Posts Tagged by fantasyland

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Aerial Spinner Rides

Kill-Marry-RefurbIt’s time for another Kill, Refurb, Marry!  This month we’re taking a look at aerial spinner rides in Walt Disney World. Hmmm…since most of these attractions are basically the same in terms of the overall experience, I decided to look at theming and atmosphere around the attractions.  From there it was a pretty easy decision.  Plus there are only 4 to choose from so…

Let’s get started!

Kill – The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Now this might seems strange for me since Aladdin is one of my favorite movies and I seriously love those spitting camels the “greet” guests, but this attraction is in a HORRIBLE location.  Adventureland used to be wide open.  There was room to move around and enjoy your Dole Whip in peace!

Ahhhh just look at all that space.  Now The Magic Carpets of Aladdin sits right in the middle of that space causing congestion, stroller traffic jams and frustration.  While the attraction itself is actually kind of fun, this needs to be moved.  We want our space back!



Refurb – Astro Orbiter

The worst thing about this attraction is the queue.  I probably haven’t ridden this in over 25 years because those rickety elevators are the things nightmares are made of.  Not only do they look like a death trap stuffed with sweaty park guests, they are an inefficient way to move the line.  This leads to a backup even on the slowest days.  The attraction itself provides a wonderful view of Tomorrowland and I’ve heard it’s a great spot to catch the fireworks.  Let’s just come up with a better queue system people.

Marry – Dumbo The Flying Elephant

Dumbo is a CLASSIC Disney attraction and since it has been moved to Storybook Circus in Fantasyland, it’s even better.  First of all, there are now 2 spinners so the wait times are definitely more manageable.  Second, the attraction is beyond beautiful.  The redesign includes a water feature, lights, etc…  It’s stunning.  Never change Dumbo!



Now it’s time for you to play along!  What are your choices for aerial spinner rides to Kill, Refurb, Marry??

Make sure to check out some of the other posts from the Kill, Refurb, Marry Blog Hop!

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Countdown to Disneyland: New Experiences

Sleeping Beauty Castle

I am now only 2 weeks away from arriving in Disneyland for the first time…squeeeeeeee!!!!!  This trip has seriously snuck up on me and the closer it gets, the more excited I am getting to experience all of these new things!  There are so many that it’s a bit overwhelming to think if I will actually be able to fit it all in.  But I’m sure gonna try!  So here are a few new experiences that I’m most looking forward to:


Yes, ALL of Fantasyland.  I love dark rides…LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  I’m beside myself with excitement over getting to finally ride the Alice in Wonderland attraction….it has been on my Disney bucket list since I first saw it on a World of Color episode as a kid.  Then there is Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, the Storybook Canal Boats, the Casey Jr. Circus Train and well obviously the Matterhorn Bobsleds!  I’ve heard that the entire feel of Fantasyland is much different than in WDW and I plan on spending quite a bit of time there…that’s if screaming children don’t drive me out!  🙂

Indiana Jones Adventure

This looks like one of the best attractions out there.  Ever since it opened in 1995, I have been dying for imagineers to get rid of the stunt show at the Studios and put this attraction in.  Obviously they haven’t been listening to me.  I love this movie series and I can’t wait to go on an adventure with Indy!

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

Another dark ride!  This is one of those attractions that has always intrigued me.  I was (and still am) a big fan of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  I remember seeing the film for the first time while away at summer camp in 1988!  This attraction just looks silly and like it will have me in hysterics the entire time!  Hopefully all the spinning won’t make me sick…

Cars Land

Cars Land

Photo Source: Disney

Well this should be obvious.  Yes, Radiator Springs Racers looks beyond amazing and the other two attractions look quirky and fun, but what I’m most looking forward to is just immersing myself in the land.  The funny thing is that I’m not even a big fan of the Cars movies, but I am just blown away by all of the details I have seen in photos from here.  And I particularly can’t wait to see it at night…all that neon!!

a bug’s land

Now this might seem strange because I don’t have kids, but I love the idea of being shrunk down to the size of a bug and that everything is giant around you.  I mean, how cute are Flik’s Flyers where you get to ride around in raisin box “hot air ballons”?!?  This area kind of reminds me of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, which I loved as a kid.  I also don’t think I will seem as creepy walking around a bug’s land as I would in the playground…

World of Color

Photo Source: Disney

Photo Source: Disney

Everyone says this is a MUST DO!  Don’t kill me here, but I have to say that the idea of this show doesn’t thrill me and I would probably be fine if I didn’t see it. Seriously, don’t kill me!  That said, I already have World of Color reservations at the Carthay Circle Restaurant for the first night of our trip so I will be seeing it.  I also have this feeling that I’m going to magically fall in love with it and want to see it every night after that…we shall see.

What new experiences were you looking forward to at Disneyland on your first trip?


New to Me: Magic Kingdom Edition

In planning for an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, I was thinking about things I wanted to do. Being fortunate to visit a few times a year I’ve done many of the must dos, but I still have not seen everything. Actually I’m far from it! So I thought this would be a fun new series here on RAD. Over the next few weeks, I will be covering some of the attractions, restaurants and recreation that I’ve never experienced (or haven’t done in a super long time) at WDW. Fun, right?! Let’s get started with the original park…The Magic Kingdom!

New To Me MK

Since I’ve been visiting the Magic Kingdom since 1985, it’s safe to say that I’ve done almost everything in this park.  But there are certainly some exceptions…some that might surprise you.

Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor

For some reason, this attraction has never appealed to me.  I love the film and the characters, but there is something about the audience participation aspect to this attraction that makes me want to steer clear.  As you’ll see in this series, many of the things I haven’t done are stage shows and interactive attractions…seems to be an ongoing theme of things I don’t like (or perceive to not like since I haven’t done them!).

I’ve heard mixed reviews about Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor, but given my love of corny jokes I think I’d probably enjoy it.  Time to give this one a try…

Dumbo (the new version)


How gorgeous are the new Dumbo attractions?!  I’ve only visited this area once since it opened and the wait was about 50 minutes, which is why I haven’t experienced the new version yet. This was early on before the 2nd ride was added and before the new interactive queue.  I am also yet to see the entire Storybook Circus area complete and would love to explore Pete’s Silly Sideshow and Big Top Souvenirs…the details look amazing!  Growing up in WDW, Dumbo will always hold a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to take a spin.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest

I think this is on everyone’s must do list right now.  I’ve been dying to eat here since it opened a few months ago, but just haven’t been able to make it due to the hectic nature of race weekends.  This needs to happen on my next trip.  I’m actually more interested in visiting for lunch here.  Not only because it’s easier to get in, but because I’m intrigued by the “Magic Rose” you get when you order.  However, I will need to have a glass of wine in the Magic Kingdom one of these days 😉

Cinderella’s Royal Table

This is actually a surprising one for me to realize I’ve never eaten here.  Maybe I did when I was a younger when it was King Stephen’s Banquet Hall which I have foggy memories of, but I really don’t remember.  (Dad…do you remember eating here??)  You know that I’m a foodie and enjoy all of the fine dining options available at WDW, so I think this is why this is never a priority for me.  I have heard such mixed reviews about Cinderella’s Royal Table and the price for a meal is ridiculous based on the quality I’ve seen in various reviews.  $52 for scrambled eggs and sausage or $65 for a mixed green salad and some chicken pasta…um no thanks.  Yes, I know it’s all about the ambiance, but I still can’t get behind this.  I would LOVE to dine in Cindy’s castle, but I think I’ll be sticking with Beast’s Castle for now.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday.  Gasp, Shock, Awe…Estelle just dropped to the floor…I know, shocking.  It’s just always such a stressful time of year for me and I much prefer Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day…you know, fun holidays without obligations.  While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party looks fun, I haven’t wanted to shell out the $55+ just for a parade, a few shows and some cookies.  I feel like I can enjoy the holiday decor during regular park hours and get my fill of Christmas cheer.  Plus, the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are the real winner of the holiday season in WDW.  Who knows…maybe one year, I can be convinced to go.

What attractions and restaurants are new to you in the Magic Kingdom??

2013 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon: Race Recap

Of all the runDisney races I have completed in the past year, I think that I was most excited to return for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon.  This was the anniversary of my first half marathon and this event holds such a special place in my heart.  Unlike the bundle of nerves that I was prior to last year’s race, this year I was full of excited anticipation to get back out there again!

My roomie Amanda and I woke up at the oh so lovely hour of 3:00 am the morning of the race.  I need much more time than her to get ready, so I fell out of bed popped up first to tape my legs, put sunscreen on, get dressed, make breakfast, blah blah blah.  I have this whole crazy pre-race routine and Amanda simply gets dressed and pins her bib on.  I should take a lesson from her 🙂  We were still half asleep when we headed down to meet our group before getting on the bus around 4:15 am.

Sooo Sleeeeeepy

Sooo Sleeeeeepy

On the bus!

On the bus!

We were so lucky to have Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara sit behind us on the bus.  Not only are they incredibly knowledgeable about running, but they are genuinely two of the nicest people I have ever met.  We had an amazing conversation with them which ended with me telling Jeff about my running journey.  I almost broke into tears a few times and after receiving some encouraging words from Jeff, I was pumped up to run this race!

Me, Amanda, Barbara & Jeff!!   Best bus ride EVER!

Me, Amanda, Barbara & Jeff!!
Best bus ride EVER!

We got to the start line and I was so excited that I could barely contain myself.  I wanted to record a little video thanking my family, friends and all of YOU for being so supportive of me this past year, but I only managed to get through a few seconds before getting all sorts of emotional and tearing up…sigh, I’m such a sap!

As you can see from that video, I was already sweaty because the humidity was so thick you could see it in the air.  runDisney had issued a heat advisory a few days before the race, so we knew we were in for a hot and sweaty run.

At the Starting Line!

At the Starting Line!

100% humidity + 27,000 runners = HOT

100% humidity + 27,000 runners = HOT

Before we knew it, the National Anthem was being sung and the Fairy Godmother took the stage to count us down.  Princess 2.0 was about to begin…woohoo!!!

Fairy Godmother

Fairy Godmother

I’m a little bummed that I cut that video off where I did because there was a waterfall of fireworks that went off just after it!

Anyway, we were on our way and keeping a 1 min run/ 1 min walk pace.  Amanda and I had originally gone into this weekend with the goal to sub-3 hours for the race, but with the heat and humidity we decided to scratch that plan and just have fun!  This worked out well for us 🙂

After doing the Walt Disney World Marathon only 6 weeks prior, that experience was still fresh in my mind.  I can’t begin to tell you how different the vibe is for this race.  Everyone is smiling and having fun…it just felt like the pressure was off (maybe that’s because it was half the distance) and we were about to have an epic time.

The first 2 miles flew by and before we knew it we were on World Drive and heading toward the Magic Kingdom toll booth…one of my favorite sights!

007 MK Gates

Magic Kingdom Toll Booth!

(As usual, I apologize for all of the seriously blurry photos, but what can I say…I was movin’!!)

We passed over the 5K mark and I was disappointed to see that I hadn’t received a text message with our time.  I had signed up for runner tracking, so I was hoping that something wasn’t wrong with my B-Tag chip.  We asked around to a few other runners and they weren’t getting anything either.  Seems like there was just an issue with that reader.

The character lines were LONG, so we bypassed all of the ones on the way to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).  I just love running through here because it is the first time you come across the race spectators.  This always gives me a boost!

Mile 4 in the TTC

Mile 4 in the TTC

As we left the TTC, we got back on World Drive and were on our way to the Magic Kingdom.  I love that there is a DJ set up on the water bridge that you run under…those GIANT Mickey hands just crack me up.  This is one of the hardest parts of the race because of the steep downhill followed by a tough incline so it’s good to have that bit of entertainment.

Water Bridge/Tunnel on World Drive

Water Bridge/Tunnel on World Drive

As we came up the hill, I noticed that the giant puppets from the 20 mile spectacular during the Walt Disney World Marathon were up on our left.  These are SO much more impressive when it’s dark because they light up.  Maybe that’s why they were a disappointment during the marathon…

Giant puppets...all lit up!

Giant puppets…all lit up!

We hit mile 5 just outside the Magic Kingdom in front of Space Mountain.  We had been texting with our friend Marc and knew he was just about to catch up to us.  Perfect timing so we could all run through the park together!  This is by far the best part of the race.

Entering the Magic Kingdom!!

Entering the Magic Kingdom!!

Amazing spectators on Main Street USA...simply the BEST!

Amazing spectators on Main Street USA…simply the BEST!

We were so lucky to find a ton of our friends and I made it my goal to get as many pictures with them as possible!  First we came across Lou and the WDW Radio cheer squad.  They are always right at the corner when you make that turn towards the castle, so make sure to stop and say hi during the next race!  I also found a ton of other friends along Main Street.  Big thanks to Cindy (my #1 cheerleader!), Aurora, Kristen, Kim, Shalon, Steve, James, Jim and everyone else who came out to cheer….it just means the world to me!

Awesome friends on Main Street!

Awesome friends on Main Street!

Didn't get my medal from Aurora this year, but I got my hugs with jugs!!

Didn’t get my medal from Aurora this year, but I got my hugs with jugs!!

We made it through Tomorrowland and into Fantasyland.  Amanda was getting tired at this point, so she stopped to take a little rest… 😉  She managed to get herself up so we could get an obligatory castle shot.

Got all the time in the world...

Got all the time in the world…

The camera man was apparently shaking with excitement too!

The camera man was apparently shaking with excitement too!

And now for my favorite part of the race…running through the castle.  I just can’t help taking a video of this every time!

As we were heading into Liberty Square, we caught up to Ali Vincent of The Biggest Loser.  I had just seen we speak at the runDisney meet up a few days prior and she was so inspirational…it was great to see her out on the course.

Creepster photo of Ali Vincent

Creepster photo of Ali Vincent

We headed through Frontierland passing mile 6 and out of the park.  I was feeling really hungry at this point and realized that I hadn’t taken a Gu since the start of the race….I was just having too much fun!  I try to have one every 45 minutes or so, so I was way over due.  I threw that sucker down and immediately felt better.

I knew there was a medical tent up ahead so I ran ahead of Amanda who was taking so fun backstage photos to get some Vaseline to avoid any chafing issues.  This was something I did during the marathon and it was a life saver, so I made sure to take full advantage during this race.  The medical stops also have Biofreeze and Tylenol available.

Crazy Biofreeze at the medical tent

Crazy Biofreeze at the medical tent

The next mile or so is very tight and you really just need to be patient and expect to walk a bit.  Runners are confined to one lane and must stay inside the cone.  I heard that a women went on the other side of the cones and actually got hit by a car in this area.  Apparently she got up and finished the race, but come on…the cones are there to keep us safe.

A few weeks before the race, runDisney asked people on their Facebook page what song they would like to hear during mile 7.  The winner was “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.  I like this song and it has a great message, but it was a little sloooooow for this stretch of the race.  Let’s pick something more upbeat next time ladies!

We passed the Grand Floridian and checked out the new DVC resort (this was my first time seeing it in a while and was shocked at the progress!) and also past the golf courses.  My favorite picture (and my Dad’s favorite) from last year’s race was me with golfer Donald.  Sadly, there were no golfer characters out there, so I snapped a picture in front of the sign for my Dad…total bummer.  This is also where our friend Katherine (my Marathon running buddy!) caught up with us…she had a killer Merida costume.  How she ran in that wig is a mystery to me!  I’m sure she’ll let us know in the comments 😉

Grand Floridian DVC

Grand Floridian DVC

I guess this will do...

I guess this will do…

Katherine, Me & Amanda

Katherine, Me & Amanda

Around mile 8.25, a very cool thing happened.  A woman yelled out “It’s my daughter’s 35th birthday and she’s running through the castle!  Can we all wish her a happy birthday?!”  To which all the ladies around screamed HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  She had her daughter on the phone and I can only imagine how that made her day.  This led to someone else saying that it was her daughter’s 6th birthday and another woman saying that she was going to be 31 in a month and a half…which gave us all a good laugh 🙂  This just showed the fun spirit of the Princess Half Marathon…what a great memory!

As we came upon the next water station, we saw these super fun cup targets that someone put up.  I’m not sure if it was one of the volunteers, a spectator or a runner who put them out the night before, but thank you to whoever did!  So clever!

Cup Target!

Cup Target!
I only got 2 points 🙁

We were back on World Drive and making our way back to Epcot.  Two incredibly memorable things happened here.  First, I got to meet a RAD reader!  Greg from South Jersey stopped to say hi, which was just beyond cool!  He was running the race with his wife…I hope you guys had a great time!  Then after he took off to catch up with his wife, a wonderful woman in a pink tutu came by and was just telling everyone that they were doing a great job and to keep going.  The camaraderie of all the women in this race is simply amazing!

Awesome lady in the pink tutu and I think Greg is up ahead in one of those yellow shirts ;)

Awesome lady in the pink tutu and I think Greg is up ahead in one of those yellow shirts 😉

Before I knew it, we were at mile 10 and about to go up the dreaded hill to the overpass to Epcot.  As we started up the hill, I started feeling what I thought were rain drops which were a relief from the heat, but I really didn’t want to run the next 3 miles in the rain.  I quickly realized that it was not rain, but just Han Solo shooting everyone with his water gun.  Ha!

Han Solo & Princess Leia Troublemakers! ;)

Han Solo & Princess Leia
Troublemakers! 😉

If you have run a Disney race, you will know that this is where the Green Army Men from Toy Story are positioned.  After seeing my friends Jenn & Danielle do push ups with them during the Marathon, I knew I had to put my CrossFit training to the test and give it a try.  Yes, my form sucks, but hey I just ran 10 miles…give me a break!

Push Ups!!

Push Ups!!

Amanda Salutes!

Amanda Salutes!

We were in the home stretch and we were actually feeling GREAT!  I remember that at this point last year I wanted to die.  It’s amazing what a year can do for your fitness and how your perspective can change after having some races (especially a marathon!) under your belt.

Crowds heading up World Drive

Crowds heading up World Drive

Mile 11 and Epcot Toll Plaza!

Mile 11 and Epcot Toll Plaza!

As we entered the Epcot parking lot, we saw that the WDW Radio cheer squad had moved there!  It was great to see some familiar faces again.

WDW Radio 2.0

WDW Radio 2.0

Yes!  We were now entering Epcot feeling strong and knowing that we had this thing in the bag!  We were still having a blast and managed to get some great pics.

I think I was checking in to Epcot here...ha!

I think I was checking in to Epcot here…ha!

Random fairy...

Random fairy…

Running Buddies :)

Running Buddies 🙂

A fun thing about the Princess Half Marathon is that you can register for the race as a team.  As a team, you get a 2nd bib to wear on your back that has your team name…how cool is that?!?  During last year’s race, Amanda and I decided that we were going to run 2013 as a team so we could run the whole race together.  We were Team this year.  Next year, I think we’ll be Team 😉

Team RAD Represent!

Team RAD Represent!

Heading out of Epcot, we came across another favorite thing about Disney races…the Gospel Choir!  Are you sick of seeing these videos yet?  It never gets old for me…

Mile 13 was upon us and I had to get another of me in front of mile 13 just like I did on my first race 🙂  Told you I was a sap!

Mile 13!

Mile 13!

Amanda took a picture of me taking a picture of myself! Ha!

Amanda took a picture of me taking a picture of myself! Ha!

Another sight that never gets old for me are the crowds of spectators at the finish line…I am always just blown away by this!

Spectators Galore!

Spectators Galore!

More spectators!

More spectators!


The Finish Line!

The Finish Line!

With the finish line in sight, Amanda and I grabbed hands and crossed that line just like we had before.  It was pure awesome.  We both broke into tears and just hugged.  It’s one thing to complete a half marathon, but it’s another to complete it with your best friend.  This race is all about strong women and damn were we strong!!

Now what do 2 princesses do after finishing a half marathon and getting some pretty awesome bling??  Drink mimosas of course!

Well deserved mimosas!

Well deserved mimosas!

Probably the coolest thing post-race was getting to meet Sean Astin.  Check out the tiara he ran the race in…pretty cool!

Princesses Never Say Die!!!!

Princesses Never Say Die!!!!

We took some time to watch people cross the finish line, which was insanely inspiring.  To see the determination, anguish and pure joy on the faces of these athletes (yes you are ALL athletes!) brought me to tears once again!  I will leave you with this video of their final moments of the race.  If you’re not inspired by this to get out there and start moving, I don’t know what will do it!

Did you run Disney’s Princess Half Marathon? Is this on your list of must do races? It should be!


Disclosure: I was invited to attend the entire weekend as media.  My hotel expenses, meals and park admission were provided by Disney.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am 100% obsessed with runDisney events.

RAD Reads and Weekly Review: December 9, 2012

Oh hi remember me?  I feel like I’ve been completely MIA this week…I guess the holidays will do that to you.  We managed to get our tree up today and it’s all decorated with a cute little present on the tree skirt.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week (or aren’t involved in the Disney community), you’ll know that New Fantasyland opened this week in the Magic Kingdom.  If you haven’t seen the video, you have to watch the dragon that paid a visit to the opening ceremony…it is pretty awesome.

Let’s move on to some RAD Reads from this week:

Running & Fitness Posts
Will Run for Margaritas has guest blogger Mommy Run Fast look into if you’re built for speed or endurance.  Great tools here!

We Run Disney makes great use of their pins from past races.

Gabby’s Gluten Free talks about picking your poison and how little indulgences are necessary sometimes.

KJ Pugs ran her first 5K…congrats!!

Disney Posts
This Happy Place Blog shares her fun grown up Disney Christmas list.  Also, make sure to check out the awesome giveaway Estelle has going this week.

A Pinch of Pixie Dust found some strolling cupcakes at Epcot during the Candlelight Processional.  Yum!

Disney Every Day has a fun date night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Disney Parks Blog shares a recipe for tamales from Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in Disneyland park.  Apparently this is a tradition in Disneyland…one I can definitely get behind!

WDW for Grownups helps to chose the right shoes for touring the parks.  Shoes can make or break your WDW vacation!

Disney Food Blog shares their Gingerbread Crawl…a highlight of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2012!

Weekly Review
I’ve been feeling better this week, but I’m definitely not at 100%.  I saw the doctor on Monday and got a ton of blood work done.  I have a follow up appointment on Thursday and hopefully I can get some answers about what is going on.  I also was able to get my blood drawn for a food allergy test, which I’m really excited about.  It tests 90 different foods.

Speaking of food, I received a copy of the book It Starts With Food and I can’t wait to dive into it.  I’m a firm believer that what you eat has an effect on everything that goes on with your body.  I feel like I’m finally making the right steps to try and get to the bottom of all my health issues.

This morning I ran the local Christopher Martin’s Christmas Run for Children 5K and felt really great.  I PR’d my 5K time by 20 seconds!  This was the same race I ran last year when I first started this whole running and I shaved almost 4 minutes off of that time.  It’s pretty amazing what a year can do 🙂

That’s a PR smile!

Here’s my full week of workouts and to see my full WODs, head over to my page on dailymile.

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: CrossFit – 1 hour – Dead Lifts, Shoulder Press & Snatches
Wednesday: CrossFit – 1 hour – Thrusters
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

This week is looking like it will be just as hectic as last, but I’m going to try and stay focused.  I need to get more training runs in!!!  I have a great holiday giveaway coming up in the next few days so keep an eye out for that.  I’m also going to be doing some features on WDW Marathon weekend that I really think you will enjoy.

Hope you all have a great week!  Stay healthy out there!