Princess Half Marathon Weekend

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Packing Checklist for runDisney!



Whew!  All the hard stuff is out of the way, you've trained and are ready to race!  Now you need to think about packing for Disney!  Packing for a runDisney race is completely different than any other race or trip.  Disney does a phenomenal job at organization and preparation; but you still need to be ready for anything unexpected.   Finding what you forgot at the last minute will be difficult, so it is best to have everything thing with you.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Beyond The Run: Exploring Paris

If you are going to Disneyland Paris for the Half Marathon I know you will want to tour Paris!  I spent a lot of time thinking about the best approach for my family, and I’d like to share my Tips so that you can plan for yours!

Where to stay?
The big question for us was do we stay at a Hotel or an AirBNB ?  AirBNBs offer very affordable options compared to the Hotels.  Hotels were running $400 to $600 a night.  However, we decided to stay in a Hotel.  The big issue last year was the terror attacks in Paris.  For safety issues, we decided that if there was another attack, an American based hotel would be best.

Now that we knew what type of lodging we did want, we had to decide where.   I wanted to be within walking distance to an attraction and the subway.   I finally decided on the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel a Marriott Hotel.

Absolutely Perfect Choice!  Just steps from the Arc de Triomphe and a major Subway Station!
And walking distance to the The Champs-Elysées shopping area where you can find French Mickey and Minnie in the Disney Store!

Tip:  Disneyland Park does not have any Disney Characters in French Dress


What to do?
The best way to see the attractions is to buy the Paris Pass.  The Paris Pass includes the Museum Pass (Historic Monuments and Museums), the Attractions Pass (Tours and Attractions) and the TravelCard (Subway).  You purchase it by the number of days you will want to use the Subway, and you can purchase it ahead of time.  I highly recommend purchasing it before you leave because you don’t want to have to find your way to a Paris Pass sales office when you get there.  We saw the Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, and a Boat Tour of the River Seine using the Paris Pass.  Well worth the money of $148 per person.

How to Arrange Transfers?
I wanted everything taken care of before I left – and that included transfers from the Train Station to our Hotel and from the Hotel to Disneyland Paris.  So I used a company called Viator.  You can arrange and pay for in advance any transportation that you need while in Paris.  This worked out great for us!

What about Security?
Security was obvious everywhere.  From a Military presence with machine guns throughout the city to Police staged in the subway, it was obvious that Paris was on heightened alert.  Our bags were searched at the train station as well as the Disneyland Resort.  We felt safe though– as safe as we do in New Orleans!  We know that we have to be careful there – and that was how it felt in Paris.

Tip: The area around the Eifel Tower attracted a lot hustlers and beggars - so you had to be careful of your belongings.  And at night - watch out for Rats! Adorable in a Remy sort of way - but Rats none the less!   
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It was an absolute dream to be there, we had a magical time and I want to go back!



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And Listen In on how much I enjoyed Exploring Paris!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Merging Family and runDisney

You are all pumped and psyched for the Race Weekend, but what about your family?  Of course there is the parks, but what else can your family do?  How can they get involved with runDisney?


Well, first of all, if your children are 5 and older, I would highly encourage you to all do the Family 5K together!  It’s a very family friendly race and walking friendly.  It is a great way to get them excited about running and about the races you are going to do over the weekend.   You can do this at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  The 5Ks tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to register your family at the same time you register yourself!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pacing, Corrals and the Balloon Ladies


Pacing is a very popular topic and a controversial topic for runDisney races.  It’s not just a run for the distance, we run the races for the Characters, The Medals, and The Castle.    We want all of those pictures in our memories.  However, many people have been disappointed at being swept from the course and not obtaining everything they dreamed a runDisney race could be.   It is very devastating to spend that much money and effort and not achieve your dream.  So, I’m am here to help you understand the whole process better, to help you be able to finish, and to have fun!

I always like to start with the basics:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

027 What to Expect at Disneyland Paris


We spent the beginning of our adventure last year for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon in London.  It was overcast the whole week.  As we took the train to Paris, and emerged from the Chunnel, we saw beautiful sunshine!   We were so glad to see the sun!  Things were going to be great for the race!

What we experienced was magical at Disneyland Paris, and here is a summary of the Half Marathon!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Post runDisney Race Massages !

One of the best things you can do for yourself is a post race massage!  I have done it for myself several times and have scheduled it for friends!  And the facilities at Disney are awesome and some that you should really take advantage of after a runDisney half marathon or marathon!

First, What are the Benefits of Massage – Why should you get it?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

runDisney, Carb Loading and Il Mulino Restaurant!


Carbohydrate loading, or Carb Loading, is a strategy used by athletes to store glycogen or energy in the muscles and liver for an endurance event.  Experts warn against using it for a 5K or 10K, because the stored energy will just become fat.  You need an event longer than 90 minutes, such as a half or full marathon, for best performance!

Many of the popular Italian Restaurants in Disney are booked up for Carb Loading during runDisney weekends.  But, I have an easy suggestion that you may not have tried!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Beyond the Run: Drinking Around The World

A favorite reward for many runners is a nice cold beer after the race!  And what better place to do that - than in Epcot!



I really loved when they had the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at night and you could spend until 3am in Epcot!  But, you know - you can do this for any race weekend!

I have some tips I’d like to share with you, and then go over what you can find in each country!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Very Merry Christmas Party 2016

A Very Special Treat during November and December is the Special Event Party - Very Merry Christmas Party!




Take a look at the Party 2016



Would you love to go?
Get your Tickets Now!
sylvia@travelwiththemagic.com

Friday, May 26, 2017

FAQ on runDisney Corrals


Corrals are a big topic for any race – especially for a runDisney race.  It’s really hard to find information on corrals online, and the first time you are faced with corral assignment it can be overwhelming.   With over 50% of the participants, for a big race such as Princess, being new to runDisney, it’s an important topic to cover!
Here is my list of Frequently Asked Questions to help!

Q. What is a corral?
A corral is a group of runners that are classified by their estimated finish time.  For runDisney, the corrals are divided by letters:  A, B, C, etc. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Must See Attractions at Disneyland Paris!


I felt like Aurora!  Disneyland Paris was a beautiful Dream!   

Tucked just outside the city, Disneyland Paris has two theme parks just waiting to whisk you away into the Magical World of Disney!  Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios bring the best of Disney’s American parks to Europe with a Parisian Twist!  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

How to Volunteer for runDisney races!

 

Volunteering is the one of the best things anyone can do!  You have the opportunity to give back – especially to those who have helped you along the way.  And that is what volunteering for runDisney does for me… it helps me give back to all of those volunteers who have helped on the many courses of Disney over the last 10 years! 

This past Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend, I volunteered for Noah’s Light Foundation to help during the Kids Races.  It was so much fun and was rewarding beyond words!  I’ve volunteered and run in support of different Childhood Diseases, and was honored that Noah’s Light was apart of the Dark Side Weekend.  For each race, runDisney, has a featured charity, such as Noah’s Light.  They each have a story that needs to be told and cause that desperately needs money and attention.  Noah’s Light Foundation was created to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer by supporting research in pediatric oncology, raising awareness and supporting families who are struggling with childhood cancer.  And I was honored to be a part of it!

So, How Did I Get Involved?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Princess Half Registration Tips



Updated May 2017
Registration for the 10th Anniversary of the Princess Half is just around the corner!! Tuesday, May 2nd, 12 Noon ET - to be exact!

You know this race will sell out!

Registering for a runDisney race seems simple right?  Well it can be, but it can also be stressful when the race sells out in minutes!  And the servers crash!  And you didn't get in!  

So, over the years I have learned my lessons the hard way, and I have some tips to share with you to help make registering easier!

1. Know What You Will Be Registering For:  Don't wait till you log in to think about what you are going to register for, know before you go!
  • Will you be doing the Family 5K and Kids Races?  
  • Do you need the Chear Squad for your family?
  • Will you be doing the 10K or half or both?  
  • Did you want commemorative merchandise?
  • Did you want the Pasta Party?
Make a list and be ready!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Dark Side Half Marathon Course Description

A Detailed Look at What the Force has in Store for You!



April 2017:

You will not be complete in your Challenge to tame the Dark Side until you have completed the Half Marathon!  This was a very exciting and demanding race for me last year, and I know it will meet your expectations this year!

Here are the details:

This year's Half Marathon will have you traveling through 3 Parks:  Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and ending at Epcot.  We went through Epcot early in the course last year, and it will be your last stop this year.

You will be starting in the Magic Kingdom Mulan parking lot.  The buses will drop you off near the staging area, or Welcome Plaza, where you can leave your check-in bag and head over to the porta potties.  From there, you will be guided into your corrals:  this will be about a 20 minute walk, so be sure and include this is your planning.   It will be early and possibly chilly, so plan for layering!

Dark Side of the Course!

A Look at the Dark Side 10K and Half Marathon Courses




April 2017:

Ah! You can not resist the Dark Side of the Force as it rules the 10K and half Marathon Courses this year!  Both races should be awesome, and I can't wait to see the Characters along the way!

I love looking at the race courses!  The Geek in me studies the courses and everything in between!  

So let's get started!

This year's 10K is packed with excitement as you begin on World Drive and head toward Hollywood Studios!  You will run down Hollywood Boulevard, past Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and into Epcot where your journey in the Force will be complete!

Begin Your Journey to the Dark Side... at the Magic Kingdom Parking Lot!

You will be starting in the Magic Kingdom Mulan parking lot.  The buses will drop you off in the Cruella Parking Lot and it's just a short walk over to the Ursula Lot to the staging area and security check.  This Welcome Plaza is where you can leave your check-in bag and head over to the porta potties.  From there, you will be guided into your corrals.   And you will be off!  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Episode 018 - Beyond runDsney: Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter


You know, coming to a runDisney race, doesn’t mean you have to do everything at Disney!  I love exploring around Orlando and Los Angeles areas – even if it is just for a day.  One of my favorite things to do is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day!  And I will tell you how to do that today!

I absolutely love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  It is a totally immersing experience, and I love to go as much as possible – even if it is just for a day.  And I encourage runDisney participants to get out of the Wonderful World of Disney and Explore Hogwarts and Diagon Alley!

Now – How do you do it?

1st of all you will need a Park to Park ticket because you can not ride the Hogwarts Express without it!  You will be exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both Universal Studios and Island of Adventure while using the Hogwarts Express for transportation!

2nd, you need a plan so that you can get all of the important things in within your time frame.  I will go over the basic plan today, and then you can download my ebook and guides that goes into more details!

3rd, arrive early – this is not a day to sleep in!  And I suggest to do this after the race, especially if you are doing the half marathon or marathon – you don’t want to go into those races tired and dehydrated from a hot day in Orlando…

The Plan -
I have a See-It-All-In-One-Day Plan.
The purpose of the See-It-All-In-One-Day Plan is to give families an opportunity to experience nearly everything in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ in one day. This plan will ensure that, when you leave, your family had a complete Harry Potter™ adventure!”

Start in DiagonAlley, Universal Studios.

Escape from Gringotts is your first stop.  This ride tends to have very long wait times and there are currently no Express Pass options!  So you need to be in line early!  From here you will head to Ollivanders.  Even though there is an Ollivanders in Hogsmeade, Diagonalley is the where all the students go to get there wands, so I want to be traditional and do it here, also.
You will have plenty of time to wind your way through DiagonAlley.
I suggest a late breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron and end the day in the early afternoon at the train station to Hogsmeade.

The town of Hogsmeade, in Islands of Adventure,  has the most rides and you will want to be there early afternoon to catch them all.  I would plan on dinner at The Three Broomsticks, and plan for the rest of the day here with the ride back to Diagonalley around 7pm.  You will want to stay until the parks close which is around 9pm.

The Best Way to do this adventure is

1-Day Park to Park Ticket with Roundtrip Transfers [Quick Transportation]
This ticket provides roundtrip transfers from Walt Disney World® Hotels and Walt Disney World® Area Hotels to BOTH Universal's Islands of Adventure® and Universal Studios Florida®.
* This special offer is only available for advance purchase through your travel agent.

Very easy and hassel free!

Universal did an amazing job recreating the worlds of Harry Potter™. From the architecture of the buildings, to the artwork of the store signs, and to the walls and ceilings of each store, no detail was left out. There are hidden gems everywhere, and be prepared for surprises! And every time I go, I find something new and enjoy something old.  That’s why this is one of my favorite Beyond the Kessel Run spots!

Now if you want to know more details, download my book from Amazon, 
The Ultimate Fan Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

On my blog on the FanGirl Page, there are free downloadable there to get you started.
If you have any questions, please let me know – kesselrunner77@gmail.com
I will be sure and get right back to you!

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Join me each week as we explore the runDisney Galaxy! 

You can find my Podcast on these great stations: Podbean, iTunes, Tunein and Stitcher! 

Enjoy these blogs exploring each Broadcast !

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Special Edition of BTKR - A Look at the Upcoming Virtual Running Shorts!

I LOVE Pluto!  You know Pluto made his debut for Walt Disney in 1930 in the Cartoon The Chain Gang; but I am so excited about his debut this Month in the Virtual Running Short Series!
Pluto will be the honorary host this year, and he is inviting not only you but all of your canine friends!!


This Special Edition of the Beyond the Kessel Run Podcast is dedicated to runDisney's Virtual Races this summer.  I know a lot of you may have never participated in a virtual race before – so let’s cover what that is first!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Episode 015 How to Layer for the runDisney Corrals


It’s 3am and the alarm goes off!  I have to be on the bus by 4:00am.  For me… that means not only getting dressed but that I also need to eat and drink coffee!   So I am in a rush to get it all done.  I run out to the bus line just in time for 4am!  And 4am is chilly!  For some races, almost freezing for this warm blooded Southern girl.   Even though when I run I get very hot and sweaty, the seemingly endless walk to the corrals and the hour or more standing in the fog can chill me to the bone.   The one thing that saves me is layering!  And you can do it in really creative ways!

The important thing about layering is to focus on target areas:  hands, head, arms and chest.    If you are just dealing with morning coolness, your approach will be light.  If race day is going to be cold – and I have run on the coldest day ever in Disney World – then your approach will require more layers.  You must remember that you need to be able to get rid of the layer if it’s making you hot – whether that means tying it around your waste or tossing it aside.

I like to put layering in categories…

1.     Disposable
Dump in the garbage can at the water stops

Garbage Bags
-Easy to Find
-Cut arm holes if you need to run with them for a while
-Great Wind Breaker
-Great Rain Coat
- Lawn and Leaf Bags are the best

Mylar Blankets
-inexpensive
-sporting goods stores or online
-** Beware: Can’t cross the starting line because they interfere with the timers and your chip

Disposable Running Clothes
-high-tech fabric that provides a durable and ultra-light outer layer of protection.
-Water-Resistant, Wind-Proof and Warm
-Average $10 for each top and bottom
-tear away easy
-plan ahead
-have seen at Expo but wouldn’t count on it

2.     Donate-able
Real Clothes that you toss aside: Disney will gather and donate to charity

-Thrift Store finds/Closet finds
-Sweatshirt
-Sweatpants
-Long Sleeve Shirts
-Oversized
-Socks/Gloves

3.     Costume-able
Build your costume with layers

-armsleeves
-tights
-knee socks
-gloves / hard warmers
-thin undershirts


However you decide to layer, plan ahead, pack for it, and be ready so that you won’t be panicking last minute!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Episode 014 Is Running for a runDisney Charity Right for Me?



The runDiney race you are looking for is Sold Out!
  •  Half Marathon - SOLD OUT
  •  Challenge - SOLD OUT
  • 10K - SOLD OUT
  •  5K - SOLD OUT
What do you do?  If you didn't get in, there is Hope!  Sign up for a charity and make your run count!

I have had the privilege to run for runDisney charities 3 times! I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for the A-T Children's Project two different years, and Run for Our Sons for the Inaugural Star Wars Light Side Weekend.  These opportunities were very rewarding experiences because I had the chance to be involved in a community that makes a difference, to meet the families I was running for, and to participate in a much deeper way than just running for myself.  In a lot of ways running can be very focused on yourself and your personal records, and your time, and your pace – and this gave me an opportunity to put my mind on something else. 

I know you have a lot of questions – I hope to cover them all here so that you can determine if it is the best thing for you to do, too!