I recently learned that two of my favorite pastimes have joined forces. runDisney + Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. I mean seriously…how did I not know about this?
This past Saturday I checked in to the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort at Walt Disney World as a place to lay my head after the runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler, but checking in to the resort would yield more than just a place to bunk down for the night. My daughter and I were in for a runDisney race experience that started at the hotel and ran seamlessly into the race itself.
Upon check-in, my daughter Alexus and I headed up to our room to stow our luggage. Check it out! A special nutrition runner amenity! Two LUNA bars, two granola bars and two bags of trail mix. These would come in handy as we waited in our corral before the race start.
We sat for a few minutes and enjoyed a sunset from our 12th floor “Disney View” room. Yep, that’s the Tower of Terror attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…the finish line of our 10-miler we were about to embark on.
Next, we made our way down to the “Big Send Off” party which was set up especially for runners. It’s also where I got that first photo above withe the clever “Don’t be afraid! It’s only 10 miles!” sign.
The set-up for runners was a legitimate pre-game affair. Music pumping, employees cheering and everything a runner would want to nosh on before the big race event. Coffee, tea, bottled water, protein bars, granola bars and bananas. The team that sets this event up is comprised of folks that have actually participated in runDisney race weekends. They are runners themselves and so they know what runners want and need before a big race.
This is also the area where runners sign up for complementary event transportation. Hilton Bonnet Creek charters special buses to take runners and their families to the race venue. For the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, runners signed up for a scheduled bus time, slipped on a special rubber bracelet that was their ticket to board and then boarded the bus at their scheduled time for the ride over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Once at the ESPN, runners would then take the Disney transfer to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the race start line. Buses ran every 30 minutes from 6:30 – 8:00 pm to take runners to the start and then Midnight – 4:30 am for return back to the resort.
Here’s another killer photo opp right outside the resort where bus transportation was located.
There were some special carb-loading opportunities pre-race, but I was only at the resort for one night. I will be staying several nights in 2015 when I participate in the runDisney Dopey Challenge and will be bringing you a review of those options in a few months.
The Marathon Weekends program is currently available for the following races:
• Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, November 7-8, 2014—Complimentary transportation is provided to and from the race on November 8.
• Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend, January 7-11, 2015—Complimentary transportation is provided to and from the races on January 10 & 11.
• Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, February 19-22, 2014—Complimentary transportation is provided to and from the race on February 22.
Marathon Weekends pricing and activities are open to all guests participating in select runDisney races and staying at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek or Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Rates start at $129 a night. To make a reservation, please visit www.hiltonbonnetcreek.com/marathon or http://www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com/special-offers/marathon-weekends.
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Inside the gates of the Walt Disney World Resort
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln.
Orlando, FL 32821
I was a guest of the Hilton Bonnet Creek and was provided with complementary accommodations for one night. I was not required to write this post and no monetary compensation has been received. I have thousands of Hilton Honors Points that I have earned by paying my own money to stay at this particular resort because I love it so much.