NEW 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Details!

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Stop everything you’re doing! RunDisney has just announced brand new details for the 2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon and they are OH SO MAGICAL. Here are the big things you need to know about this update.

  • Registration will open on March 29, 2016 at noon. Be at your computer ready to register at 11:58AM because the race will sell out fast.
  • The race will take place November 3-6, 2016.
  • There will be a brand new inaugural Disney Wine & Dine 10K AND a new challenge called Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge which will include the 10K and half marathon.
  • All of the races will move to a morning time, but the Post Race Party will still take place on race day in the evening with extra hours to spend in Epcot for the International Food & Wine Festival. The post-race party goes until 1AM and runners can enter the park starting at 8PM. The party will include character meet and greets, musical performances, entertainment, select attractions and a live DJ. Runners will also still receive a $15 gift card with race entry.
  • The 10K will be Ratatouille themed.
  • There will be an extra day of runDisney Kids Races which will take place both Friday and Saturday
  • The new Frozen Ever After ride will be open at the Norway pavilion in Epcot along with the new Rivers of Light show at Animal Kingdom.
  • This is going to be amazing and we are definitely going! SEE YOU THERE!

-Amanda

 

Woman Will Attempt to Qualify for Olympic Trials at WDW Marathon!

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Every year, I am so impressed with all runners who participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The Dopey Challenge, which includes the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon, is definitely on my bucket list. I wish the best of luck to all the runners tomorrow!

There is one particular runner that has me feeling especially inspired. Erica Weitz, a former University of Central Florida runner and current high-school coach will be attempting to qualify for the Olympic Trials at the Walt Disney World Marathon tomorrow. In order to qualify, she will need to complete her 26.2 magical miles in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Currently, 188 women have met this qualifying time for the 2016 trials. I bow down to all of these remarkable women for showing the world that princesses can also be superheroes.

Erica told the Orlando Sentinel, “I have some nerves, but I don’t want to get nervous too early. I’m pretty confident, and that keeps you from being too nervous. I am lucky with that.”

Erica ran her first marathon in 2011 at the New Jersey Marathon in Oceanport where she finished as the second woman overall. The WDW Marathon tomorrow will be her fourth and final attempt to qualify for the Olympic trials. 

Please join us in sending Erica a little extra pixie dust tomorrow! We hope that the magic of Disney will help her on her quest to qualify for the Olympic Trials!

-Amanda

 

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.

Chocolate Fountain

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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New Disney Announcements from D23 Expo

New Disney announcements have emerged from the 2015 D23 expo! New Star Wars Land, Toy Story Land, Avatar Land and more!

We were not able to attend the D23 Expo in person, but that certainly didn’t stop us from stalking the internet for live feeds of Magic. I watched the live feed of the Disney Parks panel discussion, and it was absolutely amazing. So many exciting announcements. Here are a few highlights that made me very happy:

  • Both California and Florida will be getting a brand new Star Wars Land!! These will be located in Hollywood Studios and Disneyland.  It will be a brand new planet never before seen in a movie! It will include 2 new rides, one of which will be a chance to fly the Millennium Falcon. That is going to take awhile to build, so the Disney powers that be are going to give us a little more Star Wars to hold us over. Star Tours will get a new destination, and there will be a “Season of the Force” special event in the Spring. During this event, Space mountain will be transformed into Hyperspace Mountain, a Star Wars themed attraction. There will also be a new Star Wars fireworks show in Hollywood Studios.

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Hyperspace-Mountain

Photo from Disney Parks Blog

  • A brand new Toy Story Land is coming to Hollywood Studios!!! YAAAAASSSS. At the Disney parks panel, they announced that this 11 acre land will be modeled after Cars Land. It will look like Andy’s backyard and Andy’s room. There will also be 2 new rides, one of which involves little green aliens pulling you on a flying saucer to avoid The Claw. The other ride will be a roller coaster where the car looks like Slinky Dog! Toy Story Mania will be expanded to include an additional track to expand ride capacity. A lot of the changes coming to Hollywood Studios are about transforming the park “from a backstage experience to a real life experience.” All this Hollywood Studios action helps me feel a little bit better about the disappearance of the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.
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Photo from Disney Parks Blog

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Photo from Disney Parks Blog

  • Meanwhile, in Epcot, Frozen things are happening. The Maelstrom (may it RIP) is being converted into Frozen Ever After. In this ride, guests will experience the winter and summer festivals in Arendelle. The characters on the ride look adorable, especially Sven! The style appears to be similar to that of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. There will also be an expansion of the World Showcase to include a larger Norway pavilion that will house a summer cottage where guests can meet Anna and Elsa.

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  • Animal Kingdom is getting a facelift right now to include the Avatar Land of Pandora. In Pandora, there will be floating mountains, and several opportunities to experience bioluminescence in the evening. Two new attractions will be added to Pandora. One will be a Soarin’ type experience where guests will fly through Pandora. The other will be a boat ride through Pandora that will be lit up entirely by bioluminescence. They will expand the safari ride to include more animals such as hyenas. At night, there will be a new light show that will be called “Rivers of Light.” It will be set on huge fountains. There will be lots of lights and floating lanterns that go into the sky!!!!! AHHHHHH!!! Hyperventilating yet?!

Projection mapping being added to the Tree of Life

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Bioluminescence in Avatar Land of Pandora boat ride

Rivers of Light art concept

  • Finally, Soarin’ over the World will replace Soarin’ over California in Disney California Adventure and Epcot.

Perhaps the most magical, epic, life-changing moment of the expo actually happened the day before at the Goofy Movie panel discussion. It is one of our favorite movies. We frequently discuss how sad we are that “121” is not available on Spotify to add to our running playlist. Yesterday, the Disney Gods smiled upon us and graced us with this 20th anniversary panel.

IT. WAS. EVERYTHING. The panel was complete with cheese whiz aaaannnnd a POWERLINE CONCERT. That’s right. IT. HAPPENED. Powerline sang live. God bless the souls who filmed this epic moment. Made me tear up. Not joking! Here it is for you to view again and again. I recommend a box of tissues to wipe those happy tears.

Another tear jerking moment occurred when Disney Legends Richard Sherman and Dick Van Dyke sang “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” together. 

 There is still a full day of excitement at the Expo tomorrow. Can’t wait to follow all of those details (virtually). What are you the most excited about so far?

-Christine

New Disney Park! Shanghai Disneyland!

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Back in February, Disney released the amazing news that there will be a brand new theme park opening in Shanghai, China! Recently, more details have been released and I have to say it sounds pretty epic. The Runs in Tutus team may just have to start planning a trip to the other side of the world in the next few years!

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Shanghai Disneyland – Photo courtesy of Disney.com

The most recent update is that the park will be opening in Spring 2016. The resort at the time of opening will include:

  • Shanghai Disneyland, a theme park with six themed lands: Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland, with the Enchanted Storybook Castle.
  • Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel
  • Disneytown, “an international shopping, dining and entertainment district, adjacent to Shanghai Disneyland and including the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, home to the first-ever Mandarin production of the Broadway hit Disney’s THE LION KING.”
  • Wishing Star Park, “with beautiful gardens, a walking path and a glittering lake.”

Many of the attractions and shows at Shanghai Disneyland will be appearing for the very first time in a Disney theme park. This park will also be home to Enchanted Storybrook Castle, the largest, tallest (196.8 ft tall) and most interactive castle in any Disney theme park and the only castle that represents ALL the Disney princesses. Finally! Equal representation! Is it really asking that much to see more Pocahontas and Princess Tiana??

Here are a few more of the firsts in Shanghai Disneyland:

  • Mickey Avenue – the first park main entry inspired by Mickey Mouse and his pals
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Mickey Avenue – Photo courtesy of Disney.com

  • Fantasia Carousel in a land called Gardens of Imagination
  • Voyage to the Crystal Grotto – an excursion through the waters of Fantasyland, complete with colorful fountains, wonderful music and a ride underneath the Enchanted Storybook Castle for a finale never before seen inside a castle. I’ve always wanted more opportunities to go INSIDE the castles!
  • Adventure Isle – a mysterious land, with an ancient legend about a native tribe, a giant, reptilian creature, and the mighty Roaring Mountain. This looks scary.
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Photo courtesy of Disney.com

  • TRON Lightcycle Power Run – a thrilling, roller coaster-type attraction with a twisting, turning track, high speeds, rich storytelling and a breathtaking view of Shanghai Disneyland. They’re claiming that this will be one of the most thrilling Disney attractions ever.
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Photo courtesy of Disney.com

  • Treasure Cove – Pirate fans rejoice! This is the first pirate-themed land at a Disney park with a new Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure. The boats will spin, travel sideways and move backwards during the ride! This is also home to a stunt show spectacular featuring Captain Jack Sparrow.
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Treasure Cove – Photo courtesy of Disney.com

  • Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue – a brand new space ranger adventure with an “immersive, new storyline combined with a new, interactive targeting system.”
  • Alice in Wonderland themed maze – the first attraction at a Disney park based on the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland
  • Tangled Tree Tavern – inspired by the Snuggly Duckling from Tangled!
  • Once Upon a Time Adventure – Located inside Enchanted Storybrook Castle, “for the first time in a Disney park guests will interact with an animated version of Snow White as they stroll through scenes of her story. Passing through a ‘Magic Mirror’ portal and into this wonderful fairy tale, guests will meet Snow White’s friends, witness the evil deeds of her enemies, and share her dreams through realistic, interactive technology.”

What do you think? Is it worth a trip around the world? This really sounds like the most innovative and high tech Disney park yet with tons of brand new experiences! In the words of Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, “We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination…We are taking everything we’ve learned from our six decades of exceeding expectations – along with our relentless innovation and famous creativity to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

See you in Shanghai?

-Amanda

OMG! Disneyland Paris Half Marathon!

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The detailed information for the Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon is finally starting to arrive! We are so excited about this race and hopefully everything will work out for us to attend. Here are the details that I’ve been able to find from runDisney, travel agents, and social media.

Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon – September 23-25, 2016 (that’s only 454 days away!)

The inaugural Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon Weekend includes a magical course through Disneyland Paris and the French countryside!  At Walt Disney Studios® Park, you’ll run down Hollywood Boulevard, and past the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. At Disneyland® Park, you’ll run through Main Street, U.S.A., past Sleeping Beauty Castle, and then through the countryside and villages that surround the Disney Parks, circle back to Disney Village en route to the finish line for a victory celebration and your exclusive inaugural Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon Finisher Medal.

It sounds like your best bet for registering for the race is to go through the runDisney Travel Provider Program which will open up for “package registration” on October 6th. My understanding is that this will include something like race entry, hotel room stay, and park tickets all in one package. According to one travel agent, there may also be several add-ons such as tour trips to Paris.

  • Package Registration will start on October 6th, 2015
  • Limited race registrations are scheduled to start on January 12, 2016 for individual registrations.

Events:

Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon – September 25, 2016

Disneyland® Paris 5K – September 24, 2016

runDisney Kids races – September 24, 2016

Race Expo: September 22-September 24, 2016

And there will be parties!

On Friday evening, September 23, there will be a private party in Walt Disney Studios Park® with Disney characters, attractions, food and drinks. On Saturday evening, September 24, runners will be invited to a performance of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Hmm…maybe these parties will be included with the registration fee?

This all sounds very exciting!! You can sign up to stay informed on the Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon by registering your email here: http://run.disneylandparis.com/registration

-Amanda