Posts Tagged by downtown disney

Marathon Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando

One of the hidden gems at the Walt Disney World Resort is the Bonnet Creek Resort located near Downtown Disney.  This resort is made up of the Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando hotels and provides unparalleled accommodations and luxury….and that is coming from this DVC member, Disney resort loving gal!

Waldorf-Astoria-Orlando-Marathon-Weekends-LogoThis resort is also a great place to stay during runDisney race weekends! They have started offering a special experience for runners called Marathon Weekends which includes a special rate on accommodations, complimentary transportation to and from the race, snacks and beverages at the pre-race celebration, a runners welcome package and much more!

I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and had an amazing time.  Let’s take a look at the resort and some of what you get during Marathon Weekends.


The Resort

Waldorf Astoria hotels are known for their luxury, elegance and sophistication.  This one is no exception and really makes you feel like you are far away from Walt Disney World.  As you walk in the circular lobby you are greeted by this elegant seating area. Just look at the detail on the ceiling!



Off of the lobby is a complimentary water station with different flavored waters and the beautiful Peacock Alley.  This lounge is full of comfy, plush furnishings and features a live pianist in the evenings.  I must admit I was a bit jealous of everyone in there on the night of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.



Out back is a gorgeous, simple pool area with numerous cabanas available.  This pool is definitly geared more towards adults, but good news is that resort guests with children can head next door to the Hilton’s (the hotels are connected) large pool and lazy river!


The Rooms

The grand feeling in the lobby carries through to the guest room floors.  Just walking down the hallway to your room, you know that there is something special in store.


Our Deluxe Room featured two queen beds, flat screen TV, work station, double closets, coffee maker and an incredibly spacious bathroom featuring a large jacuzzi tub and wonderful glass shower.








The rooms all come with two super comfy robes (that are available for purchase) and let me just tell you, these were PERFECT when I came back cold and wet from the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  I bundled right up in one of these.


And the beds…oh the beds!  The fluffy pillows and warm comforter are the perfect way to rest up before and after a race.  This was honestly one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in!


One of the perks of the Waldorf Astoria is their turndown service.  Not only is your bed turned down, but slippers are left out for you and chocolates are waiting to be indulged in.



Marathon Weekend Amenities


Upon checking in during Marathon Weekends, you will be given a gift bag that includes instructions for the weekend and some accessories like bandaids!  In your room you will find extra bottles of water and a few runner friendly snack to help fuel you for the big race.




Before the race, a pre-race celebration is held over at the Hilton, which is also where the complimentary race transportation leaves from.  This is just a quick walk from the resort or there is a a shuttle to bring you over.  Here you will find a TON of enthusiastic cheerleaders, food and beverage to fuel up and some really fun photo ops.





Since Wine & Dine is a night race, they had a lot of glowing items available too.  I love these bracelets!


If you are looking for a pampering, relaxing and luxurious retreat during your runDisney race weekend, look no further than the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.  The service and amenities are first-class and definitely help put you at ease during those hectic race weekends.  Rooms are still available for the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Princess Half Marathon Weekend at very reasonable rates…check it out!

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821
Phone: 407.597.5500
Reservations: 888.353.2009

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and was provided with complementary accommodations for two nights. I was not required to write this post and no monetary compensation has been received.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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A Tour of the B Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista


Before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon this year, I was able to stay a few nights at the new B Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista. This Downtown Disney hotel officially opened in June of 2014 after an extensive two year renovation of the former Royal Plaza hotel.  B Resort is a lifestyle hotel showcasing fun, modern decor and featuring 394 guest rooms and suites, a brand new pool area, signature BBQ restaurant, and a full service spa.  All this within walking distance to Downtown Disney!  Let’s take a look around.


B Resort & Spa has a fun, unique language that they use to encourage self-expression among their guests. This can be seen even before you walk through the front doors.


Reminiscent of hotels in South Beach, the lobby is completely white with splashes of color around creating their B Ambiance.




There are plenty of seating areas for guests to relax and B Social and complementary water available with flavors that change daily.



You can B In Touch with the Monscierge digital concierge system that can be found around the resort. These are basically giant iPads that can recommend nearby restaurants, give up to date weather forecasts and where you can even check-in for a flight.


Guest Rooms

The rooms at B Resort & Spa are modern and stylish, yet comfortable enough for a whole family to enjoy.  I stayed in a Deluxe Room with two queen beds and a pull out sofa.  Rooms are available with a king bed, bunk beds and even suites with kitchenettes or wet bars.



The Blissful Bed is a signature B Resort bed and is probably one of the most comfortable beds I have slept in…and that includes my bed at home!


The decor is sleek and sophisticated.  Other amenities include a spacious closet with and in-room safe, LED television, a min-fridge, and a B Treated Box of in-room snacks.  The only thing I missed were drawers to put my clothes in.




The bathrooms are very spacious.  I love the stand up shower, however the water pressure left something to be desired.



While the rooms have small balconies, they hotel does not want guests out on them.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the amazing views!


Each room comes with a B Humane stuffed animal that represents an endangered species.  They are available for “adoption” with the proceeds going towards a select environmental organization.  A small way B Resorts helps to B Sensitive to the environment!



Just off the lobby is B Resort’s farmhouse chic signature restaurant, American Q, where you can B Nourished.




The menu features a la carte barbecue specialties from dozens of regions nationwide, as well as an “all-you-can-eat” parade of BBQ meats.  Everything is smoked right in the restaurant in their custom built Smokehouse and you can smell the deliciousness out in the parking lot!



The centerpiece of the restaurant is the appetizer and salad buffet in the bed of a ’50 cherry red Ford F1 pickup.  This is SUPER COOL!


There is a full bar with numerous local beers on tap.


I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to eat there, but I did stop in for a cocktail.  This is the Cherry Maple Manhattan made with bacon infused Woodford Reserve, cherry liquor, maple syrup & Angostura bitters.  And yes, that is candied bacon in there!  YUM!


There is also a grab ‘n go location where you can grab coffee or a snack.  I love how they keep up the theme from American Q.



There are tons of amenities at the B Resort & Spa!  Through the lobby there is a patio area with plenty of communal seating and a larger than life chess & checkers board.




There is over 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space available.  Check out that chandy candy!



The pool at B Resort is brand new and features zero-entry and multiple interactive elements.  Private cabanas are available and a a very cool pool bar is in the works.




There is also a kids lounge off of the pool area that has games and activities to keep the kiddos occupied while you relax poolside.


Oh an let’s not forget the B Indulged spa by Aveda!  More to come on that later…yes, I was able to B Indulged with a hot stone massage.  But for now, check out the spacious B Active fitness center.



Lastly, you are able to purchase many of your favorite Disney items right at the resort since it is an official Downtown Disney hotel.  You can even get park tickets!



A few things to note.

  • Transportation to the 4 main Walt Disney World parks is complimentary
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort
  • Magical Express is not available from the airport and separate transportation will need to be arranged
  • There is an additional resort fee, as well as a fee for valet and self parking

I REALLY enjoyed my stay at the B Resort & Spa.  It is convenient to everything in Walt Disney World and I loved the modern design.  I will definitely be back and I hope to see you there!

B Resort & Spa
1905 Hotel Plaza Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: 407.828.2828
Reservations: 888.66BHOTELS

Disclosure: I was a guest of the B Resort & Spa and was provided with complementary accommodations for two nights. I was not required to write this post and no monetary compensation has been received.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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Registration Information for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Registration for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opens today at noon!  How did this get here so quickly?!?


The festivities take place January 7 – 11, 2014 with over 50,000 runners converging on Walt Disney World.  This race weekend is the ultimate runner’s family vacation.  There is something for everyone!  From the youngest in the family to the Dopiest of runners, you are sure to find an event for you.  Registration opens today at noon and you can click here to register for any (or all) of the events.   

Most races saw a 5-6% increase in pricing this year.  The prices are as follows:

Dopey Challenge

  • $530 by June 24, 2014
  • $560 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $590 on or after August 20, 2014

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

  • $360 by June 24, 2014
  • $380 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $400 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World Marathon

  • $170 by June 24, 2014
  • $185 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $200 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

  • $170 by June 24, 2014
  • $185 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $200 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World 10K

  • $105 by June 24, 2014
  • $120 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $135 on or after August 20, 2014

Disney Family Fun Run 5K

  • $60 per participant by September 23, 2014
  • $70 on or after September 24, 2014

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $15 per child by September 23, 2014
  • $20 on or after September 24, 2014

Mickey Mile

  • $30 per child by September 23, 2014
  • $35 on or after September 24, 2014

Race Retreat Packages

  • $120 Full Marathon
  • $120 Half Marathon
  • $225 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
  • $225 Dopey Challenge

Pasta in the Park Parties

  • $54 per adult
  • $30 per child

Don’t forget that DVC members receive a discount on runDisney events!  Make sure to visit your member page to obtain the discount codes.

As usual for most runDisney events, packet pick-up will be required at the Health & Fitness Expo held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning Wednesday, January 7th.  There are so many other great events over the weekend, like the Pasta in the Park Party, Cool Down Party and more!  Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend.

You can also check out some posts from the past few WDW Marathon Weekends to get you excited!



So what race will you be running over Marathon Weekend?  

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RAD Recap for February 2, 2014

So this little guy saw his shadow this morning, meaning we are in for 6 more weeks of winter… groundhog-day Really Phil…come on! Well I guess I’ll be bundling up and shoveling snow for a while longer…on the bright side it will just make Spring all that more wonderful 🙂 This week was pretty RAD and if you missed it, well…. Glynnis took us to the Cool Down Party in Downtown Disney during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  This looked like a lot of FUN! 2014-WDW-Cool-Down2 All of the races for Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend went on sale Tuesday and then promptly sold out in under 24 hours.  It is quite unbelievable how popular this race weekend is. DL Half Logo Speaking of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, Kim compared that race weekend to the recent Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  I have to say…Tink looks better to me! Tink-vs-Dumbo4 And finally, Stacy experienced the Family Reunion Breakfast after the Inaugural WDW 10K and shares the positives and negatives. Family-Reunion-Breakfast2 Also around the interwebs…

Hope everyone enjoys the Super Bowl today and if your team is playing…best of luck!  Being a NY Giants fan, it’s just fun to watch the game at Giants Stadium this year (yes, it will always be Giants Stadium!).  However, I do find the Kitty Halftime Show during the Puppy Bowl the highlight of the day… kitty-halftime-show RAD Signature 100x75

Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney

I was way too sore to attend the Cool Down Party last year and I was really bummed to miss it.  Now after reading Glynnis‘ experience this year, I’m even more bummed!  This looks like so much fun and a great way to enjoy the end of Marathon Weekend!  And I mean really, who doesn’t love discounted food and drinks?!?


My first marathon was the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2007. Since then, my love for runDisney and running has skyrocketed and I try to make the most of every opportunity I have to participate in these incredible events. I’ve now run in WDW Marathon weekend three times, but this year was my longest trip yet.

I was one of the lucky, albeit somewhat crazy, runners to run the Inaugural Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half, Full- 48.6 total miles). Running four days in a row, of any distance, can be exhausting, especially when your alarm goes off at 3am each of those days! I knew, however, that I didn’t want my race weekend to end with the marathon. I wanted to participate in Race Weekend from beginning to end, by closing out the week with the Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney.


The runDisney Welcome banner made its way to the party!

The party is open to everyone and is essentially a chance for runners to meet up one last time before race weekend ends and to enjoy discounts at certain restaurants and stores. Not all establishments participate in the discounts, but runDisney advertised those that would be participating in their Official Event Guide.


Official Event Guide coverage of the Cool Down Party

The party’s hours are from 4-8pm, which is when the discounts are supposed to be valid. After the marathon, my boyfriend (who ran with me) and I were so exhausted, we needed a few hours of rest, to rejuvenate and try to relieve some of the pain in our feet! We arrived to Downtown Disney around 6pm.


Beautiful evening in Downtown Disney!

runDisney announced via Twitter that official merchandise would be available at Team Mickey store in DTD during the party, so we headed there first to check it out. Unfortunately, the selection was extremely limited and they only had some generic runDisney Sweaty Bands© and runDisney shirts in select sizes. I had purchased plenty at the expo, so I didn’t really need to buy anything else, but I was a little disappointed in the selection. Also, the Team Mickey staff seemed confused when I asked them about the runDisney merchandise, which was a bit surprising.

Small selection of official runDisney items.

Small selection of official runDisney items.

We then grabbed a margarita at the margarita stand and walked around to browse the stores. We stopped at World of Disney, Disney’s Candy Cauldron (for a post-race caramel apple!) and D Street (vinylmation). None of those stores offered a discount, but they are my essential stops in DTD! 🙂

 Post-race margaritas!

Post-race margaritas!

Shopping at World of Disney and D Street

Shopping at World of Disney and D Street

Candy Cauldron and my Minnie Mouse apple

Candy Cauldron and my Minnie Mouse apple

While exploring DTD, we found a Lego version of Dopey, so of course a picture was in order!

Snow White, Dopey, me and my Dopey medal

Snow White, Dopey, me and my Dopey medal

We ate a huge lunch after the race, so we weren’t really looking for a meal, but stopped at Bongo’s Cuban Café Express for appetizers. Bongo’s offered a 20% discount for runners, which was one of the more generous discounts.


runDisney had some displays in DTD West Side, including a listing of all participating establishments and the backdrops of the race medals that were available at the expo. I took this opportunity to take my picture in front of the Dopey sign with my medals.

Banner detailing all discounts to runners for the evening

Banner detailing all discounts to runners for the evening

My 6 beautiful Dopey Challenge medals. Love runDisney medals!

My 6 beautiful Dopey Challenge medals. Love runDisney medals!

We also passed some ladies creating chalk art on the street with a “Frozen” runDisney theme. Very cute!


As usual, DTD had some live music, but this time, they also had a TV streaming highlights from race weekend, which was a nice touch!

Concert with race highlights to the right. The crowd was actually much bigger than this picture makes it seem.  :)

Concert with race highlights to the right. The crowd was actually much bigger than this picture makes it seem. 🙂

Finally, on our way out, I wanted to stop by Little MissMatched, which was listed as offering free socks to all runners. We got there a little after 8pm, but they were very friendly and completely fine with still offering the deal. The deal was buy any item in the store, get a free pack of socks. And all items in the store were apparently half off. So I got a pack of socks, a headband and hair ties for less than $5. Not bad!

 My fun purchases of the night.

My fun purchases of the night.

Most participating establishments were restaurants, but Disney Quest (indoor theme park), Characters in Flight (hot air balloon rides) and Splitsville Luxury Lanes all offered discounts. Some stores besides Little MissMatched participated as well.

My boyfriend and me in front of Characters of Flight.

My boyfriend and me in front of Characters of Flight.

I wish we’d have had the energy to do more, but after 48.6 miles, my feet had enough and I was physically drained. Downtown Disney is always a fun place to be and it was so nice relaxing with fellow runners to wrap up the big weekend. Just being in an environment surrounded by other runners who share the runDisney passion was a wonderful experience. Everywhere we looked, someone was wearing a medal and we exchanged congratulations all night. Such a wide variety of people participate in these events and it was certainly nice to have an opportunity to meet other runners in a non-race, purely social setting. The discounts are nice, but my favorite part of the evening was certainly the camaraderie. Plus, it gave us all another chance to show off our race bling!

What’s your favorite post-race way to celebrate? Have you ever attended a runDisney post race event? Which is your favorite?


Glynnis Zieman currently lives in Phoenix, AZ and is a native of Overland Park, KS. She is a physician and distance runner, and started a running blog in 2013. Her first marathon was WDW in 2007 and WDW 2014 was her 29th full.
Follow Glynnis here:  Website   Twitter   Instagram

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