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.

IMG_20150221_123548

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.

IMG_0039

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!

IMG_0066  IMG_0065

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.

FB_IMG_1424525501222

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:

DSC_0244

DSC_0246

DSC_0245(1)

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!

IMG_0081

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!

Crazy

Wil Run for Disney4 weeks from today I will be running my first half marathon.
Crazy.

It was crazy enough when I even began running and did my first ever runDisney race in May at the Expedition Everest Challenge. I really didn’t think I’d go ahead and progress from that 5k to a half marathon. And I certainly didn’t think I’d want to also do a half marathon at Disneyland later this year in order to get my runDisney Coast to Coast medal.
Crazy.

I’ve had numerous people invite me to do non-Disney races closer to home and less expensive than runDisney, but I ONLY got serious about running in order to do runDisney races. Since I was too late to register for the final Expedition Everest Challenge and the Tower of Terror 10 miler was axed for this year, I don’t think I’ll be doing any other races besides the Princess Half Marathon and whichever Disneyland half that I decided on.

I have to admit I’m both excited and nervous. I still have to do run/walk/run intervals because otherwise my knee starts hurting after the first few miles. My goal is just to finish! I know I can do it but I’m still slightly nervous.

I’m also trying to plan better so that I can get my trip report for this weekend documented and posted on here in a timely manner (and actually finish it…unlike the previous trip report). Aside from my first half marathon, there will be several other firsts for me on this short trip!

I’m even more excited that shortly after the half marathon trip, I’m finally having my family vacation trip with my kids! There’s just lots going on for me this year that I never would have thought I’d be doing in my life! Like they say on Carousel of Progress, there’s a great big, beautiful tomorrow!
Crazy. ;)

See Ya Real Soon!

The Frozen Invasion

If any of you have been to my YouTube channel, you might have seen this video about my thoughts on the Frozen ride that is taking the place of the now closed and gone Maelstrom ride in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. And if you’ve seen the video, then you’ll know that I liked Frozen, I’m just not super duper pumped about the new ride being placed there. In fact, I’m increasingly less excited about seeing Frozen themed stuff every time I turn around.

I liked the movie, I sing the songs, I even waited in line at Disney World during the Expedition Everest Challenge race weekend in May to meet Ana and Elsa (crap…I still need to finish that trip/race report :/ ). But Frozen has been incorporated in so many areas of Disney Parks and apparently everything else in life that I’m feeling like the icy walls are closing in on me.

Elsa has been lighting up Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom this season, this year’s Disney Parks parade was turned into the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration (and featured very little parade…), and even the upcoming Princess Half Marathon has lots of Frozen flare. Check out the medals for the 2015 races:

Photo from the Disney Parks website.

Photo from the Disney Parks website.

Frozen water…wait, that would make it ice, right?

Aside from the bazillion and a half Frozen themed clothing items, games, toys and housewares available, there’s also stuff like Frozen duct tape and even bottled water. Two days ago I went to buy my usual 24 pack of bottled water to find that the only packs available with 24 or more bottles were these:

My 16 year old took one look and started to ask, “Why did you get-” but I quickly cut him off and said “Let it go!” He wasn’t as amused as I was….they never are. :P

I suppose I need to just get used to this Frozen phenomenon. As popular as this movie has been, Disney will ride the money coat tails as long as they can. Again I say, I liked Frozen. It just doesn’t have to be in EVERYTHING! If they manage to incorporate some Frozen characters or references into The Walking Dead…well, ok that actually would make me giggle!

See Ya Real Soon!