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Old 03-18-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Free Dining? Check. MNSSHP? Check. F&W Festival? Check. Tower of Terror Run? maybe

Hello future/hopeful readers!

You did read correctly, the title of my trip report states that we are going to experience not only free dining, but MNSSHP, the F&W Festival and the Tower of Terror 10 mile run!! That last one is there to forestall the inevitable 15 lbs that will show up after free dining and the F&W Festival.

"Impossible? No, sir. This may be improbable, but believe me, it's not impossible." - HG Wells, Timekeeper

I believe introductions are in order. Without further ado:

That is me, and my DBF, Brian.

You might have noticed that we look a little odd in that picture. I have to confess...I am not sure if I've ever taken a normal picture in my life. Usually I am making a ridiculous face or doing some ridiculous pose. I don't fight it anymore.

"We have entered a wondrous new age, the age of information." - Narrator, Spaceship Earth (pre 1994)

Here is a little something about me:

I just recently had my birthday so I am a new 29 year old. I am an attorney and right now I am working part time as a contract attorney (its mostly full time and OT because we get a lot of work). But luckily, that job allows me some pretty lenient vacation time.

And about Brian:

He is 28 and recently graduated from OSU with a degree in Material Science Engineering. He is job searching, hopefully that will not interfere with vacation plans

"If we can dream it, then we can do it." - Narrator, Horizons

I have been to Disney World about 6 times now. Twice when I was younger with my family, once when I was in college when my family went for Spring Break, once with Brian for Christmas and once for Halloween, then the last time was just this past December with 10 of us for a family grand gathering.

This trip kind of sprang out of the madness of the 10 person trip. It was a really good time, but I spent the whole trip rushing everyone around and trying to show everyone everything. So this trip is kind of a be all end all do things I haven't done before and have a great time trip

So here is a very tentative itinerary:

September 25-October 9. Really long time, huh? I am excited

We have free dining for the whole trip, and like I've mentioned above we are going to squeeze in 2 MNSSHP, numerous food and wine trips and hopefully the tower of terror 10 mile run. I will get into all of these detail later.

I am going to wrap this up for now, but if you are going the same time as I am, attending some of the same events, or maybe your just a big WDW nut like I am, please follow along!

"Come on everybody, here we gooooo" - Peter Pan, Peter Pan's Flight
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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Ok, I started this and never really came back to it. This was mostly because shortly after I posted this I ended up deciding to head out to Southern California and DL! I planned it all out in a very short few months, and I am writing the TR for it that I've linked to in my signature.

I am not abandoning this pre trip report though, I'll be back as soon as my DL TR is complete
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Howdy OSB - I have hopped over here from your Soarin' report.

We're going to be in Calif. for a Halloween break, and up there high on the list of must-dos is the Transformers ride...(I loved Forbidden Journey too...)

We're going to do one of the Trick or Treat evening parties at DL too, don't know how it compares to MNSSHP...hope you have fun planning

Me DGranny : DS9 DS7
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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Weeeeell this report really got abandoned. I really like doing trip reports though, even if only for my own memory, so I am going to do this one a bit different.

Instead of bit by bit following along with the days, I am just going to take events, or chunks of the trip and go over those.

For example, I will be starting with an overall review of the Tower of Terror Ten Mile race.

I am also planning on devoting a section to MSSHPs, character interaction, dining and any other categories I decide on.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:13 PM   #5
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Tower of Terror Ten Mile race

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Start/Finish: Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler features:

10-mile course through the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney's Hollywood Studios, running on various terrains including pavement, grass and sand.
Disney Entertainment on-course
Event Weekend Transportation for Walt Disney World® Resort guests staying at a host resort

Brian and I were running in our very first Disney race ever. It was actually our first race of any kind whatsoever, we didn't even have a measly little warm up 5k.

We really weren't sure what to expect at all. We slept in that Saturday and had a very leisurely afternoon. We each drank a Gatorade when we woke up, then we headed over to DHS to join my little sister and her BF for a lunch at 50's Prime Time. It was a pretty awesome meal, but I'll write about that in my dining review. We slowly left the park and spent the rest of the evening hanging around the hotel, and we had a deli platter we'd got from Walmart for dinner.

We were not staying in a host resort, so we drove our rental car to the Wide World of Sports to take the bus transportation.

By the time we got parked we had about 2.5 hours until race start time. I could not believe how efficient the buses were. They had them all lined up about 5 rows deep. Once one row was full (which happened quickly) they all pulled out and the racers were allowed to enter the next row of buses and so forth.

There was not too much traffic so we arrived at the DHS parking lot about 2 hours before the start of the race. There was a DJ stage set up and some racers were over dancing...dancing?? Who in the world has the energy to dance and then run 10 miles. Not me, that's who.

We located our corral (D for us first time racers) and settled down for a long wait. We listened to the music the DJ played, I probably used the port a potties about a thousand times. We saw some people in light costume, but for the most part people were just in regular running gear.

I got a text from my younger sister that they were headed over to the Villain's after party at DHS right before we were all called to line up.

We probably spent the next 15 or 20 minutes slowly walking along a path in the parking lot. Since we were in the last corral, we had to wait for corrals A-C to start, and 2 wheelchair starts. I believe there was about 5 minutes in between each corral start.

Each time a corral started the shot off fireworks and played super dramatic music.

It was pretty nerve wracking walking along slowly waiting to start.

Finally it was our time to start. The fireworks went off, the dramatic music began, and we were off on a slow jog.

Most of the race took place on Osceola, and that is where we quickly (or not so quickly) found ourselves.

At the end of the first mile there was a drink stop. They had water or powerade, I preferred the water, I think Brian preferred the powerade.

We each got a cup, walked for about 20 seconds while we finished our drink, then started to jog again.

The drink stop at the end of the second mile really scared me. While the first mile stop had about 15 tables with drinks, the second mile had about 3 tables and barely any cups. I panicked at this point and assumed we had to be way behind, if this drink station was already shutting down.

I think that was just an isolated incident with that drink station, the rest had plenty of drinks.

We were still jogging steadily while only stopping for our drinks. This was really good for me, since at home I had only ever really jogged for 2 miles at a time without having a significant break.

There was supposed to be on course entertainment every mile. I don't remember anything the first two miles, unless one was supposed to be the DJ van in the median of the road?

The first entertainment I do remember vividly was the stop in front of the gates to Animal Kingdom. They had one of the parade floats out for picture taking. I thought the float (one of those giant puppeteer animals) was really cool, but I did not want to take the time to stop for a picture. The sweepers were out and looking for anyone with a 16 minute or slower mile.

Sidebar: I don't think we were anywhere close to being swept during any point of the race, but I definitely freaked out about it a lot.

It was around mile 4 that I was starting to flag. We started doing several minutes of jogging and then 1 of walking.

I think it was somewhere in between miles 4 and 5 that I think it all started going downhill for us. The runners were directed to run off Osceola and onto a dirt path so that we could head through the woods toward ESPN WWOS.

This path was awful for me. Only about 6 people could fit across it, and once everyone hit the path they all just started to walk. I was pretty tired by this point, I thought about yelling for everyone to clear a running lane to one side, but unfortunately we just decided to walk with everyone else.

They had some pretty cheesy Halloween type decorations in the woods to either side (think giant fake bugs). There was a super cool half a pirate ship thing midway that you could take a picture with, but we skipped it.

At the end of the dirt path we entered the WWOS complex and ran on the sidewalks and twice we ran on the tracks of stadiums.

Apparently there were some pretty cool things in the stadium, like a big screen that had you come 'out of' the Tower of Terror elevator. They also had some people sitting in the stands cheering. I, however, missed most of the cool things because I was really starting to have trouble jogging. Jogging for about 4 miles and then slowing to a walk for that dirt path just really did me in. I could not get started after the walk, I kept having to make Brian stop for walking breaks.

These were pictures they took when you were running in the stadium. The photographer company (brightroom) then matched up your race bib number to show you pictures of yourself. You can see Brian in these...and like a few inches of my side. Sucks being short.

On one of the stadium tracks they had several gravediggers from the MNSSHP parade for a photo op.

We finally made it out of the WWOS area and were back onto Osceola. From about that point on I would get an extra cup of water and basically throw it in my face. I have heat issues, and the humidity this night was insane.

I remember being able to jog pretty well for Mile 7, then I hit a wall at 8. My legs were killing me, it felt like below the knee was about to fall off. It wasn't so much that I was out of breath, it was just horrible leg pain. Brian was having the same issues.

I really wished at this point they would have fourth or even half mile markers so I could have judged my distance better.

Mile 8 may have been the worst. We were exhausted and just hoping to see that Mile 9 marker which would signal the beginning of the end.

Right as we finally hit Mile 9 we entered DHS. It was through some weird back way, I didn't recognize it.

Those 4 pictures are all stock photos from Brightroom of DHS the night of the race.

We got to run along the edge of the LMA stage, which was pretty cool.

We also ran through the Backlot Tour street when you go through the costuming department. I heard other people say there was a creepy Halloween type mannequin character here, but we did not see her. The best part about this area was the fans/air conditioning.

Next we ran through the Streets of America, and there were some spectators lining the streets cheering. I really wished they had the fourth mile markers here, I kept trying to tell myself no more walking but I was so tired.

The finish was actually really weird. We didn't even know we were about to finish until we turned a corner and saw the big finish line and the TOT. We made a final surge and crossed the finish together.

Our final time was 2 hours and 20 minutes. I was hoping more for 2 hours, and I really think we could have got near that if it hadn't been for that stupid dirt path. Ah well.

Right after the finish there were plenty of volunteers handing out medals.

How freakin sweet are those medals??!?! Glow in the dark, and the elevator moves!!!

There was a nice little lineup of tables after the finish and we could grab powerades, water bottles, bananas and we got a little cardboard package of after race snacks like fruit snacks, cheese and power bars.

That was all really nice, just wish they'd handed out a bag so we could better carry it all.

Next we were all funneled down a long path (thankfully it was downhill) and we all had a chance to have our pictures taken with our medals.

Bekah and Ryan were not at the finish, they said they could never really figure out where it was.

We miraculously found them after having our pictures taken, and we decided to go to bag check next. They had only been on Rockin Rollercoaster twice before they had tried to find us.

We had to walk a really long way to get to the bag check, it was located in the floor space of the IJ show. I had to stop at the top of the chairs and sit down. I have overheating trouble (which luckily had not affected me during the race) but I had to sit down before I passed out.

Happily, my dizzy spell was over by the time they got our bags, so we all met back up at the exit. Brian and I decided to forgo changing our clothes (gross, I know, but we really didn't care at this point we were so tired).

We wanted to get some use out of the Villain's Bash After party, so we headed toward ST and saw.....

DARTH VADER!! Bekah and I are huge SW fans and we were thrilled to see him and had to get our picture. We only had to wait in line about 10 minutes.

He tried to intimidate us and I matter of factly told Darth that I had just run a 10 mile race, and nothing he could do would remotely scare me.

We then rode ST several times with about a 5 minute wait in between rides.

Bekah and Ryan hadn't been on TOT yet, so we decided to head over that way. Brian was super tired so decided to just hang out at the Backlot eating area by ST. He doesn't really like TOT anyway.

When we got over there, we saw the wait was 70 minutes There was no way we were waiting for that, so we hopped on RR with about a 15 minute wait. The TOT line was still huge when we were done with RR, so we headed over to meet back up with Brian.

Brian and I were both exhausted, but it was only 2:30 at this point and I wasn't really ready to leave yet. I think we went on ST again with basically no wait, then decided to head over to TSMM to see what the wait was.

The wait was only about 20 minutes, so we decided to go for it. We were thinking the party was over at 3, and it was 5 til when we got off TSMM so we were headed for the exit.

We saw Jafar right outside TSMM and Bekah and I decided we wanted a picture. The character attendant told us that the party was over at 4, not 3, at which time I got about my what, 25th wind??

We headed back for the exit but along the way decided to check TOT's wait time.

I knew there was supposed to be a character near the entrance to the Beauty and the Beast character, but no one was there so we decided to hang around for a few minutes to see who came out.

After a few minutes Gaston came out! This was back when seeing Gaston was still a pretty big deal since the new Fantasyland wasn't complete.

The boys decided to opt out so Bekah and I got in line with a handful of other people.

Gaston was hilarious. There was a group of about 5 people in front of us, and Gaston wanted the photopass photographer to be sure he had his camera focused just right so that he got all of Gaston in the frame...because after all, he did have a very big frame.

Bekah and I were very impressed with Gaston, he offered each of us an arm and noted the lack of a ring on either of our fingers. He is one smooth Disney villain.

After our picture we met back up with the boys and made our way to TOT. Good thing we did come back because the wait was down to 13 minutes!!

Bekah was super excited since she hadn't had the chance to ride it on the trip.

Seriously, I think this ride just gets better every time, and it is amazing at night.

When we were exiting our elevator the CM complimented me on my sweet glasses. I gave him a weird look because I knew I didn't have my sunglasses on my head or anything I felt around up there and sure enough, I had my TSMM 3d glasses on the top of my head.

I immediately started to pretend to panic and said oh no, I hope I don't get sent to Disney jail. The CM remained in character and informed me in a deadpan voice that if I handed them over he would see if he could keep me out of Disney jail.

It was one of my best Disney CM interactions of all times, and I know I am forgetting the exact conversation (it was entertaining enough to make the family behind us laugh). Oh well, I guess this is what I get for waiting half a year to write up a trip report.

After that we had just enough time to be some of the last people to get into RR's line. I think my body had had just about enough at this point, we got the back of the car and I think the extra speed just did it and I was feeling pretty exhausted and woozy.

We met up with Brian who hadn't gone on TOT or RR and exited the park. We found a bus that was headed back to WWOS and were quickly there. The parking lot was a ghost town, so we quickly found the car and were back at the hotel and in bed a little before 5.

Overall race impressions:

-I was very impressed with the organization. The buses were fast and efficient, I liked the port o pottie placement in the corrals.

-I liked the villain theme of the race.

-I liked the nighttime start time, I just could have done with a little less humidity.

-I think they needed more on course entertainment. I've heard the other Disney races have a lot more. The entertainment that I remember seeing was: the DJ van in the median, the AK parade float, the hyenas and Scar from LK, the gravediggers, the pirate ship, the Big Bad Wolf and Dr. Facilier. None of them were rare or a favorite enough of mime to make me stop (to be fair, I had not seen Scar on his rock at the time, or I def would have thought of stopping).

-I would definitely eliminate the dirt path. If they must keep it, I will definitely try to make a running path for myself next time.

-They also could have had a few more rare villains at the after party. If I remember correctly, they had: Darth Vader, Jafar, Cruella, Gaston, Maleficent, and the Snow Queen (I may have forgotten one or two).

Besides all that...I think we are definitely planning to return to run it again next year. Because we are. absolutely. crazy....in an awesome way.
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