Posts Tagged by Animal Kingdom
|November 3, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Uncategorized|
If you haven’t been to Animal Kingdom lately, you might not know that it is currently quite the construction zone. I was there about a month ago and was kind of shocked by the amount of construction going on. After my initial disappointment with the appearance of the park, I immediately thought of the upcoming Wine & Dine Half Marathon and how this would effect the race.
Here’s the OASIS. For the race, the course goes to the left when you enter this area and I’m going to assume that this will cause quite a bit of congestion as we head into Africa.
The walls in Asia and going into Dinoland USA aren’t as obtrusive so I’m hoping they won’t cause a congestion problem, but they could cause the paths to be event darker than usual.
Animal Kingdom can be quite dark at night and all of this might make maneuvering a bit more difficult, so please be careful out there this weekend! And while all these walls might cause a bit of an eyesore now, I’m pretty excited to see what will be revealed when they come down. Might make next year’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon even better next year!
|October 27, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend|
Five Years Running! It’s hard to believe that the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is already 5 years old, but I’m happy to say that it has just gotten better with age. This is definitely one of my favorite courses because you get to run through 3 of the parks that are all lit up with fun nighttime entertainment…can’t get much better than that. Oh and look at the rad medals you can get!
Like any runDisney race weekend, there are TONS of details that you need to know to make your race go smoothly. Well I’ve got all of that for your right here in one place! Let’s get started…
Health & Fitness Expo
Like all other runDisney race weekends you will need to start yours by heading to the Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Hours for the Expo are:
- Friday, November 7th: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday, November 8th: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Participants in all of the races MUST attend the Expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag doubles at the bag to use for bag check during the race. This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, such as pins or necklaces.
Your first stop at the Expo will be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up. If you are unable to attend the Expo, you can arrange for an absentee pick-up by filling out an authorization form (found here) and providing the person picking up your bib with a photo copy of your ID and signed waiver.
From there you will then proceed across the way to the Jostens Center to pick up your race shirt and gEAR bag, visit with over 50 vendors and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.
Bus transportation will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events taking place during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. This includes the Expo, 5K, Kids Races and the half marathon. Bus service to the Expo will run during the following times:
- Friday, November 7th: 9:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
- Saturday, November 8th: 8:30 am – 2:30 am (last bus will leave for the resorts at 3:30 pm)
For the 5K, runners must be on a bus by 5:30 am to make it to the corrals by 6:15 am at the latest. For Kids Races, families must be on a bus by 9:00 am to make it to the corrals by 9:45 am at the latest. For the 10-Miler, runners must be on a bus by 8:00 pm to make it to the corrals by 9:15 pm at the latest. Buses will run until 4:30 am on Sunday for a return trip to the resort. If you are staying at the Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan or Dolphin, you have the option of walking back to your resort at the end of the night.
These are the host resorts for the weekend:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events. An important thing to note is that there will be NO parking or guest drop-off at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the evening of the race. Runners will need to park at Epcot and take shuttles to the Sports Complex. Parking fees for runners and spectators will be waived at Epcot after 6:00 pm on the night of the race. Runners must be on a shuttle by 8:00 pm, so make sure to leave extra time to park your car and wait in line for a shuttle. Event transportation will be suspended between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm due to road closures and the start of the race.
Costumes are one of the best parts of any Disney race. It’s amazing to see what some people run in! For this race you will see a lot of chefs and food themed costumes. I even saw someone running as a bunch of grapes!
Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated. This is for your own safety, especially during a night race! So who are you dressing up as??
Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.
Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race. The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around if you are planning on staying for the after party.
All bags must be checked by 9:00 pm at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Bags will be available for pick-up in the Epcot Imagine Parking Lot and must be claimed by 2:30 am on the morning of November 9th.
Staging Area & Start Corrals
When you arrive by shuttle to to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex you will be directed to a large staging area. This is where you will find bag check, water stations, photo ops and most importantly Port-a-Potties. You can hang out here until about 30 minutes until the start of the race when you will need to be in your corrals.
The corrals will be located in the Touchdown Lot at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you. All runners MUST be in their starting corral by 9:30 pm. The Wine & Dine Half Marathon will start at 10:00 pm with the wheelchair start at 9:58 pm.
You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number. I will be in Corral H so please say hi if you see me around!
Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt. Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo. Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time. If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly. Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible.
You must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line. Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos. Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time. Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.
There will be 9 PowerAde and water stops along the course and they are located approximately 1.5 miles apart from each other. The PowerAde flavor is lemon-lime, so if that isn’t your thing you should carry your own. There will be one food station at mile 8.4 that will have Clif Shots available.
Changing areas will be available in the finish line area of the Epcot Imagine Lot after the race so you can get out of those sweaty clothes to enjoy the Finish Line Party. But be warned that there is no privacy and the tents can get hot, so I have found that it is worth it to stand in line for a bit to get into an air conditioned restroom to change.
Tip for you: Walk farther into Epcot and use the bathrooms in one of the Innoventions buildings…they are typically empty!
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
More information on other events like the Kids Races is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend. Also, check out some of my packing tips as your get ready to travel and one of my plans for prepping for night races. Also, Jenn from DISining Memories recently shared some great tips on Prepping for a Night Race vs. a Morning Race if you’re not used to running at night.
I ran this race two years ago and have tips and insights from my experience in my race recaps, plus from my friends who covered it for me last year! Hopefully you will find some of them useful:
- Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K Race Recap
- 2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Race Recap: A West Coast Point of View
- Wine & Dine Weekend Health & Fitness Expo
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon: Race Recap
- 2012 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Photos!
- Wine & Dine Half Marathon After Party
I really excited to be returning this year to run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. It’s probably my favorite race course and my second favorite race after Princess. Plus having the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at the finish line is a BIG win in my book! Speaking of the Food & Wine Festival, make sure to get a copy of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to help you plan out what booth you want to hit after the race to refuel.
Take my advice and head straight to Australia for a lamb chop (protein!) and take it inside Craft Beers to enjoy with an ice cold brew. You can thank me later 😉
Hope to see you there!!
|October 7, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Guest Posts, Race Recaps, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler|
As many runDisney veterans can tell you, when you run a Disney race you are never really alone even if you start out that way. The spectators, on course entertainment and overall friendly atmosphere make it the perfect place to run if you are a solo runner or if it is your first long distance race. Well this past weekend, Holly found all of that to be very true as she ran The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler! If you have ever hesitated to run a race because the distance seemed to long or because you didn’t have a running partner, you MUST read this story!
10 miles…52,800 feet…633,600 inches…Could I really run that far? All by myself? In a crowd of 12,000 people? YES! How do I know? Because I DID it! And you can, too!
Saturday, October 4, 2014 was my first ever runDisney event, my first ever competitive distance over 3.1 miles, and most importantly, the first time I’ve ever run a race without a friend along for encouragement. My husband and I were vacationing at Walt Disney World for 11 days and my race was scheduled for day 10 of our trip. After nine and a half days of beating up my feet in the autumn heat, humidity, and rain, I was about to say goodbye to my husband and start on a two-and-a-half hour journey all on my own. This wasn’t just any race for me. There was a lot riding on this finish.
After running a 5K last year, I wanted to try a longer race, but I hate to run, so I really needed something that would motivate me to keep lacing up my sneakers again and again. My friend Jessica suffers from a chronic form of cancer that she will be battling for the rest of her life, and I found that motivation when I decided to run for Jessica’s benefit. Every time we come home from WDW, Jessica anxiously awaits my report of all of the new things that are happening in our favorite place. But as her cancer recurs again and again, I’ve started to notice a change in Jessica’s eyes when we talk about these trips. It’s not jealousy or sadness, but a steely acceptance that she’ll only ever experience these things vicariously through me. With such an uncertain future, allocating money to a Disney vacation is just not something that her family can do. So I decided to take action. I decided that I would run a race to raise money to send Jessica and her family to Disney. When we arrived in Florida, we had already exceeded our fundraising goal of $5000 and all that was left was for me to finish the race.
On race night,we took the Mears event bus from Saratoga Springs Resort at 7:45pm and arrived at the staging area which is in the Film parking lot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We entered the event venue via the makeshift bag check line, but no Disney Cast Members were there to welcome us or give directions. The giant parking lot loomed in front of us with lines to sign the guest registry, lines to take a photo, lines to take a last minute potty break.
I was too nervous to be in the mood for dancing, but a DJ was warming up the crowd and playing lots of familiar, inspiring tunes from both Disney and popular repertoires. While waiting in line, we met up with two other solo runners, but they were starting in different corrals, so I would have to say goodbye to my new friends once the race began.
At 9:15, my husband and I went our separate ways. He went off to watch the start of the race from the big screen and I headed into my corral dreading the 10 lonely miles ahead and wishing that I had chosen the 5K instead so I could have been on my way to the Villain’s Bash instead of embarking on the torture trail. I kept my phone with me for comfort and because I didn’t want to do this run without access to a camera!
At about 9:45, the corrals started to move out to the starting line. I had submitted my estimated finish time of 2:15:00, which had earned me a starting spot in corral H. Usually I can find someone to chat with in any Disney situation, but during the 30 minutes that I spent in the corral, I didn’t speak to anyone. I was just too nervous. Then at 10:00, the first corral was released. I wanted to run away, but I had come this far and there was no turning back now. As each corral was released on 2-minute intervals, I felt more and more nervous. Then suddenly about 20 minutes into the race, our time had come! This time the fireworks were for corral H!
At that moment, I was missing my training buddies. I wanted to chat away the 10 miles with them as we alternated between jogging and walking. I wanted to look forward to sharing the joy of crossing the finish line with them. I wanted their support and encouragement for the moments ahead when I was going to want to quit.
Typically, I run 1-minute intervals, but as all of the people around me started to run, I got caught up in the excitement. I ran for nearly a mile and a half straight before I realized that I had better pace myself if I hoped to survive until the end. We ran all the way to Animal Kingdom before turning around on Osceola Parkway and heading back to ESPN Wide World of Sports. Between the mile markers, characters, music, and water stops, it was easy to get lost in the atmosphere and not pay attention to the distance for the first five miles or so.
Somewhere around mile 6, running started to become difficult. I had only done three runs that were longer than 6 miles, so I expected to be tired by this point. Then the most amazing thing happened. We turned the corner into one of the baseball diamonds and spectators were lining the stadium to cheer for us. From the time we left that stadium, volunteers and families lined our route shouting words of encouragement, smiling, waving giant Mickey hands at us. Suddenly I didn’t feel alone anymore. These people were cheering for me! Encouraging me to keep running! I wanted to stop and hug each and every one of them individually for giving up their time to help motivate 12,000 strangers to accomplish something a goal.
We made a left turn back onto Osceola Parkway and down the home stretch to Hollywood Studios. I wasn’t alone anymore. These people were rooting for me and my husband was waiting at that finish line, ready to tell me how proud he was of me. I was unstoppable! I had long since thrown the intervals out the window. I was running for as long as I could and walking when I needed to conserve energy. When we passed under the Hollywood Studios welcome sign, Hades was waiting for us and announcing that we only had a mile and a half to go!
As we wove our way through Hollywood Studios, both onstage and backstage, the excitement started to build. We ran past the hat and past Toy Story Mania before looping around backstage to the finish line. All the while, people were cheering and it was such an amazing feeling! As soon as I crossed the finish line, a volunteer was waiting with a cool towel. Then another volunteer handed me a medal and another presented bottles of water and powerade. Down the line, more volunteers were waiting to hand me a snack box and a banana and someone else wanted to take my picture.
Twelve thousand people crossed the starting line for this race and when I crossed the finish line, every single person that I encountered made me feel like I won the race. It was a hero’s welcome so grand that I could barely feel the pain in my legs and feet. All of the feelings of being alone and scared at the start had vanished. I was inaugurated as a member of the runDisney club. I wasn’t alone after all. I had this huge network of strangers who cared enough to make me feel like I had scaled Mt. Everest. My time of 2:07:11 was good enough to finish 432 out of 1102 participants in my age group, better than I could have hoped for at the start of the race.
In the end, I’m glad I was running by myself. I could set my own pace and shift my position on the course to avoid traffic without the burden of pacing myself to the group’s speed and ability. I was able to run when I wanted to run and walk when I needed to walk. The festive atmosphere and music was enough to keep the course fresh and interesting. I did not stop for any character photos because the lines were long and I didn’t want to risk falling behind the required pace, but seeing Jafar, Captain Hook, Queen of Hearts, Big Bad Wolf, Stitch, Dr. Facilier, the hyenas, and others on the course certainly helped to keep that atmosphere light. I will do a runDisney event again and I would readily run alone again. It was intimidating at first, but the tremendous volunteers and all of the fanfare made it a fantastic and memorable experience!
Holly Liska never thought she would be a runner. As a gymnast, she grew up competing in an anaerobic sport and struggled with the endurance required to run long distances. After one season of high school track, she didn’t care to ever run again, but a community event sponsored by the Real Estate Agency where she works inspired her to try to run a 5K. She’s been running regularly ever since and she just completed her first 10-mile race.
|May 8, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Expedition Everest Challenge, Guest Posts, Race Recaps|
Today Sarah from Running for Inspiration is here with a really fun recap of the Expedition Everest Challenge. After reading this post and seeing all of the fun photos, I am even more disappointed that I didn’t take part in the event this year. It is definitely on my runDisney to do list for 2015!
Have you ever ridden a roller coaster at 1 in the morning?
It’s pretty awesome.
Not so awesome? Rain. Especially in 60 degree weather. Especially for Floridians who have been training in 70 and 80 degree rainless weather.
The Expedition Everest Challenge weekend kicked off on Friday with the expo which was at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Unlike the last expo I went to there (for Princess Weekend), this was all outdoors and pretty small. Packet pick up was in the inside part of the baseball stadium, as was the official merchandise (where I spent wayyyyyyy too much money).
The vendors were all outside which was unfortunate since it was threatening rain. There were only 6 or 7 vendors there but I picked up a new shirt from Raw Threads, a couple of shoe charms from BeeCause, and I gazed longingly at the Garmin Forerunner 220 that I’ve been pining after for the last month. After grabbing some free yogurt (I love free food!) I headed back to my resort to beat the rain.
My sister-in-law Lackey and I stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort which was one of the host resorts, so the day of the race we caught the bus, and arrived at Animal Kingdom around 8:45, which left us plenty of time to go to the bathroom and get situated in our corral. We spent a good hour or so just people watching and looking at everyone’s great costumes.
There were a bunch of people dressed as Elsa and Anna who committed! Full costumes! We just did the shirts and braided our hair.
We also saw Robin Hood and Maid Marian along with the vultures and 3 men dressed like Indiana Jones. Which was perfect because I love Robin Hood and Lackey loves Indiana Jones.
We were in Corral I, which was the second to last corral and with 6 minutes in between each wave we had to wait a loooooooooong time. Add to that the rain and then the breeze and Lackey was a very grumpy Elsa. But by the time we started running the rain had stopped and we were itching to go.
The first half mile we ran with no problem and no walk breaks and we came to the first obstacle around .75 miles in which was hay bale hurdles. I jumped about 4 of them and then went around the rest. I’m not breaking an ankle on a hay bale less than a mile into the race! Lackey loved it, wanted to do it again even. I put the kibosh on that though.
About a mile in we entered the park and we saw Donald Duck so I made Lackey stop for a picture because Donald is my soul mate.
We looped through the park and saw people already working on the scavenger hunt. Around mile 2 we saw Mickey and then went behind Expedition Everest for the out and back portion of the race and through the second obstacle which was tires. I stepped daintily through (again, I don’t want to break an ankle) and we continued on. Once you get to the end of the road there was FIRE! and you turned around and headed back.
My favorite part of the race? On the way back, we passed the tires again and a dude dressed as Iron Man said, “Obstacles! Yes!” and then tripped over the first tire. He was ok! Iron Man just forgot how to fly. Let’s blame Jarvis for that one.
After that we were just on the back road behind the park until mile 3 where the final obstacle was located. You had to crawl under netting and come out the other side. Not going to lie, we skipped it. Super lame, I know. But we just wanted to cross the finish line which we could see! So we sprinted! And then began the scavenger hunt.
There were 5 clues of varying difficulty. We got the first one wrong. And the second one wrong. But the rest we got right! And I might be biased because we got it wrong, but that second question was hard! You had to find letters spelled out in the previous clue and then add them together; it was weird and not what I would have thought of. But I guess that’s the point of a scavenger hunt, to make you think differently. Plus we got cool Sharpies/Flashlights so that soothed my battered pride. Back through the rest of the park, collecting and solving clues as we went and across the finish lines to get our medals! So pretty and shiny. It opens up into a compass but my compass didn’t know how to compass. I’m always going north. But I’m not planning on taking my medal through the wilderness where I might get lost so that’s ok.
Back through the park again for the party! This was my first time going to Animal Kingdom and I rode Expedition Everest for the first time and it was the Best. Roller. Coaster. EVER. Not even exaggerating. We also rode Dinosaur where I felt like I was about to be thrown from the ride and left 65 million years ago. That would have been ok with me though because I had a backup plan. I think I would find one of the herbivores to befriend and ride him around like an elephant. I’d name him Frederick, I think.
After that I had to feed Lackey because she is always hungry (I think she has a tape worm or something) and then she got scared of the Yeti on stilts and we had to leave.
Moral of the story: Always ride roller coasters in the dark; don’t worry if your college education let you down during a scavenger hunt because you’ll still get a medal; always have a backup plan in case you get left in the past; and if you see a Yeti on stilts, run away.
Also, if you’re able to, definitely do Expedition Everest next year. I had a blast.
Sarah Simpson. Alabama born, Florida raised. Florida State University alumna (Go Noles!). Perpetrator of harebrained schemes foremost of which is running a half marathon in 6 months. Some people call me Gonzo. You can call me Gonzo the Great. No, wait, don’t do that. My ego will explode. Just call me Sarah. And read my blog. And follow me on Pinterest. You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter too but that’s not as much fun as the others.
|April 24, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Uncategorized|
The Expedition Everest Challenge is probably one of the most unique race offerings in the runDisney lineup. A 5K with obstacles finished with a scavenger hunt…why have I never done this race?!?! Everything about it sounds like a blast!
The weekend starts with packet pickup on May 2nd at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The hours are as follows:
- Friday, May 2nd: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday, May 3rd: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
All race participants MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib, race shirt, and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag also doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race. Teams will receive one packet, but both team members should be there to show their Photo IDs.
This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration and pick up after party tickets for spectators. Transportation will be provided to and from all Walt Disney World Resort Host Resorts 30 minutes prior to opening and 30 minutes after closing. The Host Resorts for this race are:
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort
Unlike other race weekends that have large expos, this is much smaller and everything takes place in Champion Stadium. There will be a few vendors in the “Base Camp & Bazaar” area to get any last minute race needs.
Here is all of the information you will need for Race Day.
- Host Resort Transportation Transportation will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events during Expedition Everest Challenge Weekend from the host resorts listed above.
- Bus transportation will be during the following times for the race:
- Saturday, May 3rd, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm and 10:15 pm – 3:00 am
- Participants are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes prior to the race start at 10:00 pm
- Bus transportation will be during the following times for the race:
- Driving Directions If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events. Parking will be available in the Animal Kingdom parking lot.
- Costumes This is one of the best parts of Disney races…the costumes! Runners get so creative and it’s so fun to see. Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated. Who is dressing up as a Yeti??
- Bag Check Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the packet pickup to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside. Bag check will be open from 8:00 pm to 1:30 am.
- Start Corrals Corrals will be located in the Butterfly parking lot of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Your assigned corral will be found on your race bit.
- Race Bibs Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt. Safety pins will be provided in your race packet. Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time. If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly. Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible and smile for that camera
- Pacing Requirements Remember, you must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race. Your final time will be the combination of the 5K Adventure Run and the Scavenger Hunt. The 5K Adventure Run course will close at 11:45 pm and the Scavenger Hunt course will close at 1:00 am. You must cross the finish line in the Butterfly Parking Lot after the Scavenger Hunt to complete the race.
- Finish Line & Post Race Party This is where the fun really begins! After the race, head on back into the park for a celebration until 2:30 am. Catch a ride up Mt. Everest and challenge the Yeti again on Expedition Everest. Kali River Rapids (a great post-race
showercool down), Dinosaur and all of the attractions in Dinoland USA will also be open. So grab a beer and enjoy the evening!
Looking for the course map? Here you go!
After the event you will get one of the coolest runDisney medal…it’s a compass!
Are you taking the Expedition Everest Challenge?