This last month has been a complete whirlwind! We went straight from Christmas festivities to New Orleans wedding celebrations. We blinked and it was a New Year! Then a trip to Disney World to run 48.6 mile while also visiting all the parks immediately followed by a Disney Cruise. I’m actually overwhelmed just looking back at it all. It’s been crazy, but amazing, and I’m looking forward to settling back into a normal routine again. Until then, I wanted to share a quick overview of our Disney Dopey trip that we just returned home from on Friday!
I’m going to try and keep each day’s recap fairly brief so I don’t bore you! I plan on doing a full recap of the races and my feeling on running and completing the Dopey Challenge. For more details on the Dopey Challenge, check out my Q&A post and here’s how I came up with my training plan!
In case you were wondering, JP and I both went to Disney without our kiddos. Our amazing parents helped us out and took care of our babies for the almost 11 days we were gone. While at Disney, we met up with our friends Rachael and Jojo. Rachael and I ran Dopey together and JP tagged along for the half marathon!
Disney Dopey Trip Recap
Day 1 – Marathon Expo and Universal Studios
We got to the expo 30 minutes before it opened and immediately got in line for the runDisney merchandise. They opened it up early and we still waited 30 minutes to get in. It was crazy! The good news is that I got everything I wanted from the expo which was a Dopey spirit jersey, Dopey running tank and a marathon running tank. I also ended up with a Dopey wine glass because wine is life and I might as well drink out of a cup that reminds me of my accomplishments!
We got what we wanted and then got our race bibs and gEAR before grabbing an Uber to Universal Studios! I do wish that we had a smidge more time to take a few Dopey photos at the expo, but it was important to get to Harry Potter World.
Universal was a blast as always! We spent the majority of our time in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, but also ventured out to ride the Hulk, Spider Man, Men in Black, Rip Roar & Rock It and The Mummy. The best ride of all was the new Hagrid’s roller coaster! It’s worth the 60-90 minute wait.
Pro Tip: Be sure to dine in The Three Broomsticks! If weather permits, get the hot Butterbeer. It’s absolutely delicious and worth every sip.
Day 2 – 5K and Magic Kingdom
The 5K started dark and early at 5:30am. This race was in Epcot and the roads around the park. We took this race super easy dressed as King Arthur and Merlin from Sword in the Stone! While on the course, we managed to stop and visit The Beast and cheerleader Minnie after the race. Unfortunately, there were only 4 characters on the course for this race.
After the race, we spent the day playing in Magic Kingdom! We met characters and rode almost all of the rides. Mary Poppins and I went for a stroll in the morning and it was one of the most magical moments. Practically perfect in every way! Our Fast Passes were for all of the roller coasters: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. If you have two days in Magic Kingdom, I recommend getting fast passes for all the coasters!
We finished the night with pictures in front of Cinderella’s Castle with the beautiful Christmas lights since it’s still Christmas at Magic Kingdom! Since my alarm was going off at 3:45am the next day, we had to call it quits before the fireworks.
Day 3 – 10K and Epcot
The second race of the Dopey Challenge was the 10K. This morning started off a little strange as I had nightmares the night before and Rachael was dealing with nausea and lack of sleep. We decided to run this race separately after the first two miles, so Rachael could take it easy and hopefully not get any worse. I crossed this finish line solo, but feeling great!
After the race, JP and I spent the day at Epcot! Rachael decided to take a long nap and get some rest after barely sleeping the night before. I met tons of characters at Epcot and once again we were able to ride most of the rides. The parks weren’t very crowded at all!
Some of the highlights were visiting with Daisy (probably my favorite character interaction from the whole trip), meeting Anna & Elsa in their new outfits, riding Soarin’ and Test Track, sipping on the sparkling sangria from Spice Road Table in Morocco, eating Brats in Germany and pizza from Via Napoli in Italy!
Like the night before, we left the park early for a good night’s rest. I actually took an epsom salt bath and foam rolled before bed in preparation for the half marathon!
Day 4 – Half Marathon and Disney Springs
Holy cow, half marathon day was warm and humid. With a starting temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity, it wasn’t ideal running weather, but we did it. JP joined us for this race wearing his awesome last minute Mickey Mouse costume that I made for him! Rachael and I were Donald and Daisy.
We stuck together as a trio through Magic Kingdom so we could meet characters and take castle photos together! After about the halfway mark, JP and I picked up the pace just a bit while Rachael slowed down to conserve energy for the marathon. It was fun to finish the race with my biggest cheerleader and supporter!
After the race, JP and Jojo went to Hollywood Studios while Rachael and I took it easy, ate lots of food and wandered around Disney Springs. With a marathon to run the following day, we knew that being on our feet all day was not an option.
We had lunch at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort where we saw giraffes, zebras and other animals right from our table! Dinner was at Enzo’s Hideaway in Disney Springs. It was a delicious Italian meal that was perfect for the night before a marathon.
Day 5 – Marathon and Magic Kingdom
On the fifth day, we ran a marathon. That’s right 26.2 miles after running a 5K, 10K and half marathon and walking around the parks the days before. Our alarms went off at 2:40am and even that early, it was HOT. 71 degrees and high humidity for the 5:00am start and it was up to 85 degrees and little cloud coverage by the time we finished. Despite the record high temps, we did it! I have so many thoughts and emotions about this one that it will need it’s own full recap post.
After we officially became members of the Dopey club, we hobbled back to our hotels and got ready to head back to Magic Kingdom. We took lots of medal photos and rode some more rides! We were moving incredibly slow and our legs and feet had a lot of feelings about what we did, but we were still moving and upright.
Our marathon of a day was capped off with dinner at Artist Point where we met the Evil Queen, Snow White, Grumpy and the man himself…Dopey!
If you can, try to get reservations here at some point! An absolutely wonderful dining experience and one of the best meals of our trip!
Day 6 – Disney Cruise
The next morning we were on a shuttle to Port Canaveral to head out on a 4 night Disney Cruise to The Bahamas! I’ll be back to share a full report on Disney Cruise Line and our wonderful experience onboard the Disney Dream. We cruised to Nassau and Disney’s Castaway Cay where we soaked up as much sun, sand and ocean as possible.
That’s a wrap.
If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. I hope I was able to share our Dopey Disney Trip overview without overwhelming everyone! So much happened every day that I never want to forget.
I plan to do a detailed post on my full Dopey experience in the next few weeks. If you enjoy my running stories, please follow along with my new running Instagram account @amyrunningtheworld. I don’t want to overcrowd my blog account @amysbalancingact with running, but I love running so much that it just makes sense to have a place to share all of my adventures.
Stay tuned for more Disney running, park and cruise adventures coming soon!