Welcome to Disney Alaska! ~ Our first Disney endurance race (race day!)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by pjstevens, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    Thought I'd start this before I forget it all. (Maybe I'll finally get around to do Disneyland TR too).

    Day one, Thursday, January 7th. Dale (dh) was out delivering papers (at 4am) and his car died! We had to leave for the airport around 7:30 due to the heightened security and now had to deal with a non working vehicle. Thank goodness for a wonderful mechanic, two blocks from our house. Dale had the van towed there and fortunately our DS (Dale-Ross) was able to help him finish up the papers. He got home with just enough time to shower and get the car loaded.

    We got on the road shortly after 7:30 when I realize I have NO gas whatsoever. First stop WAWA for gas; then D&D for coffee (and a breakfast sandwich for hubby who never did get to eat). Finally we are on our way to the airport. Thankfully we live so close to Philly that we were there in no time. Our ds, Tyler, had gone up with us, and would take our car home, as he was staying home to help with the 'babies'. We unloaded everything to check in at the curb with Southwest and get in line. Tyler leaves and I realize that I'm holding Dale's laptop (or so I thought). We are in line to check our bags and I don't have dh's laptop, I have a car repair kit (has flairs, fix a flat, jumper cables, etc) in the case! Well, I'm thinking I better just give it away to someone who is dropping off someone at the curb, lol. Dale figured we'll just throw it into one of our checked bags and maybe keep it in our Owners Locker. Good thought (or so we thought).

    We get up to the security check point and what do we see???

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    Absolutely NO ONE in line at all! So much for allowing hours to get through security! We stood around finishing our coffee before heading in.

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    We had an uneventful flight to Orlando and were picking up our car by 2pm and on our way to the Boardwalk Villas.

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    Up next, getting a room you absolutely do not want!
     
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  3. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    I'm in. I was there for Marathon weekend too and Disney Alaska is right! Can't wait to hear about the trip!
     
  4. liznboys

    liznboys <font color="red">I wish upon stars!<br><font colo

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    Hi Patricia, I'm in too! I was with Jenny (above) this weekend doing the half. It'll be fun to hear how your weekend went...
     
  5. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    We arrived at BWV (our first time staying here.) Let me just say, one perk I miss is the valet parking. The lot at the Boardwalk is way far away (if you don’t get a close spot, you may even end up across the street). I was so excited to see that the Christmas decorations were still up! I was really hoping for this, but not counting on it.

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    Check in was quick (again, no one in line) and in no time we had our KTTK cards. We had booked a studio preferred view room. Off we went to our room. We were up one floor (kept forgetting the lobby was on floor two, lol) and walked and walked and walked down the hallway until we finally got to our room (and there were still more rooms past ours!)

    Very pretty room; lovely view of the pool we would NOT be using this weekend, lol.

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    As hubby went down to find out where our Owners Locker was, we looked around. I thought the bed looked awfully low, compared to the ones at AKV. DD (Aubre) says, “Wow’, we have a big shower!” Right then, I knew we were in trouble! A large shower in a studio only means one thing, we were in a handicapped room. Right then, I was NO WAY!!! I WANT, no I NEED a bathtub! I want to be able to soak in a tub after doing the ½ marathon! I got on the phone right away and said I wanted a new room. (I explained why). It took a little bit, but soon they relocated us to a room (much closer to the elevators than the first room). Got into our new room and WOW!!! This is what I had expected!

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    Then we walked out onto our balcony to see what view we had this time and were blown away that we had an ENORMOUS balcony compared to the other room!!!

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    And the view was beautiful

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    We got settled and decided to head out to pick up our packets for the race and for volunteering for the full and also to grab some lunch and stop at Target. We’ve become pretty familiar with Disney since DD did the College Program in 2007 and really don’t bother with directions (lol). We did a lot of driving in circles at times this trip, lol, but we always got to where we needed to be.

    As soon as we got on the road, hubby says do you have our paperwork to pick up the packets, ugh NO, I don’t!! How could I leave without that.

    We had a nice lunch at a Chick fil a and then off to Target for some snacks, drinks, etc. It’s easy finding your way back to Disney cause all roads lead Home it seems!

    Next up, do we make it back ‘home’?
     
  6. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    I'm so happy to see your pictures of BWV. We actually own there, but I've never been there:rotfl: That is where we're planning on staying for the Marathon next year. I hope the decorations are still up for us then. They look lovely. And what an awesome view! That is almost Boardwalk view!
     
  7. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    The Boardwalk was beautiful, but if we have anything like this years temps, I would not stay there. I'll explain more later on.

    Our home is AKV and we will most likely stay there next year. The only time we used the marathon transportation was the day of the race, other than that we drove everywhere.
     
  8. liznboys

    liznboys <font color="red">I wish upon stars!<br><font colo

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    Great pictures!

    I have to admit, when I first saw that they still had Christmas decorations up in WDW I was kinda like, huh?? (My first sight of them was the wreaths on the MK gates you drive though.) I guess I had really come out of the Christmas mode (and I adore it). But it was cool, just had to pretend like it really was still Christmas time. Next year I'll keep myself in the mode until after marathon weekend! But then watch, next year they'll take it all down that first week of January!
     
  9. mymainmouse

    mymainmouse Mouseketeer

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    I am so glad I found your trip report. :goodvibes I haven't read one of yours in awhile. It's hard to imagine being cold at WDW. We are always there in September and there isn't anything cold about that.
    Great pictures! Can't wait for the rest of the report!:goodvibes
     
  10. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    Wow Kelly, how in the world did you find me. I once again have slacked off on my TR. I am working on it now and determined to get this done and maybe, just maybe do one for our first visit to Disneyland.
     
  11. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    Where oh where did I leave off. I cannot believe, once again, I started a TR and have not completed it yet. For some reason it takes me a while to get going. So without further delay, I will finally continue . . .

    As I left off so long ago, we hit Target, our favorite store, both here at home and at Disney for some snacks and drinks. Both Aubre and I have iPhone’s with map programs. Honestly, I couldn’t use my map program to save my life, yet I’ve used it in the middle of a mountain in Maryland and found my way. Go figure. Well, needless to say, as I mentioned, all roads do lead ‘home’ at Disney. We made our way back to the Boardwalk with our many bags of snacks and drinks from Target. Dale dropped us at the door, thankfully. We had a ton of bags. Then he went to park. Valet parking now costs for DVC members. This is the one perk that I really am disappointed they took of the DVC list. It took Dale forever to get a spot and get back to our room. Honestly, there are not enough parking spaces, especially when so many come to the Boardwalk for dinner.

    It was getting dark so we decided to head over to Wide World of Sports and pick up our race packets. It was already dark out so I have NO photos of this and am bummed as this was our first time over to the WWS. I had printed all our info offline and for some reason Dale was not in our number group. Aubre and I were just a few numbers apart, but Dale was like 5000 away from us. So we go into our designated lines and got our bibs and race packet. Then Aubre went over to get her new assignment since she had run the Philly ½ and had an official time to use. She was moved to corral C, but honestly would have been in A or B with her time (she was just over 2 hours in the Philly ½). I then decide we would try to get Dale moved. I had my copies of the paper work we sent in. When someone entered Dale into the computer they inadvertently put his time at 1:45 instead of 2:45. Since his time was not verified he was automatically put into the last corral. Since I was in F, I didn’t want to move back to G, so thankfully they moved him up (with our proof). BUT, the only higher corral they had to assign people to was C. So he could have been up with Aubre, but thankfully, he decided to stay with me.

    We then went over to the expo to check out all the vendors. I was determined to get an “I DID IT” shirt for the Donald. I had read they are hard to get after the event, so I was more determined I was going to do this and not get swept once I bought my shirt. Aubre got a tiny waist pouch for her gel packs and ‘stuff’. Could not believe that tiny little pouch could hold so much stuff. We walked around and did pick up some gel blocks.

    We decided we were getting pretty hungry now and had wanted to eat at ESPN as there was some ‘game’ on. By the time we got back to the BWV and down to ESPN it was so packed and the line was out the door and around the front. We’ve never seen the line like that. Of course there were no spots at the bar either. After a few minutes we decided that we weren’t going to eat there. So we walk down the boardwalk trying to decide what and where to eat. Well it looks like it is a pizza night. We ordered a pizza from the shop and head over to the bakery and get a desert and Dale got his refillable mug. It was really cool out and there is nowhere warm to really wait for the pizza. Fortunately it did not take too long and we took the pizza and went back to our room to enjoy the pizza. Watched the game on TV and called it a night shortly there after.

    Up next (and not to long from now) Day Two! Hey! Where did those decorations go?
     
  12. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    Before starting on the next day, I should tell you that the pizza from the Boardwalk was actually very good. Pricey, but good for a quick meal.

    So we awake Friday morning with a few plans. We wanted to resort hop to see the decorations that were still up. I love the Christmas decorations and in our one Christmas trip we saw so few of the resorts.

    So after a quick breakfast in our villa we were off. We decided we’d take whatever bus came first to which park and then whichever resort bus to that resort. We head down to the lobby and WHAT??!!! WHERE DID ALL THE DECORATIONS GO?!? I could not be believe they took them ALL down. They were all gone in a matter of a few hours! We watched the show that tells you how the put all those decorations up, but darn, they sure took them down fast. Oh well. We decide we’ll take out daughter to see our ‘home’ Animal Kingdom Kidani Village.

    There were two busses sitting when we got down to the stop, one for Magic Kingdom and one for Animal Kingdom. Of course we took the AK bus since we were headed to AKV. Once at AK, we hopped the resort bus. Got off at Kidani and were walking towards the front when what do I see??? DECORATIONS! I was so excited that they were still up.

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    I was so happy. We were ‘home’! Time to show our daughter all around. We stayed here in May a week after it opened. It was our first time as DVC members and we were in love! We walked outside to see the animals.

    These two were running around quickly. It was great to see them in action since it was cooler out.

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    Playing follow the leader, lol…

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    We then walked all through Kidani, down to the very end to look out at the Savanna. This section was not open when we were here in May. It was nice to see this smaller Savanna, but not sure I’d want a room this far away from the ‘center’. There were some smaller animals there.

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    Well time to head out since we wanted to see if the Grand Floridian was still decorated. As we are leaving the lobby we met a young gal from Johannesburg who was going home soon. Her year here was almost up and she couldn’t say enough good about it. We had mentioned to her that Aubre had done the College Program and how highly we recommend it. She took a photo of the three of us (one of the few from the weekend).

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    We mentioned we wanted to head to the GF to see the decorations and she mentioned that they were already down! WHAT?? I was bummed, but glad we got to see AKV still decorated.

    We took a walk down to the pool to show Aubre that area. Poor lifeguards were still on duty even though no one at all was even near the pool.

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    We then took the bus over to Jambo House. As we entered the massive lobby we see the beautiful tree there.

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    We stopped by Mara for a quick lunch. After lunch we head back to the BWV to get ready for the WISH meet at POP.
     
  13. mymainmouse

    mymainmouse Mouseketeer

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    Patty,
    I was going through my old subscriptions and I still had your Vow Renewal trip report in it and I wondered if you had been back to WDW. I saw a link for this report and followed it. I am anxious to hear about your trip to Disneyland as well so no more slacking!:) :laughing:(This from the woman who has only ever done 1 trip report!:laughing:)
    The Christmas decorations are beautiful! I just love how the trees and other decorations are themed for the different parks and resorts.
    Take Care!
    Kelly
     
  14. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    I really do have good intentions Kelly, but life just gets in the way. I really want to write about our DL trip. We had an amazing time and almost booked to go back this September for the 1/2 marathon there, but decided we need to remodel our kitchen instead. I hate having to make 'grown up' decisions, lol. I promise, more to come.
     
  15. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    I'm glad you got to see the AKV & AKL decorations:goodvibes Your timing must have been just right because you got to see the BWV decorations too. Sorry about the GF decorations though. Just gives you an excuse to go back;) I'm excited to hear about the POP meet. We missed it because of plane delays (we were still at the Expo at 4:00):sad2:
     
  16. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    Jenny, we are planning a short trip in December (this was already in the works before marathon weekend). I just want to see all those beautiful decorations. I wish we had gotten to the Expo when it was day light then we could of enjoyed the area a little better and gotten some photos. I'm catching up on your TR now.
     
  17. DisneyDaddio

    DisneyDaddio Ducketeer

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    Great TR and pics! I love seeing the resorts decked out for the holidays.
     
  18. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    Our original plans for Friday afternoon/evening were to hit the WISH meet (our very first one), grab a bite to eat at POP and then make a stop at AK to have a quick drink with friends that were meeting at Boma for dinner.

    A little back story here. Before buying DVC 1.5 years ago, POP was our favorite resort. We really could only justify staying at a value and we LOVED this one.

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    We arrived at the WISH meet seeing lots of DIS green.

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    We met up with a few people we already and also met some new online friends. One of the Diser’s had made nametags so you could put a face with a screen name. After a bit they took the ‘required’ photo of the WISH team. You can’t see me, but I’m in there. All the way in the back, lol.

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    After the meet broke up, we decided to get our ‘carbs’ here at the food court. I had the parmesan-crusted chicken, which honestly was to dry for me. Hubby had some pasta dish and I think Aubre had some ‘healthy’ thing.

    After dinner we decided to head back to the BWV since we had to get all our race gear ready and hit the bed early. We didn’t make it to AK for drinks with friends, bummed, but I think I was more anxious over everything being ‘ready’ for the morning.

    Our room looked like a bomb went off. There was so much ‘stuff’ everywhere. Aubre and I have used those timing tags, but still wanting to make sure they are on just right. Trying to decide which layer to pin my number too since I had no idea how what would be the final outcome for the weather in the am. Got all our gear ready and did a final check on the computer weather. It was calling for the VERY COLD with rain, sleet and snow! We left Delaware with warmer temps. It was crazy.

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    Soon it was lights out. I of course don’t fall asleep quickly so watched tv for some time and think by 11ish, I was finally starting to doze.

    Up next, the Disney ½ Marathon!!!
     
  19. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    We had the alarm set along with the wake up call for some ungodly hour. All I knew was we needed to be on the bus BEFORE 4am. Knowing we were going to be standing outside for a LONG time, we pushed it on the bus. Finally heading down to the bus around 3:30 am. We stood in the line at the BW with all the other runners waiting for the bus to come. IT was already so cold and some crazy runners had on SHORTS!!!! We had our multiple layers on and were still shivering.

    A short time later the bus arrived and thankfully we made it on to that one. The bus dropped us off in the middle of the parking lot at Epcot. I guess I was thinking it would drop us off near the entrance to all the activity, lol. So we start our ‘warm up’ by walking and walking towards the area. We approach a guy who is welcoming everyone to Disney Alaska (thus the title to my TR).

    We made our way to the welcome area. There were tents all around for dropping your gear bag. This was our first race doing this so we were a little unsure what we needed to do. We made our way into the tent (which was blocking some of the cold air) and found that it was quite easy to drop our bags and that they were safe and secure for us to pick up later.

    After gear drop off was the infamous potty stops. I’ve done a ½ marathon before (but in slightly warmer weather) and would typically hit the potty a couple times to make sure I didn’t have to stop along the route. We waited and waited and waited to finally get a potty. I think some people were honestly just staying inside the port-a-potty to keep warm. It blocked the air on all side and had a roof over you. There were doors that were ‘occupied’ that never opened the entire time we were in the line.

    So we finally make it to the front of the line and once in the potty you could HEAR the sleet! I could not believe we were in Florida. It was freezing, it was sleeting, it was crazy.

    After we all used the potty it was time for the very long walk to the start area. I had heard this was a long walk, but honestly it really is a LONG walk and sucks that that is not included in your mileage for the day, lol. As we were walking along, passed some very old tram cars and very bright spot lights, you could see that it was actually snowing (and still sleeting).

    We were in corral F, while Aubre was in C. We were meeting up with my friends son who was already waiting in the front on F for us. So we said goodbye to Aubre and wished her well and headed to our corral. As we work towards the front of the corral I notice that so many people had G’s on the bibs. I finally asked which corral were we in, you guessed it, We were in the wrong corral! So all the way to the back we went and out and up to the correct corral. We got into the F corral and worked our way up towards the front. Believe it or not, there was this big open area before this metal gate that separated the E corral from the F corral. We met up with our friend and all huddled and tried to stay warm. At this point, we had garbage bags over our clothes trying to stay dry and warm.

    We heard the countdown and saw the fireworks as the further up corrals were starting! It was nice that they started each group with a bit of hype. Fireworks, music, Mickey and friends! It was awesome and I have NO photos at all of the event! (side note, this is why I’m shopping for a very small point and shoot to have for next year).

    We crossed the start line about 25 minutes after the officially start. Just after crossing the start line, we lost our ‘trash bags’. Sometime between mile one and two I needed to shed my hoodie. I was too warm (believe that, lol). What I didn’t want to do though, was discard my gloves and I did just that. I left them in the front pocket of my hoddie. The sleet was actually stinking your eyes and face. We ran and walked for a long time, or what seemed like a long time, but honestly, it really did go by quickly. By the time we got to the Magic Kingdom it was light enough out, but still raining. I made sure we had our numbers showing and took off my hat so that we could hopefully get a good photo. Needless to say, NO photo at the castle! I was bummed when I saw all the pics and didn’t see one from there.

    Running through the park was amazing. Seeing the characters was amazing. I just regret not taking the time to slow down and get photos. I’m going to do the ½ again next year just so I can ‘enjoy it’!

    After leaving Magic Kingdom, the roadway we were on, we saw an ambulance take some one away. I was hoping it was nothing major. At that time, I checked my phone (had received some texts alerts) for Aubre’s timing. She was making good timing, but it appeared she was slowing down. Not knowing how here splits were in the Philly ½, I really wasn’t sure if this was normal for her or not. Typically she will run the entire time and not stop to walk at all.

    As we neared Epcot, I saw my very dear friend and running partner, Cam, who took these two pics (the only photos I really have of the day).

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    You can tell Dale was a bit excited! This was his very first ½ (he’d only done 5k’s but trained really well for the ½).

    We entered Epcot and all I could think was ‘we are almost done’!!!! Running up to and around the Christmas tree was wonderful. I was so glad it was still decorated. Finally we make our way back towards Spaceship Earth and out the side of Epcot and you see and hear the Gospel Choir! Oh my goodness, I had goose bumps, they were amazing and so uplifting, knowing the end was near.

    Seeing the finish line got me all emotional. I couldn’t believe I was finally there. Dale and I crossed together and via the photos on the Disney site, you can tell how happy I am to have accomplished that!.

    The person handing out the tyvek blanket was probably just about as important as the person handing out the Donald medals! I wanted to hug the guy who gave me my Donald! I couldn’t believe I finally had a Disney medal!

    Up next, what happens after the race and WHERE IS AUBRE??!!
     
  20. mymainmouse

    mymainmouse Mouseketeer

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    I can't believe how cold and rainy it looks. It looks like a cold rainy November day in Ohio. Not what I expect from my beloved Disney World!:laughing:
    You guys are amazing! Great job!
     
  21. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    :cheer2::cheer2::cheer2: Great job! Races at Disney are like no other. You definitely have to take a camera and take pictures next year. If you haven't yet check out my trip report which has tons of pictures. I saw the characters as a great excuse to take a little break:rolleyes1 The weather that day was something else. I hope I never again experience race weather like that:eek:
     

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