runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: Walt Disney World Half Marathon

This is part three of a recap of the 2018 runDisney Dopey Challenge. For part two click here!

IMG_5183.JPG

With the 5k and the 10k races complete the distance on the Dopey Challenge starts to get serious. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon starts on Epcot Center Drive, takes you down World Drive and into the Magic Kingdom, by the Magic Kingdom area resorts, back to World Drive and Epcot Center Drive and into Epcot’s Future World before you cross the finish line. The size of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon is considerably larger than the previous races of the weekend so the start corrals are much larger and further from where the race transportation drops off.

Tip: Consider taking the 0.5 mile walk to your start corral early. Each corral is sent off in mini waves so the earlier you arrive, the more likely you will be in the first wave.

At this point in our weekend we had switched to Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge to we were up and in the Kidani lobby by 3:00am to catch a bus for the 5:30 am start.

Today’s costumes were the Toy Story aliens!

IMG_5269.JPG

We bought plain blue t-shirts and wore an athletic tech shirt underneath. The pizza planet logos were made by my friend from felt. The headpieces were attached to plastic headbands and made from felt and foam. The gloves were $1 (or something crazy cheap) from Kohl’s. These were simple, effective and comfortable (and made with lots of hot glue!)

We tend not to take too many pictures from the start of the race into the Magic Kingdom because the course can be very dark. It’s popular for people to stop and take pictures with the big mile marker signs but we opted not to do that this year. The sun had just come up as we were going into Magic Kingdom which was perfect timing to stop for lots of pictures.

Once arriving at the park we started by coming down Mainstreet USA and turning right into Tomorrowland.

IMG_5268.JPG

Then we followed the path into Fantasyland where we decided to wait for our first character.

IMG_5290.JPG
The Little Mermaid has always been my favorite princess!

Tip: I won’t lie- character lines can be long. Make sure to budget your time and monitor your pace accordingly. In total we spent 1 hour in the Magic Kingdom this year (approximately 1.5 miles distance) getting the characters that I’m sharing.

Next we continued through Fantasyland and through the castle.

IMG_5281.JPG

IMG_5295

On our way through Frontierland we stopped for Woody and Bullseye!

IMG_5291.JPG

Tip: See those people running behind Bullseye and Woody? They’re coming back from the Frontierland bathrooms. We stop here because it’s indoors (no port-o-potties!) and there are tons of stalls so there’s never a line.

After spending about an hour in Magic Kingdom we knew it was time to hit the road and take Floridian Way by Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This is an under appreciate part of the course. People often complain it’s narrow and crowded but Disney will put multiple photo opportunities here and guests from the hotels will come outside to cheer runners on!

IMG_5292.JPG
We stopped for Mary and Bert’s Penguins at the end of the Grand Floridian’s drive way.

Generally there will be character greets at the Grand Floridian and on the golf course that’s on your right as you run. Over the years I’ve seen Lilo and Stitch, the wedding pavilion gentlemen, Tourist Genie, and Golfing Mickey or Goofy make an appearance (among others) on this stretch!

We took World Drive to Epcot Center Drive and were headed back into the Epcot parking lot. While crossing through the backstage area we stopped for Tink and her fairy friends.

IMG_5293.JPG

The Epcot portion of the course takes you past the Fountain of Nations towards World Showcase Lagoon where you make a U-turn and run back towards Spaceship Earth and out to the finish line.

IMG_5294.JPG
We stopped for Stitch on the U-turn.

IMG_5278.JPG

IMG_5299.JPG
Almost lost my ears at the finish line!

With this finish line crossed we had completed 22.4 miles of the Dopey Challenge! What I find a little daunting about this challenge is that even with three races down we still hadn’t complete half of the distance. Just speaks to what a beast a full marathon is! As we get closer to the 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon keep your eyes peeled for the final installment of this series: the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon recap!

theadventuringemily.home.blog (4).png

Stay adventurous, friends!

 

 

Advertisements

Throwback Thursday: Walt Disney World’s Boardwalk Bar Crawl

For today’s Throwback Thursday I want to share one of my favorite Disney things to do: crawl! Bar crawl, that is! One of my favorite arguing points when people say Walt Disney World is only for kids is all the food and drink experiences to be had. I love to suggest people try to the Monorail Bar Crawl, or the Boardwalk Bar Crawl which I’ll cover today.

Like the Monorail Bar Crawl, the Boardwalk Bar Crawl doesn’t require you to have a park ticket so it’s a great option for a day or night you won’t be hitting the parks. The Boardwalk Resort area is easy to get to by Uber, Minnie Van, or by taking a bus to nearby Hollywood Studios and following the walking path. While it would take more time, you can also take a bus to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs and take a Boardwalk, Yacht Club, or Beach Club resort bus to get there.

First stop: Big River Grille & Brewing Works

fullsizeoutput_196

Big River serves up American pub favorites in a family friendly setting. You can see 6 specialty beers being handcrafted on site!

We started our crawl with some nachos and beer:

fullsizeoutput_197

Second stop: AbracadaBar

AbracadaBar invites you into a 1940s magician’s lounge with a few tricks up its sleeves. With a selection of old fashioned cocktails to choose from we went with the Conjurita and Seahorse Sweet.

fullsizeoutput_19a
Seahorse Sweet on the left and Conjurita on the right

If you’ve peeped the menu you might have noticed the Seahorse Sweet and it’s disappearing cotton candy are technically non-alcoholic  but when I used the magic word (please, in this case) the bar tender was happy to add some vodka. The conjurita is poured table side so you can enjoy it’s color changing trick!

fullsizeoutput_198

Once we had our drinks we enjoyed the ambiance and checked out the magic memorabilia. Pay close attention to the posters on the wall- you never know who’ll disappear!

Third stop: Jellyrolls

After crawling up and down the Boardwalk, the dueling piano bar Jellyrolls is the perfect place to sit, relax, and belt out your favorite music! While Jellyrolls serves typical bar drinks (we ordered Bud Light) its really the music that you visit for.

fullsizeoutput_19b

A couple things to know about Jellyrolls:

  • Cover is $12 per person and only those 21 and older are admitted (sorry kids!)
  • Songs are played by request and requests are submitted with a cash tip (usually the better the tip, the more likely your song is to be played)

Other options to try:

  • Trattoria al Forno is a great place to start your crawl if you’re looking for dinner as you go! The drink menu includes a large assortment of wine, Italian brandy and cocktails. Dinner is served 5p-10p, reservations recommended!
  • ESPN Club is an excellent choice for a sports fan to take in a game mid crawl. Lounge seating is first come, first serve. Dinner hours and reservation needs vary so check the Disney website prior to your visit!

Have you done the Walt Disney World Boardwalk Bar Crawl? Or, would you want to try it?

10.png

Stay adventurous!

runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: Walt Disney World 10k

This is part two of a recap of the 2018 runDisney Dopey Challenge. For part one click here!

After warming up our challenge with a 5k on Thursday it’s time to run the Walt Disney World 10k on Friday. Over the course of 6.2 miles this race departs Epcot, follows the highways back around to World Showcase, loops Disney’s Boardwalk, and finishes under the glow of Spaceship Earth.

Once again we departed Coronado Springs around 3:30am for a 5:30am start. Unsurprisingly, it was still cold so fortunately we were bundled up in our easiest costumes of the weekend!

IMG_5246

These Dalmatian suits were recycled from the dredges of my parent’s attic. My mom made them for her and my dad to wear trick-or-treating the year I went as Belle when I was four or five. Though bulky to pack, these made a great outer layer (and we had my mom’s blessing to officially retire them to the trash room at Kidani Village so they didn’t have to make the flight home.)

We covered the first three miles in the dark along the highway. We didn’t stop for pictures because it was characters we had already met, or the lines were too long for our liking.

On our way backstage into Epcot we ran into these guys and stopped.

IMG_5425
Plus side to ‘non-character’ photo ops? The lines are short! Downside? No photopass photographers so the lighting can be less than ideal.

Entering Epcot next to Norway we found that the Vikings were out so we stopped for them as well.

IMG_5426
No Photopass this time either

There were characters out in the World Showcase countries but again, long lines or repeat offenders (aka someone we have met at a previous race) so we continued out to the Boardwalk.

IMG_5263

I love the lights of the Boardwalk- always a highlight of the 10k course!

After looping the Boardwalk we re-entered Epcot in between Canada and the UK.

IMG_5405
The sun is coming up and I’m finally starting to feel my toes.

As we ran towards Future World we saw Duffy so we jumped in line.

IMG_5242
I miss this guy meeting in Epcot!

We ran the final stretch around the front of the park before heading back out towards the parking lot. It was here somewhere asked us if we were the Chick Fil A cows haha! Chick Fil A isn’t very big in Connecticut so we sort of just shrugged and kept going.

IMG_5245

IMG_5244
Crossing the finish line

With the 10k complete we had 39.3 miles to go!

IMG_5243

Stay tuned for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon recap!

Theadventuringemily.home.blog (3)

Stay adventurous, friends!

runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: Walt Disney World 5K

This is part one of a recap of the 2018 runDisney Dopey Challenge. For the intro post click here!

The Dopey Challenge begins nice and easy with the Walt Disney World 5k on Thursday. At 3 miles, for an experienced runner, this seems pretty easy, right? That’s the tricky part of the Dopey Challenge- you start with this nice easy distance and before you know it you’re at the start line of a marathon!

IMG_5185

The Walt Disney World 5k is a great starting race as it’s untimed and family friendly. I saw lots of fellow Dopey’s bringing the whole family along to get the weekend started. For my Dopey Challenge my sister Caitlin was along for the ride (run.)

Tip: Research the weather and dress accordingly

We rolled out of Coronado Springs Resort approximately 3:30am to begin the cold and dark wait for the race start at 5:30am. Fortunately through our previous runDisney experience we brought plenty of warm clothes to bundle ourselves up with.

If you’ve read any other post of my blog you might know that I LOVE coffee, especially from Dunkin’ Donuts. Thus, how our costumes for this race were born:

IMG_5215

Our custom t-shirts say Dopey’s run on Dunkin’ and were made by an awesome facebook seller. If I can find her page I’ll link her back! We actually stopped at a Dunkin’ in Orlando the day prior to pick up the munchkin boxes and some coffees. We did run and pass out the donuts but we thought it was safer to take the cups empty so we drank the coffees the day prior!

The 5k course takes you through the Epcot parking lot, into the park behind Test Track, around World Showcase, and back out to the parking lot by looping around Spaceship Earth.

IMG_5217
We took many pretend coffee drinking pictures!

I love running through World Showcase in the dark. All the buildings are lit up and the torches are glowing- it’s the perfect way to see the sun rise! The beauty of the 5k is that it’s untimed so you can walk the whole thing if you please. We wanted to take it easy but it was so cold so we decided to at least maintain a slow job to keep moving!

IMG_5218
Horace was greeting by The Land Pavilion so we jumped in line (and passed out munchkins while we waited!)

Generally I find that the character lines are the 5k are wayyyy too long for us to consider wanting to wait so we were pleasantly surprised that we only waited 5-7 minutes for Horace. After meeting him we headed for the finish line so we could get on the bus and warm up!

IMG_5201

IMG_5222
One race down and still all smiles!

The 5k is a great start to the Dopey Challenge! It was the perfect way to start the weekend and shake out some of the excited energy I was feeling. We had a lot of fun! Best part? The race is done with enough time for us to go back to Coronado Springs to take a well deserved nap before heading out to Epcot.

IMG_5200

With 3.1 miles down, we only had 45.5 miles to go! Click here for the Walt Disney World 10k recap!

Dopey Challenge

Stay adventurous, friends!

runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4 days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Today I’m excited to say that I’m going to start a 4 to 5 part series on runDisney’s Dopey Challenge. This event, occurring at Walt Disney World each January, consists of running the Walt Disney World 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon races four days in a row. Pretty darn dopey, right?!

Cheers to the start of a very cold Dopey Challenge weekend!

I’m pretty excited to write about this for a couple reasons. First off, I love runDisney. It’s something my sister and I found we loved together and through it we were able to foster a really close relationship. We’ve run many runDisney weekends but Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (where the Dopey challenge takes place) has always been my favorite. Finally getting to do Dopey this past year was the highlight of all the time we’ve spent running and training together. Overcoming this physical (and very much mental) challenge was one of the craziest things I think I could do and it was fun to boot!

All bundled up with Pluto before we ran the marathon.

I’m also excited to recount our running adventures this past January because I’m looking forward to going back to run Disney World again this coming January for the WDW Marathon (just the 26.2 miles this time.) Reliving this makes the time past faster as we count down to 2019.

Three races down and one more to go!

Stay tuned as I share how each race went and possibly share some tips and tricks that worked well to help get us through.

48.6 miles worth of bling!

Stay adventurous, friends!

Five Things Friday: October 12th, 2018

Time for another Five Things Friday! Now that I’m writing my second one it officially makes it a thing (I think!) Today I want to share five things about me that I haven’t shared on the blog yet. These are things that I want to write more about in the future so I thought this would be a good chance to introduce some of these hobbies.

  1. Confession: I’m a Disney World person. If you’re not one yourself you probably know the type of person I’m talking about. This is the person who has voyaged down to Orlando once a year, if not more, for as long as they can remember. The person who you can’t convince to visit Europe because they insist it’s more economical to see the eleven countries in Epcot’s World Showcase in one trip. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s me. Are you a Walt Disney World person?

    One of my favorite times of year at Walt Disney World is the Flower and Garden Festival!
  2. I’m a runner! I’ve run 15(ish) half marathons since 2011. I’m gearing up for my fourth marathon TOMORROW! I’m running the Hartford Marathon for the first time and I’m really nervous. This training cycle has been difficult for many reasons but I’m hoping for the best. Wish me luck! Any words of wisdom from a fellow runner?

    In the final stretch of marathon #2 in 2017 at Walt Disney World. Yes, I can in a Minnie Mouse inspired tutu! I love running Disney races in costume!
  3. I love my dog! Ok, you got me- this isn’t a new confession if you’ve read my about me page. And who doesn’t love their dog?! However, I’d love to share a post sometime about my dog Waffles and the story of how I got him from an awesome rescue organization. He’s my first dog EVER- we never had a dog when I was growing up.

    Waffles aka the Waf-man
  4. I got hooked on watching HGTV while I was working the night shift. It was always on the break room tv which introduced me to Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop. Now I love watching home design shows. It always gives me the itch to redecorate! I decided to create a combination coffee bar cart for the kitchen. I ordered a cart off Amazon that looks like it will be perfect- fingers crossed! We’ll see if it comes out Chip and Joanna worthy!
  5. I like to read! I decided to make a better effort to enjoy a good book this year by joining my local library. Since June I’ve checked out and read six books! I most recently finished Finding Atticus by Tom Ryan which was excellent is you’re an adventuring dog person like myself. Got any good book recommendations?

Stay adventurous, friends!