This pic is 1978 I think….We are in our room at the comtemporary…notice the really cool future looking light over the table….in the pic is my brother Eugene my sister Kellie me (Brian) and my grandmom Ann.
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On Friday, runDisney confirmed that they will be adding a race to Marathon Weekend – bringing the tally up to four total – and made the Dopey official, though adding in the new fourth race –a total of 48.6 miles over the four days. They also lengthened Marathon Weekend to include Wednesday, stretching it to almost Marathon Week. At $495, the Dopey doesn’t come cheap, but for many of us runDisney enthusiasts, it’s a must do at any cost. And the new 10K makes a timed Marathon Weekend race a reality for just about anyone.
But before you get your trainers laced up and your credit cards out, let me share some facts with you. Here’s my list of ten things you need to know about Disney races before signing up. These will help you know what you are getting into:
1. You are going to be forced to get up crazy early or stay up crazy late. Since Disney wants most runners to be out of the parks during regular operating hours, morning races start at 5:30 a.m. and night races at 10 p.m. Having to get to the start line at least a couple hours before the race means that runners need to get up at around 2:30 on Marathon and Princess race weekends to catch the bus and be in the corrals on time; while late night runners have an easier call time, somewhere around 8 p.m., the after parties often last into the early morning hours (think 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.)
2. There are plenty of water and medic stops. One of the things I love about Disney is how well stocked and organized the races are. Aid stations are typically every mile-and-a-half, which is excellent for a long run. However, plenty of people still run with water belts, so do this if you need to. The water stations will even feel them up for you.
3. It might be really hot, really cold, raining, or even sleeting. This year during Marathon weekend, runDisney put out heat warnings; another year, runners had to be careful at water stops because of ice spots on the roads. The races are scheduled during parks off seasons, and there is no guarantee on what the weather will be. Whatever it is, the race will go on, so be prepared for a variety of kinds of weather.
4. You will not be running through the parks the whole times. The parks are a few miles from each other, so a lot of the races are on roads between the parks. While during Marathon weekend these stretches are filled with marching bands and car shows, the highways can still be boring and tedious, particularly since there are usually not as many characters as inside the parks. While iPods are not encouraged and it is fun to converse with the other runners around, sometimes music is a welcomed distraction in these areas.
5. You will get to see things you won’t see anywhere else. runDisney does a great job of pulling out all the stops for its runners, and there will definitely be awesome things along the way: floats from parades, hot air balloons, yourself on the big screen, all the princes lined up, all the villains lined up, and other random amazing stuff that the normal visitor just doesn’t see.
6. You won’t see something every second –or even every mile. On many of the races, you’ll be running 10-plus miles. That’s a lot of space to fill, and while there are many things to see, they are pretty spread a part. It seems like the bigger the race – think Marathon Weekend or Princess – the more stuff and the closer together it is; Wine and Dine and Tower of Terror seem to have fewer characters, though they have way cooler after parties. Not all runDisney races are created equal, so think about what matters to you when choosing a race.
7. You won’t feel like you don’t belong. Overall, runners are nice people, and runDisney runners are even nicer than normal runners. No matter how fast or slow you may run, there will be other runners like you and they will be nice and talk to you. People on the sides will hold signs and cheer for you and even call your name. And if you don’t believe me and want to have insurance on this, join a Disney running group. I run with the WDW Radio Running Team, which raises money for Make a Wish, but there are a bunch out there. If you need to, find one that suits you, but even if you don’t, you’ll make friends along the way.
8. These races are expensive. We’ve ran a half marathon that only cost $15 to enter, but I’ll have to say, you get what you pay for. Disney races are well managed and have more entertainment and stops than most races; others on par with Disney, such as the Rock’N’Roll series, cost around the same price. Still, I understand that $100 or more for a race is a lot of money.
9. There is no better feeling than walking around the parks with your medal. Not only does Disney make you feel like a rock star athlete when you cross the finish line, but then you get to wear the medal into the park and have people stop and congratulate you all day long. It’s awesome, like being a real rock star. Best. Feeling. Ever.
10. You’ll never forget this race. runDisney races are amazing experiences, and you will never forget it, no matter which race you choose. Disney does an excellent job of managing these races, and the result is an excellent experience for everyone involved. Racing through the parks will give you memories that will last a lifetime. I promise that it will be nothing less than magical.
The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel”
The Empress Lilly in the 1980’s was the place to be in the morning- by far the best breakfast experience I have ever had. It’s hard to pinpoint what made it so very magical. Was it waiting outside that big steam boat watching the paddle wheel go round and round in anticipation of my family being called? How it seemed so regal to me as a child once on board with such lavish furnishings, elegantly attired wait staff, and silver trays? Or was it going out on the deck looking for fish in the water below with my Pop, the Mickey balloons that seemed to be everywhere, the free gifts (souvenirs), the sheer number and range of characters on board, or their antics.
The characters really seemed to spend time with you back then and their visit to your table wasn’t for a picture, it was to actually VISIT with you. I can clearly remember my early meetings with Mickey, Minnie, & friends, Pinocchio, Honest John. The things the characters got away with back then! I recall some really crazy things happening at those breakfasts…..Captain Hook holding one of my cousins upside down by his ankle (for what reason I just can’t quite remember, but I know my grandmother has a photo of it somewhere) and my other cousin stabbing Honest John with a fork, because he was afraid of him! But mostly I remember the hugs, the smiles, the sound of laughter all around…. Oh! And there was also breakfast!
I love every chance I get to make a fashion statement. I am one of those people who believes that fashion is a way I express myself. And since it takes the same amount of time to put on fashionable pieces I love as it does to wear “that old rag,” then I tend to opt for those fashionable pieces. Yes, even at Disney. Why not? The princesses get to wear their lovely gowns, so shouldn’t I be able to wear something cute also?
One of my favorite things to do when visiting the World is to make at least one advanced dining reservation at a place where I will be able to dress up. Sometimes this means I will be walking through any given park’s front gates in a pretty dress and dress shoes. Sometimes it simply means hoping on a bus and heading towards a resort, which doesn’t place me in the “anomaly” category like a park visit would.
Cinderella’s Royal Table is an amazing experience. And I am not just talking about the food. I am talking about having a chance to be inside the castle. You are not just a lady of the court, you are the lady! So how much fun would it be to dress the part?
Cinderella comes to life in this dressy, yet not overly formal outfit, allowing you to play the role of the iconic princess while you dine in her castle. Complete with “glass” slippers, you will definitely capture the attention of your prince.
When I was asked to write about how I deal with an illness at Disney World, on my favorite blog, I was honored. I have read Amy’s blog for quite some time, and it’s just an honor to be a Guest Author.
I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing will stop me from going to my happy place, Walt Disney World. Not even a horrible illness like Crohn’s disease. I won’t let it control my life, I control my life.
Crohn’s, for those who are unaware of this disease, is a digestive disorder that has affected my digestive system, mainly my small and large intestines. I’ve had many, many surgeries, 2 of those I almost lost my life. I am living off a very small, small section of my small intestines. I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 21. Most of my 20’s I didn’t have a life because I was stuck inside the hospital. I lost my job with Delta Airlines and had to move in with my mother. Fast forward to 2010, I am living in North Carolina and after attending a healing service at our church, I went for prayer bc I had a scheduled surgery. Surgery day comes, and a 5 hour surgery only took 2 hours and the Surgeon came out and told my mom “Monica is clean free of Crohn’s. There is no trace of it at all”. So, praise the Lord for that miracle!! I am still having no issues today whatsoever with the Crohn’s, but the trauma that I had been through emotionally and mentally I am dealing with now.
But, how do I deal with this at Disney World? Well, I do know where every single bathroom is. I know which ones are nasty, I know where the clean ones are, and quiet ones are too.
As far as eating at Disney World. I can pretty much eat anything I want with no restrictions. But, when I am faced with eating with a bunch people I do get anxiety and wonder, “Oh man what am I gonna eat” if it’s a place I am not familiar with. Usually, in that case, I will ask the waiter/waitress that I have a sensitive stomach and would the chef be willing to just fix me a grilled chicken breast and mashed potatoes, or something like that. In all my years going, dealing with this, not one issue I’ve had. Whew! They’ve always accommodated me with this request. I usually am going to Disney on my own, yes, I love going solo b/c I can do my own thing, and ride Rock n’Roller coaster 10x’s if I want. LOL
For snacks, I do bring my own, just incase I am standing in line and need to munch on things. I do prefer to eat the Disney snacks though….who wouldn’t? J I always have water in my back pack too. I always keep when in doubt stomach medicine on me too. If I am really feeling bad, I have no issues going to the First Aid and explaining my situation to them, and they’ve let me lay down for a while and rest.
I also have a lot of back issues. Since I have had a lot of surgeries done, standing for quite some time has put some much strain on my back. I do have a Guest Assistance Pass when I am there. I don’t always use it, but it does come in handy for those instances I know I just can’t stand in a line longer than 30 minutes. I try to save that for people who need to use it more than I do. Plus, I do like to stand in the queue, depending on what ride it is b/c it’s fun.
I don’t know what else more to write about or say. But, I am so thankful to my Lord who has healed me of this and now I have my life back. I am now in my mid 30’s, and I feel as if my life is now just beginning. I am open to anyone friend requesting me on Facebook if you have questions about this disease or need advice yourself on dealing with an illness. It is my God given desire to help and encourage anyone who is sick bc I know how it is. I know I am probably leaving a lot out – but that is basically how I deal with and have dealt with Crohn’s at Disney World.