Now that I officially have my 3rd Disney run under my belt (and medal hanging on my wall) it is time for a recap!
Cheryl and I have dedicated this year to runDisney. We previously ran the Disney World Marathon in January dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Then we ran the Princess Half Marathon dressed as Snow White and Jasmine.
For this race we finally pulled in two running newbies, our friends Kristen and Jill. Jill was ready and excited for the race. Kristen had a lot of nerves going in, but both of them had a blast!
We stayed at a host resort, Port Orleans Riverside, from Thursday to Monday. The hotel was gorgeous and our room was awesome!
Every other race we have done so far we have gotten here the day before. We always were missing out on the merchandise. This time we knew to get there early, but sadly I wasn’t as excited about the merchandise as I was in previous races. I did get my mini medal for my vinylmation though!
The day of the race we went to the park in the morning and then headed back around lunch time to relax and sit by the pool. This was my first night race and I wasn’t sure how to prepare for it. We trained together at night during the week doing runs, but we were always done around 10 since we all had to be up for work. We sat by the pool for about an hour and then I forced myself to nap for another hour and a half. It wasn’t the best rest but it was something. We got down to the bus around 7:30 and headed over to the start!
The start was not crowded at all when we got there. We saw two huge lines near the front, but decided to bypass them to check our bags and hit the port-potties. Once we were done we realized it was only 8pm! We had two more hours to kill until the race started so we decided to stand in the long lines with everyone else. I originally thought it was to take a picture in front of an elevator. They had one at the expo. I was a little disappointed when we got to the front and it was just a gate with a sign, but we took our picture anyway.
Once we were done we stood in the now crazy long porta-potty lines one more time and then headed to to corrals. This race we were in corral E, which is further back then we are used to, but better than the end. The corrals were also set up a lot different than past races. They were gated off diagonally. Once each corral was ready you went out one side and walked down to the start line in groups. Not sure if it was because of where the start was or if they are trying a new system, but it seemed to work ok.
The speaker systems were a little wonky. At first we could hear, then they shut off, then they would work again. We waited around until the start, which went off with spectacular fireworks as usual! As the corrals in front of us started we moved closer to the front. I was surprised when we got all the way to the banner before we stopped.
After the countdown and fireworks we were off! The beginning of the race we ran toward laser beams, fog and the tower of terror music. It was pretty cool. Then we headed out of Hollywood Studios and up a ramp. On the ramp was the wicked stepmother. We didn’t stop. I was surprised they had a character not even a mile into the race! Next we ran toward Animal Kingdom. On the way we stopped at our first character, Jafar!
Next we ran through the front gates of Animal Kingdom. They had guys on giant stilts dressed up. They were great, high-fiving everyone as we passed. Once inside we got inside we got water and then looped around under a bridge with a giant inflated spider! On our trip back down the other side of the highway we stopped to say hi to Jack and Sally and the Queen of Hearts!
Next we saw Doctor Facilier but didn’t stop. After we got more water we headed down a dirt path toward the ESPN Wide World of Sports. This was probably the most miserable part of the run. A few feet in we saw Captain Hook.
He was standing in front of a ship blowing out ridiculous amounts of fog so the pictures are hard to see. Once we got back on the path all I wanted to do was get out of there. People were walking all over the place, blocking the path. You could barely see, there were rocks and sticks all over. I felt like I was in a rock concert trying to push my way to the front, but I was just trying to keep my pace and get on a normal road again. We even passed Scar and they hyenas but didn’t stop because I couldn’t handle it anymore.
Finally when we got to the Wide World of Sports there was water and space! We then ran onto the track. On the other side of the track were grave diggers.
After we headed back to the path and into the baseball stadium. Before the race they had said that there was going to be a baseball game going on so when we started running onto the field I got confused. Then over the loud speaker there was someone saying how something landed on the field and all the players and umpires disappeared and all that was left was their uniforms. In the middle of the field was this giant electromagnet spitting shock waves. Pretty cool. And there were uniforms all over the field. I liked that they tried to make it a little surprise.
Next we headed out of Wide World of Sports. We saw the Big Bad Wolf, but didn’t stop. My friend Kristen was having issues with her outfit and had things digging into her skin :( There were also creepy zombies and ghouls along the highway, but we just wanted to finish at that point. It was VERY humid out as you can tell from our sweat stained outfits. Heading back toward Hollywood Studios we saw Mlificent on the bridge telling us to run faster.
So we did! We got into Hollywood Studios and passed Stitch. I was kind of sad he wasn’t dressed as a bellhop or we would have definitely stopped. Then we also saw Mike from Monsters Inc. Once we were passing the Toy Story Mania ride I knew we were almost there! We rounded the turn and ran through the finish line!
Yay we did it! I was really proud of my friends Kristen and Jill. There first major race and they did great! I also love the medals. There is a spring elevator that I kept playing with all night haha
Once we got through the finish line we got our frosty towels, drinks and snack boxes and headed to find a place to sit. Unfortunately that was another mile away. We walked UP a HILL and then down some more ramps until we finally got to the park itself. Most of the place looked like a medical tent with people just sprawled out everywhere. Then we had to keep going to the backlot of the Indiana Jones show to get our packets. Once we got our packets we just sat down and changed our shoes and rested for a while. The it was time to party!
I knew I wanted to ride Tower of Terror no matter what. Not only is it my all time favorite Disney ride, but we were dressed as bellhops! The line was about 45 minutes when we got on. Unfortunately we couldn’t convince our friend Jill to brave her fears and ride with us.
It was awesome. All the bellhops working there kept saying things like “You’re late” or “I think I know you from somewhere”
The best part was yet to come though :) We asked to sit in the front row so that no one would block us in the picture. We tried to pose like the bellhops that work there, but it’s pretty difficult when you are being dropped!
After the ride when we arrived at the bottom the bellhop tells us to stay seated. We were confused. Then she asks us if we want to go again! I get to ride my favorite ride twice in a row and not wait in line! YES So we headed upstairs through the back staff elevator and got the front row once again. When we got down from the second ride she told us to wait again. Then she was asking us where we got our costumes, we told her we made them. She said we lost our sleeves haha. Then she asked us if we wanted to greet the next car. WHAT! Cheryl and I were nervous so we had the actress Kristen speak and we just stared creepily at everyone. Once the whole car (of runners) realized we didn’t work there they broke out in applause. They thought it was awesome and some girls even asked to take a picture with us haha. We definitely took a picture with our favorite bellhop of the night
At this point it was 3am. We were going to ride the Great Movie Ride but it was closed so we just decided to call it an awesome night and head home. I had a lot of fun during the race, as I do with all Disney races, but the after party was a nice added bonus.
I can’t wait until Wine and Dine in just 28 days!