Tag Archives: Epcot

WDW 5K Part 2: 6am-8:30am

I last left off with my friend and I standing in the corrals at 5:38am.

6:00am: Corral A goes off with fireworks!  This year they started doing mini corrals and since I couldn’t hear the announcer too well all the way back in Corral E, I did not know when we would go.  A boy in the family next to us kept asking his parents when it would be time to run.  I felt the same way and the standing around was getting a little tiresome.  I also was getting hungry as I had only had a small breakfast but really should have eaten a whole bagel since we had so long to wait.

6:00am-6:42am: Corrals A through D and all of their many mini corrals start running.  We finally begin to move towards the starting line step by step.  The fireworks did not continue for each corral which I thought was odd.

6:45am: We are off!  After a few times where we thought we would be able to cross the start line and were stopped very close, we finally began the 5K.  img_3078

6:45am-7:25am: It took us just around 38 minutes to run the race.  I forgot to stop my watch so I don’t have a very accurate time.  We ran through Epcot, stopped at Norway for a bathroom break (much nicer than porta potties and empty!), took a few photos and videos, ran out of Epcot, ran backstage, then came back in Epcot and finished the race in the parking lot.

The race was SO much fun!  We didn’t have too much of a problem with the crowds but were zig zagging a bit.  Even though my friend was worried about running, she did a great job and I was the one who was getting a little sore by the end!  As we ran, we said how we were disappointed it was such a fast race and that we should’ve signed up for the 10K.  We did not stop for any characters because the lines were so long and we already had gotten our photo with Pluto earlier in the day.  I loved seeing the park wake up though and the support of the other runners is fantastic-from the Tooth Fairies (men sprinkling pixie dust on everyone) to a 90 year old woman running the race.  I highly recommend signing up for runDisney 5K’s but beware they are very short once you actually start running!  img_3080

7:25-8:30am: We received our medals, snack boxes, and water and then started walking to the buses.  I really struggled to carry all of my stuff as I always do and had taken off my jacket at this point as well.  The bus came fairly quickly and we did not have too long of a line.  We boarded the bus with all of the other sweaty runners and then were back at the resort in no time to relay our race tales to the rest of the family who were just waking up!

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Filed under Running, WDW Marathon Weekend 2017

WDW Weekly News Update

This week isn’t even over yet but Disney has shared a few different pieces of exciting news with the public.  In chronological order…

February 12th: Rivers of Light show opens.  The long anticipated show that was supposed to open last summer is now ready to go.  This date is based on Fastpass+ bookings which recently were added to the system.

img_3089March 17th: Although this date was announced a while ago, I am so excited for The Beauty and The Beast movie!

May 11th: Final showing of Wishes which is the nighttime fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.
I really hope I can see Wishes one more time before it ends because it is a fantastic show and there is nothing like the soundtrack.

May 12th: “Happily Ever After” replaces Wishes as the new nighttime show.  I expect Magic Kingdom will be absolutely packed on this night.

img_3014May 27th: The opening date of Animal Kingdom’s Pandora!  We have not been able to see much of the construction, besides the one very tall tower structure so I am interested to see what Disney has done with Avatar, even though it was not my favorite movie.  I will definitely need to watch it again before May 27th.

2019: At some point in this year, the Star Wars Land portion of Hollywood Studios will be opening!

In conclusion, this summer is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World parks.  2019 will be a fantastic year to go if you are a Star Wars fan, or you can wait until 2020 when the hype decreases a little.

5K Part 2 and half marathon disappointment posts coming up soon!

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WDW 5K Part 1: 3am-6am

About two weeks ago, my friend and I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 5K.  I was also supposed to run the half marathon for my 21st birthday but that’ll be discussed later, as well as the expo.  The 5K was my first 5K (why not run 6 half marathons and then run a 5k?!) and it was so much fun!  I decided to split the morning in half so I can describe the race in more detail.

3:00am: My alarm goes off.  I had been debating whether to shower or not shower before the race and as I woke up exhausted that morning, I decided not to.  So I snooze the alarm.

3:05am: My friend’s alarm goes off and unlike me she gets up and starts getting ready.

3:10am: My friend asks me if I am going to get up and shower because I need to start getting ready.  We laid out our clothes the night before with our bibs pinned so we didn’t have to spend time doing that in the wee hours of the morning.

3:10am-3:45am: I thought I had plenty of time to get ready so I move slow as a slug at first but then start to speed up my pace.  We eat a quick breakfast in the room tip toeing and trying not to wake anyone else up (that didn’t work).

3:50am: We catch the first bus leaving Old Key West to the race.  The bus driver was funny asking us why we woke her up so early just to run a race.  She also reflected on her first Marathon Weekend where she saw marathoners board in their heat sheets and had to say “You got this!” as they tried stepping up into the bus.  We were with a lot of Dopey runners on the bus (if you run the 5K, 10k, half, and full).  There was not any traffic so we arrive at Epcot around 4:05am with two hours to go before the race officially starts and just under three before our corral starts.

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4:20am: After walking to the main area, we had our photos taken in front of the WDW Marathon Weekend banner sign and then waited in line to get a photo with Pluto (who was the mascot for the 5K).

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4:45am: The photo line for Pluto moved fairly quickly even with his quick break to get some treats.  Seeing other people’s costumes is one of the best parts of the runDisney races.  We saw a whole family dressed as the cast from Beauty and the Beast, a very convincing Captain Hook, and even two Tooth Fairies who sprinkled some fairy dust on my friend.  We joined the pump up party which is always a blast.  The announcers are very energetic even as the rest of us were still waking up.  We did the YMCA and other people were full out dancing.

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5:05am: My friend and I decided it would be a good time to use the porta potties since the corrals would open at 5:30am and we guessed there might be a long line right before then.  We did not have to wait at all to use them so then we stretched for a bit and talked, anxious to get in the corrals and get going.

5:38am: Finally the corrals opened after what seemed like forever.  Thankfully, the weather was perfect so we were not cold waiting around but it had already been 2 and a half hours since we had woken up!  My friend was in Corral E so I moved back to E so that we could run together.  Part 2 will discuss the corral waiting game, eavesdropping, and the actual race!

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Epcot in 2.5 Hours…Go!

One of the nights, we had 2.5 hours (exactly) to explore the park before we were meeting our driver to head back to the Hard Rock.  We had to go through bag check and then me IMG_3635and one other person in our group were selected for what they called random metal detector screening.  So not everyone at Epcot was going through a metal detector, only those who were picked out to do so randomly.  This was different from Universal where anyone who entered CityWalk had to go through a metal detector.  You have to go to CityWalk to get into the Universal Parks.

We posed for a quick photo in front of Spaceship Earth but then first thing was first…we had to go and get free Coke samples at Club Cool.  Everyone in the group tried Beverly first but no one really liked it or made a crazy face.  Vegita Beta from Japan was definitely a favorite.  After making our way through the sticky floors, we decided it was time for a ride.  My group asked me to lead them to the first attraction since I have been to Epcot many times so we went over to Test Track.  I was debating between going to Soarin’ or Test Track but Test Track was closer and the board said it had a shorter wait time so we walked over there.  We decided to do single rider because the line said it would only be about a 10 minute wait, compared to the regular line of 40 minutes.  Test Track was fun and I always forget how fast that one part is and my hair tends to get very messed up in my face.  I don’t think the group realized the extent to which I was a Disney fan until we started going around the World Showcase and the night turned into “how can we stump Mary.”  It was fun going through the countries and hearing questions which I had not thought about before because I was used to sort of breezing through and not noticing some of the things I have seen every trip.

We walked the whole World Showcase and then after giving the group a few options, we headed over to the Seas with Nemo and Friends.  IMG_3627There was no line for the ride which was great and everyone thought it was a cute ride.  Unfortunately, we did not see any dolphins or large animals in the tanks.  We only saw the smaller fish and some stingrays.  Maybe they go to bed at a certain time?  I had never been in the Seas before this late at night.  We did get to see about five scuba divers though and one even posed for a picture in front of a “hidden Mickey.”  At this point, we only had 45 minutes left.  So we hiked it over to Spaceship Earth and went on that ride to end the night.   The wait was probably about 10 minutes which was not bad.  I apologize for the lack of photos.  I realize now that I only took these two photos while in Epcot since I was more focused on getting to our driver on time and leading the group on the Epcot two hour quick tour.

While it was the quickest Disney park stop I have ever done, I was surprised by the three rides and walk around World Showcase that we did.  We walked at a fairly brisk pace and did not stop to eat or take photos, which definitely helped in staying on track.  I wouldn’t recommend doing the park in 2.5 hours by any means though and everyone in the group agreed that they would definitely like to come back sometime, especially to explore the other Disney parks.  Also, we were all dressed up because of the meetings we had earlier in the day (I was in a blazer and dress pants) and people definitely notice you when you are so dressed up at a theme park.  I wonder if they thought we were important people instead of just a group of college students…

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Walt Disney World Updates

It seems Walt Disney World changes every time I open my laptop!  I’m going to break down the changes by park to keep myself organized but I am sure there are a few I might miss.

All Parks:

  • Metal detectors are now at all Walt Disney World parks before you enter the park.  I am interested to hear how this is working as the regular bag check lines can get pretty lengthy some days.  My advice to Disney would be to somehow try to put the metal detectors ahead of the bag check so the lines wouldn’t get so backed up.  For example, put a line of metal detectors coming off the buses at MK, at the monorail exit at MK, and off the ferry at MK.  Extra security is always good but I also do not want to spend half an hour in the line to get into the park.

Magic Kingdom: 

  • A new sit down restaurant has opened called Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen.  To see the menu click here.  The menu looks a little more daring than many of the Magic Kingdom menus which is exciting and I hope I can try it in January for dinner.

Hollywood Studios

  • The Star Wars Launch Bay opened which has different items from the Star Wars movies and you can even get a photo with Darth Vader or a Storm Trooper depending on the timing.  Star Wars Episode VII has made over 1 billion worldwide.  I saw the movie over break and it was great.  I am looking forward to getting my photo with a Storm Trooper next summer.
  • Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show debuted a few days ago as well and is a Star Wars fireworks show
  • The final days of the Osborne Dancing Lights are coming up.  I have heard that there is now a line to get into the Streets of America at night and that the parking lots become full.  So, if you would like to see the lights, get to Studios early and leave early.
  • One Man’s Dream had a preview of the Good Dinosaur for a while, not sure if that is still there.  A Star Wars preview was also in one of the theaters at the park.

Epcot:

  • Captain EO has left Epcot!  For now…but I hope for a while as I miss Honey I Shrunk the Audience.  The short term replacement is a Pixar Short Film Festival which sounds like a fun, air conditioned way to break up a long day at Epcot.

Disney Springs:

  • The Ganachery, a new chocolate store opened and looks delicious.
  • Two pedestrian bridges are open
  •  Morimoto Asia is opening a new quick service place with a limited menu, similar to how the Wolfgang Puck Restaurant has an Express section for quick items.
  • It seems a new store opens every week so stay tuned for more updates

 

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Rides I Have Gotten Stuck On

Thanks to a reader suggestion, this post will talk about the rides I have unfortunately gotten stuck on before.  Whenever someone gets on the ride who needs help getting in the vehicle, the ride slows down and often stops.  So I will not count the short stops which were most likely due to this.

  • WEDway People Mover-15 min waiting time, and then we were evacuated off the ride during the 2013 WDW Marathon weekend.  So I had ran a half in the morning and gotten evacuated off the ride in the afternoon.  They did give us each a free FASTPASS to use anywhere in Magic Kingdom so that was very nice and we saw a little behind the scenes look at a stairwell near the People Mover.
  • Splash Mountain-5 min waiting time.  I was stuck on this one while my sister and dad were watching the fireworks.  I ended up being able to watch them while our boat was stuck so that was nice.  I knew we were going to get stopped eventually because they had let too many boats out quickly so we were really backed up.
  • Ariel’s Undersea Adventure-5-7min, of course we were stuck in the Ursula scene.  I would have preferred any other scene I think.
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment-7-10min.  The theme song for this ride is great, but you get tired of it.  We were stuck in the scene where everything is upside down so I spent a lot of time wondering about the upside down popcorn and if they ever clean the food of dust on the ceiling.
  • Carousel of Progress 7-10min, got to see one of the scenes twice since we did not rotate!

Those are all of the rides I can remember right now that I have been truly stuck on.  What rides have you been stuck on?  Have you been evacuated off any of them?

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Things I Haven’t Done at WDW

Walt Disney World is twice the size of Manhattan and even though I have visited many times, I still have not seen or done it all.  Here is a list of some of the things I have not done at Walt Disney World, which I had fun putting together.

  • I have not had a Turkey Leg yet.  It is on my to do list but unfortunately our meal times and ride hopes never seem to align with buying a huge turkey leg.
  • I have not been to many of the resorts and have only stayed at two (if you count the Swan as one).
  • I have not used a fitness center (mostly because running outside is so nice at Old Key West and because I walk a lot during Disney trips)
  • I have not experienced a Star Wars weekend and now I never will because they are ending them while Disney’s Hollywood Studios goes under construction for all of the new additions
  • I have not seen a game at ESPN Wide World of Sports
  • I have not looked at all of the artifacts in the American Adventure Rotunda (might have years ago but don’t remember them)
  • I have never seen all of the Circle Vision 360’s in Epcot
  • I have not been chosen to open Magic Kingdom or be the family of the day
  • I have not participated in any of Sammy Duvall’s Watersports at the Contemporary (although my mom went parasailing with my cousin)
  • I have never had the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream

But…I have finally filled my Mickey and Friends crushed penny book!

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