Tag Archives: Disney World Vacation

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?

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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!

Stay, Play and Dine Discount Announced for Early 2015 at Disney World!

first time he meets his fav character

You’ve been asking, and waiting, and it’s finally arrived!  The first Disney discount offer of 2015 is Stay, Play and Dine!

The Stay, Play and Dine offer is valid for travel December 14-20, 2014 and January 5-March 7, 2015.  A minimum stay of 3 nights and 2-day tickets is required to take advantage of this fabulous offer!

Booking Windows are as follows:

  • Visa Cardholders: October 6-December 29, 2014
  • General Public: October 9-December 29, 2014

This offer excludes Art of Animation Little Mermaid Rooms, Grand Floridian Villas, Bay Lake Tower, Poly Villas, Campsites and 3 bedroom Villas.

If you prefer to skip the bundle discount Disney is also offering a Room-Only discount as well.  Save up to 30% on rooms most nights during stays January 5-March 28,2015.   Discounts are limited and rates vary

  • All Star Sports, All Star Music, Pop Century and  Art Of Animation Family Suites 15% off on weekends, 20% off on weekdays
  • All Star Movies 10% off on weekends, 15% off on weekdays
  • Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, POR-Riverside, Wilderness Cabins 20% off on weekends, 25% off on weekdays
  • Port Orleans French Quarter 10% off on weekends, 15% off on weekdays
  • Coronado Springs Suites 10% off all nights
  • Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Polynesian, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge {standard and pool view only at AKL}  30% off all nights
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level and Savanna View 20% off all nights
  • Deluxe Suites at all Deluxe Resorts 10% off
Villa Resorts:
  • Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Beach Club, Boardwalk Villas, Wilderness Lodge Villas 30% off all nights
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo and Kidani 20% off

This offer excludes Art of Animation Little Mermaid Rooms, Grand Floridian Villas, Bay Lake Tower, Poly Villas, Campsites and 3 bedroom Villas.

Are you ready to save while you Stay, Play and Dine at Walt Disney World?  Contact me at gretchen@destinationsinflorida.com or through my contact form for more information and a quick quote!

Free Dining Released for Disney Visa Cardholders!

free dining Have you been waiting for free dining at Disney World?  Wait no more, free dining is here!  As usual, Disney has made free dining available to their Disney Visa cardholders first and the offer will be released to the general public on May 7.    I have all the info for you and am on hold this morning to secure great deals for guests! Free Dining Dates are:

  • August 31 – October 3
  • October 26 – November 1
  • November 9 – November 20
  • December 12 – December 23

You have a great selection of resorts that are included in the free dining promotion.

Disney Value Resorts ~ Quick Service Dining Plan Included

This can be upgraded to regular plan for $18.65 per person per day ($3.20 for children). All-Star Music Resort
All-Star Movies
All-Star Sports Resort
Pop Century Resort
Moderate Resorts ~ Regular Dining Plan Included
Caribbean Beach Resort
Coronado Springs Resort
Deluxe Resorts ~ Regular Dining Plan Included
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
BoardWalk Inn
Contemporary Resort
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Polynesian Resort
Wilderness Lodge
Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts ~ Regular Dining Plan Included
Bay Lake Tower
Animal Kingdom Villas
Beach Club Villas
BoardWalk Villas
Old Key West Resort
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Fort Wilderness Cabins
Some resorts are excluded, such as Art of Animation, Port Orleans French Quarter & Riverside, Campsites at Ft. Wilderness, and 3-bedroom villas, and Villas at The Grand Floridian. *A 3 night minimum stay (14 night maximum) and two day minimum park ticket is required for each person in the party. Ready to book your magical vacation for this fall and winter?  Contact me at gretchen@destinationsinflorida.com or 818-519-0777 for a quick quote to make your vacation dreams a reality!

Disney World Marathon Registration Opens with Great Room Discounts!

Howdy runners and aspiring runners!  Today is the day that early registration opens up for the Disney World Marathon weekend!  Get ready to rumble at noon EST today!  Regular registration opens at noon EST on April 22nd!  Are you planning on registering for a race weekend event?  Or are you just looking for a great deal?  Look no further!  Destinations in Florida has great rates for race weekend to create the most magical racecation you can imagine!  Contact me at gretchen@destinationsinflorida.com or 818-519-0777 for more information and a quick, no-obligation quote!

marathonrooms