Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by mla1977, Nov 10, 2009.
I'll be back to get this thing started!
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About 2 year ago when I was listening to some Disney podcasts, I heard about the WDW marathon. They made it sound like so much fun that I thought, "Hey, I can do that!"
***Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a runner. I did track and field in high school but I focused on field events and only ran enough to get permission to start my field event training.***
Well, I decided after listening to the stories for a week or two that doing the half marathon would be fun! Why not? It would give me at least one opportunity to get to the World.
Of course it took me at least 6 months for making the decision that I would do the half marathon, to actually thinking about starting to train. Of course, by this point in time, the WDW half marathon was full for the year. Shortly after though, they announced that a new half marathon was going to be held in March. I decided that this would be my first race at Disney. As soon as registration opened, I registered. I figured if I registered, then I would start training.
Of course, it still took me two months to get serious about training, but I finally started training last September. I signed up for a 5k in October and an 8k in November, and I "trained" for them. My longest training run from September to March was 6 miles. Well, I made it to the Princess half marathon and I finished in the maximum allowed time. I didn't matter though, I still finished and I got my tiara medal.
I left from that trip and decided that I was going to do the marathon in January 2010.
So how did I end up doing the half marathon?
Well, I was training for the Philadelphia Distance Run before the Team in Training season started. I completed the PDR in September. I cut a lot of time from my previous half marathon record, but I was hurting. I was trying to hard to increase my pace, but by mile 10 I was completely pooped.
The following week at my group training run I was having a tough time completing my run. I had a heart to heart with my coaches and I decided that I would aim for a personal record in a half marathon. I was too afraid that I would not be able to maintain the pace that Disney requires for the marathon for the full 26.2 miles. I didn't want to get picked up by the "party bus".
So here I am. I'm training for the WDW half marathon.
I'll be travelling to Disney from January 7 - 11. I'll be staying with my team at Coronado Springs Resort. The half marathon is on January 9 and I'll be cheering on the members of my team and my fellow WISHers on the 10th in the marathon.
I've made tons of reservations using the online dining system. Of course, I have no idea what they are. I have to check my email to see what I actually have. The last time I was online, I was making reservations for both this weekend and for the Princess half marathon weekend in March. I'lll see what I can find and maybe post some more later tonight.
Ok, here are my dining plans for marathon weekend:
Dinner: 50's Prime Time or Raglan Road (I know, two reservations. I made the Raglan Road Reservation before I knew that Fantasmic was on this night. I missed it in August so I don't want to miss it again.)
Dinner: 50's Prime Time(probably will be canceled since I have my TnT pasta party at 2 and my Wish meet at 4:30)
I may need to make a breakfast reservation for this day, but we'll see.
Lunch: Tutto Italia (I may cancel this since I will have just finished the race a few hours earlier)
Breakfast: Chef Mickey's (this one may get cancelled because I want to cheer on my teammates at DHS and get there for opening so I can get a ride or two on TSM)
Breakfast: Chef Mickey's
Lunch: Le Cellier (this may need to be canceled depending on what time my ME pick is at)
I had a 6 mile run yesterday. I purposely ended up doing a 10k (6.2 miles). I don't know why the training plan that I have had me going 6 miles 2 weeks in a row, but I felt really good after finishing yesterday.
I haven't done much planning, but I'll get back on track!
Today started incredibly early. I had my alarm set for 3:30 and managed to get up as soon as it went off. Not bad since I didn't get to bed until 1. I quickly got dressed and through my last few items into my carry-on. I was checking a bag that would be filled with full-sized items that I planned on putting into my Owners Locker and lots of my Disney t-shirts that I don't normally wear at home. I originally packed several pairs of shorts but watching the forecast I pulled out all shorts but one pair and a pair of capris. My suitcase now contained a few sweaters and several shirts for layering.
I had two carry-ons. One was filled with my race gear and the other was my laptop/electronics bag. Luckily, the second bag can be classified as a purse (albeit a large purse) so I generally have no issues with the carry-on regulations.
I got my luggage out to my car and I was on my way just around 4 am. It was a nice and quick drive to the airport since no one was actually on the roads. I managed to take the correct exit to get to my affordable and reliable airport parking lot and I was at the check-in in no time. I found my coach, my roommate, and the TnT coordinator who was carrying our Magical Express information. I quickly got my yellow tag on and got in line. Another teammate was in line ahead of me too. We had plenty of time to check in and get through security.
After about 15 minutes of waiting in line, the agents started calling for all people who were checking into the Atlanta flight and pulling them out of line to check them in first. For the next 20-30 minutes, this went on, including checking in an entire wrestling team. We were all shocked that the wrestling team would show up less than 45 minutes before their flight AND still be allowed to check in. We all figured that by the time that this flight was all checked in, they would need to do the same thing with the Orlando flight.
We all eventually got checked in and made our way through security. I went through with my teammate, Mike. Thank goodness I was being a good Disney geek and wearing my Mickey Crocs. They are so quick and easy in security lines. We got to our gate and grabbed a light breakfast and soon it was time to board.
Our flight was quick and comfortable. I watched My Life in Ruins (I know, not a Disney movie) for part of the trip and finally finished playing my game (Azada). I snapped this picture when they announced that we were descending:
After landing, we quickly made our way over to Magical Express and got in line for our bus. We didn't have to wait long before we were on the bus. I grabbed the front seat (purely for the photo opportunities) and Mike joined me (poor guy, he had to listen to me ramble on about Disney for the whole ride). The rest of the team filled in the seats around us and then we were on our way. Soon enough we saw this:
Coronado Springs was the first stop (woohoo!). We all waited patiently for the stuff that was under the bus and then made our way inside. I was in a bit of a daze, but while we were waiting, I noticed that the Christmas decorations were still up.
The line was long, but it moved really fast. Once everyone was through, we made our way to our rooms in the Ranchos (?) section. Here's some pictures from the walk over:
We certainly took the long way to the room, and me and my roommate (Lane) took longer than the 15 minutes that our coach gave us to get settled in before heading out to the expo. We got ourselves organized and we headed to grab lunch at the Pepper Market before heading to the expo. I got a turkey sandwich. No picture of it. Here are pictures from the Pepper Market though:
I had been checking Twitter and Facebook and I saw the wdwalone on Twitter and Blogspot (Amanda) was at the expo so I sent her a message that I was on my way and we should meet up. It was then that I realized that my waiver was back in the room.
Coronado Springs is so large that it would easily have taken me 15-20 minutes to head back and get them, but I remembered that I would be able to print them at the expo too. Hopefully there wouldn't be a long wait to do that...
The bus to the expo didn't take long. It was an interesting experience though. We went through a back entrance that looked more like a service entrance. Our drive made a wrong turn and we ended up driving onto the soccer field that is next to the expo. Whoops!
We wandered around trying to make sure that we got in the right line. After a few wrong turns, we ended up in the line to the Milk House.
I did say waivers by the way. You see, prior to joining Team in Training, I had decided to register for the marathon on my own. I later joined TnT and decided to focus on the half marathon and getting faster at that distance. I figured that since I couldn't transfer my registration to the following year, I would at least pick up my bib and goodie bag.
Once we got into the milk house I made my way to the computers to reprint my waivers and then went down to floor to pick up my bibs. I had already lost my teammates, so after picking up my bibs and checking my D-tags, I went over to the expo.
I got my goodie bags and made my way through the crowded expo merchandise are (taking note of the items that I would purchase on Friday - payday). I then started checking Twitter to see where Amanda was at to see if we could meet up. I was in one booth and I thought it was hilarious because practically as I was reading the slogans on the shirts, she was posting them on Twitter. I couldn't find her at the time, so I went out to explore the floor. I got over to the Running Skirts booth and found out that they will be selling skirts with capris under them (I will need to look into that for future races.)
I finally got in touch with Amanda and we met up at the Running Skirts booth. We walked around the floor and caught up for a bit. We did a little shopping and then headed out to the busses to head back to our resorts.
On my way back to the resort I got a message from Mike and we agreed to head to the parks after I dropped my stuff off in my room.
Next up: Park time!!!
You started. So which park did you head to
Hi Megan! Glad you are doing a half report too!
I don't know how you made it through that first day on just a couple hours of sleep. phew!
I saw the running skirts with capris under them last month when I was browsing the site:
I want one!
Once the bus gets me back to the resort, I hop off at stop #4. I was pretty sure that was the stop they told me was the closest at check in. I proceed to wander around aimlessly trying to get my bearings before I can find my room. I finally find things that are familiar to me and make my way back to the room.
I snapped these pictures of the quiet pool outside my room:
I put my stuff away and packed my bag. In my rush to get out of the house in the morning, I forgot a touring bag, so I packed up one of my good bags instead. I sent Mike a text and told him to meet me at the pool and then we would head to the parks. He left it up to me where we were heading and I dragged him to Hollywood Studios (I had to force myself to say that throughout the trip because I didn't know who would give me funny looks if I called it MGM). My plan was to stay there until Fantasmic and then head back to get some rest.
I was excited when we got there because the holiday decorations were still up!
I knew it was too late to head towards Toy Story Mania. I grabbed a times guide and saw that we had some time to get to Lights, Motor, Action. On our way there, we swung by Star Tours to see how long the wait was. It was 30 minutes (!) so we grabbed our fastpasses for there and wandered around the streets of America on our way to the stunt show.
They still had the lights up for the Osbourne lights:
We grabbed drinks and snacks and heading into the line for the show. Once we got our seats, I started snapping away (I love my new camera!)
We tried our hands at some of the trivia that they run on the big screen before the show (he got some right, I got them all wrong). The show started pretty late, but they still put on a fun show!
I kept trying to get a picture of the cars mid-air.
Whoops! Missed it!
Well, at least I got the big explosion!
They didn't have the jet ski portion of the show. I guess the weather was just a bit too cold for them (whimps!).
We made our way out of the stadium and headed over to use our fastpasses. I got some neat pictures while waiting:
I started wondering out loud if the ride would agree with me. I'm not always good with the motion simulation rides. Mike begged me not to get sick because then he would get sick. Once we were seated, he aimed me away from him so that he would be safe. It was a fun ride, but I can't wait for the refurb. And I didn't get sick! Mike also has amazing will power and even though he claims to be a Star Wars geek, he escaped the Tattooine Traders without making any purchases.
We headed over to the other end of the park and decided on the Tower of Terror. I reminded him that TnT had really splurged for us this year and we were staying in this historic hotel. The wait for our rooms wasn't that long.
The bellman looked familiar, so I had to get a picture with him.
Is this the guy from Samantha Brown's specials?
Once we were loaded into our service elevator, I made sure to let out a blood curdling scream at the first stop (Mike complained about his hearing after that). And then I waited anxiously for the rest of the ride. I managed to put my hands in the air in time for the picture and then promptly grab on to the seat before the next drop.
After they got the elevator under control, they let us out and directed us to the exits. I guess our rooms weren't quite ready yet.
We then decided to head over to my favorite ride ever!
(I never got a picture like this with my old camera!)
The single rider line was closed and there were no more fastpasses AND there was a 70 minute wait. I knew I would be heading back to the park before our trip was over so I left it up to Mike if he wanted to wait that long. Well, we got in line, however, both of us were getting hungry...
Would our hunger hold out until we got on the ride????
What a fun afternoon at the Studios. I've never seen Lights Motor Action. Maybe next time. I too tend to get sick on Star Tours. I usually send DH with my boys, but next trip is just me and the boys so I'm going to have to endure it Tower of Terror is one of my favorite rides! So much fun! That CM does look familiar. I think you he may be the Samantha Brown guy. So do you wait it out for RnR. I don't think I would
I really can't wait for the new version of Star Tours. I vaguely remember Body Wars in Epcot when I was in high school. My mom made me go on it alone and did not feel good on it.
This one will be shorter as I don't have as many pictures...
I knew there was a chance that we could get in the single rider line, so we headed over to the ride. Unfortunately, the single rider line was closed and the wait was 70 minutes. We decided to get in line anyways. I snapped this picture while we were waiting:
We had been waiting for about 10-15 minutes when Mike said that his hunger might be winning out. I thought I would be able to wait until we got on the ride. I knew I'd be coming back in the morning, so I gave him the option of waiting or going to get dinner.
He chose dinner.
Well, at least I didn't have to wait in a 70 minute line.
We were both pretty cold so we decided to head inside for our meal. We headed over to see what the wait times were for 50's Prime Time Cafe and Hollywood and Vine (I didn't even think to try the Brown Derby or Mama Melrose, but they are expensive even for Disney). It was a longer wait at 50's Prime Time so we went to Hollywood and Vine. They said about 15-20 minutes, but it didn't seem that long.
We got seated and then made our way up to the buffet. I enjoyed the meal, but nothing in particular stood out. During dinner, I was communicating with one of my friends from the Disboards through Facebook posts to see if we could meet up for Fantasmic.
After paying, we quickly headed over to get seats for Fantasmic. It was the second showing, but I couldn't believe the length of the line! By the time we made it into the arena the seats were almost all gone. We could see some seats at the far left side, but that was where everyone was trying to head. Some people were starting to fill in the standing room only areas too. We went to some seats that we thought were open but they turned out to be reserved for handicapped people. One cast member did say that the seats would likely be opened up to everyone shortly into the show. So we decided to hover. Our strategy worked and as soon as the seats were opened, we sat down.
Of course I love the show. It is my favorite nighttime show in WDW. One funny thing though. The barges with Ariel and Snow White actually collided. Nothing serious, just a bump, but everyone noticed it.
Once the show was over we headed out with the rest of the crowds and made our way to the buses.
One last look at the Christmas tree:
When we got back to the resort I remembered my confusion at bus stop #4 so we hopped off at the main stop. I ran into the building to buy my refillable mug. I was upset with myself because I didn't bring my one from August with me. It is the same design too! (No haters please!) I got one more picture of the tree in the lobby and then headed back to my room to get some sleep and be ready for rope drop the next day!
Sounds like a great night! I've only seen Fantasmic at Disneyland. I've never bothered to mess with the crowds at Disney World. Maybe one of these years.
Enjoying the TR
Thursday was my first day at WDW for Marathon weekend as well; I hit DHS first; RnR single rider lines were open but by the time I rode the first Fantasmic show was full. I park hopped to Epcot as DHS seemed really crowded that night.
I was only at DHS to see Fantasmic. I may have gone to AK first if we didn't head to the expo right away. I kept reminding myself that I would be back in the morning (you'll how THAT went soon) and I also would be there for the Victory Party on Sunday night. I amy start following Touring Plans advice and avoid DHS on Fantasmic nights unless I plan to see the show.
I keep forgetting to come find your report on this board, we need to get you onto the TR board! Anyway..
It seems like that TOT guy is always the one featured on those WDW shows. He looks so perfect for the part. His facial expression cracks me up! lol
I am interested to see the new Star Tours too... I hope it's good!
Can't wait to hear what happened next!
I set my alarm early and managed to get out of bed quickly. I had the grand plan of actually doing my hair before going to the parks (no ponytail for me!). I got ready, packed my bad and headed out to the bus stop. My destination for the morning was DHS. The bus was pulling up as I made my way to the stop! Woohoo!
I hopped on the bus and started checking Facebook and Twitter. One of the first things I saw on Facebook was something about a free ride along for Passholders at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. How cool does that sound? I found the phone number and confirmed the offer and no reservations were necessary! I planned to go on the big rides before finding my way over to the speedway.
For the first time ever, I made it to a park in time for rope drop! They were recruiting for the American Idol show and doing some filming for the promos.
After waiting for a while, we were finally let into the park
I got all the way up to the rope! We didn't have too long to wait before the show started. I got some pictures:
After the show, I started heading with the group towards Toy Story Mania.
The entire way I was debating with myself whether I would go straight on the ride or grab fastpasses and then hop in line. I decided on the fastpass. Of course when I turned around, the standby line was 30 minutes. So I made my way out of there and headed over to my other favorite rides.
When I got to Rock & Roller Coaster, I think the wait time said 10 minutes, but I walked right into the recording studio. The agent was just ordering us our limo so I didn't even have to wait around too long for that!
I made it to the concert on time and then headed over to this place:
Yup! I took a chance with one more ride on the Tower of Terror!
After that it was time to get something to eat, so I stopped at Starring Rolls, caught the end of the High School Musical show and sat down to enjoy my cinnamon roll and OJ. I saw some character lining up so I finished and got in line for some pictures:
Once I was done with my pictures I made my way over to Toy Story Mania to use my fastpasses. I saw some cool stuff along the way, but that will have to wait until my next update!
I was on my way to use my fastpass at Toy Story Mania. I ran into some Green Army Men putting some tourists through basic training.
I went through the fast pass line and made my way to the front of the line. Of course, I needed to snap a picture of the glasses:
Here's my score!
Not too bad. I posted it on Twitter and Matt the Esquire complimented my on it. I have to go back and listen to his show again to see where I can get more points.
I then started making my way to the front of the park so that I could head out for my free ride along. High School Musical was out again so I stopped for some more pictures for my office mate. Just one for you though:
I got some pictures of the tree and then made my way to the bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center. I love all of the tree pictures, so you get all of them.
I didn't have to wait very long for the bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center and once I got there, I went over and asked some cast members how to get to the speedway. It was nice and easy. They actually have a shuttle that takes you over for free. Once I got in the shuttle with some other guests, they promptly gave us a release to sign and then we were on our way to the speedway.
The shuttle bus took us under the race track through a tunnel that made us feel like we were getting a bonus roller coaster ride! Once we got there, I handed over my annual pass and ID, and filled out a form for a drawing to win the driving experience. I got myself into a riding suit and then went out to get my helmet and the other gear that was necessary.
Look! There's my car!
You have to wear a helmet (it squished my cheeks together) and a solid plastic harness that attached to the back of the helmet and went over my shoulders. I can say that I was very thankful I didn't wear my jeans that day. My jeans are a little bit tight and in order to get into the car, you need to climb in the window since there are no doors. Once you are in the seat, they strap the back of your helmet and the shoulder piece to the seat and then put the 5-point harness over your shoulders, hips and between your legs (think of a child's car seat).
Once I was fastened in, the driver (Dan) revved the engine and pulled out, then we we on our way! I wish I had looked at the spedometer when we were in the straight-aways, but I did look at it when we were going slow in the curves. Our slowest speed that I saw was 100 miles per hour. Wow! After we were done I told the driver that I didn't think I'd ever be able to enjoy Test Track again.
We got out picture taken, which I purchased (since I didn't need to pay for the ride, I figured that I could get the picture).
After leaving the Speedway, I started to make my way over to Epcot...
Great update! It is crazy how fast Toy Story Mania fills up! I wonder if it will ever get easier to get on it. How cool that you got to ride at the speedway for free! That is an awesome special. Maybe when my boys get a little older we'll give that a try
Subscribing and I'll be back to get caught up.
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