Let the memories begin! – Disney World Half Marathon trip, part 3

It was time for the  Disney World Marathon Weekend Health and Fitness Expo. I had never been to a health and fitness expo before and didn’t know what to expect. I also wasn’t feeling well on this day and felt really nervous about the half. Dan had been fighting a bad cold for months and finally gave it to me in December (the worst timing ever). I hadn’t run since the end of November and our longest run was 15k. All week everyone was talking about how glad they were that they ran their 17k. I know it’s only a 2k difference but that 2k meant a lot to me! I was getting more and more nervous and we had tried running a few times at our hotel but it always ended with me coughing and being unable to finish. Kristen was also running amazingly fast so at this point I was panicking that I might not even finish.

We met everybody outside the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Run Disney health and fitness expo

I’m blending in with the Run Disney banner! That’s how committed I am!

The expo was huge! We picked up our race bibs and race kits and I bought a “I did it!” t-shirt. It was lime green with Donald Duck on it and a map of the race route on the back. I also finally invested in an iPod armband (I know right?!). Dan and I bought personalized frames for our medals (they would send us a duplicate medal to put in the frame, we’d supply our own photos and they would provide a duplicate race bib as well as a customized section that had our names, First Half Marathon and our finishing time). I also saw and held the medal for the first time. It was beautiful. With all of this, I knew I had to finish the half no matter what.

Expo

Check out how huge this expo was. They also had free pictures that you could take sponsored by HP so we took a few.

After the expo we went back to the hotel and relaxed. There was some sunshine so we lay by the pool, which wasn’t busy since it was still pretty cold (now around 14 c). Thinking about the -15c weather at home, I went for a swim. We also felt that we had to enjoy the pool at least once. The hot tub was also awesome.

pool

We basically had the pool area to ourselves.

That night we were going to go to a dinner theatre for Sue’s birthday, but Sue wasn’t feeling well so they ordered Chinese instead. We decided to go to Carraba’s since it was close to our hotel.

Carrabba's

Dinner at Carrabba’s. I had the mezzo luna I think it was called. om nom nom

The next day we checked out of our hotel room. We were spending the last two nights at the Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter in Disney World. Anna had done some research and apparently this was a close to the start line and to all of the parks (by bus). After checking into the hotel we hopped onto the Disney World Express (or whatever the bus is called) and headed to The Magic Kingdom.

Let the Memories Begin!

We took this picture outside of the sign at the front entrance to The Magic Kingdom.

I can’t even tell you how excited we were to be there. Dan and I had both gone to Disney World when we were 13 (not together since we didn’t know each other then). It was really great to be back and this time experience it in a different way (my family doesn’t do rides so I didn’t go on very many rides the last time I was here). The sun was also out and it was much warmer than it had been in the last few days.

Cinderella's castle

We took these pictures with Cinderella’s Castle. I was pretending we were headed down the yellow brick road. When we ran the half we would be running right here!

Mickey and Minnie

Dan and I emulating Mickey and Minnie.

in the stocks

Kristen and I in the stocks. haha.

Cindrella's castle

Cindrella’s castle

After riding some rides (Haunted Mansion etc.) and dancing in a parade it was time for lunch. We had a special character lunch with the animals of the 100 acre wood at the Crystal Palace.

Eeyore

Fact: Eeyore was my favourite when I was a baby. My parents bought me a stuffed eeyore because they thought he was a dog (I was born in the year of the dog).

Winnie the Pooh

Kristen and I with Winnie the Pooh. They were all really friendly.

Anna and Eddie told us that this meal was very important because it was going to help fuel us for the half marathon the next day. We watched everything that Eddie ate and tried to stuff ourselves as much as possible.

fuelling up for the half marathon

Here are my plates of food. I eventually gave up on trying to put too much thought into what I ate and just went for what looked delicious. om nom nom

We went on more rides after lunch including Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean! I also made everybody line up for the Dumbo ride because I had always wanted to go on it and had never been.

Dumbo

Us on the Dumbo ride. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and more.

While we were in line, Kristen went and bought mouse ears. We had seen sparkly Minnie Mouse ears all over the park and hadn’t been able to find them. She had asked someone and they said they got them at a store near the front entrance.

mouse ears

Success! Matching mouse ears!

After this, we headed to MGM Studios (or Hollywood Studios as it’s called now) and saw the Indiana Jones show. This was my favourite show the last time I was here and after going to Disney, my dad even bought me all three movies on vhs! (Now I have all four movies on dvd, obviously)

We met up with Anna and Eddie and had a quick dinner before heading over to see the Fantasmic show.

Beef Angus burger with fries

Dinner (and my last real meal before the half marathon) – Beef angus burger with fries. om nom nom

Fantasmic

Fantasmic was awesome! I also saw this show when I was 13 and it was still as amazing as before. Mickey was awesome!

After Fantasmic we had enough time for one last ride, so we headed over to Star Tours. It was really entertaining (Dan and I are big Star Wars fans) and there was barely any line.

Star Tours

Dan liked this hat but didn’t buy it (didn’t see much use out of it).

And that was it. We went back to the hotel, nervous and excited for the next day. In a few short hours we’d be running our first half marathon (first for me, Dan and Kristen anyway). Was it really the happiest race on earth? Find out in part 4!

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