Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Exploring the Disney's Port Orleans Royal Rooms

Over the runDisney Princess Half Marathon weekend, I had the chance to check out Disney's Port Orleans Riverside.  I had a big group of clients staying at this resort in the Royal Rooms, so headed over to the resort to make sure everything was ready for them.

Port Orleans is a charming resort that transports visitors to the land of the beautiful Mississippi.  The main building holds the registration area and resort's quick service restaurant.  Outside of the main area is a giant water wheel that actually works.  The building is right on the Port Orleans water way.  A key highlight of Port Orleans is that along the water way travels boats to and from Down Town Disney.  How perfect is that with the theme of the Mississippi!

My clients were staying in my travel agency's room block at the new and beautifully themed Royal Rooms.  These rooms are Princess themed!  All of the classic princesses are represented.  No detail is over looked--from the bedspreads, the carpeting, the light--it was all perfectly themed.  The fixtures are trimmed in gold. "Chip", the teacup from "The Beauty and the Beast" lines the ceiling on a beautiful boarder.  Around the room are framed portraits of all of your favorite Disney Princesses 

These rooms are fit for royalty.  The headboards light up!  Going with the theme of the Mississippi, Princess Tiana from Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" is the featured princess on the headboard.  The bedspread represents all of the Disney princesses, with little hint of each woven in--an apple, a glass slipper, a rose, a mirror, and a lamp.

The bathroom faucet is a golden magic lamp.  The clothing rack is a magic pumpkin.  The shower curtain is "The Little Mermaid" themed, complete with dingle-hoppers, snarfblats, star fish and glowing jewels.  The carpeting is royal blue, with Aladdin's magic carpet mixed in.

Anything princess is usually pink, frilly, and flamboyant.  These rooms were none of those.  Disney really had families in mind when they designed these rooms.  There is no way I could talk my husband or son into staying at a "princess" room, but these Royal Rooms even he would love.  The Disney touches are very subtle  but still there.  We had so much fun walking around the room and looking for all the princess references, and a hidden Mickey or two.

To say I was impressed with the resort and the Royal Rooms is an understatement.  These rooms are perfect!  I can't wait to take my little prince and princess to stay in them.  Even if I wasn't a self described Disney nerd, I would love these rooms.  They are amazing.

A dream is a wish...


If you are planning a Disney trip--please contact me!  My services are free!  amy@mousekeplanner.com

Friday, March 22, 2013

The runDisney Rumors Are True!

It has been confirmed--runDisney IS adding a 10k to Marathon Weekend, and they are sanctioning an official Dopey race series.

Here is a screen cap with the details about the Dopey Challenge.  Wow!  Six medals, six race shirts and 48.6 miles through Disney World!  What an incredible weekend!

For years, runDisney enthusiastic have called an unsanctioned event "Dopey".  This used to be a 5k on Friday, the half on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday of the Disney Marathon weekend.  runDisney has uped the anti a bit here by moving the 5k to Thursday morning and adding a 10k Friday morning.  The sanctioned Dopey event will include the 5k, the 10k, the half marathon and the full marathon.

While I love a good challenge,  I have to ask myself if this is going to far.  If it safe for a person to run a race four day in a row?  Especially with the heat wave of last year, is it dangerous for a person to run this many miles in so few days?  Not to mention waking up at 3 am four days in a row!

Would I ever take this challenge?  I honestly can not say no.  Some day, after I am in much better shape than I am today-- then maybe....as I said, I love a good challenge.

Would you ever consider taking on the brand new Dopey Challenge?

A dream is a wish...


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another runDisney rumor!

A friend alerted me to yet another runDisney rumor!  This link was shared in a Facebook running group page.  Could it be?  Is runDisney actually going to sanction "Dopey"?

runDisney fans affectionately call this unsanctioned event Dopey because that's what you have to be to do it!  The unsanctioned Dopey Challenge is a 5k on Friday morning, the half marathon on Saturday morning and the full marathon on Sunday morning of runDisney's Marathon Weekend.   So far, runDisney has been reluctant to sanction this event--but they were reluctant to sanction Goofy too.  With this rumored to become a sanctioned event, I bet runDisney will see a jump in registrations.

According to the above link, it looks like a 10k is also being added to Marathon Weekend too.  I am guessing with the success of the Disneyland 10k, how could they not.  A 10k is a great goal for someone who can easily do a 5k, but is not yet ready for a half marathon.  My question now is will the official runDisney sanctioned Dopey Challenge include the 5k, 10k or both?  I look forward to hearing all the official details!

What do you think of these rumors?  Does this make you more likely to participate in the runDisney Marathon Weekend?

A dream is a wish...


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Old Memory...

Have you ever been day dreaming and an old memory pops into your head?  It hits you out of no where.  It's not a bad memory, just very random.  Something you have not thought about in years.  I was driving home from my run this morning and an old memory popped into my head out of no where.  I wonder what made me think of it?

About five and a half years ago, I was working as an accountant for a hospital group.  This was the first time I had really become interested in fitness and losing weight.  We had a gym in the basement at work.  It was a really nice gym with the latest fitness equipment and cardio machines.  Every single day, I would sneak down to the gym around 11 am and do 45 minutes on the elliptical.  I would go down at 11 am because the place was completely empty at that time.  Other people did not start to trickle in until 11:45, so I usually had the place all to myself.  Back them, I hated working out around other people.  There was this group of runners, men and women, who would meet outside the gym and usually run outside together. I did not know any of them, other than what I overheard from them.  Sometimes they would run on the treadmills.  I was always in awe of them!  They seemed to me like the most fit people I had ever met in real life.

One day in October, they ran inside because it was pouring outside.  I remember them chatting about how the day before they did the Baltimore Marathon together.  I remember hearing them talk about mile markers, hills, water stops.  I was even more awe of them after hearing they did a marathon.  I did not know how  long was marathon even was at this point in time!  This did not make me want to do one though.  To me, a marathon was something only super human people did.  It was not something that I ever, ever would even consider doing.  Marathon's were meant for super fit, super skilled, super people.  I certainly was not one of them.

I don't know what made me think of that moment on my drive today, but wow! It would be years until I decided that I would do a half marathon.  How far I had come from when I was that person.  The thing is, looking back--I really was in decent shape back then.  I was in a lot better shape than I gave myself credit for at the time. I guess the lesson to me from that flash back it to believe in myself.  I was in such awe of that group of runners.  They were marathoners for goodness sake!  I would see them running on the tread mills and think--wow, I never could do that!  I would hear them talk about running a marathon and be completely mesmerized. The only difference between the me I was back then and the me I am now is confidence.

Do you remember the first time you heard of someone doing a marathon?  What were your thoughts on it?

A dream is a wish...


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon?

runDisney rumor alert!!!

Is a "continent to continent" challenge in the works?
runDisney sent participants of the Princess Half a survey asking the following question:
"runDisney is considering hosting a Half Marathon event in Paris, France in the Fall of 2014 (between late September and early November). The Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon race course would wind through both Disneyland Paris theme parks and Disney® Village, with the last 8–9 miles running through the countryside surrounding the Disneyland Paris parks."
I had heard a similar rumor a while back, but this seems to indicate that the event is more than in the "rumor" stage. Could it be--a continent to continent medal?  According to the survey, the half marathon price is listed at $70 while a package including hotel, theme park tickets, and race registration is priced at $1,100. That price is really not that bad, depending on how many nights this would provide in a hotel.  The thing that concerns me is the price of airfare.  

Hopefully we'll get more information from runDisney soon! What do you think? Are you getting your passport ready? 

A dream is a wish...


Monday, March 11, 2013

runDisney Princess Half Marathon 2013

This was a special race for me because one year ago, the runDisney Princess Half Marathon was my first ever half marathon.  I trained for over a year for the 2012 runDisney Princess Half Marathon.  I worked so hard to achieve that goal, it was so cool to go back as a runDisney four time veteran.  I did not have to deal with any of the first timer worries--would I be able to find my corral, would I be fast enough, on no--what about the sweeper, ect.  This time, I got to just take it all in an enjoy the experience.

I stayed at the Beach Club this trip.  I woke up at 3 am and tip toed around my room so I would not wake my husband or my kids up.  I put on my Cinderella inspired race day outfit, got all of my gear and I was off to catch the bus.  It was not until I was on the bus that I noticed I left my breakfast on the bathroom counter in the room...huge bummer!  I texted all my running friends but no one had anything extra.  Oh well, I would have to make the best of it.  I got off the bus at the Epcot parking lot and meet up with a few friends.  We walked to the corrals together.  After no time, it was time for the race to start!

In true runDisney style, each corral got there very own Ready! Set! Go! followed by fireworks.  Cinderella's Fairy Godmother gave each corral their very own "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo"!  I started in corral C, so I did not have to wait very long to start running.  For the first mile, I could hear the corrals behind me set off.  Their fireworks lite the sky.  After no time, I could see the arch way to the Magic Kingdom!  That is one of my favorites parts of the race.

Race day was so hot!  For those of us from up North, the heat was a huge change from what we were used to training in.  Combined with the 97% humidity, this was one of toughest race for me yet.  With no breakfast, combined with the heat and humidity--I knew I would have to take this one easy.  At a runDisney race--this means lots of pictures!!!

The first place on the course we had a lot of spectators was at the Ticket and Transportation Center.  There were so many people there!  This was mile 4, but I was having a tough time.  It was so great to have all the spectators there cheering us on.  It was just what I needed to keep me going.  After the TTC, we ran under the water bridge.  This always fascinates my kids--cars go underneath a water way for boats.  There was a really fun DJ on top of the water bridge with HUGE mickey hands on.  He was so funny and a great distraction!

It was time!  Time to run through the Magic Kingdom!  We entered the MK from a backstage area, then turned a corner onto Main Street USA.  I glanced up, and there it was--Cinderella's castle!  I always get a little emotional when I see the castle.  At the top of Main Street, we made a right into Tomorrowland.  I was hoping we would run through the new Fantasyland  but we did not.  One more turn and I was at the castle!  This year, they had trumpet players standing on the castle balcony.  This was a really cool touch.  Everyone was so busy taking pictures and videos that we came to a standstill and then walk inside the castle.  Of course I stopped for several pictures at the end of the bridge.  After I was sure I had enough castle shots, we ran toward Frontierland.  This is where I ran into my friend Malina.  We did alot of training runs together, so it was great to see her on the course.

After a few more picture stops in the MK, it was time to be on my way.  We exited the Magic Kingdom and headed back toward Epcot to the finish.  There were lots of spectators as we passed the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian and Shades of Green resorts.  After this is the toughest part of the course for me--the two miles of highway before we get near Epcot.  Disney did a great job at keeping us entertained with some characters, a huge princess balloon and music.  Before I knew it, I was at the dreaded overpass.  This is the part of the course most people consider the toughest.  For me, its not that bad. The hills is my neighborhood at tougher, but if you are not used to hills I can see it being tough.  Sarge from Toy Story was there, along with his soldiers to "motivate" runners.

After the overpass, I could see it--I could see the big "golf ball" inside Epcot.  It was about mile 10, but knowing the end was getting close always gives me a second wind.  It was getting very hot and sunny by this time, so I was ready to be done.  We entered Epcot from a back stage area, then we ran right past the big ball.  I knew the only thing between me and the finish was a jog to the entrance to World's Showcase and back.  I usually hate the word jog, but that is really all I had left in me.  The last half mile felt like forever!  I left Epcot and could hear the choir singing.  At the PHM that means you are almost done!

The finish felt so surreal this time.  I was so ready for it to be over, but I wanted to take it all in.  The first time I was so proud I had actually done it.  This time, I just wanted to hear the crowd, feel the excitement.  I looked around and could see huge smiles.  I saw lots of women crying.  It was amazing to be part of something like this.  I crossed the finish and went for my medal!  This years medal is so pretty--I could not wait to have one in my hands that was all mine.  After getting my PHM medal, I went to get my Coast to Coast medal (for doing a runDisney half on each coast in one calendar year.)  After getting my medals, I got some water, some snacks and meet up with some friends.

My second runDisney Princess Half Marathon was everything I had hoped it would be.  I was afraid that this being my second, it would some how lose some of it's magic.  I am so glad I was wrong! All the Disney magic was still there.  I can't wait to run the Princess Half Marathon again next year.

A dream is a wish...