Goodbye RunDisney California

Yesterday it was announced that, for the foreseeable future, RunDisney will no longer be holding races in Disneyland, California, and the Avengers Half Marathon weekend next month will be the last races that grace the streets of Anaheim.

I’m slightly devastated, but not overall surprised, having noticed that no dates for next year’s races were being announced, and the only race that had been announced, the Star Wars weekend in January, had had its registration delayed.

There is, of course, a big difference in the scale of Disneyland races compared to Walt Disney World, which can only be expected given the park sizes and facilities available, but having participated in races both this year and last, it was very apparent this year that numbers of participants were dwindling. In fact, while I was there in May for the Tinkerbell weekend, they were still trying to sell bibs at the expo for the races in the following days!

Disney’s announcement stated that the reason for the cancellations was due to the construction work that is ongoing for the expansion, but personally I don’t think this is flimsy front for the fact that the races have been bleeding money. While the 5K and 10K courses are mainly within the confines of the park, the half marathon only does about 5 miles in the parks before the course leads out onto the streets of Anaheim, which means a lot of roads have to be closed, and unlike other Disney parks, the immediate area surrounding Disneyland is residential, so these road closures do affect a lot of people – there are rumours of quite a lot of complaints – and the permits cost Disney a lot of money, which with the dropping numbers of runners just can’t be afforded.

So yes, I thought this announcement was coming, but that doesn’t make it any better. Despite a lot of RunDisney veterans often slating the Disneyland races, personally they have been some of my favourites – the Disneyland 10K course is the best course out of all the RunDisney courses I’ve ever done. Disneyland is such a special place to me anyway, but racing through the parks is like nothing else. I completed my first weekend challenge (Rebel Challenge 2016) here, and ran my half marathon PB here.

The announcement also means there will be no more Coast to Coast challenge, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and leaves only Castle to Chateau as an option for those runners who will complete a half marathon in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris in the coming years.

All I can say is that I really hope that Disney will restart the races when the construction ends, and I can run through my happy place again soon.

RunDisney Paris 2017: Day 3 and Half Marathon

This morning Dad and I were up bright and early yet again, this time to run double the distance we did yesterday! The half marathon started at the same time as the 10K did the day before, but as Dad and I could join our actual corral B today, it meant we got across the start line quite a bit earlier than we did on the 10K.

The race itself was absolutely fab! The course was slightly different to last year, and we actually spent more time running in the parks which was great, and the characters that were out were so good! We skipped quite a few stops, but I did meet the Three Caballeros, Scrooge McDuck, Timon and Rafiki and Judy Hopps! Dad and I kept a good pace and we came in with a great time, collecting both our medals for the half marathon and also the Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge, and I also got my second Castle to Chateau medal. While I had a few issues with some of the goings on from this weekend’s races, this race really turned around how I felt about things – I couldn’t fault it.

After the race we were on a bit of a tight time-frame, so we went straight back to the hotel to shower and change before packing up, checking out and rushing back into the parks, which was done at a bit of a waddle given the stiff leg situation. We were rushing as we had a lunch reservation at Captain Jack’s, which is the rebrand of the former Blue Lagoon Restaurant, set inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

I wasn’t sure how I felt when the rebrand was announced, as Blue Lagoon fit in nicely with the Blue Bayou restaurants of Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, both of which are also inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride of their respective parks, but as the Paris ride has just had its refurb, I thought it was nice that the restaurant was getting a spruce up too. The actual restaurant, however, was pretty much exactly the same as it was before, just with a few added pirate flags, and Jack doing the rounds while you eat.

The food, however, wasn’t as good as when I ate here before. My meal at Blue Lagoon on my 21st birthday was absolutely flawless, and not a single scrap was left, but I just didn’t feel quite as wowed by the dishes this time around. I loved my starter, but my main was just a little bit blah and I didn’t finish my dessert either, which was partially down to my lack of appetite post-half marathon, but also because I didn’t totally love the food.

After we’d eaten, it was unfortunately time for us to leave as we had to drive back to the airport for our flight home. I was sad to leave as this trip felt very rushed – races always seem to take so much time away from the weekends – and the weather was so lovely!

If you love reading my trip posts, fear not guys – my next trip is at the end of October!

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RunDisney Paris 2017: Day 2 and 10K

Hey gang! Today we were up nice and early to get to the 10K start line. Dad and I had been put in corral B, but as Hannah and Mum were in C we dropped back so we could all start together.


The race was great. I had a few moans about character lines being shut as it was too busy, but I still got to do a few meets that I really wanted to do and it’s not just about the characters for me. Plus even if I couldn’t meet them, the characters they had out were fab!

Once we’d finished and got our goodies, we celebrated with a McDonalds breakfast before going back to the hotel to shower and change, which led to some accidental napping (sorry not sorry), then we walked into the parks. We started in the Disneyland Park, grabbing lunch at Colonel Hathi’s, then we actually decided to go across into Studios to do one of our family favourite rides, Toy Story Parachute Drop, then for a chance to side down, Disney’s Art of Animation.

From there, I headed solo back to the Disneyland Park to watch Stars on Parade for my first time. As with Illuminations, although I loved the new floats, I still prefer Magic on Parade, or at least the soundtrack! I then had to fight my way back out of the park as we had booked Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for dinner. It was our first time doing it and it was surprisingly fun, although a little strange at times.

Once the show was over, it was time to call it an early night as Mum and Hannah were both feeling the effects of this morning, and Dad and I will be up again for the half tomorrow!

RunDisney Paris 2017: Day 1

Yes it’s only been a week but once again I’m coming to you from another trip as I’m in Disneyland Paris for the RunDisney weekend!

We had an early start to get the first flight out of Southampton to Paris, which was lucky as due to strike action CDG was crazy busy and we had to wait quite some time to get through passport control! Once we were through and eventually managed to find our hire car company, we were on the road to DLP, and headed straight Hotel Cheyenne where we waited for my sister to arrive before walking into Disney Village. First stop was lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, then we went to the Health and Fitness Expo to pick up our race kit.

I had mixed feelings about the expo. I thought it flowed better this year in how it was set up, but it felt very very empty and I was really surprised at how few exhibitors they had. It just felt a little scarce, although much better for my bank balance! Dad and I picked up our challenge bibs and tshirts, and Mum and Hannah got their 10K ones, then we walked into Disney Village for a bit of window shopping before getting the bus back to the hotel so we could finally unload all our stuff into the room before heading back to the parks.

Somewhat controversially, we actually went into the Walt Disney Studios Park first of all, as it was closing early due to the 5K in the evening. Amazingly, we managed to do the Ratatouille ride with less than a half an hour wait, and also RC Racer and even Crush’s Coaster in a fraction of what I would consider the normal wait time to be. After Crush’s Coaster, the park was past its official closing time so we were guided towards the exit, so we headed over to the Disneyland Park.

Once in the park, my family stopped for ice cream while I walked around the castle hub taking photos of the 25th anniversary decs, then we went into Adventureland to do Pirates of the Caribbean, via a quick detour through Aladdin’s Enchanted Passage. I don’t think I’ve ever queued that long for Pirates, although it was probably only about 20-25mins, but after the refurb I didn’t want to miss out. We then walked the loop through Fantasyland and into Discoveryland for Buzz’s Space Ranger Spin.

Once we’d saved the universe, we took up spots for Illuminations. I had hoped that the audience would remain seated but unfortunately everyone started to stand so on our feet it was.. Honestly, I don’t think it blew me away, and I don’t think it was any better than it’s predecessor Dreams. It was an early park close of 8.30pm, so we headed towards Disney Village but as the 5K was still ongoing it was total carnage. We battled our way through the crowds to the wondrous place that is Earl of Sandwich, grabbed sandwiches and headed back to the hotel on foot.

In the morning we’ll be doing the 10K, stay tuned! 

My RunDisney Paris Weekend Outfits

I may have just got back from my Disney Cruise, but I’m off to Disneyland Paris THIS WEEKEND! I’ll be up bright and early tomorrow morning to be on the first flight to Paris, and I’ll be in the parks Friday-Sunday, but as per usual this trip is not without a race weekend!

I’ll be running both the 10K and half marathon in order to earn myself the Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge medal, and I’ll also be getting my second Castle to Chateau Challenge medal, and two races means another two outfits to create!

I’ll be the first to admit that the costumes I created for this race weekend were a little bit last minute – in fact, my 10K outfit was something I literally threw together this week – thank goodness for my fabric stash!

So for the 10K I’ll be letting out my inner Star Wars nerd with this outfit inspired by Princess Leia’s Episode IV outfit. I have a good collection of plain coloured tech t-shirts now, so I only needed to make the skirt to go with a plain white top, and then I’ll be attempting some cinnamon roll style buns.

Then for the half marathon, I’ve created an outfit inspired by my favourite Mickey Mouse look: Sorcerer Mickey. I actually made this skirt from fabric I got out of the scrap bin at my local fabric store for just Β£1, and I’m so happy with how it came out! And while its probably impractical to run in a sorcerer’s hat, I do have this amazing scrunchie that I got from Shanghai Disneyland last year, and I even have a Mickey glove too!

If you’re also running this weekend, or are going to be in the parks, come say hi if you spot me!

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Photos to Take With your RunDisney Medals

Maintaining your fitness, a sense of achievement, or pushing your limits; anyone might think these are the reasons to participate in a RunDisney event. Sure, there’s an aspect of this in every race, but really its all about the medal at the finish line, and I’m definitely not the only Disney runner who thinks this.

If you’ve never seen a RunDisney medal before, let me tell you they are every bit as awesome as you’d expect them to be and more. For starters, they’re huge, and weigh a fair bit, but as well as they’re they are always so detailed and well themed, and well worth however miles you just sweated for.

For many, the completion of the race might be the end of the event in your eyes, but you’re gonna want to document everything perfectly, and in the hours and days after your race, medal photos suddenly become a priority. With 5 RunDisney weekends under my belt, I have perfected the art of the medal photos, and if anyone’s about to take part in their first event, here’s the definitive list of photos that you’re gonna want to take.

1. A finish line medal selfie

A volunteer has just hung that glorious medal around your neck and you’re stumbling towards the water table but what you really need to do is document that finishing moment with a good ol’ sweaty selfie!

2. A photo with the finishing board

Once you’ve picked up your free bottles of water and Powerade and grabbed your food box, the next stop before reuniting with your friends and family at the end of the race is to get that official RunDisney board photo.

3. A photo of your weekend medal collection

If you’ve run more than one race, or completed a challenge, be sure to get a photo wearing all of those medals at the same time, even if its too heavy for you to wear them all all day!

4. A photo in front of the castle

Sometimes this shot needs a helping hand of someone to hold the medal while you get the position of the photo just right, but its a classic!

5. A photo with the character on the medal

If you’re medal is themed based on a certain character, as so many are, be sure to go and see them to show off! They absolutely love seeing medals!

6. A photo in a themed location

If you’re in a park that has an area theme that matches your medal, grab a photo there too!

7. Your medal display at home

However you hang your medals at home, take a photo after every new medal has been added!

My next RunDisney event will be Paris in September when I’ll be running the 10K and half marathon for the inaugural Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge and also getting my second Castle to Chateau challenge medal! Who will I be seeing there?

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Characters on the Course – RunDisney Tinkerbell Weekend


I might be back from Disneyland, but you’ll all know by now that that never means the Disney posts are over! And of course, yet again, the primary purpose of my trip was another RunDisney race weekend, this time, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend.

Again, I ran the 10K and the half marathon – the Pixie Dust Challenge – so there were 19.3 miles of running magic for me to share with you! Some of you may be aware of the somewhat dramatic twist that during the 5K there were no characters available on the course, and this is something that I have a very different opinion to most, but I won’t get into that now, instead I’m going to share the characters that were out for us at the 10K and half marathon!


The 10K:

  • Lost Boys – the Lost Boys were hanging out in Toontown as we entered the park just after mile 1
  • Pirates – there were a bunch of face character pirates scattered throughout the course, and they were lots of fun!
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this pair met by the Storybook Canal Boats at about mile 3
  • Pirate Donald – I couldn’t resist stopping for my favourite duck on Main Street
  • Pirate Chip and Dale – the chipmunks were up to trouble in California Adventure
  • Peter and Wendy – this was really just a photo op as they stood a few steps above the pavement, but it was nice to see them out!
  • And pirate Minnie was at the finish line!




The Half Marathon:

  • Iridessa, Silvermist and Rosetta – I can never resist the fairies, and having never met Silvermist before this was one for the character list
  • Pirate chipmunks – Chip and Dale made another mischievous appearance, this time on Main Street
  • Peter and Wendy – during the half, Peter and Wendy were on the railway bridge, so not even a photo op
  • Lost Boys – the most boys were having a ball on King Triton’s Carousel on Paradise Pier
  • Pirates – the pirates were out in force again!
  • Pirate Pluto – this lovable pup was also kitted out for pillaging and plundering on Paradise Pier
  • Tinkerbell and Fawn – well it would be rude if Tink missed her own race, right?
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this dynamic duo made a second appearance, this time in California Adventure

If you caught the Princess Weekend edition of Characters on the Course, you may be noticing there’s considerably less this weekend. This is primarily due to the fact that in WDW, Disney own all the land between the parks, so even when you’re not in the park, they can still put the characters out on the roadsides along the course. However in Disneyland, the majority of the half marathon course is on the streets of Anaheim, so there can’t be any characters along those 8 miles of the course. There were, however, some bands, DJs, and also a whole tonne of super supportive locals making that length of the course magical for us!

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