Monthly Archives: May 2016

Disney race weekend

The Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side race was our first RunDisney experience, and we really didn’t know what to expect. We decided to err on the side of caution and did not buy park admission tickets, opting instead to lounge by the pool (Lola Gray loves a Disney pool party!) and check out a few Disney restaurants – we revisited the fantastic Hoop De Doo Review, which was as full off rootin’ tootin’ fun as we remembered, and ate a giant banana split at Beaches and Cream. I’m so glad we didn’t try to fit in a park day, because those early mornings were exhausting!

On this visit we stayed at the Art of Animation resort, which has been on Lola’s dream list ever since it opened. My hope is that we will one day work our way through all of the Disney resorts, but we have a long way to go!!

So far we have stayed at only value and moderate level resorts, and I honestly think I prefer the value resorts in many ways. The pools are better at the moderates, but we just really love the giant character statues at the value hotels and always have so much fun wandering around to find them all and take photos!




Run to the Dark Side

It’s really no secret that I love all things Disney, and Raymond loves all things Star Wars. Fletcher and Lola? They love both. Throw in a weekend of running with some pretty sweet medals, and there was no way we were going to miss this.

The Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon weekend was held in Disney World April 15-17, 2016. The kids and I ran the 5K on Friday morning, bright and early. Actually, so early that there was nothing bright about it. I made a mistake when registering us, and put us in the super slow corral. I thought that was a good call at the time, so there wouldn’t be any pressure to go fast, but in reality it meant a lot of waiting around while the other corrals got a nice head start and having to run around a big crowd of walkers once it was our turn to start the race. Lesson learned for next time – and I have a feeling there will definitely be a next time. We had SO much fun!

Once we got out on the course, it didn’t take long for the Disney magic to kick in. We ran through and around Epcot, and all along the course were Star Wars scenes and characters for photo ops. We stopped for lots of photos.

Seriously. Lots of photos. And not just Star Wars ones. The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival was going on, so the park was filled with amazing character topiaries and the whole park smelled like flowers.

Nice people even stopped and offered to take photos for us – because Disney has that effect on people!

We waited longest for photos with Chewbacca – and it was totally worth the wait.

After the race there were more photo ops and character greetings.

Fletcher and Lola had an amazing interaction with Darth Vader that was a serious highlight of the day.

The next morning Raymond ran the 10K, and the morning after that he ran the half-marathon to complete the Dark Side Challenge – and in the process collected some serious bling. Check out those medals!

When we returned from Orlando, I checked out the official Disney photopass pictures from the race, and I learned a few things. The first, is that I look ridiculous running. The second is that I don’t care. Not one little bit. Because in every single photo, I was smiling. Smiling while running. Amazing.

Fletcher & Lola have decided that next time we are going to run the 10K, which scares me a little bit. But if anyone can get me to do it, it is those two!