2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Changes (or The End of an Era)

2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Changes (or The End of an Era)

Good night runDisney night races…runDisney just announced significant changes to the long-standing nighttime Wine & Dine Half Marathon. If you want to “run now, wine later” you’re gonna have to toe the start line a whole lot earlier in 2016 – like 16+ hours earlier.

The race weekend now begins on Thursday 3 November 2016 with the start of the event expo. The Jingle Jungle 5K has been renamed Mickey’s Holiday 5K and moved to Friday morning. Also new for 2016 is the addition of the Disney Wine & Dine 10K on Saturday and the move to Sunday morning for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon – with an exclusive after hours Post Race Party at the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Sunday evening. runDisney Kid’s Races will be available on both Friday and Saturday.

The addition of a 10K opens up the weekend to a field of runners not previously on the Wine & Dine weekend schedule. Those who love to #RunAllTheRaces will be happy to see that the 10K also means a new challenge! Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge will include the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday – and an extra challenge medal.

It’s interesting to note that the advent of all the changes to nighttime entertainment [“Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the “Frozen Ever After” experience at the Norway pavilion at Epcot] and construction in many of the Walt Disney World theme parks seems to be the catalyst for the removal of night races from the upcoming runDisney schedule. For those that loved the unique experience of running through the parks after dark, we can only hope that once construction is complete, runDisney will consider adding night races back into their schedule.

General registration for all 2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend races opens up 29 March 2016 at noon ET.

As with any new runDisney race, the gang at RunAllTheRaces will be there to check out all the changes.  Will we see you there?

How do you feel about the changes to the 2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend?   

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Have you checked out our new Podcast?  Give us a listen and let us know what you think: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/run-all-the-races/id1078046216?mt=2

Perfect Goofy Gail, Delightful Dopey Kimberly, PhotoBomb Becca & California Kiley


2015 Disneyland 5K or How a 2-hour 5K is #Winning

Inside Out - Castle

The Inside Out Crew in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Our little buddy @TinyTikiRunner had recovered from the Great Tinker Bell 5K Hamper, Umbrella, and Mop Incident of 2015 and came forward with a Disneyland 5K costume request of her own – Inside Out.  Pretty excited that not only was Tiny Tiki still speaking to us, but that she might (just might) be getting into #RunningInAllTheCostumes, we agreed (even if we hadn’t actually seen the movie….).

Good news was that Tiny Tiki had invited a childhood friend to run with us (Hey – glad you’re coming with us for your first runDisney weekend.  By the way – you’re gonna need to run the 5K as Riley and wear a hockey jersey and helmet and carry a hockey stick.  Hello?  Hello?  You’re still coming, right?!?!  Why is she not responding to our emails?..).

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero - Alice and Mad Hatter...Running in Teacups!

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero – Alice and Mad Hatter…Running in Teacups!

Bad news was that we still needed to con at least 2 more people into dressing up like crazy people and “running” with us if we wanted all the emotions.

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero as Merida

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero as Merida and Queen Elinor







We immediately thought of Nicole and Katy Buompensiero – the mother/daughter team whose runDisney costumes we’d loved (and coveted) over several years.  It was like reaching out to your idols and hoping (against hope) that they would not only want to hang out with you, but would invest their time and money to help you realize an idea.  We cannot tell you how excited we were when Nicole and Katy responded that not only where they in – they were IN!

Inside Out: Fear Costume In-Progress

Inside Out: Fear Costume In-Progress

Inside Out - Anger Head In-Process

Inside Out: Anger Head In-Process

We knew we were going to have to “bring it” as we anticipated lots of Inside Out costumes since it was Pixar’s most recent release.

Inside Out: Disgust Dress In-Process

Inside Out: Disgust Dress In-Process

Over the course of the next several months, we held a few costuming conference calls and posted progress on a closed Facebook Group to ensure that the final product would look cohesive when we all got to the race – as everyone was responsible for their own costume creation.  Thank goodness for technology when your group is located in Connecticut, Florida, Arizona, and California.

Race day arrived and Tiny Tiki, her childhood friend, Kimberly and I got ready in our hotel room.  3:30am came early, as we had a bit of body painting to complete before heading out to our corrals.  There was A LOT of laughter as we all got dressed.  You know you love your running friends when you’re willing to paint their armpits green pre-dawn, in your hotel bathroom…

Sadness Selfie

Sadness #Selfie

And how committed was Tiny Tiki to her idea?

As Sadness, she wore slippers for the ENTIRE race (and still managed to be faster than the rest of us)!  Slippers, people – for a 5K.  Pretty sure this means she’s hooked (even if she swears she’ll only dress up for 5Ks.  We will see, we will see…).

We met up with Nicole and Katy in the courtyard of the Disneyland Hotel were Nicole handed out her hand-made core memory balls.  They lit up and really just added that extra-special something to our costumes.  As we walked to the corrals, we just couldn’t stop giggling at each other.  These costumes were just SO MUCH FUN!

One of the things we love about running runDisney 5K races is that, in many cases, families come out and run together.  We had so much fun taking photos with the kids – who really seemed to love our costumes.  And we were lucky enough to keep running into a family whose kids were dressed up as Disgust and Anger.  They were SO adorable and kept stopping to take photos with us and give us hugs.  So much fun!

Inside Out: Mile Marker 2 (Note the time...)

Inside Out: Mile Marker 2 (Note the time…)

We took #AllThePhotos (both character stops and with fellow runners) and quickly ended up near the back of the pack.  One of my favorite memories is all of us walking together (with NO ONE behind us), coming up to the first water stop and having the volunteers go absolutely nuts when they saw us.  They cheered “Inside Out, Inside Out” in unison and took selfies with us as we went by.

As we stopped for an EPIC Big Thunder Railroad photo op, our friend Cindy Rodriguez-Copey, who had been running near us almost the entire race (and was gracious enough to take some mid-race photos for us) lamented that she hadn’t seen Nicole or Katy the entire race – which was odd – as they run ALL the runDisney races.  We started to laugh and explained that she’d been running with them almost the entire race – as Nicole was Joy and Katy was Fear.  She hadn’t recognized them in costume.  That’s when you know you’ve done good 😉

Inside Out - Big Thunder Mountain Photo Op

There are a number of these Disneyland 60th Anniversary photo ops throughout Disneyland…and they are hilarious!

Inside Out - Joy Draging Sadness Across Finish

HAD to be done!



As we approached the end of the race and the chute to the finish at Downtown Disney we realized we were bringing up the rear of the race.  But it was totally worth it.  We hadn’t had this much fun at a run in ages!  More photos, more fun.  Seeing everyone smile and want to take a photo with us as we ran by made all the hard work (and pre-dawn armpit paining) worth it.

All this fun and all the photo stops meant that it took us 2-hours to complete the 2015 Disneyland 5K.

Yes.  You read that correctly.  It took us 2-hours to complete 3.1 miles – that’s about a 39 minute mile.

And I don’t regret one single second of it! #Winning


A BIG shout out to some of our runDisney friends who “ran” into us on the Disneyland 5K course.  Check out their race reports here:

Brandi Gilbert (who ran with her mom – they are just the cutest): Funner Runner

Patty Holliday (who psychically dressed up as Bing-Bong and waited (a LONG while) for us at the finish for another epic photo op : My No Guilt Life

Inside Out - Finish Area with No Guilt Life (Bing-Bong)

BIG thanks to Patty Holliday (My No Guilt Life) for waiting so we could get a photo with Bing-Bong.

Would you “go slow” for a good time?  

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Perfect Goofy Gail & Delightful Dopey Kimberly

Running in Costume at runDisney Races OR “I’m waiting as long as possible until I have to put on the hamper and umbrella!”

Our guest blogger is Jessica AKA #TinyTiki.  You can follow her on Twitter @TinyTikiRunner


“You’ll be fine…it’s only 3 miles…”

Now that is a sentence I never thought I would say, but let me back up just a bit.


Getting suited up…

The fabulous ladies of Run All The Races are primarily known for two things – their contagious enthusiasm for running and their insanely creative, elaborate costumes at all of the runDisney races.  Kimberly and Gail love to make everyone laugh – runners, announcers, spectators, and cast members.  Many are amazed at both the intricacy of their costumes and their ability to run in them.


At the 2015 Tinker Bell 5K

I have now run in costume with them twice – as a tiki in runDisney’s Castaway Cay Challenge 5K after Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 and as Boo from Monster’s Inc. in the Neverland 5K during Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend 2015.  Kimberly and Gail kindly provided everything I needed – all I had to do was run and pose for pictures, which was actually easier said than done.  The tiki hat kept wanting to fly off my head and the metal underneath the purple umbrella was an incessant source of pain digging into my scalp.  I ran one race holding down my headpiece, the other trying to keep it from touching my head.  Thankfully, the purple hamper was quite comfortable.  Kimberly and Gail’s tolerance for pain is clearly stronger than mine, as I could not imagine running longer distances in costume.  Their love of crafty costumes along with their natural ability to run (both of them are marathoners!) keep them going.


2015 Castaway Cay Challenge 5K

As their roommate during recent runDisney race weekends at Disneyland, I see what no one else sees – all of their hard work behind the scenes.  Our room is usually an explosion of glitter, foam, safety pins, electric tape, glitter, wigs, New Balance sneakers, hot glue guns, a sewing machine, a variety of miscellaneous items, and yes, more glitter (Kimberly’s favorite color).  One would think they are a collective Mary Poppins – I have never seen so many accessories come out of a suitcase.  The nights before races, they stay up late sewing, gluing, pinning, and taping to make sure their costumes are not only ready, but practically perfect and up to their standards.  Since they reside on opposite coasts, race weekends are their only chances to put their costumes together as a team.  And how about what happens beforehand? Months ahead of time, texts about costume ideas fly back and forth.  Orders are placed and packages are shipped to the hotel.  Airplane carry-on items are sewing machines and gigantic flowers.  Multiple suitcases are filled to the brim with costume pieces.


2015 Star Wars 10K

Running in costume may look glamorous and easy, but it involves a great deal of time and effort (and occasionally pain).  Would I run in costume with them again?  Absolutely, since I adore their endearing craziness, though only for a 5K.  I prefer to run the longer distances for time but I can handle some pain for 3.1 miles for the sake of having a blast with my running sisters, especially after all of their hard work in putting together not only their own costumes but mine as well.  Running with them is nothing short of an unforgettable, unique experience.

Do you run in costume?  Do you think you could Run All The Races in costume with Perfectly Goofy Gail & Kimberly?

Race Report: runDisney’s Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge

Disney Dream in port at Castaway Cay

Disney Dream in port at Castaway Cay

Sometimes it is not possible to #runalltheraces!  This was the case with the scheduling of the Inaugural Castaway Cay 5K and the Inaugural Star Wars 5K.  The Castaway Cay challenge was announced and sold out in record time.  A week later, the runDisney Star Wars races were also announced and we soon realized the boat would arrive back in port in Florida the same day and time the 5k would be starting in California.  Gail & I decided to forgo the cruise in order to #runalltheraces at Star Wars Weekend and asked our friend, Carol Smith, to fill in #runningalltheraces and #drinkingallthedrinks aboard the Disney Dream.  Here’s her report of the Inaugural Castaway Cay 5K:  

Both the Castaway Cay 5K medallion and Challenge Medal

Both the Castaway Cay 5K medallion and Challenge Medal

Go on a cruise after running 48.6 miles and do a 5K? I’m in! Get more bling? I’m really in! With even more Disney? I’m definitely in! I’m Carol Smith, and Kimberly asked me to blog about Disney’s Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge 5K which was held after the Disney Marathon weekend in January 2015. Thanks Kimberly for letting me do my first ever blog post! To learn more about Kimberly and me see her post of the 2014 Disney Marathon. I’m the one whose name she couldn’t remember!

Fish extender is hung and ready for goodies...

Fish extender is hung and ready for goodies…

To participate in this Disney Castaway Cay Challenge 5K you had to participate in at least one of the races during Disney Marathon weekend, register for this race, and then sail on the Disney Dream cruise that left the day after the Marathon. For doing the Challenge you got the new Castaway Challenge 5K plastic medal and a spiffy inaugural Challenge medal.  I did the Dopey Challenge, so I earned 8 medals for the 5 races. There will be another cruise after Princess weekend. I don’t know if the Challenge medal will be the same, but the plastic medal will be. Disney hasn’t announced any additional special Castaway Challenge events, but the regular 5K will still occur on cruises that go to Castaway Cay.

The line to purchase the official merchandise.

The line to purchase the official merchandise.

Before I get into the race itself I want to share more information about the cruise and onboard shopping for the Challenge.


shirt 3 shirt 4 shirt 2

Disney Cruise is a Dream

The cruise was on the Disney Dream, one of the newer of Disney’s cruise ships. As this specific cruise was geared towards people who had run at least one race during the Marathon weekend, there were a lot more adults on the cruise than usual. The crew seemed ready for the “older” crowd with a lot of chairs in the adult pool and staff in the spa, as well as bartenders for beverages. As with other Disney cruises, people decorated their doors to celebrate the cruise and their running. I cruised with a cruise veteran who did the Goofy. The baskets hanging from our door number are for little gifts or swaps (“Fish Extenders”) that we traded with other pre-arranged cruisers. Doing Fish Extender gifts was a great way to meet other cruisers ahead of time and on the cruise. I highly recommend finding a Fish Extender group if you go on a Disney cruise.


Bondi Bands


During the four-day cruise we spent most of the first day at sea, a day in Nassau, The Bahamas, a day on Castaway Cay, and a day at sea. This length was enough time to relax and enjoy the cruise without being gone too long from work or other obligations. Onboard there were tons of activities, from bingo and scavenger hunts to massages and movies. We even watched the National Championship football game on the big screen by the main pool. (Go Buckeyes!)




Shopping! (“Expo”)

Since we had picked up our bibs and t shirt at the Marathon weekend, there wasn’t a full expo on the cruise. One of the stores on this ship had exclusive Castaway Cay 5K merchandise for this cruise. Many of the cruisers were afraid that there would not be enough merchandise, so we lined up an hour before the store opened to make sure to get our items.  Our fears were unfounded, however, as there was plenty of everything. There were a few different t-shirts, a medal pin, head bands, and a magnet. The store staff saw the crowd and quickly brought up more merchandise and staff before opening the store. They did an excellent job handling the crowd and ensuring everyone was able to purchase what they wanted. I bought a t-shirt, pin, and car magnet.

Over 700 runners assemble in the theater pre-race...

Over 700 runners assemble in the theater pre-race…

Race itself

After a day at sea and a day in Nassau we had to be in one of the theaters at 5:45am for the race, which started at 7. Compared to the other races during the Marathon weekend this was sleeping late! There were 3 corrals, and each one was in a separate section of the theater. On the screens were pictures of the course map and other race information. A cruise cast member told us what the process was to get off the ship – we needed an ID (driver’s license) and our room key to get onto the island. They were well-organized. runDisney people had come down on the cruise to help run the event, which was needed since there were over 700 runners!

At about 6:15 each corral got to get off the ship to walk to the start.

The sunrise when we got off the boat was spectacular.

The sunrise when we got off the boat was spectacular.

We had to walk about ¾ of a mile to the starting line from where the boat docked. For runners who had done the half or full marathon this walk felt shorter than the walk to the starting corrals of those races, but for the runners who had only done the 5K or 10K during Marathon weekend the walk seemed long. With the sun coming up and the boat in the background, however, the walk was nice and a good way to warm up for the run. The boat is docked to the right of the picture. This was a new route for the 5K and it seems that this is the new route going forward. It is flat, so if you wanted to go really fast you could. For the rest of us, the race had a race clock but no chip timing. They wanted us done in the 16-minute time-frame so we could get back to the boat to change before they let everyone else off the boat, but weren’t strict about it. Thanks to The Kessel Runner for this map.

The NEW course

The NEW course

Since the race was small (for Disney) I got to do things I never get to do. I was in Corral B! I’m never that close! Here I am with Angela Austin Rubright, who had also done the Dopey and was going to California for Star Wars weekend after the cruise!  I got to see actual corral tape!  I was close to the starting line at the actual start of the race! For a true middle of the pack runner these experiences were awesome.


The race was announced not by Rudy, but by one of the ship’s officers. He’s the one who also stars in many of the safety and information videos on the ship’s TV. Mickey was also there! There weren’t any fireworks for the corral starts and no national anthem, but we were in the Bahamas. I don’t think we would have recognized the Bahamas national anthem if it were played.


After working up the crowd the first corral went and then we were off! There were a few characters on the course. I’ve never run a Disney 5K where I’ve been able to take pictures so I took full advantage this time!  The cruise director and another cast member were also on the course “cheering” us on.    The “balloon ladies” were in the first corral instead of the back of the race and tried to take me off the course! But at the end I got my medals! We also got water, Powerade, and runDisney snackboxes. Then back to the ship for a shower and to change into beach attire for the day. The race backdrop was available that evening (pirate night) for pictures.

balloons bondi band

Overall the race was well run, the cruise was fabulous, and everyone seemed to have fun. I certainly did. I’m jealous of everyone going on the cruise after Princess weekend. Maybe Kimberly will let me stowaway in her suitcase.




Did you run the Inaugural Castaway Cay 5K?  What was YOUR experience?

Race Report: Wine & Dine Half Marathon or Would you like WHINE with that half marathon?..

How bad was the weather? We dressed up as ACTUAL runners ;)

How bad was the weather? We dressed up as ACTUAL runners 😉

Part of the problem of having a #RunAllTheRaces philosophy is that we run SO MANY races that we don’t always have the time to talk (and BLOG) about all the races.  Believe it or not, we both ACTUALLY have JOBS – a runner’s got to do something to pay for all those races…

We still owe everyone a BUNCH of race reports on other events from earlier this year, but the WEATHER was such a factor at last weekend’s runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon that we just had to post about this race next!

BLOG DISCLAIMER: It was SO wet and rainy that, for the first time in #RunAllTheRaces history, we did NOT wear a costume and we did NOT stop and take photos on the course.  It was so wet and rainy we ACTUALLY RAN the race!

So, how wet and rainy was it?  In our collective 10+ years of running races at Disney Theme Parks, the only event where the weather was worse was 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (also known around runDisney circles as “The Cold Year”) where it snowed (yes, you read that correctly – SNOWED) and sleeted and was generally miserable for the entire half and full marathons. FYI: Frozen water stops and slippery, ice-covered roads are no bueno!

In fact, it was so wet and rainy that a simple blog description just won’t do it justice.

So – in our first “How To” blog post – we are providing you with instructions on how to re-create the event at home so you can fully understand the experience.  You’re welcome 😉


How To: Recreate the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Experience in the “Comfort” of Your Own Home

  1. Run around all day.  Wait until 7:00pm to start your experience.

    An umbrella.  And yes - that's a necessity - NOT a costume piece!

    An umbrella. And yes – that’s a necessity – NOT a costume piece!

  2. Get fully dressed in your running attire. And we mean fully dressed; including shoes, fuel belt, race bib.  As it is a runDisney event, this probably includes an elaborate costume you spent weeks planning and even longer making.
  3. Go into your bathroom and turn on the shower.  Not too hot, mind you.  The water temperature should seem warm enough to be “not so bad” at first, but not so warm as to be enjoyable for any length of time.
  4. Get in your shower.  Fully dressed. Yep.  Just hang out there under the gently falling drops and imagine yourself in the corrals, waiting for the start.  Spend a few moments trying to convince yourself that it looks like it’s clearing and surely it will stop before the race starts.
  5. Begin jogging in place.  Still in your shower.  Still under the running water.  Take a sip of your race beverage of choice and realize, as you tip your head back, water hits you directly in your eyeballs.
  6. Continue jogging in place under the running water for the time it normally takes you to run a half marathon plus a crappy weather factor of 10%.  You’ll need that extra time to run around giant puddles, avoid falling on slippery surfaces, and stop to wring-out your progressively heavier water-logged clothing.
  7. Swear at yourself for even signing up for this race in the first place.  Feel free to include anyone else who encouraged you throughout your training and isn’t actually running in this mess in your rant.
  8. Finish your race.  Have someone place a cold, wet medal around your neck and a space blanket around your shoulders.
  9. Decide ” *&%# it! I paid for the After Party.  I’m still going.”  Have someone hand you a beer and a snack while you continue to stand in your shower.
  10. Go out to your garage.  Stand around outside your car for approximately 20 minutes to simulate waiting for the bus back to your resort hotel.
  11. Get in your car.  Turn on the air conditioner. Hang out for 45 minutes.  Cold? Yep. But the roads are closed for the race and you have to leave property and come back around to get to your stop.
  12. Get out of your car and walk around the block.  Turns out, the event bus drops you off at the Convention Center – which feels like a 3-mile walk from your room.
  13. Swear at yourself for even signing up for this race in the first place.  Feel free to include anyone else who encouraged you throughout your training and isn’t actually still out in this mess in your rant.
  14. Go back into your bathroom and turn on the shower again.  Good news – this time you can take a nice hot shower!
  15. Fall into bed.  Sleep like a rock – as you are exhausted from this entire experience.
  16. Wake up.  Decide it wasn’t so bad.  Check the runDisney website to see when registration opens for next year.
Finishers of the 1st Annual Wine & Dine Wet T-Shirt Contest

Finishers of the 1st Annual Wine & Dine Wet T-Shirt Contest

What was the worst weather you ever raced in?  What did you learn from the experience for next time?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Perfect Goofy Gail & (soon to be Delightful Dopey) Kimberly

Virtual Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Blog Hop: Race Costuming or You’re going to run…in THAT?!?!

Charlie's Storm Troopers

Charlie’s Storm Troopers

2014 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Enchanted 10K

2014 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Enchanted 10K

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I am a recent covert to running in costume.

THE jump photo to end ALL jump photos - and my VERY FIRST time running in costume.

THE jump photo to end ALL jump photos – and my VERY FIRST time running in costume.

What finally made me make the leap?

Last year’s Disneyland Half Marathon was the race where I earned my 50th runDisney medal and I wanted to mark this running milestone with “something different.”

All my previous runs were focused on time – with no room in my race plan for costumes or photo stops.  This had worked well for me and I enjoyed racing myself and always striving for a PR – BUT – trolling around on Facebook opened my eyes to another kind of fun on the run…COSTUMES!

Most of these AMAZING costumes were made with technical material!

Most of these AMAZING costumes were made with technical material!

From Mild to WILD…

I started out mild – the Mad Hatter for the 2013 Disneyland 10K and a Mouseketeer for the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon.  My “costumes” consisted of my normal running shorts and sports bra dressed up with simple pre-made add ons.  The Mad Hatter was based around a Raw Threads bamboo technical shirt, an orange tutu, knee socks, and a Mad Hatter headband.

NOTE:  This was also my first – and still most EPIC – jumping photo!

The Mouseketeer included a Sparkle Athletic skirt, technical shirt with my first name, and child’s mouse ears (the child’s ears have an elastic strap which, when placed behind my ponytail, made sure they stayed put for the entire race – so much so, I forgot I even had them on…).

MILD is a great “gateway” to begin running in costume.

Like any gateway, I got HOOKED pretty quickly – AND had a number of friends that not only dressed up as well, but were (and continue to be) excellent enablers 😉

A little costuming peer pressure can go a long way...far enough to get your male friend to run in a skirt during the Princess Half Marathon ;)

A little costuming peer pressure can go a long way…far enough to get your male friend to run in a skirt during the Princess Half Marathon 😉

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend 5K.  Great crochet Tinker Bell hair hat and a tutu so big it had it's own gravitational pull.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend 5K. Great crochet Tinker Bell hair hat and a tutu so big it had it’s own gravitational pull.

2014 Walt Disneyl World Marathon Weekend Dopey Challenge Day 4...yep - this is exactly how I felt.  Having an easy race costume was a great decision for me for this race.

2014 Walt Disneyl World Marathon Weekend Dopey Challenge Day 4…yep – this is exactly how I felt. Having an easy race costume was a great decision for me for this race.

In the matter of year, I ramped up BIG TIME – culminating in the biggest and craziest costume to date during the the 2014 Disneyland 5K.  Kimberly was getting HER 50th runDisney medal at the Disneyland Half Marathon and we decided to celebrate her running milestone by going BIG.

We planned the Cheshire Cat and Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland for the Disneyland 5K, Alice in Wonderland Card Soldiers with our running pals Rebecca and Pammy for the Disneyland 10K, and Dumbo and the Circus Master for the Disneyland Half Marathon.

runDisney Tweeted our photo at the Disneyland 5K finish line, interviewed us for the Disneyland 10K race recap video, and we made the office runDisney race album on Facebook for the Disneyland Half Marathon.

runDisney media trifecta - Twitter for Disneyland 5K, race video for Disneyland 10K, and race album on Facebook for Disneyland Half Marathon.  Mission accomplished!

runDisney media trifecta – Twitter for Disneyland 5K, race video for Disneyland 10K, and race album on Facebook for Disneyland Half Marathon. Mission accomplished!

Hunka-hunka burning costumes...

Hunka-hunka burning costumes…

WILD can be AWESOME – as long as you take race length and temperature into consideration.

Tips for a Successful Race Costume:IMG_4198

  • Take the race length and temperature into consideration. [Shorter race and/or cooler temperatures = the chance to ramp up the costume!]
  • If you are traveling, think about the logistics of getting your costume to the race location. [I had to search for smaller hula hoops for my Cheshire Cat so 1 would fit in my suitcase and 1 would fit in the airplane overhead bin :D]
  • Take what race you are running into consideration. [runDisney races brings LOTS of people in costumes.  Some other races – not so much.  Determine your comfort level being dressed up on the run.]
  • IMG_5438Take your completed costume out for a trial run. [Make sure all the parts stay on when you are running and NOTHING rubs you the wrong way]
  • Think outside the box. [Doing a little research about secondary characters can enable you to have a unique costume and stand out among many Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Anna and Elsa outfits]
  • Race costumes can be awesome whether they are mild or wild. [Don’t not run in costume just because you don’t want to go huge – subtle can be just as wonderful and memorable as crazy.]
  • Great costumes can be had even if you are not a seamstress. [There are lots of companies that make costume pieces in technical material and cater specifically to runners – including those that do not sew and/or don’t have time to make something themselves]
  • HAVE FUN with it! [If you are going to run in costume, bring some fellow dressed up friends, take photos to commemorate your crazy, and enjoy the run!]

We have some great stuff planned for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend races!  Keep an eye out for some “happy haunts” as we “stretch” our costuming skills…

Check out the rest of the AMAZING posts that are part of our Virtual Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Blog Hop HERE.

Dumbo Double Dare - Half MarathonHave you run a race in costume?  We’d LOVE to see your photos!

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Perfect Goofy Gail & (soon to be Delightful Dopey) Kimberly

Disneyland Tour Recap: A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps

Children attend opening of Disneyland in 1955

“To all who come to this happy place; welcome.

Disneyland is your land.

Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.

Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

We got good swag even BEFORE the tour started.  Look! Our NAMES are on buttons - SQUEE!

We got good swag even BEFORE the tour started. Look! Our NAMES are on buttons – SQUEE!

While we are probably best known as the gals that #RunAllTheRaces, we also like to take in some of the other local flavor when we are in town for a race.  To this end, as part of our 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, we FINALLY got the chance to go on a tour at Disneyland: A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps.

We were provided audio headsets prior to the start of the tour.  These enabled us to better hear our Tour Guide, as well as the special audio tracks that were shared along the tour.

We were provided audio headsets prior to the start of the tour. These enabled us to better hear our Tour Guide, as well as the special audio tracks that were shared along the tour.

We had been trying to get a reservation for this tour since Disneyland  Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend earlier this year.  Think we’re joking?  No, really.  We wanted to go on this particular tour SO BAD that we were on the phone making reservations as we were in line for a roller coaster during our Cedar Point Run and Race Half Marathon Weekend.

Why is THIS particular tour so high on our “MUST DO” list?  Besides getting a chance to learn more about the only Disney theme park that Walt actually got a chance to be a part of, the tour includes a stop at Walt’s personal apartment – above the fire station on Main Street, U.S.A.  A chance to see where Walt and his family used to spend time?  Yes, please!

While we want to share some of the vast amount of Disneyland and Walt specific stories that were shared on the tour – we’ll do our best to not spoil the greatness that was this tour – just get you excited for your turn!

Our Tour Guide was ADORABLE.  And how cute are the costumes?!?!

Our Tour Guide was ADORABLE. And how cute are the costumes?!?!

First Stop: Town Square Fire Station

Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955.  While this was a momentous and historic occasion for Disney, the day did not go quite as planned.  Disneyland’s opening day was referred to by cast members as “Black Sunday” due to all of the problems experienced at the park.  The asphalt on Main Street USA had not had time to properly cure – which meant many of the 1950’s female park goers, decked out in their Sunday best, ended up having their heels sink and get stuck in the road.  As the park was then only surrounded with a chain link fence, an enterprising farmer with property that backed up to the park perimeter, put up a ladder and charged people to climb over into the park.  This, along with counterfeit tickets, meant the park was soon overflowing with more guest than it could handle.  This meant that the restaurants and carts soon ran out of food and drink – and a plumber’s union strike meant that Walt had to choose working bathrooms over working drinking fountains for opening day.  As gas leak meant that Fantasyland had to be closed and most of Tomorrowland was incomplete – Walt had the Imagineers cover up the area with banners and balloons so people would walk right by.

Cast members wanted to shield Walt from the issues of the day, so he didn’t learn of many of the issues until he read about them in the next day’s newspaper.  Instead of being upset, Walt viewed the issues 6a010536b86d36970c0133f25afb5e970b-800wiof the day as an opportunity and went on with his Imagineers to fix them in record time.  Disneyland sou;d welcome it’s 1,000,000th guest during it’s first year of operation.

Stop: Town Square Flag Pole

Here our Tour Guide shared with us Walt’s Disneyland dedication speech (see top of this post).  One of the great things about this tour were the many extra audio clips in Walt’s own voice – really made you feel like you where there!

Walt Disney's Main Street, U.S.A dedication window to his father, Ellias Disney.  Look up at the Emporium.

Walt Disney’s Main Street, U.S.A dedication window to his father, Ellias Disney. Look up at the Emporium.

Stop: Main Street (and the awesome personalized windows)

The names painted in the windows along Main Street serve as credits for some of the many people who contributed in some manner to the parks.  Typically they appear as fictional businesses (realtors, dentists, etc.), and often refer to a hobby of or development made by the person honored.  Walt honored his father, Elias Disney, with his own window above the Emporium.

Stop: The Hub and the Partners Statue

To build the park itself would require millions of dollars.  Walt found the answer for a significant amount of the funding in television.  In exchange for a weekly one-hour show on ABC, the network would put up $500,000 in cash and guarantee $4.5 million in loans.  Additionally, ABC would have one-third ownership in the park.  Walt would eventually buy out their share and the Disney company would wholly own Disneyland.

On the evening of Wednesday, October 27, 1954, at 7:30 p.m., most people watching television tuned into ABC to catch the premiere of a new program hosted by famed producer Walt Disney called Disneyland.  It was during the first 15 minutes or so that they learned in detail of a new kind of amusement park: a clean, family-friendly park consisting of different themed areas.  Over the course of the next 10 months, Walt introduced America to Disneyland and shared the construction process with anxious viewers.

On July 17, 1955, the opening of Disneyland was covered on a live television special, Dateline: Disneyland, which is not technically considered to be part of the series. It was hosted by Walt along with Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan, and featured various

other guests.  While the opening of the now landmark park certainly was an historic event, it is also noteworthy that, at the time, the program was the world’s largest live telecast.

Can you find Jingles?

Can you find Jingles?

Stop: Walk through Sleeping Beauty Castle to Fantasyland

The drawbridge on Sleeping Beauty Castle is an actual working drawbridge.  It has only been used twice – the first time during Opening Day and the second in 1983 for the Fantasyland rededication.

Each of the horses on King Arthur’s Carrousel are unique and have their own name.  The lead horse is named Jingles.  You can stop by City Hall on Main Street and get a full listing of all the horses’ names.

NO  WAIT?!?! We don't mind if we DO...

NO WAIT?!?! We don’t mind if we DO…

Ride: Peter Pan’s Flight

Prior to riding the attraction (with NO WAIT!), we were tasked by our tour guide to try and find the Hidden Mickey on the attraction.  We have to admit – this is one of the hardest Hidden Mickey’s to find.  As you fly over London and pass Big Ben, turn around and look behind you – Mickey can be seen

in one of Big Ben’s windows.  This is the ONLY full body Hidden Mickey.  NOTE: If you want to make sure not to miss it, you need to be seated on the left side of your flying ship.

Stop: Frontierland (and Lilian Disney’s Petrified Tree)

Lillian and Walt Disney in front of the petrified tree he bought her for their anniversary.

Lillian and Walt Disney in front of the petrified tree he bought her for their anniversary.

Next time you're on the banks of the Rivers of America, stop and read the dedication plaque.

Next time you’re on the banks of the Rivers of America, stop and read the dedication plaque.

Walt was a great lover of road trips.  During a road trip with his family in 1956, Walt visited Pike Forest Fossil Beds, a privately owned petrified forest area in Colorado that is now part of Florrisant Fossil Beds National Monument.  He was so enchanted, he talked the owner into selling him a specimen as an anniversary gift for his wife, Lillian.  On receiving the gift, Lillian commented that it wouldn’t fit on the mantel and donated it to Disneyland in September 1957.  It has been in it’s riverfront spot on the Rivers of America in Frontierland ever since.

Somebody get us in...pretty please ;) We clean up pretty good!

Somebody get us in…pretty please 😉 We clean up pretty good!

Stop: New Orleans Square (and the recently remodeled Club 33 entrance)

It was at the 1964 World’s Fair where Walt visited the private VIP lounges of the large corporate sponsors that allegedly caused him to began forming the concept of his own VIP lounge within Disneyland.  It wasn’t long after his return back to the studio that Walt’s private lounge began it’s initial development.

After years of planning, Club 33 became a reality in May of 1967. Sadly enough, it was never seen by its creator because of his untimely death five months earlier.

Club 33 just recently reopened after an extensive remodel that included the addition of The Jazz Lounge, which Walt originally envisioned for the club.

Who knows someone that can GET US IN TO CLUB 33?!?!  We could be convinced to pay for dinner…

Stop: New Orleans Train StationIMG_5341

As you wait in line for the train, listen for the clicking sounds from the station across the way.  That’s Walt’s Opening Day Speech repeating over and over in morse code.

In 1966 The Haunted Mansion opens in what is now New Orleans Square, becoming the most technologically advanced attraction of the time. Originally conceived as a walk-through attraction, Disney held out until a continuously moving transportation system (named the “omnicar” or “omnimover”) could be developed for the ride that never had to stop – even when loading.

Ride: Disneyland Railroad

Once again, we were escorted onto the ride without having to wait (I think we’re getting spoiled…).

Walt Disney and the Shah of Iran on the Matterhorn

Walt Disney and the Shah of Iran on the Matterhorn

Stop: Matterhorn

In 1959, Disneyland introduced the “E” ticket.  The first two “E” ticket attractions were the experimental Swiss-made Alweg Disneyland Monorail and the world’s first tubular steel roller coaster, the Matterhorn Bobsleds.  The Matterhorn is a 1/100 version of the 14,700ft high Swiss Alps peak, and tops out at 147ft.  It is the park’s highest point.  Besides being the first tubular steel roller coater, the Matterhorn was also the first roller coaster to allow the multiple dispatch of trains.

Stop: Tomorrowland (and Autopia and Innoventions)richfield map_1

In a memo that he dictated on August 7, 1954, Walt listed The Auto Speedway as number five for The Land of Tomorrow.  The name transitioned into Autopia by October 30, 1954 and stayed that way ever since.

Sponsored by Richfield (1955–1970), it represented the future of America’s highways.  Bob Gurr, a recent graduate from an automotive design school, created the design of the body for the car, inspired by a Porsche 550 Spider and a custom Ferrari he had once seen.  Cars without bumpers were almost completely destroyed by the test drivers, so bumpers were fitted around the vehicle and spring-loaded bumpers were eventually installed to discourage collisions.

Imagineer Bob Gurr tells the story how the Autopia got a “garage”:  After Disneyland opened, we had a lot of trouble with the Autopia cars.  The majority of them were failing, and no one had figured out the support side of the attractions.  I had been repairing the cars with my own tools on-site.  Walt came by, looked at the whole scene, and asked, ‘What do you need?”  I told him we needed mechanics to work on the cars and that we didn’t have any kind of facilities.  In less than an hour, here comes this tractor dragging an old building, and the drivers says, ‘Here’s your building.  Where do you want it?’  We had mechanics the next morning.”

IMG_5350Ride: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

Walt Disney was fascinated with the life of Abraham Lincoln.  As a child, he even recited Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to his elementary school class.  The first Audio-Animatronics version of Lincoln debuted in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair.  The show was so life-like that National Geographic magazine called the figure “alarming” in its realism.  In 1965, the smash hit was relocated to Disneyland Park, where it has been enjoyed in one incarnation or another ever since.

Walt introduces the Carousel of Progress

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, along with the Carousel of Progress and It’s A Small World were three attractions Disney created for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

Watch a clip from Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Stop: Opera House

In the early 1960s, Walt Disney had a huge success in the entertainment industry, as well as having a family with many grandchildren.  In watching his grandchildren grow up, Walt began to worry about the world of the future they would inhabit.  He began to notice that the modern cities were hectic, disorganized, dirty, and riddled with crime.  This was a far cry from Disney’s clean and controlled Disneyland Park in California.  The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) was a concept developed by Walt Disney near the end of his lifetime.

Recorded on October 27, 1966, less than two months before his death, Walt Disney made a 25-minute film about his plans for the Florida Project, then dubbed “Disney World”.  In the film, Walt himself explains briefly how the Florida property will be utilized and how his EPCOT concept will work with the other aspects of Disney World.

Disney made this film primarily to persuade and encourage American industry and various corporations to opt in and help Walt Disney Productions in the creation and running of EPCOT. Disney also encouraged the

industrial companies to come up with their best ideas in technology, so that those ideas could be continuously demonstrated in the city.

With the help of concept art and animation, Disney showed what the city would look like and how it would work.  However, he reminded the viewing audience that the sketches and paintings are only a starting point in the conceptualization of EPCOT, stating: “Everything in this room will change time and time again as we move ahead.  But the basic philosophy of what we’re planning for Disney World is going to remain very much as it is right now”.

Stop: Walt’s Apartment

How cool was it to go into Walt’s personal apartment? So cool it came with instructions!

As Disneyland was constructed, Walt Disney wanted a place to stay and watch the activity.  So, he had a special apartment constructed on the second floor of the Main Street Firehouse.  Private, and hidden from the rest of Disneyland, it was the perfect place for Walt to do quiet work, or enjoy with his family.

We weren't the ONLY ones excited...

We weren’t the ONLY ones excited…

The apartment is very small, but was fully operational.  It had a small bathroom, with a shower (which is WAY ahead of it’s time), along with a small kitchenette.  The original decorator of the apartment was Emil Kuri, a set designer for many Disney films, and also the decorator of Main Street, U.S.A itself.  Walt’s wife Lillian was know to purchase antiques from the shop originally located on Main Street, U.S.A and many items still in the apartment have the original 1950’s Disneyland price tags still attached!

The apartment also features a patio.  Lillian Disney often used this patio for her afternoon tea, or to entertain guests.  The patio very private and is blocked from any observers from the street.  When you are standing in front of the Fire Station, look for the lattice  on the roof to your left.

THE photo of the tour!

THE photo of the tour!

The fire pole to nowhere ;)

The fire pole to nowhere 😉

Originally, the fire pole in the Fire Station below actually started in Walt’s apartment and his grandchildren loved sliding down into the park in the mornings before the guest’s arrived.  An enterprising guest managed to shimmy up the pole – only to find Walt, sitting in his apartment, reading the newspaper and drinking his morning coffee.  The pole was then cut-off and sealed to prevent guest access to the apartment.

On Disneyland’s Opening Day, the original Mouseketeers prepared for their entrance in the apartment.  Mousketeer, Sharon Baird remembers Walt watching the crowds enter the park from his apartment window:

“On the opening day of Disneyland, we (Mouseketters) were in Walt Disney’s private apartment above the Main Street Fire Station when the gates of the park opened for the first time. I was standing next to him at the window, watching the guests come pouring through the gates. When I looked up at him, he had his hands behind his back, a grin from ear to ear, I could see a lump in his throat and a tear streaming down his cheek. He had realized his dream. I was only twelve years old at the time, so it didn’t mean as much to me then. But as the years go by, that image of him becomes more and more endearing.”

IMG_5364Stop: Lunch (The Jolly Holiday Cafe)

Hey - that's ME!

Hey – that’s ME!

Too soon – really the 3-hour tour went by SO FAST, it was time for lunch and the end of the tour.

Prior to the start of the tour, during check-in, we had the opportunity to select our lunch entrees which included the choice of several sandwiches and salads, a beverage, and a dessert.  We we arrived, our lunch greater us – lovingly set up in grand Disney style with our name!  I was tempted to take my empty salad container home 😉

Along with a great lunch, we got a AWESOME commemorative pin highlighting several great Walt quotes.

We highly suggest this tour! It was jammed packed with lots of great Disneyland history and we learned so much about Walt and his park.

And did we tell you how ADORABLE our Tour Guide was?!?!

And did we tell you how ADORABLE our Tour Guide was?!?!

Have you experienced A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps?  Another Disneyland tour?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Perfect Goofy Gail & (soon to be Delightful Dopey) Kimberly