What Is Going On with Princess Half Marathon?

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You guys, I wasn’t even going to bring up Princess Half Marathon weekend.  Because I’m mourning not signing up.  The choice to be a Star Wars Princess and wield a lightsaber instead of a crown was not an easy one, but I want that Kessel Run medal!  With so many other races on my schedule, and our recent transition out of the military, I know I need to make some wise choices here!  But seriously, Princess Half Marathon and the Glass Slipper Challenge have not sold out yet!  I repeat, Princess Half Marathon weekend has NOT sold out!

Not only is this super tempting, because this race weekend is what got me out the door running, but it’s also super weird.  The past two years when I registered for Princess it sold out super quick.  So what is going on that Disney races aren’t selling out as fast?  (As a random fact you can still register for the Disneyland Half in September, Avengers weekend in November and a few events for Marathon weekend and Light Side weekend in January.)

So why isn’t next year’s Princess Half Marathon selling out as fast as it did in past years?  Are people really that upset that it’s not a Snow White theme as they expected?  I don’t think so, although I guess there could be some people who are die hard Snow fans who would have registered had the theme been different.  Instead I think the issue is two fold.  First, I think it’s price.  I love Disney.  Adore Disney.  Am probably a little obsessed with Disney.  However, Disney races are expensive.  The challenge costs $320 before taxes and Active fees which is a pretty hefty sum to fork over.  The half marathon itself is $185 before taxes and fees.  Add in your Disney resort stay, park tickets, food or the dining plan and possibly airfare and you’re looking at a pretty expensive race weekend!

I’ve also seen a lot of comments of those focusing on local races or other destination races so they can check off the bucket list and save money.  Additionally others are saving up for anniversary years of races at Disney, where they normally offer special bling.

What do you think?  Did you sign up for Princess Half Marathon this past Tuesday?  Are you flirting with the idea?  Why do you think runners might be skipping Disney races?

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Thrifty Thursday – Ibotta Ap

As often as possible I like to share ways in which my family saves for Disney.  We have a modest income and utilize as many means as possible to make Disney vacations possible for our family.  This year in particular we are doing quite a few race trips so saving our pennies is important!

 

One tool that I use regularly is Ibotta*.   I’m a huge fan of the Ibotta ap because you receive cash back via PayPal for purchases you’ve made at the grocery store, as well as other clothing and electronics stores and online shopping.

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Ibotta is easy to use.  I simply browse the available rebates prior to a trip to the grocery store and unlock the ones I’m interested in.  Then when I get home from shopping I redeem the rebates by scanning the bar code and a submitting a picture of my receipt.   Bonus points to Ibotta for making the process as easy as possible.  At Wal Mart all I have to do is scan the QR code and the rebates are automatically identified and the receipt submitted.

Before Princess I cashed out about $100 to my PayPal to use on my trip.  Since then I have earned an additional $26!   You guys, this is FREE money!  You earn it buying things you would normally buy.  All you have to do is two simple scan to earn it on items you buy.  I can’t wait to see how much I can save up prior to Wine & Dine.  What would you use the free money you earn on Ibotta for?  What are you waiting for?  Sign up for Ibotta today!

*This post contains a referral link.  When you use my referral link to sign up for Ibotta you’ll get a $10 credit after you redeem your first rebate!  And Ibotta will give me $5 as a thank you for referring you.  Win-win situation!

Disney Cruise Line Offers Military Discount for Spring Sailings

disney cruise ship at castaway cay

Disney Cruise Line has released some AMAZING military discounts for upcoming sailings this spring.  You won’t want to miss out on these stellar deals on a Disney cruise.  These deals are perfect for pre or post deployment getaways, a celebratory cruise or a last minute vacation!

Disney Dream

4-Night Bahamian Cruise May 2, 2016 Category 11A $165.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes

Disney Fantasy

  • 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise May 21, 2016 Category11B $194.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes
  • 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
    • May 14, 2016 Category 11C $165.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes
    • May 28, 2016 Category 11C $209.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes
    • June 11, 2016 Category 11A $235.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes
  • 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise April 16, 2016 Category 7A $210.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes

Disney Magic

  • 14-Night Transatlantic Cruise May 15, 2016 Category 10C $90.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes
  • 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise April 3, 2016 Category 11A $162.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes
  • 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise April 24, 2016 Category 10A $135.00 per night per person plus port fees and government taxes

Are ou ready to enjoy all that Disney Cruise Line has to offer, including their private island Castaway Cay?  Don’t wait to contact me for a no-obligation quote!  These rates are limited and valid for booking for a limited time.  Don’t miss out on creating amazing memories to last a lifetime!

Oops, I Did It Again…A Wine & Dine Half Marathon Story

So a little while ago I wrote a little blog about the changes to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend.  In that post I sadly admitted I was going to be an adult and make the tough decision not to register for Wine & Dine.  It was a very sad realization in the face of a lot of changes our family will be going through as we end our military life.


On a packet pickup run turned date night my husband and I were talking about races and I mentioned how sad I was not to be able to do the Wine & Dine weekend with the Cupcakes.  (The Cupcakes are my online running group that was formed leading up to Princess Half Marathon 2015….we are fueld by cupcakes, cocktails & pixie dust!)   I said, I would love to run with them as it should be a big group effort again for Wine & Dine, plus I was really tempted by the innaugural challenge and being legacy for something if possible.  And my husband, the sweet, wonderful man that he is, looked at me and said, then register.  We’ll figure it out.

The Cupcakes


Once I picked my jaw up off the floor I asked if he was serious.  Then I asked again a few days before AP registration.  Then I wrote AP registration on the calendar hanging in the kitchen for all to see.  And still that sweet husband of mine didn’t say no or advise me otherwise.  Instead he wished me good luck.

I was a nervous wreck yesterday all morning.  The closer it got to registration time, the more the butterflies took up residence in my stomach!  I had some issues with the AP site and was able to get through on an incognito window of Google Chrome so I just refreshed the daylights out of the AP page on the runDisney site. About 10 minutes till noon the links on the page for each race turned blue.  And that is when I went in the zone watching the clock and refreshing at the same time.  Right around noon I clicked and the active page loaded.  (Before noon when you clicked the links the Active page was not active.)  And by 12:03 I had my confirmation email for Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge in my email!


Holy Pajamas!  (Sorry I just watched Shag, the movie, at girls night Monday!)  I was registered, not only for another challenge (which I wasn’t sure I wanted to do after Glass Slipper) but also for Wine & Dine weekend!  Now my BRF Jan just needs to register next week and we’ll be good to go! So, I guess you could say I followed my heart the opposite way of adult responsibilies.  For now I’m riding on the high of race registration success and I’ll deal with the adult responsibilities later!  Who else is planning on registering for Wine & Dine weekend,  or was lucky enough to register yesterday?

Character Pop Up Meet n Greet at Epcot

After the 5K Jan and I headed to Epcot, where much to our surprise as we headed into World Showcase we stumbled upon a pop up character meet n greet.  I’ve heard of these happening, but have never been lucky enough to stumble upon one myself!  Most often these meet n greets are used to train cast members, and they often take place prior to race weekends or when a college program starts up.

As soon as I saw the gate between Canada and the UK open I ran over to see who we could meet!  The characters in attendance at this meet n greet were:

  • Mickey
  • Donald
  • Pinnochio
  • Baloo

  

  • Stitch

  

  • Penguin from Mary Poppins

  

  • Launchpad

  

  • Rafiki

  
This was a super fun way to kick off our day in Epcot.  We arrived between 11-11:30 so World Showcase was pretty empty.  We had been headed to lunch at Tangeriene Cafe, and almost took the boat but it wasn’t running yet.  Thank God for that since we got to experience this fun character pop up!

After we met the characters we wanted to we headed to lunch at Tangeriene Cafe in Morocco as planned.  (A few of them we chose not to meet and the meet n greet was over fairly early so we didn’t get the chance to meet everyone.)  Tangeriene Cafe is seriously my favorite quick service restaurant!  I try to eat there every trip!  The lamb is phenomenal!  

After lunch we wandered World Showcase.  I got a grapefruit beer in Germany which is always so refreshing!  

Jan and I split an Anna’s birthday cupcake in Norway and found a fun photo opportunity (there was a PhotoPass photographer) with the Anna & Elsa topiaries.   If you’re going for the Flower and Garden festival this is a great photo spot, especially if you have a little princess in tow!

 

We then met up with my friend Erin, grabbed some Starbucks and relaxed for a bit and put our feet up.  Then we headed to the character spot at Epcot to see Mickey and friends.  We followed this up with a ride on Test Track and Spaceship Earth before heading to dinner at O’hana.

 
This was a fun day, but we may have overdone it on the walking!  Either way we were in bed early after taking a cab back to Riverside from the Polynesian.  (We opted for a cab after walking from the Ticket & Transportation center to O’hana due to a down monorail.  We just didn’t want to mess with the monorail or waiting for a bus back to Riverside at Magic Kingdom.)  Time to rest up for the 10K!

Princess 5K Race Recap


After a busy day, and too much money spent, at the expo on Thursday we were excited for the first race of three for our Princess Half Marathon weekend, the Princess 5K!

We were up at 3:30am on Friday for the Princess 5K as we had to be on a bus by 4:45am!  Those early wake-up calls are never easy, and they were only going to get worse as the week went on.  We quickly got dressed in our race outfits.  These were our “backup plan” outfits, as we had originally hoped our custom Ariel Sparkle Skirts would be done in time, but no luck!  (As a matter of fact, we’re still waiting on them!)  Instead we wore our Jeff Galloway sparkle skirts and a shirt I made to match.

Before we even arrived for the Princess weekend we had decided that we would take the 5K easy.  Stop for lots of pictures.  Enjoy every minute.  We knew we had to save our legs a bit so we would mostly be walking the 5K.


The morning was cold and we were rocking the trash bags to stay warm as we waited for the race to start.  (I always pack a few in my suitcase for race weekends just in case!)  Thanks to our Sparkle Skirts when we arived at the starting area we went through the no bag check line quickly and made our way back towards the pre-race party.  We ended up getting in line for a photo with Sebastian.  (We missed that Ariel and Eric were a photo op too unfortunately, but Sebastian was fun!)  Some friends met up with us when they arrived and joined us in line.  We went straight to our corrals after our picture with Sebastian.


We were set to start in C and decided we would do a few intervals to get out of the way of people and the crowds of the corral and then we would take our time.  The first mile backstage went by pretty quicly.  We stopped for a shot or two of Epcot, pictures with Chip and Dale, Daisy and Donald and Genie in his vacation outfit all during mile 2/World Showcase.  We felt like we were moseying.  It was nice and relaxed!


The monorail was stopped on the tracks which made for a fun photo op for Jan and I and then we stopped for a photo with the Festival of Fantasy characters from the Mermaid section of the parade by Finding Nemo.


 Next thing you know we were heading to mile 3 and the finish!   We got our ADORABLE medals, and some handy mylar blankets to warm up, which would be very useful the next morning too!  (Tip: always save the blanket you get at the end of one race for the next days race.)   The Princess 5K was so fun!  It was nice to stop for tons of pictures with the characters and not be worried about our time.  I’d say I’m glad we took it easy, but with a day in the parks following the 5K I’m not sure it really helped!  The most important thing though is that the race was fun and we were ready for the next one!

 

Save Up to 30% at Select Walt Disney World Resorts This Summer

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Disney is at it again and has released a new discount for select stays at Walt Disney World Resort June 12-August 25, 2016 when you book by June 10th.   This is a great opportunity to save on your summer vacation!

When you book with this special offer and add a minimum 2 day ticket to your package you can receive an exclusive BB-8 “Awaken Summer” MagicBand!  How super cute is this band?

bb8 magic band

As usual, rooms for this discount are limited.  Don’t delay,  discover a summer like no other at Disney World!  Contact me for more information or quick, no obligation quote!