I’ve decided to start doing a Friday 5 post every Friday. This week is 5 Things you MUST do during a Disney race weekend. Having participated in 3 Disney races over the last year (one of which was just last weekend) I decided that this was a good starting point. So here we go…
1. Visit the expo
You kinda have to go to the Fitness Expo before a Disney race to pick up your race packet and your shirt, but so many people do just that and leave. Even if you don’t NEED anything from the Expo you should still take the time to wander the aisles and enjoy the experience. Who knows, you may even talk your mom into buying you some fantastic running shoes for your birthday… even if your birthday isn’t for four and a half more months.
2. Pick up a souvenir
During my first Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in 2011 I stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort with my friend Jenn. On the way back to our room after dinner we stopped into the gift shop to look for gifts for her two boys who were at home. We ended up stumbling upon these charms and charm bracelets that were meant for kids. Even though they were for kids, they ended up being the perfect souvenirs for for the two of us. We each bought some charms to remind us of the race, and agreed that if we were to do anymore Disney races that we would get new charms to add to the bracelet. When I did the Expedition Everest race 3 months later I added another charm to the bracelet. And did the same thing this past weekend during the Princess Half Marathon. Not only is it a fun reminder of Disney, it is also a nice reminder of the accomplishments of the last year. I even worse it to Savannah for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon to remind myself that I could do it. It is silly, it is cheap, but it is cute and I love it.
3. Dress up!
I think this one is a little self explanatory. If you are going to run in a race at the happiest place on earth, then you should rise to the occasion and wear a spectacular (or at least sparkly) costume. Last year I worse a hot pink tut and a pink tiara. This year I ran 13.1 miles in a royal blue sparkly skirt, an orange sequined headband, and the most obnoxious orange and blue socks this side of Gainesville. And it was AWESOME! Whether you are doing the Princess Half Marathon, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, or even the brand new Tower of Terror 10 Miler, make sure to take a little time and plan out an outfit that you won’t forget. I’m thinking my next costume will have something to do with the evil queen 🙂
4. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop in Downtown Disney Marketplace
Oh. Em. Gee. Not everything during your Disney race weekend has to do with running. If you are going to be burning 1300+ calories before lunch, you might as well treat yourself to a tasty treat. I recommend a stop by the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate shop in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. First stop on the Chocolate Shop side and pick up a sample, that they are ALWAYS handing out, of their tasty chocolate. Then walk next door and get in line for the most amazing ice cream sundaes you will ever come across. Are they expensive? Oh yes, but what isn’t at Disney? But it is SO worth the money and the calories. Believe me when I tell you that you will NOT regret this decision. The only thing that you’ll be unhappy about is that you can’t stick a sundae in your suitcase and take it home with you.
5. Take lots of pictures!
Living in Florida I have 5, yes 5, opportunities each year to be involved in Disney races. But for some people their trip to Disney World (or Disney Land) for a race weekend may be a once in a lifetime experience. Regardless of which situation you are a part of, make sure to take lots of pictures. Disney races are FULL of photo opportunities, both on and off the race course. I am always terrified of dropping my camera, so I usually don’t run with it, but that doesn’t mean that YOU can’t. Or if you have a phone with a good camera, put that thing to good use. Either way, make sure to document your race weekend. At the very least you can use the pictures to convince your running buddies to come along for the next Disney race.