Friday, December 31, 2010

Last chance to enter! Donate today!

I can't believe it is the last day of 2010! I also can't believe that I have a marathon in 9 days. Holy crap! Nine days!


Really,

Nine Days!!!!

And I still have $500 to go in my fundraising.

Today is your last chance to donate and be entered in a chance to win a 4-night stay in a Disney Vacation Club resort. Please take a few minutes at the end of the year to make a tax deductible donation on my Team in Training page.

The details of what you can win are on my Team in Training page and also in my running blog here.

I'll be back here tomorrow to announce the winner. If I can figure out how to use my new video camera, I may even record the drawing live and post it here.

Thank you for all of your support this year and I look forward to many new Disney adventures with you in 2011!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Donate for a chance to win a 4-night stay at a Walt Disney World Disney Vacation Club Resort

I'm sure everyone know that I am running my first marathon at Walt Disney World in January with Team in Training.  I've been fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  This year I've been struggling more with the fundraising aspect of the program.  The other week when I was at the LLS office for an event I came to the realization that I have another awesome prize that I can give away!  So here it is...


For every $25 donation I receive between December 1 and December 31, the donor will receive one entry for a chance to win a 4-night stay at a Disney Vacation Club resort.  Please see the rules below for more details.  To make a donation please go to my TNT home page.  When you make the donation, leave a comment that you want to be entered for a chance to win the stay.  The drawing will be held on January 1 and the winner will be announced on this blog, my running blog, my TNT page and my Facebook page.


The make a donation go here: My TNT page


Here are the rules:


1) Each $25 donation is good for one (1) entry for a chance to win a 4-night stay at a Walt Disney World Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort (Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney's Beach Club Villas, Disney's Bay Lake Tower, Disney's Boardwalk Villas, Disney's Old Key West Resort, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, or Disney's Villas at the Wilderness Lodge).
2) There is no limit to the number of donations that can be made.
3) The winner will receive 4 nights in a DVC studio room (maximum occupancy of 4 people)

4) Stay is good for 4 consecutive nights Sunday through Thursday.
5) Resort choice is limited to available resorts at time of booking with DVC Member Services.
6) Travel must be booked by June 1, 2011.

7) Travel must be completed by November 30, 2011.
8) Reservation DOES NOT include Park Admission.
9) Reservation DOES NOT include airfare.
10) Winner is responsible for any charges made to the room by the winner or the winner's guest during the stay.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ultimate Animal Kingdom Touring Plan - A Preview


When I was in WDW for the Princess Half Marathon in March I had the opportunity to attend the Tent Fest event held by the guys over at the WDW Today podcast.  I also the opportunity to meet Len Testa (of Unofficial Guide fame) and Henry Work (the web developer for touringplans.com).  I had already been following Len and Henry on Twitter and I had the opportunity to meet many of the other listeners of the show.

At the first night of Tent Fest I think I just about doubled the people I was following on Twitter.  I ran into the group throughout the weekend, including seeing everyone at the Odyssey Event.  I could go through the whole list of people I met, but I'm sure many of them will be appearing in future posts (I have become good friends with all of them and don't want to sound like I'm dropping names in the Disney online community).

After finishing the Princess Half, I hopped on twitter to check in with everyone and see what was happening before I headed over to Len's Cava de Tequilla meet.  It was then that I saw that a group of people from Tent Fest, including Henry were in the midst of attempting the first ever Ultimate Animal Kingdom Touring Plan.  You can read about it in Kidanikatie's blog post on the Touring Plans website!
Post-tequilla meet!

I saw them all at Len's meet and after hearing a bit about their day (which was complete minus the Jammin' Jungle Parade), I came up with a plan!

I was going to attempt the Ultimate Animal Kingdom Touring Plan. 

And I was going to finish it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A new tradition!

I woke up early on Monday morning and got my bags and my Owner's Locker.  I planned on checking into my flight and checking my bags with Magical Express nice and early.  There was rope drop to make it to!

Yup, I planned on making it to the Magic Kingdom for rope drop that morning.  I hadn't really spent a lot of time there during my trip and Monday was looking to be a lot warmer than the rest of the weekend.

I didn't have any trouble getting my luggage taken care of and I was quickly on my way to the park.  I made it there as the show was going on and I was caught behind a bunch of people.

It looks like I actually got through bag check and maybe even got to scan my ticket but then I hit a wall of people.  It was neat to see the show, but I wish I had seen it from the beginning.  That's something to shoot for on another day!




I do wish I was part of the family that got to be in the show!



I got to Town Square and decided to take a ride on a Main Street Vehicle.  That was a nice treat for the day.

Once I got to the hub I realized that I was there nice and early.  Early enough to go on a ride that I hadn't ever been on.  Ever.

Dumbo!!!

It wasn't too long a wait.  I think it went for maybe 3 rounds before it was my turn.

And it was what I expected.  I guess.  It did take me 33 years for my first ride on it.  I probably won't go out of my way to go on it again unless I am trying an Ultimate Touring Plan or I am with children.

After Dumbo, I made my way to It's a Small World.  I wanted to test out my camera on the ride (without a flash of course).  Here's one thing I would ask of all parents when boarding a boat ride.  Please look at the groups around you.  If every family is having their child board first, then every adult will be on the same side of the boat.  The boat will then be leaning to one side (significantly sometimes) during the whole ride.  Yup.  I sat on the side that all the kids were sitting on, but it wasn't enough to counter balance 6 adults.

After Small World, I headed to the Haunted Mansion with almost no wait.  Then Toontown was opening.  I thought it would be great to go see Tinkerbell and her friends since I hadn't met them yet.


The wait for Tinkerbell was only about 15 minutes.  They use Pixie Dust to shrink you down to pixie size and then you go into meet everyone.  Of course, they were all excited to see me and when they saw my medal, they were ever more excited and wanted to hear all about my race.  They asked me if I was ran really fast or if I was given Pixie Dust so that I could fly to the finish and win.  I told them I wasn't fast at that the medal was a reward for finish.  Tink ask me if it was a "slow and steady wins the race."  I had to laugh at that and tell her that was my approach.





Tink was full of energy and practically bouncing off the walls.  She came over to me when I was with Fawn and started talking my ear off.  We went to her are to take picture and then she walked me over to Terrance.

She had to tell Terrance about my medal and how far I had to run.  I think he was really impressed. 


He, of course, posed for a picture with me too.



After I headed back into Toontown and decided to hop onto Goofy's Barnstormer.  It was a day of firsts so, why not?  It wasn't a bad ride and the theming of queue is lots of fun with loads to look at.





I figured I had time for one more ride so I headed over to the Jungle Cruise.  I had never had a chance to ride it in the daytime.  I had a good skipper.  I also had an almost full memory card so I didn't get to take very many pictures.

I then started making my way out of the park when I saw that Princess Tiana was about to come out for a meet and greet.  Of course I had to get in line!  I got to meet her and Prince Navine!


After meeting the Princess and her Prince, I caught a few minutes of the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! parade/show and then headed back to my resort to get some lunch and take the sad Magical Express ride back to the airport.

Overall, this was a really good trip.  I've never been so cold in Florida before in my life.  Even when I went over Christmas during my senior year of high school, it wasn't this cold.  It was a great experience for me though and I'll be back there with Team in Training this January so I can do the full!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Dessert Party

So when I left off, I was just about to leave Animal Kingdom.

I headed back to the resort and gathered my close to do a quick load of laundry.  Since I was putting stuff into an Owner's Locker, I wanted to make sure that everything was clean.  The laundry wasn't far from the room.  It wasn't exactly cheap, but it's been a while since I've had to pay for a washer and dryer so it might be within the norm.  I took some time relaxing in the lounge and then got everything folded and packed up.

After finishing up, I made my way over to Epcot for a dessert party with some fellow runners from the Disboards.  Our plan was to have the party in France.  A few days before we had decided to move the dessert portion inside because of the cold temperatures.  It was held in the Wonders of Life pavilion.  We had some yummy chocolate dessert, including fondue, brownies and biscotti.  I tried to take some pictures of the pavilion.  They didn't come out that good, but here you go!


About 15 minutes before Illuminations was going to start we were escorted to our private viewing area.  We had a great view of the fireworks and I recorded the whole thing.  I don't have the knowledge to edit a 15 minute video so that I can put it on here.  It came out really good though.

After Illuminations ended, some of us walked back towards the Epcot resorts.  I thought I'd be able to head over to the Studios by the Friendship Boats, but they weren't heading back there.  The Captain said that there were buses heading over to the park.  I didn't feel like heading to the front of the resort and waiting for the bus so I decided to walk over to the Studios.  The walk was much longer than I thought, but it wasn't that bad.  Just cold.

When I got to the park, the Victory Party was in full swing.  I had missed the TNT meal, but there was plenty of stuff to do.  They had a DJ at the hat with a dance party going on.  I did the Cupid Shuffle and then headed over to ride Toy Story Mania.  The fast pass queue was closed.  I was excited though because that meant I would be able to *hopefully* be able to see Mr. Potato Head!

And he was out!  I got a few pictures of him and some video too!

The video wouldn't upload so here is a picture:



I didn't take a picture of my score so I'll need to go my the assumption that I was somewhere around 150k.  That seems to be where I get stuck on my own.  After that I though I would head over to do one of the other rides, but came across another dance party in front of the hat.  You'll never believe what happened there...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Animal Kingdom

I made my way back towards Africa and Asia and saw this lovely lady:


I made my way towards Asia and took a few minutes to observe the primates (sorry, I can't remember what they are actually called).  And I tested out the zoom on my camera again:




I enjoyed the view of Everest:

And then made my way over for a ride on Everest and was shocked to see this:


Yup, that's right, a wait time of only 10 minutes for stand-by.  So, of course, I went through that line for the first time ever.  I took lots of pictures, but I'll only share a few with you.


And it would have only been 10 minutes if I wasn't taking my time getting pictures.  I even managed to snap a good picture of the train coming down the last drop.


I meandered over to Dinoland and stopped to listen to the calypso band along the way.


Stopped in Dinoland for some Mickey-fish


And sat down to eat some of the crackers.  While I was sitting there checking facebook and twitter, I wasn't really paying attention to the ground around me.  The next thing I knew, I looked up and saw these guys waiting not so patiently for me to drop some of the crackers.


After I was refreshed a bit from the crackers, I went on Dinosaur and then made my way over to get lunch.


I had heard good things about this and it did not disappoint.  After lunch I made my way out and back to the resort.  I had to get everything washed and packed before I headed over to Epcot for the WISH dessert party.

Up next, an Epcot dessert party!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Where is my favorite Tumble Monkey?

So I made it to Animal Kingdom and started playing with my camera to see what kind of pictures it could take:



I grabbed a schedule and saw that the Festival of the Lion King was starting soon so I made my way over to Camp Minnie Mickey.  The crowds were really low on this particular day:


I got a seat in the Lion section.  That was a new section for me!  ROAR!




I love the Tumble Monkeys.  I must admit that I've had a bit of a crush on one of them.  Unfortunately, he wasn't part of this show.  I was disappointed because I had excellent zoom on my new camera.


Not my favorite Tumble Monkey...

I then gave my video camera feature a try.  I got a few seconds of video from the show:

video

After the show, I needed to find Donald so that I could have my picture taken with him and my medal.  It was a fairly easy task since I was right near the Character Greeting Trails.  Donald loved my medal and made a big deal about it.


Again, the Christmas decorations were still up, so I had some fun taking pictures of them:





While I was watching the show, I got a message from Tim saying that he wasn't going to be able to make it to hang out later, so I made my way further into the park...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Making my way to Epcot

So I hopped off the Friendship Boat at the Dolphin and headed towards the Yacht and Beach Club area so I could walk along the race course to cheer on the runners.  I would walk along the course for a little bit, stop and cheer on some runners, then turn around keep moving.





I made my up to the bridge that leads to Sea Breeze Point and hung out there cheering on the runners and looking for my teammates.  I was there for maybe 10 minutes when I saw my teammate Lanie.  I didn't have my camera out in time, but I knew that she needed to run backstage before she would enter Epcot and that I had the shorter line through the International Gateway. 


I ran to the entrance and up to where the runners were going by.  I got there maybe a minute before she did and I wasn't ready again!  I followed her along the course until a cast member yelled at me for running onto the bridge into France.  The World Showcase wasn't open to the public yet!

I rushed back along the course and after crossing the course into Canada, I hurried towards the Christmas tree so that I could wait for Lanie there and get a picture of her.

I spotted this, um, gal:

Then I saw Lanie!!

When I saw her the next day, she said how surprised she was to see me all over the course.  I just knew the shortcuts that she couldn't take!

I then made my way back to the backstage entrance in England and waited for friends and more teammates.

One of my coaches and her husband


I finally saw my friend Tim and walked with him to France, all along the way offering him pretzels, offering to run ahead and get him a beer in Germany.  He declined but said he would call me later to hang out.  Since I was in France, I headed back to the bakery and got myself some goodies.


I also got myself some yummy champagne to sip on while I ate my goodies.  I sat down on one of the benches and had many of the runners beg me for the champagne.  Nope, no sharing.  I earned this, but they weren't done yet. 

After I finished, I went back to the bridge to wait for the rest of my teammates.  I saw my roommate and our coach.  Our coach marveled at how much energy I had and how nicely I was walking around after my race.  She told me that my teammate Laurie was a few minutes behind her.  Laurie was the last person I wanted to see, I waited for her and when I saw her, I hopped on the course and made my way around the
World Showcase with her.  I held my poster that I had been using to cheer on the TNT runners in front of me where the bib would be.  There are actually picture of me running the marathon (with Laurie)!

I snapped a picture of her out in World Showcase:


And then one more of her and her sister heading into Future World:


Once we got over the bridge and to the fountains I separated from them before getting myself kicked off the course.  I was able to wander around and get some photopass pictures then I remembered that it was Sunday, and the best park to be in on most Sundays is Animal Kingdom.  And I hadn't been there yet on this trip.  Hmmm...

So that is where I headed!