So this is almost a month overdue – sorry!
I’ve wanted to run the Disneyland Half Marathon for several years, but it just hasn’t worked out for my schedule until this year.
I was originally only going to sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare (10K and half marathon) but then they announced the 5K was Country Bears themed and I love the Country Bears because I think the show is hilarious. Funnily enough, it doesn’t exist at Disneyland anymore, only at WDW.
I stayed at Grand Legacy at the Park, which I found to be very convenient. It was just across the street from the park entrances. Due to the new security checks in the parks though, it can be kind of a pain to get to Downtown Disney as you have to go through the security line just to get to the other side. They also had a 17% military discount, which made the price a little more affordable.
I spent almost a week at DL this time, which I think was probably too much as I felt pretty burned out on Disney by the end. I went to the Expo when it opened on Thursday and checked out all the merchandise. I liked some of the shirts they had, but I’m always on the fence about buying more shirts when they’re provided with the race. I did pick up some glitter sunscreen, however. It was also scented and I felt like I died and went to preteen heaven.
I had no issues getting to the race the following morning, and I squeezed in a stop at Starbucks on the way. The 5K was well run and had lots of characters out. Since it was Country Bears, they had lots of bears – Liver Lips and Al from Country Bears, Baloo, Kenai from Brother Bear, Winnie the Pooh, and Lotso. It was also probably one of the best days for the race photographers because there weren’t tons of people on the course.
For the 10K I was still in Corral A. The course was still mainly in the parks but also cut a little bit backstage which I kind of enjoyed (and wished I had taken pictures of). I didn’t care for the medal myself, but I know a lot of people liked it. The overall theme of the weekend was “Best Friends” so the 5K was Country Bears and the 10K was Aladdin and Genie and the Half was Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
I had a meetup with a couple of other Oiselle birds for dinner that night at Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney and I had a great time talking about running and Disney with the other birds. The food was also outstanding and much better than expected, which is likely why it’s so hard to get a reservation there.
The Half had me scooted back to Corral B, which was fine with me! I was definitely feeling more tired that day for sure and my pace showed it.. The course was pretty good, it went through the parks first thing (probably so they could open on time) and there were a lot more people so I figured my pictures wouldn’t be much good that day. From there it wove into the streets of Anaheim, took us down to a trail (which I think I would’ve liked more if it was earlier in the morning) and then through the Anaheim Angels stadium and then back to Downtown Disney and the finish. It was a warm day and I felt myself fading around mile 9/10 but there was lots of course support which helped. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed running around the stadium and right around Mile 10 a woman was handing out magic feathers, which I happily took and ran with the rest of the way.
I was happy with my finish and ready for a smoothie, but then remembered I had chosen to leave my card and all money in my hotel. I also didn’t bring any cash so I couldn’t take part in the post-race massage being offered at $1 a minute, maximum of 20 minutes. Take note: Always bring cash to the race! So I just walked back to my hotel to shower and change.
Aside from the race, I had a good time at Disneyland and was glad I got to see the 60th anniversary decorations before they came down, and their anniversary fireworks shows. I liked Paint the Night, loved their Disneyland Forever fireworks show, and really didn’t care much for the Celebrate show in Disney California Adventure.
I also tried the tea at Steakhouse 55 and while it was good, I liked the one at the Grand Floridian better, and I liked their original version better than the new one they changed to that has less options and costs more. Food wise, I also tried the Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans and agree with its reputation as delicious.
Lastly, I rode the Hollywood Tower of Terror one more time for myself before it goes away to become something else.
It was a good trip and a fun race, but I think it will be my last Disney race for a while because of the cost, the time off, and the cost of everything else at Disney. My trip to Japan and China reminded me of how much I enjoy seeing new places and I want to do more international travel and not just the World Showcase at Epcot (though it was really funny to walk around China and say funny things about how it was so much bigger than the one in Epcot). That being said, I have a friend who is dying to do one of Disney’s new Star Wars races so I may end up back at Disney sooner than I expect.