RunDisney

runDisney Introduces Virtual Races

by on April 28, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Lace up your tennis shoes! It’s time to go run!

Are you someone who has always wanted to do a runDisney 5K, but you were either not able to run one at Disneyland or Walt Disney World or the race sold out before you could sign up? Or are you just someone who’s addicted to the bling? Well, runDisney has introduced a way for you to have the ability to run not one, but three new and different 5K options, as well as participate in a unique challenge race with the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts Series.

The series launches in time for the summer and will include three different 5K choice to complete and the best part is that you can complete them anywhere! Do them in your neighborhood, on your treadmill, pretty much anywhere you desire and you will be able to earn a unique medal for each race that you complete.

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, April 21, 2016: The Dark Side

by on April 21, 2016

Weeks with runDisney events always seem to get away from my family. Between the Expo, three different events, and recovery from those early morning days, runDisney events take a huge chunk out of our life. Truth told, I don’t really like running that much, but Disney races make it more bearable–for various degrees of bearable. I’ve done a race when it is cold enough that I’ve had to carry a supply of hand warmers. I’ve done a race when it is warm enough that we’ve been handed cooling towels at the finish line. I’ve done a race when it’s been so windy that I wasn’t sure if I’d end up at the finish line or at Oz. I’ve even had the “fun” of “running” in the rain. (It was more like ice skating on the slippery Boardwalk.) With the ever-increasing cost of a runDisney weekend of races, and my general apathy about the running experience at this point, I had decided going into this weekend that this would be my last runDisney event for the foreseeable future. (Unless they bring back the Everest Challenge–I’m totally down for doing that again.)

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This weekend was the Star Wars Dark Side set of races. For this weekend, I had cut back from my 10K usual to a 5K so that my husband could experience an inaugural 10K. For the kiddo, it was the ever-exciting 200-meter dash.

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New Options and Perks for runDisney Events

by on April 7, 2016

© Disney

© Disney

Many of you are getting ready for the Star Wars – The Dark Side Half Marathon next weekend. (Who’s ready to run 13.1 miles?) Well, I have recently come across a few tidbits that may help to make your runDisney experience this month just a little bit better.

First, Disney is allowing those people who cannot make it to the Expo before their race to purchase the ability to retrieve your race packet (bib number, race shirt and any pre-purchased merchandise) the day of your scheduled race. Runners can pick up their packets at the VIP Packet Pick-Up Tent. A photo ID and signed waiver is required and must be picked up by the registered runner. The cost for this perk is $39 per race registration and you will need to register for the service here. Do keep in mind that this is only available to a limited number of people, so if you absolutely have to, you can take advantage of this option now.

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runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Sees Major Changes

by on March 11, 2016

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

©Rikki Niblett

Last year, was my first year running the Wine and Dine (Half) Half Marathon. It was an interesting experience (especially since they halved the race due to weather, so I only had to run 7 miles, instead of 13), but what makes it more interesting is that it was also the last time, it appears that this race would be run at night.

You see, today, Disney has announced that they have made some major changes to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. The first change being that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon will now be run in the morning, just like the other runDisney races currently are. The Wine and Dine will now take place on Sunday, November 6.

But I know what you’re thinking…what about the after race party that took place following the race? Well, the good news is that the Post Race Party will take place Sunday evening for those who ran the Half Marathon at the Epcot to celebrate the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, with the evening finishing with exclusive runner access during the later hours. After experiencing the Wine and Dine, I can say that this is a good change because after running last year, with how late it was by the time I finished, I wanted nothing more than to just go to sleep; I had zero energy to head back into Epcot to party. It will be nice for those running to actually be able to ENJOY the party.

But wait! That’s not all! Those aren’t the only changes occurring with this race weekend!  The popular holiday-themed 5K called Mickey’s Holiday 5k, will now be moving to Friday morning, November 4. In addition, the weekend will now include the first-ever Disney Wine & Dine 10K on Saturday, November 5 with Chef Remy as the host.

Of course, with a 10K added to the Half Marathon Weekend, this also means that Wine and Dine Weekend is now a Challenge Weekend. For those who run both the 10K and the Half, you will therefore be participating in Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge where runners will receive two inaugural finisher medals as well as the half marathon medal!

This race weekend just got even better! I know I’m excited!

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons March is Going to be AWESOME!

by on March 5, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX presents a brand new concept for us. The first Saturday of each month we are going to give a quick preview of some of the coolest things going on here in the theme park world in Florida, as well as those out there in California. We present to you Six Reasons March is Going to be AWESOME. Now it is going to be hard to top February considering we finally received details on Star Wars Land, had the soft opening of the Wizarding World West, saw the start of Universal’s Mardi Gras, and let’s not forget my personal debut as a YouTube sensation, but I think March just may be able to top it. So sit back, make sure you are wearing something green, and let’s start off with…

# 6 – Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Has Actual Souvenir Mugs! (Disney Springs)

Our long national nightmare is over. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, one of the coolest new additions to Disney Springs, finally has more souvenir mugs in stock. The Hangar Bar opened last September, and it debuted having a menu filled with pictures of unique souvenir mugs. There was only one catch: none of the mugs were available. Late in the year, the awesome Cool-headed Monkey mug arrived but nothing else. In March 2016, the clouds lifted, and new souvenir mugs are now in stock! Added to the list of available mugs are Reggie’s Revenge and the Hovito Mojito.. The cool mugs, unique stirrers (including a python snake and a blowdart), and a multitude of coasters make the Hangar Bar one of the best places at WDW for collectors.

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The Hovito Mojito. (photo by Dirk Wallen of @WDWNT fame)

# 5 – Zootopia Opens

Having just made its national premier yesterday, Disney’s newest animated film Zootopia is already wowing both critics (with a shockingly high 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences alike. Since Disney bought Pixar, the two companies have seemed to go in opposite directions. The once flawless Pixar has been criticized for churning out sequels and even produced its first ever “flop” with last Fall’s The Good Dinosaur. Meanwhile Disney animation has been killing it with an incredible run that includes Wreck It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and the world wide phenomenon Frozen. Early reaction to Zootopia by the fans are overwhelmingly positive, and right now you’ll be able to catch the two main stars of the film at both the California and Florida parks. If the box office of the film matches the height of that audience score, we just may see more Zootopia in the parks sooner rather than later.

zootopia_meg

Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde posing with a true character, the SATURDAY SIX’s own Megan Stump.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! January 2016 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on January 31, 2016

MMM positiveWelcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. The new year has started off exactly where the old one left us: with Walt Disney World closing attractions. It has been a pretty cool month though, including a cool Star Wars runDisney race out in California (and Star Wars fans owe it to themselves to watch a great parody of Undercover Boss featuring Kylo Ren). Erin Foster took us inside Vanellope’s on the Disney Dream, and for those who don’t know, this is a complete Wreck-It-Ralph themed sweet shop (pinch us, we’re dreaming). And Guy Selga introduced us to Four Glorious New Ways to Kill Time at Disneyland, including the am I dreaming this, or is this real Jungle Cruise Skipper School. 2016 is shaping up to be an incredible year.

Now while all of you were off taking your kids to see Donald Trump, Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I were hard at work to bring you the quality Outlet coverage you expect deserve!

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

The first item this month made my heart grow three sizes (after double checking, that enlargement of the heart was actually due to eating the Pop-Tart Sandwich at Pop Century). Behold the Luigi’s Flying Tires hat! Anyone who has visited the Disney Dump has seen the remnants of this attraction, which opened with the debut of Cars Land in the summer of 2012 and was already closed by the ending of February 2015. Believe it or not, despite only being open for only 976 days, Luigi’s doesn’t even rank in the Top Five of Short Lived Disney Attractions. Originally $24.95, this baby could be sitting on your head for just $6.99. VIVA LA DISNEY OUTLETS!

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After seeing this, I know how Indiana Jones felt seeing the Fertility Idol.  (photo by Julia Mascardo)

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Tsum Tsums returned this month! However it was mostly the ones we have seen in the past (including all seven of the dwarfs), but one that was new was this crying duck. I had literally no idea who this was, but found out it was the Ugly Duckling from a quick scene in Lilo & Stitch. That’s what we call a deep dive, and I love it. I actually dropped Loot Crate this month and started up the Disney Tsum Tsum Monthly Subscription Program, so starting in February I too will annoy you with unboxing videos (although my last one didn’t go so well).

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Ugly Duckling Tsum.

mulanuglyduckling

Ugly Duckling sequence from Lilo & Stitch.

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Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Recap

by on January 25, 2016

medalsA few months ago I got the hair-brained idea that I should participate in the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort. Last weekend, I followed through on that crazy scheme and came away with three medals and a new appreciation for Disney athletes!

The weekend started for me on Thursday evening, after I flew in and made it to my hotel on Harbor Boulevard. I was able to walk right across the street to the bus terminal and esplanade of Disneyland without any issues, and then mosey through Downtown Disney as I went to pick up my race bib and register.

rugI have heard many reports of long lines and insane crowds during bib pickup, and that was why I wanted to get that done during the last hour of opening on Thursday. My planning was rewarded with no line at all to pick up my race bib, and no queue when I wanted to look at the official Disney merchandise for the event. (These lines were much longer the next day, when I stopped in for one of the presentations.)

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The race bib pick-up and Rebel Challenge photo spot.

Because I was participating in the Rebel Challenge, I also had to get my picture taken so that it could be verified later that I had indeed participated in both races and finished. (This process went very smoothly on Sunday after the half marathon, I must say!) Then I headed upstairs and grabbed my shirts – one shirt for the 10K, one shirt for the Half Marathon, and one shirt for the Rebel Challenge. I decided to switch the size after I got a good look at them, and there was a special area for that and it took no time at all.

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RunDisney Makes Changes to Costume Rules

by on January 6, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

In a move that will surely leave a quite a few people scrambling, runDisney has announced their updated rules for costumes that participants can wear on the course. These changes come on the heels of the recent security changes that recently were announced for the parks.

Guests who participate in the race weekends can still dress in costumes as their favorite characters, however, there are a few modifications that you should know. Here is a look at the enhanced guidelines:

  • Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
  • Guests who dress like characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
  • Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
  • Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.

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May The Course Be With You! Disney Unveils New Star Wars Half Marathon Event for Walt Disney World

by on August 25, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Do you feel that? The force appears to have awakened at Walt Disney World and fans of both runDisney and Star Wars have something to cheer (or is it chEAR) about.

Disney announced today that a brand new Star Wars Half Marathon Event will be introduced in 2016 to the official runDisney lineup. Unlike the Star Wars half that takes place in Disneyland and focuses on the light, the Walt Disney World version will channel the Dark Side of the Force.

The event weekend will take place April 14-17, 2016 and will include a 5k, 10k, and half marathon. It will also include a special challenge race for those who complete both the 10k and the half called the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge. Little ones will also be able to compete in their very own kids races too!

Among the half’s many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that takes runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

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runDisney Events: What to Do? Where to Stay? What to Eat?!

by on August 10, 2015

522 (2)You’re doing it, you are going to finally do a runDisney event! Now you just have to figure out, well…everything else. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.

So you’ve just gotten to Walt Disney World and you’re excited because it’s fantastic. But if you’re visiting for a race, it might be wise to chill…just a little bit. Try to plan the trip in such a way that saves the bulk of park touring for the post-race portion of the stay. Seriously, all of that walking will add up, even for the seasoned runner, and it is easy to tire out before the big day even arrives. Consider trying to get accustomed to a sleep schedule that will allow for ungodly early wakeup call, or a late night running party on race day (depending on the event). Getting to sleep early two nights before a morning race is a great idea, it will help with being sleepy enough to doze off the night before the race, before too many of the pre-race jitters set in.

Where exactly should you be sleeping, and taking your post-race ice bath? Staying on property is likely the easiest option as certain “host resorts” will have transportation available to the race. When planning to utilize Disney bus transportation to the races, it is important to understand which resorts will be host resorts. These specific resorts will vary based on the individual race. A travel agent or the runDisney website will likely offer race-specific vacation packages for race weekend stays. Staying off-property, or at a resort that does not offer race transportation, and renting a car is definitely a fine option, too! The roads tend to get very busy on race morning/race night, especially since road closures have to begin before the race starts. Always allow extra time to travel to a race, and once you’ve allowed extra time, add an additional half hour to that.

The day before the race (or the day of the race for evening events), be sure to take it easy on the turkey legs and popcorn. Theme park food is notoriously overly salted, and extra sodium coupled with walking around in the Orlando (or Anaheim) sun for hours can potentially leave one dehydrated or under-hydrated for race time. Remember to keep drinking lots of water, and try to stick to your normal diet as best you can on the day or days leading up to the event. Even new runners will have certainly trained and know what their bodies can handle eating close to run time. The goal here is for the digestive system to be as neutral as possible, don’t allow it to freak out because of overly greasy or fried foods. Have some bananas, maybe some rice. You’re welcome.

It is becoming more and more common for restaurants on property to offer a pre-race menu the night before/day of a race. The menu typically features carb heavy pasta dishes, which are a great choice for keeping your energy levels up. runDisney also offers a “Pasta in The Park Party” add-on option to race registration. The party features a pasta buffet and a character meet and greet the evening before the race. If neither of these options sound appealing, ordering a simple rice or pasta dish from a quick service or table service restaurant will also do the trick! Consider Portobello at Downtown Disney, Via Napoli or Tutto Italia in Epcot, Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom, or Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation. Just stick with what you know. Though there are plenty of restrooms along the course, runners will certainly want to limit their bathroom stops during the race.

With dinner covered, let’s not forget about breakfast! Some of us can’t have a bite to eat before running, and others are able to indulge a little bit more. It is important to plan morning meals (for morning races) the night before, since runners need to be at the starting line well before the race begins. Many quick service locations will have snacks available for purchase specifically meant for race mornings (offerings will vary). Obvious rule of thumb, choose something you would normally eat and drink before a training run. The resort room will have a coffee maker for a little caffeine jolt before the big race, and there are cups of water near the starting line, just after bag check if needed!

Anyone accustomed to running with a water belt or water bottle should definitely have it handy on race day. Plenty of water and Powerade will be provided on the course, but a small reserve of water can’t hurt! In the event a water stop was too crowded, too slow, or simply not convenient for stopping, it’s great to be able to drink at will. Don’t rely solely on the water belt or bottle, and be sure to hydrate at normal increments during the run. The same thing goes for gels or goo packs. Certain flavors might not be available on the course, so if there is a favorite that keeps you going, bring your own just in case! First time racers, please make sure to discard trash in proper receptacles, or at least keep it to the side of the road for easier pick-up, and less tripping for those of us who are clumsy. During the Full Marathon, the food stops will also include bananas or oranges which are a perfect fuel source. For races in Disneyland, spectators will sometimes offer Twizzlers, pretzels, or other snacks. This is probably the one time it is okay to consider taking candy from a stranger, as long as you are hungry enough.

Once the race is over (yay! You did it!), there will be a snack box, banana, water, and Powerade at the finish. The snack box usually contains some type of salty snack, a mini Luna or Clif Bar, and a wildcard option. Waiting for friends, or hanging around the finish area can sometimes go longer than planned, bring an extra energy bar or snack in your checked bag to have after the race. You can never have too many snacks, especially after running a Half Marathon!

Now that all of this eating, drinking, and resting advice has been diligently followed, it’s time to go out and enjoy the parks! Eat and drink anything! Everything! Enjoy hobbling around World Showcase, just make sure to wear that medal!

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