Feb 13

Running with My 14-Year-Old Daughter in Her First runDisney Half Marathon

Amanda Tinney Jeff da Runner Disney MarathonWe’ve been waiting two years for this moment to arrive!

In January 2011 my 12-year-old daughter and I voluntEARed at the Walt Disney World Marathon. The first day…or should I say night…revolved around us tearing mylar blankets off big rolls from 2am to around 7am…right about the time when all of the the elite athletes had crossed the finish line for the WDW Half Marathon. As non-runners, we both watched in awe as the first place winner arrived and was barely out of breath giving an interview at the finish line.  The real inspiration was to come the next morning.

On Sunday morning we headed back to the Finish Line, but this time had a different role. We were going to be handing out medals for the Walt Disney World Full Marathon Finishers. You know those moments that you can look back on that change your life? This would be one of those defining moments.

As runners crossed the finish line, we hung medals and offered words of congratulations to each. It was a bag of mixed emotions for every athlete. Some laughed and threw their hands in the air. Some cried and hugged us. Some hobbled over to Medical immediately. Some looked stunned that they had finished and some looked like they ran marathons as their jobs. With each medal hung, I thought in my head “This is the most amazing thing EVER! I think I might be able to do this!” Six hours later the real inspiration arrived in the form of runners who didn’t look like runners. The “back-of-the-packers”. All had been pounding it out for over 6 hours…and they were FINISHING! That was it! A new runner had been born. Right there in the Epcot parking lot. I signed up for the 2011 Wine & Dine Half Marathon shortly thereafter and the rest they say was history.

Disney half marathonFast forward to 2013. January 5th, 2013 my daughter Alexus finally turns 14, the minimum age to runDisney Half Marathons.  We had participated in almost every runDisney 5K from the time we handed out medals until this very moment.  I had watched her complete a 10K , a 15K and a the Tower of Terror 10 Miler so I knew she had it in her to finish her first half!

My family and I were staying at the Yacht Club Resort. We set our alarm for 3AM and we headed down to the lobby to board a van and head out to the starting line. Banana in hand…doesn’t she look excited? My child is NOT a morning person.  She was about to really perk up.

Fireworks! And we were off! I can not tell you how much I love running with this kid!  We keep the exact same pace for the most part (slow and steady). We made our way from the start and took the turn onto World Drive. Actually, she decided she was going to “go for it” and had run ahead of me and then had a change of heart and waited for her ole mom. Mile 2 and we were keeping a 15-minute-mile pace.

Mile 2 Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

Excited to be passed by our good friend Kevin!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

Just before the 5K point heading under the Magic Kingdom Toll Plaza! “Caution Runners…Speed Bumps Ahead!” and there’s that smile!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

Best spectator sign at the Transportation and Ticket Center…

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013 best spectator

If you asked her, she would probably tell you this was her favorite spot on the course. Running under the water bridge right before passing the Contemporary Resort. What my camera failed to capture was the fella with the humongo Mickey Mouse gloves clapping at the top of the overpass.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

Excited! Mile 5! About to head into the Magic Kingdom for our run down Main Street USA! At this point we have been texting our friend Marc who is apparently right behind us. Will we hook up in time to run through Cinderella Castle together?

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

She did it! She made it to the Magic Kingdom! First time running thru the park! Such a treat to share this special moment with my kiddo.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013 Alexus Tinney

Loads of runners heading into Tomorrowland…

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013 tomorrowland

And we found Marc!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

The next mile Marc stuck with us. We got to run thru Cinderella Castle together as a trio. Something we had never done before. It’s so much fun to be able to run with friends during these events and the runDisney community is so amazing that we never feel like we are running alone.

After exiting the Magic Kingdom and heading past the Grand Floridian we heard a familiar voice coming up from behind. Our good friend Carrie! Her and her hubby Kevin (pictured in one of the photos above) have become great friends of ours because of our runDisney connection.

2013 walt disney world half marathon

Miles 7-11 are pretty uneventful. Just a straight shot back down World Drive and then the turn back into Epcot. We knew we were going to have to get a shot of her in front of the Mile 11 sign. This was a new record of ‘farthest distance run’. Up until this point, the Tower of Terror 10 Miler had been the longest distance run. #ProudMama

2013 walt disney world half marathon

Right after Mile 11 we were passed by another good friend to us…Katherine!

2013 walt disney world half marathon

Mile 13…Time for her photo finish!

2013 walt disney world half marathon

AND SHE DID IT!!! Officially a half marathoner at 14 years of age!

2013 walt disney world half marathon

runDisney…you changed our lives! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

To find out more about any of the runDisney endurance events please visit runDisney.com

For more on our 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend experience check out My Story of Struggle and Enlightment in the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon

If you liked this story, consider giving DisneyEveryDay a follow over on Facebook!

A big thanks to Disney for hosting our stay at the Yacht Club Resort and providing us with meals. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.

Feb 13

Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco, MVP of Super Bowl XLVII, Honored at Walt Disney World

Joe Flacco Disney SuperbowlFresh from his team’s 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco made good on his “I’m Going to Disney World” proclamation by quarterbacking a gala celebration Monday at Walt Disney World Resort.

Smiling and waving from a red convertible alongside Mickey Mouse in the shadow of Cinderella Castle, Flacco – named the game’s Most Valuable Player — greeted cheering Magic Kingdom guests along a parade route lined with colorful red, white and blue balloons. Cheerleaders, Disney characters in football gear and a Florida blizzard – of confetti — completed the festive scene as Flacco quarterbacked another drive, this time down Main Street, U.S.A.

Flacco was one of the game’s standout players, firing three first-half touchdown strikes en route to 287 total passing yards. It capped a remarkable post-season in which Flacco connected on 11 TD passes, throwing no interceptions.

His “I’m Going to Disney World” – anchoring one of TV’s most enduring and iconic Super Bowl commercials – was captured seconds after the final whistle Sunday night. A produced commercial from that moment aired on networks just hours before Flacco’s appearance at the Magic Kingdom.

Flacco’s declaration became the 26th Super Bowl commercial aired in the Disney series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI. The first “I’m Going to Disney World” commercial featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms was considered a groundbreaking concept – a produced commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks within hours of its conclusion. Flacco joins an all-star lineup of heroes from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in “I’m Going to Disney World” commercials.

Jan 13

Wheel of Fortune “Making Disney Memories” Week

Disney Memories wheel of fortuneIt’s “Disney Time” at Wheel of Fortune as the fun of America’s Favorite Game Show and the magic of Disney come together in the game show’s 30th season for a fully-integrated multiplatform collaboration including a week of shows and a sweepstakes for at-home viewers.

“Wheel of Fortune Making Disney Memories Week” airing January 28-Feb 1, 2013, will feature a custom set including three different scenes depicting “Sleeping Beauty Castle,” “Cinderella Castle” and the Disney Dream cruise ship. Additionally, Disney is providing iconic elements from the Disney Parks including a Disney teacup from the “Mad Tea Party” attractions, Lightning McQueen from the new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure theme park, a pirate ship from “Peter Pan’s Flight” and a Dumbo car from “Dumbo, the Flying Elephant.” And show hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White will be greeted on set by beloved Disney characters.

During the week of shows, Wheel of Fortune contestants can win “Magical Vacations” to Disney Parks or on Disney Cruise Line. The cars available through the “1⁄2 Car Tag” game element will alternate between Honda and Chevrolet models, sponsors of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, respectively.

Vanna White Wheel of Fortune Disney EpcotIn preparation for the broadcast, Vanna White and the Wheel of Fortune crew went on location to shoot customized segments at Disneyland theme park, Disney California Adventure theme park, Magic Kingdom theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Epcot and the Disney Dream cruise ship.  Here’s a shot I snapped back in October 2012 of Vanna filming in Italy in Epcot’s World Showcase.

The “Wheel of Fortune Making Memories Sweepstakes” encourages viewers to watch “Making Disney Memories Week” on Wheel of Fortune and enter each night’s bonus puzzle solution at www.wheeloffortune.com. Ten winners will each enjoy a vacation for four to the winner’s choice of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California.

The sweepstakes will live on a co-branded mini-site, accessible via www.wheeloffortune.com that will feature links to various Disney websites as well as photo and video galleries from Vanna’s shoots.

Additionally, Wheel of Fortune will be able to offer its nearly 8 million members of their loyalty program, the Wheel Watchers Club, the chance to find their own “Happily Ever After” with Disney vacation offers.

Jan 13

Recap of the Disney Parks Blog 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet Up

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up GoofyMy Adidas running shoes are still smokin’ from all of the running I’ve done in the Disney Parks over the last two weeks. Just shy of 60 miles in total. Marathon season is in full swing and runDisney pulled out all the stops at the Disney Parks Blog 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Meet Up.

For those of you not familiar with these events, the Meet Up is an exclusive warm up run held inside one of the Disney parks usually before a large runDisney event. They’re completely free and have become rather popular.  In fact, all of the spots are usually filled up within minutes of the invitation being posted to the Disney Parks Blog.

The Meet Up for the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon was held inside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Upon arrival for the run, each participant was presented with a special white runDisney “20 Years Running” T-Shirt to wear.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

As they have done in the past, the group was given two options for the run. You could run/walk/run with Jeff Galloway or you could break off into the second group and do a straight thru run without any walk breaks.  Runners are asked to keep up a 12-minute-mile pace and the run is normally just shy of three miles.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

We stopped for a few small group shots in front of Toy Story Midway Mania.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

The run ended at the Lights Motors Action! Extreme Stunt Show Arena. Complementary breakfast sandwiches and beverages were provided by a special food truck stationed at the Meet Up.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

Participants noshed on breakfast and gathered in the grandstands waiting for the special Meet Up presentation.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

First up was Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync and Dancing with the Stars fame. Joey had decided that he would run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge for his wife after she was sidelined with an injury. He had never even run a half marathon before!

Joey Fatone disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

Also making an appearance was Price is Right Host and now svelte Drew Carey. He too was sidelined with an injury…Hmmm…what gives? That “Sounds Dangerous”!

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up drew carey

Check out Drew’s kicks! Those are the new runDisney New Balance Mens sneakers that were unveiled over the weekend. They sold out in minutes and New Balance was forced to overnight more stock to sell during the second day of the expo. New Balance was on hand to discuss proper running footwear and ways to avoid injury.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

I was lucky enough to snag a pair of the ladies shoes for $125. How cute are they?

new balance runDisney sneakers ladies

runDisney brought in several running legends to give us tips and encouragement including Bart Yasso.

Bart yasso disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

And Adriano Bastos was happy to hop up and show us all of his Disney tattoos. Bastos captured his eighth Walt Disney World Marathon title this year crossing the finish line in 2 hours, 21 minutes, 16 seconds!

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up Adriano bastos

As the meet wrapped up all guests were invited to take photos with the celebrity guests and Disney characters in attendance and each runner was provided with a goody bag as well as a one day park ticket to come back and experience Disney’s Hollywood Studios at a slower pace.

disney parks blog 2013 marathon meet up

For more information on upcoming runDisney Disney Parks Blog Meet Ups keep your eyes on DisneyParksBlog.com and for more info on upcoming runDiosney races check out RunDisney.com

Jan 13

Details on Disney’s Limited Time Magic “True Love Week”

Valentine's Day Magic KingdomLove is in the air at Walt Disney World Resort as fairytale princesses find true love with their princes, and “happily ever after” becomes reality. It all happens during True Love Week February 11-17, 2013.

The week long love fest is all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks, where each week in 2013 guests will be treated to a sprinkling of Disney magic where unexpected surprises and delights enhance vacation memories.

During True Love Week, a tapestry of romance is woven throughout the resort — from limited- time Valentine’s merchandise and special entertainment, to romantic dinners for two and new themed photo locations offering greetings with beloved Disney sweethearts – all for a limited-time only.

The week long event celebrates the love of friends and family, and invites couples to rekindle the flame. Here is the lineup:

  • Romantic Setting: Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as banners proclaiming True Love, heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn the Magic Kingdom.
  • Blushing Castle: At dusk, hues of pink, red, lavender and blue bathe Cinderella Castle with themed lighting synced to a musical melodies adding to the ambiance.
  • Dinners for Two: Candlelit dinners for two with prix fixe menus at select restaurants  during the most romantic week of the year.  Specially-created menus at Artist Point (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort);  The Wave…of American Flavors (Disney’s Contemporary Resort); Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios); Yachtsman Steakhouse (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort) make an ideal setting for a romantic evening. To book visit Disneyworld.com or call 407/WDW-DINE.
  • Valentine’s-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plushes, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations available at select merchandise locations.
  • Royal Gathering:  The rare opportunity to get a photo with Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses to enchanting character greeting locations.

In Town Square Theater you may find Mickey and Minnie, Aurora with Phillip or Rapunzel and Flynn. Mary Poppins joins Bert in Fantasyland, while Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana meet guests in the Enchanted Glade in Liberty Square.

Romantic Photo Locations in Magic Kingdom with your Sweetie:

  • Carriage Awaits: New Fantasyland invites lovers to create memories alongside Cinderella’s Glass Coach situated by the new Castle wall for True Love Week.
  • Wishes Come True: Hearts and flowers enhance Cinderella’s Wishing Well creating the perfect backdrop for a cherished moment.
  • Rose Walk:  The Rose Garden in Central Plaza is all decked out with enchanting decor.

And more…

Disneyland Park in California will celebrate True Love week with similar in-park offerings.

For more information about “Limited Time Magic,” guests may search for Twitter hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic.