Category Archives: disney

2017 Glass Slipper Challenge: Princess Half-Marathon.

The last day of the Glass Slipper Challenge (10k recap, 5k recap) is the Princess Half-Marathon. It’s another early day and since I was the only one running the half out of our large group, I got on the bus solo and waited to meet up with Jess and Nicole before heading up to the corrals.

My parents, Justin, and Sue were due to get a bus to Epcot to grab the monorail to Magic Kingdom so I knew they weren’t too far behind me with their wake-up alarm. Unfortunately, there was some misinformation and my family and a few runners missed the last bus and were told the next bus wasn’t until 6am (well after the start of the race). My mom texted me that they weren’t going to be able to make it to Magic Kingdom and I could tell she was upset. I reassured her that it was no big deal and that I’d see them all at the finish line.

About fifteen minutes later I got another text from my mom saying that they’d see me in Magic Kingdom. Wait – what?!

The runners with them decided they were going to walk to the start line and since my family was already up, they decided to tag along. Luckily, Disney magic was on their side because a race bus pulled up alongside them and scooped them up and brought them to Epcot!

Princess Half-Marathon

Our plan for the race was the same as the day before – to run easy and comfortably and stop for photos when there was a character we loved on the course. We also decided that for the latter half of the race, we’d employ an 8-and-2 run/walk plan if we hadn’t stopped for a photo in a while. As I’ve learned before with Disney races, I enjoy the walk “breaks” mostly for their mental benefit.

We didn’t stop for many photos early on but as the race progressed, we stopped more and more. We stopped so much in Magic Kingdom that Mile 6 took us over 30 minutes to complete. #WorthIt

After seeing my family on Main Street and stopping for so many great characters in Magic Kingdom, the lonely roads of the highway seemed to go on and on and onnnn.  Once we got to Mile 10, I began texting my mom from my Apple Watch to let her know where we were and an approximate time we’d be at the finish line.

After our finish, it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for a day in Epcot!

Epcot

When we first started planning our Disney trip, the dads came up with the idea of getting us all ridiculous matching shirts and decided on, well, hot pink Vandalay Industries t-shirts. Now, let me tell you how 20 Italians from New York ended up in hot pink Vandalay Industries shirts…

My dad found a company online and sent an e-mail to each family to order their shirts. Well, everyone ordered their shirts on the same day and the company (which is extremely small and later told us that they barely sell that many of those shirts in a year, let alone in a single day) cancelled all our orders stating that we were “fraudulent.” LOL. #irony

Obviously, we got it all sorted out and everyone had their shirts for Epcot day! We realized very quickly that we should have done something like this the previous two days as it was so much easier to find everyone with us all in the same obnoxiously loud color. #LessonLearned

We were quite the hit in Epcot; people came up to talk to us and took photos of/with us. We overheard a conversation between a mother and a daughter in which the daughter asked why we all matched and the mother answered that we must be here on a company trip because we all worked for Vandalay Industries. #AwHoney

After the fireworks, it was time to go back to the hotel and relax.

The next day, we all hung out at the pool to enjoy one more day of sunshine before coming back to cold NYC.

It wasn’t easy to leave… especially since this is the first Disney trip in a while that I’ve ended without having my next one already planned 🙁

_____________

Next up: I’ll be carb-loading at my wedding. True story. Stay tuned. 

Leave a Comment

Filed under disney, half-marathon, running

2017 Glass Slipper Challenge: Enchanted 10k.

Since the Enchanted 10k starts 30 minutes earlier than the 5k, it was an even earlier start to Saturday morning than Friday. I think it’s crazy how I’m able to get myself out of bed at this ungodly hour to run in Disney but can’t seem to get myself up almost 4 hours later when waking up for work in NYC. #DisneyMagic

Enchanted 10k

Anywho, Justin and I met up with my cousin Liz by 3:45 am to walk to the bus. We were meeting up with Jess and Nicole (who moved to Austin a few weeks ago and NYC misses so much!) in the corral and I was excited to get lots of running and chatting time with some of my favorite people.

The 10k was Justin’s first Disney race in which he stopped for photos (he’s only run the 5k with my dad who, if you’ve read here before, will not stop for photos lest it get in the way of his PRing) so I was excited to show him how much fun one can have when truly embracing the Disney race experience.

We kept the pace super easy when we were running and stopped for photos with most of the characters. I was most excited to see that Princess Minnie was out on the course! When we were waiting on Princess Minnie’s line, she went running inside and a castmember assured us that she was “just checking up on Mickey and will be right back” and let me tell you, girl can run. And in those heels? Very impressive.

Throughout the race, I was updating our photos onto my family’s photostream so all our crazies back at the hotel (and at the finish line) could see how much fun they were missing.

My cousin thought of the idea of having a photostream for everyone on the trip and it made sharing photos so easy and fun. We now have hundreds of photos of our time together all in one place and there was no “can you send me that picture?” or “I’ll put these all together in an album when we get home.” It was great and I’ll definitely be doing this for certain things in the future (I’m thinking honeymoon – my parents and brother want photos of us hiking through a volcano popping up on their phones while they sit at their desks, right?)

My aunt and uncle were waiting for us at the finish line and we quickly got on the bus back to the hotel to get ready for a day at Magic Kingdom 🙂

Magic Kingdom

Saturday’s weather made it feel like it was two completely different days; the morning was cloudy and chilly and by noon, it was in the mid-80’s without a cloud in the sky (just how I like it).

We made sure to take lots of photos (all included with my pass!) and stopped for our first of the day in front of the castle. While standing for these photos, we saw a proposal (!!!) and also got super distracted by fireworks going off behind us..

Fireworks!

Around lunchtime, our large group split up into two smaller groups – those who wanted something from Columbia Harbour House and those who wanted turkey legs. I wasn’t all that hungry after a pretty big breakfast so I decided I wanted a slushy lemonade and would grab another snack before dinner. As I spoke with the castmember to order my frozen lemonade, she asked if I just got married (because of the bride ears). I explained that we are getting married this September and that this was my only Disney trip before the wedding that I got to wear the ears. She got all giggly and adorable and gifted me with two chocolate chip cookies. I got all excited because hey – free cookies!

My intention was to eat one cookie and then save the other for Justin. I even wrapped the second cookie up and put it in my backpack..

Yea. That didn’t work.

I ended up going back in my bag and eating the second cookie roughly two minutes after putting it away so I wouldn’t eat it.

Sorry, Justin. Just know that it was delicious and it made me happy. That’s all that matters, right?

After dinner, we watched the fireworks from behind the castle (I’ve actually never done this before) and then I went back to the hotel to get some sleep while the others stayed behind to get some more rides in.

I was so exhausted, I didn’t hear a single person come back into the room and didn’t stir at all until the 3:21 am alarm the next morning.

Next up: Princess Half-Marathon and Epcot 🙂

Leave a Comment

Filed under 10k, disney, running, vacation

2017 Disney Princess Weekend: 5k.

Let’s not even talk about how long it’s been since I last posted. Instead, let’s talk about the 2017 Disney Princess 5k!

The family all got to Disney Thursday morning so we could get to the expo, check in at the hotel, and then head out for an early dinner in Disney Springs. Because we were such a large party, runDisney helped us out with the hotel booking so we were all in a block of rooms and it felt like we had our own little corner of the hotel to ourselves.

After dinner at The Boathouse, I was on a mission to find Bride ears (did I mention I’m getting married? Because yea, I’m getting married. This September, specifically).

Surprise! – Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn

Engagement Dinner – River Cafe, Brooklyn

I found the ears no problem (Justin got groom ears and he’s agreed to take some formal engagement photos in them sooo stay tuned for those).  🙂

Princess 5k

Pre-Princess 5k Family Photo

Once our large group got into the corrals, we split up by pace. We had a few who were running the whole thing, some who were going to run/walk, and others who planned to walk to the finish line. Like last year, Justin and I stayed with my dad for the 5k. The 5k isn’t timed and my father doesn’t have a running watch so I ran alongside him so we had an accurate finish time and pace.

Since my father uses this as a “goal race,” we didn’t stop for any character photos. Last year, he ran a 13:11 pace with no stopping (except for one wardrobe malfunction – he couldn’t get his throwaway pants off lol). When he ran his 3 mile training run the weekend prior, I ran alongside him to check his pace and he finished the 3 miles at a 12:40. He does all his training at a 14+ minute pace so this shocked him – isn’t it amazing what your body can do when you just listen to it?!

We finished in 38:35 (a 12:23 pace!) and a new PR for pops!

We grabbed our medals and our goodies and waited for the rest of the family to cross the finish line.

It was the first 5k for a lot of the family and they all did AMAZING! Everyone finished with a smile (except for lil’ Andrew but he’s 7, has little legs, and omg if someone tried to make me do anything like this at 7, I’d have thrown a complete hissy fit). No worries though – he recovered quickly and then became obsessed with all my medals the rest of the trip 🙂

Hollywood Studios

Once we were all showered and rested (ehhhh slightly rested), we were on our way to Hollywood Studios!

19 Italians take Disney! (#20 came on Saturday)

The weather was amazing and we spent the morning going on rides and enjoying some shows before lunching at Brown Derby. This is always one of my favorite meals at Disney and I cannot recommend it enough (the cobb salad is incredible and I’ve been told the crabcakes are as well).

In addition, they have a special 3-course option that comes with fastpasses to Fantasmic! My brother’s reactions to this show are more fit for an 8 year old than someone who is, ya know, an adult, but it really is so good. I’ve gotten choked up during the finale each and every time I’ve seen it and, in my brother’s words, it “always gets me.” #RightInTheFeels

Hollywood Studios had special magic hours for hotel guests on Friday so we didn’t worry too much about trying to fit in all the rides before the park closed at 8pm. Since we had an extra 2 hours to go on rides, we saved some of the longer line rides (like Rockin’ Rollercoaster) to the end of the night.

Some fairy dust before the 10k!

Once we got back to the hotel, Justin and I were quick to get our stuff out for the morning and go to bed- it was almost Enchanted 10k time!

__________

Congrats to all Princess 5k finishers! Especially my dad, mom, Justin, John, Nicole, Jim, Uncle Vito, Aunt Marisa, Matt, Uncle Andrew, Aunt Lidia, Amanda, and little Andrew! So proud of you all!

2 Comments

Filed under 5k, disney, vacation

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.

magic-kingdom

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!

halloween-magic-kingdom

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.

halloween-party-characters

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.

mickey-halloween

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.

hitchhiking-ghosts-magic-shot

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.

boo-to-you-halloween-parade

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.

MNSSHP

MNSSHP

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!

2 Comments

Filed under disney, vacation