Disney Day Five!

This is the SADDEST day because this is the day we went home.  However, just to make the magic last a little bit longer… I reserved a spot for a character breakfast for us that morning!  It was at Ohana’s at the Polynesian Resort.  That resort is currently under construction, but I have a feeling once they make the updates it will be really awesome!!!  I also really like how they served the food, family style!  They just brought over a big plate of everything and we served ourselves.  We could have as much or as little as we wanted – it was like a buffet but without having to get up and go walk and wait in line for food.  Brilliant!

Can you guess my favorite part of the meal?

The characters at this breakfast were Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, and Mickey!  Mom and Dad (and Brandon) really didn’t know anything about Lilo and Stitch – but I do (duh).  I actually had just watched Lilo and Stitch before we left!

Stitch was the only one with a photographer, so this is the only picture we have of all four of us.

I LOVE that picture of my parents.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

After breakfast we went to Downtown Disney to do a little shopping, but didn’t stay very long.  I can’t even begin to tell you how hot it was, and I was officially worn out.  I did NOT want to walk, and I was sweaty and exhausted!  (So was everyone!)  So we headed to the airport (booo)…

At the airport, guess what we did while we waited for our flight?

I told you = pin trading had taken over the trip!!!!!!

It really was the BEST trip.  I really want to go back, right now.  And for those of you that are curious about going to Disney while 7 months pregnant?  No big deal.  I got a little more tired than usual, but there are enough places to sit and cool down… it’s all good!!!  Even after we got home… we still pretended we were there!

Now – on to the big news.  While we were on the trip, everyone kept telling me what a great job I did planning.  And I thought about it… and really, I did do a great job.  It was so much fun, and we really got the most out of our time there.  Plus, I absolutely ADORE planning the trips!!!  So, I have made the decision to become an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  It’s going to take some time – I need to find an agency in order to get the certification… and I won’t be able to devote myself full time to it – because I still have to work… but it is something I am really good at, and really enjoy doing.

So, in the future – I will be able to help OTHER people plan perfect Disney vacations!!!  And the best part about it is… it won’t cost THEM any extra money!  The way it works is great, the planners simply make a commission from Disney when they sell a package.  So it won’t cost the vacationers any extra money at all.  It actually will probably SAVE them money, because the planners spend a lot of time making sure that they are getting the best value out there.

I am REALLY looking forward to getting started, but who knows when that will be.  I have my information in to a few different agencies, and am just waiting to hear back.  They all have different training cycles, so hopefully I will get picked up with a good agency when they begin their next one!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

Disney Day Four!

Ok!  I’m back!

Day four was the COOLEST day at Disney I have ever spent.  And that is NO exaggeration.  We signed up to do the Keys to the Kingdom tour – and it did NOT disappoint.  I learned SO much about Disney World and Walt Disney and how they run the park… PLUS we got to see stuff behind the scenes, and even got to go down into the Utilidoor system (the tunnels!) – which actually aren’t underground.  They are ground level.  The entire park is on the 2nd level.  The more you know…

We got to the park before it opened, and had a chance to snap some pictures of the castle before it got crazy…

(I’ve never seen Main Street so empty!!)

Dad also got some quality time with his favorite…

I can’t even begin to write about all the things we learned.  A part of me wants to, so I don’t forget… but then a part of me doesn’t want to, so if you ever decide to take the tour you’ll be just as captivated as we were.  We plan on doing it again one day, because we’re sure that a new tour guide will have new stories and it was seriously THAT MUCH FUN.  I do have to say it was kind of tough towards the end though… a LOT of walking and my hips were really starting to hurt.

I do have to tell you one thing though – all of the names in the windows have meaning.  They are all important people in building the park.  This window was my favorite – M.T. Lott (empty lot….) and all the “subsidiaries” on the window were the names of the fake corporations set up to slowly buy all the land to build the park.  It was pretty funny, they knew if Walt Disney started to buy land, it would all go up in price.  So Florida knew something was going on when all this land was getting purchased, but didn’t know what.  There were all these theories, and Disney was one of them!  So during an interview, a journalist straight up asked Walt if they were building a park.  His response was “absolutely not!  Florida is too hot, you cant build on a swamp, there are bugs and alligators, blah blah blah blah…” and went on for a while about why he could never build a park in Florida.  When the journalist got home she thought to herself “why on earth would he know so much about Central Florida?!?” so the next day she announced that yes, they were building Disney World in Orlando!!!  That forced Disney to announce early that she was right, and those were the plans.  Unfortunately they still had one more land purchase they needed (the last 10%) and that last 10% ended up costing significantly more than the entire other 90% put together!!  (he gave us numbers but I can’t remember…)

During the tour we also learned about Pin trading.  Boy oh boy was my Dad excited…

Needless to say, by the end of the trip we all had LOTS of pins, and had a LOT of fun trading them.  Dad still brings his pins over to my house when he visits to try to trade me…

After the tour we decided we really needed to cool off, so we hopped on the monorail and ended up finding a bar at the Contemporary Resort to hang out at for a bit.  Then, back to the park!  We rode some more rides, I got my pretzel, we met Tinkerbell, and before we knew it – it was fireworks time!

The jury is still out for me if the Fireworks Dessert Party was worth it.  The deserts were only so-so, and we were so stuffed from eating all day we didn’t even really eat much (I don’t think Dad had anything at all…) but the main point of us doing that was so we had a reserved place to watch the show.  We definitely had a nice, uncrowded view of the castle……. but it wasn’t my favorite view.  We were kind of off to the side, so the fireworks were next to the castle instead of behind it.  I only got one decent fireworks picture…

So, I guess it’s a recommended spot if you don’t want to stand on Main Street and wait.  But if you stand on Main Street… you’ll get the BEST view.  I prefer the view from Main Street, but for this trip I MORE preferred sitting down in a chair.  So it’s really a toss up!  It was also much harder to hear the music from the terrace party, which was kind of a bummer.  And there was a grandpa talking to his kid about how that was Mickey Mouse’s house and I wanted to stop him and say NO THAT IS CINDERELLA’S HOUSE NOT MICKEY’S HOUSE… but I just bit my tongue.

Final recap coming next!!  (can we go back now, please?)

Disney Day Three!

Early in the morning on Day 3, we didn’t have any set plans.  I told Brandon (while he was still asleep) we could go to Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom.  He said Animal Kingdom.  So then I said okay, he would have to get up now so we could get ready because we needed to be at Magic Kingdom by noon for lunch… and then he said “Magic Kingdom” and I let him sleep for a little while longer… haha I wasn’t kidding about the lack of sleep this poor guy gets!  🙂

We started the morning at MK, riding more rides and taking advantage of the not-so-busy park!  There was almost NO wait for one of my favorite rides… and I almost rode it… but didn’t.  If there wasn’t a lap bar that came down I would have ridden it… because really it’s only one drop, and it’s not THAT intense… but it’s safer to just not.  I did get this picture though!

See?  Mom is holding on to her visor… while Brandon and Dad are giving the “guns up”…

At least she has her eyes open in this one!!!  🙂

After we rode the rides, I was so excited for lunch.  I recieved an email a few months ago about being part of a test group to try new “Fast Pass Dining” at BE OUR GUEST restaurant!  For those of you who don’t know, it’s next to impossible to get in to Be Our Guest.  It’s the newest (and coolest) restaurant in the parks… and so I jumped at the opportunity to get to go!  We even ordered our lunch in advance!  We got there, checked in, and they said we could sit wherever we wanted to.  It was SO SO SSOOOO COOL!!!  I wanted to sit in the “west wing” where the rose was, but it was already packed.  You could also sit in the library, but we decided to take a small table in the back of the ballroom.

The coolest part?  Those people walking around with those carts.  We had sat down for just a few minutes, and our food magically appeared!  It was delicious and we really really loved it!  Next time, I want to go there for dinner.  SO neat.

After lunch we went back to the hotel to relax for a bit, then it was back to EPCOT!

I kept reading about the “Cool Zone” but had never been in person… and so we made it a point to go check it out this trip.  You can go try a bunch of different flavors of Coke from around the world.  For free!!  It was really interesting…

I really liked Peru, and I did NOT LIKE ITALY.  Mom liked Italy.  It does not taste good.  Most of them were just really, really sweet…  I was glad we got to check it out this trip!

We headed over to the world showcase where this EPIC picture was taken:

Sadly, we did not buy the glasses.  And then we talked for the rest of the trip about how we should have bought the glasses.  When my mother came over on Wednesday for dinner, SHE HAD ORDERED SOME ONLINE!  NOW WE HAVE THEM!!!!  I love them, they are the best.  Also?  I had two pairs in my cart ready to check out the other day… but then decided I would wait until closer to Christmas.  Good thing I did, because Mom had already ordered them!!

Anyways… we had a great dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub, and then headed over to our Fast Pass viewing area for the IllumiNations Firework show.  I still can’t decide if I will do the fast pass for that again or not… maybe a good idea when the park is more crowded, but I think we could have easily found a great place to see them (like on the patio of the restaurant we were at!) and not needed to use the Fast Pass…

 

And that’s about it for Day Three!  I’ll probably finish up the trip recap next week… we have a pretty busy weekend ahead of us this weekend!  Get excited though, I have some pretty exciting news to share with you all!!  ❤

Disney Day Two!

We started this day out at everyone’s favorite park – Epcot!

We got there early enough to get on Soarin’ with no wait… and then went to ride our first FastPass ride… Test Track!!!

Well, I made it this far.  You get to design your own car before the ride itself.  Since Test Track is a “thrill ride”… Baby Olaf and I sat this one out.

You will notice in all ride pictures, my dear mother is holding on to her visor!!  Apparently this ride was MUCH faster than any of them anticipated!  They would have been more prepared if they would have done the research I had done…  haha!!

After Test Track was the MOST exciting part of the day… TIME TO MEET MICKEY!!!!!!!!!  I put on my homemade tank top, and was so excited I could hardly contain myself…

Yeah, it was definitely homemade.  The iron on did NOT want to stay on and it was wrinkley and crinkley and oh well… it’s the thought that counts!  And the only person who’s thoughts I cared about was the big cheese himself.  And he LOVED MY SHIRT!!!

(And so did Mrs. Big Cheese!!!)

After some more time at Epcot, Brandon and I came back to the hotel for a nap (and so he could draft in one of his fantasy leagues…) and Mom and Dad hung around the World Showcase for a little while longer.  That evening we went to one of the BEST restaurants I have been to in a LONG time… Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I HIGHLY recommend it for you foodies!!

AFTER dinner we decided to live a bit dangerously and go to the Magic Kingdom!  This wasn’t on our original plan, but we are sure glad we did it.  We got there right when the fireworks were about to begin, so took advantage of shorter lines in Tomorrowland and hit up some awesome rides.

Also, I just have to post this picture.  Brandon loves his sleep, and bless his heart he does NOT GET MUCH SLEEP on our Disney trips!  I snapped this picture early Sunday morning before we left, with the “My First Mickey” doll that my dad got for Olaf…

He is such a trooper.

Well, that’s it for day two!  I have to do these posts a day at a time because I get SO SAD that the trip is over already…  I want to go back, now!!!

Disney Day One!

Disney was amazing.  I just don’t even have words so I’ll let the pictures tell you all about it…

I made it to WalMart the day before we left and was able to get some great Disney shirts!  I would have much rather purchased a few $7-$10 shirts there instead of waiting until we got there and paying $30 each!  Especially since I needed them so big!!  When we got to the hotel, we checked in, and little baby Olaf got a button!!

Shortly after checking in one of my BFFs in the ENTIRE WORLD came to visit!  She lives in Wisconsin, and was in Florida visiting her Mom – so they came to have lunch with us!  She even brought Olaf a present – a TON of BABY PACKERS CLOTHES.  (And she brought me Clay Matthews, because she is the best)

Lunch was fabulous.  I had a burger with lobster on it.  AND we got anniversary cupcakes because Meghan’s mom told them we were celebrating!  How sweet!!

After lunch, we headed to Hollywood Studios.  Rode a few rides, had a yummy Italian dinner, and saw the Fantasmic show!  Luckily we were there during the Frozen Summer Party – so we got to check out some Frozen Fireworks after Fantasmic!  It was a really fun, really busy day!  Here is a panoramic picture I took of the really cool stunt show we saw that afternoon.  Pretty awesome stuff!

When we got back to the hotel room that night, a little surprise was waiting for everyone.  I was so excited about this!

We only ended up using the bag at the park one day, but the snacks were fantastic!  Since we scheduled our days with breaks in the middle, we didn’t need to bring as much stuff with us.  So we ended up only using a small bag that my mom brought along.  I do know that we will get a LOT of use out of the bag in the future though!  The bottom part is a cooler!!  It’s a great bag!  I was really glad that I was able to surprise everyone with the gift… I’m surprised I actually kept it a secret!

 

Well, there’s the first day in a nutshell.  I’ll fill you all in on the rest of the trip later this week!

Race Recap: Tinkerbell Half Marathon

In honor of today’s much anticipated RunDisney announcement – I figure it’s time I sit down and write out my Tinkerbell Half Marathon Recap.  Okay so it’s way PAST time… but whatever.  I could talk for days about this trip.  DAYS!  But since this is my race recap, I will keep it simple.

I ran this race with some of my best friends in the world.  We had rented a hotel room at the Anabella resort right across the street from the starting line – and it was the best decision EVER!  We woke up at the butt crack of dawn and got all ready to go.  Luckily, Meghan and Beth are just as anal as I am.  Everything was all laid out – ready to go!  Meghan and Beth and I spent a while getting our outfits just right.  Pirate themed glitter Mickey on the front, and the best quote ever on the back… “RUN?  I thought you said RUM!”

Krissie met us at the hotel and we were off!  The weather was cool, but wasn’t too bad.  We all had on throw away sweaters in order to not freeze.  We had all trained pretty hard for this race, and were thrilled when we all got C corral placement.  Since this was Krissie’s first actual half – she had no times to submit – and was in a corral much further back.  We wanted to start together, and so planned on all going back to be with her… but we were able to sneak her up in to our corral (sorry, Disney!)

The starting line, as usual, was electric.  There were fireworks during the anthem, and then Tinkerbell counted down all the corrals.  I was a liiiiittle bummed out that there weren’t fireworks at each starting gun, but I’ll survive.  I forget that Disneyland is in an actual city – while Disney World is pretty much a city of it’s own.

When the map came out a few weeks before the race I was really bummed out.  The first 5 miles were through the parks, and then that was it!  Then you were on your own.  It looked like to me that all the “fun” would be over so fast…  but BOY was I wrong!!

Meghan’s first race was the Princess the year before – and due to the extreme heat and humidity she did not have a good race.  She really wanted to finish in under three hours… so we decided that we would not stop for pictures with characters and we would get to that finish line in time!  Well, once we got in the park we were like six year olds.  We made a turn and then saw them!  PIRATES!  And we go “OHMYGOD! PIRATES!” and stopped for a picture!!

We stopped a few more times on the course in the beginning – at the castle (duh) and we also stopped at the water in California Adventure.  Seriously when you turned that corner you could hear everyone in the route “ooh”-ing and “aah”-ing.  It was incredible.  I haven’t ever stayed to watch the nighttime water laser light show but after seeing what they had going on that morning… I may have to next time!  It was incredible!!!

I was very surprised at how long it felt like we were in the parks – in a good way!  They really did a great job planning out that course!  Eventually though, we did have to leave.  And I was not disappointed at all with the rest of the course.  Krissie hung with us until Mile 8.  She had trained differently than we had, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to finish in order for Meghan to hit sub 3… so she told us to go on.

There were spectators almost the ENTIRE way.  Tons of high school marching bands and cheerleaders… and the BEST part was the almost FOUR HUNDRED red hat ladies screaming us on!  It was incredible!!!!!  They were amazing.  Seriously – my favorite part may have been the red hat ladies.  (We even ran into some of them later that day in the park, and we talked for like 20 minutes about how amazing they were!)  We crossed the finish line together (in under 3 hours!!!) and Krissie wasn’t too far behind us.  The rest of the day was spent celebrating at the parks and it was amazing… I want to go back!!!

I have so many more wonderful pictures from that weekend – one of the best experiences of my life.  I can get seriously choked up when I think about it.  Next year – Tink has been moved to Mother’s Day Weekend.  I think that my next “Disney Goal” will be the PINK Coast-to-Coast (Princess Half and Tink!) – that will be much easier to do when the races aren’t so close together.

Here are the “official” RunKeeper stats from the race – I think mile 4 is when we stopped to take the most pictures.  And you can tell at the end when we really pushed it in order to make sure we made it in under 3 hours.

Writing this recap has me SO BEYOND excited to go run Dumbo Double Dare with my Dad.  We’ve already started talking costumes…  I’m pretty sure we’re going to dress as Gepetto and Pinocchio for one of the races – Probably the 10K!  I’m still trying to come up with an  awesome costume idea for the Half.  And I’m also hoping that Dad agrees to dress up with me!!

XOXO

Things to Know

Here is a list of things you should know about me, fitness edition.743224-1034-0032s

1) I run.  This is a new hobby.  I decided I was going to run my first half marathon in April of 2013, and obsessively trained until November – where I completed Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon with my Dad.  (That photo is me right in the middle of that race!)  It sparked something in me that I didn’t know I had… and I haven’t stopped since.  My last big race was the Disneyland Tinker Bell Half Marathon with some of my best friends in the world.

2) I tri.  This is even newer.  I decided that running is fun, but biking and swimming could be fun too… and so I randomly picked a VERY small shorter-than-sprint distance triathlon to train for – that’s coming up in May in San Antonio.  (Shortly to be followed up by an actual Sprint Distance in June… then possibly Olympic in 2015…)

3) I’m crazy.  If there’s a challenge?  I’ll take it.  I’m signed up for my first challenge race in August – the Dumbo Double Dare!  It’s Disneyland’s 10K on Saturday, and Half Marathon on Sunday!  I get THREE MEDALS for doing it.  Also – the Dopey challenge is on my bucket list.  This is a 5K, 10K, Half, and FULL.  One day folks, one day.

4) It’s all about the bling.  I do not run over 10 miles without a medal.  This includes training runs – I have a slightly addictive habit of participating in virtual runs… because seriously… it’s all about the bling.

5) I AM SLOW.  I like being slow.  When I started running I was one of those “if I stop, then I didn’t RUN!” and I got pretty miserable pretty quickly.  After I accomplished my first goal of running a 5K without walking… I started walking.  I fell in love with the intervals.  My most favorite is 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking.  I’ve been playing around with them more recently – but I think that 4/1 is my sweet spot.

6) I had absolutely ZERO desire to run a full marathon ever in my life until I ran a half.  I want to do it.  However, I am not in a place where I am willing to put my body through that training right now… so, it’s on hold.  Bucket list, people.  I have many years to run a marathon.

XOXO,

Sarah