viewing, featuring live mission control commentary, also is available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is included in regular admission.

Week in Review- Posts from On the Go in MCO

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Staycation

New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney World Resort

Wordless Wednesday – Happy New Year

Merchandise Spotlight – Walt Disney World Resort

Thanks for joining us for this Week in Review, and if this is indication of how jam packed 2014 is going to be I am really excited!

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2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Gets An Upgrade


For years, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend combination of receiving medals for the 5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon was a 42.4 mile challenge unofficially dubbed the “Dopey” by fans.  Now with the addition of the new Walt Disney World 10K, the name “Dopey” becomes official with an additional new medal for the Dopey Challenge, but with one small change.  Instead of being 42.4 miles, Disney is including the 10K into the mix for a grand total of 48.6 miles.  That’s right, the old fan based Dopey was only 4 medals (5K, Half, Full, and Goofy), but now Dopey challengers will receive 6 medals total adding 1 for the 10K and 1 extra for doing all 4 races.

The cost to participate in this new challenge? $495 for participants who register before June 18, 2013.  This price includes all 4 races.

The new 10K will cost $95 for registrants by the same date.  With the 5K being $60, the Walt Disney World Full & Half Marathons costing $160 each, and the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge weighing in at $340.

Price increases for the Walt Disney World Marathon races will occur on June 19, 2013 and again on August 14, 2013.

Additional information can be found at

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Wordless Wednesday – RunDisney #Run3rd

Wordless Wednesday – February 27, 2013

RunDisney Run3rd
For this week’s Wordless Wednesday I wanted to share something a little more personal. This year when I ran my second RunDisney Princess Half Marathon, I wasn’t alone. I dedicated my run to two special people and carried them with me from start to finish. It definitely added a new perspective to a solo sport.

For more information about #run3rd visit their site.

Please take a second to really look at the Mission Statement, because it is definitely something that means a lot to me.

RunDisney Run3rd

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RunDisney Princess Tips and Reminders


Walt Disney World RunDisney Princess Weekend is almost here so I’ve compiled a list of tips and reminders to assist you as you prepare.

The Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K takes place Saturday, February 23 at 6:30 AM and the Princess Half Marathon will be held Sunday, February 24 beginning at 5:35 AM.  With just a few days before the race it’s very important to take care of your body by getting as much rest as possible, eating nutritious meals, and hydrating with water and/or sports drinks.  If you’re visiting the theme parks before race day, it’s best to take it a leisurely pace, take in the shows and sit down attractions and try to limit the time walking or standing in the sun or heat.  Take breaks at the resort to enjoy the pool or take a nap.

Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  The Expo hours are Friday, February 22 9:00 AM- 7:00 PM and Saturday, February 23 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM.  If you are staying at a WDW resort other than Coronado Springs, you will need to utilize bus transportation, labeled with a RunDisney sign.  If you are staying off property, park at Downtown Disney Westside to catch the RunDisney bus transportation to Coronado Springs.  Parking and guest drop-off during Expo hours is not allowed at Coronado Springs.  Be sure to complete and print your race waiver prior to arriving at the Expo and bring your photo identification.  At the expo you will pick up your race packet which includes your bib with timing chip, race shirt, and goody bag.  This is also the time to pick up any commemorative items you purchased during registration.  Be sure to hold onto the large, clear plastic Run Disney bag you are given as this is what you will use for bag check during the race.  Expo is a great time to check out the vendors, see new products, visit with fellow runners, and get into the spirit of the race weekend.

Here’s a quick check list of things to do the day/night before the race:

  • Fill out the back of your race bib with emergency contact and personal information and attach it to your running shirt with provided safety pins
  • Lay out your entire running outfit including every item you are planning to wear and carry during the race
  • Prepare your clear plastic Run Disney bag for bag check by affixing your number sticker
  • Plan your pre-race/early morning breakfast or snack such as a bagel with peanut butter, cereal bar, or fruit
  • Decide where to meet friends and family following the race
  • Set your alarm and/or order a wake-up call
  • Go to bed early and dream about the bling

On the day of the race, give yourself plenty of time for driving and parking or riding WDW transportation.  Race transportation including monorail and buses from WDW resort hotels will begin at 3:00 AM and you must board no later than 4:00 AM and in your assigned corral by 5:00 AM.  If you are checking a bag, it must be at the bag check area no later than 4:30 AM.  There will be food and beverages available for purchase in the Wonder and Imagine lots of Epcot the morning of the race.  Give yourself plenty of time to get to your corral and prepare yourself for race.

You’ve trained, prepared, and waited and it’s finally here.  Enjoy it!  Disney races are full of fun, friends, and surprises…..and there’s a beautiful medal and an amazing sense of accomplishment awaiting you at the finish line.

Happy running!

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RunDisney Roundtable

For this week’s Roundtable, I thought it would be a lot of fun to look at all of our different thought on the RunDisney Events we have participated in!

I hope you enjoy!

1. What made you start participating in RunDisney Events?
Aurora –  My Husband, Brother and Best friend VoluntEARed at our first event MANY years ago and it is something that my Husband and I have continued. We started off doing the Special Olympics events and now we try to do Marathon Weekend and Princess every weekend. We are running people but we LOVE VoluntEARing!!!
Beth – Just a whim actually.  Sounded fun so I signed up for the Family 5k during Marathon Weekend 2012.  I met some great people and got hooked!
Betsy – I set a goal for myself to do a 5k two years after I had major knee surgery.
Cheryl – My husband started running
Kelly – I figured it would motivate me to want to get out there and complete some races myself. And also to see everyone completing goals.
Shalon – I was never a very athletic person and never thought I’d be able to even complete a 5k. After seeing the wide array of people who ran a 5k at Disney I knew it was a goal I wanted to set for myself.  After doing a 5k I decided to train for a half marathon as it was a bucket list item and was incredible to accomplish that goal at Disney!
Shelley – I have never been an avid runner, but after hearing people talk about how much they loved the RunDisney 5K’s I thought I would give it a shot…and I haven’t really looked back since!

2. What is your favorite Run Disney Race?
Betsy – I think the first race I ever ran is still my favorite. It was the inaugural Mickey’s Halloween 5k in October of 2010. It is the only 5k to my knowledge that ran through the Magic Kingdom. It was absolutely amazing! I wish they still had 5ks in that park.
Beth – Princess Weekend is special to me because I ran the Royal Family 5k in 2012 with my best friend Jaimee & soon to be best friends Mike and James.  That weekend solidified my addiction to Run Disney and my desire to move to Florida.  Plus you get to dress up like Princesses!!
Cheryl – Magic Kingdom 5k – sad that I never got to run this!
Kelly – I’ve only volunteered for the marathon weekend events, so I’d have to go with that.
Shalon – Princess weekend is my favorite since it was my first 5k and first half marathon.
Shelley – I am obsessed with the Princess Half Marathon Weekend activities! I love how even the guys get in the spirit of dressing up and having a great time running.
Aurora – Marathon Weekend every January is my favorite! So many costumes and creativity! A lot of people use this first race of the year as a tribute race for someone or a first time race for themselves.

3. Do you prefer night or day RunDisney races?
Cheryl – day
Kelly – To volunteer, either. If I was completing a race myself, day. I would think it would throw my schedule off to run a race at night.
Shalon – I prefer day races, its hard getting up that early but was much easier to adjust to than staying up later for a night race. Once a day race is over you can walk around the parks to work out any soreness and of course show off your bling!
Shelley – I prefer day races, because I love being able to walk around the parks and eating whatever I want…you know cause I just ran and it won’t count…right???
Aurora – I prefer voluntEARing at the day time races so I can see my friends faces and costumes lol!
Beth – Having run one night race and the rest day races, I prefer day.  Night races are tough to prepare for especially the day of in terms of resting and eating enough prior to the start of the race.
Betsy – I think I prefer day races even though I am not a morning person. It is easier to rest up and prepare for the races than night races.

4. Costume or no costume when you’re running?
Kelly – For me to run in, no costume, but I love seeing everyone else in their costumes. It adds additional time on top of their training schedules for everyone to make their costumes, so to see everyone’s hard work is so fun!
Shalon – Costumes are a blast to create and show off during races!  Just make sure to try them out beforehand to make sure it all fits well and won’t bother you during the race.
Shelley – I LOVE all the costumes, and I have really enjoyed the races when I have dressed up!
Aurora – As a spectator/voluntEAR I love the costumes! Have fun with it!!!!!
Beth – Costumes ABSOLUTELY!  That’s one of my favorite parts second only to the bling!  Be creative and have fun with it.  Just make sure its comfortable and allows your skin to breath while running!
Betsy – I have never worn a costume while running, but I do enjoy seeing the costumes.
Cheryl – No Costume

5. What’s your best tip for visiting RunDisney Expos?
Shalon – Take you time to look around all the booths and companies there.  You may not buy something that day but gives great ideas for running gear later on.  Always take business cards of booths you enjoy so you will remember them after race weekend.
Shelley – Keep your eyes on the prize or you will find yourself walking out with TONS of cool stuff that you might not necessarily need!
Aurora – Do not go in there with a time limit set. Give yourself time to get your packet and have time to look at all the booths. There are SO MANY things to look at that if you only have an hour or whatever, you will end up skipping one that you probably wanted to see really bad!
Beth – I like to go as early as possible the very first day.  It can be crowded and hectic but it’s a great time to see new products and meet up with friends and really get into the spirit of the race weekend.
Betsy – Definitely get there as early as you can and plan on allowing at least an hour or two. For larger race weekends like marathon, Princess and Wine and Dine, it can get crazy long lines. Take time to wander around the expo after packet pickup and see what the vendors have to offer. I’ve found some great deals on shoes, running belts, etc.
Cheryl – Go there early, it gets crowded!
Kelly – Go the first day, as early as possible. I’ve seen numerous products (if not all of them) sell out so quick.

6. What is your favorite RunDisney memory?
Shelley – This is such a tough one! But the memory that always makes me tear up is when I was running the Princess Half last year. We had just crossed the start line, and out of the blue I could hear Zoe yelling ‘Go Mommy! I’m so proud of you’ and I found her in the crowd jumping up & down blowing me kisses. Just knowing that I am setting an example of being healthy and reaching goals makes me push myself harder.
Aurora – Medaling my Best Friend Nicole when she on a whim ran her first full marathon! Nicole has never been a runner. She is more of a mosier! She decided to run at the pressing of her soon to be husband and did the full marathon in about 3 and 1/2hours! I have never been so PROUD in my life! She beat some people who are real runners and she had a blast doing it! I cried and cried and cried when she crossed and have never been so happy to see someone cross in my life! Putting that medal around her neck is something that will stick with me forever!
Beth – One of my favorite memories is running the 2012 Tower of Terror 10 Miler with my best friend, Jaimee, on both of our birthdays.  It was a night race and started at 10pm on her birthday and we were still running when the clock struck midnight signaling the beginning of my birthday.  We made shirts to go with our costumes that celebrated this.  It was so fun running and having so many people wish us Happy Birthday!
Betsy – My favorite memory was running my first race since there was such a great sense of accomplishment coming off of my knee surgery. I have great memories from most all of the seven races I’ve run, but I think that the first was the best.
Cheryl – Running across the finish line
Kelly – My very first 5k was a RunDisney event and it was such an emotional day for me, so crossing that finish line and being able to see my parents and boyfriend cheering me on is definitely my favorite memory. Also, putting medals on a couple of the 20 year ‘Perfects’ this past marathon weekend was very cool, along seeing people get really emotional after finishing their first half marathon/marathon and being able to celebrate with them.
Shalon – Even though completing my first 5k was very memorable, completing my first half marathon Princess weekend 2012 was an experience I’ll never forget.  I had such an incredible time running and sharing that memory with Shelley.  I’ll never forget how we both burst into tears as we crossed the finish line…and again as we cried like babies as Aurora gave us our medals!

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RunDisney Savings Plan

If you are like my family, you have a runner doing multiple RunDisney events in one year so it is necessary to have a RunDisney Savings Plan.

Here are some things to consider if you are running in the RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

First let’s look at the costs of entering the Wine & Dine Half Marathon

  • $175 by June 18, 2013
  • $190 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $205 on or after August 14, 2013

So it’s easy to see that if you know that you are planning on running in a RunDisney event it is best to register as soon as possible!

The next big expense to consider is booking a room!

Keeping in mind that we are using the RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, you can find onsite pricing from Disney directly for value resorts is $121 per night for a 2 night stay,
this price does not include park admission.  You may find cheaper pricing by contacting a Travel agent, booking your flight and travel together via travel websites or your airline website, or by taking advantage of any special offer that may come your way.

Another option is renting points from a Disney Vacation Club member. We don’t have an article on this yet (we promise it is coming soon) so we recommend you search the web on Disney Vacation Club point rental.

Renting Disney Vacation Club points can save you money on a room for the race! For example For the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon cost of the Disney’s Beach Club resort is $389 per person for a 2 night stay.  For 2 people your cost would be $778 depending on the Disney Vacation Club point cost: a Studio at Beach Club would run you between $310 and $410.

So far Costs are:
Race:  $175 or $190 or $205
Hotel:  $121 or $778 or $310-$410
Flights:  For this example we are assuming  $250 round trip for 1 person so $500 for 2 people

Which then brings us to the cost of tickets. You’ll find that a 3 day ticket from Disney Direct (without the Run Disney discount)  is $636.88 includes tax, note this includes Park hopping.  A 3 day ticket without park hopping is $515.46. Please note this is the current price of tickets, like any other product, prices can change; we recommend you call Disney or search the internet to confirm current pricing.

So now it’s down to the nitty gritty! Time to calculate all of our costs: $205 + $410 + $500 = $1115.00, if you need tickets that cost increases to $1630.46.  Food costs differ based upon needs, so add in your own food costs.

How can I save: Starting now you could put away $408 a month and have enough time to save $1630.46 by June 18th. If you already have tickets you could save $279 a month. You will need to add in extra savings for your food costs but this should give you a good guide of how you can plan to save to race.

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Wordless Wednesday – RunDisney Princesses

Wordless Wednesday – February 20, 2013

For this week’s Wordless Wednesday, I thought I would post a picture of Shalon and & I celebrated finishing the RunDisney Princess Half Marathon last year. It was our first Half Marathon, and it was an amazing experience to share with such a great friend.


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Cheering for a runDisney Event


My addiction to running didn’t start with the running itself, it started with the cheering.  Back in 2009 I made some friends, and not long after I learned that they were running in a race.  A race at Walt Disney World.  I honestly had no real concept of what this meant, but I had always had it in the back of my head that running was something I wanted to try.  So I made a decision to seek a little inspiration, and go cheer for them. That day I learned one solid thing: cheering for a race isn’t easy. Now that’s not to say that it can’t be, like anything else it’s all about how much, or how little you want to throw yourself into it.

This upcoming weekend, February 22-February 24, 2013, runDisney is hosting Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  There are two races that you could be cheering for, the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K, and the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon.

Some Fun RunDisney Facts about Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend:

  • More than 26,000 runners in the half; 8,000 in the 5K and 1,700 in Kids Races; many from throughout Central Florida

  • The half marathon includes more than 24,500 female runners and 1,700 male runners

  • Runners represent all 50 states and 32 countries

  • The youngest participant is 14 and the oldest woman is 78

  • There are 98 RunDisney runners celebrating their Birthday during the race

If you have runners running either of these races you should sit down with them and talk with them to find out some information that will make cheering for them easier:

What corral are they starting in?  For each race, runners are split up into corrals that have staggered starting times.  These corrals are typically lettered.  Runners in B will start the race before runners in C.

What is their pace per minute? Runners don’t all run at the same speed. You’ll need this knowledge for longer races if you’re going to travel between points to cheer.

Will they be stopping? Disney races are designed for fun. Along the course there will be various special areas, characters, and photo opportunities for runners to participate in.  This means that despite their pace, your runner can take longer if they’re planning to stop to take a picture and have to wait in a line.  If you didn’t expect your runner to be stopping you might find yourself getting worried when they don’t show after an expected period of time.

What will they be wearing? In case you’re not going to see your runner before they enter the corral in the morning, they should definitely send you a photo of what they will be wearing so you can easily spot them on the course.

Regardless of which race you’re cheering for, I can’t stress enough that the right time to head out to cheer is when the runners head out to run.  The 5K starts at 6:30 am on Saturday, and I recommend getting to the starting line of the race no later than 5:45 am.  This will give you time to meet up with friends, watch your runner head to their corral, and find a good place to cheer from at the Start.  By contrast, the Half starts at 5:30 am, though depending on where you’re cheering from (more on that below), you might have some wiggle room.  Transportation options are explained in the Official Race Program.  Whether you’re busing, taking the monorail, or driving yourself – everything you’ll need to know is in there.  Just turn to page 42.

Cheering for the 5K itself is fairly easy.  If you look at the course map you’ll see that the race starts and ends in Epcot.  In fact, it starts and ends in the parking lot of Epcot.  Spectators will not be allowed into Epcot during the race, this means you will only be able to see your runners at the start and end of the race.  Knowing their pace is important here.  A 5K race is approximately 3.1 miles.  This means that when you see your runner at the start of the race, and their pace is 10 minutes per mile, that you can expect them to reach the finish line in about 30 minutes.  If they’re planning to stop, even one photo opportunity can increase their time by 5 minutes or even more.

For the Half Marathon, cheering can be a bit more involved, or relatively the same.  The Starting line for the race is out on Epcot Center Drive, you can actually walk out to the road from the parking lot through the woods.  Just look for the signs when you’re there.  The Finish line is in the Epcot parking lot.  Many people never go out to the starting line, because it is extremely difficult to spot runners at this point.  The Platinum level ChEAR Squad Race Retreat spectator package might be a good, albeit expensive, option.  You can relax in luxury while your runner is rounding the corner in Tomorrowland.

If you want to be more active you’ll need to consider using the Online Spectator Tool.  With this tool you can try to determine the best places to watch your runner along the path.  There are many options to choose from.  But my preferred choices are: Mile 0 at the Starting Line, Mile 5.3 on Main Street, USA in Magic Kingdom, Mile 12 at the bus depot in Epcot, and Mile 13 which is just before the Finish.  Other popular places to cheer from are at the TTC, at the Contemporary across from the Magic Kingdom bus depot, and on the Western side of Polynesian Resort.  The runners will run by (or through in the case of the TTC) all three of these. You can find this information on page 43 in the program.

In this era of high tech, you’ll want to consider one of a few options for tracking your runners.  For starters, each runner is tagged, and runDisney provides a means to track your runners via this tag using the Runner Tracking tool for the event (tool changes per event, but your account will remain between events, and be good at all future races).  Here you can receive alerts via text or email and auto-post updates to Facebook or Twitter.  I will be honest, this tool is not the most reliable of systems, but it has gotten better than it used to be.

There are plenty of other ways you can track your runner.  For example, if they take walk intervals, and have their phone with them, a simple text message stating where they are can work wonders.  If you and your runner both have an iPhone I suggest using the Find My Friends app that Apple puts out.  You’ll want to set it up before the race, but with it you’ll be able to use the mapping features of your iPhone to locate your runner.  If a runner wants to broadcast their location to multiple people across multiple devices, I suggest using a WhatsApp group to do so as it’s available across multiple phone types.  Applications like RunKeeper are very popular with runners for tracking their runs also have additional functionality that lets others track the runner on their phone.

The last, and most important thing, is that the person you’re there to cheer for isn’t the only person out there running that day.  While you’re out on the course waiting for your runner, you might notice that most bibs will have a name on them.  If you can read a name, shout it out and cheer for that person too.  I can not begin to tell you how much it will mean to that person.  There are plenty of people out on the course who otherwise have no one to cheer for them.  And who knows, you might end up cheering for one of us here.

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RunDisney Costumes

You’ve signed up for a Run Disney race, trained physically and prepared mentally. You have the perfect running shoes and you’ve picked out your race day running clothes, a basic running shirt and shorts. Ok, so it’s practical, it will be sufficient for running, but you could have so much more fun. What about wearing a running costume?

RunDisney Costume
Tower of Terror Birthday Shirts

Costumes for Disney races are becoming increasingly popular and creative. The easiest and most popular thing to wear is a tutu. Runners wear everything from a simple one color tutu to a detailed specific character inspired creation. It’s a fun way for anyone, of any age, shape and size to add a little kick to their running attire. There are Minnie’s, Tinkerbell’s, Pirates and lots of Princesses, especially for the upcoming Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon. And RunDisney Costumes are not just for the ladies!

RunDisney Race

Wondering where to start to design your costume? Start with a good moisture-wicking running shirt in the color of the character you are trying to emulate. For example, to dress as Rapunzel, I purchased a lavender running shirt and attached pink ribbons to give the laced up corset effect. I also added tulle and ribbons to the sleeves. I made a lavender and pink tulle tutu and decorated it with ribbon, rhinestones, and flower accents. Top it off with a sparkling tiara and it’s an easy princess look.

Tutu’s are great for running because they are practically feather weight and can be worn over any running skirt or shorts. Tutu’s aren’t the only option when it comes to running costumes but an important thing to consider is materials and fabrics. It’s always a good idea to do a practice run in your costume before race day to be sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t inhibit your ability to run properl

RunDisney Costume

Run Disney does have a few guidelines when it comes to costumes so be sure to follow their specifications. A really fun thing to do is to run in costume with a group. This is an especially popular idea for the upcoming inaugural 10k in Disneyland this summer. The race is rumored to be themed to Alice in Wonderland so lots of participants are planning groups of Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the Cheshire Cat.

Go look in your closet or visit your craft store for inspiration and supplies to make a unique running costume. If you aren’t crafty, let someone design and create it for you. Be creative, have fun and let your imagination run free!

Beth has taken her passion for RunDisney Costumes, and she’s built a business

around it with Beth’s Bowtique!

She makes all sorts of bows & tutus, and she posts her creations on Twitter all the time!

RunDisney Costume

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Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend As A Spectator With Jaimee – @Jaimd929

Hey There!  My name is Jaimee Dietz and I was asked to write about my experience as being a spectator at this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. This was my very first time going to marathon weekend so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I went to support my friends who were running the Family Fun Run 5k, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, the Walt Disney World Marathon and even the Goofy (the 1/2 on Saturday followed by the full on Sunday).

walt disney world marathon

First off, I had the opportunity to see the Family Fun Run 5kers early, 4:30 AM to be exact, Friday at the Epcot parking lot, which is where all the runners congregate before heading into their respective corrals. Even though I wasn’t running, I could feel the excitement in the air. There was music blasting, a photo opportunity with Mickey and Minnie, and just a great time of seeing some old and new friends.

As the time approached for the runners to start the 5k, I then headed over to Hollywood Studios with James Hansen and Mary Jo Collins for the Run Disney Marathon Meet up.  In order to be a part of the meet up, you had to follow the link in @runDisney‘s tweet announcing the event to sign up for a chance to attend. They only allow a certain number of participants, so it was very exciting to be chosen to go.

walt disney world marathon
Jaimee and the Big Cheese at the RunDisney Meet Up

We met at Hollywood Studios and ran 2 1/2 miles through the park followed by the opportunity to meet some inspiring runners, including Jeff Galloway. I even had my picture taken with celebrities Joey Fatone and Drew Carey. This was also my first time going to this event and it was so much fun.  I would definitely do it again if I get the chance.

Saturday was an even earlier start where I got up at 2 am to see the Walt Disney World Half Marathon runners get ready to start their trek through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  This race also started at the Epcot parking lot. I know this is insanely early but it was completely worth it.

walt disney world marathon
Jaimee and Beth before the Walt Disney World Half Marathon

After we left the runners, my friends James and Stephanie and I started our adventure by heading over to the Magic Kingdom via the monorail.  This was the most practical way to get over to MK rather than driving a car. The whole process took about 30 min.  To see the runners through MK, you don’t need a park ticket because technically the park is still closed. Main Street USA was breathtaking that early in the morning, because all the buildings were lit up with the sun rising behind them. They even had Cinderella’s castle all lit up with the Dream Lights. I could only imagine being one of those runners turning the corner to run down Main Street and see that glorious sight that is Cinderella’s castle. We stayed there for about an hour or two and then headed back over to Epcot to see our friends finish.

Taking the monorail back to Epcot was a little time consuming but we were in no rush so it really didn’t bother us.  What was really neat and unexpected was as we were riding the monorail we could see the runners below.  When we arrived back at Epcot, we headed over to the area where the resort buses are located to grab a spot to watch the runners head towards the finish line. Seeing my friends finish and wearing their medals proudly was so awesome and inspiring. It even made me proud for them.

Sunday was another amazing day being able to see some of my friends run the Walt Disney World Marathon. We made our way to the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot to watch the runners come through the end of the race at mile 25. I saw a lot tired and weary faces but also determined faces knowing that they were nearing the end.  Some had smiles and some had tears in their eyes. I tried to cheer for everyone, strangers and friends alike, clapping, yelling, and ringing a cow bell!

walt disney world marathon
The whole gang after the Walt Disney World Marathon

Overall, I was so thrilled to be able to have this experience being a spectator at Marathon weekend. It was extremely inspiring seeing all different types of people running.  One of the most touching moments was seeing a man carrying the American Flag while running down Main Street.  It was such an amazing sight to see.  It filled my heart with gratitude. Another very special moment was seeing a few men dressed in full firemen garb carrying tanks and all.

This weekend will definitely be a weekend I will never forget. You don’t have to be a runner or interested in running to enjoy marathon weekend.   It’s so fun and exciting just being in the midst of all the Marathon Weekend activities. But be careful, you might just get inspired to hit the pavement and sign up for a race of your own.  I’ll be running my first half marathon in February, the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon and I’m also training for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge at Disneyland later this summer.

So get out there and cheer for those runners!  You never know where it might lead you!

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Running Full Circle With Run Disney

Running Full Circle With Run Disney

Run Disney

How did I get involved with run Disney?  Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of running……um NO!  Honestly, I don’t really even like running.  The races are fun but the training is definitely tough and requires discipline.  Ok, so let me back up.

So I decided on a whim in November of 2011 to sign up for the Family 5k, or 3.1 miles, during WDW Marathon Weekend 2012.  Having never trained before or participated in a race, I decided to join up with other runners on a “team” so I wouldn’t have to do the 5k alone.  Being familiar with Lou Mongello and the WDW Radio Show, I knew they had a running team so I signed up for the WDW Radio Running Team.  Who knew that one simple 5k and click of a mouse would completely change my life?  Arriving at the Epcot parking lot at 4 AM that first morning was scary.  I didn’t know these “teammates” I was searching for in the vast crowd.  All I knew was that we were all wearing WDW Radio blue….did I mention that the official 5k shirts were blue that year too?  So it’s 4AM, chilly and I’m staring at a sea of blue shirts looking for my team.  Finally, after a mild panic attack fearing I was going to have to run this race totally alone, I spotted Katie McNamara and Mike Beckerman who I recognized from the facebook page for the running team.  I walked over and introduced myself and immediately was welcomed with open arms.  The three of us along with Deanna Mongello and Steve Drew ran the race together and honestly, as we neared the finish line we were all a bit sad that it was over.  Yes! I actually wanted to keep running so that we could all be together.  They all got me through that first race and I knew then and there, these were friends for life.  They even humored me by waiting in line to get an official race photo taken with our medallions.  Jokingly at the end of the race, Steve and Deanna said, you’ll be doing half marathons before you know it.

Run Disney
Beth’s First 5K!!!

I tentatively agreed to do the half in 2013 but first I came home and immediately called my best friend Jaimee Dietz and asked her if she’d run the Royal Family 5k with me in February of 2012.  She agreed and we began training together which was infinitely better than running alone.  I couldn’t wait to get back to Florida and introduce her to all these wonderful friends that I had met the month prior.  Princess Weekend 2012 cemented my addiction to running, my love for Florida, and my adoration for all these new friends.  I was also introduced to the amazing Shelley Caran and Shalon Given during this weekend proving that you never know where life is taking you.  More on that in a minute!  Jaimee and I met people that weekend who are truly our best friends for life.  The Royal Family 5k was so much fun; we got to wear tutus and tiaras which totally distracted us from the running aspect of the event.

Run Disney
The Royal Family 5K

My next event would be my biggest and scariest challenge, the Tower of Terror 10 miler.  This race was tough, it was a night race, and extremely warm and humid.  It was a special night though as the race started on Jaimee’s birthday and ended on my birthday.  Thanks to Shelley and Shalon for helping us make some cute running shirts to celebrate this.  It was also very exciting to get my first real race bling, an actual medal.  The 5k medallions are nice but nothing compares to getting your first real medal.  I also knew that having completed the 10 miler, I was totally capable of running and finishing the 2013 WDW Half Marathon.  So now here we are, January 2013 and its been ten days since I completed my first half marathon.  I won’t say it was easy because it wasn’t, but I had amazing teammates to pull me through.  I can’t stress enough how much a running buddy can help you when you think you have nothing left inside you.  I ran with three guys who had all previously done half’s or full’s so they were very helpful in explaining what and when I needed to eat, how to pace, and just what to expect in general.  I’ll always be grateful to my Coral F running buds, Charles Stoddard, Nathan Mauldin, and Mike Beckerman.

Run Disney
Tower of Terror Birthday Shirts


So here we are, January 2013 and I have four 5k’s, one 10 miler, and one half marathon in the books.  Whew….it’s been quite a year. This year I’m already registered for the Princess 1/2 next month and the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, a 10k followed by the Disneyland 1/2 marathon, in August.

Run Disney
Tower of Terror 10 Mile Medal

So why do I keep doing this?  What started as a whim turned into a totally new life for me.  I lost weight, I raised money for the Dream Team Project benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation, I made lifelong friends, and I moved to Florida so that I could be with them all the time!  Without all that, I wouldn’t be writing for this blog, operating my own handmade tutu and hair bow company, challenging myself daily to new things, and living a new life that I couldn’t be happier with.

So why Run Disney?  Like most things, Disney exceeds your expectations when they put on an event.   The races are filled with so much fun.  There’s music, character meet-n-greets along the course, fireworks, after parties, and the BLING!  It’s definitely not an inexpensive hobby but I’ve never once felt like I wasn’t getting my money’s worth in a Disney race.  Another favorite aspect of race weekends is the camaraderie among runners in the parks following the races.  Everyone wears their new bling, from the 5kers to the Goofy participants (those who run a 1/2 followed by a full marathon in one weekend) and congratulate each other as they pass in the parks.  Even as I was cheering during the Full Marathon, wearing my 1/2 marathon medal, runners were going by congratulating me!  They’re on mile 25 out of 26.1 and they take the time to tell me good job on my accomplishment as they are running by!  I can’t forget to mention the amazing volunteers that make these races possible.  They hand out water, drinks, biofreeze, and the medals.

Big thanks to On The Go’s own Aurora McBride for personally giving me my very first 1/2 marathon medal this year.

Run Disney
Aurora giving Beth her first Half Marathon medal

If you’re considering joining the Run Disney family, do it!  You won’t regret it.  You’ll gain so much more than you can even imagine.  So join me, and follow along on my Run Disney journey this year as I go Coast-to-Coast!  Happy running!

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