Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Running Around the World: An Introduction

When I first thought about doing an introduction post for my new series "Running Around the World," I figured... um, what's point? It's reviews about running in Disney World. There is not a whole lot on which to extrapolate. Then as I was gathering my photos and experiences that I wanted to make sure to include, I realized that I should probably include some information on the races I have done, and maybe on how I have trained for those races. Or include information on the other runs I do at Disney, which are not strictly of resort guest interest. Did any of those trains of thought make sense?
 
Let me just start with a history of this series.
 
When I first moved down to Disney World on the college program, I had several goals and challenges for myself. One of those was to run at every single resort and do a corresponding blog post with each. Simultaneously with that challenge, I was training for my first ever half marathon, so it was a very practical challenge. I needed to up my running mileage, so I could do that while testing out new places to run. I moved to Florida in August, and my mom and I were signed up to complete the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February.

I actually did an awesome job keeping up with my running while on the CP, which is crazy to me. There were a few factors that I feel helped with this. I had an extremely reliable schedule. Which days I worked always changed, but the hours that I worked were always the same. I had to leave my apartment by 9-9:15AM to get to work on time, so I would very often run right before work. That run would be an easy run around my apartment complex, Vista Way.

Also since I had a roommate who typically worked nights, if I set an alarm (out of respect to roomie), I GOT UP WHEN THAT ALARM WENT OFF. Those mornings where I could snooze the alarm and get up later? No. That would be unfair to my roommate if she had to hear my alarm a second time, so I was very reliable when it came to responding to my alarm. I also typically woke up relatively early every day, since my schedule was always the same. I miss that sleep schedule so much. I currently wake up at 12pm every day. It is really depressing. But that's not a topic for this blog.

When I moved out of CP housing, I was still pretty good at keeping up with my running. I would run the same areas for my distance run, and of course I would throw in some resort running. During this time I was on a half marathon training plan that I adapted from an online plan. I named it "Train Like a Princess" and I kept it on my wall, so I could write in what run I actually completed and how many miles/what my pace was. This version below was from January, so it was about a month before the Princess Half.



 
My plan at that time in the blog was to complete a series called Train Like a Princess, where I would blog weekly about my running progress.
 
This was not a thing that happened.


But I did keep up with my training, and I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013, and it was the most fun I have ever had running. I ran down Main Street, through the castle,  across the TTC parking lots, and past the wedding pavilion. I really had a blast.

Running down Main Street USA (in California)
After that Half I ran a half-marathon in my hometown of Indianapolis in May 2013, which is the largest half-marathon in the nation (Think 9 times the size of a Disney race?). I have also run the Inaugural Tinkerbell 10K in Disneyland and the Tower 10 Miler at Hollywood Studios.

Some people get addicted to the bling
I have had so much fun with the runDisney events, but they are pricey so I really have no desire to do any of the runs more than once. Running my first half marathon did start a fire in me and just showed me how I could accomplish the goals I put my mind to. Running a half-marathon is not that difficult (if you are healthy and legs are able), it is more about the mind power and perseverance it takes to complete the race. If you are interested in running at all I saw go for it! Start small with a local 5K. There's no reason to spend all the money on a Disney race if you don't like running, but that is my personal opinion.
I ran the Tinkerbell 10K with my brother, Brady
Let me know if you have any question about runDisney events, running at the Disney resorts, or running in general! I love planning half marathon training, so if you need help creating a schedule, I'd love to collaborate! Or if you just need someone to cheer you on and tell you, "You can do it!" I am available for cheerleading as well.
I let my brother pick our running outfit
Want more Running Around the World? Check out these posts too!
Wildest Run in the Wilderness!: Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Ft Wilderness Campgrounds
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Monday, December 21, 2015

Life Updates: I'm on YouTube!

My friend Nutmeg :P

I had this perfectly doable and awesome goal about 2 months ago. I wanted to finish 100 blog posts for Kingdom Hopping by the new year, 2016. At the time that was only about 20 blog posts. 20 blog posts from September to December? 4 months? That's child's play!

Alas I stumbled, faltered, and completely forgot about my plan briefly (ie. until today). This blog post will mark my 89th update to Kingdom Hopping. Isn't that amazing?? I am impressed, yet I am still 11 posts away from my goal of 100 blog posts.

I'm writing this little update because I want to share something with you! I have started a youtube channel. Overall it is going to be lifestyle, DIYS, and travel. Much of that travel may be to Disney World. Do you like Disney World?  (I mean you're on a Disney blog, but it's still a valid question)

I have some footage from the new Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, the last year for the spectacle, as well as my recent stay at Disney's Boardwalk Inn Club level! If you are interested I've include those clips here, or you can check out my channel here. It's a work in progress, but I think there's going to be some things you'll enjoy!
 
Thanks for reading! And I still may make it to 100 posts by the end of the year! Wish me luck.
 
Cheers!
Julie

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Review

I’d like to reiterate that the opinions of this blog do not represent the opinions of the Walt Disney World Resort. With that out-of-the-way…

I will be quite honest. I don’t think Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, MNSSHP for short, is worth the money, especially for a family with small children.  Unless, of course, taking pictures with  special characters is worth spending the extra money. Or the special perimeter fireworks is worth it. Or the specialty parades. Or fun.
On a side note. I am not a huge fan of fireworks or parades. Or fun.

Just kidding. That last bit was part of a new running joke.
On a further to the side note. You should probably see some Disney perimeter fireworks at some time in your life. Don't skip that. 

Julie's humor aside, let's get to my concierge opinion of this event. 

Yes, Concierge Class is in session.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Flights of the Kingdom: Beer Flights


Black Velvets. Not a beer flight, but yum!
Arguably my favorite of all flights.

Scratch that.

Easily my favorite of all the flights (besides flights to somewhere exotic or maybe Peter Pan's Flight... Nope. Thought it over. Still my favorite). The Beer Flight.

Beautifully enough, most places in Disney that serve beer offer a beer flight. With that being said, many of the beer flights you encounter will be very similar, so completing each of them will not necessarily teach you anything new about beer. For example both Ragland Road and the Rose and Crown have a beer sampler. They are both the same beers, Harp, Guiness, Bass, and Boddingtons. Chances are if you already have an interest in beer of any kind, you have already sampled each of these, so there is really no need for you to take part in this flight. Unless of course you are on vacation and completing 4-5 different pours of beer sounds like a really good start to your day or night.

With this understanding in hand, there are ultimately 2 reasons to try any beer flight.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Running Around the World: The Wildest Run in the Wilderness!

Running at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort and the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds has been my absolute favorite run at Walt Disney World. Even now since moving home, running "in the Wilderness" has been one of the parts of Disney that I miss the most. That and literal Starbucks runs to Magic Kingdom. And Dream Along with Mickey. And CANDLELIGHT PROCESSIONAL. I'll be writing some posts about Candlelight Processional. Correction. I'll probably be writing TOO many posts about Candlelight Processional, so I'll will save my thoughts for those.

I thought about doing 2 separate posts for Wilderness Lodge and Ft Wilderness, but... I did them both in one day because I was so excited about the run! It's also so easy to run from Wilderness Lodge to Ft Wilderness, that it is almost difficult not to do it.

Usually I would start this run by parking at the Wilderness Lodge. The day of this run I decided to be adventurous, so I ran/walked to Magic Kingdom and took a bus to the Lodge.

The final part was a boat ride back to the Contemporary, where the boat driver said there are otters in Bay Lake. Did you hear that? There are otters in Bay Lake! She said she has seen 3 at one time, so we know there are at least three out there. I have seen at least one of them on the boat dock at the Contemporary. It was the most exciting thing ever!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Working in the Magic Kingdom


First and foremost, actually working in the Magic Kingdom is such an experience in itself. If you are in the College Program and are not working in the Magic Kingdom, make sure you pick up at least one shift at MK before your program is over. Be prepared for a slightly stressful and confusing day, but then you'll carry that experience with you forever and have a new appreciation for the park! And a new appreciation for not working at Magic Kingdom every day!
 
My goal is to work in all 4 parks and as many as the resorts as I can. I've already worked at Animal Kingdom, so now I've got to get working on the other 3. My goal is to work a Fantasmic shift at Studios, do a Temporary Assignment (TA) working Food and Wine at Epcot, which just left me with a shift at MK. So when there was a PAC (Parade Audience Control) shift on one of my days off around spring break (with detailed instructions on where to meet), I hesitated, called my mom, and finally went for it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Where in the World?


Where in the World would you see these turtles playing together?
Read on for more clues!