Posts Tagged by walt disney

Anaheim Antics: Uncle Disney’s Garage

Many of us Disney runners start off as Disney fans.  We love the parks, the films, the characters, and most of all we love the man who started it all, Walt Disney.  Southern California is full of Disney history and John is here to share some of those fun historic antics with us!  My inner Disney geek is smiling from ear to ear!


For this month’s Anaheim Antics, I thought I’d give the running shoes a few days off, and share a bit of Disney history that came to light during my running of the Avengers Half Marathon. It starts with a bit of sad news. I recently received word that Arthur C. “Buddy” Adler passed away. Buddy Adler is not a Disney Legend, but he deserves to be, for one very special reason: He singlehandedly saved a vital piece of Disney History from ending up in a landfill, a small one-car garage considered Walt Disney’s first studio.

Buddy and I attended church together for many years at what is now Christ Cathedral (Mile 5 on the Avengers Half Marathon course).   At the time, he was a Contract Administrator in DLR Purchasing, and had a fond love of Disney Heritage. According to archivist Dave Smith, Walt Disney came to Hollywood in July 1923, and got a room at the house of his uncle, Robert Disney, at 4406 Kingswell Ave. Walt said his Uncle let him use his garage, so he built a “stand out of plywood boxes … right down there in the garage.”


The house of Walt’s Uncle, Robert Disney, where it all began

In this garage, Walt began work on an animation reel for Alexander Pantages, who operated a chain of theaters in Los Angeles. But Walt moved down the street on October 8, 1923, to 4651 Kingswell in the back of a real estate office, and signed a contract for the Alice Comedies, so the Pantages reel was never finished.

4651 Kingswell, formerly the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, now a trendy boutique

4651 Kingswell, formerly the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, now a trendy boutique

Fast forward to 1981: Amateur animation fan Paul Maher saw a picture of Uncle Robert’s garage in some old slides of local landmarks. The next day, he found the garage at its original site. The current owner (Robert Disney had long since died) was renovating the house to rent it out, and the garage was slated for demolition. Maher contacted the owner (who had no idea of the history), and she agreed to sell the garage to him for $6400, provided he also rented the house. Maher later ran into financial problems, and tried to auction off the garage.

Enter Buddy Adler, who was present at the auction. Adler would later say “I started imagining what was going to happen to it; if it was going to be vandalized, destroyed or just cut up in pieces and stuffed into little bottles for souvenirs.” Adler began talking to strangers asking if they would like to combine their resources and make a bid. Within an hour, Adler enlisted eight people to buy the garage for $8,500, who called themselves “Friends of Walt Disney”. Adler also received a letter from Disney Archivist Dave Smith, verifying the authenticity of the garage.

Adler began looking for places to permanently house and display the garage, but none were forthcoming, until the Garden Grove Historical Society expressed interest. The Garden Grove Historical Society owns and operates the Stanley Ranch Museum, a two acre site just housing historic Orange County homes and structures, including the Stanley House (1891) and Garden Grove Post Office (1877). In 1984, the Walt Disney Studio Garage was relocated to the site, and is on public display today. Of this, Adler said, “It is important that this garage be preserved so children can look at the humble beginnings of a man who would later create an empire that brought happiness and joy to children all over the world. It’s a way to tell kids that you can start from nothing and, in a relatively short time, achieve great things. I’ve been a fan of Walt Disney since I was a kid. Heck, I’m still a kid, only a little older and a little grayer. I’m just tickled to death about this whole thing.

The Disney Garage at the Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove, CA

The Disney Garage at the Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove, CA

The next time you’re in town visiting the Disneyland Resort, be sure to stop by the Disney Garage at the Stanley Ranch, just 3 miles south of the Resort. Thank you to my pal Buddy Adler, whose contribution helped save a piece of our history from extinction. You will be missed.

RADically yours,



John grew up in the Orange County area of California, always living in the shadow of the Disneyland Resort.  Known as the consummate storyteller to his friends, he has had an admiration of Disney since childhood, and is most interested in the Company’s history and heritage.  His favorite memory to date is setting foot in Walt’s apartment over the Main Street Firehouse.  John lives by what he calls the three F’s: faith, fun, and fitness.   Being healthy isn’t about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.  Nothing sums that up more than making Disney races a goal in every fitness plan.

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon: A Race Course of History, Heritage, and Legacy

In the three years that I have been writing Running at Disney, I’ve found that one of the best things about this experience has been getting to know my fellow Disney runners and reading their stories.  I’ve had the privilege of getting to know John this year when he stared writing Anaheim Antics for RAD and it has been wonderful to follow along in his journey towards his first half marathon.  I’m so proud of what he’s accomplished (wait until you see his time!!) and lucky to call him a friend.  I can’t wait to see where his legs take him next, but for now here is the the big race!


When I first signed up for the Avengers Half Marathon, I knew I would want to write about the experience for RAD. What I didn’t know was that my actual race experience would differ from my expectations, and not for any reason that had to do with training, fitness, or endurance. In this case, it was the course itself. Winding through several Orange County sites of interest, the course was a personal. Many of the sites on the route were places that held personal and fond memories for me, and numerous other runners.

The start of the race was, of course, on Disneyland Drive, which was once known as West Street. West Street, along with North Street, South Street, and East Street, mark the borders of the original 1857 settlers’ colony of 200 arches, which became the City of Anaheim. Today, few people know the history of these four Anaheim streets, despite crossing them every day.

The starting line, looking north on Disneyland Drive

The starting line, looking north on Disneyland Drive

After winding through the Parks, the course continued down Harbor Blvd, and then turned right on Chapman Avenue. Chapman Avenue is named in honor of Alfred Chapman, who served as Los Angeles City Attorney and Los Angeles County District Attorney. But he is most known as the real estate businessman who, with partner Andrew Glassell, founded the City of Orange in 1888 (Anaheim borders Orange just east of Disneyland). I had the privilege of growing up in the City of Orange, and previously worked at Orange City Hall, so this bit of heritage was rather personal to me.

A beautiful but blustery sunrise on Chapman Avenue

A beautiful but blustery sunrise on Chapman Avenue

The course then wound through a site that was even more personal, and more famous: Christ Cathedral. Previously known as the Crystal Cathedral, it was the home base of Possibility Thinking preacher Rev. Dr. Robert Schuller. Dr. Schuller founded the church (originally known as Garden Grove Community Church) in 1955, the same year Disneyland opened, and built the Cathedral 25 years later to accommodate a growing congregation. Many will recognize the church’s Welcoming Center as Starfleet Headquarters from Star Trek: Into Darkness. On the church’s south side is a decorative display of gold bells, which was donated by Disney Cast Members attending the church in the 1960’s. In its heyday, the church had arguably more of Cast Members in its congregation of any other church in the area. After Dr. Schuller retired, a series of poor management decisions forced the congregation into bankruptcy. The property is now owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, and known as Christ Cathedral. The former Crystal Cathedral congregation renamed itself the Shepherd’s Grove congregation, and moved to a new location just down the street: Our next stop on the course.

Sunrise at Starfleet Headquarters, aka, Christ Cathedral

Sunrise at Starfleet Headquarters, aka, Christ Cathedral

The course continued south on Lewis Street, passing the current home of the Shepherd’s Grove congregation. Many will recognize it as the home of the nationally televised “Hour of Power” television program, the longest running religious television broadcast on the air today. This is also my church home, where serve as director of the Shepherd’s Grove Handbell Ensemble.   It was very heartwarming to see members of the congregation line the route to cheer the runners on as we passed by, especially at 6:30am.

Shepherd’s Grove, home of the “Hour of Power”

Shepherd’s Grove, home of the “Hour of Power”

The course then continued down Garden Grove Blvd, then up the Santa Ana River Trail, and then through Angel Stadium. Angel Stadium is home to the Angels Major League Baseball team, which Disney owned controlling interest from 1996 until the team was sold to Arte Moreno in 2003. Under Disney’s leadership, Angel Stadium underwent a $118 million renovation, turning it into a state of the art facility. Many OC residents like me have grown up here, spending countless weekends in the stadium seats rooting for our Halos. The treat for the runners this day was being able to run through the Stadium itself, running the track around the field. One could easily imagine the good old days of Walt Disney sitting with original team owner Gene Autry in the suites overlooking the field.

Angel Stadium

Angel Stadium

The final leg of the race headed back to the Park, with the Matterhorn straight ahead. Several friends warned me about hitting the wall around mile 11, but it never happened. Perhaps it was the sight of the Matterhorn, or perhaps I was just in good form. I regained some of the speed I lost around mile 7, when encountering brutal wind gusts. The most grueling part of the course was just prior to mile 13. It was a straight shot up the Downtown Disney access road to the finish line, but for some reason, time seemed to pass very slowly. As the crowds got louder, and the finish line came in sight, it seemed like forever until my feet crossed that line. But when I did, it was such an insatiable feeling, as though could run 100 miles more.

Seeing the Matterhorn said the finish was just 2 miles away

Seeing the Matterhorn said the finish was just 2 miles away

Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of this half marathon course. It’s mostly flat, easy to traverse, runner-friendly, and with plenty of points of interest to keep you interested. I truly hope they use this same course for upcoming Disney half marathons. Local residents will no doubt fine many personal touchstones along the route, and out-of-town runners will discover new gems in the jewel that is Orange County’s Resort District.

Oh, and how could I forget to mention my own achievement?   This was my first ever half marathon. My final time was 2 hours, 6minutes, 47 seconds, for a pace of 9 mins 40 seconds per mile. That pace put me 1060th out of 10463 runners. Now it’s on to the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend, where I will be participating in the Rebel Challenge!!

Next Up: The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

Next Up: The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

RADically yours,



John grew up in the Orange County area of California, always living in the shadow of the Disneyland Resort.  Known as the consummate storyteller to his friends, he has had an admiration of Disney since childhood, and is most interested in the Company’s history and heritage.  His favorite memory to date is setting foot in Walt’s apartment over the Main Street Firehouse.  John lives by what he calls the three F’s: faith, fun, and fitness.   Being healthy isn’t about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.  Nothing sums that up more than making Disney races a goal in every fitness plan.

RAD Reads and Weekly Review: September 15, 2013

So you really want to know what bloggers do on vacation?  Well we typically start our day doing this:


This photo cracks me up.  Not only because it’s slightly ridiculous, but I just love how I have friends who are all on the same wave length.  Obviously we didn’t spend the entire trip hidden behind our laptops.  We went kayaking, swimming, played mini-golf, ate a TON of food and had numerous adult beverages.  The 2nd year at the Disney Beach House was the best yet and I can’t wait to share more details with you about Disney’s Vero Beach Resort…it’s quickly topping my list of favorite resorts!

As a great way to end the week, a few of us headed out to Walt Disney World on Friday to not only play in parks for a bit:


But most importantly to eat here:


O.M.G. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the renovations are at California Grill.  The decor, the food, everything…wonderful.  Be sure there will be a full detailed review to come shortly, but for now you can check out all the food porn over on my Instagram page.

Here’s what I’ve been up to on Running at Disney this week:

And here’s what’s been happening over on RAD Living:

Now on to some RAD Reads from some of my favorite bloggers!

Running & Fitness Posts
Mommy Run Fast tackles the Yasso 800s.  I’ve always been interested in adding this into my training plan.

The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail talks about her sugar addiction…are you secretly an addict??

Gabby’s Gluten-Free has a great look at her goals including perception, pressure & doing your own damn thing…I love this!

Disney Posts
Eating WDW shares a her favorite vegetarian dishes at WDW and they all look delicious!

This Happy Place takes an interesting look at the price of being a fangirl.  I love this take on the Disney community and what fandom actually means.

Imagineering Disney has great construction photos of Cinderella’s Castle.  Do you know how many bricks make up the castle?

Sparkly Ever After visits the new grand and miraculous Starbucks in Epcot.

Weekly Review
My past week definitely involved a TON of relaxation, but I did manage to squeeze in a few good workouts.  Our kayaking trip was an incredible upper body workout!  Here are all of my workouts from this week and to view a complete list of WODs, visit my dailymile page.

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Kayaking: 4.7 miles (4 hours)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 20 min amrap: goblet squats, db thrusters & pushups
Friday: Magic Kingdom Walking (4 miles)
Saturday: Magic Kingdom Walking (5 miles)

The 20 minutes amrap I did on Thursday was at the resort gym called Anchors A-Weigh.  Love the name!


Didn’t love the gym…


Definitely not my style…  But I made the best of it, grabbed a dumbbell and made up my own workout.


I did a quick 1/4 mile warmup run on the treadmill, which was awkward because I had a mirror right in my face…yikes!  Then I did the following 20 minute amrap (as many rounds as possible):

  • 15 goblet squats (20#)
  • 10 dumbbell snatches (20# x 4 & 30# x 4)
  • 10 pushups

I started with 5 burpees instead of the pushups, but realized by quads were quickly going to get burnt out with those, so I switched to pushups for round 2.  I got in a total of 8 rounds and was a sweaty mess after.  This workout was so tough that my quads and glutes are STILL sore 3 days later…crazy.

Tomorrow I will be starting the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge which is 8 weeks on the Paleo diet along with 10 workouts.  My weight will be taken, my measurements will be taken, photos will be taken…ahhhh!  I’m a bit nervous and excited at the same time.  I will be covering the whole thing over on RAD Living, so make sure to head over there and check it out!

Have a great week and remember to Be RAD!

Countdown to Disneyland: A Newbie’s Point-of-View

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Well the countdown is officially underway!  In six weeks from today I will be arriving in Disneyland for the very first time!  I am both excited and a little over whelmed.  As a Walt Disney World veteran who knows the the entire 42 square miles of Disney property like the back of my hand, I’m actually overwhelmed by this much smaller resort…go figure!

Disneyland is like the motherland for Disney fans everywhere.  It’s the Happiest Place on Earth.  It’s Walt’s park.  I want to see and do EVERYTHING!  But where do I begin?  What do I do?  Most importantly, where do I eat???  Not only do I have these things to worry about, but I will be running in the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge while I’m there!

So I’ve come up with a list of a few MUST DOs while in Disneyland and I’ll be going into everything in a little more detail over the next six weeks as I countdown to my trip…so exciting!


  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • It’s a Small World
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (squeeeeeeee!!!)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Storybookland Canal Boats
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage


  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
  • Aladdin Musical
  • California Screamin’
  • Radiator Springs Racers


  • Blue Bayou
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant
  • Napa Rose
  • Trader Sam’s
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe

Now my hope is to get to ALL the attractions, but these are the things that must happen or I will be inconsolably sad.  We will be there for 4 1/2 days, so I’m hoping this is possible and that I won’t be too exhausted before and after the races to get everything done.  And let’s not forget about those races!  I am beyond excited to run a brand new course through 2 parks, the city of Anaheim and Angel’s Stadium.  I’ve heard the half marathon is flat and fast and I can’t wait to take that on!

As I mentioned, I’m going to be diving into each one of things in more detail over the next few weeks as I prep for my trip, but what I really need is YOUR help.  I want to hear what your Disneyland must dos are.  Are you a newbie with the same overwhelming excitement as I have?  

Oh and how fitting that I’m starting this series today…Disneyland’s 58th Birthday!!  Let the party begin! 🙂

RAD Reads and Weekly Review: July 14, 2013

Tink LogoThis week the Tinker Bell Half Marathon sold out in record time!  I’m consistently amazed by how fast these races are selling out and pretty soon they will have to be open by some sort of lottery system if they keep selling out at this rate!  The brand new Tinker Bell 10K still has availability and is at 54% capacity.  This will most likely sell out in the next few weeks, so don’t hesitate to register if you are interested.

Also this week Disney released the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks.  This film is the story of how Mary Poppins came to life on the big screen and it just looks beyond amazing.  I will definitely be going to see this on Christmas Day this year!

This Happy PlaceI also want to take a moment and congratulate my good friend Estelle of This Happy Place Blog on her 2 year anniversary.  She unvailed a new look and is hosting a fantastic giveaway to celebrate.  So head over there and enter to win one of 3 great prizes!!

In case you missed it, here’s what’s been happening on Running at Disney this week:

And here’s what’s new over on RAD Living:

Now on to some RAD Reads!

Running & Fitness Posts
Fit2Flex has a theory that you need to run slow to go fast…I think she’s on to something here.

Gabby’s Gluten-Free shares why stress sucks and how both lifting heavy things and relaxation can help.

Road Runner Girl recaps her Runner’s World #RWRunStreak…girl ran 71.67 miles in 39 days straight!

The Sweet Life with Erika does an awesome arms workout in the park that includes sprints and some killer ab moves.

Disney Posts
Fitness. Food. Fantasy. has a great time drinking around the World after the WDW Marathon.

A Pinch of Pixie Dust compares the new and old designs of the rooms at the Polynesian Resort.

Disney Every Day uncovered some artist’s renderings of the rooms at the new DVC Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort.

Plus the Magic has an amazing cast member experience in the Magic Kingdom.

Weekly Review
So I sucked it up and got myself to CrossFit this week despite the crazy heat.  It was a sweatfest and I think I actually got dehydrated.    I thought I was drinking enough throughout the day, but the high humidity really got the best of me.  By Wednesday I felt lightheaded and lethargic.  I took the day off from exercise and focused on rehydrating, which helped a lot.  This is something I really have to stay focused on for the remainder fo the summer and you should too!

Here’s my full week of workouts and to view a complete list of WODs, visit my dailymile page.

Sunday: Rest
Monday: CrossFit: Back Squats, Thrusters & Air Dyne
Tuesday: CrossFit: Power Cleans & Shoulder Press
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: CrossFit: CG Bench, Rope Climb, Renegade Row & Sled Push
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

I’m clearly in a running slump.  I’m struggling with motivation to get out there and get the miles in.  Not only is the heat playing a factor, but my stuggles with my digestive system in the mornings have been giving me reservations about getting out there.  I’ve been having issues on my past few runs and and frankly it’s just not fun.  I’ve got to figure something out…I’m just not sure what that is.

This week I received a Polar RC3 GPS Sport Watch to review as part of a FitFluential campaign.  I’m so excited to try this out at CrossFit this week and yes, I will be taking it out on a few runs in the coming weeks as well.  Expect a full review 🙂


If you’ve been looking for a heart rate monitor with GPS, click here and use code “fitfluential” during checkout for a 25% discount!  This discount is valid only on the Polar RC3 GPS and will expire on August 10th, so get on it!

Have a great week and remember to Be RAD!!

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