Dopey Training – Week 22

Happy Thanksgiving!  The holiday weekend marked the first of 2 Dopey Simulation weekends on the Galloway plan.  Those 2 simulation weekends are also the last two long run weekends – the light at the end of the tunnel!  Crap, am I ready for the long runs to be done.  Have I mentioned lately how much I hate running?  The plan called for the simulation to run Thurs-Sun, but I’m going to see Wicked today (yay!) so moved everything up a day so I could finish yesterday (Sat).  My plan was to run this simulation like I was planning to do the actual event.  Right now that plan is to walk the 5K and 10K, run/walk the half, run/walk the full up to somewhere between miles 14-18, then walk the rest.  I think I mentioned in a previous post that B was injured, she’s got a torn ACL.  She’s much faster than me, so has better corral placement and is usually 2 corrals ahead of me, while my brother is 1 behind me.  She’s dropped back to start with me on the last two runs.  I told her for Dopey she should start in her own corral and I’ll drop back to start with my bro, then she can just walk from the start until my bro & I catch up with her running our intervals.  I figure she’ll be able to put away at least 3-5 miles before we catch her (assuming bro & I stop for character pics and she doesn’t).  Point of that being I even mimicked that and character pictures in my simulation weekend.  Haha, I’m hardcore.

Day 1:  3 miles.  I was planning to walk this entire thing, but had an 8am meeting at work.  I was sure it was going to be cancelled but it wasn’t.  So I just ran the entire thing to finish quickly so I could make the meeting.  Got there at 8am on the dot.

Day 2 (Thanksgiving):  4 miles.  I ran straight thru the first 1.5 miles to simulate catching up with B (I’m guessing she’ll only be 1 corral ahead at most for the 10K) then walked the rest.  Every 1/2 mile or so I’d run about 6-7 house lengths to simulate running to get into picture lines.

Day 3:  10 miles.  I ran 2-1 intervals, then walked thru a couple sets of intervals after mile 5 to simulate catching B and checking in with her.  I then went back to the intervals until mile 8.5 and walked the last two.

Day 4 Eve:  My SIL had given me a few strips of KT tape so I could try taping my foot to help with the PF pain.  So I taped it up the night before.  As you can see, Max was amazed…

Day 4:  22 miles.  Well, 22 miles was my plan anyway, I ended up with 21 miles.  I stuck with the 4-1 intervals I’ve been using for the longer runs again.  Had some tummy issues shortly after starting and did a pitstop when I got to the lake.  I left Endomondo running the entire time figuring any stops I had to make could just simulation character pictures (I’m still praying no physical issues during the actual races).  I actually started taking a probiotic a few weeks ago and that has helped with the stomach issues a lot.  But you need to store them in the fridge and I keep forgetting to take them.  Doh!  Anyway, felt not so great at that first stop but recovered and felt strong after that.  Until mile 11 where I had another bout of tummy issues resulting in another pitstop.  Felt fine after that until about mile 14ish.  Sound familiar?  I realized that it’s always around mile 14ish when things get hard.  My PF starts to hurt and my feet start to swell.  I pushed thru it until mile 17, then walked the rest.  By the time I started walking not only did my PF hurt, but the bunion on the other foot hurt, along with the standard bottom of my feet pain.  It wasn’t pleasant.  I realized I was sitting at a 13mm pace before it all went to hell after mile 14.

So, here was my takeaway from this run.  As much as I want to be able to maintain the 4-1 intervals, I can’t.  It’s too much running for my jacked up feet.  I have no problems with the interval for a half, they actually leave me feeling strong for a half.  But the full is just too long at that ratio.  I was already planning on dropping to a 3-1 interval for the actual marathon (so it seems easier than the training), but now I’m going to switch to that for the last simulation weekend and see what that does.  I’m also seriously considering doing the marathon at a 2-1.  We’ll see how the 3-1 intervals feel in the later miles.  If it only gets me another mile or two before the pain sets in, I’ll probably just suffer thru the marathon so I can at least cover the first half faster.  But if dropping to 3-1 leaves me pain free for the entire 20 mile run I’d consider doing the 2-1 in hopes I could feel good the entire 26.2.


Dopey Training – Weeks 20 & 21

I know I still haven’t posted anything about Wine & Dine yet, I’ll get to it eventually.  Spoiler alert: it was wet and cold.  Seems like everytime I’ve tried to jump on here to write a post the last few weeks it crashes so I give up.  Anyway, thought I’d do a catch up on my Dopey training first.  Week 19 was actually W&D, so I pushed that long run weekend to the week after and skipped the Week 20 runs per the plan.  Then did week 21 as scheduled and will basically be sticking with the plan for the rest of the time. I will mention that I actually felt great and strong for the W&D half, so that gave me confidence for the Dopey training.  But boy, does running multiple days in a row make a difference for me.  For Week 20 I was supposed to do 2 mid-week runs, then 8.5 Sat and 20 on Sun.  This was the week where the mental aspects of this started to get to me.  I felt like I should be at the point of tapering by the time I hit 20 miles and yet I still had to do 3 more runs.  So, that sucked.  My PF was also killing me between W&D and walking around parks so I skipped the first mid-week run.  I did Sat by myself then went up to do the Sunday mile with my brother, figuring it’d be easier with someone to talk to.  It was easier but I just didn’t have the motivation to push myself at all.  We did the entire 20 miles, but it was more like run the first half and walk the second.  The good news was that even walking that much (and a slow trudging walk at that, my feet were bothering me) we still finished under the pace.

During this run I also decided that I wasn’t going to train up to 26 miles like the Galloway plan calls for.  I’m going to stick to doing 20-22 for the last two runs.  With the PF issues I’m having it’s not worth the pain.  I feel like I’ll have enough miles in even capping the runs at around 20.

Ha!  Just posted this and realized I totally forget to talk about Week 21.  That’s probably because it wasn’t anything exciting.  Two mid-week runs and 7 miles on the weekend.  I ended up skipping the first mid-week run again.  I’ve found that the PF pain takes 2-3 days to subside after the long weekends and figured being pain-free is more important than 3 miles at this point.

Wine & Dine Half Costume Reveal

I’m leaving on a jet plane on a redeye tonight to the House of Mouse to do the Wine & Dine Half on Saturday.  This will be my third Run Disney event of the year (Tinker Bell and Tower of Terror were the others) and I’ll be getting my 2014 Coast to Coast medal.  For this run I decided to dress up as everyone’s favorite purple dragon – FIGMENT!  I loved Figment since I was a kid and my stuffed Figment from back in the day kept me company while I made the outfit.  For those of you who may not be familiar with Figment, he is a character from the Journey into Imagination ride.  When the ride was redone to go thru the Imagination Institute Figment was originally left out and then added back in when people complained.  When Epcot opened there were no Disney characters (from films or the fab 5) there so Figment was really the only character in the park.

Dreamfinder & Figment:


And here is my costume.  Well, the majority of my costume anyway.  I will also be wearing purple compression socks and purple arm warmers:

For the costume I found the visor on Ebay (it was park merch that was retired).  I made the sparkle skirt using the tutorial I found on Pinterest (there is a link in one of my previous blog posts).  I had to buy the fabric online as I couldn’t find light purple in any stores around here.  Remember if you making a skirt with the Confetti Dot fabric to sew thru strips of wax paper to prevent the sewing machine needle from getting gummed up and jammed.  I couldn’t find a yellow/red tee so I bought a white tee with red trim and dyed it yellow.  Then did the name with an iron-on transfer.  Last pieces were the tail and wings, which were both made out of felt.  The wings also have a layer of batting between the two pieces of felt to give them more structure.  The tail was sewn with a loop/pocket on the top and I just threaded my race belt thru to make it easy to attach.

I love this costume and am now just praying for no rain during the run!  What is everyone dressing up as for W&D?


Dopey Training Weeks 16-18

So I realized I’ve totally sucked in talking about what is going on with my Dopey training.  Oops.  So, here is a little catch up.  Week 16 was a double run weekend, with 7 on Sat and 17 on Sun.  I changed my Saturday intervals to 2:00/0:30 and did a slightly slower than normal pace.  I do a 4-1 interval on my long runs so technically I was still running the same amount but the more frequent walk breaks makes it feel easier, so I thought that would work well.  But it kinda backfired on me during the Sunday run.  I was good (other than the sheer and utter boredom of running that long, around and around the lake I go) up to mile 13.  Then I just hit a total wall.  It was weird, I didn’t feel physically tired, like huffing and puffing tired, it was just that every part of my body (feet, legs, knees, etc) started hurting like a mofo all at once.  When I signed up for Dopey I had the plan to run/walk thru mile 14 of the full, then walk the second half and was planning to train that way as well.  Now my stretch goal is to run/walk longer (otherwise it’s just so long to finish), like to mile 20 then walk the last 6.  Once I started feeling crappy I told myself to push thru to mile 15, then I could walk the last 2 miles home.  I only made it to 14.5 before I gave up and started walking.  I figured maybe I’d be able to run the last mile or so after a longer walking break.  Spoiler alert, that didn’t happen.  My takeaways from this run were first that I have to ratchet the intervals back for the half to conserve energy for the full, going to try a 2-1 next time for the double run weekend.  Second, I need to listen to my body more and accept walking earlier if I need to.  By the time I gave up my feet were swollen and killing me, so I was walking super slow for the first mile of walking.  Had I just started walking earlier I would have had a faster overall pace.

Week 17 was just a 5 mile weekend run and Week 18 just a 6 mile. The 6 mile was supposed to have a Magic Mile, but I really don’t understand them all that well so it really ended up just being a standard 6 mile run.  I actually ended up skipping the Tues night run of week 17 coming off the long run weekend.  That is the first time I skipped a workout in the training and I actually felt guilty the entire week.  Hey, what can I say I’m a rule-follower and I was supposed to run twice.  But after the 17 mile long run my PF was killing me until Weds.  That aspect of the recovery led me to rethink what to do about this week in the training plan.  It’s Week 19 and this is supposed to be a double run weekend with 8.5/20 miles.  But I’m heading to WDW for Wine & Dine.  I was originally planning to move the runs up a week to last weekend but decided against it.  I’m heading out on Weds and was afraid that walking around the parks would just keep my PF irritated and I’d be in pain before even starting to run the half on Sat.  I want to be able to enjoy the run and after party, so the long runs will be happening next weekend instead.

I also decided that I don’t think I’m going to train all the way up to 26 miles like the Galloway plan calls for.  There are 3 more long runs left (yay, only 3 more weekends of torture!) – 20 miles, 23 miles and 26 miles.  I figure I’ll just do 22-23 for the last two instead.  I also really need to find a running buddy for those last 3, it’s just so boring to do them by yourself.  Going to try to rope my brother into joining me (he’s doing Dopey too).  B is currently injured so not sure how much training she is really going to get thru at this point and I need to stick with the plan.

Hope the rest of you Dopeys are doing well with your training!

Thoughts on MagicBands

My trip to WDW for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler was my first experience with MagicBands and FP+.   I was tweaking some FP+ for the Wine & Dine trip next week and realized I never really shared my thoughts on them.  I had the bands ahead of the trip but since we bought our APs upon arrival I couldn’t really do much with them beforehand.  I should also mention, I’m an OCD planner, my friend B who is doing the runs with me is not at all.  So, she is just set up on mydisneyexperience account and I do all the planning for us both.  It’s a win-win for both of us, we see a lot, she doesn’t have to deal with it and I get the full control I love so much.  Haha.

Going into the trip I didn’t see the upside of the bands and I HATED the fact that FP+ could be booked 60 days out.  Combine that with needing to book dining 180 days out and it was all just so freaking early to plan details.  Plus not having the APs until we got there meant we missed the 60 day window not only for the ToT trip but for Wine & Dine as well.  So I started out Anti-band.  I went to Disneyland the weekend after we got back from the ToT trip (gotta put that Premier pass to work!) and found myself wishing they had the MB system them, so I guess I was a convert pretty quick.

I will say that it takes some practice figuring out how to use the system for FP+ and planning efficiently and I certainly missed some opportunities last time.  I think it wouldn’t be as easy in the parks if you don’t have a smartphone to use the app on.  But here are my thoughts on the uses for the MagicBands.  And the parks had free Wi-Fi now, although it dropped a lot, especially during the rides and then didn’t reconnect automatically too well.

1.  Hotel Room Key – This was awesome.  Just wave the band by the doorknob and you’re in, it was so nice not having to dig out the keycard everytime.  Especially when just running to the foodcourt for drink refills or when you have a bunch of stuff in your hands.  With kids and a stroller I can only imagine this would be an even bigger help.

2.  Park Tickets – Again, nice not to have to dig out another card to show, but I don’t feel like it’s really any faster to get in yet.  Each station has 4 MB readers and they take up about how much space a turnstile did.  So 4 to 1 should be faster, right?  I think it will be but a lot of people still don’t understand what to do the first time thru and it slows everything down.

3. Charging Stuff to the Room – Awesome again, for me at least.  My card was on the hotel room so anything charged on the band went to it.  You create a pincode to use in conjunction with the band to make purchases so nobody can just buy stuff if you lose the band.  Unfortunately both bands on the room were linked to my card, so B had to still pay with her card for her stuff.  I did some research and it appears you can link bands to different cards so we’ll be trying that for Wine & Dine.  We have 3 people in the room for Dopey and will want 3 different cards so I really hope it works and is easy.  But they need to get to the point of being able to link different cards on the website before the trip though since the lines at the front desk are always so long.  I guess families are the biggest customers and they wouldn’t have this need as much though.

4.  FP+ – The upside was that even that night before I could easily get FP for everything except the holy grail items of Anna/Elsa and 7DMT.  We didn’t go to the Studios during normal park hours last time so not sure if I could have gotten a Toy Story Mania FP either.  But other than those you can get most without much planning ahead.  Some parks have tiers which suck as you can only choose one item from the top tier and most of the stuff in the second tier didn’t seem to need a FP anyway.  Seriously, when was the last time you saw a long line for Spaceship Earth, Imagination or Living with the Land?  My big miss last time was that we ended up going on the Seas ride well before our FP because there was no line anwyay.  I should have immediately afterwards gone to the app and updated the FP+ to try to get another one for Maelstrom while it was still early in the day. But the time I went to the kiosks later in the day after all the FP+ there were no more Maelstrom times available (there had been a ton the night before).  So, definitely watch the wait times and use the app.  I use the Touring Plans App for wait times.  If you can’t get a FP+ for a specific attraction, keep checking and try to just “change experience” on one of your FP+ to see if one pops up.  I was just able to get some for 7DMT on next Friday yesterday morning and had been checking daily since booking them for Wine & Dine right after I got back from T0T.  Also, score another point for not having to dig out a paper FP ticket, just wave the band at the Mickey head in the line and go.  Once you use your three FP+ you can add more if avaialble, but can only do it at the kiosks in the parks, which is a pain.  You should be able to do it via the app so you don’t waste time trekking to the kiosks.  Another thing I don’t like is that you can’t make your 3 FP+ at multiple parks.  For example, if I plan to hit Studios in the morning then go to MK, it would be nice to pick up an early FP for RNR in Studios, then the other 2 for the afternoon in MK.  I park hop a lot so that really bugged me that I couldn’t do it.

5.  Ride Photos – They now automatically link all ride photos to your mydisneyexperience account via the MBs and leave them there for 45 days.  I just looked and my pics from the ToT trip are there.  Cool!  I’m a “make stupid poses and take a pic of the pic” type of person so love that you can see them later.  No more getting blocked by someone else doing the same thing in the post-ride viewing area.  I am particularly looking forward to this feature for my post-run medal flash poses on the rides at W&D and Dopey!

6.  Not really a MB feature in and of itself is the app itinerary.  It will show you not only your FP+ rides/times, but also your dining reservations.  You can also add shows/parades/fireworks times so that you see them with your FP+ to remind you of the time.  Note taht the FP lunch reservations for Be Our Guest don’t show up in your itinerary, so make a note or screenshot the confirmation number so you have it on you just in case you need it (we didn’t when we went).  This is what your daily itinerary looks like (see, now you can all stalk me at Wine & Dine, haha):

So, overall I really, really liked them.  I’m not a person who worries about Big Brother.  Hell, if they can tailor my offers to my activities I’m all for it.  I don’t think the system was necessarily work the billions they spent on it but the marketing manager in me can certainly see the massive amount of marketing potential surrounding them.  I actually think it would be awesome to work on marketing strategies using them (Yo Disney, feel free to give me a call!).  I’m still impressed with how pin-pointed in location they can get with them.  They were comfotable to wear and since I don’t wear a watch anymore it didn’t feel like too much on my wrist.  It did, however, make me constantly try to check the time by looking at the MB.  My brain just felt something on my wrist and thought “watch”.  So heads up to Disney Merch, make a cheap little digital clock band to slide on them and you’d make a fortune.  And lastly, the little Mickey head that turns green is cute.

What do you guys think of the MagicBand system?

Tower of Terror 10-Miler Race Recap

Last post I left off with heading back to the hotel for a nap. Now it’s race recap time! I woke up from my pre-race nap to strains of “I want it that way” by the Backstreet Boys wafting in from the pool area. For a second I thought I’d gone back in time, but alas no, I’m still old. I dressed up as Facilier from Princess & The Frog:

B dressed up as Maleficent (she even did makeup to get the full effect) and looked awesome. We headed out to get on the first bus leaving at 7:15. There was a group of people waiting but everyone fit on the bus with no problem. I had hit the dollar store and bought a ton of glow stuff so once we got to the start we sorted through it all and decorated ourselves accordingly. After we checked our bags I saw a group of 3 ladies, 2 adults and a kid around 12, so I offered them our extra glow items. The kid was really excited so I’m glad that I saw her before giving them to someone else.

We looked for characters to get our pictures with but didn’t see any. We did have a RunDisney photographer come up asking to take our picture and that was the one that ended up on the RunDisney Facebook page. We didn’t feel like waiting in line for the “guest book” backdrop picture since there were no characters so went to eat instead. There were about 4 food trucks at the start area. I got a margharita pizza from one of the trucks, it was pretty good and the truck even took the MagicBand as payment. Then it was a lot of sitting around by the food trucks, waiting in a long line for the porta-potties and more sitting around on the ground. They moved us to the corrals around 9pm and started walking them over to the start shortly after and well before 10. It was a good mile walk to the start but at least it was better than sitting around bored. B had moved back to join me in corral F and we started at about 10:10.

The route started right outside the Studios. We were on a road right outside the park near MuppetVision. It went down the street, under an overpass then looped around a lake to get us on the Osceola Parkway. The lake had a giant lighted eyeball in it and the overpass had a lot of projected lights. We then ran down Osceola to AK, looped around in the parking lot, then back on Osceola to Wild World of Sports. Thru a forest area running on dirt (which was surprisingly well lit) then around the fields and baseball stadium. From there we headed back to the Studios and the last mile were looping thru the park ended behind Tower of Terror.

They were characters about every mile from what I remember it was: Jafar, Hyenas from Lion King, Hook (he was on the median on Osceola so you had 2 shots at him), Facilier, Queen of Hearts, Jack & Sally, Stitch, Big Bad Wolf, Evil Queen as the Old Hag, Haunted Mansion dancers, Gravediggers, a group of random zombies and Lotso in the park.

Jafar was the first character and we stopped even though the line was a little long. Then with only 2 people in front of us he went on a break. So we had to wait while he walked slowly down to a trailer at the bottom of the embankment, then wait while Jafar 2.0 came out of the trailer and back up to the road. Easily killed 5 minutes if not more at that stop. The second was the hyenas and the line was super long so we didn’t stop since I was still worried about wasting so much time at Jafar. That one I do regret not stopping for though. We also stopped at Facilier (of course), the old hag, the wolf and two of the mile markers (the ones with Facilier and Maleficent for costume pics). We also stopped for a real bathroom at WWS and had to wait in line. Seriously, they make you wait in the corrals so long I don’t even be able to make it thru a run without stopping to pee. At least I’m hydrated! My favorite pic from the run is the one with the Old Hag.

My stomach started feeling not so great around mile 8 but I just pushed through it until the end. Lotso was in the park not far from the end. I wish I had stopped for a pic with him but I felt like crap at that point and figured we could get it inside the park afterwards, then I forgot.   Ooops. We ended up running the entire way between the stops (I usually do Galloway intervals) and finished in 2:07. I backed out how much time we spent at the stops and think we were running around an 11mm pace which is fast for me on a run this long (I’m usually around a 12mm pace) so I’m happy with it. Right after the finish they had a photo opp where the photogs were on the ground shooting up so you had the Tower of Terror in the background. It’s cute but I doubt I’d actually pay for it.

I hit the first bathroom I saw in an attempts to quell my now severe tummy issues. I felt better after but I knew I had at least one more wave of nausea coming. Boo. The bag check was all the way across the park in the Indiana Jones theater so we trudged over there and got the bags. I had brought clothes but decided to stay in the costume for character pics so I just put on my jacket and changed into my flip flops. We sat and rested for about 15 min and then headed out into the park. Pain and Panic were doing a character greet right when we left so we got in line. And that would be where nausea wave #2 hit me. Hell if I was getting out of line or missing the pic though. So I toughed it out then headed straight for the bathroom right next to it to find a line out the door. Boo. So we walked to another bathroom….and then another. Lines out the door for the women on all of them. You see, it seems that 80% of the women changing couldn’t bring themselves to use the changing tent (you know, the one set up for that exact purpose) and instead were using bathrooms. It took me 25 min to get to a stall to go. So that sucked. B went and got beer while I waited in pain. The chick behind me in line looked like she was going to puke so she was worse off that I was. I almost let her go ahead of me but my stomach had other ideas. After that pitstop I got something to eat and chilled out while B went on Tower of Terror (I hate that ride, don’t like drops). By the time she was off I finally felt human again so we hit up Rock N Roller Coaster, got character pics and had beer (they had a lot of mobile bars set up). Mmmmm…

The characters we saw out at the party were Pain/Panic, Darth Vader & Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, Cruella, Evil Queen, Gaston and Shan Yu. We got photos with all but Gaston. Maleficent was supposed to be there but apparently she had an emergency and didn’t make it. B was disappointed since she wanted a pic with her in the costume. The cast member actually took her name/address so they could send her something special. Nothing yet but we’ll see if they do send anything. The party ended at 3:30 and we were still in line for Cruella. They let everyone go thru the line even though it was after closing so that was nice of them. We got back to the room, showered and got to bed around 4:30. And then had to get up 3 hours later to catch the Magical Express to the airport. Side note, am I the only one that keeps wanting the call the bus the Magical Mystery Tour? Yes? Oh well. Another note about the bus, make sure you bring the paper confirmation they deliver to your room, the MagicBands only work for it a the airport. Guess who didn’t realize that? Oops again.

Shortly after this trip RunDisney announced that this run was “suspended” for next year. I hope they do bring it back or change it to a Villains themed half, I really liked seeing them all at one thing. And here is a suggestion to anyone thinking about a Disney night run (this in the future if it comes back or Wine & Dine), don’t leave on Sunday morning. It sucked balls. Big time. We’re leaving on Monday evening for Wine & Dine and I think that will be much more enjoyable. This trip was short and it seriously felt like it was Land-Expo-Maelstrom-Mine Train-Run-Leave. Can’t wait to be back in the parks just two weeks from right now!!



Tower of Terror 10-Miler Trip Report – Day 3 – Magic Kingdom

Saturday was race day and the only chance we had for a rope drop on this trip. I really wanted to see the new 7 Dwarf Mine Train but couldn’t get FP+ because we didn’t buy the park passes until we got there this trip. They were already gone for Wine & Dine too (I checked the day we bought the passes this trip), so if you want them get online as soon as your 60 day window opens. Since we didn’t have FP+ I figured we could go for rope drop then book it directly there to get on it before the line gets long. Spoiler alert, that didn’t happen. We were running a few minutes late in the morning, but still should have had enough time to get there before opening. Then before the bus got there 5 motorized scooters got in line. Five. Long after everyone had been standing there waiting for the next bus. But they decided to load 2 of them onto our bus and it took forever. It was like watching 2 painful 1000 point turns while they drove them into position. It took so long the bus behind us on the route was there waiting for us to leave. We finally got to MK and walked in at pretty much exactly opening time. We quickly walked to 7DMT to find the line was already 50 minutes 5 minutes after opening. Argh! But we waited. Less than 5 minutes after we got in line we saw a cast member carrying the 65 min wait sign to the line behind us.

I’m going to keep these details fairly vague in case someone hasn’t ridden the ride yet. The queue has some interactive features during it which were a nice distraction. I just hope they keep them working and no one breaks them. The ride itself is sort of a combo kiddie coaster and dark ride. You do a coaster section, slow down to see the mine, then do another coaster section. The mine scene was awesome, loved the AAs of the dwarves, they were very well done. I do wish the end had more of a ride-thru or views of the cottage, more on par with the mine show scene. Overall I think it’s a really cute family/Fantasyland ride, way better than the old Snow White ride. I will say the coaster sections had more giddy-up than I expected but don’t go into it thinking it’s remotely close to a thrill ride. But it’s really, really short, only something like 2 minutes, 30 seconds long. Super Short. Particularly for a long wait. I’m glad I saw it but don’t think I’d want to wait that long again. Hopefully can get some FP+ for it during Dopey.

After that we hit the mountain range (Space, Splash & Big Thunder) and the Haunted Mansion. I had done the FP lunch reservation for Be Our Guest, which worked out great.  We were in, ordered and sitting at the table in under 10 minutes and the food was out in about 15 minutes.  The theming inside the place is awesome and it was definitely worth going, planning on a dinner there during an April trip.  You enter, then go to a kiosk to place your order, then go sit wherever you want. They find you to bring your food by your MagicBand, or will give you a RFID rose if you don’t have a MagicBand. Cool! I was enthralled that they could pinpoint to the table with the RFID in the MagicBands. There are 3 rooms you can sit in, the main ballroom that has fake snow falling outside the windows, a darker room with the rose and slashed Prince portrait and a third room that had a dancing stature of Beauty & Beast in the center. We tried for the rose room first, along with everyone else on the planet. It’s the smallest and there were no seats. We ended up sitting in the room with the statue on the other side since it was quieter and less crowded. If you want to go to lunch it seems that you need to do the FP reservation though, they weren’t taking any walk-ins when we were there. We split the Croque Monsieur and the Steak Sandwich, the Croque Monsieur was yummy and I’d highly recommend it! The steak sandwich was OK but not particularly outstanding. We also tried the gray stuff and it was of course delicious! After lunch we hit the gift shop on Main Street, then headed back to the hotel to nap before the run.


Tower of Terror 10-Miler Trip – Day 2 – Expo & Parks

The run Expo opened at 10am on Friday morning.  Having been thru the chaos of the Dumbo Double Dare Expo in 2013 we knew we wanted to be there at opening to get first choice on official merchandise and try to beat the crowds.  Since that meant we couldn’t be at a park for rope drop I decided to take the opportunity to try the Tonga Toast at the Poly.  I was able to get an 8am breakfast reservations at Kona Café.  We decided to take a taxi over to the Poly instead of trying to connect at a park via bus and I was really surprised how easy it was to get a taxi.  I figured they would have to call one and we’d wait for a bit but there were a few sitting right there in the parking lot ready to go.  It was a $20 taxi ride from the All Star.  When we sat down at Kona I found myself pondering why it was so popular, the atmosphere of the place seriously looks like every 24 hour café in Vegas casinos.  Not a whole lot of theming or décor going on there.  Anyway, B and I split the Tonga Toast and an egg white omelet and both were delicious.  I’m glad I got over there to try the Tonga Toast but I don’t think it lived up to the hype I’d heard about it.  Actually, it’s not that, it’s really tasty, I think it’s more that I wouldn’t make the special trip to the Poly to get it.  If it was available in my resort food court or in the parks I’d get it again in a heartbeat.

After breakfast we went to find the busses to the Expo.  It was about 9:10 at this point and we were informed the first bus wouldn’t be there for another 20 minutes.  Having discovered getting a taxi was so easy we decided to just grab one to the Expo instead of waiting.  We’d heard the Expo usually opened early so didn’t want to wait until 10 if it wasn’t necessary.  Sure it cost us another $20, but we were there in 10 min and got dropped off right in front, no long walk from the busses.  We were able to get in line for the Expo at 9:25 and they opened at 9:30 exactly 30 min early from the listed time.  And you could tell by how they were directing the crowd it was definitely planned to open at 9:30.  We went right to the official merch booth to grab the good stuff and got….nothing.  There just wasn’t anything either of us wanted, it was downright sad.  I wish they would do the pint glasses for all events, but this one just had a plastic sports bottle type thing.  Tinkerbell just had some stereotypical girly plastic sports bottle as well.  I love my WDW marathon and DL half pint glasses, give me more of those.  I needed a sweaty band to wear under my hat for the run so picked up a RunDisney one.  To be honest, I got it equally for the run and to copy it and make my own at home.  Its $15 for a headband made with a little ribbon, I can make them for about $2.  I also ended up grabbing a magnet which is now on my file cabinet at work just so I had something with the run name on it.  They had a zip up which was just meh and a few shirts.  I wish they had some general villain themed stuff for this run or heck, even something with the villains in front of the Tower, but everything just had a picture of the Tower of Terror alone.  Boo.

The Expo for this race was a lot smaller than any of the past RunDisney events I’ve done but I didn’t feel like it was missing anything.  We hit a few vendor booths to pick up stuff and then headed over to pick up the bibs.  I got my bib right away, but B’s line had the slowest person on the planet manning it so it took her a bit longer.  I was in F and she was in D.  After getting the bibs we had to head back to the Expo building to pick up the shirts and gear bag.  Hitting the Expo first meant more walking back and forth but we were done with everything and on the bus back to our hotel by 10:20 which was awesome.  The Expo was just starting to get crowded when we went in to get the race shirts.  Our plan of attack worked so well in fact that we are planning to take taxis to the Expo early for both Wine & Dine and Dopey to be there and in line for the Expo before 9:30 to hit the Official Merch booth first.  It’s worth the money to us to avoid the crowded chaos and get in and out quickly.

Pic of my bib, I didn’t to take one of the race shirt but it was pretty cute and it’s a women’s cut so I may actually wear it.

After the Expo we dropped our stuff back at the hotel and headed out to Animal Kingdom, getting there around noon.  We went to Expedition Everest and walked on twice in a row via the single rider line.  After that we went to the Pangani Trail in search of the baby gorillas.  We saw no baby gorillas but did get cornered by an older cast member when we asked about them.  Seriously, she went on and on and on for like 10 minutes until another guest saved us by asking a question.  So, that was a bust, maybe we can find the baby gorillas at Wine & Dine.  The park was unpleasantly crowded so we left and headed over to Epcot (which is where I had booked our FP+ the night before).

We were able to walk in and get a table right away at San Angel inside Mexico so that was great and it was delicious.  And we may or may not have taken the leftover chips with us in B’s backpack and snacked on them for the rest of the day.  We hit most of the stuff in Future World, walked around World Showcase and tried some of the food/drinks from the festival booths. But by far the most important thing was riding Maelstrom twice (once in the afternoon and once right before closing) as a farewell cruise.  We had a FP for the first ride, but had to do standby at the end and the line was long with other people doing a farewell ride as well.  I like Maelstrom but I’m not up in arms about it being replaced with a Frozen ride like a lot of people are, I’m interested to see what they do with it.  While I’m hoping I’m wrong, I’m expecting the same ride track with just a Frozen overlay.  So we hypothesized what Frozen stuff would go in each room of the ride.  Bye bye polar bear, hello Snow Monster.  I’m still more upset at Disney taking away Horizons in Epcot and going back even further, Adventure Thru Inner Space at Disneyland.  Those two are still my all time favorite rides.  On a side note, if you were an Adventure Thru Inner Space fan google and watch the virtual ride thru on YouTube.  It’s awesome, the level of detail is amazing.

Maelstrom fun fact, one of the vikings in the boat on the mural by the loading area was wearing mouse ears, look at the pic below…


Tower of Terror 10-Miler Trip – Day 1

We flew out on Thurs morning with a direct flight to Orlando.  We booked thru American but the flight was on Alaska and for some reason the reservations wouldn’t let us check-in online so we had to go to the counter which sucked.  We were both annoyed at the added time in line since we weren’t checking bags, that is, until we lucked out with an awesome lady working at the Alaska counter.  She quickly checked us in and moved our seats to an exit row and left an empty middle seat between us – woohoo!  We had so much space, it was awesome, especially for a long direct flight.  The flight itself was uneventful and we landed around 6pm.  We only had to wait about 10 min for the Magical Express and we were on the way.  Everything went smooth, got to the hotel a little before 7 and were checked in and in the room by 7:10.  We stayed at All Star Music and were upgraded to a preferred room for some reason, which was awesomely close to the drink refills and bus stops (the drink refills being key for a soda-holic like me).  I did the online check in ahead of time and there was only one person in front of us in line compared to a long line at the regular check-in, so I’ll definitely be doing that for the future trips and would recommend it.  Epcot was the park open the latest that night, but it was only until 9pm (the Halloween party was going on at MK and we didn’t want to pay for tickets since we’d be late).  We decided to just dump the bags and head over to Epcot so we could at least get the Annual Passes purchased.  For the Premier APs you have to buy them at Guest Services, not the regular ticket booths.  The problem with this is that the people at Guest Services are generally having issues.  There were two windows open with people being helped and two people in front of us waiting.  Even with only two people in front of us it took about 40 minutes for us to get the passes, it was a little ridiculous.  One guy was complaining at the first window the entire time we were waiting and being helped.  A manager should really have come to handle him and let the two employees help the others in line.  By the time we were done the line was at least 15 people deep.  But at least I finally had this little beauty in my hand…

We basically only had 30 min until park close at this point but I had a ticket in my hand so felt the need to at least do one ride.  The plan was to hit Test Track quickly via the single rider line, then grab food at one of the first W&D stands in World Showcase entrance/Mexico area right before closing.  Which would have totally worked had TT not broken down right before we were about to board.  Rebooting took about 10-15 min, so by the time we walked off it was right at 9pm.  Wah, wah, no food for us.  The food court at Music was closed for renovations so we took the bus back to Sports, ate there then walked back over to our hotel.

Once back in the room I was able to link the passes and book some FP+ for the trip.  That was one of the sucky things about buying the passes this trip.  You can’t book the FP+ without a ticket linked and once you buy the premier AP it is active immediately, not on the first day you use it.  Doing it this way means we missed the 60 day window for both this trip and the trip for Wine & Dine half next month.  Which means no FP+ for Seven Dwarf Mine Train or Anna/Elsa on either trip.

Knocking Stuff off the Disney Bucket List…

I’m back from a short couple days in WDW for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler!  I’ll post some recaps about the trip and run later, but wanted to post about knocking a few items off the bucket list.  First, the most exciting (and quite frankly one I thought would be a little harder) – B and I made the RunDisney Facebook page with our costumes.  Woohoo!

Close up of the pic:

We’ll see if we can repeat the accomplishment at Wine & Dine.

I also tried the Tonga Toast (good, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again) and I got my Premier Annual Pass.  Made it to all 4 parks in the two days I was in FL and will be breaking it in at Disneyland this weekend to see the Halloween stuff.

Booyah!  Three things off the list…