The Disney Fantasy Part 1

 

I have had several people ask me more about the cruise I went on in March, specifically about the ship itself, so I am going to do a 2-3 part series on the ship and with some more photos of Castaway Cay. I will only do one of these a week as to not overwhelm my running blog with Disney. I will also be writing more specific and detailed posts about different aspects of the ship for the blog my travel agency operates, and I will be sure to give you the links when they are up.

We got to the port on Friday morning, and there were several decorations announcing the Fantasy.

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We walked right onto the ship, and stood in the beautiful lobby just taking it all in. I had been on the Disney Dream last summer, and while it’s lobby is all dark wood, the Fantasy had a more light, airy feel to it.

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I could still smell the fresh paint! it was awesome. We headed up to Cabanas (which is the same on the Dream) and got lunch. I love this buffet, great food but also, it’s easy to navigate and you don’t have to stand in one long line which is nice.

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After we ate, it was time to go to our rooms. I was in 7606, which is a Deluxe family stateroom with verandah.

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The difference in this room and the regular staterooms with verandah’s is the murphy bed, extra chair, and space. In the regular rooms, right past the couch, is the wall and verandah. In these rooms, there is the extra space (see the brown murphy bed up against the wall, no pulled down?) Having the extra room was nice with three adults, oh, and the desk area is longer.

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Another difference is in the bathroom. The tub was nice and big and rounded, lots of space!

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the wall is rounded to accommodate the shower

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other side of the split bath

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lots of storage, TV with extendable arm, and refrigerator below

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couch converts into a bed, murphy bed pulls down from the wall

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Two chairs and a table on the verandah

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something running related…yesterday I ran 4 miles in 39 minutes! I felt good and like I could have kept going at that pace. I really needed a good run, I haven’t had one in awhile. Especially after my hot and humid miserable 10 miler on Sunday. Tomorrow I will take yoga and lift. I also lifted tonight with Bobby. Getting back on track!

Also, only a few days left to vote for me in the Fitness Blogger awards! You can only vote for me one time, I would really appreciate it!

*Don’t forget I am a Disney travel planner, it costs you nothing to have me book and plan your trip for you! Summer discounts for WDW are now available! e mail me at [email protected] for more details!

QOTD: If you could cruise, what line would you cruise on and where would you cruise too? I would love to do a Mediterranean cruise!

Castaway Cay 5k Take Two

 

My post on the Castaway Cay 5k is to this day one of my most visited posts, and also one of my top search terms. even though I wrote it almost two years ago, it is still relevant to people going on Disney cruises…until now. When I went on the Disney Fantasy for the earmarked conference a couple weeks ago, I convinced three of the other agents in the agency I work for to do the race with me. We had a blast, and I am so glad they all participated! However, there were some new (pretty big!) changes since I last ran the 5k ten months ago (this would be my third time running.) So, I thought a new post and recap was in order. Let me just say I LOVE most of the changes, all but one, which you will see below!

Since it was a special preview cruise, I wasn’t sure if the 5k was going to happen or not. When I saw it listed in my Navigator the night before we went to Castaway Cay, I was so excited and knew I had to run, along with some of the other agents I was with! The navigator said to meet in one of the adult area’s (The Irish pub) at 8:45. (Change number one: Normally we meet right outside the ship at 9:00, or whenever we are finally able to get off the ship.) We all headed down in our running clothes, excited for what was in store. When we got to the pub, there were a lot of people already inside. We headed to a table with two cast members, and were told to write down our name and stateroom numbers on a chart, and then we were given a bib and safety pins. (change number two: we have never had bib’s in the past!) We chatted with some other runners, I ran into Lorraine who was also running. Loraine and I were both part of the Princess blogger group back in February!

At 9:00, we headed off the ship following a cast member.

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Corby, Robyn, me, and Amy. Notice, my bib is ALWAYS crooked!

We followed the cast members off the ship… and we walked…and we walked. This is the one change I did NOT like. We had a fifteen minute walk just to get to the start line. (Change number three: We always used to start right off the ship, ran a 3 mile loop that ended back at the ship). We started over by the bike rentals and volleyball nets. Those familiar with the island know it’s a good hike to get there! I was already hot and sweaty  by time we got out there. Oh well!

They had an official sign for the 5k start!

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Everyone gathered around to listen to the cast members, and then Daisy showed up!

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We gathered around the map as the course was explained to use. We were to run out to the airstrip towards the adult beach. head into the loop where the observation tower is. Run the loop, head to Serenity bay, head back, do the loop again, and then head to the finish line, which was also the start line. (change  number four: well, the whole course! before we just did the loop once but ran all the way back to the ship.) Oh, they also had a box where you could leave personal items that you didn’t want to run with.

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We were told we could get photos with Daisy at the finish, and to line up by the start clock. Heck yes, there was a time clock! I know it’s hard to see with the sun on it, and the fact that I took this hours after so it’s not actually on anymore.

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We were told there would be water on course, and there was water at the finish. (You can see it behind the time clock.) One of the cast members got on a bike, and when we started he said to follow him out to the loop. he was going to stay outside the loop to make sure everyone made it in, back out, then back in again. He did a great job of cheering us on the whole time!

The race started, and we were off! We made it out to the loop, and in we went, into the thick trees!IMG_5079
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I made it around the loop and back out, and started heading down the airstrip towards serenity bay (the adult beach) There were no trees and it was quite sunny. I started getting a little woozy and thought it was just the heat and kept going.

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See the red plate on the barrel? It says 5k, and was where we turned around to head back.

I headed back the other way and waved at my friends as we passed each other. I stopped for water before heading back into the loop. They had set up a little station for us right before heading back into it.

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I started getting REALLY dizzy about this point, and felt like I was spinning. Then it hit me…my sea sickness patch behind my ear!!! I had heard stories of people who had issues wearing them once they got back on land, but I hadn’t thought about it until then. Last year and the year before when I did the 5k I didn’t have the patch. I decided for safety I should start doing some run walk intervals so I didn’t make myself sick or more dizzy. I made it around to the observation tower and knew I was about halfway around the loop.

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Luckily, there was also some water (nice and cold!) so I was able to rehydrate (side effect of the patch is AWFUL dry mouth. I felt like I couldn’t breathe or get enough water!) There was another water stop before I made it out of the loop, and I gladly stopped to take a drink.

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I made it out of the loop and decided to run in to the finish. I made it the rest of the way down the airstrip and followed the sign. (change number 5: signs directing us!)

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I kept running, and came to a fork in the road and wasn’t sure which way to go. I could here cheering at the finish, so I took a chance and went left and kept running. I ran into a family walking, they cheered me on and I yelled that I didn’t think I was going the right way. They told me “you are almost there the finish line is just around the corner! Go go go!” So I picked up the pace, ran around the corner and saw the finish line, and Daisy duck! She was standing with one of the cast members, and she was holding medals! (change number six: medals!) After I crossed Daisy handed me my medal and I thanked her. I finished right at 30 minutes, not bad considering my pathetic “land sickness” issues!

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Here are the cast members cheering in one of my friends!

After I drank about four cups of water, I made the long walk back to the ship wearing my medal, and got lots of strange looks, as everyone else was heading in the opposite direction towards the beaches! I had to laugh because all the medals said “winner” on them (by the way they are plastic!)

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Overall, the changes were good. The directional signs were greatly appreciated, and the bibs, medals, and time clock were a nice “official” touch to the race. Having plentiful cold water was nice in the warm tropical climate, and the guest appearance by Daisy was so cute! I was very pleased! I also love how the bibs say “runDinsey” on them!

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*UPDATE: ON our March cruise the 5k said “open to adult runners” but on our May cruise it said “ages 12 and up”
QOTD: Have you ever run a race in a tropical climate?

A huge thank you to Amy for letting me use some of her photos!

***It has been reported from several people that DCL is no longer giving out medals to participants, but instead you get a certificate for completing the race in your room afterwards.

*Meghann from Meals and Miles mentioned the race and my post in her post this morning! Go say hi to her!

***The winner of the Zero Water giveaway is Ricole Runs! Email me at  [email protected] so I can get you your prize! ***

Thank you to all who entered! You can all sign up for zero water coupons here.

Disney Princess Weekend: Monday, and a Giveaway!

 

In case you missed my other non-running Disney Princess posts, you can check them out below:

Disney Princess weekend Friday

Disney Princess Weekend Saturday

Disney Princess Weekend Sunday

After quite the eventful Sunday, we were excited to hit the parks at a nice relaxing pace on Monday. We went to Hollywood Studios, and wore our I did it shirts.

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We headed straight for Toy Story Mania. The fastpass return time was already really late, so we stood in the standby line, which went by really fast.

We saw this hilarious guy on the street telling people to stop and go.

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We made sad faces in our picture then he changed his at the last minute.

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my mom wanted a picture with this funny pair. I could watch the street performers all day! Be sure to watch them if they are out when you are there!

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Karen and I wanted to ride Star Tours, so our moms waited for us to be down with it. There was hardly a line for it, either! We also saw Beauty and the Beast.

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I really can’t remember what else we did besides lunch! We ate at Backlot Express, and it took forever to get my sandwich because I special ordered it. I won’t make that mistake again, I will just pick off the stuff I don’t like.

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We decided to head back to the hotel and then go to the Magic Kingdom (I love being on the monorail!) To do some shopping and I really wanted a dole whip! First, we got a picture with Richard. I love this guy, he has been at the Grand for 20 years. Whenever a bride is getting her photos taken at the resort, he goes around with her holding the train of her dress up. it is so. cute.

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We hopped on the monorail and were quickly at the gates of the magic Kingdom.

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I snagged a couple pics of the Main Strees Barber shop

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My mom and I headed for adventureland and Dole Whips while Karen and her mom were in search of some regular ice cream.

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aaahhh my trip is now complete. We seriously considered each getting another one they were so good.

We waited for the other outside the Plaza, and what do you know, the parade was about to start and we had perfect seats!

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make sure you get it all mom haha

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After the parade we did some shopping and walking around the shops, it was so relaxing.

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We headed back to the hotel just in time for scones and tea

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I used the down time to take photos with my stalker lens

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I honestly don’t remember what I did before it was time for appetizers! But, soon enough it was time for our last night in the lounge. It started raining, but we crossed our fingers it would finish before time to walk to Ohana. We were able to walk over there and enjoy our last dinner. Look who else we found, Megan!

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The food was good as usual, I was stuffed!

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We were able to watch Wishes from our seats, and then we headed out and took the monorail back to the Grand. Tuesday morning, we packed up the car and I somehow managed to drive the whole 9 hours home, with a car that looked like this.

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We had a great trip with great friends, and now have so many memories. Thanks so much for reading along for our magical trip!

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GIVEAWAY!

Remember Yesterday’s post that included Zero Water? Well the kind folks there have offered to give a RWS reader one of the water filter pitchers! This thing is awesome trust me. I saw them pour RED WINE into it and regular water came out. I drank it myself. Way cool. Here is how you enter:

1.) Tell me How much water you drink in a day (separate comment)

2.) RT, post to FB, mention on your blog (separate comment for each)

I will announce a winner on Tuesday, April  3.

QOTD: Are you a light packer or over packer?

Please don’t forget to vote for me for best running blog, I would appreciate it!

Running in Disney World: Boardwalk Area

 

Good morning friends! I played catch up ALL DAY yesterday on my computer. I looked up and it was 4:00! I got a lot done with clients, etc. but still haven’t unpacked my suitcase. Oops. I did manage to drag myself to the gym last night even though I rrrreeaalllyyy didn’t feel like it. Confession time: I ate like CRAP all of last week. I drank coke, had several desserts a day, and only worked out 3 times in 6 days and it shows. I felt so sluggish and just wanted it to be over. Today I am going to attempt a run, so hopefully it isn’t a disaster!

On a lighter note, I did have one workout last week that WASN’T a disaster. Last Wednesday, I had a 6:30 am flight to Orlando. It wasn’t fun getting up that early, but the great part is I was at my resort, by the pool by 11:00. I stayed out there a couple of hours and still had time to kill before the rest of my group arrived, so I decided to go for a run.

I have run the loop around the boardwalk area once before when I was staying at the Boardwalk Inn, but wanted to do it again and also run along the path that goes to Hollywood studios (this is part of the Disney Marathon.) I put on one of my running skirts and headed out the back of the Yacht Club.

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Facing the Yacht Club from the Boardwalk

I started out to the right. The weather was perfect, so there were a lot of people out and about. There was a lot to look at so I didn’t get bored.

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I made it up the hill by the Swan and Dolphin, and down past the shops and things in front of the Boardwalk Inn. All of the sudden, the heaven’s let loose and it started pouring rain! I just kept running, I was halfway around the lake, what could I really do?

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I ran on, and came upon Jen’s wedding ceremony location, Sea Breeze Point. Per usual, I took a picture and e mailed it to her and let her know I was thinking of her.

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I made it up the other bridge and stopped for a quick photo.

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This is where I passed the international gateway, the “back door” to the EPCOT theme park. I made it back to the Yacht club, and decided to go around again, but this time I would detour off by the Boardwalk and head down the path along the river to Hollywood Studios.

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It was very quiet and peaceful, with just a couple of families making their way over. I went under the bridge and could see Hollywood Studios in the distance. I kept having marathon flashbacks!

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I went up the hill to where the busses stop, and turned around and headed back to the boardwalk.

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A couple of boats full of people passed by.

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Below is a view of the Yacht club from the other side of the lake.

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I finished the loop and made it back to the Yacht club and my Garmin beeped, it was three miles exactly, perfect! I sat in some rocking chairs underneath the awning of the resort and cooled off while I people watched. Pure bliss!

Please also be sure to check out my post on running in Disney World, the Grand Floridian and Polynesian.

Also please don’t forget to vote for me for the Fitness Magazine Blogger awards!

QOTD: Would you rather run in rain or wind?

*Remember, I am a Disney travel planner. It does not cost you ANYTHING to use me to plan and book your trip to WDW, DL, or on the Disney Cruise Line for you! I can also book other cruise lines as well.* [email protected]

Back and Burned

 

Hola! I am back from the beautiful Disney Fantasy cruise ship! I had a fabulous time in WDW at the Yacht club and on the boat getting to know fellow agents and such. I hate it had to end so quickly, but it does feel good to be home. I have so much to catch up on, and things will be getting back to normal now (as normal as they get here on RWS!) I can’t wait to share stories and pictures, but I must do some organizing and sorting etc. and I still have a bit to recap from my princess trip! I hope you enjoyed the guest posts while I was away. a HUGE thank you again to my lovely volunteers, you wrote some great stuff! So, did you miss me?!?!  Here are a few teaser pictures:

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Now I must go re-apply some aloe….I may or may not have gotten a sunburn on Castaway Cay. I put on sunscreen and reapplied and still managed to burn. Ouch!

QOTD: What Caribbean Island would you visit given the chance?

Disney Princess Weekend: Sunday

 

If you missed my first two non-race recaps, you can check them out below:

Disney Princess Weekend: Thursday and Friday

Disney Princess Weekend: Saturday

Sunday morning we got up and ran the Disney Princess half marathon, but were back at the hotel by mid morning. Unfortunately, We missed breakfast in the lounge by just a couple of minutes, but were able to get some coffee from the wonderful ladies who work in the lounge to warm our freezing selves up! We showered and changed, and decided to go to the Magic Kingdom. We were starving, and I knew I wanted something yummy and greasy as a recovery food!

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Why yes I did wear my tiara to the park, along with my medal.

We took the monorail over to the park, and the crowds were really not that bad.

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We ended up in Fantasyland at Pinocchio’s and I ordered a fabulously greasy pizza with fries and a coke. I didn’t really care that it wasn’t healthy, my body was craving calories and carbs!

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We used my magical fastpass to ride Peter Pan, then we did Mickey’s Philharmagic,

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Haunted Mansion, and Pirates. About this time, I was getting really sleepy. My mom and I decided to go back to the hotel for a nap while Karen and her mom finished up in the Magic Kingdom. I know my limits, and if I wanted to be ANY fun at dinner, I needed a nap!

I slept about an hour, and it was glorious! I decided to run down to the shops at the hotel for a few minutes before getting ready for dinner. When I got back in the elevator, it was me, and another couple. I thought the man looked very familiar, but I was still half asleep. It hit me when I saw they had runDisney shirts on…It was Jeff Galloway and his wife!!! (he wasn’t wearing his Disney hat which is why it took me a minute!) He saw my medal and asked me if I had a fun race. I said I did, and I told him I had talked to him Friday at his meet up, and thanked him again for spending so much individual time with everyone. His wife laughed and said Jeff loved talking to people so it was no problem for him! Then Jeff told me the meet ups really had been taking off and taking on a life of their own and how he loved it! By then we were at my floor and I said goodbye. I of course immediately tweeted about it!

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I had such a great time racing in my tutu, I wanted to be able to wear it again. I somehow convinced everyone that we NEEDED to wear our tutu’s to dinner that night at 1900 Park Fare.

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We went to the lounge for appetizers and were having WAY too much fun. Let’s just say I get really silly when I have a glass of champagne! As we were sitting there, Jeff Galloway and his wife were walking by with their appetizers and went and sat at a table. my mom wanted to meet him, so she kept trying to “get his attention” with her medal.

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They left and didn’t see us, but then he ended up coming back and walked right up to our table and started talking to us about the race! Of course we had to get a picture, too. he was so sweet and let us take about ten photos.

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I of course had to tweet…again.

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It was finally time for dinner, so we headed down to 1900 Park Fare we were ended up having to wait FOREVER to eat. We someone managed to entertain ourselves though.

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Karen’s mom wasn’t feeling good so she went back to the room, and it was time for us to be seated. The food was excellent of course, and I had to keep apologizing to the table next to me because every time I would try to squeeze by to my table, my tutu would hit them in the face.

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Have I ever mentioned I love Disney mac n cheese?

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I think they thought we were crazy. But then the characters started to come by…and they thought we had lost our minds.

When the first stepsister came up, we were already standing and she came up behind me and scared the crap out of me so I made a kind of “ah!” scared noise (not loud) and she looked at me then walked off! Luckily she did come back…but when I tried to tell her about the race she told me she didn’t need some medal to feel secure and confident in herself.

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Then when we tried to take a picture, she did this.

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We finally got her to take a normal one

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and as soon as we did, she turned and screamed right in my ear and said “not so funny when someone does it to you, huh?” We were absolutely dying laughing, it. was. hysterical.

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Soon enough the other step sister came by, and she wasn’t very nice either. I told her that her sister was mean to us and she said we probably deserved it.

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We also got to meet Cinderella and Prince Charming

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I have no idea.

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Karen flying back to the table.

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Dessert!

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Finally, it was time to go, all of the fun from the day was catching up to us. We headed back to the room, and fluttered down the hall.

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and for some reason decided to take a jumping picture. We actually hit it just right on the FIRST TRY (when does THAT happen?) until I realized my eyes were closed.

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It may have taken us about 100 more tries to get it right (in between fits of laughter, of course!) I will just share a few of these little gems with you.

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This is the one we ended up with:

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Oh my. What a fun night!

QOTD: Who is king of Jumping photos? Who has worn a tutu to a restaurant? and waved a magic wand at random people?

Disney Princess Weekend: Saturday

 

If you missed my previous recap on Disney Princess weekend (non race) be sure to check it out first. Saturday morning, me, Karen, and her mom ran the Royal Family 5k. After the race, we went back to the hotel for breakfast, and then we headed back to EPCOT for some fun in the park.

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Some of the topiaries were already up for the flower and garden festival, I love this time of year in WDW!

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Because of my magical fastpass, we were able to quickly ride soarin and Test Track. I was actually able to get my mom to ride test track….and she still hated it. Oh well!

We walked around the world showcase and decided to eat lunch at Liberty Inn.

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My mom and I split a burger…and yes she got ketchup even though I told her we were getting grapes NOT fries. Poor lady.

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When we were heading out, this group was out front and we sang “God Bless America” and then said the pledge of allegiance. It made me tear up a little, we are so blessed to live in a country where we can still openly do these things!

We realized the voices of liberty were about to sing, so we stayed and watched.

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We finished our walk around World Showcase, and it was time to leave. We had to get back to the hotel for the blogger meet up I was hosting!

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After the meet up, we got ready for dinner. I was heading to Via Napoli with the Blogger group I was with for runDisney, and everyone else was headed to Garden Grill. We had a bbiigggg table. Some of the Disney marketing people joined our blogger group for dinner.

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Picture of Theodora taking a picture. ha.

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Can I just say the Risoto balls were amazing. Theodora and I both got them and raved about these amazing balls. (amaze-balls. bahaha.)

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I was stuffed by time my pizza came and barely made a dent in it.

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I did have great conversation though because I was also sitting next to the lovely Kelly Olexa.

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We had to wait a LONG time for our table and our food. We had not even ordered dessert yet and I had to go, my mom and friends were waiting for me, plus we had to get up so early for the half the next day, so I told everyone I would see them in the morning and took off walking at a lightning pace towards Future World. My phone battery had died, so I had borrowed Kelly’s phone to tell them I was on my way. But it took me a lot longer than anticipated to walk, so I was going pretty fast! This was my fourth time running through EPCOT that weekend! (Jeff Galloway meet up, running to pasta party since I was so late, and the 5k.)

We made it back to the hotel in time for desserts in the concierge lounge.

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and then went to sleep. 2:45 was going to come really early, and we didn’t get to sleep until almost 11:00!

QOTD: What is your favorite thin to do in EPCOT? Never been? What would be your favorite “country” to visit in EPCOT?

Disney Princess Weekend: Friday

 

I know I have already told you about my royal welcome ThursdayJeff Galloway Meet Up, the Expo, the 5k and the half marathon, and my blogger meet up, but there were a lot of other fun times during my trip as well that I wanted to share with you.

Friday after I met my mom, Karen and her mom at the expo, we went to Animal Kingdom Lodge and picked up my luggage. We then headed to the Grand Floridian where we would be staying on the concierge level of the main building for four nights, with a Magic Kingdom view!

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We had just enough time to change clothes and freshen up before appetizers were being served in the lounge.

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We relaxed and ate, then headed over to EPCOT for the pasta in the park party. I was given a free ticket though my fun blogging weekend, and my group was able to buy tickets even though it was sold out! The party was in the wonders of life pavilion, somewhere I had never been before.

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It was open seating, and they had little buffet stations (of the same food) set up all around the place. We found my FitFluential friends, grabbed some plates, and chowed down.

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There were a couple difference kinds of pasta, chicken, bread, salad, and dessert.

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One of the employees in charge of the logistics of the runDisney races came over and chatted with our group. Did you know Princess had about 600 port o potties?!?

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After we ate, everyone had pretty much cleared out. One thing I did NOT like about this event is the music was playing SO LOUD you couldn’t talk to anyone at your table! Come on Disney, music is nice, but lower the volume please!

We took advantage of everyone leaving and went to take some pictures with the princesses.

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It was time to go, so we made our way out and did a little shopping before Illuminataions. Oh, we also had special wristbands that got us into a VIP seating area for the show. It was nice to sit on the ground without people crowding all around us.

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We actually left a couple of minutes before it was over. I have been to this rodeo, and I know there is a mad dash for the monorail afterwards. We were able to get on the second one and head back to the lounge just in time for dessert.

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When we got back to the room, we realized Wishes was about to start, so we watched that from the balcony.

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After being all firework-ed out, we headed to bed. After all, we had a 5k in the morning!!!

My take on the Pasta party: I am glad I went to experience it, but I don’t think I would go again for the price. it was almost $50, and the variety of food wasn’t there, and the whole tone just wasn’t as excited and amped up as I thought it would be. The food was really good though! It was LOUD in there, and everyone just ate and left, maybe it just wasn’t what I was expecting? I can see how if you had a whole group you could make it really fun…but I think Disney could make it even better!

QOTD: What do you eat the night before a race?

*Don’t forget to vote for me for the blogger awards on Fitness magazine’s website!

On a Boat

 

Wow the weekend sure did fly by. I am, however, loving this extra hour of daylight. It officially feels like spring around here now. I hope you had a good weekend, be sure to catch up on the posts you missed!

Disney Princess Blogger Meet Up Recap

RWS Features #15

Weekly Recap: March week 3

Also, don’t forget to vote for me for best running blog! Courtesy of Fitness magazine. I would so very much appreciate it. I am only one blog away from being on page one!

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Disney Princess Blogger Meet Up Recap

I was nominated for a Fitterati, a blogger award for Fitness magazine, in the running blogs category. I would LOVE if you took a minute and voted for me, would mean so much to me and my blog! VOTE HERE.

I love Disney, I love bloggers, and I love being social, so a few months ago I decided to host a Disney Princess blogger meet up. I conducted a poll on my blog with possible dates/times, made up a schedule and location, and got together some giveaways.

I knew it would be hard for a lot of people to make it. After all, most were in Disney with families and kids, and I knew it would be hard to get away, but I still wanted to try. Let’s just say I am so glad that I did!

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these four came after our picture, so I just took a photo of them to add to the post, ha!

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Several of the girls who came I have been “online friends” with for a  long time, so I couldn’t wait to meet them. The meet up was on Saturday at 3:00 at the Grand Floridian. I thought this would be a great location because it is on the monorail, and has a great outdoor space for chatting and picture taking.

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I hosted some giveaways as well. A huge thanks to my boss and owner of Travel With the Magic, Kelly, who supplied many of the giveaways.

Janet had approached me via e mail before the meet up and asked if she could share her story and do two giveaways for her book. I was thrilled! I loved hearing her amazing and inspiring story. You should go check out her website to see what I am talking about!

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We chatted some more, traded business cards so we could all go check out each others blogs later, and of course…took pictures in front of the castle!

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We chatted a bit more and wished each other luck in the race.

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It was so great to put so many names with faces/blogs/twitter handles. The power of social media is amazing, and I love how warm and welcoming bloggers are. Connecting and networking is great, but making new friends is awesome, too.

Megan compiled a good list of some of the girls that were there, be sure to check out their blogs!

One reason I wanted to discuss this is because another great way to network and make friends is through going to blog conferences. I have only been to one blog conference, but I had an amazing time, and would love to go to another one.

Just my luck, there is one this summer in Colorado called the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference. I was eyeing this conference last year, but simply couldn’t make it work with my schedule. This year is a different story, and thanks to the amazing generosity of the conference, as well as the amazing companies FitFluential,  and Refuel with Chocolate Milk (who I love, by the way. They had chocolate milk for us at the finish of the Rock n Roll New Orleans half, loved it!), 40 FitFluentials will be given the opportunity to go to this conference via a scholarship.

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I would love the opportunity to meet and network with other bloggers, as well as learn. I have by no means arrived and never will, and I am totally one of those nerdy girls who loves to learn! My fingers are crossed for this one!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a blogger conference? If not, what one would you go to if you had the chance?