RunDisney Registration Options: What To Do If The Race Sells Out

IMG_0605We are so excited to announce that all of the Runs in Tutus team successfully registered for the inaugural Lumiere Two Course Challenge event in Walt Disney World! RunDisney events sell out very quickly (like in minutes), so we never know how things will go on general registration day. Today’s registration was no exception. The Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and challenge events all sold out in a matter of a couple of hours. We saw several comments on social media from folks who were not able to get into the races due to the high demand for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend.

If you didn’t get into the races today, don’t despair! There are other ways to get a chance to earn that wine and bling. Travel agents and charity partners are both ways to score a race bib even after general registration sells out. Here are some details and pros and cons of each of the options.

Travel Agents

Details: RunDisney provides a select group of travel providers with bibs for all of the race weekends. The official list of approved travel providers can be found on the runDisney website under the registration tab for each race. The list can vary from race to race, so be sure to double check the official runDisney provider list before getting going with a travel agent. We ended up using a travel agent for Wine and Dine Half last year and the Glass Slipper Challenge earlier this year. It was overall a seamless process. We used Jim Stone at Acclaim travel, but we know that there are also many other great travel agents available to help you with your runDisnFullSizeRenderey race weekend.

Pros: RunDisney travel agents sell race packages that are predetermined by Disney. The travel packages offer complete coordination of your race weekend. The travel agents are able to help with park tickets, room reservations, race registration, and in some cases a meal plan. This can make for a stress free planning process for those runners who plan on spending some of the race weekend in the parks and staying on property. While there are typically travel agents with additional race bibs after registration day, the biggest perk of using a travel agent is that they typically get bibs in advance of the general registration. This means you can register in advance and not have to worry about the stress of hitting the refresh button over and over again at noon. We did early registration with a travel agent for Glass Slipper Challenge and it was real magical.

Cons: If you use a travel agent you have to buy the whole package. This typically means if you want a race bib you also have to buy a couple night’s stay in an on property hotel and a multi-day park hopper for everyone on your reservation. If you already have an annual season pass or don’t have time to stay for multiple days in the park, then it might be inconvenient to be locked into a package deal. The packages have varied thus far from race to race so for full details it’s best to talk with a travel agent directly.

Charity Partners

RunDisney also partners with a select group of charities. This allows runners to enjoy a great race weekend and raise funding and awareness for a cause. Here are some pros and cons and details about charity partners.

Details: Select charities receive race bibs for each of the runDisney events. The list of approved charities can be found on the runDisney webpage on the registration tab for each event. The list of approved charities varies from race to race so be sure to look specifically at the list of approved charities for the race that interests you.

Pros: As with the travel agent, you can choose to register early with some charities which helps avoid the stress of open registration. Some charities offer extra perks like training groups, guidance, and a community of teammates to help make the race training extra magical. The biggest perk of running with a charity is that you get the chance to make a difference and raise funds for a great cause. That’s a pretty magical option!

Cons: Not all charities receive race bibs for runDisney events, so there may not be a charity that you are passionate about. If there aren’t any charities you are super passionate about, it might be hard to get the most out of the experience. While the charities all offer help and tips for raising funds, there is typically a required fundraising amount for each race. Make sure you are well aware of the fundraising goal and are confident you can raise those funds or cover the funding goal from your personal funds before you make the commitment to run with a charity.

IMG_0603If you are still hoping to get into the race of your dreams we highly recommend taking a look at charity and travel agent options.  According to the runDisney website, as of 5:00 PM eastern on 3/29/16 there are still bibs available through travel agents and charities for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. There are also travel agents and charities with bibs remaining for other sold out runDisney events such as the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. Just yesterday, the Children’s Bureau of Southern California team all4kids reached out to us to let us know that they still have race bibs on their team! The Children’s Bureau is a great cause and there are openings for the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon events during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! For more information about team all4kids click here.

Have you ever participated in a runDisney event via a travel agent or charity partner? If so, let us know how it went for you in the comments.

Happy Running!

-Christine

2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

FullSizeRenderHi there team tutu! Last week we did a part one recap of the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. To read about the Expo and the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, check out part one here. We completed both the Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half Marathon to earn the 19.3 mile Glass Slipper Challenge medal. When anyone asks me if they should participate in the Princess Half Marathon, I always answer with an extremely enthusiastic YES! That’s because this is the happiest race on Earth. Here are all the most magical moments of our 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Pre-race Events: The night before both the 10K and the Half Marathon, runDisney holds an event called Pasta in the Park. It’s a separately ticketed event that includes a buffet pasta dinner, Disney character appearances, entertainment, and dancing. You also receive entry into Epcot at 6PM and a reserved viewing area for the fireworks show IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. We went last year and the party had an Arabian Nights theme with Aladdin character meet and greets. Melanie and I figured it would have the same theme as last year, so we went to a different character dinner while Christine and our other friends attended Pasta in the Park. It turns out it had a HERCULES theme this year! Melanie and I had some serious Disney envy when we realized all the Pasta in the Park attendants got to meet some of the most rarely spotted Disney characters including Megara, Hades, Pain and Panic. We LOVE Megara, and who better than Herc himself to tell you to go the distance? The moral of the story is that this event is probably worth going to every year. You never know who will show up…

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Race Day: On the morning of the Princess Half Marathon, I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. It’s the only reason I would ever happily set my alarm for 2:30AM. First let’s talk about what really matters – our costumes. We all busted out our sewing machines and made our own running costumes. Christine went as Mary Poppins, Melanie went as Agent Carter, and I decided to go as yellow dress Belle. For once, I just wanted my hair color to match the character which is really difficult when you’re an Elsa loving brunette. (#DisneyNerdProblems)

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Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Christine!

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All the women who independent, throw your hands up at me!!!

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Dress like a Beauty, run like a Beast!

Before heading to the start line, we participated in the usual pre-race dance party. Big shout out to the DJ who wore his tutu on stage!  The dancing was especially helpful for staying warm in the chilly weather! (Race tip for chilly mornings: pack a mylar blanket and bring it with you to the start line. You can stay covered up until you start running. Just be sure to get rid of it before you cross the start line since it can mess up your runner tracking.)

It might just be me, but it felt like runDisney put much less time between the corrals this year. I thought that made a HUGE difference. It felt like we spent much less time standing in our corrals waiting for our turn to cross the start line. In my opinion, that was a big change for the better.

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That much anticipated moment when it’s finally time to start running!

 

IMG_8306The course starts near Epcot castle2016and heads toward Magic Kingdom. The most magical moment comes around miles 4-6 when you run through Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Cinderella Castle and Frontierland. Elsa, Anna and Kristoff were standing on the balcony of Cinderella Castle talking to all the runners as they passed. We also saw the Queen of Hearts by the Mad Tea Party, Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland, Woody in Frontierland and more!

After running through Magic Kingdom, the course moves into the resort area. Christine and I knew Mary Poppins would be standing outside of the Grand Floridian, and we could not wait to take a picture with her! It was practically perfect in every way.

“Stand up straight. No slouching.” -Mary Poppins right before this picture

We also ran past THE Glass Slipper displayed on a pillow by a group of men in tuxedos. Then we continued on past the Disney golf courses and we even got to take a picture in this amazing Mickey golf cart. Where can I get one of these? I would like to use it to commute around Washington, DC.

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The Green Army Men from Toy Story were another memorable moment in the race. They were standing at the top of a big hill yelling at all the runners to move faster. Christine stopped and asked for a picture. One of the soldiers yelled, “I don’t think so jolly holiday! If you want a picture you’re going to have to work for it!” They made her do three push-ups in the grass. She got a few grass stains on her costume, but it was totally worth it. 

It’s hard to talk about a runDisney race without talking about the amazing spectators and fellow runners. The Disney cast members and the cheering crowds play a huge part in making this race so memorable. You won’t make it very far before you hear a stranger cheer for you or offer you a high five with a big Mickey glove on their hand. I’ve also seen the best spectator signs in this race. Kudos to all the amazing spectators for their love and creativity. And shout out to the runners for the camaraderie and supportive community. We loved running into some of our Instagram and blog friends on the course.

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The end of the Princess Half Marathon course makes a loop and heads back toward Epcot. It finishes with a short run through Epcot past the fountain and the big Epcot ball. The course then takes you out of Epcot toward the parking lot area for the big celebratory finish line! My favorite part of the Princess Half finish line is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique crew sprinkling everyone with Pixie Dust (aka lots of glitter.)

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Sprinkled with glitter at the finish line

Congratulations to all of the runners who participated in the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. Whether you ran the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or all three race, we here at Runs in Tutus are proud of you for your magical accomplishment. We hope to see you at another runDisney race soon. Our next race will be the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in Anaheim. I cannot wait to spend another magical weekend with my sisters and with all the amazing friends we’ve made through the runDisney community. Keep on running princesses!

-Amanda

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2016 Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and Expo Recap

FullSizeRender-1The Runs in Tutus team has just returned from our trip to the 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. This is our version of the Super Bowl. We wait all year for this race because it is our absolute favorite. Now that we’ve said goodbye to the Princess life and returned home, we are so excited to relive the magic on the blog! Since this adventure was so extensive, we’ll be publishing a few posts over the next couple weeks to recap all the different events.

runDisney Health & Fitness Expo Recap

This was our third time participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge which includes both the Enchanted 10K and Princess Half Marathon for a total of 19.3 miles. The weekend began with the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo which is one of the BEST race expos around. There is nothing like the goofy photo ops that you find at the Princess Expo!

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The energy and enthusiasm at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo is unlike any other race event I’ve been to, and it brings out some of the very best race vendors. We were able to visit a lot of our favorite booths including Raw Threads, Sweaty Bands, Sparkly Soul and The Stick. We also ran into a few new booths including Disney Style and the BFF Miracle Body Buffer (I purchased this and I’m obsessed with it, but I’ll save that for another post.)

Melanie and Christine arrived on Thursday hoping to snag some of the official runDisney merch before it sold out, but the popular items were gone a mere 30 minutes after the expo opened. We shook it off though and still had a great time. Here is some of the cute merchandise we did get to see:

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Expo merch from runDisney, New Balance & Raw Threads

At this year’s Expo, New Balance was selling Dumbo, Mickey, Minnie and Ariel inspired shoes in collaboration with runDisney. I was so excited to purchase the Ariel shoes! I signed up on the virtual queue for Friday and the process was surprisingly well organized. The shoes came with purple seashell clips and you had the option to purchase Flounder clips for $5. These are the most comfortable New Balance shoes I’ve purchased so far from the runDisney collection.

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New Balance Shoes

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Close-up of Ariel inspired shoes

Disney Princess Enchanted 10K Recap

After finishing up all the expo shenanigans, it was time for race day! The Disney Princess Enchanted 10K is the first race in the Glass Slipper Challenge. Since this year’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend was Ariel themed, we decided to dress up in costumes inspired by The Little Mermaid. Melanie dressed up as Ursula, I was one of Ariel’s sisters Alana, and Christine made an awesome Ariel with her red hair!

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Christine finishes strong as Ariel

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Melanie sporting a tutu as Ursula

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Me representing Daughter of Triton Alana.

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Group shot with our friends

This race was extra special for us, because we were lucky enough to have three of our cousins join us! Our cousins Don, Bernadette and Deidra completed their very first race at the Enchanted 10K! We are so proud of their accomplishment – and their impressive costume design skills. It can take a lot of courage to register for your first race, but all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and then before you know it, you’re at your first finish line!

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Congratulations Don, Bernadette and Deidra!

The Enchanted 10K was action packed with magic, so it’s hard to narrow down the best parts. After much deliberation, here are a few of the most memorable highlights for us!

  • Meeting some of our blog and Instagram friends – We were lucky to run into some of our virtual friends at this race. We’re always excited to finally meet the supportive friends we’ve found in the online community. These friendships are what really set a runDisney race apart from any other race.

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    We ran into @disneymom05 at the 10K! We LOVED her Ariel costume

  • The Fairy Godmother and fireworks at the start line – “Salaca doo la menthicka boo la, 3, 2, 1!”
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Start Line

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Fairy Godmother starts the race!

  • Elsa and Anna giving shout-outs from the overpass and making SNOW!

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  • Running around the Epcot World Showcase – This was one of my absolute favorite parts. I love running past the different pavilions, and we even ran into a few characters along the way like Pinocchio in Italy and Lumiere and Cogsworth in France!
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Lumiere and Cogsworth

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Characters in Italy

  • THE FAIRIES – always a crowd favorite

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    Fairies!

  • Running on Disney’s Boardwalk – It’s beautiful AND a little easier on the joints than all that pavement. It would be fun to stay in one of the hotels here one time!

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    Courtesy of Disney.com

  • The incredible spectators and fellow runners. There is nothing like the camaraderie that you find at a runDisney race. You don’t have to go far to find a friend. There is always someone close by to give you support or tell you to keep going. The spectators also seem to go that extra mile to help get you to the finish. This is always a runDisney race highlight for me and one of the reasons I keep going back.

What were some of the Enchanted 10K highlights for you? We’re looking forward to attending again in 2017! We hope to see you there with us!

-Amanda

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One of my favorite things in life is crossing a finish line with my big sister. I was so happy to do it again at the 2016 Enchanted 10K.

Dining Review: Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood Studios

PicCollageDuring our last Disney trip, we tried a BRAND NEW dining experience: Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This holiday themed character dining experience just made its debut this November and will continue to run through January 3, 2016. The cost is $46.99 for adults and $27.99 for children. The experience is also offered through the Fantasmic! dining package at $52.99 for adults and $31.99 for children.

Reservations for Minnie’s Holiday Dine can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/DINE or by phone at 407-WDW-DINE.

Overall, our group of three adults really enjoyed this experience! The atmosphere was festive, the food was tasty, the chocolate fountain was epic and the characters were friendly. The tables are very close together and the restaurant does get very loud, but I would still recommend this dining experience with two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Upon entering the restaurant, you are welcomed by a photo op with Santa Goofy. You can take a picture with Santa Goofy at another location in Hollywood Studios, but there will be a very long line. This is a great way to get the photo opportunity and skip the wait!

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Santa Goofy

 

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Festive Fare

Dinner at Minnie’s Holiday Dine is served buffet style with lots of seasonal favorites. Overall, the menu was pretty eclectic and offered a little something for everyone. The buffet starts with a delicious bread station complete with pretzel bread and cranberry butter (possibly one of the tastiest things at the buffet.) The buffet moves onto salad and soup selections including quinoa salad, caesar salad, winter kale and cabbage salad, roasted butternut squash soup and more.

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Yummy pretzel bread and cranberry butter. Photo courtesy of Disney Food Blog.

As for the buffet entrees and sides, some of our favorites included pumpkin ravioli, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, brussels sprouts and green bean casserole. Other popular items included lobster mac and cheese, honey bourbon turkey and cherry port ham.

There is also a kid friendly buffet station for any guests bringing along the little ones. Some of the items included corn dog nuggets, tater tots and mac and cheese.

Dessert Bar

In my opinion, dinner was great but the absolute best part of this meal is the DESSERT BAR. Here is a picture of the chocolate fountain and Christmas displays which are front and center at the epic dessert bar.

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We pretty much stacked our plate with one of everything. Pictured below you’ll see the gingerbread cupcake, red velvet cake, brownie, pecan tart and eggnog cheesecake. The dessert bar also included chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered marshmallows, pumpkin tarts, peppermint bark, soft-serve ice cream and more.

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Plate full of dessert!

Character Experience

The food at Minnie’s Holiday Dine is delicious, but it’s made even better by the table visits from classic Disney characters! Mickey, Minnie, Daisy and Donald are all circling the room while guests enjoy their dinner. Each character makes a personal stop at your table for a photo. Best of all, they are wearing newly designed holiday attire to celebrate the occasion.

 

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The dinner host: Minnie Mouse!

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Mickey makes a great dance partner

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Daisy looking fabulous

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Donald is #1!

In addition to the table meet and greets, there were a few holiday sing-a-longs happening over the loud speaker and opportunities to get up and dance with the characters. As a nice keepsake, each guest received an autographed card to take home featuring signatures from all of the special celebrities.

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Autographed card

If you aren’t able to make it to this event by January 3, Minnie has announced she will be hosting seasonal events all year long! Depending on the time of year, there will be events for each season with special decor, music, food and costumes! Here are some of the dates that have been announced.

March 21- June 5, 2016: A celebration of Spring

June 6 – September 11, 2016: A beach-party blast for the Summer

September 12- November 6, 2016: Enjoy a festive Halloween celebration

-Amanda

10 Reasons to Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

IMG_6030The holiday season has finally arrived, and the Runs in Tutus family is more excited than ever. Why? Because we just returned from our very first visit to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP)!! This event is basically the happiest night of all time. It combines two of our favorite things: Disney and Christmas. The party takes place at the Magic Kingdom from 7PM-12AM on select nights throughout November and December. It requires a separate event ticket that you must purchase in order to gain entry to the park on the night of the party. This event is absolutely worth it. If you plan to be in Disney World during the holiday season, you do not want to miss it. Here are ten reasons why Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a must-see event.

  1. FREE HOLIDAY TREATS

When you attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you get FREE sugar cookies and hot chocolate. There are several locations throughout the park that offer the complimentary holiday treats. All you have to do is look for the light up candy canes and the smiling cast members holding candy cane signs. We enjoyed our free treats at the Tomorrowland Terrace, and we didn’t even have to wait in line. I should also note that this was the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.

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Aside from the complimentary treats, there are also a few extra special holiday themed desserts that you can purchase during MVMCP, like the Holiday Tree Cupcake at Gaston’s Tavern and the Peppermint Fudge Sundae at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.

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Peppermint Fudge Sundae, photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

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Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

  1. MICKEY AND HIS FRIENDS PERFORM THE NUTCRACKER

This show is adorable. It’s called “Celebrate the Season,” and it takes place in front of Cinderella Castle at multiple times throughout the night. Goofy, Mickey, Donald, Chip, Dale and more re-enact their version of the Nutcracker.

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  1. SNOW ON MAIN STREET

Throughout the entire party, there is “snow” falling all the way down Main Street!

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Snow falling on Main Street

  1. ALL OF THE CHARACTERS ARE OUT IN THEIR HOLIDAY FINERY

There are SO MANY characters out during MVMCP, and they are on point with their holiday themed attired. Winne the Pooh, The Seven Dwarfs, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Scrooge McDuck, Minnie, Daisy, Peter Pan, and Wendy – just to name a few. My favorite was seeing all the princesses in their holiday dresses during the parade!

  1. ELSA FREEZES CINDERELLA CASTLE

This show can also be viewed during regular hours at the Magic Kingdom, but it feels extra special during MVMCP! Elsa, Kristoff, Anna and Olaf come out in front of Cinderella Castle and help bring in the holiday season by freezing the castle and making it snow! You get to chant “ICE AND SNOW, ICE AND SNOW” while they do it. I always think chanting is fun.

  1. SMELL-O-VISION PARADE

The Christmas parade is incredible, and you definitely want to arrive along the parade route early to get a good spot. A lot of the characters will interact with you if you’re in the front. You’ll find lots of characters in their holiday themed outfits, and there’s a special visit from Santa. Most importantly, this parade includes SMELL-O-VISION! As the parade floats go by, it actually smells like Christmas. Gingerbread, peppermint and Christmas tree scents!

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  1. HOLIDAY WISHES

The “Wishes” fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom is Christmas themed during MVMCP – complete with holiday tunes!

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

  1. CLUB TINSEL

Club Tinsel is a Christmas themed dance party inside Cosmic Rays in Tomorrowland. We stopped in to get a glimpse of the little kids dancing around with Phineas and Ferb. The best part of this event was the DJ yelling out, “When I say Phineas, you say Ferb!!” We took a selfie with Phineas and danced around a little. This is worth stopping in on just because it’s so cute.

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  1. PLAY HOLIDAY DRESS-UP

How often do you get to wear your own homemade Christmas Mickey skirt? There is only one occasion where it’s appropriate, and that’s at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party.

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We made our own Mickey Christmas skirts for the occasion!

  1. LIMITED EDITION MERCH

There is so much fun merchandise to purchase at the Magic Kingdom during Christmas time! Here are just a few of the things we saw.

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MVMCP Magic Band

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Ornament and cell phone cover

 

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MVMCP Shirts

 

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! -Amanda

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Race Recap: The Disney Wine & Dine ‘Half-Half’ Marathon

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Last weekend the Runs in Tutus crew visited Walt Disney World for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. We had a blast and we have so much to tell you about! From Character experiences to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek and MUCH more. I could go on and on about this trip, but let’s start with the main reason we visited Orlando – the actual race!

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Our crew arrived on Friday afternoon to attend the race expo and pick up our race packets. As usual, the expo was well organized with very few lines. Although we arrived pretty early on Friday, there was already a good amount of merchandise that was sold out. This year, Disney offered a last minute “Disney Wine & Dine Welcome Reception.” It was $200 and allowed you to shop runDisney merchandise on Thursday evening before everyone else. It wasn’t advertised until October 2nd when many people had already booked travel plans. I bet they do something similar for the Princess Half Marathon weekend in February, so if you’re really set on getting the best merchandise, you may want to look out for it. Even though some of the merch went fast, I was able to snag a wine glass and Christine bought the adorable Christmas ornament.

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Wine and Dine Half Marathon wine glass

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Other Wine and Dine merch

At runDisney race expos, the photo opportunities are always my favorite part! Always look out for the green screen photo-op above the stairs before heading down to the expo. This year it had Paris in the background with a tray of the grey stuff.

 

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On Saturday evening, we all got dressed in our race costumes and headed to the ESPN Wide World of Sports for the start line. This year we all went with food themed costumes that we each handmade. We had popcorn, the grey stuff, a Disney Cast Member Confectionary costume and a Mickey ice cream bar.

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We all gathered on the grass for the pre-race dance party and got ready to head to the start line. This is about when the wind and rain started to pick up and we all tried to snuggle under one blanket. Our race host got on the microphone and told us that there was some “weather” in the area and we shouldn’t head to our corrals yet. A couple minutes later, they got on the microphone and told us to calmly evacuate the area and head to either the Jostens Center or the HP Field House because of lightning in the area. Over 14,000 people began to move inside. I have to give some credit to Disney because they sure know a lot about crowd control. I have never seen a massive crowd of 14,000 people move so quickly and calmly.

Aerial view of the evacuation

Our group moved into the HP Field House and to be honest we had a lot of fun hanging out in there with the other runners. We were able to use a nice restroom, stretch out on the field, and we got a great view of all the awesome costumes gathered in the stadium! There was a good amount of dancing and at one point someone started the wave. Here are the series of emotions we experienced during the rain delay.

At first we were really sad

 

Then we did not know how we felt

 

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Then we thought – hey this is actually kinda fun!

It was difficult to gather information since we couldn’t hear the announcer over the music, but after about an hour of waiting, someone screamed “THE RACE IS ON” and we all started heading back to the start line. There were a lot of rumors circulating around regarding the course, and it wasn’t until we reached our start line that we found out the race was cut 6 miles short.

I was really disappointed to have the course altered, and I was especially disappointed for all the first time half marathoners. I know how hard they worked to train, and it’s discouraging to get so close to achieving a goal and have it taken away like that. I have to look on the bright side though. No one was struck by lightning, we still got to run about 7 miles through Disney World and we still got to attend the after party in Epcot. There will be other half marathons. I’m grateful that everyone is safe, and I trust that runDisney did they best they could with the information available.

All in all, it was a hot, sweaty, short and fun race. Animal Kingdom was cut out of the course, so we only ran through Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Here are some of the course highlights at this year’s 7.1 mile Wine & Dine “Half-Half” Marathon.

1. Lightning and rain didn’t prevent the start line fireworks!

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2. We ran through the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios

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3. Characters along the route included Lilo and Stitch, Genie, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, The Seven Dwarfs and more.

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4. Disco lights in the costume tunnel at Hollywood Studios

5. A sign with Olaf on it that said “I like sweaty hugs”

6. Chef Mickey at the finish line

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7. Free glass of wine and Epcot after party at the finish line!

Thanks runDisney for another great race!

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Only 355 days to go until the next Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend! Registration opens on March 15, 2016 at 12PM ET!

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-Amanda

…and if you’re still sad about missing out on those 6 miles, here’s a video of a drunk man climbing the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. It will definitely make you feel better.

<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c08VdzS_3OY>

 

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: How and Why You Should Register

The Runs in Tutus team has been doing some extensive planning for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November. We will soon be posting some information about our planned activities which will likely include wine tastings, special tours, Eat to the Beat concerts and more. In the meantime, one of the most important times of the year has arrived: REGISTRATION FOR THE DISNEY PRINCESS HALF MARATHON WEEKEND! I consider this to be the Superbowl of runDisney. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the runDisney races I’ve run. I even enjoyed the 2012 Tower of Terror 10 Miler despite it being so hot and humid I almost puked at the finish line. But there is something about the Princess weekend that makes it even more magical than the rest.

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All four Runs in Tutus runners are already officially registered for the 2016 Glass Slipper Challenge which includes the Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon for a total of 19.3 miles. The official registration for all races associated with the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend will open up on July 14th at 12PM eastern time. Now that the race has become so popular, you literally need to be at your computer at 11:55AM ready to register when the clock hits 12. Do not pull a Cinderella and start running to your computer at 12:02. When registration opens, it will take you to a virtual queue based on who got to the site first, then you will be able to register when it’s your turn.

You may feel extremely stressed during this time. The race WILL sell out and it will happen fast. JUST BE PREPARED!

If you would like to avoid registering through the virtual queue, there are a few other options. Caroline got access to early registration by being an Annual Passholder. Melanie, Christine and I registered through one of the runDisney travel providers. With this option, you purchase both your race bib and hotel at the same time by contacting the travel agent. They haven’t listed the travel providers on the Princess website yet, but they’ve already started selling bibs. Some may have sold out already, but you should give it a shot. The travel providers sometimes receive more race bibs later on if they sell out (or so I’ve heard). Here are some you can try:

  • Acclaim Travel
  • Cruise Planners
  • Cruise Planners-I Can Show You The World
  • Dream Departures Travel
  • Foerster Travel
  • GET Sports
  • Girl on the Run
  • Heart of the Valley Travel
  • Marathon Tours
  • Once Upon A Time Vacations

Another option is to run through a charity organization. Not only does this guarantee you a race bib, but you also get to raise money for a great cause! They have not listed the charities yet, but there are more and more each year that you can run with. They even had the ASPCA listed as an option for the Wine and Dine this year. Just keep checking the Princess registration page here. Click on “registration” then click on “charity groups.”

I know what you’re thinking. This registration process sounds like a nightmare – why should I bother with it? Here are FIVE reasons why you SHOULD NOT miss the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. 

1. It is perfectly acceptable to wear a tiara and sash from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. In fact, if you wear a tiara, virtually every Disney cast member will refer to you as “princess” throughout the weekend. 
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2. You can pretend like you’re a kid again and dress up like your favorite princess. This is strongly encouraged and the costumes get more elaborate every year. Here are a few of the costumes we’ve had over the years:

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Rapunzel, Mulan, Princess Tiana

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Elsa, Ariel, Vanellope von Schweetz, Mrs. Banks “Votes for Women” costume

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Evil Stepsisters

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Silvermist

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From left to right: Glamour Cinderella, Pink Dress Cinderella and Maid Cinderella

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Mad Hatter and Rapunzel with Fairy Godmother

3. You can buy tickets to attend Pasta in the Park the night before the race. We tried this last year and were amazed to find it was a BLAST. The evening was “Arabian Nights” themed with character appearances from Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar and Genie. There was also a dance party, a magician going around to tables doing card tricks, and Mickey ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

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Sorry I ate your face Mickey

4. The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend has the best race expo and the best race merchandise. There are so many fun things happening at the race expo! Our absolute favorite thing is the goofy photo booth opportunities. Be sure to arrive early so you don’t miss out on the awesome race merch like cute wine glasses, shirts and mugs. Here are some of the fun photo booth opportunities over the past few years:

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5. The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is the ultimate girls’ night out. I use this weekend to do all the extremely girly things that I love with the girls that I love. We sew costumes, have a tea party, wear tutus and tiaras, meet princesses and have the time of our lives. We even meet other runners who are doing the same thing, and we all relish our girl power awesomeness. This race weekend is a place to be yourself. You can be that Disney fanatic who loves Princess Tiana and has seen The Princess and the Frog a hundred times. You can wear the most extravagant costume, cover yourself in glitter, and you will fit right in. You don’t want to miss this race because it’s a place to be HAPPY, make friends and celebrate SISTERHOOD!

Are you convinced yet? We are really looking forward to meeting new princesses at the 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. We hope to see you there!

-Amanda

2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Race Recap

This past weekend, the Runs in Tutus team trekked across the country to Anaheim, California for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in Disneyland. We had a blast, and we are proudly displaying our pink Coast to Coast medals that we earned for completing both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathons in the same calendar year!

Coast to Coast Medal - Pink Edition

Coast to Coast Medal – Pink Edition

For me, there were a lot of highlights in this race and very few disappointments. As is always the case with RunDisney races, packet pick up was amazingly organized. The Expo was full of awesome photo booth opportunities, and we took advantage of each and everyone of them. We also met Jeff Galloway. I wanted to jump up and down and scream like a little girl, but I managed to keep my cool and act somewhat normal. Meeting an Olympian? NO BIG DEAL. I told him about finishing the Shamrock Marathon in March and he said it’s totally normal to cry during a marathon. Thanks, Jeff!

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Keeping it cool with Jeff Galloway

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Here’s the one major buzz kill of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Expo. The official MERCH sold out like a friggin’ Madonna concert. Seriously, we got there on Friday and Disney was so low on merchandise that they started filling the shelves with generic Tinker Bell products to make it look more full. Lesson learned: get there a few days early if you want to buy merch. I did however manage to score the holy New Balance Tinker Bell shoes. I’ve already worn them several times and they have vastly improved my quality of life.

They are even sprinkled with REAL pixie dust.

They are even sprinkled with REAL pixie dust.

We chose not to participate in the Pixie Dust Challenge (10K + Half Marathon). This was my first time visiting Disneyland, so I wanted sometime to explore the parks, and that’s exactly what I did Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday (yes, I’m exhausted). More about the parks will be coming very soon.

The Half Marathon took place on Sunday with a bright and early 5:30AM start time. Here I am all ready to go in my homemade Fawn costume! Side note – it was FREEZING outside before the race so I had to veto wearing shorts. WTF Southern California?

Shout out to the Neverbeast!

Shout out to the Neverbeast!

Me, Caroline and Melanie as Fawn, Smee and Queen Clarion

Me, Caroline and Melanie as Fawn, Smee and Queen Clarion

I was miraculously placed in CORRAL A which means I got to start the race in the very first wave! At Tinker Bell, you can get placed in Corral A with a 2:15 Half Marathon time which is pretty rare for any race. The best thing about being in Corral A is that you get to all the characters and photo spots before there are any lines. I didn’t have to do any weaving around other runners, and I ran through the castle with zero crowds. Here are some pics of my favorite race spots.

Disney California Adventure: 

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Paradise Pier

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Cars Land – Mater!

Disneyland:

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Sleeping Beauty Castle!

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The Lost Boys on the carousel

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Jack Sparrow and the pirates!

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Iridessa and Rosetta

The portion of the race through the parks was amazing. I have to say it seemed like there was far more time in the parks in this race than Princess or Wine&Dine, and there seemed to be more characters and excitement. Out of all the RunDisney races I’ve done, this was the best run through the parks. Unfortunately, after about mile 5 or 6, there was no more Disney! The rest of the race was through the neighborhoods surrounding the parks. There were plenty of crowds, dance teams, cheerleaders and marching bands (and they were great!). I was just hoping for a little more Disney magic toward the end when I was losing steam. I did run into these guys around mile 8 and they melted my heart.

photo-3Other race highlights for me include a massive cheering section of red hat ladies, someone running in a full Zurg costume, a runner dressed as Iridessa yelling “Good Job Fawn,” and Tinker Bell sticking her tongue out at me while posing for a picture with someone else.

Tinkerbell and random person

Tinker Bell and random person

All in all, it was a great race and I will definitely consider doing it again. I got a high five from Daisy Duck at the finish line, but Melanie lucked out with a high-five from Mickey!

Melanie at the finish line

The Mickey high-five

Congratulations to everyone who completed the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon and Pixie Dust Challenge!

-Amanda

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