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…

 

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…

 

My Disney Bucket List

I leave for WDW two weeks from tomorrow for the Twilight Zone 10-Miler and I’m getting excited.  Not only for the run/party or the quick weekend away (which I desperately need, I’m so burned out at work!), but because I realized that in my head I’ve subconsciously been viewing the trip as the start of what I have now dubbed the “Disney Year”.  Because we are going to do so many RunDisney events this year (ToT, Wine & Dine, Dopey & Star Wars Rebel Challenge) it actually made financial sense to buy the Premier Annual Pass and enjoy having it for Disneyland day trips over the year as a bonus.  I keep thinking about things on my Disney Bucket List that I can knock off.  Disney Bucket List you ask?  Yup, every Disney fan has one.  Ever had the thought that you want to do a Disney Cruise, visit Aulani, the Paris parks?  You’ve got a Disney Bucket List.  So, here is mine in no particular order….

  1. Visit all the Disney theme parks – Isn’t this on everyone’s Disney Bucket List?  I have been to Disneyland, WDW and Paris, but not the Asia parks. I’m thinking an Asia Disney trip to do them all after Shanghai opens.
  2. Complete all of the RunDisney events – Well, almost all. I don’t see myself ever flying to FL to do the short Expedition Everest Challenge, but the rest are on the list. So far I have done the WDW Marathon, Dumbo Double Dare & Tinkerbell. Have Tower of Terror 10-Miler, Wine & Dine, Dopey and Rebel Challenge coming up in the next few months. Then only Glass Slipper (PHM) and Avengers remain. Until of course they add more, Paris Half? Yes, please!
  3. Have an annual pass to Disneyland and get my money’s worth out of it – Been there, done that! Had passes for years when I lived in LA.
  4. Get the Premier Annual Pass (both CA and FL parks) and get my money’s worth out of it – This one is on deck for this year! Buying the pass on the trip for the ToT 10-Miler. I live less than 1.5 hours away from Disneyland, so it will get a lot of use there too.
  5. See the Halloween versions of Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
  6. Try Tonga Toast
  7. Try a waffle sandwich in Liberty Square
  8. Go to Club 33
  9. Stay at all the WDW resorts – This is on a lot of Disney bucket lists also. I’m a commando style park visitor, so I don’t see myself every spending the money on deluxe resorts but you never know. So for now this is really hit the Value and Moderate hotels I haven’t stayed at yet, Art of Animation (staying there for Wine & Dine) and Coronado Springs.
  10. Go on a Disney cruise
  11. Go to Aulani
  12. Be the first person on a ride for the day – Done it, Splash Mountain in WDW with my bro years ago.
  13. Drink around the world in Epcot – Done it a few times, last being after the 2013 WDW Marathon!  And it doesn’t count unless you hit every country (well in my mind anyway).
  14. Work at the original studios in Burbank – Did internships there in college, so was onsite a couple days a week for two years. I didn’t get paid, but I’m still calling it working there. I seriously loved seeing the Team Disney building every time I drove on the lot.  And even though I didn’t get paid I did get an employee discount at the store on lot.  Random side note, the production companies I interned at were all located in the original Animation building, one of the oldest on lot.  Awesome.  And I once saw Fonzie (Henry Winkler) at the copy machine, took all my willpower not to say “Aaaayyyy” to him.  Double Awesome.
  15. Work at a Disney park, if not during my actual career then in retirement part time.
  16. Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco
  17. Go to Star Wars weekend in WDW
  18. See the Osbourne family Christmas lights
  19. Eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table
  20. Here’s a random one – make out on the Haunted Mansion. Yes, you read that right. When I was a kid for some reason I thought it would just be awesome to make out with a boyfriend on that ride (who knows why, I was a kid). Anyway, never did but I still remember thinking that every time I go on the ride, so who knows, maybe I can do it in middle age. Haha.
  21. Go to Disneyland on its actual birthday for a big anniversary year – I went on the bday once years ago for a random year and there was free cake! Want to see the festivities for a bigger anniversary like the 60th in 2015 (which I’ll just so happen to have an annual pass for, woohoo).  Besides, who doesn’t like free cake?
  22. See all the holiday festivities (Easter, Halloween, Xmas, Lunar New Year, etc) and get pics with the characters in holiday costumes
  23. Go on a Disney trip with my niece and nephew. Don’t have kids of my own and would love to visit WDW or the Asia parks with them. I’ll even let my bro and SIL come along cause I’m awesome like that.
  24. Go to Boardwalk to eat/drink. I can’t believe I’ve never been there.
  25. Go to one of the all-night events at a park
  26. Eat at Be Our Guest
  27. Make the RunDisney website/blog/social media pages with one of my running costumes. Egotistical? Maybe.  But I want it.

What’s on your Disney Bucket List?

How Did I Get Roped Into This Running Thing Again?

I’m not going to lie. I hate running, I mean really, truly hate it.  You’ll never be seeing me write about how great a long run felt like on here.  It’s not that I dislike working out, in fact the opposite.  I’ve been on a schedule of working out 4-5 times per week since college, even actually used to teach aerobics back in the day.  Running just sucks.  I’d choose to spend my time on my road bike any day.

So the journey to me becoming a runner (see I actually had problems typing that term, I don’t really consider myself a runner, I’m just a RunDisney-er . Haha!) began just about 2 years ago on Labor Day weekend 2012.  My friend B (work friend that I also do a lot a cycling with) was doing the Disneyland Half (her first RunDisney event) and the person she was supposed to go with fell thru.  I’m a full-fledge Disney freak, had a annual pass at DL for years when I lived in LA, have been to WDW at least 14 times, love it.  So, she asked if I’d go up with her for the company and we could go to the park when she was done running.  I actually didn’t even get up and go to the run at all, just slept in waiting for her to get back.  I did think the medal was cool, but still didn’t have the bug.  We headed to Disneyland and then I kept seeing people wearing the Coast to Coast medal and that one caught my eye.  B explained how the C2C challenge worked and then the discussions of us doing it together began.  Shit, as soon as I saw that beautiful Coast to Coast medal I knew I had to have it.  Did a good job of pretending to debate it though.

My pretty:

Coast

B actually wanted to do the WDW marathon, then the DL marathon to get the medal in 2013.  At this point I was just about done with Couch to 10K training app on my phone so could do about 6 miles.  What?  I thought I hate running, right?  So why was I doing the app to begin with?  Having athletic friends, I wanted to be able to run in any fun run 5K or 10Ks that came up without struggling or feeling crappy (i.e. Bootcamp Challenge, Mud Run, Warrior Dash, etc).  Funny thing is I never did another one of them after this all started.  Weird how things work out.  Anyway, after some discussions (or persuading from) B about the generous pacing requirements, that I could walk most of it, blah, blah, blah, I was pretty much hooked.

About two days after Labor Day we signed up for the marathon. To be honest I remember thinking I wasn’t that far away from the mileage, then after I signed up I realized I was thinking of the half distance.  Oops.  So, having never completed a run over 6 miles I was going to do a marathon.  Something you should know about me is the mental aspects of challenges are generally pretty easy for me to overcome, I may have some doubts but I can push them away pretty quickly.  So it really never seemed  that crazy to me to have jumped right to a marathon from 6 miles.  And that mentality must be genetic, because a week after I signed up my brother (who is also a Disney freak) also signed up and he disn’t work out at all at the time.  Per my suggestion, he went out and did 6 miles to make sure he could do that in pace and when he did, signed up too.  I figured that way we were both starting at pretty much the same point and was fairly confident I could do it.

Flash forward 4 months of miserable long training runs and we were at the Expo where they had early registration for the Dumbo Double Dare. We were going to do the half anyway, so signed up for the challenge.  Then after seeing the Goofy medals it sadly took less than 48 hours post marathon (after which I announced I was never doing one again) to talk about doing Goofy in 2015 (which of course changed to Dopey once they announced it).  I’m sure you can see where this snowball is going… B and I are now doing all of the RunDisney events.  My brother is also still doing a lot, but isn’t sure he is going to them all.