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Old 08-31-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
stephielela
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Magical Milestones: A Land-Sea-Land Marathon Birthday Adventure!

Am I crazy? Probably. But that should make this PTR even more entertaining!

Let me start by introducing myself! I'm Stephanie, the planner of this insane itinerary!



I love Disney more than just about anything else. I swear I go through periods where I live, breathe and sleep Disney. I went on my first trip when I was 6 and have been on a bunch of trips since. Honestly I have stopped counting because it gets a little complicatead around 11 and 12. I've done several PTR's and TR's, the links are in my signature if you are interested! I've taken a step back from the boards and didn't post really anything about our last trip because life has just gotten in the way. This is a pretty huge occasion though, so I thought I'd try my best to document this trip.

My family is a "Disney Family". I am the Disniest of them all though. All of us are going on this adventure so while I may be the crazy brains behind it, they are equally crazy for just following my lead

Here we are on our first (and last) whole family Disney trip!


We have taken other trips as a family but most of my trips are Mommy and Jack adventures with just me and my (now) 5 year old son.

Here we are after Jack's pre-K graduation this spring. The girl in the glasses is my sister


So now that we have the WHO let's move on to the WHEN!

I've had this idea in the back of my head for a few years now about how cool it would be to run a marathon. Not just any marathon would do though, it had to be the WDW Marathon. The beauty of this race is it always falls right around my birthday, so it would be easy to justify as a present to myself. This year is no exception, the race is January 12th which is the day before my birthday. And this isn't just ANY birthday we are talking about...
.................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ............

I'm turning 30!

Before I turn 30, I decided I wanted to cross some items off my bucket list so this seems like the most opportune time to get that Marathon done with! So I mentioned it casually about a year ago to my dad and to my complete shock he was ALL FOR IT! He has run several marathons including a couple Marine Corps ones and the Big Sur, which is probably where I even got the idea. Unfortunately he had his hip replaced at the ripe age of 45 (poor guy, same year by son was born making him a grandpa!) so he is no longer supposed to be running. Not only was my dad intrigued, but my mom and sister were too! None of us besides my dad was in what I would call "good shape" and none of us had ever had any interest in running but suddenly, everyone wanted to jump on board... so my sister is running the full with me and my parents are doing the half. Jack is getting in on the action with the Kids Mickey Mile.

After I realized how prone to suggestion my parents were I floated another idea... We were already booked on a Disney Cruise that would have set sail in October. There was no way we could do two vacations that close together so I mentioned that maybe we should move the cruise to January and do it after the race. Again, no hesitation! We just had to wait for the itineraries to be released so we could move our sail date! We decided to do the cruise right after the races so we could recuperate and then hit the parks after the cruise. So I was finally getting my Land-Sea-Land adventure AND my parents were getting their first DCL experience AND I was getting to complete the marathon before I turned 30!

So for the WHEN:
WDW January 10-13
+
DCL Magic January 13-17
+
WDW January 17-19
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The Best Birthday EVER!!!!

Up next: the WHERE
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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Where are we staying?

Once I got the go ahead on the trip, it was tome to decide where to stay. i REEEEEEAAAAALLLLLLLLY wanted this to be the trip where we tried a Deluxe resort, something we haven't done. After many back and forths, reservations and cancellations, and the long awaited release of the military discount we are FINALLY booked and settled on where we are spending our nights!

For the marathon weekend, we are staying at Port Orleans Riverside in Royal Guest Rooms! I am really excited about this because we've never stayed there. I've stayed at Coronado for one night and we've stayed at Caribbean Beach so I'm happy to be crossing another Mod off the list. The real problem is we need 2 rooms which becomes pricey so the Deluxes just weren't feasible this trip. After we booked it turns out this was an EXCELLENT choice as it is possible to actually WALK to the start of the races! I am not positive we will do that, but it would mean a little more sleep and I do love my sleep... Jack was excited about the fireworks above the headboard. We both love fireworks, and he's young enough that I don't think the "Princess
theme will bother him.

For the cruise we are in two verandah staterooms. Can I just say that sailing in January is a real money saver!! Sooooo nice to be able to try out the larger room, on the last DCL cruise Jack and I were on we were in an interior which was still plenty roomy but with the cost being so much lower on this sailing we were able to upgrade!

After the cruise we are NOT staying CL at the Poly like I was hoping for. We came close, but we were all going to have to stay in one room, and it was going to be really uncomfortable so we cancelled that and instead my parents and Jack and I are staying in a Cars Suite at Art of Animation!! This is the only good opportunity we have to try them out since typically Jack and I stay as cheaply as possible and we never need that extra space. My sister is getting her own room in the Little Mermaid section of the resort. The military discount isn't available on the LM rooms but we have a friend who is planning on joining us so they are splitting the cost on those rooms.

I'm so excited to be trying out 2 new resorts and Jack is OVER THE MOON about the Cars Suite! We;ve walked around AoA on our past two trips and he loves taking pictures with every single car there so this really is the highlight for him. I'm just glad to be broadening my experiences. We usually stay at Pop which I love, and I'm sure we will be back to but I recognize that I need to experience other options so I can promote them effectively!

Up Next: Extra Magic!

Last edited by stephielela; 09-03-2013 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:12 PM   #4
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It sounds like a fun trip. Good luck running the marathon.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:58 PM   #5
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AWESOME! I'm amazed by anyone who can run that far!!! Running at WDW is also on my bucket list ... I don't know if it will ever be crossed off my bucket list, but it's on there! Sounds like a wonderful trip to look forward to!
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Sounds so fun!! I wish I could run a marathon....i can't run very long without getting tired..lol
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micandminforever View Post
It sounds like a fun trip. Good luck running the marathon.
Thanks!! I'm hoping it turns out as well as I plan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdkdmac View Post
AWESOME! I'm amazed by anyone who can run that far!!! Running at WDW is also on my bucket list ... I don't know if it will ever be crossed off my bucket list, but it's on there! Sounds like a wonderful trip to look forward to!
I'm amazed by people who can run that far too, which is why I will be doing a looooooot of walking I wasn't too hooked on running Disney,,, until I saw the medals for this year and realized I want one of each!! Assuming I complete this marathon I think I am going to go for the DL half next year and get the Coast to Coast medal they give if youdo one at each park... I would love to have a year where I could just do every run and do nothing but train in between! Maybe if I win the lottery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfinpiratee View Post
Sounds so fun!! I wish I could run a marathon....i can't run very long without getting tired..lol
Me either, that's why I have a walk-run strategy and training plan! I've never been a runner so I am just going with it and hoping for the best!
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:53 PM   #8
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Sad News...

... but thankfully not the end of our trip! I injured my foot pretty bad last week and have been back and forth to my doctor, the ER and Urgent Care and am finally scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday. Thankfully the pain is finally manageable, however there is no way I will be running a marathon in January.

The upside is, the other 4 members of my family are already registered so they will still run and I will be their cheerleader! I'm bummed I'm not crossing this goal off my list but I have had problem after problem so maybe it just wasn't meant to be this year. Disney says I can pay a fee to defer to the 2015 WDW Marathon but haven't said yet what the fee is.

There was some brief discussion in my family about changing plans but at this point, it's full steam ahead for the rest of the trip. I'm lookng on the bright side and honestly, as long as my foot is still hurting, I am THRILLED at the prospect of not having to run or walk anywhere anytime soon. I'm sure once I'm pain free the disappointment will be a little stronger but for now it's ok. I will be back next week to update on something special I have planned for the trip!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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If you cannot run I am sure you will be a wonderful cheerleader. Now you have a reason to plan a trip for 2015.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If you cannot run I am sure you will be a wonderful cheerleader. Now you have a reason to plan a trip for 2015.
Thanks!
I plan to help out as much as I can, and I will be able to use this as my info gathering for 2015. That trip will be completely different, probably even a solo trip, so I will be glad to have all the corral knowledge etc for planning purposes!
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:48 PM   #11
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Extra magic!

So now you know the when and where and all of the standard details. But i wanted this trip to be a truly different experience and I wanted to try some new things.

One of my all time favorite things at Diseny is Illuminations. It is really my favorite of the nigthtime regular shows and the holiday version blows me away every time. I love Wishes too, especially Hallowishes and the Holiday version, but there is just something about Illuminations that I cannot get enough of. On our last whole family trip I booked the Pirate and Pals Fireworks cruise for everyone as my Christmas present. That year we saw Wishes from the Cali Grill, the Wishes Dessert Party AND the Pirate and Pals cruise. I started investigating and discovered the Illuminations Fireworks Cruise and KNEW that's what I wanted to do this year.

Our time in Epcot is already going to be limited do to the few park days and the fact everyone was going to be recovering from a race of some kind. I knew it might be a lot to ask for people to stay up late after the marathon and stay standing to watch Illuminations... so I booked the Illuminations cruise instead!

It's leaves from the Yacht Club and there are snacks on board that are complimentary. It's a private cruise so you can bring up to 10 people onboard and it's all the same price. It's not cheap, but I genuinely think it will eb so worth it. It will be my birthday eve (and when I booked it I had thought I would be celebrating completing the marathon) and it seems liek the perfect gift for myself and my family since they are putting a lot of effort into being able to celebrate with me. This way we can see Illuminations up close and personal while seated if necessary and without dealing with crowds etc. I haven't told my family and I don't plan to, at least until we are at Disney. I want it to be a big surprise
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:38 PM   #12
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I've not seen you around in forever. Be back to read but wanted to join in.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:38 PM   #13
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The plans sound great; I'm sorry about the foot injury and hope it is nothing serious and glad you are still doing the trip. That's a very nice surprise of the Illuminations cruise for the family.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I've not seen you around in forever. Be back to read but wanted to join in.
I have been away for a while, mainly because my work schedule no longer allowed for hours of free time on DIS lol. This PTR will be pretty short since we aren't making a ton of plans but the TR will be awesome
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:04 PM   #15
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Extra people!

One of the best ways to celebrate at Disney is with friends. I happen to be lucky enough to have some pretty great friends and they are lucky enough to live close to WDW!

My mom's best friend from childhood actually lives at New Smyrna Beach which is not far away, and when she heard about my mom doing the half, she wanted to join. Unfortunately the races filled up SUPER fast this year so she hasn't been able to register. I'm sure she and her husband will still come to see my mom finish though and I'm thinking we could go out to a nice dinner that evening.

I have a fabulous friend who is actually one of my best friends little sisters. I am close to most of their family actually and we visited them last fall in Gainesville and then we all headed to WDW for a few days after. It's so crazy, I remember this girl when she was like 10 and now she's all grown up! She is also a very mature and wonderful young lady who is so generous that when she heard I was running the marathon SHE wanted to sign up too! Unfortunately she also missed the registration since it sold out in August! Of course now that I'm not running, it's probably for the best. The other great thing about this girl is we share a birthday! This means we get to celebrate in style! In fact she is the only one who knows I booked the Illuminations cruise The boat holds 10 and she is planning on bringing her parents so them + us + my mom's friend and her husband= perfection!

As it gets closer I just get so excited! I am kinda dreading turning 30 but I guessi f it means getting to do all this fun stuff... bring it on!
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