Wednesday, October 30, 2013

runDisney's First #OnTheRoadToDisney Meet-Up! ATL Style

Yesterday at about 10:30am a surprise tweet fell upon RunDisney fans and runners that have always dreamed of being in a meet up. This time it wasn't part of a race weekend, it was something new! 

As the tweet went out out from @runDisney heart dropped especially if you lived in the Atlanta area because the first  #OnTheRoadToDisney Meet-Up is heading there! 

What did this mean and how long would we have to wait to hear the details? Not long. 

A few minutes later this tweet came up and people scrambled to their computer and iPhones to sign up.

This meet up was hot off the press and it filled up fast! Within minutes another tweet went out announcing it had reached capacity. 

Now the wait. I think the wait is the most brain- teasing part. You start to think "Did I type in the correct info?", "Did I send it to the right email address?", then the biggest question "Did I act fast enough and get it in before the list filled up?" All you can do is wait for the next tweet to say the list is up. 

As we all waited I texted and tweeted my friends that I knew had entered. There were nerves for all of us... fingers crossed and pixie dust their way is all we could ask for. 

And then at 5:13pm that afternoon the tweet we've been all waiting for popped up ... The attendee list. IT WAS UP! 

So many of my RunDisney friends made it in. I think for a few minutes I could feel the ground moving from the jumping up and down in Atlanta :)

Congratations to all! 

For more information or for future meet ups make sure you follow @runDisney on Twitter with the hashtag #OnTheRoadToDisney Meet-Up!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Holiday Events at the Walt Disney World starting Nov. 8

The holidays are one of the most magical times at Walt Disney World and it all returns with a few new extras this year. 

Cinderella's castle will be illuminated again this year with bright beautiful lights and starting November 8, something new is happening. The debut of  ‘Glow With The Show’ Ears at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties (during the “Celebrate the Magic” show, "Holiday Wishesfireworks), and at Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights atDisney’s Hollywood Studios. If you have seen the World Of Color show at Disneyland's California Adventure park then you will know you won't want to miss out in this Magic kingdom debut. If you have not ... it's amazing! You can buy the glow ears at shops throughout Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Ears or if you purchased your ears at Disneyland Resort and brought them with you they will work, as well.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns to Magic Kingdom Park on select nights starting November 8. Buying tickets in advance is recommended due to their popular and it it will also save you money. Passholders, you can also receive an additional savings by calling or going to that special website dedicated just or you. Check out the scheduled party dates and prices here.

The Epcot Candlelight Processional is also a must-see show this season. It is included with your Epcot admission however, purchasing a Candlelight Dinner Package also includes a dinner reservation at selected EPCOT restaurants before you see the show. Learn more or book here.

Holiday room rates and vacation packages are still available but hurry because these rates are only available for a limited time!

 To book your magical holiday vacation you can call Jen at #941-204-0073 or send an email with your travel dates and plans to 

I will be there on November 8, to see all the neat happenings and events... I hope to see you there too! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#WineDineHalf marathon meet up is a GO!

Well as I sit here and write this I am still in shock that I made it into the 2013 Wine and Dine meet up! 

I have tried 3 times now. Once for Princess in 2013, once for the Disneyland meet up in 2013 (which I really wanted), and then today! 

This race has had so many "spur of the moment" moments. I never expected to run in the Wine and Dine half. I found a bib through charity and bought it. I called it meant to be. Then I never stay at the same resort where my friends are and yes we are all together. And finally today I entered to get into the meet, not thinking I would, I got in! 

I was an amazing and fast day! Thank God because the dram between the last two meets drove me insane for days! 

As the day went on there were tweets that followed up to a surprise announcement. Lucky for me I screen shot everyone one of them so in order here was the day's activity:

This morning as I was on my way to work a little later I posted: 

Later in that morning a teaser tweet from @runDisney popped up.

I was sipping on my iced tea and just about tripped over myself when it popped up! All of sudden started to think... "Today may be the day!" I Tried to stay calm but if you know me that is an understatement. (lol) so I Re: back to them with a tweet I my own:

I tried to do my best during the day but everytime that my phone went "DING" I a panicked and looked at my phone to see if it said "@runDisney..." I texted my girlfriend Kim and Brandi asking if they were trying for the meet up and of course they al were too, we are runDisney fanatics. Here's where the story gets hilarious and yes even though it is TMI I am going to share it! 

So as some of you may or may not know my husband and I have owned a hair salon for over 18yrs. If you also don't know...being a travel agent you work on commission which means you don't book... You don't make a paycheck and when you do it may not come until that clients completes their trip which may be months. So I have worked two jobs for about 9 yrs. 

Anyways, today was a day by myself at the salon for a few hours because my husband didn't feel well and stayed home. I only had one client today and then Kim was coming to get her hair colored. Eveything seemed to be going smooth until my client walked in. I just had this feeling to watch my phone and listen to my alerts. It killed me to carry my phone around with me, but I couldn't miss another teaser! As I cut the lady's hair I heard and alert! "Oh no!" I thought to myself "I hope that wasn't from RunDisney!" I slowly walked over and pressed the button to check, "Nope nothing" I told myself and continued. As I dried her hair I hoped that I wouldn't get another alert and miss it. Ok done. Whew, I didn't miss anything. I was getting more nervous and my stupid Chrohns stomach started to kick in! I wasn't being rude but I had to use the bathroom and I needed to either stop or rush this lady out. I chose rush her out. As I was saying my goodbyes and she continued to talk I heard a double alert "Ding- Ding!" As I was saying goodbye I looked down at my phone and I saw it!!! 

"OMG! Is that it? Does that say what I think it says???" I could feel my eyes get big like I was in shock and stare at the phone. I quickly blurted out "well, I'll see you later I have to get this! I've been waiting on this email all day!" She turned and started walking to the door. I ran after her shutting the door behind her, and as I was panicking my stomach started to rumble more! "OMG, this is not the time for this for God's sake!" I yelled out loud to myself. I rushed to the front door and locked it before running to the bathroom but at the same time trying to pull up the blog post. Yup you guessed it, this was it and I picked a great place to RSVP! I mean I had all day with no problems - why must everything happen all at once for me?" 

It read: 

So as quickly as I could I sent in my email and my name to the email they listed and then panicked some more. "Did I send that to the right email? Oh no, maybe I screwed this up! Let me double check!" I thought to myself, "Nope, I think I got this!" 

As I was writing, sending, and double checking friends of mine kept calling and texting "Did you send yours in?" And "It's up!" This time I wasn't responding until I was sure I had this right. My nerves were really shot by now and "Where is Kim? She should be here by now." I figured she was either at home on the computer or on some side street emailing it in on her phone. Ps, I was right. She did pull over and do it. As she pulled up and ran in we started to tell out stories and what just happened. It was so funny mine a little more. She pulled over to enter it.. Well, I entered mine in a very unusual place that probably no one else has admitted to. 

Now was the 3hr wait until 5pm. At hat time they would be posting the names of the attendees that made it. 
3:00 came ... I started to do her hair
4:09 came and I was almost finished
5:00 came and we were still waiting togther and there was no list up online yet. 

We wanted to find out together but this didn't look like it was going to turn out that way. So at 5:15 we headed out the door for the night. We got in our cars and started driving and of course, what happens? I got a text that said the list was up! 

Carefully glancing at the list on the teamrundisney group site I saw Kim's name immediately but not mine. I think I actually teared up for a min. I scrolled 2x thinking "This can't be. I entered at 2:02pm 2 minutes after it posted!" Finally I saw it. The list was not in alphabetical order and it messed with us all. 
The list: 

As I drove down the highway I called Kim who was infront of me "Did u see the list?" I yelled? I have no ideas what she rambled back about 3-4x but in the end she was so excited she basically said yes! 

We both made it!!
I just can't believe it. 

Well, now waiting for my confirmation email is the next hair raising expierence so until then... 

Congratulations to everyone who made the list & to everyone who didn't... Don't worry your time will come and when it does it will be truely magical like ours!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I Double Dare you to sign up early!

In 2013 RunDisney announced a new race called the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. It was the first challenge of many to come and it was a hot off the press when it came out! Everyone that was a RunDisney runner, fan, or dreaming of running a runDisney race wanted to get into this one!

Chatter started over the internet of its registration date. Some were lucky to get in early with a special per-registration sign up from Visa™, and others waited for it to open up to the public not knowing what would happen! 

In less than 3 hours from the time registration opened at 12:00pm it was all over and sold out.  The DDD sold out in less than 1 hour and the 10k sold out in less than 2 hours. By 2:00 the Disneyland half marathon was almost gone too. It wasn't until before the race in August that I saw these numbers...

 I was one of the luck few to have made it, but I have to tell you as I sat there freaking out at the price increases and the new price for the DDD but I had to hurry and hit that "submit" button before it sold out! (2013 Prices are below)

Disneyland Half Marathon Registration Fees

Dumbo Double Dare Registration Fees $280.00   

Disneyland 10K Registration Fees $95.00 

 Family Fun Run 5K Registration Fee $65.00

Kids Races Registration Fee $20.00

 The next step was reserving my clients rooms at one of the Disneyland Resorts on property but they were sold out too! 

Luckily was able to receive a room block but, it wasn't as many as I needed. Alot of other agents wanted rooms blocks and they were on a first come first serve list on who requested them first. There are only 3 onsite Disneyland resorts and all of the rooms on Disney property were given to travel agents for blocks. 

Staying on Disneyland property was fabulous!!! I got off of the plane in LAX, took the Disneyland Express shuttle to the Disneyland Hotel, and never got into any other transporation again until it was time to go back to LAX! Everything was within walking minutes from the resorts. There were plenty of dining options at Downtown Disney outside our resort, and it took me 5 minutes to walk there. The parks were maybe 10-15 minutes depending on where I was going and how slow I walked. If I ever did it again... there would be no answer but "Yes, I am staying on property again!" 
(Below is how close DD was. The socerers hat was near the Start Line and the  Finish line chute for all if the races. 

I have been given word that the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend race registrations will be open to the public in January (a date is TBD). The Dumbo Double Dare will be returning and so will the half,10k, 5k, and kids races. Prices have not been set yet but I am sure you can count on a price increase. 

If you would like to return to Disneyland for the races again this year or you were not able to reserve your spot in the race last year due to the sell out I am giving you an opportunity not to be left out this year by getting on an early group sign up list. Some of my past year's friends can tell you that it was one of the best race weekends and experiences that they have had running runDisney and have already signed up with me to return.

I have started a pre-sign up list for anyone interested in early race registrations and rooms packages. I will have only a limited number of early registrations and you will be notified by me as soon as I receive the new 2014 race prices (By the end of the fall) At that time I will be contacting runners in order of who signed up first to latest.  

The race package will include:
  • Your race registration through runDisney (a link will be given to you to sign up through
  • All of the amenities that come with runDisney including your bib and race shirt, plus a commemorative pin
  • A 3 night min. stay is required at your Disneyland resort choice of Paradise Pier, Disneyland Hotel, or The Grand Californian
  • Guests to 4 people in a room  
  • $25 Disney gift card
  • Exclusive Meet up Party after the Half Marathon 
  • a few more surprises 
*If you are interested in a "Room Only" at a select Disneyland Resort there is also a min on 3 nights.
Please send me a email with "2014 DL pre-sign up" in the subject line to 
In the email please include:
  1. Your name with the race you are signing up for
  2. Guests names traveling with you (specify if they are an adult or child)
  3. and if the are registering for a race also please include that next to their name
  4. Your resort choice (if you would like all of the resort prices that if fine)
  5. Check in date / Check out date
  6. Phone number where you can be reached
Mary Smith - DDD
Joe Smith- 10k
Laura Smith child not running
Disneyland Hotel or All resorts

For more info on upcoming events for the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend go to:


Friday, October 18, 2013

NITEBEAMS Review + Giveaway

So about a week ago I laced up my new Saucony Ride 6 with my NITEBEAMS laces and went out for a run. I bought theses shoelaces at a runDisney expo last year but I never got to use them. 

Living in Florida the heat the can be brutal so 75% of the time I HAVE to go run inside at the gym on the treadmill. I am not a morning runner so afternoons on my day off or evenings after work is usually when I get to go and run. Luckily, the with the weather cooling off now and the nights getting darker, I will be enjoying some time outside to enjoy some fresh air runs. YAY! So with the cooler weather and a night race coming up in Disney I decided to lace up these babies and Go! 

As I was running the sun began to set and I stopped to turn on my laces on and continued running. "THESE ARE SO COOL!" I thought to myself..."I have to show these off!" So stopped again and snapped a picture in the road. As you can see (pictured below) the lights were so bright it was better than a flashlight leading my way. As I was running past the back of the house my son texted me "Is that you running?" I laughed and texted back "Yes! Can you see me?" He replied "RUN FASTER GRANNY" ...yup that's my cross country 17min 5k'er son for ya! I guess he can see me. 

When I got in the door I posted the picture of my new shoes with the Nitebeams all laced up onto Facebook. They were a hit! 

With less light hours in the winter season please be safe and be sure to have some sort of light and reflective gear on your body. Try to wear brightly colored shirts and avoid dark colors so that motorists can see you if you are running in parks, neighborhoods or busy streets. If you can grab a running buddy that is always better too! 

Nitebeams sell more than just laces, they have a variety of nite gear accessories such as arm bands, wrist straps, rings (which I have also used in my hair) and more.
  • They are great birthday gifts to give to other runners
  • Awesome Christmas presents for family or friends
  • Perfect for night fun runs with your running team or friends
  • Night races 
  • Halloween tick or treating safety for the whole family
  • and more
Visit them on the web:
On  Facebook: Nitebeams

Nitebeams will booth #426 at the upcoming runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon expo. When you go downstairs to the expo floor they will be all the way over to the right hand aisle.

If you haven't met them- go over and check out there products and say hi! You can't miss their booth with all the bright light products. You can tell them that you read about them here :)

 Nitebeams has been kind enough to give our blog a pair to give away. One lucky winner will be able to choose which color laces they would like to receive. As soon as a winner has been chosen we will contact you and post our winner here.

Be safe, have fun and run happy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Favorite #runDisney Race ~ What's yours?

A few days ago on Twitter there was a post from @runDisney ...

And it got me thinking about my Disney races. 
It wasn't until 5 years ago that I started to run. I set off on a trial run with my friend Kim to see if I even liked it. I gave myself 30 days to see if I liked it or not and well... I guess you all know what that outcome was :)

Each race I run holds a different place in my heart. Some were harder to achieve than others and others were truely magical!

My very first race was the Princess and the Frog Family 5k in Disney. It was so fun but I knew nothing about running. Matter of fact I look back at my picture and think "What was I wearing?" I went out to have fun and it certainly held up to my expectations!

The next race was a little harder as I returned to Disney and conquered Expedition Everest teaming up as "Running Mamas" with Kim. 

Soon after I raised the bar to run my first half marathon during Marathon Weekend. This was Donald's anniversary year so I went for it. This was going to be tough and it was! I teared up when the fireworks went off at the start, I took pictures along the route, and learned some new things still considering myself a new runner. I learned what "hitting the wall" meant, I learned what fuel was, and I learned that I had to pace myself while at the same time trying to keep a my sanity! When that finish line came I cried like a baby because "I did it!"

By the time the Princess Half marathon came around I was struggling with some health issues. My knee was hurting, my heart kept racing during my practice runs, and then I hyperventilated on the course right around mile 10. Even after my throat started to close up and I was gasping for air  I could not quit this race it get swept. I was so close. This wasn't my best nor my favorite race but I always wanted to do it and again I conquered it. I might not have had a smile at the end buy I did it!  (My highlight for that expo was finally meeting Jeff Galloway)

Tower of Terror 10 miler was a new race in 2012 and with that I decided to do it. The mileage was do-able and with the summer weather being hot still I was hoping that a night time race was going to be cool! Training in Florida I definately had an advantage because even thiough it was hot.. I was used to it and had to come up with ways to get myself to the finish line. Pouring water over me at ever rest stop and keeping hydrated was the key. It wasn't my favorite course but it did fine. 

Skip forward to August of 2013 when I was crazy enough to have signed up for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. This was a back to back race. 6.2 miles on Saturday and then 13.1 on Sunday. WOA! But this had an extra perk for me... getting my Coast to Coast medal in addition to the other 3 medals. 
This trip was going to be an adventure and a trip of a lifetime. I had never been to California let alone my dream of going to Disneyland was about to come true. Being there in a whole new world made the weekend the most magical weekend I had ever had. Meeting friends I had talked to on Twitter and in our group Team #rundisney made it even more special 

These courses were my favorites. Winding through the streets of Anaheim, following the path in Disneyland that Walt built, seeing the new theme park California Adventure, and running through Angels Stadium was awesome! I felt at a few points in the race that I was the only one on the course and that I could just fly! Running through the finish line alongside my friends Kim, Lena, Brandi, and Jen was GREAT! I had NEVER in all my life felt happy and so smiley at a finish line! While I thought my toes were broken and bleeding, I didn't seem to care for those moments after I finished.  

The picture we took at the finish line should be the new billboard on runDisney because this is what "Every Mile is Magical" looks like! 

So I want to hear from you in the comments below:

What is our favorite runDisney race? And Why?

Was it the course, a new distance/race, or was it the running friends that made the experience special? 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Oh what a Magic (bands) day!

Planning a vacation to Disney has never been more exciting lately and with a few enhancements it has become even more magical!

If you have not heard they are experimenting with a new system that let's you get rid of your old paper or credit card looking passes to a bracelet called a Magic Band.
The bands are state if the art and let you wear it your entire trip, yes even in the pool, and never use those flimsy cards that you end up loosing or throwing away at the end of your visit again.
The band look like a sports bracelet and you can customize it with your name, a slogan, or maybe your favorite characters name so that you and your family or friends recognize who's band is who once you take it off. Being a Disney specialist/ travel planner I chose to have my name read TRAVELGRL. You are only given 9 spaces so you have to be creative :)
It was very easy to set up. If you are traveling to Disney your travel planner can send you a invitation to set yours up if you are staying on property at one of the resorts using this system. Some resorts are still in the trial stages.  If your not using a travel planner (why aren't you?) then Disney will have to take care of that. 
It is very easy. All you need is a resort reservation and park tickets. Once you have established your package that is right for you you can begin to customize can order your bands. Go to to register and create a log in username and password to create your account that you can use forever. If you have an account already you can go directly to this link
and start creating your band. You Magic Bands are your key to the world while you are there. Dining plans, park tickets, shopping charges, and special events can all be loaded on to your card for your one stop shop. The best part is you can also add Fast Passes to your band and plan your day before you go into the parks!

A few days ago I received this email from Disney saying my Magic Bands were on their way. I was so excited! 

Then yesterday they arrived! I am sure you all heard when I opened my box...because when I opened my box angels sang "Ahhhhh!!" 

In a few weeks I will using my bands around the whole on my vacation during the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend Nov. 8-10, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I will be traveling and cheering on my son's high school Charlotte High school (from Florida) in the race this year ~ I'm so excited!
 Details on the event are below ... If you have a chance it will be aired live! 

Good luck to each participant

 as Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic  
 2013 Disney Cross Country Classic
presented by New Balance*

Registration/packet pick-up:
Friday, October 11: 10:00am-5:00pm
Saturday, October 12: 6:00am-9:30am

Friday, October 11th 
3:00 – 1A/2A JV Girls 5K 
 3:35 – 1A/2A JV Boys 5K  
 4:05 – 1A Varsity Girls 5K 
 4:35 – 2A Varsity Girls 5K 
 5:05 – 1A Varsity Boys 5K 
 5:35 – 2A Varsity Boys 5K 
 6:05 – Middle School 3200 - Combined
6:30 – Open Race 5K
6:45 – Pasta Party** 
Saturday, October 12th 
 7:45 -College Men's 8K 
 8:30 - College Women's 5K 
 9:00 – 3A Varsity Girls 5K 
 9:30 – 4A Varsity Girls 5K 
 10:00 – 3A Varsity Boys 5K 
 10:30 – 4A Varsity Boys 5K 
 11:00 – 3A/4A JV Girls 5K 
 11:35 – 3A/4A JV Boys 5K

High School coaches should determine which division their schools should compete in based on the breakdown of enrollment numbers.
1A – up to 470 students (1 – 470)
2A – 471 – 1472 students
3A – 1473 – 1997 students
4A – 1998 + students
* Schedule subject to change. Be sure to check updated schedule at registration.
* To be eligible to compete in the High School division, your team must be eligible to compete according to your official state high school athletic association's rules and regulations.
**Call 407-938-3803 or visit for ticket details and pricing on the Pasta Party.

  Participating Schools for 2013

Expo hours: