Do you have a favorite childhood movie? You know…the one that you always pulled out when it was time to have a sleep over with all your friends. The movie that you knew you had to share with your kids as soon as you had kids. I have three such movies but the one at the top of the list was “Goonies”. (Wizard of OZ and the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory are the others in case you were wondering)
In 2011 I was able to meet and talk with Sean Astin, one of the stars of “Goonies” at the Grand Californian Hotel. He was there for the D23 Expo making appearances as the voice of Playhouse Disney’s Special Agent Oso and I happened to catch him outside of the Storyteller Cafe and then got to ride the elevator with him and his daughter up to our rooms. What a super humble and nice guy! I was also a bit starstruck. It took every inch of restraint in my body not to turn to him as the elevator doors closed and say “Goonies Never Say Die!”
Fast forward to the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Meet Up. When I got up that morning I knew that I was going to get the chance to actually RUN with my Goonies childhood hero. Well…trail him a little. He’s a much faster runner than I am. I popped out of bed and made the walk from Disney’s Grand Californian Resort to the Disneyland Hotel through a very desolate and dark Downtown Disney.
Arrival at the Disneyland Hotel…it was COLD! See that golf cart? That’s the pace cart. I jest! But it kind of is…that cart carries media who take pics of the runners as we truck it through the parks.
Meet Up participants in their special runDisney Tech Shirts. This is one of the great perks of attending a Meet Up run. Special merchandise made up up exclusively for the event.
As the sun came up we started our 2 and a half’ish mile trek from the Disneyland Hotel through Downtown Disney and then into both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Sean Astin and Jeff Galloway lead the run/walk/run charge!
We hooked a hard left and made our way down Main Street USA and directly through Sleeping Beauty Castle!
After making our rounds through Disneyland we stopped for a brief moment and were treated to a surprise appearance from Tinker Bell!
Runners making their way back down Main Street USA…
Big thanks to Disney Go to Girl for this pic of me bringing up the rear as we exit Disneyland!
Time to head across the esplanade for a brisk run through Disney California Adventure!
The running portion of the Meet Up ended at Carthay Circle where participants had photos taken with Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and the Trolley.
Hmmm..what to do next? How about a private ride on Radiator Springs Racers before park opening?! Have I died and gone to Disneyland heaven?
After the run and the ride it was time for some food. The runDisney team had a great spread set up inside Napa Rose at the Grand Californian…and some more surprises for us!
…and The Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent. Such an inspiration!
And as if that wasn’t enough…a cooking lesson on how to make the most incredible Huevos Rancheros with Black Bean Chipotle Cake! Which we all got to sample…
Recipe to come in a follow up post for this slice of heaven!
If you’d like to participate in a runDisney Meet Up please keep your eyes on the Disney Parks Blog which is where the events are announced. I’d also advise you to follow runDisney on facebook and twitter where teasers are often announced before the event sign up post goes live!
I was invited to this event as media for DisneyEveryDay.com. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.