Barca33Runner's Journal: Thanks For Noticin' Me(Comments Welcome)


Coming soon to Disney+
Oct 5, 2016
Just want to encourage you to keep posting! Your story is compelling and I like your posts! I, too, have set myself a (modest) weight loss goal before I allow myself to sign up for the marathon again. You don't realize it but other people who are reading without saying much are going through the same things. Thanks for putting yourself out there.


DIS Veteran
Feb 27, 2014
Just want to encourage you to keep posting! Your story is compelling and I like your posts! I, too, have set myself a (modest) weight loss goal before I allow myself to sign up for the marathon again. You don't realize it but other people who are reading without saying much are going through the same things. Thanks for putting yourself out there.
I'm just happy that anyone is following along. Mainly I write in here just to get out my thoughts for myself. Sometimes looking back can be helpful or provide a little insight.

I did choose to sign up for Dopey at AP registration despite not quite reaching my goals yet. This was largely because my family and I are all incredibly risk-averse when it comes to such things and I was registering family members for the 5k and 10k and chose to just get mine done as well. Still on track and incredibly motivated to make Dopey 2020 my best yet.


DIS Veteran
Feb 27, 2014
Had my best long-ish run in a while on Sunday. I've been focusing on time rather than distance running at 12-minute pace with a few ramp ups just to somewhat approximate speed work. Being very careful not to build too fast and either burn out or get injured. Trying to build strength and stamina slowly while lowering my weight before pushing the tempo.

Anyway, 36 minutes has been my daily run time. I usually make it between 3.3 and 3.5 miles in this time. That was the plan Sunday. Then I felt really good as I made it to the 36 minute mark and decided to keep going. I reached 48 minutes and figured, at that point, I might as well go for an hour. Well, from there I reached an hour and was a little short of 10K, passed 10K at 65 minutes and figured I should get to 72 minutes and double my regular workout. When all was said and done I stretched a little beyond 72 minutes to reach 7 miles.

Once again, this was nothing that would have made me bat an eye once upon a time; but it felt really good to feel good running again. It wasn't a slog that I was angrily and steadfastly putting in my time. Rather, I was enjoying pushing myself again. It's still early days, but I've gotten past the fear that had built up in me over the last few years.
  • Barca33Runner

    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    Been almost a month so I thought I 'd take a few minutes to update. Things are going better than they have in a long time for me running-wise. I have a schedule that I am sticking to while trying to build back my endurance and I'm really starting to notice some results. I am running 6 days/week and walking 9 holes of golf on my off day. Weekdays I am running 40 minutes every night other than Wednesday or Thursday (golf, depending on which day looks better for weather). Weekends I am going 80 minutes on Saturday and 60 on Sunday. I am running at a 12:00 pace with a ramp up for .1 miles every 6:00; all mileage is being done on the treadmill because I'm too self-conscious to run outside right now. The scale is still a bit of a horror show, but it's definitively moving in the right direction even as I can tell I've started to get back some of the muscle I've let fritter away over the past couple years.

    I've been posting a little more on the boards recently. I feel a little more like I belong when I'm actually achieving the schedule I've set out for myself and that makes it easier to contribute without feeling as though I'm a hypocrite. Hopefully, that will spread and I'll be able to start posting in here with a little more regularity.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    Unrelated to running, but definitely related to Disney I’ve got my costume for MNSSHP sorted:
    More of a Disney bound than a costume, but we decided to do princess comfy clothes outfits from Ralph Breaks The Internet and I went with Ariel. I’ve got some nice turquoise/cyan shorts to pair with it, but I’ll probably stop short of dyeing my hair.

    Much more excited for my September trip now that they’ve added all the extra magic hours. Since we are arriving a week after Galaxy’s Edge opens my expectations had dropped a bit following that announcement and I even had a bit of remorse. However, with the 6-9 AM EMH everyday at DHS and EMH expanded at other parks my excitement is back to its previous levels. I’m actually somewhat excited about getting into Galaxy’s Edge now; when the announcement was made I figured we’d have to avoid it like the plague and just hope overflow into the other parks wouldn’t be that bad.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    The side by side of my Galaxy’s Edge shirt and MNSSHP shirt now that they’ve arrived:

    My Galaxy’s Edge excitement has definitely changed. Was pretty much planning on avoiding DHS altogether, but I have to give Disney credit for making what appears to be a genuine effort to disperse crowds and enhance everyone’s experience.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    Finally had the combination of time and motivation to throw together a quick trip report. Will try to hit everything and stay relatively short and sweet. Trip was Thursday, September 5-Tuesday, September 10.

    Thursday, September 5

    I had a very early plane ride. It didn’t feel so great going to bed at 10 and waking at 3 AM, but it felt awesome to be landing in Orlando at 8 AM. We were staying at AKL and I checked in, knowing our room wouldn’t be ready but just making sure everything was ready to go. Was on a bus on the way to Hollywood Studios and Galaxy’s Edge by 9:30. Went directly back to GE, the entryway was pretty impressive:D4DE8F31-7D56-41F4-942F-E186D51B55FF.jpeg
    I went straight toward Smuggler’s Run and got into the single rider line. I was on the ride in 10 minutes. It was pretty awesome. Smuggler’s Run is ideal for single rider as long as you don’t mind being an engineer. Every ride vehicle gets 6 people and very few groups are exactly 6, so at least one single rider is added to almost every group. Here are a couple shots from the interior:
    I thought it was a great addition to the park. Really a lot of fun, even from the “bad” position as an engineer. More on this in Saturday’s recap.

    I can’t stress how empty the park was. I know this was impacted heavily by Dorian, but it was amazing for our trip. Off the ride, down walked directly to a photopass photographer (with no wait!) for probably the most iconic photo from the new land:

    From there I explored a little more. Looked through all the shops, Droid Depot, Docking Bay 7, Ronto Roasters. Everything looked really amazing from an imagineering standpoint. I was having lunch at Epcot Food and Wine and nothing looked particularly appetizing at 10:30 AM. I did decide I needed to try the green milk though:

    Um, yeah. It was approximately 1 million degrees, so a frozen drink should have hit the spot, but the green milk was not to my taste. I finished about 60% of it, mostly because it was cold, before I threw it away. I hope others like it. I desperately wanted to like it. I did not like it. It was very floral and the rice and coconut milk base has a very unpleasant mouth feel for me. Anecdotally, I saw a lot of people with the same “I paid $8 for this and I’m darn well going to drink it” looks on their faces. I tried the blue milk when my niece wanted some on Saturday, it was slightly less offensive but I’d never pay for either of them again.

    After that I headed out to take advantage of the small crowds before head into Epcot for lunch. I rode Slinky Dog(10 minutes/posted 25), RnRC(walk-on), and ToT (walk-on) before noon. It was crazy. At ToT I waited in the pre-show queue for about 3 minutes because that’s how long it took them to have enough people to run the show. It was still only about half full. Everything other than Slinky Dog, Toy Story Mania and Smuggler’s Run was pretty much a walk-on when I left.

    On the way to Epcot I received my room notification so, with as hot as it was, I hit the France booth (escargot croissant), Brazil booth (moqueca and pork belly), and Mexico booth (chocolate bread pudding) and then walked onto Soarin’ before heading out. The bread pudding was amazing (and a big portion for Food and Wine):

    Because I was up so early and it was so hot it was enough for me for the day. I wanted to relax and get ready for Friday. My sister, niece and nephew were arriving late that night and we were headed to AK the next day. Upon arriving at our room I was greeted with a huge surprise. We were booked in a standard view room, when I checked in that morning they asked if I wanted to upgrade to savannah view for $100 extra per night; I politely declined, but (without prompting) the CM said she’d see what she could do to get us in an obstructed view room. I don’t know what classifies this as obstructed view, but I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better room:4BF83B41-790D-42E9-B4C1-B5535522C5E8.jpeg
    The picture doesn’t do this justice. Those ankoli cattle were about 30 feet away and we saw just about everything on the savannah (giraffes, antelope, etc.) within 15 feet of our room every day. Once again, I think this was Dorian cancellation driven but it was an incredible treat for my family and I.

    Looks like I’m going to need multiple posts. Continued as soon as I have more time.

    ETA: just saw the previous post and realize that I totally forgot my rebel shirt. Probably would’ve been better for the weather as well.:sad2:
  • Barca33Runner

    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    Friday, September 6

    My sister, niece and nephew got in at about 1 AM, so we slept a little bit before heading to AK, our park for the day. We got to the park at about 9:45, it had opened at 8 AM for extra magic hours, and it certainly didn’t feel like we were late. Our FP+ were Kilimanjaro Safari and Festival of the Lion King, both before noon, and Flight of Passage at 5:15 (the earliest I could get it at 7:00 AM 91 days out). We went straight back to KS and, although it was posted at 10 minutes, felt like we saved quite a bit of time. It was one of the better safaris I’ve been on. The male lion was on top of the rocks as we went by and came out to join two females. First time I’ve ever ever seen them active as we’ve passed.

    When we got off the ride our thoughts on the wait were confirmed. The posted time had been updated to 45 minutes. Looks like we got there at the same time as a huge crush of people who saw the 10 minute wait time. We went straight to FotLK after that, always a great show and it was very nice to get out of the heat.

    After the show it was already about 11:30 and we hadn’t eaten breakfast so we decided an early lunch was a good idea. I pushed for Satuuli as we’d never eaten there and I wanted to see how it was. It wasn’t a hard sell. I was incredibly impressed. All of us really liked our lunches. Looking forward to going back in the future. On the way over to Nav’i River Journey we stopped for a picture:

    For most of the trip we could’ve stopped at just about any photo op during normal park hours and waited less than 5 minutes. The crowds were light, regardless of whether that was Dorian related or not.

    NRJ was a 15 minute wait. That’s just about the max that it warrants for a wait. Considering it’s less fun than Gran Fiesta tour and that’s a walk-on almost all the time I’d say that’s probably generous. If the queue wasn’t in the shade with plenty of fans it would’ve been too long. Anyway, we got a couple of night blossom punches before heading over to Dinoland, USA. The kids played in the playground area for a bit, but it was too hot for us to stay there long.

    Dinosaur isn’t one of the kids’ favorites, so we pretty much just walked through the land on the way around to Everest. This was the first time my niece was tall enough to ride. She said she loved it when we got off, the picture paints a little different story:

    It’ll probably be a couple years before she’s right there with her brother, but she’s still getting used to thrill rides and, I think, finds the enjoyment when she’s done with them and out of any perceived peril.

    Next we headed to Kali River Rapids. Having made most of our trips in January, and with the possibility of getting soaked, we have never been on KRR. But it was 100+ on the heat index every day of our trip with bright sunshine so today was the day. The first ride went well and the kids enjoyed it enough that we went back again (it was virtually a walk-on). The second ride was a mistake. I got soaked. Literally as wet as a person could possibly get. The exit winds past the queue and I could see more than a few people catching a glimpse of me and questioning their decision. Worst part was, it was after all the perceived danger in an innocuous section of the ride right near the end. I think weird variables in the ride system conspired to create a big wave of water that collided with our boat at just the wrong place for me. It wasn’t a big deal though. I had quick drying clothes, it was hot, and it made for a better story.

    After that, it was about 2:30 and we had a relatively long time until our FoP FP+. We went to It’s Tough To Be A Bug, still our least favorite attraction in any park (we always have to see if it’s as bad as we remembered). At 3:15 we decided just to head to FoP and get in line. It was posted at 45 minutes and we were on in 25. The kids loved it so much that we asked the CM if we could use our FP a little early. They were nice and allowed us to, so we went on FoP twice in about 40 minutes and then decided to head back to the resort.

    It was nice getting back to the resort and being able to relax with the view of the savannah each night. We had a dinner reservation for Sanaa at 7:10, so we showered and got ready. Still one of my favorites on property.

    Sorry for fewer pictures. When my family isn’t with me I take pictures of everything because I’m sending them to my family; when my family are with me I take pictures of virtually nothing.

    Going to be a little shorter with Saturday, Sunday and Monday and try to wrap things up with a post for all of them hitting the highlights tomorrow. Thanks for reading.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    Saturday, September 7

    Back to Hollywood Studios, this time with the whole group including my brother in law who got in at about 1 AM Friday night/Saturday morning. Again, we were in no rush. We weren’t concerned about crowds because of the previous days and we needed to pace ourselves because of the heat. We arrived slightly before the park opened at about 8:45, which was well after the early magic hours began. My brother in law had issues with his tickets so I took the kids back to Toy Story Land while he and my sister dealt with that. We walked onto Toy Story Mania once and then waited about 15 minutes and rode it again with the whole group after they arrived. Walked onto alien swirling saucers before heading to Galaxy’s Edge.

    Being 9:30, GE should have been packed. It wasn’t. We waited about 30 minutes (of posted 50) for Smugglers Run. This time I got to be pilot with my nephew. I think it’s an amazing ride, but being pilot vs. the other jobs is definitely a big upgrade. The other jobs can draw you’re attention away from the screen and pilot you have more control of the experience while also being focused on the visuals the whole time. We did much better than my first experience and it is very repeatable from that perspective. First time my 4 and 6 year old (guessing) pilots crashed into everything and, reasonably, didn’t know what they were doing. We only got 1 canister and made a marginal profit (~1200 units). This time we got two canisters and made an 8000-something unit profit, so the ride was much different.

    After that we had reservations at Oga’s cantina. Really sorry for the lack of pictures, but I just don’t think about it when I’m with my family. I thought it was overpacked, rushed, and very corporate feeling. I liked my drink, the blurgfire, although it could have used to have the ice cubes melt and dilute it. That wasn’t really an option as we were parked in a standing room corner next to the fire exit; even though we theoretically had 45 minutes, no one would have wanted to stay that long. The lava roll was good too, but this place wasn’t to my taste. Even as a non-alcohol drinker I can appreciate a bar, this just felt like chaos and not in anything resembling a good way.

    We had a FP+ for Star Tours, so we headed out of GE. With the new FP+ tiers the options are pretty terrible, pretty much get one ride, Star Tours, and a show. Our prime FP+ was for Slinky Dog in the afternoon, but we went to Star Tours and then Indiana Jones in our other two. Hadn’t planned on actually using Indy, but it was nice to sit and my niece wanted to see the show again. Can’t say no to that.

    Next, we were back to GE for our big production of the day. Building a droid at Droid Depot. We had reservations for both droids and lightsabers for my niece and nephew, but we cancelled lightsabers. I saw the lightsabers and was happy with that decision. They were perfectly fine, but I have a couple UltraSabers and would definitely recommend spending a little more to get something more durable, brighter, and with better sound. I'm already well into overkill on what a person should spend on movie props/glorified flashlights/they’re real to me darn it, so it was clearly not something I should get; but I thought it was a good decision for them as well. Anyway, back to droids, I made the reservation for 3 and was planning on cancelling mine, but then the kids both wanted BB units and (twist my arm) we couldn’t leave without an R2. Just decided, I’ll make a full review post after this post, once I can take a couple pictures, but I was impressed with the souvenir of the process was a little impersonal.

    The downside of the droid building was that we now had large droids to carry around with us. We didn’t ask if we could have them shipped back to our room or held until we were ready to leave. So we hit ToT with the droids being held between our legs. The droids are not held in place in their box very securely, so they had no choice but to bounce around inside. All 3 made it out in perfect condition. We didn’t risk them on RnRC. My niece is not tall enough, so she and my sister waited outside with the droids while the rest of us hit the ride. After that we had our Slinky Dog FP, but I headed out because of already been on (and was tired of lugging the droid) and we needed to kickstart the shower schedule as we were headed to MK for the fireworks dessert party that night.

    So, after we all relaxed, showered and cooled down a bit it was back out for HEA. This was my birthday present to the kids and my sister (she shares a birthday with my nephew on the 17th and my niece was born on the 15th of the same month). First time we’ve ever done a fireworks dessert party. The spread was pretty good and the view was amazing. I love HEA and this was the best view we’ve had of it. Don’t know that I’d do the dessert party again, but I definitely enjoyed doing it once.

    Sunday, September 8

    Another big day. Breakfast at trattoria al forno then a break before MNSSHP.

    Breakfast was awesome. One of the best and most reasonably priced character experiences we’ve had. It’s a little inconvenient to get to the boardwalk (we used a ride share app both ways from AKL), but definitely worth it:

    After breakfast we went to the pool, watched some football, and relaxed until leaving for MNSSHP at 3:15. We arrived at MK at 3:45 and, fortunately, they opened the gates early for the party. It was crazy hot and already a substantial line building. I can’t imagine how warm it would’ve been if more people crowded in and we had to wait another 15 minutes. Anyway, we had reservations for BoG at 4:10 to try to get eating out of the way before the party started. It was a good meal and really great to get out of the sun during that time of day. We might’ve burned the kids out before day guests were even gone if we hadn’t done dinner at that time. Here’s our picture when we entered:9D286249-9690-4427-A6C7-A953DD40E8CF.jpeg

    Our theme for our (kind of) costumes were the princess comfy outfits. I think I got closer on mine than the rest of the group, but it wasn’t a big deal. It’s definitely function over fashion for us at MNSSHP.

    After that we just had a ton of fun. We rode every ride at least once or at least had the option to (that’s a big nope from me Tomorrowland Speedway). Most, including 7DMT multiple times. Saw the parade. Watched the fireworks while riding and re-riding PeopleMover. It was a great night all around and always is. Here are a couple ride photos:0A4D09F4-ECD9-4476-A020-2FF9BBC43F57.jpeg

    I still think an early September Tuesday or Sunday MNSSHP is one of the best values you can get at the parks. Cheaper than a day ticket. Everything open. Light crowds. Only thing you’re missing are the regular daytime shows, parades and fireworks. I’d take Festival of Fantasy and HEA over Boo To You and (insert name of new Halloween show I’ve forgotten), but they’re all good.

    Monday, September 9

    This was our Epcot Food and Wine day, but the kids loved FoP so much that they had to take their dad and we started the day at AK. Got on the ride in about 30 minutes, so not bad at all. Grabbed a night blossom punch and headed for Epcot.

    I have to say, it was too hot. I had a great time, but I did not eat very much because it was so hot that nothing looked appetizing. We hit all the big rides, FP+ for TT, walk-on for Soarin, and waited about 45 minutes for FEA. Not bad at all. FEA was our longest wait of the trip and it wasn’t a bad deal because we wanted out of the heat anyway.

    I had enough food during our around the world to keep from crashing, but I look forward to someday being able to attend Food and Wine when it’s not surface of the sun hot. Because I work in agriculture, harvest rules out most of the festival, it may never happen.

    Tuesday, September 9

    My flight was at 11:15, so it was up, shower, and off to DME. My sister’s family actually had an earlier flight, so I was last to leave.

    Overall, an amazing trip. Thanks for reading along.

    I’ll be back in the next couple days with the droid review.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    The Good, The Bad, The Meh, and the Disaster-An Abbreviated Marathon Weekend 2020 Trip Report

    Trying to do everything in one post this time and trying to keep it short and sweet with bullet points.

    The Good

    -We had an incredible room at Pop Century. Our room was next to the pool and only a short walk to the front of the resort for buses and even shorter to the Skyliner.
    -The Skyliner is awesome. Already looking forward to an announcement of an expansion and/or a new line (AK/AKL line?, a Disney Springs area line?)
    -First time at Chefs de France for a meal. I was impressed and look forward to going back in the future
    -Softshell Crab Bao Bun at Morimoto. We always have a good meal here, but this was one of my favorite things I had during the trip.
    -Serendipitous timing at AK. We went to Dinoland, USA to start the day to avoid the early morning Pandora hoard. Walked into Dinosaur (underrated) and then met these guys on their walkout and were first in line for the day:
    -The 5k. We were in the last corral. It was crowded. We still had a great time. My nephew is a little sporadic in his pace, so I lost him and my sister during the race, but I waited for them and we crossed the finish line together:
    Apologies to anyone that he may have darted past during the race. It’s hard to teach race etiquette.
    -Teppan Edo for a late lunch 10k celebration. I know it’s something that most people can approximate elsewhere and cheaper. But they put on a good show and really treated us well.
    -Gorilla Falls at AK. I really like that trail
    -My cool new puzzle and pins (Disney Afternoon kid):
    -The characters are Storybook Dining, particularly the Queen:
    My niece wore her ears and the Queen had a funny conversation with her about how nice it was to finally meet an admirer. She continued, asking my niece if she knew how many diamond mines Snow White had (zero) and how many she had (all of them)
    -My amazing sister who accomplished what I could not and remains Perfectly Dopey:

    The Bad

    -The entire Rise of the Resistance system. I hated it. It packed the park at 6:30 AM and took all of the benefit of rope dropping a park away. My sister and I got our boarding passes on a day that the ride was breaking down all day. This prevented us from doing things with the rest of our family and made us push back our plans for the expo. It somehow forced us to both wake up earlier than we wanted and go to bed later. It was, admittedly, a bad day for the attraction and bad luck on our part; but knowing what I know now it would be an easy pass to have skipped it and saved it for another trip
    -Wearing sandals to Epcot. I thought I was going to give my small hot spots on my feet a chance to breathe. Instead I blew up new blisters in spots that became untenable the next day during the Half Marathon and caused me to DNS the Marathon.
    -The prime rib at Storybook Dining. I understand that having meals prepared for such a large group of people is hard, but sous vide prime rib should not be a thing (I can’t confirm that it was sous vide, but I’d be shocked if it wasn’t). Worst food item of the trip (other than the Pop resort food court pizza, but I don’t know what we should’ve reasonably expected with that 😆)
    -Not getting on Smuggler’s Run, Flight of Passage, Frozen Ever After, or Splash Mountain. Splash was unavoidable, but the others just didn’t fit into plans. Had a great time in the parks, but still a bummer to miss those.

    The Meh

    -Rise of the Resistance. It’s fine.

    The Disaster

    Saved the Worst for last, although the I am writing it first. It’s hard to know where to begin, but this picture from the half does a pretty good job summing up my problems:
    There are better pictures of me, there are much worse; this gives a pretty unbiased look at why I was unable to start the Marathon and lost my Perfect Dopey. On the micro level, blisters brought me down. The macro level was that I entered Marathon Weekend at 235 pounds and not properly trained. Had things gone better and certain things not happened (sandals to Epcot on Friday, specifically) I could have avoided the blisters and had a pretty good chance of finishing an uninspiring Marathon. I think it was better it happened this way. I am ready to remedy the problem and start enjoying my races rather than dreading them and just finishing. I’m know I’ve said these things before, but I think I needed this ultimate failure to really drive home the changes I need to make.

    ***I’m sure I’ve forgotten some thing and may edit to add if I remember them***

    The Future

    I am planning on posting much more often in my journal this year as I strive to gain personal redemption for the last few years. Looking forward to sharing the journey.
    Last edited:


    Jan 13, 2006
    Our room was likely pretty close to yours at Pop as we were close to the pool, Classic Hall and the Skyliner. We were in 5320 (third floor of building 5 (60s)).

    Sorry you didn't get a chance to start the marathon. Hopefully you can start a new Dopey streak next year! Congrats on the miles you did run.
  • Barca33Runner

    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2014
    Our room was likely pretty close to yours at Pop as we were close to the pool, Classic Hall and the Skyliner. We were in 5320 (third floor of building 5 (60s)).

    Sorry you didn't get a chance to start the marathon. Hopefully you can start a new Dopey streak next year! Congrats on the miles you did run.

    We were fourth floor of building 4. I’m not sure I would’ve enjoyed the resort so much if we had been in building 7, which is what the CM we spoke to at check-in initially told us before realizing she made an error. That central location to everything was a nice bonus.


    Runs on Coffee
    Jan 5, 2009
    I love that puzzle! Definitely need to pick that up for my daughter and me!

    So sorry it wasn’t the weekend you were expecting. Looking forward to reading what 2020 has in store for you!

    Baloo in MI

    DIS Veteran
    Jan 28, 2015
    I was on the other side of the pool in Bldg. 5. I have to agree the central access to the Skyliner, main building and buses was really nice. Sorry about the DNS in the marathon, but next year it is yours for the taking!


    Oct 15, 2015
    Great recap! Jealous of your POP assignment. We were in Building 7 which seemed a little more out of the way then I'd normally like to be. Love the pure emotion on your nephew's face from the 5k. I can't wait to read more about what you accomplish this year in your journey.


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