Friday, March 30, 2012

How to Beat the Gimmie-Gimmies!

I grew up in a large family.  With 4 kids, our money was always very tight. Family trips and special events were to be savored!  So, you can imagine that when we did go on outings or family trips, our gimmies had to be kept under control. And friends, I am telling you, my parents were the ultimate Superman and Superwoman combo.  With gale force gimmies, you have got to learn how to stop that storm before it starts!  
So, what is a case of the gimmie-gimmies?  Let's define that term...

 Gimmie-gimmies- The act of wanting  EVERYTHING you see.  This is typically seen in children but is under no circumstance limited to the young.  Grown women often demonstrate the gimmie- gimmies over shoes and makeup while grown men gimmie-gimmie after mechanical... uh, stuff... and electronics. Gimme is slang for "give me" and the gimmie-gimmies are an extreme version of this slang.  synonyms: (okay so they are actually phrases): I want one, Pahhhleeeaasseee, No fair, I want this more than anything in the whole world, you don't love me...the list goes on!


Okay, so with that out of the way, let's get talking about what you can do to keep these terrible tantrums away at the most Magical place on Earth!  Let's take a look at some gimmie-gimmie triggers and then well look at strategies for avoiding!


Beware of Gimmie-Gimmies!


Trigger
Gimmie-gimmies usually start out as innocent encounters.  A walk through a gift shop will often trigger a tantrum.  
Avoidance Strategy 
The problem with Disney World is that gift shops are everywhere and are often unavoidable.  I can list several rides that end with a walk through a gift shop.  The best way to avoid a melt down in an inevitable gift shop is to have a chat with your kids (OR husband.  What manly man can resist a pirate sword?) before you hit the parks and a reminder session as you exit a ride with a gift shop exit.  The fact is that this is an unavoidable fate; while there are rides that end in actual gift shops, there are a lot that have exits which lead you in the path of carts and kiosks full of goodies.  Maybe the patented "Mom's Disney World "Walk"" would be the best strategy here.  Meaning: power through those spots on to conquer the next ride!




Trigger
A child who is about to have a case of the gimmie-gimmies will try every ploy to make you feel guilty for not buying said gimmie.  If you hear words like "you never give me anything" or "I'll pay you back with my birthday money"...GET OUTTA DODGE!  You are on a one way track to wahhhh-wahhhh-wahhh!
Avoidance Strategy
Stop that behavior in its tracks! Don't even let that talk get started.  D.I.M. that behavior (Distract, Ignore, Move on!) snuff out that spark and diffuse the situation!  


Trigger
Gimmies often happen when tensions are high.  Beware they may strike in extreme weather conditions, during low blood sugar moments, and when sleep is needed. 
Avoidance Strategy
Avoid gift shops during these moments.  Nuff said.  


Trigger  
Nighttime brings a new array of problems.  The ever lovable light toy!  With bright flashing led lights, gizmos for spinning, and character cuteness, it is hard to resist.  Plus, having cast members and guests waving them here, there, and everywhere doesn't help.
Avoidance Strategy
Okay, so I am going to come off  sounding like I am hating on another strategy out there but hear me out... I am NOT a fan of the "bring your own" mentality when it comes to night toys.  Let me clarify, I am not a "here, this glow stick is awesome...right?...right?...RIGHT!"  kind of girl.  I think that part of the fun of Disney at night (if you are awake) is waving around an official light toy.  So here is my strategy: buy one and bring it on every trip.  Use it until it dies (and there is no hope for a revival) then buy another.  I have a super cute Tinkerbell light that I bought to use in my classroom and that thing has not quit working in 4 years!  I think it is a worthwhile investment.  My suggestion is, talk it over with your kids.  You control the situation though- the first sign of light toys you suggest purchasing one (with the stipulation that it will be the only light toy purchased and that it is the child's responsibility to pack it in their bag/the stroller if they want to have it nightly).  I loved seeing my nephew's sweet face as it was illuminated by a Lightning McQueen light toy!  


Trigger
Seeing another kid walking around with "x, y, z".  Kids spot things like this easily (there is something about the point of view from the riders seat of a stroller??? hmmm...)  
Avoidance Strategy
Make a plan.  In my house, my parents bought us each 1 souvenir.  My Mom was in charge of this one and being fair Mama she set a price cap on how much we could each spend.  The cool thing was that we were allowed to make that choice at any point in the week.  It was made clear (extremely clear) to us all that we could only use that amount of money and that there were be no whining or complaining.  
I think it would be really fun to give my kid "money" (DIY here) before the trip or in their trip bag (read up here) that they could "cash in" (if you have older kids keeping up with this coupon might be a possibility but for me, a verbal cash in would work).  If you think this won't work for your kids you could do a reverse model.  What if, you took a quarter (or dollar or whatever) off the cap price each time your kid complained or gimmie-gimmied?  That would be incentive for them to keep the gimmies at bay. I'm just sayin'.


Trigger
Sometimes gimmie-gimmies happen with food and sweets.  Some of the most terrible tantrums possible happen when you cross paths with candy.  My nephew wanted "Toodles candy" (Mickey Mouse Silhouette suckers).  He might be only two but that boy has got a one track mind when it comes to candy. The funniest thing is that it only took seeing another child licking on a sucker to send him over the edge!  We tried to D.I.M. (distract, ignore, and move on) but that boy was stuck on that candy.  We ended up caving.  It was our last night...we were weak!  What can you do if you are in a similar situation?
Avoidance Strategy
Pack a snack or candy or else, you are going to be stuck making a choice like us.  Luckily suckers are cheap-ish.  Maybe you have more will power.  Heaven help you if you don't!


Hopefully these tips helped you to think through some scenarios before you are stuck in the middle of a great big case of the gimmie-gimmies.  Do you have any tricks or tips that work with your own children?  Share them in the comment section!  I would love to hear and add to my "one day I'm going to need this!" file.  


Love you all!!!!!







Sunday, March 25, 2012

Packed Parks...Making the Most of a Busy Situation

A lot of families are about a week out from a most magical spring break.  Amongst all the magic and memories you are in the midst of a sea of guests.  The parks are packed and that creates near boiling conditions for small children and grown-ups alike!  So, how do you avoid a breakdown?  Today I have a coping mechanism you can use to make the most of the parks, even when there are lines for days.  I'm making it easy to remember by creating an acronym.  Use these steps to keep C.A.L.M.  Give these a try next time you are in the parks (especially if it is a crowded day).



Don't fret! Keep C.A.L.M 


C- Come Prepared:
Getting in and out of the parks on a slow day may seem like a cinch!   On crowded days, that may be a different story!  Sometimes the parks become so crowded that they are at capacity for guests.  This means that if you choose to leave the parks (for example to go back to the resort for a nap or lunch) you might not be admitted back.  I like to come prepared on these days.  I bring a backpack with the necessities for a long crowded day. Each person's bag may look different, holding your essentials.  For example, sunscreen, fans, snacks, baby care, cell phone, you name it.  By coming prepared you can avoid wasting time on the monorail or bus and you can avoid spending money.  Having a plan in mind seems to help avoid meltdowns!  


Need more help with this?  Check out these two "bag board" posts on packing a park ready bag:  Summer Bag and Park Essentials





L- Look for Chances to SLOW down: 
This suggestion seems so simple but, it is one of the first things I tend to forget when I get in the go-go-go mentality of the parks.  There is so much to do that for me, it often seems like a waste of time and money to not be 100 mph at all times.  I've found that my happiest days in the parks are the days that I take a moment to slow myself down.  There are lots of ways to do this; hitting a ride where you get to sit for a long time, stopping to sit and eat, finding a quiet spot to sit, etc.  are all suggestions that have worked for me.  I know that in the Magic Kingdom I like to head over to Tom Sawyer Island when I feel like taking it slow.  There's tons of shade and even some great rocking chairs.  This last trip we spent about an hour there just enjoying my 2 year old nephew.  That was one of my favorite parts of the trip because we took time to slow down. He loved it too!  Remember to stop. Breath.  And keep your cool by slowing down!  You've got plenty of time to enjoy the parks and it is so much easier to do when you are not in a grumpy mood!  



If you have children, this is especially important.  If the parks aren't too bad, hitting the resorts for a nap or pool time seems to help.  I love this article from The Disney Diva at Tips from the Disney Diva on using your time with your little ones effectively!  Check it out here!  If you just can't leave the parks, try to find a shady or slow/low noise ride.  For me, a good "snooze" can be had by all in the Hall of Presidents (Magic Kingdom), Ellen's Energy Adventure (Epcot), Rafiki's Conservation Station (Animal Kingdom), The magic of Disney Animation (Hollywood Studios).  The Disney Diva has created a HUGE list of possibilities for quiet spots in the parks/resorts check them out here!

A- Avoid Low Blood Sugar
Many of my family's biggest meltdowns have come at the hands of low blood sugar.  Tempers seem to fly when we are hungry.  If you have this same problem you can do yourself a huge favor and come prepared.  There are two ways to go about this.  1.) pack a ziploc bag with some sort of snack or 2.) plan out when you will eat and don't neglect mid meal chances to snack (if your meals are not spaced out well).  Last time we were at Disney we didn't go with the meal plan (BIG mistake...what were we thinking.  More on that later).  Any rate, we did eat all our meals in the parks (with the exception of about 4 days we ate breakfast at our condo).  Long story short, we decided to try for last minute reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern and we got them!  That was good news!  Unfortunately, our reservations were for a really late dinner (at about 8:00).  The streets of the Magic Kingdom were packed and tensions ran high as we made our way through gaggles of people.  We didn't plan on going so long between meals and boy did we pay for it!  By the time we checked in with our reservations we'd already been separated in the crowd, failed to communicate what attraction we were headed for, completely tried my sweet nephew's 2 year old patience, and friends, a big blow up ensued!  You can bet the next day I pack emergency rations of Cheese-itz.  This tip is for everyone but, it is especially important if  you have kids (or anyone in my family :D  ) with you !

M- Maintain Communication 
Communication is important.  That is an understatement.  Of course we all know this is true and while you are at Disney World, especially with a huge crowd, you need to remember this is especially true!  Here are some areas that often cause meltdowns-consider your communication with these areas:
  •  What park you'll go to
  • What you plan is if you get separated
  • Where you'll eat
  • Who will ride with who
  • How much money you'll spend
  • How fast you walk (I've been accused of a fast walker.  Fast walkers and crowds =  confusion and being lost and that all adds up to a great big meltdown!)
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Taking care of the kids needs
There are countless possibilities and it helps to remember that if you communicate while you are at the parks it will save you a lot of trouble!  Stop and have a chat, talk before you enter the parks, keep your cell phones handy, don't be selfish.  Communication is HUGE!  Have you ever had a blow up over something simple like getting separated in the crowd, having to go to the bathroom, or finding a restaurant that everyone will agree on.  This girl has.  It was no bueno.  Next time you notice you are starting to get a bit frazzled and short tempered, remember to get C.A.L.M and bring that boil over under control!


Duffy Around the World: Ni Hao From China!

Yay for more Duffy Bear!  I took my Duffy on a Stick with me on my last Disney trip.  You can imagine the looks of surprise as cast members stamped off a rather tattered 2 year old Duffy on a stick.  I wrote the date on the back when I originally made him back in November of 2010.  I love that guy! Here he is posing at the China Pavilion! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's in a Name? Find out Your Citizen of Hollywood Name!

So, since my post on the Citizens of Hollywood last week, I have been thinking about them A LOT!  I started thinking as I lay down to sleep the other night about what my name would be if I was a Citizen.  The Citizens of Hollywood are cleaverly named with puns a plenty like Ben Appetit, Ruma Hazit, Paige Turner and even some normal names like Shelby Mayer, Flavio Fellini, and Daisy Day to name a few more. So, after much thinking and considering I came up with a few fun names.  How about I'vanah Spotlight or Ima Focus.  What would your name be if you were a Citizen of Hollywood?  Today, I have a treat!  I have worked hard (with a basic knowledge in HTML and such.  By the way check out this site if you want to create your own random name generator) to create a name generator.  Try it out just for kicks!  By the way if you should make it to Hollywood and use this name...remember the little people...ahh--hhemmm...ME!

Alright stars, click below on the leading lady button or leading man button to find out your name in the stars!  Let's get going!















Lights, Camera, Action!

Find out your Citizens of Hollywood name by clicking below. If you aren't thrilled with your name just keep clicking and remember to have fun!


























Monday, March 19, 2012

Tea! My Review of the Garden View Tea Room Afternoon Tea!


As a little girl I LOVED a tea party.  Now, I'll admit that my tea parties consisted of the southern staple, sweet iced tea.  The finger sandwiches took the form of Nilla Wafers, Oreos, and Kraft Singles style cheese sandwiches.  As an adult I still LOVE a good tea party.  I love the formalities of it all.  I love picking out my tea amongst a sea of descriptions and flavors.  I love getting my own pot of tea.  I love teeny sandwiches fancified for the occasion.  And, I love sugar cubes!  Love it all!  
On my last Disney trip I decided to try out the Garden View Tea Room at Disney's Grand Floridian.  I booked through ADR (What's that?  Click here to find out!) and planned an afternoon for just the girls!  And boy was it fun!  Today I am breaking down my time in the Tea Room to let you in on all the magic!  So, when you are ready, won't you join us for tea? 




Garden View Tea Room is located in the beautiful Grand Floridian hotel.  We got there right at our reservation time but, we still had a bit of a wait.  But no worries!   We found the Grand Floridian a delightful spot to wait.  There was a pianist playing relaxing music and even a jazz band.  There is excellent shopping throughout the Grand Floridian as well as comfortable waiting areas.  I tell you what...it was plain and simpler RELAXING!!!!  The perfect prep for a time to slow down and enjoy the afternoon!







So finally it was our turn for tea!  We were beyond excited!  We made our way into the Tea Room where we were seated for tea.  The tea room overlooks the grounds of the Grand Floridian.  Light from the afternoon sun cascades the tables and creates just the right mood!  This hidden gem takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the parks and puts you in another place!  Everything is beautiful fresh flowers and the daintiest tea settings!  You really do feel like royalty!  









There are a couple of choices to make with Tea.  The menu includes packages as well as a la carte choices.  We went with the traditional tea called the Buckingham Palace tea  (about $23.00 per person.  Yes, this is a bit expensive but it was so worth it to spend the afternoon being treated like a princess with my favorite girlfriends).  This package included traditional favorites like tea sandwiches, scones, tarts and 2 choices of pastries and of course your choice of tea.  The choices are unlimited and our waiter really helped us in picking out a tea that we would each enjoy (good tip here from the waiter:  each person should order a different tea so everybody can sample the selections.  We found this to be a REALLY good idea).  

 Did you know that Anna the 7th Duchess of Bedford of came up with the idea of afternoon tea in an attempt to tie her over between a very early, light lunch and a very late dinner.  The offerings at today's afternoon tea feature 3 courses if you will the savories,  scones, and pastries.  So, let's take a look at our tea course by course, one by one, till you shout...oh, sorry...you gotta love a Beauty and the Beast song break!  Let's have some tea!

Choose a Tea!
I have had tea at the Inn on Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC so I had a bit of an idea about the choices. The waiter helped to describe the teas and lead us in the right direction.  I chose the Mad Hatter tea, a black tea with hints of mango (which oddly enough came off like hints of chocolate.  The waiter knew his stuff because I mentioned a chocolate tea I had at the Biltmore and he recommended the Mad Hatter.  Good call!).  My sister chose the princess breakfast tea (very minty), my friend Chelsea chose a strawberry infused green tea, my friend Heather chose a current infused tea called cassis, and my Mom chose the Gardenview Blend.  We doctored up our tea with traditional milk, sugar cubes, and honey.  I read on a tea website that it is unlucky to put milk in before sugar.  Superstition states "to put milk in you tea before sugar is to cross the path of love, perhaps never to marry"  (I sure do hope I put the sugar in first-oh well!).  Oh, and p.s.- I totally have to read up on tea etiquette before making any more blunders.  I found this awesome book on just the subject; oddly enough it is title Tea and Etiquette by Dorthea Johnson (check it out on Google  Books).  I am thinking about adding this too my reading list before my next trip!  




Savories
We were served 4 different tea sandwiches. The sandwiches were (from left to right) pear and Gorgonzola cheese, curried chicken salad, shrimp salad, egg salad, and a watercress and cucumber sandwich with an onion tart.  I really liked all the sandwiches.  The tart...not so much.  The other girls I was with didn't care much for the pear sandwich.  I guess it is a matter of taste!  




Scones
We were served a delicious scone which I am pretty sure was darted with currants and a side of Devonshire cream and a jar of strawberry preserves.  Also there was a very yummy strawberry tart!  I was digging this course!  I will say that I had the privilege of having scones baked by parent at school who was born and raised in London and her Devonshire cream was very different than what was on my plate for tea.  The Devonshire cream I had back home was more of a loose consistency (think homemade whipped cream) and it was amazing!  I could have eaten that stuff straight up!  So, the Devonshire cream at the Garden View Tea Room was more of a butter consistency and didn't blow me away with much flavor but it wasn't bad.  In fact I used every, last, bit of it! 





Pastries
This round was probably the hardest!  That's because our waiter brought out a tray loaded with huge chocolate covered strawberries, graceful currant stuffed puff pastry swans, eclaires, morsles of caramel goodness, fruit tarts, and much more OR we could choose one serving of strawberries and cream.  I am a chocolate girl.  So I chose the eclaire and salted caramel morsel.  I thought both were really good.  A couple of my friends chose the swan which turned out to be quite tart.  But no worries for Heather because the waiter snuck her an extra pastry!  I was pretty happy with my choice...you can't go wrong with chocolate!





Tea ends on a sweet note!  Each guest receives a beautiful pink rose! What a beautiful way to end an amazing tea!  








 This truly was one of the (many) highlights of my trip.  I will most definitley be returning to the Garden View Tea Room!  I can't wait to have a little girl to take someday!  I hope you'll try it out too if you haven't already and let me know your thoughts!  Remember, reservations are required and the Tea Room is not part of the Disney Dining plan!  If you are 180 days or less out from your next trip make your reservations now!  Seriously.  Do it!  at 407-939-3463 or online here. You won't regret it!  






Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lights, Cameras, Citizens!!!!!





I am a people watcher.  I people watch at the mall, sporting events, and even church.  I am guilty as charged.  I love it!  You can imagine what I look like at Disney World.  If I am not making a mad dash for rides and attractions you can most probably find me checking out the scenery.  I am never bored!   You can pretty much guarantee that streetmosphere (see the DIS-tionary) was invented for girls like me!  My favorite streetmosphere is found at Disney's Hollywood Studios...anyone know what I'm talking about?  I'm talking about the Citizens of Hollywood!  So, I've done a small post in the past (part of my Don't Miss at Disney series).  Today I am showing love for my beloved Citizens of Hollywood and I can't wait to put them in the spotlight for you.  Today I am bringing my top five must dos for interaction with the Citizens.  I hope you'll check out this list and use it next time you are at Hollywood Studios.  




As they say in Hollywood...
                            Let's roll!




Take One:
Don't pass them by!
You can't just walk past the fun the Citizens of Hollywood provide!  I take a moment to stop and check out these interactions even if I am making my way to a ride.  I have seen so many people cruise past the fun not even noticing that this is something special.  Trust me!  All you have to do is watch Youtube videos to see people walking by cluelessly in the background.  People who have missed the point!  Friends don't let friends miss the Citizens; so my warning to you today is be aware and take part of the fun!




Take two:
Don't be afraid to be a part of the show!
Audience participation is a HUGE part of the success of the Citizens of Hollywood.  Without an audience to interact with, the Citizens would be...well...not so good!  That's why I am always willing to get in there (should I get asked) and act a little foolish.  Hey, you are at Disney World and you are around people you'll likely never meet again.  Imagine with me for a moment...what if you got scouted to be the next Citizen!  And all because you played along!  Do it!







Take three:
Remember:  They are always in character! 
Expecting the Citizens to break character when you talk with them is not realistic. The Citizens are in character non-stop as they walk through the parks.  This is a huge piece of their charm!  I love that Shelby Mayer goes around screaming "crackerjacks!" at unsuspecting husbands, waiting on their wives to get out of the bathroom.  I love that Percival Peabody walks around hand at the ready to retrieve his gunless holster (he's armed with a banana!).  I love that Dora Nesmond insists on no pictures as she poses away!  I love that!
  




Take four:
Go back for more!
I have seen so many Citizens of Hollywood "shows".  There's everything from solo appearances to the funniest Citizen in Hollywood (think 99 ________ walked into a bar type improv where the audience fills in the blank!).  I always stop and watch even if I've seen a similar set!  You should too! 




Take five:
Snap a shot!
The Citizens of Hollywood approve the use of cameras.  Where would we be without Facebook or Youtube??? What would I do to get my Disney fix?  I always have my camera out because of this blog but I have found that being ready to snap at a moments notice will get you great photos!



Here are a few more articles and videos featuring the Citizens of Hollywood that I love!
Studios Central
Disney-pal.com


video from queenofthehouse0



Friday, March 9, 2012

Princess Half Marathon: My Take on the Magic!








A year ago running a mile would have seemed impossible for me.  The motivation to run would have to come from someone running after me with a knife (I can dodge bullets so a gun wasn't a threat...lol).  So, September rolls around and my body is taken over by aliens.  Okay that is a bit dramatic.  I signed my self up.  So with registration money already paid out I had nothing to do but-RUN!  So I ran and trained and ate and ran and ate and ran and worked out and ran somemore.  And, I am happy to say that I ran that 13.1!  And with the exception of taking a few walking steps to down some water or eat some sports beans, I RAN!!!!  So, was it worth it? 


You bet it was!  And I am going to do it again.  My crazy self might even try another Run Disney event because I am here to tell you that when Disney puts on a race, they put on a race!  So if you are interested, take a moment to view my half marathon highlights!  I am going to try to do this sequentially to give you a full taste of the magic! 


Saturday, February 25th:


4:00 pm
Yay!  After a long drive we finnaly arrived at Disney World (we got caught in traffic froma wreck on I4 FOREVER!)  So I had two tasks: #1 Get "checked" in at the ESPN Wide World of Sports (so that I could race) and #2 meet up with the ladies I kept accountable with Get Active with Tips From the Disney Diva and Chip and Co.  at the Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney.






So, we thought we'd check in first just so the half marathon would be a possibility.  The check in process was really easy.  We were lead right to the expo area where we found our check in area by alphabet.  It literally took 2 minutes!  We made a mad dash through the expo where we picked up tons of samples (we racked up on chapstick, Luna bars, grapefruit, Geico beads, and even Moonpies!).




 And My favorite part was when we got pixie dusted by the ladies of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! 

4:30(ish) pm
So we get pixie dusted and literally had to FLY to Downtown Disney to catch the last 30 minutes of the meet up.  First off, let me just say, I felt like I was meeting rockstars!  It is crazy meetin people I've laughed, cried, and ran with for the past 5 months in person!  We got AWESOME t-shirts, a mini tiara, a great Thirtyone makeup bag and nail file, candy, and even princess tattoos!  I loved every rushed minute of it! 

6:00 pm
So we get "home" and have high hopes of a carb filled dinner and going to bed with the sun.  That didn't so much happen.  It took FOREVER to get our spaghetti and we ate probably too late for it to do any good at all... oh well.  Off to bed we went until...


Sunday, February 26th:


3:00 am (we should just say dark early)
With what felt like a 25 minute nap behind me, my sister and I prepared for the race.  She ate a bagel I ate toast, peanut butter, and a banana.  After getting princessified...






 we bundled up in sweats...
Okay, so this is not our best picture!  But in our defense it was about 5 am!  


You should consider this is if you do the Princess half because at 4 in the morning it is chilly and we read that all clothing items left on the course would be donated to the needy so we donned illfitting sweats and headed out.


Somewhere between 4 and 5 am:
After battling traffic (the only disorganized part of the day) we FINALLY made it to the starting point.  We entered ready to run! 




 The speakers blared as an emcee reminded runners that we had to be in our corral by 5:30.  By now it is about 5:15 and I am freaking out that we are going to miss it.  We made our way through the tents and toward the queue only to find out that this is what awaited us.


Just in case you didn't inferre here...this is a sea of costume wearing waiters.  So we waited for what seemed like forever!  5:30 came and went and we were still in this jam.  After about 25 minutes of baby steps we were relieved to pass port-o-pottys and discover that, the hold up ended there.  We quickly walked on the next set of pottys and went to the restroom and scooted into corral D in just enough time!


6:00 am
The excitement with the start of each corral A-C had my heart going!  Each corral was released by the Fairy Godmother (you know from Cinderella).  As she said  Salagadoola mechicka boola   3 2 1 and fireworks shot off in the morning darkness I was ready.  Of course they played music to pump us up even more (the obligatory Black Eyed Peas I Got a Feeling!) played as we inched our way closer to the start!.  So finally 18 minutes (6 minutes between each corral release) we are off.  I found it easy to run after about the first 1/4 of a mile.  A bit slower than usual but that was okay!  




 


Mid race 6:18-8:44 give or take
We had an awesome run.  I was so worried about my foot but, it ended up being alright (only a bit of pain after about the 10 mile mark).  There was entertainment set up along the way in the form of Disney favorites.  I didn't stop for any pictures because the lines were extremely long and I had some unfortunate technical difficulties with my point and shoot (I am a SLR kinda girl these days) so I only got a few shots/videos along the way. I saw Jack Sparrow, my favorite Disney heroes, the villians, Pocahontas, Belle (and oddly enough Gaston...as in together), trampoline performers, a DJ, Donald and Daisy, and so many more!  There were also Power aid/Water tables set up along the way and even some gels at the 10th or so mile (gels are no bueno for me so I kept trucking there).  As well as multiple first aid stops with Biofreeze (think asprin you rub onto pain) and petroleum jelly, etc.


My favorite part was at mile 6 when I realized that the Magic Kingdom was up next!  I love, love, loved every part of the course going through the Magic Kingdom.  I have always had a dream that I am running free through the Magic Kingdom by myself.  As I got a half way version of this experience during the race I was breathless (well not really) but I did have goosebumps (even though I was sweating) and dare I even say...tears...just a little that I blinked back with a chuckle as I high-fived an onlooker.  Onlookers ROCK!  They provided me with just the right umph when I needed it!  And I'll admit I did need it!  




video

 

 Especially at about the 10th mile.  I started to think about my foot, the approaching overpasss (the scary hill from what I read on the internet which turned out not to be that bad-thank you SC hilly training grounds) and how long I had to go.  I was tired.  I think the thing that got me through that mental block was thinking about all the people who were counting on me.  I literally went through each kid in my class's name thinking what would they say if I didn't make it.  I thought about all that training and hard work.  I thought about my friends and family who had supported me along the way.  And I MADE IT!!!!!!  I remember coming up that not so scary hill and seeing Spaceship Earth in the distance.  I got a burst of energy as we rounded the corner where two microphoned men asked runners to shout out their home town.  I knew then I was close.  And just when I needed it most I saw my family! They screamed and held up signs and I gave the thumbs up!  I had less than a mile to go.  I think that was probably the hardest mile I have ever done.  I kept thinking the finish line would be around the next corner of each turn.  Finally I see a choir singing and celebrating us and then I see the huge FINISH line!  I ran through at a time I am not ashamed of at all 2 hours and 26 minutes.  I finished!  I had a bum foot!  I was in the top 1/3 of finishers!  A year before I couldn't do a mile and I just ran 13.1 of them!  And to top it all off...I WAS AT DISNEY WORLD!  





8:44 ish am
We got our medals and snapped a photo together and chowed down on some post race snacks  (you could pick fruit, a Luna bar, and everyone got a boxed set of healthy goodies like roasted edamame, humus, crackers, dark chocolate, and fruit and nuts), and we also got to choose a pack of Disney gummies (I got Toy Story for my nephew).  We went home showered up and hit the park like pros!  I felt like an Olympian when I finished saying now that I am done I am going to Disney World!What a fun day!!!!






 I really enjoyed this race!  The course was great and the magic was evident in every footstep!  I am hooked on some Disney Running!  Here's what I have been thinking over...




Hmmmm.....
Can we say YEAH! for the Tower of Terror 10 miler?