We’ve barely had a minute to take a breath from Springtime Surprise, but the summer Virtual Series registration is just two days away! Before you panic, summer series registrations don’t seel out in minutes. Breathe. OK… last year the summer series took months to sell out. So chances are you don’t need to be pacing and refreshing at 9:55 this coming Tuesday, April 25.
What is the summer series? Its three 5K races run at your own pace on your own schedule between now and the end of August. It’s that simple. No timing. No requirements. Just the honor system for some seriously beautiful bling. If you want to run all three, of course there is a Challenge option.
This year’s medals feature the Disney 100 theme, highlighting big moments in Mickey Mouse’s career.
Our first 5K celebrate’s Mickey’s debut in the Steamboat Willie short.
Our next 5k celebrates Mickey’s appearance in possibly my favorite Disney film, Fanatasia. I can’t not have this medal.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Our final stop is Mickey’s most recent triumph, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway… a tribute to the Hollywood Studios and now Disneyland Resort attraction.
Challenge – Disney100
The pièce de la résistance is the challenge medal. It features Mickey and Minnie, and rumor has it that the top snaps off as a magnet to grace your refrigerator.
As usual, I can’ resist these medals, so I’m in! Just hear to rundisney.com stating Tuesday, April 25, and you too can be in on the summer fun!
Pricing is $48.00 for individual races and $160.00 for the challenge.
Questions about the virtual series? I am happy to answer. Just drop a comment, and I’ll fill you in on the details.
The Pixar-themed Springtime Surprise weekend raced into the history books April 13-16 and it was an epic weekend of fun with all the trimmings, rare character stops, and some of that famous Central Florida humidity! I’ll be honest that I was a little ambivalent when the Pixar theme was announced, but it ended up being loads of fun.
My adventures actually started on the day of the expo, a day I also planned to spend at Epcot celebrating my daughter’s birthday. Paramount to the day would be getting a Virtual Queue spot on Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and dinner at Space 220. I’ve had varying luck with the GoG Virtual Queue in the past, so I was elated to get a spot this time around. Except somehow we snagged boarding group 12, which was a guaranteed conflict with my 9 a.m. shopping window at the expo. I was staying on property at Port Orleans, so the expo buses were not going to get me to ESPN by 9. I jumped in an Uber to get there ($10. Fine.) and sent the kids off to Epcot, which also opened at 9.
Well… at 8:40 I got the notification that our GoG boarding group had already been called. Whaaat? With a sense of extreme urgency I power-shopped for the few items I was looking for and headed for the exit trying to get an Uber to the park. Except the Uber app was glitching and wouldn’t perform any searches. The only thing that saved me was that I had Epcot in my history and was able to use that reference to request the ride. This time the ride (roughly the same distance as my previous ride a few minutes before) was $30. Womp-womp! The whole time my teenager was texting me.. “Mom, are you here yet? WHERE ARE YOU???” I got to Epcot a few minutes after our Guardians window technically closed, but the Cast Members allowed our party on to the ride, and we were off to save the galaxy! Big fun!
At this point I had my merch, I had my ride but I was still missing something… Oh. My bib! I still needed to get back to the expo to pick up my bib. So we poked around Epcot for a bit, rode the Three Caballeros ride in Mexico, and then Frozen Ever After, and I headed out the back of Epcot and grabbed an Expo bus from the Dolphin to get my bib. By the time I got back to the Expo, lines were gone, and it was another quick in-and-out. I dropped my stuff back at the resort and finally rejoined the family for a fun-filled day capped off by dinner in space. Totally worth it!
Race days felt a bit different for me because I was running solo for the first time all season. I decided on a new approach and instead of bolting for the corral on the morning of the 5K, I decided to stand in line for a pre-race character stop with Mater. Lines are long, and I was actually behind the “end of line” sign, which marked the cutoff for pre-race photos. I decided to chance it and ended up with my photo, and still managed to get a fairly decent spot in my corral D. They did 5 corrals for all the races this time around. Honestly I didn’t wait very long to start, even being towards the back. I think I started by 5:25 a.m. I was expecting to go closer to 5:45 so the shorter wait time was very welcome.
The race itself was a bit of a blur to me – the 5Ks happen so fast, it feels like you blink and they’re over. I remember some light rain, and hearing “Life is a Highway” on repeat! Character stop lines were crazy-long so I bypassed all of those and just held to my run-walk-run intervals. I finished before the sun was even up (that might be a first) and headed straight to my resort bus.
The Monsters, Inc. theme for the 10K brought out some of the best costumes of the weekend… I so much loved seeing the interpretations of Roz, the Monsters U. cheerleaders, Oozma Kappa brothers, and of course Mike, Sully, and all their pals. My race felt pretty good, but knowing I had 10 miles ahead of me the next day kept me a bit on edge. I was decidedly undertrained this time around. Even though I have Dopey under my belt, 10 miles felt like a reach and was looming in the back of my consiousness.
Can we talk for a minute about the character stop in Canada? None other than the boy band 4*Town from Turning Red! They were everything you dreamed the boy band could be, and they were singing live. 4*Town 4-Ever!
Sunday came and the capstone Toy Story 10-Miler was a run thorough thick pea soup. I struggled a bit lot with the humidity, and didn’t really enjoy the course, which placed all the highway miles at the end. That being said, with the close quarters of running in the parks, I was actually a bit relieved to hit the highway and have some space during the second half. As rough as I felt, I never caught sight of the balloon ladies. With shorter character lines today, I got a few pics and finished a sweaty, smelly mess. My body was telling me “no celebrating”, so I headed straight for the resort buses to go shower and put myself out of misery. And just like that my season was over.
Reflecting back on my nearly-perfect season (I missed 2 Princess races), I have to say I would – and will do it all again! If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t interact with more people. Even though I write and put my thoughts out on the internet for the world to see, I am a complete introvert, so starting new social interactions is kind of tough for me. The runDisney community is an amazing, generous and caring community! And I am so proud to be part of it. So for the close of the racing season, I’ll just sign off with “To Next Season, and Beyond!!!”
They waited until the last minute, but runDisney has released the merchandise preview for the Springtime Surprise expo, available starting Thursday!
As per ususal, plenty of shirts, jackets, Spirit Jerseys, and of course ears and Loungeflys!
See anything you like? I have so many shirts and jackets, I don’t think I need anymore. I do like the Spirit Jersey and Loungefly.
All this merch and more will be available at the Official Race Merchandise location in the Advent Health Arena. Remember that access on Thursday is by Virtual Queue. The queue opens up at 8:30 in the My Disney Experience app. There is no Virtual Queue on Friday or Saturday.
Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you like! See you next weekend!
After months of planning it’s finally time to go to the finish line and beyond for the Pixar-themed Springtime Surprise Weekend! Today we’ll take a look at the final details including the Expo, course maps and some discounts available for racers.
All runners MUST attend the Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at least 1 day before their race to pick up bibs and t-shirts. This is where the (in)famous merchandise sale happens. For those new to the runDisney procedures, or if you’ve been away for a while, access to the merchandise shopping on the first day (Thursday, April 13) is by Virtual Queue only. You can join the Virual Queue in the My Disney Experience app if your are within 45 miles of Wide World of Sports. The Virtual Queue access opens at 8:30 a.m. (SHARP). Keep in mind that even if you’re on-the-spot with queue registration, your callback time might be several hours away. Normally we have seen some sort of merchandise preview by now, but so far that hasn’t turned up. When and if that happens, you can read about it here!
Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 14, 2023 | 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 15, 2023 | 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The 5K course is pretty typical for what we have seen lately. From the back of the Epcot parking lot, it’s a skirt around the parking to the backstage park entrance between Mexico and Norway. Usually there is some quick character stop in the backstage area. Once in Epcot, we’ll take lap around the World Showcase Lagoon. I’m a little bummed the “Harmonious” barges have been dismantled, because they were a beautiful focal point in the dark during the Harmonious era. Oh well. Then it’s back through World Celebration and World Discovery to a backstage view of Cosmic Rewind, a choir, and the finish line!
Again there’s nothing new or different about the 10K course this time around. Other than it being twice as long as the 5K and running in the opposite direction, you’ll see all the same things. Plus a bunch of highway.
You will get to see some backstage areas in World Nature and take a swing around the slippery Boardwalk. (Caution runners!!!)
There’s also a jog behind France that adds a little variety. Then it’s back into World Celebration for another look at all the contruction walls and stuff you can’t buy in the Creations Shop because it’s not open yet. The finish is the same as the other races, and just as welcome a sight!
I’ll just say it, I am not a fan of this course. Mostly for the reason that they have front-loaded all the fun in the first 5 miles and the last 5 miles are a whole lot of highway. Also, the very narrow stretch between the Studios and the Boardwalk is very early in the course, which is when congestion is at it’s worst. I would say don’t plan on doing any running here. It will be an epic bottleneck.
I would actually really like this course if we ran it in the reverse direction, but I don’t get to make the rules.
What I do like about it is that we get to spend more time in Hollywood Studios that some races. Appropriately, we get to sample all of Toy Story Land, so I’ll be looking forward to running through Andy’s back yard before tacking miles and miles of highway running.
runDisney is inviting runners to “Race, then relax” at the Typoon Lagoon water park! Up to 4 members of the runner’s party will recieve a 50% discount at Typhoon Lagoon during race weekend. Here are the details:
50% off 1-Day Water Park Ticket valid 4/12/23 – 4/19/23. Ticket valid for seven days from the date of purchase.
Purchase at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, or at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Runner must show race bib for visual validation. Check-In Pass will be accepted as validation on 4/12/23.
Offer valid for runner and up to 3 guests.
Disney Springs: While it’s true that some merchants at Disney Springs have offered race weekend discounts in the past, there is no official notification in the event guide, so I can neither confirm nor deny that that is happening. That being said I know I saw an announcement that the Fabletics store at Disney Springs is offering a race weekend discount, but I can’t find that source right now. I’ll update this post when I find it. Bottom line though, if you need some athletic racewear, make sure to ask for the discount at Fabletics.
All that being said you might have more questions. I can help! Drop me a comment and I’ll help you out.
It’s been a super busy week in the runDisney universe and I had to take a pause to decide what to comment on first. Springtime Surprise course maps were released, and I have plenty to say about that, but since 2024 Marathon Weekend is almost upon us, I figure it’s best to share my thoughts on that first.
Club runDisney Gold & Platinum: Begins Tuesday, April 4 (via email link)
General Registration: Tuesday April 11 at 10:00 a.m. ET
I’ve got to say that the artwork for Marathon Weekend is adorable! Our mascots remain the same as last year:
5K – Pluto
10K – Chip & Dale
Half Marathon – Donald & Daisy
Marathon – Mickey & Minnie
There doesn’t seem to be much of an obvious unifying weekend theme. All the images have park references, so I guess we’ll go with “running in the parks”.
One othe piece of good news is that the prices for most events have only increased a few dollars over last year. Still not cheap, but at least they are trying to keep the fees stable.
Even though I am part of Club runDisney, I am still battle-scarred from the Disneyland and Wine & Dine registrations. I attempted to get the Disneyland 5K for my daughter and myself during general registration. I really didn’t get great queue position, but did eventually get to the registration form. I got my info in, but when I went to add the second registration, I tried and tried but for some reason could not select a T-shirt size on the second person’s registration. I got error messages on the form and try as I might could not jigger things to get the T-shirt size option to appear. I took the form’s failure as a sign that registration was already sold out, and I gave up. Sure enough a few minutes later the race was sold out and I assumed that my hypothesis was correct.
Fast forward a few weeks later when I was again attempting to get my daughter and myself registered for the Wine & Dine 5K, and this time the pressure was immense. You see I’d promised my daughter that after missing out on Disneyland, I would do everything I possibly could to get her into WD. Well the stakes hit the stratosphere whe the themes were announced because the WD 5K was none other than Alice in Wonderland, her all-time favorite movie. The weight of responibility was heavy…
Even though I was traveling for work, I lugged an extra computer to Las Vegas with me to improve my chances of getting a good position in the virtual queue. I had to contend with 1 computer not connecting to the hotel wifi, running that computer on a hotspot, and trying to field a bunch of phone calls that came in at the exact same moment that registration opened.
I did get a decent queue position on one of my browsers and confidently jumped into the enrollment form. Except… I could not select a T-shirt size on the second person AGAIN!! Since I was within the first 10 min of the window opening, there was no way it was sold out yet. There was clearly a problem with the form, that seemed to be my special problem.
There are several ways to hack your way through the form quickly… most fields can be updated later. For example, the emergency contact name and phone number, and all those relevant extra questions … “Are you military divistion?”, “Are you traveling with children?”, “What is the velocity of a laden sparrow?” You can put anything in those fields just to get through the form faster, but I can’t for the life of me understand why the T-shirt is a showstopper, but it is.
I was getting form error messages that told me to refresh, and I’ll be honest I was absolutely terrified to do that. I was afraid I’d lose everything and be kicked back into the queue. I wrestled with this for at least 10 minutes, thinking my head was going to explode and ready to throw my still-ringing phone against the wall. Feeling like my daughter’s dream race was slipping through my fingers, I finally surrendered and hit the refresh button, expecting the worst.
And… success. The form reloaded all the T-shirt sizes were available for both people, and I submitted before I had an aneurysm.
That was my story, which seemed to be pretty unique to me. I read numerous accounts of people getting the error message when they go to “I’m ready to pay.” I sure don’t have a fix for that. I don’t know if the refresh would work at that point, but if you’re registering multiple people I’d say there’s quite a bit of risk refreshing then as you have to enter all the info again (insert eye-roll). The other thing that seems to happen is that every time you hit the pay button, your credit card is authorized, whether or not the transaction is successful. Usually those authorizations fall off the credit card in a day or two, but if you’re close to your credit limit or using a debit card, that could be a problem for you.
So to summarize my top tips of the moment:
Get through the form as fast as you can – don’t waste time on the accuracy of the extra questions (but be very precise on names and birth dates!)
If you get stuck on T-shirt size, refresh the form
NEVER refresh the waiting room page
Multiple devices / browsers are a must
Use a credit card with plenty of room on your credit limit in case you have to submit more than once to get a confirmation
I’ll be attempting to register some other folks as well on April 11, so I will be heading into the General Registration fray again. Maybe it will be smooth. I can always wish upon a star.
Do you have some registration tips? Drop a comment to share your wisdom!