Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

When we woke up in the morning, we knew we had a long day ahead of us so it was tempting to sleep in a little bit more… buuuuut this is Disney and who has time for that?!

Halloween at the Magic Kingdom

Halloween at the Magic Kingdom

We ferry boated over to Magic Kingdom with a plan: get as many rides in as possible before leaving around 1:30-2 to go back to the hotel, rest, and change into our costumes for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Our FastPasses took us in a counterclockwise direction in Magic Kingdom and we were able to hit most of our favorites before it was time for lunch.


Once back at the hotel, we rested, attempted to nap (read: watched TV), and began changing into our costumes: Dole Whip and a Dole Whip chef!

When we bought the tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, I knew we’d want to dress up. I figured a lot of couples do the prince/princess combo and I wanted to do something different. An added bonus to whatever costume I chose would be if it could double as a running costume. After some sparkle skirt stalking and Pinterest browsing, my Dole Whip costume was born!

Everyone loves a Dole Whip!

My Dole Whip costume consisted of:

The Dole logo really made the costume because people walking by me picked up on what I was immediately. I was so excited that my costume seemed to be such a hit!


After some photos, we walked over to the new restaurant, Jungle Skipper Canteen. I was super hungry at this point so any food would have been good but I genuinely enjoyed the food here. Also, the theming inside is fantastic.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

After dinner, it was time to get ready to execute our Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party plan:

Get photos with characters. Mickey and Minnie were my top priorities. We originally got on the line for the seven dwarfs but it was barely moving. Since they weren’t my highest priority, we opted to get off the line and get in line for Minnie, Donald, and Daisy. Jack Skellington and Sally also have huge lines but I have a few photos with them from runDisney races so I didn’t want to spend precious Halloween party time waiting for them. In the end, we got photos with Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy.


Buy Halloween party merchandise. There is Halloween merchandise that you can only purchase during the party. Justin researched online about the party merchandise so we knew exactly what we wanted and where to buy it once the party began. If you want to buy merchandise, I suggest looking at the locations on the Halloween party map ahead of time and figuring out where and when it makes the most sense to get on a merchandise line.


Ride the Haunted Mansion. We rode during the day but wanted to get a nighttime ride in as well. The cast members are dressed up for the party and it’s awesome.

Cinderella's Castle - MNSSHP

Cinderella’s Castle – MNSSHP

View Celebrate the Magic. I can’t get through a Celebrate the Magic show without choking up so seeing this was a must. Plus, it’s right before Hallowishes. We got ourselves a perfect spot in front of the castle and waited on line for photos while waiting for the show to begin.

View Hallowishes Fireworks. YOU GUYS I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS. The finale was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The fireworks circle you completely and the Magic Kingdom lights up like it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. You have to experience this.

Photo op during Celebrate the Magic

Photo op during Celebrate the Magic

Get halloween-specific desserts. Justin wanted a certain cupcake, I wanted the candy corn soft serve. In addition to these two desserts, we lucked out and received a free sundae in a giant creepy pumpkin mug thing when the gentleman in front of us accidentally ordered two and turned around and gave us his extra one. #winning

Take magic shots. True story: about a week before we left, I had a dream that Justin and I forgot to change into our costumes and didn’t take any magic shots during the party. Justin corrected me that I had a nightmare, not just a dream (I picked a smart one). We stalked Instagram prior to our party to figure out which magic shots we wanted and decided the cauldron and hitchiking ghosts were top priorities.


Watch Boo-to-you Halloween Parade. So many villains! And ghosts! I loved this parade so damn much. If you can, attend the second parade because it’s much less crowded. We walked by the first parade to get to Mickey’s photo spot and it was absolute chaos. Also, after the second parade, you can move to the front of the castle to wait for the last Villain’s Spectacular of the night.


Attend Villains Spectacular. The Sanderson sisters and other Disney villains? I was in heaven. This was a major highlight of the night for me and I wish we had squeezed ourselves up just slightly closer.

After the show, we exited the park quickly and got on a boat back to the Grand Floridian. After the quickest shower ever, I was in bed and passed out in a matter of seconds.

The party goes by extremely quickly. When we were planning, I kept saying things like, “it’s 5 hours long, we’ll have plenty of time to get everything done.” I was an idiot. You need to have a plan. You need to prioritize everything you want to do/see to get the most out of your time. And if you can, you should stay late.



We had an AMAZING time and I’m still giddy thinking about that fireworks finale. We went in mid-September on a Tuesday so the price was “low” (tickets are tiered and increase as you get closer to Halloween) and the crowds were light. I can confidently say that we’ll be back.

The only downside was that we were absolutely beat the next day. Next time, we’ll schedule a full day of hotel pool lounging the next day to recover from our magical time 🙂

See you in February, Disney World!


Filed under disney, vacation

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

When I told Justin that I wanted to go back to Disney World in September, one of the biggest points I made (errrr maybe the only point I had to make) was that the timing would coincide with Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. No joke, he got into bed one night and showed me the map he had made of Epcot, including the location of the stands he wanted to hit and exactly what he wanted to buy at each spot. I’m pretty sure he also made an Excel spreadsheet. #thatsmyboy

Before heading to the park and stuffing our faces with deliciousness, we set out on an easy run around the Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts.

Grand Floridian from lagoon running path

Grand Floridian from lagoon running path

The plan then was to spend the rest of the morning at the front of the park going on rides before heading to World Showcase for the remainder of the day and night. We were able to ride the new Soarin’ Around the World, Living with the Land, Test Track, and Ellen’s Great Energy Adventure before heading over to the Italy pavilion’s Via Napoli for lunch.

Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

The pizza (and sangria omg the sangria) at Via Napoli is incredible so we didn’t want to pass up a chance to indulge ourselves. We figured we’d have salad and pizza for lunch and then snack around the world for dinner.

After lunch, we had FastPass reservations for Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion. Because of FastPass grouping, we had to choose between FastPasses for Frozen or for Soarin’ and Test Track. We elected to grab the FastPasses for Frozen and just hit Soarin’ and Test Track early.

If you’re heading to Epcot and are choosing FastPasses, I’d pick Frozen Ever after because the Soarin’ and Test Track standby lines were not bad and the Frozen Ever After standby line was absolutely insane.

Also, I just want to take a minute to talk about HOW UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING Frozen Ever After is. While it is no secret that I love Frozen and all things Olaf, I really loved the Maelstrom ride and was upset to learn that it would be no more. Disney did an unbelievable job with the Frozen ride and the technology used for the characters is incredible. The movements are so real and lifelike that you almost believe you are in the movie. Both Justin and I were very impressed.

Romantic stroll (ehh stumble)

Romantic stroll (ehh stumble)

After enjoying the Frozen ride, I was in the mood for a frozen treat (see what I did there? bahaha). Dole Whip with coconut rum was high on my list of “must-haves” for the day and it did not disappoint. This may most definitely will be a treat I have to enjoy again when we go back in February for Princess Weekend.

Dole Whip and coconut rum!

Dole Whip and coconut rum!

Later in the day, because it’s Florida in September, the skies went from blue and cloudless to dark and ominous in roughly 3.7 seconds. We waited out the storm in the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival before running through the rain (in our ponchos – these are a vital item on all Florida vacations) to Spaceship Earth. Luckily, once we left Spaceship Earth, the rain had stopped and we were able to walk around and enjoy the remainder of the World Showcase. We kept our ponchos on, though, just in case. #FloridaProblems

After a long day of running/walking around, eating and drinking, we were ready to head back to the hotel to get some solid sleep. We had a long (and magical!) day in Magic Kingdom ahead of us 🙂

Epcot - Spaceship Earth

Epcot – Spaceship Earth

This was my first time at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival but it will definitely not be my last. I liked going in September because the festival had just opened and the crowds weren’t all that huge yet. Next year, Justin and I plan to run the Wine and Dine Half-Marathon so we’ll be back for Food and Wine but expect the crowds to be much larger.


Next up: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.


Filed under disney

Fall Foliage 5k.

A couple weeks ago when my BC friends were in New York as a 30th birthday surprise, my ol’ roomy asked if there were any short races this fall near the house. I did some searching and found the Fall Foliage Half-Marathon and 5k in nearby Rhinebeck, NY. Even better, it fell on Garlic Festival weekend!

Even though the race was upstate, there was packet pickup on the UWS during the week so I was able to pick up our bibs and swag on my way home from work one day. I left JackRabbit with 4 bibs in 4 bags and somehow within the next 24 hours ended up with 3 bibs in 4 bags. As any runner who is only used to large races would, I freaked out. I called every place I visited in Manhattan to try and locate the “lost” bib and had no luck. I ended up tweeting and emailing the race organizers in a panic and was assured that all would be fine.

Yea, I didn’t believe them.


Friday night, we drove upstate with two of our friends (my work wife and her husband). After some rental car snafus, we were on our way and out of the rainy and dreary city. Once we got upstate and my beautiful Boston roomy got in, it was quick to bed. #werenotincollegeanymore #justrathersleep

Saturday morning came all too quickly and I was very thankful for a later start time (5k began at 10:20am). We had a quick breakfast and got in the car to the start line at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.

Fall Foliage 5k

Swag: Shirt (women’s cut, soft cotton, great design), water bottle, deodarent, flashlights, protein powder samples

Start Line

I rarely (read: almost never) run small races so this start line was such a treat for me. Parking was easy, there were indoor restrooms, and there was literally zero issue with the fact that i lost my friends bib (sorry, Fall Foliage email and twitter responders for not believing you).



Note: there is no timing mat at the start so if you’re going for time, you want to be as close to the start line as possible (this isn’t difficult to do since it’s such a small race field).

Fall Foliage 5k - Start Line

Fall Foliage 5k – Start Line

The 5k course is an out-and-back and doesn’t get far enough to run along the Hudson like the half-marathon (an argument for running the half one of these years).

The course was pretty and time ticked by as I admired the adorable little houses we passed and chatted with Jenny and Justin (Kudz ran ahead and ended up coming in 3rd overall female like the badass that she is). There was water and Gatorade twice during the 5k and I heard the announcer at the start line say there is water/Gatorade every 2 miles along the half-marathon course.

I wasn’t looking to do a particular pace (as I write this, I actually have zero idea of what our finishing time even was) so I just trotted comfortably alongside Jenny and behind Justin (I guess he was too cool to run next to us).

Fall Foliage 5k - Finish Line

Fall Foliage 5k – Finish Line

As we soared trotted through the finish line, the announcer screamed something along the lines of, “here comes Jenny and Angela!” We high-fived because we’re awesome and basically famous now. #PleaseEmailAnyAutographRequests

After grabbing some finish line cookies (so good!), we got back in the car to go home and get ready for the Garlic Festival 🙂

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Last year was my first time experiencing the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival and I couldn’t wait to go back. The forecast was horrific for the entire week leading up to Saturday so I made sure to pack my poncho (and because I packed my poncho, the weather gods kept the rain away. Had I forgotten my poncho, there’d have been a hurricane).

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

We took advantage of the cloudy and perfectly fall temps and walked around the festival for almost 4 hours.

For lunch, I had a sampling of a few different things: garlic chowder, garlic knots, and garlic arancini. I also tried as many samples as possible and ended up purchasing the Tart Cherry Juice from Singer Farm (the best tart cherry juice I have ever tasted), three packages of garlic from Ireland Farms (two Asian Tempest packs and one Music pack), and a little chainsaw-carved black bear.

Me: Can you take a picture of me and my black bear? Justin: Go by the fire, it's more romantic.

Me: Can you take a picture of me and my black bear?
Justin: Go by the fire, it’s more romantic.

I named him Benny and he’s now in my living room dressed in a necklace my grandmother made and chillin’ with some pumpkins because #fall.



I  now randomly burst into song ala Elton John every time I walk by Benny, constantly reminding Justin how lucky he is to live with me.

So in summation: I will definitely be back next year for one of the Fall Foliage races, the Garlic Festival is always awesome, I have a black bear named Benny, and Justin gets a free concert every time I walk through our living room.


Next up: Epcot Food & Wine Festival and Halloween in the Magic Kingdom. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Leave a Comment

Filed under 5k, running, weekend

A running chat on the DizRuns podcast.

If you haven’t already checked it out, my episode is live on the DizRuns podcast.

DizRuns Podcast

Some things we spoke about:

  • My favorite race distance
  • How I accidentally registered for a marathon
  • The Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World

I listened to a little of the podcast but it was so awkward to listen to myself that I ended up stopping the episode after a few minutes. WHY IS IT SO STRANGE TO HEAR YOUR OWN VOICE?!

My voice sounds like such a foreign and unfamiliar human to me that I don’t know that I’d believe that it was me if I didn’t recall actually having that conversation with Denny a few weeks ago. None of my friends made any sort of similar comment so I guess that actually is my voice. Ooph.

Anywho, give it a listen and check out the other runners that Denny has chatted with over at the DizRuns Podcast page.


Coming this week: Fall Foliage 5k

Next week: Halloween in Disney – Epcot and Magic Kingdom

Leave a Comment

Filed under running