We’re back!! What an exciting, memory filled, thrilling trip we had - I cannot wait to share it with each of you!
Just one short week ago today (I cannot believe it’s already been a week!), my husband and I began our journey to Walt Disney World. We woke up at 3 a.m. to begin our drive to the airport.
Along the way, I followed the twitter newsfeed of the #WDWMarathonMeetup and couldn’t help but become even more excited for the weekend festivities ahead! Joey Fatone even made an appearance at the meet up and I loved seeing everyone’s pictures!
Our flight was smooth and before I knew it, we landed in Orlando!
Per twitter (gotta love it), I discovered that Megan arrived in Orlando at the same time, so we waited around at the Magical Express area for a few minutes to say hi! She also followed the #WDWMarathonMeetup twitter feed all morning which led to a little meetup of our own!! :0)
A bus was waiting as soon as we checked into Magical Express! There were not as many people around as I expected, either! Even better!
That magical sign! We’re finally here!
On the way to our resort, Heather text me and warned me about the crowd at the Expo. She told me to get there ASAP!
After dropping our bags off in our room, we hopped a bus to ESPN. Heather wasn’t kidding….people were EVERYWHERE. Note to self: NEVER travel to Disney the day before the race ever again.
Soon to be mine!
Finding the location for Goofy bib pickup was easy! When I registered (way back when), I remembered registering for a necklace but on the book, it was marked as if I only purchased the Goofy’s Challenge pin. At the runner relations desk, a nice volunteer looked up my account and discovered that I DID purchase a necklace! (I knew I didn’t make it up!) That nice volunteer also checked my proof of time and moved me up to Corral B (instead of Corral E)!
Head advisory warnings were EVERYWHERE! It was definitely a hot weekend! I felt for those who were used to running in cooler climates!
As we left the Field house and moved to the Josten’s Center, we were greeted with THIS line!
Holy smokes! Note to self again: NEVER travel to Disney the day before a race!
This line and the crowd made me even more grateful that I was able to move my flight time up a few hours!
Wow. People everywhere!
With my Goofy bib!
After picking up all of the necessary items I needed to run the races, I made a bee-line for the fun stuff…Disney Merchandise!
…or so I thought! By the time we arrived, THIS is what was left of Goofy Challenge Merchandise! Needless to say, I was SO disappointed. We dug around and were able to find a few things – I purchased a tumbler cup (they were out of coffee mugs), a 20th Anniversary Marathon shirt, a men’s 39.3 I did it long sleeved shirt, and even though I don’t collect Vinylmation, I purchased one of those as well! Those who ran the Half had a lot to choose from – SO much Donald merchandise!
After leaving the Disney merchandise area, we walked around a few minutes more. The crowd of people made it incredibly hard to move around so we didn’t stay long.
I did stick around long enough to browse through a few of the exhibitors booths – and I purchased a Love 39.3 shirt from the amazing people of Raw Threads! (I also sent them lots of love on Twitter because they are AWESOME!) I ordered online about a week before the Marathon and they had my package waiting for me at their booth (no shipping costs, either)!! Now that’s customer service!!
Our original plan was to arrive at Wide World of Sports, eat lunch at the ESPN All-Star Café, then mosey on over to the Expo floor. When we arrived and saw the massive amount of people, we changed our plans and went straight to the Expo instead! My lunch? An Expo yogurt and a few Clif shot blocks!
Thanks, Clif!! You rock!
Somewhere in the middle of everything, we also walked over to the Lasting Commemoratives Booth so I could purchase a Goofy’s Challenge finishers Medal Display. (I just HAD to have one to match my 2011 Disney World Marathon display, right? Right.)
I also stopped long enough to wave at my friend Mr. Chris over at the Team 4:13 booth!
Eeeeek! It’s almost time!
Bye bye Expo!
As soon as we finished in the Expo floor, our friends Heather and Bobby were there to pick us up! We had dinner plans at Trails End and were looking forward to seeing them AND eating at a brand new place!
Trails End was SO yummy, Heather and Bobby made plans to eat there again in the same trip! We will definitely add this restaurant to our list of “must do’s” for next time! I was in love with their sweet tea!! Amazing.
After saying goodbye to our friends, we settled into our room at Wilderness Lodge for the night. The pre-race jitters began as I laid out all of my clothes/items for both races.
Hoping I didn’t forget anything!
At the sound of fireworks, I cued the Wishes music on my phone, then relaxed to enjoy the sight.
By 9:30 p.m., I was in bed ready to sleep! Disney had yet another surprise in store, the Electric Water Pageant! How could I forget?
I wasn’t able to take any really good pictures of the pageant, but it was neat to see through the trees!
My alarm was set for 2:45 a.m. and as I crawled back in bed, I dreamed sweet Disney race dreams and had a very restful, peaceful night.
Up next: The 2013 Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Part 1 of Goofy’s Challenge.