…that we’re headed to Disneyland in a little over a week!
The next two weeks is sure to be full of challenging (but rewarding) training runs, getting everything at work wrapped up before vacation, 10ish hours in total on planes but, most importantly, time at the Happiest Place on Earth!
The Real Reason We’re Headed to Disneyland: The Tinker Bell Half Marathon
Ever since the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon was announced sometime in 2011, this race definitely tempted me. I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2010 and really enjoyed the experience. I absolutely love Disneyland so a) it was amazing to run through the parks there and b) it was an excellent excuse to book a trip to Disneyland.
Why Disneyland? It is a little hard to justify an expensive trip to California when Walt Disney World is literally in my back yard, but there is just something almost inexplicably special about the Disneyland Resort. It’s siren’s song calls to me! Logically, there are just some attractions and experiences that they have there that we don’t here in Florida. The draw of Disneyland, however, is far more than that. It’s just special there. There’s something in the air…or maybe the water. Either way.
I had a brief moment of insanity where I thought “maybe I should run the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon as it is the 20th anniversary and all.” Well, in hindsight I am really glad that passed. Rather than focusing on getting much stronger at the 5k and half marathon distances, I would have been endlessly piling on more drudgery-mileage. To help make the decision easier, I decided that if I gave up on the idea of the Marathon (a distance my family desperately tried to talk me out of anyway), that I would sign up for Tink the following weekend instead. So here we are.
I will talk about my goals for this race in a future post but I have some high expectations for this race. I want to absolutely rock it and I think I have put in the work to hopefully be able to do it. Aside from the running part of this vacation though, I have so much else to look forward to.
Here is the current plan for the trip (or at least what I’ve figured out so far):
Day 1 – We arrive and get our first taste of the Disneyland Resort. We are staying at the beautiful Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa. Once we check in, we’ll head into Disneyland Park. I must embarrass Charles with a “1st Visit” button. We have special viewing reserved for World of Color that night which should start the trip off on the right foot!
Day 2 – It’s an “early admission” day at Disney California Adventure for resort Guests so we’ll start there. Fingers crossed that by starting out really early, we will be able to get on Radiator Springs Racers with a minimal wait. This brand new e-ticket attraction has been very popular since it opened and, from what I have heard, constantly has a very long wait. It’s usually best to tackle this sort of attraction first thing in the morning. We have dinner reservation at the incredible Club 33, a private club inside Disneyland Park that is just seeped in Disney history. If you are not familiar, it is not possible to make reservation as a regular person – you need to know a member (or have some other connection) who makes a reservation for you. Membership is very pricy and the member list is very limited (I have heard rumors of a long waiting list of people just dying to join). We are so lucky to have secured a reservation and this should definitely be a highlight of the trip.
Day 3 – This is the day before race day. We’ll probably start at Disneyland Park for early entry there. I have family who lives fairly close to Disneyland so I believe we are trying to grab dinner with them the night before the race.
Day 4 – Tinker Bell Half Marathon! Hopefully I have a killer time, feel great, and head right into the parks after freshening up. We have dinner reservations at the Blue Bayou Restaurant which is my favorite Disneyland restaurant located inside Pirates of the Caribbean. I am so excited to share it with Charles. We ate at the equivalent restaurant when we visited Disneyland Paris so I will be interested to hear what he thinks of both. We’ll have to be sure to catch the fireworks at Disneyland Park on this evening.
Day 5 – Our last day at Disneyland 😦
We will be sure to catch everything we missed (if we missed anything after 4 days at Disneyland). I am quite sure I will be sad to leave. We head out on the red-eye so I can be back to work for an important meeting at work the next day.
Must Do Disneyland
I have quite a few must-do’s at Disneyland. Probably too many to name here. The following are just a few of my favorites:
- All of the classics – Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, etc.
- Indiana Jones. This is probably my favorite California-only attraction.
- Eat broccoli cheddar soup out of a sourdough bread bowl in the Pacific Wharf area of Disney California Adventure.
- Get Mickey-shaped beignets in New Orleans square
- Take a picture in front of the (comparatively tiny) castle
- The Matterhorn!
- Seeing everything new at Disney California Adventure including the new entrance, Buena Vista Street, and Cars Land!
- Visit my favorite spot in all of Disneyland:
A Few Other Orders of Business:
- That extreme fatigue from last week – magically disappeared! I feel great again after some good nights of rest and fulfilling miles this weekend.
- The Whale’s diet and exercise plan is going well. I have discovered that she is a bully about the food (intimidating the Squid and thus controlling her access to food) but I have separated their food dishes to ensure an equitable division of food. I am envisioning her shedding the pounds as we speak!
Have you ever visited the Disneyland Resort? What are your not-to-be-missed experiences there?