Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report Part 5

Geez…am I ever going to get this trip report finished? Well let’s try, shall we? If you haven’t read the first 4 parts of this thing, you can do so by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2
HERE for part 3
HERE for part 4

Ok, so by now Cynthia and I were making our way back to Coronado Springs so that we could take the special race weekend transportation to the race expo so that I could pick up my race packet. This was one of those times that I wished that Disney had buses that would take you from the parks to other places like Downtown Disney and the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Sometimes I hate all the time I have to take to get on multiple buses to get to some places. But I also don’t feel the need to rent a car…so I guess I’ll ride the bus and shut up.

When we finally got on the race participant’s bus to take us to ESPN WWoS, there were only 3 or 4 of us total on the giant charter bus. Most everyone had already been to the expo the day before and earlier that day.

The only other race expo for a runDisney event I’d been to was the one for the Expedition Everest Challenge in 2014. The expo for Princess 1/2 weekend completely dwarfed the EEC expo!

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Race Expo 2015 1

Race Expo 2015 2

We got our free Lasting Commemoratives bookmark, bought a souvenir race t-shirt and a nifty little RooSport magnetic running pocket. I was happy that Cynthia saw the booth that was selling these and made me stop to find out about them. That thing has come in handy more than once. I’ll be including video showing what I got and giving more details about my RooSport in my next PHM race recap video!

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The RooSport magnetic running pocket that I purchased at the expo. Well worth it for me!

The RooSport magnetic running pocket that I purchased at the expo. Well worth it for me!

As we made our way back out of the expo we decided we’d get a snack, and on the way we passed Jeff Galloway giving a presentation on his Run/Walk/Run training and racing method! Shari and Cynthia were able to meet Jeff the day before and take pictures with him, but this is the best I was going to do that day. It was still exciting to see him! Using the Galloway method has been the best way that I can run long distances and not keep injuring my knee and ankle.

Jeff Galloway!

Jeff Galloway!

By now, it was really about time that we headed back to the room to get ready for bed. We’d planned on going to sleep around 8pm-ish because we had to be up early and get to the race buses at 3am. But we had a little time left still so we decided to make a stop over at Downtown Disney. Cynthia had her eye on a specific style of sunglasses with Mickey heads outlined in rhinestones on the sides of them, and we hadn’t found any at Magic Kingdom earlier in the day. I told her that I bet that a shop or two at Downtown Disney (DTD) had them, so we rode the race transportation back to the Art of Animation resort so that we could hop on a bus to DTD. It was faster getting on the Art of Animation bus because the Coronado Springs bus had just left or wasn’t there or something like that. I don’t even remember what the case was.

I took a walk by picture of the entrance to Animation Hall on our way to the bus stop….

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Once we arrived at DTD, we found the sunglasses pretty quickly at Trend-D. This is such a cute store! I love the decor and the ceiling especially! If you’ve never gone into Trend-D, I highly suggest you check it out!

The ceiling at Trend-D

The ceiling at Trend-D

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After we left Trend-D we decided to take a quick walk through DTD just so Cynthia could see some of what was there. I had/wanted to get a new picture of the Lego sea monster (or loch-ness monster…whatever you want to refer to it as) first, but then we knew we had to get going and head back to our room to prepare for race day the next (early, early) morning.

DSC_0261Shari had messaged us earlier to let us know that she wasn’t feeling very well and that she was going to go lay down. I hoped it was nothing serious because I didn’t want it to affect her being in the race the next morning. Cynthia and I got back to the room right around 8:00 or so and I thought about something…. I wasn’t hungry.

Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but I felt like I needed to eat something before I went to bed because I knew I wouldn’t want to eat much in the morning before the race and we definitely didn’t need to do a half marathon without eating dinner the night before AND without eating something the morning of…. We decided we’d go see what we could find for us to eat for breakfast at the food court. We checked on Shari and she was feeling feverish, I had something to help her and I told her I’d bring her a Sprite back from the food court.

Cynthia and I went ahead and ate something at the food court and Cynthia asked to have some peanut butter sandwiches made so that we could have those in the morning. Yes….we were not very prepared fuel-wise for this race. I’ve actually got a list going of things I know I did wrong leading up to this race. :/

After we did all of this extra crap trying to get some food into our bodies and have something ready for the morning….Cynthia and I finally got to bed at close to 10pm. Ugh.

We’re finally getting to race day!! Stay tuned for Part 6! °O°

See Ya Real Soon!

My Princess Half Marathon Recap!

Yeah, I know…I haven’t even finished the trip report, but I finally got started with the video race recap of my weekend for the Princess Half Marathon! Check it out! I need feedback for future videos!

Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report Part 4

I just got home yesterday from our week long family vacation to Walt Disney World! But for now, I need to tell you more about Princess 1/2 marathon weekend! If you’re just now joining me, you can read the first three installments by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2
HERE for part 3

If you remember from the end of Part 3, Cynthia and I split up from the group. While everyone else went to go ride Haunted Mansion, we headed to Tomorrowland. We got on the People Mover first. I love riding this! It’s relaxing and there are such nice views. Here’s some random video I took as we rode.

After our circle tour of Tomorrowland, we headed over to see the area where Dumbo and the Casey Jr Splash and Soak Station is in Fantasyland. After a bit of looking around there, we headed back to Tomorrowland to meet Shari for our FastPass+ for Buzz Lightyear.

Me and Cynthia on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Me and Cynthia on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

I’d already forgotten all of the high point targets for this ride so my score wasn’t that great, but it was still fun trying to get a good score! Once we were done here, Cynthia and I went back towards Fantasyland while Shari and Maria either went to get a drink or maybe went to the smoking area. I don’t actually remember. What I do remember is that I convinced (or maybe the correct word is forced…) Cynthia to ride Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel. She didn’t really want to ride because there were mostly adults taking little kids on the ride but I told her it didn’t matter. We rode it despite having trouble climbing on and off of the carousel horses. I got a shot of an almost empty carousel as the previous riders exited and before they allowed us to get on.

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Since we still had some time before our FastPass+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I decided we should go watch Mickey’s Philharmagic. I love the songs they play during this show, but I caught myself dozing off while we sat in the theater for this one. I was more tired than I wanted to admit. Shari and Maria were there too but I went into the show before they met up with us so we didn’t sit together. After we exited the show, we found Shari and Maria and we all headed towards Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Again, no pictures of BTMRR…but it was super fun! It seemed faster for some reason and there were a couple of times that I felt like I stood straight up during the dips down along the track! I love that ride!

We were feeling hungry so we decided to get lunch. I was going to have to leave the park soon so that I could go to the race expo and get my race packet. Pecos Bill’s was close by so we had lunch there. I ordered the pork barbeque sandwich with french fries. It was pretty good! It was a lot of food and I didn’t completely finish it all though. I always forget how big the portions are at Disney World. If I had been thinking I could have shared a meal with Cynthia. Oh well…

Once we were done with lunch, I was ready to head to the expo. Cynthia decided she would go with me. So we made our way back to Coronado Springs so that we could catch the race weekend transportation to ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

I’ll pick it up there next time!

See Ya Real Soon!

 

Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report Part 3

I’m still early in my trip/race report, but in case you missed the first two parts you can read them by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2

Saturday, February 21, 2015 was my first full day at Disney World. My friends Shari and Cynthia both arrived on Thursday and my friend Maria lives in Orlando so they’d had a couple of days to have fun at the parks already. I was ready to get my own fun started!

We woke up early and headed from Coronado Springs to the Magic Kingdom.

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Obligatory picture near the entrance to the Magic Kingdom! It’s Maria, Shari, me and Cynthia. :)

The park was supposed to open at 8am, but we arrived before 8:00 and they were already letting people into portions of the park. So we made our way towards Cinderella’s castle and over to The Crystal Palace for our breakfast reservation. I’d never eaten here before and quite honestly I love breakfast foods, so I was ready for this! But we were early so we took in a few sites while we waited.

Main Street performers with the Trolley.

Main Street performers with the Trolley.

Cynthia and me in front of the castle!

Cynthia and me in front of the castle!

Cynthia wanted to look through a couple of shops on Main Street since we still had some time to kill, so she and I headed to the shops. My friends had already joked about leaving me or about me being left behind because I kept taking pictures and video on our way to Magic Kingdom that morning, and even as we shopped I had my camera in my hand. But for some reason, it never occurred to me to get a picture or video of what happened next.

We were all wearing Celebration buttons that morning. It was Maria’s birthday, so obviously that’s what she was celebrating, but I told Cast Members (CMs) who asked that I was celebrating my first half marathon! I asked a CM in one shop a question and she asked what I was celebrating. As I told her, I realized there was a woman walking towards me also asking what I was celebrating. I just remember seeing the white dress, red corset, big white hat, the parasol…. It was Mary Poppins!

I don’t regularly do meet and greets with characters, but I immediately got excited that Mary Poppins was just walking up to us in the shop and talking to us. When I told her Cynthia and I were running our first half marathon the next day, she ever so elegantly said, “Good for you! I never run, unless chased!” She wished us luck and was on her way.

I felt like a little kid again. I was excited and shocked all at the same time, and I stood there the entire time holding my camera but it never crossed my mind to get a picture with Mary Poppins or at least shoot some video of her. D’oh!! I looked at Cynthia and noticed she looked unimpressed. Turns out she was trying to figure out who Mary Poppins was. She knew it was a character but she couldn’t remember who. This was Cynthia’s second visit to Walt Disney World and though she enjoys it, she’s not Disney World Obsessed like I am. So even though she was all smiles after she realized who we’d just encountered, she wasn’t as super Disney Nerd excited as I was! Hahaha!

It was getting close to time for our reservation at The Crystal Palace, so we headed back to find Shari and Maria near the restaurant. After a few minutes, the staff came out to welcome everyone and to start getting everyone seated and ready for Winnie the Pooh and Friends to visit during our breakfast!

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I ate way too much, but it was delicious! The Pooh’s Puffed French Toast was my favorite! I ate almost all of it before I remembered to take a picture. Oops.

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Pooh, Tigger and Piglet made their rounds in a timely fashion and of course we all had photos with them! For some reason Eeyore skipped our area the first time through and he randomly came back right after we’d already settled our check and were about to leave. We stayed at the table to get a quick picture with him too but I’ve managed to lose it somehow…Here are my character photos:

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After we left The Crystal Palace, I asked if anyone wanted to wait in line with me to go on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I really wanted to ride this and the wait was about 45 minutes according to the My Disney Experience app. I knew the wait would only get longer later and I was going to have to leave Magic Kingdom later that afternoon in order to go to the race expo and get my race packet. So we went ahead and got in the line.

Hey Cast Member Joe! Smile!

Hey Cast Member Joe! Smile!

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I liked this ride, but it was really, really….really short in my opinion. I felt like the long lines for this aren’t worth it. If you can catch the line when it’s short or get a FastPass+ for this, do it. Otherwise, you might be disappointed in the long wait for the really short ride time. I’m still going on this again with my kids in a couple of weeks, but we won’t be waiting in a long line for sure!

By now, Maria’s brother met up with the group and he had her grandson with him. We had a FastPass+ for Peter Pan so we went to fly with Peter! I took no pictures of this endeavor. Get used to this theme. :/

Once we got done here, Cynthia and I split up from everyone else for a bit. The next chapter of my trip report will start there! Now I have to go do grown up, real world stuff. How boring… :p

See Ya Real Soon!

Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report- The Beginning

Trip Report- PHMI officially started this trip report with random info about what happened after the race. I’m just awesome like that! If you want to read that short, uninformative installment, click HERE.

Otherwise, let’s get back to The Beginning!

On Friday, February 20, 2015 I left home and headed to the airport to start my journey to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon weekend! The flights were pretty boring and I tried to sleep as much as I could even though I wasn’t going to land in Orlando until about 10:30pm. I’d been waiting for this weekend to get here for months, and now that it was here I was a big mixture of nervous and excited!

Something about the Orlando International Airport (MCO) always makes me happy. Ummm…..probably because I only use this airport to get to Disney World… But at any rate, when I finally arrived and started to make my way to Disney’s Magical Express (DME), I was wide awake and full of smiles. Because I’d added my flight info so close to when my trip was starting, I was told I’d have to check in with DME to get a voucher for the bus ride to my resort. My friend Shari had been mailed my MagicBand so I supposedly needed a voucher to use DME. Before I left home, I’d actually made sure my past MagicBands were linked and active on my My Disney Experience account and I brought one with me just in case I could use that instead.

For some reason I thought that the Magical Express was going to be really dead at that time of night and I anticipated getting to sit in the front of the bus to get a good picture of the Walt Disney World gate when we arrived at the resort. Instead, I found that there were a good number of people also arriving this late at night. The line to check in with DME went pretty quickly though and my MagicBand worked to get me checked in without having to get paperwork printed out and such. YAY! The cast member pointed me in the direction of the line for Coronado Springs resort and I got in line to wait my turn.

Even though there weren’t a lot of people waiting to go to Coronado Springs, the bus was packed because they were putting people from Coronado Springs, Pop Century, and the All Star Resorts on the same bus. I ended up way in the back of the bus, so no picture of the gate for me this time! Oh well, I was just excited to get to the room!

Here’s the part where I realized I failed you all with my trip report….I took zero pictures once I arrived at Coronado Springs. I was cold, excited, and more concerned with getting video for the vlog edition of my report and I didn’t take one still photo. :( Sorry!

As soon as I got off of the Magical Express bus, I got my bag (I only brought a carry on with all that I needed for the weekend) and I started for the entrance to El Centro. This is the main building at Coronado Springs resort where you check in, check out, where the gift shop and the dining options are all located…oh and where the convention center is located. I didn’t even make it inside before I realized that I was going to need someone to tell me how to get to the room I was sharing with my friends. They’d already let me know that we were in room 7614 in the Ranchos section…building 7B, but all of that meant nothing to me. And since I got there at about midnight, my friends were asleep and I wasn’t about to call one of them to ask how to get to the room.

There was a Cast Member standing outside ready to greet all of us that had just departed the Magical Express bus, so I asked her what was the best way to get to building 7B. It was pretty cold that night so I’d resigned myself to the fact that I had a short little hike to the room ahead of me, but I just needed to know which direction to go. Without hesitation, the cast member said that she’d go ask someone to drive me to my building so that I wouldn’t get lost! Woo hoo! I wasn’t expecting that, but I sure did appreciate it! Within about 5 minutes, I was led through the lobby and back outside where another cast member was waiting with one of the resort golf cart thing-a-ma-jigs to take me to my building!

Again, I only took video at this point and I chatted with the gentleman who was driving me to the room. He was so nice and even stopped to let a family who was wandering aimlessly know that he’d be back in a moment to drive them to their room as well! I felt kind of bad because the family had 3 younger children with them and they actually all would have fit on the cart with us right then, but the cast member told them to wait where they were and he’d be right back for them.

Anywho, I was so excited to finally make it to Coronado Springs and to get into the room! Everyone was already asleep but after a quick hello to Shari and Cynthia (because I woke them when I opened the door to the room) I got ready for bed. We had to get up early for the festivities we had planned for first thing in the morning! And no, it’s not the race yet… :)

See Ya Real Soon!

 

Trouble is Brewing….

flightcancelHave you ever had an airline cancel your flight?

I’ve had a few friends and family members who had some kind of issue come up and they had flights cancelled and rescheduled causing them to spend long hours in the airport, get stranded at a certain destination, or even have to cancel entire trips. To me, this has always sounded like a super bad situation and one that I was glad to have never encountered.

So when my mom called me a couple of hours after the end of the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort and told me that my return flight home the next day had been cancelled because of ice in Dallas, I immediately felt stressed. My entire lower body was still trying to recover from the 13.1 miles that I’d ran and walked earlier that morning, and this news kind of just deflated my mood a bit. I was already achy and grouchy…and this news didn’t help that situation at all. So in the middle of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I have to figure out what the heck is going on and how I can get this handled. But lucky me, my phone isn’t charged enough and I can’t get my mom on the phone. Ugh….

And so, my friends, I begin my trip/race report.

Yeah, yeah…I know what you’re thinking.

“Hey! Why are you starting this trip/race report with stuff that happened AFTER the race?”

Well, everyone always starts at the beginning…and I’m feeling like mixing it up and doing this trip report differently than you’re used to! So I’m starting out telling you about how I am stressing out about my cancelled flight. Obviously, in order for you to really understand my frustration, we need to flash back to what happened before the race! And I’ll tell you more about that, tomorrow!

See Ya Real Soon!

So it Begins….

rundisneymickeyI’ve been up since about 3:30am.
I don’t even head to the airport until 3pm.
I won’t even arrive in Orlando until around 10:30pm and won’t get to my room at Coronado Springs Resort until midnight-ish.

BUT I’M SO EXCITED THAT I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!
The Princess Half Marathon isn’t until Sunday, but I’ll begin my Instagram Disney Trip/Race Report when I get to the airport this afternoon. Follow me on Instagram at @zianha22 to see the photos and videos from this weekend trip as they happen!

I’ll start my vlog for this trip when I get back!
Have a great Friday friends!

See Ya Real Soon!

Princess Half Marathon Pre-Trip Vlog #2!

Ok, this edition of my Princess Half Marathon Pre-Trip vlog is only slightly better than the first one! Check out my Evil Queen inspired outfit for race day!

Kind of a Pre-Trip Vlog…

I decided to post this even though my cat wouldn’t leave me alone. I’ll go back to making my videos in a room where I can shut her out.

See Ya Real Soon!

Pre-Trip Report (or How I Spent Super Bowl Sunday)

While everyone’s watching the Super Bowl today, I’m working on videos for my YouTube channel. But I can’t even get them uploaded cuz there’s a weird electrical issue that began at about 3am this morning. Hopefully they get that fixed tomorrow.

In the meantime, how about I give you a little Pre-Trip Report action for my Princess Half Marathon weekend? I’m SOOOOOO excited because there are a few things going on during this short trip that are on my Disney Bucket List.

1. I’ll be staying at a Moderate Resort for the first time ever!
I have only ever stayed at the Disney Value resorts (with Pop Century being my favorite and my “go-to” choice the past several years). So I’m so excited that I’ll get to stay at Coronado Springs!

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort2. I’ll be having an early morning breakfast at The Crystal Palace.
Ok, that’s not really a Disney Bucket List thing for me because I don’t care much about eating at the table service places, but it’s one of the highlights of this trip!

Crystal Palace

3. I’m running my first runDisney half marathon!
Ummm, it’s going to be my first EVER half marathon, and though I fulfilled my bucket list item of participating in a runDinsey event when I did the Expedition Everest Challenge back in May 2014, this is a bigger deal to me because I never would have thought that I’d decide and train for a half marathon!

The fact that my family trip to Walt Disney World is less than a month after the Princess Half Marathon, has me even more giddy! I’ve never been to my Happy Place for 2 different trips so close together! I’ve got some surprises in store for that trip, but you’ll have to wait until after this race weekend to hear about any of that! And using my travel agent friends has proven such a great decision! If you want help planning your Disney vacation, definitely contact Don and Tina with World of Magic Travel by going to their Facebook page Destinations With Character. Click the page name to visit their page and get their contact info. They don’t charge you agent fees, and they can take care of everything, so it’s a no-brainer!

It’s time for me to watch some Super Bowl commercials…and Katy Perry’s half time show was awesome! :)

See Ya Real Soon!