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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February Disney Trip Day 6 and Princess Half Marathon

Hey gang! Well I dunno about you but I’ve had quite a day..

Up again at 3.30am and on a bus in under 20 minutes, but thanks to a crazy amount of traffic, it took us over an hour to get to Epcot for this mornings race! I finally got into my corral at 5:30am, which is when the race was due to start, but luckily thanks to the bad traffic, the start was delayed 10 minutes so I didn’t miss out on anything.
The race itself was a classic combination of hard work and a lot of fun; I probably spent about 30-40 minutes waiting for various character stops along the way, but also being my first half without my dad, I struggled a little bit to work with a proper pace and ended up winging it just a bit! I did come in quicker than the time I had set as a sort of goal, so no complaints here, and I was back to the hotel in no time for a bath and, today, a nice long nap, while Sarah went on a solo excursion.

Once I was back on my feet (just barely) I headed into the Magic Kingdom ready for a day of twirling around the place in my beautiful Chip skirt. First stop of the day was meeting Stitch in Town Square, and he loved my outfit and knew exactly who I was, pointing to the picture of Chip on Sarah’s tshirt! Then we had fastpasses for Space Mountain, but not until after I re-carbed with a Mickey pretzel, and we got put on the Alpha track – BOO. With some time to kill before Merida was back meeting (due to her being on parade) we went over to Be Our Guest and luckily there was a photopass photographer outside to take some photos of us in front of Beast’s castle.

Meeting Merida was big for us, as she was the last of all the princesses for us to meet. That’s right, it’s day 6 and we’ve done all of the princesses, eek! And speaking of princesses, next we had fastpasses for Enchanted Tales with Belle, where I was chosen to play Mrs Potts (because an adorable kid was cast as Chip) and Sarah played the operatic wardrobe! It was my first time being part of the show, and Sarah’s first time altogether, so it was amazing that we both got to be in it and meet Belle for photos too as well as get an Enchanted Tales bookmark!

We then wandered through Fantasyland to the Tangled toilets for some photos *cough* new range coming to The Happiest Fitness Co *cough* and met Peter Pan by the Neverland map. Afterwards, we ticked something off our Disney bucket lists by going to Starbucks and giving cute Disney names – Chip and Belle to be precise! A quick hub grass chill and a little bit of Move It Shake It, and we headed back to Be Our Guest for dinner!

It was my first time doing table service there, having only eaten once before during quick service lunch, and it did not dissapoint! We had steak which was delicious, and super filling, so fitting in the lemon meringue cupcake for dessert was a little bit of a struggle. After we ate, we had a photo with Beast, then headed back into the now cold and dark park, and to Ariel’s grotto for a quick mermaid meet.

As we headed to Main Street USA, the new projection show Once Upon A Time was starting, so we stopped midway down the street to watch it. Now I loved the old show, Celebrate the Magic, so I was a little unsure how to take this change, and as much as I hate being negative, I was so disappointed. Compared to Celebrate it just didn’t match up, and I didn’t even have to fight back a single tear – and I cry at everything. I’m glad I’ve seen it, but I probably wouldn’t bother again.

Finally, we finished up with a late fastpass to Big Thunder, because the wildest ride in the wilderness is ten times wilder at night!

And with that, it’s time for me to go to bed..

February Disney Trip Day 3

So after our crazy early night last night, we ended up awake super early this morning. Typical.Our plans for the morning were to hit the RunDisney expo so I could get my bib and tshirts, so we had a fairly chilled morning at the hotel, grabbed some breakfast there and jumped on a transportation bus to the ESPN centre. Because Sarah had never been to an expo before, I was pretty excited for her to see what they were really like.


We got my bib and race shirts, and collected the pre-ordered pin I got for Sarah and my event jacket, then got stuck into the official merchandise, before getting into the 40 minute queue to pay. Yes, 40 minutes.. We also had a quick look around the main expo hall, but with fastpass commitments looming, jumped on a bus back to the hotel so I could dump my stuff, then hopped on another to Epcot.

Our only fastpass of the day was for Soarin’, a ride I haven’t done here since 2014 as it was being refurbished last year, and the new update is incredible! Honestly if you do no other ride in Epcot, do this.

 

Having seen that she meets in the French Pavilion on the World Showcase, I decided to bring my Aurora themed outfit forward, so we dashed from Soarin’ to the 2:30 meet, and while we were in the queue we overheard rumours that Belle would also be out in her blue dress, so after Aurora we got in the mystery line to meet Belle. She was super lovely, and it was my first time meeting her in her blue village dress, and another princess off the list!

Onwards, we grabbed a Starbucks and jumped onto a monorail across to the Magic Kingdom, then a bus across to Fort Wilderness for Mickey’s Backyard BBQ..


You guys, I cannot put into words how much fun Backyard BBQ was. There will be a full review in the coming weeks, but OH MY GOSH. There was amazing food, incredible entertainment and we just had the best time dancing with Mickey and the gang! 100/10 would recommend, and yes, that is 100 and not a typo.

From Fort Wilderness, we got the bus back to the Magic Kingdom, rejoiced at the park being much quieter than Tuesday, and took a good spot to watch Once Upon a Time and Wishes. The whole area between the partners statue and castle was sat down which was amazing. That was, until about 5 minutes before it was due to start, when the whole front of the audience decided to stand up. Ugh. We actually ended up leaving midway through in order to make our fastpass for Buzz, but having already watched it this trip and knowing we’ll see it again, it wasn’t really a problem.

After Buzz, we had our last fastpass of the day at Haunted Mansion, then as we still had 10 minutes til park close, we decided to run over and get on Big Thunder Mountain because the queue was pretty short, plus I love riding Big Thunder in the dark – it just seems to make it more fun!


Now past park close, we walked through a fairly empty Liberty Square back to the castle, and decided to hang out until Main Street emptied out a bit to get some photos in front of a clear castle, and we managed to sneak a photo shoot with one of the remaining Photopass photographers on Main Street. We eventually left the park about 11pm – an hour after park close – and got back to the hotel about 11.40, now pretty wiped and ready for a good nights sleep!

Today:

– Characters met: 7

– Total steps: 20,226

– Total distance: 8.46 miles

Tomorrow we’ll be in Animal Kingdom!

My RunDisney Princess Weekend Outfits

This time next week, I will be at the airport getting ready to leave for Florida!!!!! I’m a teeny bit excited, can you tell?

And while this trip is a holiday for the most part, it also involves me taking part in the RunDisney Princess Half Marathon weekend’s Glass Slipper Challenge – the Princess 10K on Saturday 25th and the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday 27th. Do you know what that means? TWO RACE OUTFITS.

I’m putting a lot more effort into my costumes this year, and I’ve been grinding away at my sewing machine to create two outfits that I’m super proud of!

Nala RunDisney costume

I spent a lot of time thinking about what princesses I wanted to represent in the races, and after much consideration, I figured I’d give some exposure to an underrated, non-human princess – Nala from The Lion King. The skirt and ears are my own creations, and I’m completing the look with a performance t-shirt from AWDis Cool, the cutest ‘Lion in Training’ socks, which I was given in the Disney Halloween gift exchange, and my RunDisney New Balance trainers which I bought last year. This will be my costume for the 10K!

Chip RunDisney costume

If you’ve seen my other trip outfit posts, you’ll see that Chip is a bit of a running theme – no pun intended. Beauty and the Beast is definitely one of my favourite princess movies, but I didn’t really want to do Belle, so I opted for my next favourite character. I planned this ages before the medal designs were released, so I was SO HAPPY when I discovered that the whole weekend is going to be BatB themed, making this costume even more relevant! When it comes to half marathons, I’m a bit fussier about what I wear, so I kept it simple with another handmade skirt, and a white performance t-shirt, plus my yellow running belt for storing my phone, and my New Balances.

I can’t wait to kick off another year of racing!

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