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Old 03-04-2014, 10:58 AM   #1
emilyindisney
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COMPLETE- "We're Never Coming Back!...Until October" FEB '14 Princess Half Marathon

To all who come to this happy place, welcome!



100_7172 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr



We, the DIS-ters, have returned from a fabulously royal trip to Disney for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! I hope you’ll jump on and join us because “this here’s (going to be) the wildest ride in the wilderness” as we recount four days, three races and 22.4 magical miles. So grab your running shoes, your favorite pair of mouse ears and your best tutus (Yes, gentlemen- you too!) because “here we gooooooo!”

If you’re interested in reading our planning adventure (and it certainly was adventurous!) the link to our pre-trip report is here.

For our new friends, we’ll start with some introductions!

Meet Emily:


100_7270 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

Visits to Disney: 4
Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite Restaurant: Garden Grill
Favorite Food: Tonga Toast
Favorite Princess: Ariel
Favorite Disney memory: Taking MJ on Test Track for the first time (even though she compared it to my driving!)


Meet Caitlin:


100_7213 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

Visits to Disney: 7
Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride: Kilimanjaro Safaris
Favorite Restaurant: Ohana or Garden Grill
Favorite Food: Mickey Bars
Favorite Princess: Rapunzel
Favorite Disney memory: Being the rebel spy...twice!


Meet MJ:


100_7219 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

Visits to Disney: 4
Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride: Kilimanjaro Safaris
Favorite Restaurant: Boma
Favorite Food: Mickey Waffles
Favorite Princess: Cinderella
Favorite Disney memory: Drinking a margarita in Mexico on any given trip!


Emily's writing looks like this, and Caitlin's writing looks like this!
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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney

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Old 03-04-2014, 11:03 AM   #2
emilyindisney
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Table of Contents:




Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Flying solo...literally
"My first race of the weekend"
Running through the running expo
I can draw? I can draw! And that time I was the rebel spy...again!
Decisions, decisions
It's like the universe is trying to stop me from getting to Disney!
Feeling a little loopy!


Friday, February 21st, 2014
Cinderella's Royal Family 5K part 1
Cinderella's Royal Family 5K part 2
Breakfast of Champions!
Completing the All-Star Trifecta
Our first deluxe stay adventure begins
"It's settled, I'm never checking out!"
The (wonderful) food-trastrophe that is ‘Ohana
One of the best, impromptu decisions of the trip


Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Enchanted 10k part one
Enchanted 10k part two
Enchanted 10k part three
The resort touring saga continues
Cape May Cafe
Throwback Saturday #tbs
Downtown Disney and Port Orleans French Quarter


Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
Princess Half Marathon part 1: Disney's newest dining experience
Princess Half Marathon part 2: Caution runners- speed bumps ahead
Princess Half Marathon part 3: The most magical miles of all
Princess Half Marathon part 4: "It should be called exercise until you don't feel like it anymore"
Princess Half Marathon part 5: We earned our glass slippers!
We did actually go to a park, I swear!
Meeting the head cheese
Interlude- the mystery of the title is revealed
Viva Italia and Emily's first solo park time!

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Kona Cafe lives up to it's hype!
Lounging at the Lodge
Final thoughts


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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney

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Old 03-04-2014, 11:05 AM   #3
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Following along!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
courtneybelle
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Here!!! I'm so excited to see how the race went!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #5
disneyhorselover
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Thanks for joining guys! I'm letting Emily do the official posting, but I'll be here for the whole thing!
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March 1996 (Swan),March 2008 (CBR), March 2009 (POP), May 2010 (Swan), January 2013 (AoA),
February 2014 (AS Sports and BWV)

October 2014 (POP) for the ToT 10 Miler!
January 2015 (AS Movies) for the Goofy Challenge!
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:28 PM   #6
emilyindisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Following along!
:welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by courtneybelle View Post
Here!!! I'm so excited to see how the race went!
Welcome, Courtney! Glad you're joining us for the ride/run!
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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:50 PM   #7
emilyindisney
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Flying solo...literally

Caitlin had to get to Disney early (what a burden- I know) to get our race packets. While I was at school, she was on her way to Florida!

So if you followed our PTR, you learned that I was actually headed down by myself, about 14 hours ahead of my mom and sister. I’ve traveled alone quite a bit and didn’t mind this at all, but it was a little odd to not have anyone to share the excitement with along the way!

I left my ice-covered apartment parking lot at what felt like the crack of dawn. I usually get dropped off at the airport, so I was a little apprehensive about having to drive there and find the self park area by myself. I discovered the reason for this feeling when I accidently pulled into the valet parking lot that was right next to the self park-oops! As cars pulled in and parked around me, I made a quick decision and squeezed my car out and into the next lane so I could escape and turn around. Finally, on the second try, I made it into the self park lot, where I had to drive around looking for a spot not completely filled with snow. I just kept reminding myself that in a few short hours, I would be in warm and sunny florida!!!

Thankfully, that was the most eventful part of my travel. I made it through airport security and to my gate with plenty of time to spare, so I decided to kill that time by getting some dunks. Good thing I left early, because it took 30 minutes to get through the line-and it wasn’t a long one. It was the slowest dunkin line I have ever seen, and many customers around me were becoming quite anxious that they wouldn’t get their coffee before it was time to board. FINALLY, I was able to get my first official meal of vacation: a french vanilla iced coffee, and an oatmeal cup.


IMG_2271 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

It’s been way too cold for me to drink iced coffee in new england, so this was another good way to remind myself that it was time for warm weather!

My flight down was uneventful. I sat next to a woman on the plane who was also heading to Disney for the PHM, and staying at the hotel right next to ours, so we had a great time chatting about our trip. After 2.5 episodes of Law and Order: SVU (gotta love those jetblue tv screens), I was staring out the window at the palm trees! I quickly headed down to magical express, where I got my first magic band experience.


IMG_2272 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

It was first here that I noted that “magic band” was the magic word….nobody could stop talking about them! I had to wait for the second bus, but then hopped on and headed for disney! Luckily for me, All Star Sports was the first stop, which would only be the start of my good transportation luck that day…
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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:54 PM   #8
emilyindisney
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"My first race of the weekend"


While there were no official races scheduled on Thursday, I had park tickets and FP+ reservations, and the only things standing between me and my happy place (Hollywood Studios), were the 5 packets, 5 sets of race shirts/bags, 2 commemorative pins, and a lot of other excited princess runners…

Magical Express pulled up at all star sports, and the race was on! I went to check in and became discouraged by the long line until I remembered that my sister had done online check in, where there was no line! I walked right up to the next available counter, where my magic band was activated, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out my room was ready! I headed out in search of our room.


IMG_2274 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

My first thought upon walking through the resort grounds was how compact it seemed. My last Disney stay was at Art of Animation, which was huge and sprawling. We were located in the football section, which Emily was pleased to hear, since this is what she had requested. I got to the room and was pretty relieved to find that my magic band opened the door on the first try-I had heard some horror stories and didn’t want to be running back to the front desk! I dropped my bag, changed into shorts and flip flops, called Emily to tell her how perfect everything was so far, and then I was on my way!

While I wanted to hurry to the expo, it was now well after lunch time and I need to make a quick stop at the food court. I bought a new refillable mug and had a taco salad for lunch.


IMG_2275 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

I opted out of dessert, figuring I could find a tasty snack at the park later. My good transportation luck continued as a I strolled up to the race weekend bus stop, only to have a bus pull up 2 minutes later. I hopped on and we stopped Music and Movies before heading to the expo. I was one of the only people on the bus, and I chatted a little bit with the driver-she was very impressed by all the runners there for the weekend, and also by the amount of snow I told her we had at home!
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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:28 PM   #9
momabaarjo
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Following along...hoping to do PHM and other races next year!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:19 PM   #10
emilyindisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momabaarjo View Post
Following along...hoping to do PHM and other races next year!
Welcome! I learned so much good info from reading PHM TRs last year, so hopefully we can offer a little insight for your race experience next year!
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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:41 AM   #11
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Yay, you started your TR!!! I can't wait to hear how it went. I hope your costume worked out.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:01 AM   #12
emilyindisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annmarieda View Post
Yay, you started your TR!!! I can't wait to hear how it went. I hope your costume worked out.
Yay- glad you're here!
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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:31 AM   #13
emilyindisney
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Running through the running expo

Upon arriving at the expo, I began the long trek from the bus stop to the main buildings. I had never been to WWOS before and thought overall it was a very nice complex. I stopped for a few quick pics:


IMG_2276 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr


IMG_2277 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr


IMG_2278 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

My biggest complaint about the expo was the confusing layout. runDisney did a great job of directing crowds to keep traffic moving, but that meant when I jumped in the crowd headed into the wrong building, I was in for a very long walk all the way through the building and around. Luckily, I did meet this nice gentleman on the way…


IMG_2281 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

Finally, I found my way to the packet pick up booths for the 5k. These booths were run by some very nice volunteers who gave me a little guidance and helped me quickly get the packets for myself, Emily, and MJ. They then directed me downstairs to pick up GSC packets. Here, I was less impressed with the volunteers...most of the people I encountered in this area were lacking in patience and some were downright rude. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt because I’m sure they answered a lot of the same silly questions ALL DAY, but isn’t that their job? Anyways, I managed to get GSC packets and shirts for Emily and myself. I picked up my own GSC commemorative pin, and had a long discussion with the volunteer at the pin booth about picking up Emily’s. For some reason, they couldn’t find her preorder, and tried to insist that I couldn’t get a second one for myself, no matter how many times I showed them the two separate numbers. Eventually they sent me to a separate booth for missing orders, where I got it straightened out and was on my way.


IMG_2405 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr


IMG_2404 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr


IMG_2403 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr


IMG_2412 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

Some quick thoughts about the merch:
1. The person who decided a white shirt as a good idea for the 10k, has clearly never worked out in a white shirt. What were they thinking?!
2. It is hard for me to find tech shirts that I really like, and I love the fit of these! ….Which helps make up for my lack of enthusiasm about most of the colors.
3. I really like the pin, but I wasn’t crazy about the tassels. I got lots of compliments from CMs on the pin all week though! One of the tassels on my pin is fraying apart! I’m a little disappointed considering that pin cost a pretty penny.

I headed back to the first building I was in, which contained 5k shirts as well as most of the vendors for the expo.


IMG_2282 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr


IMG_2283 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr


IMG_2400 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

I liked that the 5k shirt was a T-shirt instead of a tech shirt. I know a lot of people love the tech shirts, but I really didn’t need four of them. I didn’t take a picture of the backs of the other shirts, but they are the same as the 5k back in different colors. I forgot to upload these, but they basically have the race sponsor logos across the top.

I picked up all three 5k shirts without too much fuss, and was once again on my way, this time back to the hotel to drop all the race stuff before heading to Hollywood Studios. I was pleased to find that my bus luck continued, as an All Star bus pulled up right as I was walking up to the stop!

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March 1996 (Swan), March 2008 (CBR), January 2013 (AoA), February 2014 (ASSp/BWV), October 2014 (Pop)



"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney

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Old 03-06-2014, 08:35 AM   #14
emilyindisney
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I can draw? I can draw! And that time I was the rebel spy...again!

Upon returning from the expo, I dropped the race stuff off at the room, and lingered there for a few minutes, hoping my luggage would show up from magical express, since it had now been about 3 hours since my flight. When it didn’t arrive, I became a little worried that it was lost with all my running gear! (Spoiler alert-it wasn’t! It was there when I got back from the park, thank goodness!)

I headed out to the bus stop once more. All Star Sports was having construction done on the main building, which meant that while the gift shop, check in area, and food court were all open, I had to walk all the way around the outside of the building to get from one to the other, and also had to go all the way around the building to get to the park busses. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it did make me a little bit thankful that we were only staying here for one night. I hopped on a bus for DHS (once again, a less than 5 minute wait), and soon I found myself heading down the center of my favorite park! Besides my FP+ reservations, I didn’t really have much of a plan, which turned out to be a very relaxing way to tour, especially solo.

My first stop was the animation academy drawing class-I have always wanted to try this and have never been able to fit it in. I just missed the current class, which meant I had to wait about 25 minutes for the next one. Since I had no bigger plan, I figured why not?! I grabbed a seat in the waiting area and watched Mr. Incredible/Frozone and Wreck it Ralph/Vanellope greet guests, which made the time go by faster.

Once I got into the drawing room, the artist told us we were going to draw Woody. While he’s not my favorite character, I do love the Toy Story movies so I was excited! The artist was great-he made it really easy to follow along and told tons of (corny) jokes to go with his instructions. Here is the final product!


IMG_2284 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

Pretty impressive for someone who can’t draw at all, right? This was one of the best experiences of the whole trip, and will make it a priority to do this class again at least one per trip! Plus, it was a free souvenir...how many of those do you get at Disney?

After the Animation Academy, it was time to start using my FP+ reservations. So far, I had nothing but good things to say about FP+. It was fairly simple to make reservations once I got used to the system, and when I decided to change them just a few days before my trip, time slots were still available throughout the entire day. The website crashed a few times while trying to do it, but I could always get it to reload and it would save any changes, so that wasn’t a big deal.

My first FP+ reservation was for TSMM. I scanned my magic band and walked right through most of the FP queue to wait in a short line in the loading area. No matter how many times I ride this, I’m always amazed by how cool the effects are! I only wish I lived closer to Florida so I could practice more and get a better score!! I will say, this ride is much more fun with a second person...or maybe thats just my competitive side talking!

After TSMM, I had about 20 minutes to kill before my next FP. I wandered through the park just taking in the atmosphere and beautiful weather, and eventually made my way to the streets of america, where I purchased a cream cheese pretzel-one of the snacks I’ve been wanting to try for a while now!


IMG_2286 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

It was worth the wait! If you’ve never had one of these, its a plain, slightly sweet pretzel with a light cream cheese type filling. Sweet without being sickeningly sweet, and filling without being too heavy-totally recommended!!

I headed over towards Star Tours and watched some of Jedi Training Academy while I ate, and then it was time to ride!


photo (2) by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

Star Tours is one of my favorite rides-I love the original star wars trilogy, and when I was much younger I watched Episode 1 on VHS many more times than I care to admit…


IMG_2289 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

The first time I rode the new Star Tours just over a year ago, I got my own little bit of Disney magic when I was the rebel spy!!!! I couldn’t believe my luck on this trip when, you guessed it, I was the rebel spy again! I immediately got off and texted my friend J who was home in CT. On his last trip, he rode it over 10 times trying to get to be the rebel spy. Some people just have all the luck I guess!

On my way through the gift shop, I stopped and bought a Star Wars related pin to commemorate my importance to the rebel alliance.


IMG_2408-001 by secondaryhoney, on Flickr

I decided I had to ride one more time, so hopped in the standby line, which was a walk on. This ride took us pod racing, which was fun since I had never seen that sequence before.
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"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever" -Walt Disney
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:39 AM   #15
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subbing! I was there for the 10K, and have been hoping to read a trip report about the weekend! I think I have a friend convinced to do the half with me next year
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