Trip Report *COMPLETE* Remind Me Again Why We Agreed To Do This...Our runDisney 2020 Trip Report

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
I've been following and reading the whole time but I always get too busy to post! I really enjoyed reading about your WDW adventures. So here goes:

We were all really happy that all the holiday garb was still up as how can you beat those castle lights and how amazing Main Street looks once the sun goes down.
Yes, the holiday decorations are a major reason why we go in Nov/Dec.

Kerri was pumped to get these pics as she wanted to make her mother-in-law and sister-in-law jealous. They spent Christmas at Disneyland and were bragging about having their pictures in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle all decked out for Christmas. She felt this would top their cherished Christmas moment! Ah, one-upmanship at its finest!
Sleeping Beauty castle was first, but there's nothing better than the MK Castle, with the twinkling Christmas lights!

This was all of our first time seeing Happily Ever After and even though we didn't get the full effect with the projections, what we did see was excellent!
WE like HEA too. :geek: :geek: :geek: :geek: Wishes was great but it's fun to have something new to experience.

I decided to walk through the courtyard back to the Boulder Ridge building and grab a few quick photos of the grounds at night.
. We slipped into bed a little after 1030 and I was hoping I might be able to log at least 3 hours of sleep. The adrenaline was already starting to flow which made it tough to shut off my brain but thankfully I was able to get a little shut-eye!
I think with all the adrenaline it would be very hard to get any rest. I had my eval at work today, and of course, I was so worried about it the night before. It went well but it's still hard not to worry and get worked up about it.
:bored::bored::bored:
Kelly and Kerri had decided that instead of trying to figure out how to get a glimpse of us at some point during the race, that they would head over to Animal Kingdom for an early breakfast and to enjoy the park without us.
Running is awesome, I've been in several races; but the Animal Kingdom is where I'd be if my partner were running! :geek::geek::geek:

. I was super pumped to wear the new runDisney shirt I had bought from the expo a few days before.
That shirt makes me want to enter a RunDisney event!

We must have been a minute in and I had to make a mad dash to the bush on the side of the road for a quick bathroom break before getting back on track. Not an ideal start but only put us behind a minute or so.
Ahem, women do not have this luxury. :jawdrop::grumpy::cautious::banghead::banghead: Not really complaining, but tis difficult when you're a female runner!

I also recall running through the tunnel underneath Seven Seas Lagoon and climbing the hill to see the Contemporary on one side and MK on the other. What a sight to see, especially getting a glimpse of Cinderella castle all lit up. Before long we had run ourselves through the MK security area, through the turnstiles and into the park!
. It was surreal running through the park, especially through the castle and seeing everything lit up as it normally would be but nothing actually going on other than the running taking place. So cool to have the park to ourselves in a way.
Like you said, a major power boost as you are running through WDW on your way to MK!! Especially seeing the Castle all twinkling! It doesn't get any better! To quote my favorite movie "Surreal but nice." :geek::angelic:

When we did hit the half way point we were both excited and terrified that we were still only half way done.
This is how I feel when I run long races!!It's an incredible accomplishment but man, it's a long way!

Hitting mile 10 and rounding the overpass to head back towards EPCOT provided me with a huge burst of energy. I could see Spaceship Earth in the distance and knew that I was getting close. The other runners on the course could tell the end was insight as well as I heard a lot of people mention that they could see EPCOT again!
I'm glad the breeze was most helpful. Even the smallest of breezes really can be a break in the run!

We ran through a few countries then the course took us backstage for the final home stretch. Being so close I was almost sprinting to the finish. The sun was really shining by now and I couldn't wait to get across that finish line and collect my medal. People's moods around me were increasingly jovial as everyone knew we were rounding the corner to the final chute
YES YES YES!!! When I get very close to the end of my run, I am almost sprinting, too! It's such an incredible feeling to know you're THIS CLOSE To being DONE!!!

I’ll admit I had to do a double take when I saw crop top guy!!:oops: Your comment had me laughing!!
Hilarious! Wish I had the confidence to pull off an outfit like that!


Chip and Dale had added Christmas elements to their dino costumes which totally pushed things over the top! Actually, seeing these pics makes me sad I missed the photo op. I know the kids would have loved this too.
Chipmunk O Saurus CHIP AND DALE are tow of my favorite characters in the entire park! Plus, Chip and Dale are hilarious to interact with!!

Normally I'd let it slide but having just finished 13.1 miles and being up since 3 am, I was a tad cranky. Mike, on the other hand, was back at All-Stars and taking a nap. Good for him
Naps after races are absolutely mandatory!! Like you, I'm cranky after a race, too. The getting up at 3 does not help the mood. :cautious::bored:


As I already had experience zipping through a line to catch up with the group, I set off through the queue being as quick and polite as I could be. I was very surprised to see how many people were congratulating me on the race. I, of course, had my medal on as I was proud of my achievement and people we quick to pass along nice words and let me by at the same time.
That is so sweet how nice park-goers were to you, I think it must have been because you were wearing your medal!!:jawdrop::jawdrop:

Even if the yeti is 100%, he still looked pretty scary as we whizzed by. Kelly and Kerri screaming the entire ride made me laugh and I was very happy to get a surge of adrenaline as the ride progressed. I needed a pick me up and Everest provided it.
THE YETI IS ALWAYS COMPLETELY TERRIFYING TO me!! :jawdrop::jawdrop::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Outside of the ride, we were pretty much the only people to stop and notice the Gorilla's that were very much on display as we overlooked their habitat.
I love watching the Gorillas --just incredible to watch another animal that so closely resembles humans.

It's always so fun to pick up on new details you've never noticed before.
I'll have to look for Pumba this fall! The little details are what makes Disney so special!!

From what she messaged me, she was very happy to finally experience a treat from Sprinkles. And it was a good snack to curb her hunger before dinner later that evening
Sprinkles is the bomb!! We don't have any in CO, but I do love it in Arizona and Disney!! The Sprinkles ATMs are cool. Glad Kelly enjoyed her early birthday treat. Happy Birthday to her!! And Happy Birthday to J!! @riverside
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Happy Birthday Kelly!! 🎈🎂
Happy birthday, Kelly!!!
Happy birthday Kelly! 🍰 🎁 🎉🎊🎂
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KELLY!!!
Happy birthday Kelly!!
Happy Happy Birthday Kelly!!! 🍰 🥂🧁
Pisces rule! ♓
Happiest of Birthdays to you Kelly!!!
Happy Birthday Kelly! 🎉
Happy Birthday Kelly!! I hope you're having a wonderful day!!
Today is J's birthday also!!
Happy Birthday Kelly!

And @riverside please wish J a happy birthday too!
Glad Kelly enjoyed her early birthday treat. Happy Birthday to her!! And Happy Birthday to J!! @riverside
Happy Birthday, Kelly!!

I hope there was CAKE involved! oooooh, maybe even CHEESEcake!! 🧀 :geek:
Kelly isn’t the greatest when it comes to using the quote tool so she asked me to respond and thank you all for the kind birthday wishes! Just another reason why the Disney community means so much to us!

Thanks everyone and @riverside, please wish J a happy birthday from us!
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've been following and reading the whole time but I always get too busy to post! I really enjoyed reading about your WDW adventures. So here goes:


Yes, the holiday decorations are a major reason why we go in Nov/Dec.



Sleeping Beauty castle was first, but there's nothing better than the MK Castle, with the twinkling Christmas lights!



WE like HEA too. :geek: :geek: :geek: :geek: Wishes was great but it's fun to have something new to experience.





I think with all the adrenaline it would be very hard to get any rest. I had my eval at work today, and of course, I was so worried about it the night before. It went well but it's still hard not to worry and get worked up about it.
:bored::bored::bored:


Running is awesome, I've been in several races; but the Animal Kingdom is where I'd be if my partner were running! :geek::geek::geek:



That shirt makes me want to enter a RunDisney event!



Ahem, women do not have this luxury. :jawdrop::grumpy::cautious::banghead::banghead: Not really complaining, but tis difficult when you're a female runner!





Like you said, a major power boost as you are running through WDW on your way to MK!! Especially seeing the Castle all twinkling! It doesn't get any better! To quote my favorite movie "Surreal but nice." :geek::angelic:



This is how I feel when I run long races!!It's an incredible accomplishment but man, it's a long way!



I'm glad the breeze was most helpful. Even the smallest of breezes really can be a break in the run!



YES YES YES!!! When I get very close to the end of my run, I am almost sprinting, too! It's such an incredible feeling to know you're THIS CLOSE To being DONE!!!



Hilarious! Wish I had the confidence to pull off an outfit like that!




Chipmunk O Saurus CHIP AND DALE are tow of my favorite characters in the entire park! Plus, Chip and Dale are hilarious to interact with!!



Naps after races are absolutely mandatory!! Like you, I'm cranky after a race, too. The getting up at 3 does not help the mood. :cautious::bored:




That is so sweet how nice park-goers were to you, I think it must have been because you were wearing your medal!!:jawdrop::jawdrop:



THE YETI IS ALWAYS COMPLETELY TERRIFYING TO me!! :jawdrop::jawdrop::eek::eek::eek::eek:



I love watching the Gorillas --just incredible to watch another animal that so closely resembles humans.



I'll have to look for Pumba this fall! The little details are what makes Disney so special!!



Sprinkles is the bomb!! We don't have any in CO, but I do love it in Arizona and Disney!! The Sprinkles ATMs are cool. Glad Kelly enjoyed her early birthday treat. Happy Birthday to her!! And Happy Birthday to J!! @riverside

I wanted to make sure I circled back to this to thank you for reading along so intently and for all the great comments. As I am reaching the end of the report, it has been a lot of fun for me to share this experience and to have so many people follow along and interact.

The trip itself seemed like a total blur while it was happening but having some time to go back, reflect and write this report has allowed a lot of memories to flood back that were easily overlooked.

I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read about our running adventures and certainly thank you for your continued comments.
 
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Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We were seated to the left of the entrance, near the bar which gave us a pretty good view of the Ravens/Titans playoff game that was on most of the TVs. While It also served as a painful reminder that my guy TB12 and the Pats were no longer in the playoffs, it was nice to watch some football outta the corner of my eye. There were a lot of folks in and around the bar watching far more intently than we were, clearly with skin in the game based on a lot of the cheering that was taking place throughout the game.

We were provided with menus and shortly after some warm rolls that I assumed were right out of the oven. We wasted no time at all in digging into the rolls while we browsed the menu and quickly agreed that these might have been the greatest table bread we've ever had. The rolls were amazingly fresh and a combination of savory and sweet. They were so good!

The menu provided a number of very tasty options as well.


We all debated on what to get but eventually settled on our entree options and placed our orders. As we waited for our food, another plate of buns was delivered and quickly devoured. We almost wanted to ask for a third but felt that would not be a good look.

During our downtime between buns and entrees, we talked about how good the trip had been and how much fun we shared together. We were concerned that we wouldn't be able to provide Mike and Kerri with as good a look at WDW as we would have if not for spending multiple morning logging miles on the surrounding roads but they seemed beyond happy with their experience to that point.

Rise was hands down Mike's favourite attraction while Kerri leaned towards FoP. They talked a lot about how much fun their kids would have if they returned but it sounded like they were going to plan a family trip to Disneyland later in 2020 which is not a bad fallback either. Mike asked a lot of questions about our DVC membership as they were both very curious about how it works and if it has been beneficial to us, which it absolutely has. Since we bought resale it was more affordable to us than direct through Disney which is multiplied a number of times when you factor in the Canadian to US exchange rate.

It was a good thing we had plenty to talk about as our food was taking forever. We were regretting not asking for that third plate of buns. Upon prompting our server a couple of times about where might our food be, a tray finally found its way to our side about 45 minutes after we had ordered. By this time we were starving so this was a welcome sight.

Mike ordered the NY Steak and fries and I cannot recall exactly what Kerri had but I want to say it was the Yacht Club Clubhouse. Kelly went all out with the New York Strip and I ordered the Shrimp and Andouille Mac and Cheese.



I destroyed my meal and loved every bite of it. It was an excellent dish that I would absolutely order again if given the chance but Kelly was pretty disappointed with her steak. Lacking any seasoning, it was also overcooked and quite bland. I told her to send it back but having waited nearly an hour to get the first attempt, she was not in the mood to try again. I did have a bite and could see why she was disappointed. Definitely not a steak you would have anticipated.

The others seemed to enjoy their meals but we all agreed that the rolls were the true highlight of the Boathouse visit. That said, I would go back again on a future trip but I am not sure Kelly would be as quick to jump at it. Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' or a trip to the Edison are high on our list for next time.

With dinner done, the Ravens eliminated and our bill paid, we left the restaurant and figured out our next step, which was essentially getting home to get some sleep before yet another 330am wakeup call to catch the Tragical Express back to MCO. Kelly and I decided we were going to take a Lyft back home while Mike and Kerri would catch the bus back to All-Stars. We still had to wander back to the Co-op to retrieve the phone cases so we decided to call it a night and split up. The next time we would see each other was at the airport to return home.

We set off in different directions and to find our way back. It was later at this point so the crowds had thinned which gave me the chance to get a closer look at Rey and BB8


We picked up the phone cases with no issue and found our way over towards the parking lot beyond the Days of Christmas store designated for ride-sharing. As we requested our ride I took once last Disney Springs picture, mostly to appease Kelly.


Our Lyft driver arrived after about a 10 minute wait and we climbed into the back of his SUV. We could tell this guy was a character right off the bat and he had a heavy Boston accent. He ended up taking a wrong turn pretty much right off the bat but was able to get back on track fairly quickly. Once he found out where we were from in Canada the conversation really started flowing. His brother used to play in the NHL for the Calgary Flames so he knew all about Edmonton and the stars of the Oilers from years past. He also had quite a crazy knowledge of the CFL so he and I got along very well. Turned out to be an amazing ride back to the hotel as we swapped stories, talked sports and even a little politics.

We arrived back at the Lodge and he made sure to get out of the car to shake our hands and we ended up talking for another five minutes. Great guy that really capped off our night quite nicely.

We entered the lobby and before returning to the room I took a few final parting shots.



It was quite late by this time so we hustled back to our room to finish packing and try and get a few hours sleep before waking up to head to the airport. I couldn't believe how quickly the trip had already passed us by!

I was also very thankful to know the bed was in my immediate future. We finished up with our packing, including my sweet new Funko addition...




With that, it was time to hit the lights and get some sleep. Our Bus was slated for 415 am so we were planning on getting up a little after 330. I took one last look at my watch to see what my activity was for the day...



Putting almost 40KM on my feet in a single day had wiped me right out. I was not looking forward to how my legs would feel after two plane rides the next day but man, it was worth it!
 
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slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
Mike ordered the NY Steak and fries and I cannot recall exactly what Kerri had but I want to say it was the Yacht Club Clubhouse. Kelly went all out with the New York Strip and I ordered the Shrimp and Andouille Mac and Cheese.
Sorry about the Boathouse, I'm very picky about my steak and having seasoning/sauce as well. I would have sent it back and at least have gotten a sauce or a bill discount. I understand that it was nearly an hour wait but I'm very much in the camp "if I pay for it...."

We set off in different directions and to find our way back. It was later at this point so the crowds had thinned which gave me the chance to get a closer look at Rey and BB8
I hope they are there when we are there in the fall! They look amazing!

We arrived back at the Lodge and he made sure to get out of the car to shake our hands and we ended up talking for another five minutes. Great guy that really capped off our night quite nicely.
Don't you love magic moments like this? That's part of the Disney magic and just LIFE magic! Very fun to make a friend like that!

Putting almost 40KM on my feet in a single day had wiped me right out. I was not looking forward to how my legs would feel after two plane rides the next day but man, it was worth it!
I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT ALL IN A DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is incredible!! From the race, to AK, to Disney Springs. I love Disney, but after a race, I'm sure I would have just called it a day after AK! Impressive endurance!!! Which of course, is what a race alone would be.

I loved following along with your trip!
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sorry about the Boathouse, I'm very picky about my steak and having seasoning/sauce as well. I would have sent it back and at least have gotten a sauce or a bill discount. I understand that it was nearly an hour wait but I'm very much in the camp "if I pay for it...."



I hope they are there when we are there in the fall! They look amazing!



Don't you love magic moments like this? That's part of the Disney magic and just LIFE magic! Very fun to make a friend like that!



I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT ALL IN A DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is incredible!! From the race, to AK, to Disney Springs. I love Disney, but after a race, I'm sure I would have just called it a day after AK! Impressive endurance!!! Which of course, is what a race alone would be.

I loved following along with your trip!
Trust me, I love the fact that you followed along! Very much appreciated.
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
JANUARY 12 - FINAL DAY: TIME TO HEAD HOME

Yet another morning waking up before 400 am in Disney World. Even with all the practice, we had throughout the stay, you just don't get used to getting up that early on vacation! I suppose I would have been just fine with it had we been heading over to DHS for a RIse boarding group but alas, our only ride was catching the Magical Express back to the airport.

With most of our packing done the night before, we were pretty quick to shower and get ready for the long day of travel that was ahead. We debated on taking an Uber/Lyft to the airport but figured we had to get up early either way, might as well save the money. Once we had finished getting ready and had our luggage together, we started the long walk from our room to the elevator one last time.

Arriving in the lobby, there was definitely some action afoot. With the marathon running this morning, there were quite a few guests moving about. We arrived about 5 or so minutes before our scheduled pick up and found ourselves outside waiting with a handful of other families. Whenever we receive our DME pick up time, we always quiver at the fact that we are scheduled to be picked up 4 hours ahead of our flight time as we are traveling directly back to Canada. On this day, that lead time came in handy.

As we sat and waited, the bus did not arrive on time. No issue for us, we had plenty of time. But as the minutes ticked by, many of the other families around us were starting to panic a little. 30 minutes rolled by and still no bus. One family decided to call the DME line to figure out when it may arrive. The other families were waiting to hear what he was told before deciding on grabbing a cab or an uber to get them over to MCO as they were starting to fear they might miss their flight time.

When the gent was off the phone, we relayed that the bus was minutes away. And minutes later, two DME buses pulled up and loaded guests to head back to the airport. While it seemed like most families were relieved, it didn't get much better as we still had to stop by the Poly and the Grand to pick up passengers. Because of the road closures for the race this made those stops even longer.

Getting to the Poly wasn't so bad but we had to wait for an escort to take us to and from the Grand Floridian because only one lane was available to vehicle traffic while the other was blocked for the runners. By the time we had finally loaded the last guest, we must have spent at least another 30 minutes making those stops. Still plenty of time for us, but definitely full out panic for some other passengers.

Thankfully, once we were off WDW property, the road to the airport was clear and we arrived fairly quickly. Once inside we checked out luggage, made it through security unscathed and hopped on the monorail to the departures terminal. After a brief wait in the line for Starbucks, we found our gate and met up with Mike and Kerri who had a much smoother time getting to the airport than we did.

Mike and I were checking Twitter to get updates on the race, which we noticed was pushed back by 15 minutes and the heat warning were being issued all over the place. We were very thankful not to be running on this morning though our legs were not going to be happy with two longish plane rides.

Our first flight was from Orlando to Toronto, about 2 hours...not too bad. We boarded on time, took off on time and the flight wasn't too bad. Quite smooth. My legs did feel a little rough being up in the plan and cooped up but only having a two-hour flight wasn't the worst thing.

After clearing customs in Toronto, we made a stop at Subway for lunch and found our gate for our flight home to Edmonton. We had been getting messages from family about how cold it was back home and Mike, wearing shorts because that's all he packed, prepared himself for what was to come.

Our flight back to Edmonton was about 4 hours. Shortly after we took off, I fell asleep which is very rare for me. I can never fall asleep on planes but the craziness of the week took its toll. I was out immediately and didn't wake up until we were about an hour or less from home. It did feel good to sleep but waking up, all I could feel were my legs seizing. They were not happy! Thankfully we only had an hour to endure and I was able to watch the end of the Chiefs/Texans game on TV. I had no clue the Texans were up by three scores at one point as they were getting destroyed by the time I tuned it. Still bitter the Pats weren't playing.

As we made our descent into Edmonton, a quick glance out the window made it clear we weren't in Florida anymore.


We weren't even off the plane yet but it just looked cold. And when we landed and disembarked, the rush of cold air stopped you in your tracks. It was -45C. A warm welcome home!

Wearily we found out luggage at the carousel, hugged goodbye and found our separate ways home. They live only about 10 minutes from the airport but we had a 40 minute drive home. It was a quiet drive as we reacclimatized to our winter weather.

When we did arrive home, we walked through the door only to be greeted by Ella running towards us, crying her eyes out. She was so happy to see us, it made us tear up. Kelly was super excited to see Lily but Lily's reaction wasn't exactly what Kelly was hoping for. She wagged her tail and gave us kisses but that was about it. Lennon, on the other hand, wandered over slowly, looked at us and ask "what did you bring me?"! Not even a hug! Truly we wouldn't expect anything different from her! It was good to be home.


As we unpacked we shared stories of the trip, showed off our medals and some photos and eventually took out some fo the souvenirs we brought back. They were very excited to receive Disney World Wishables and a few other things to add to their collections. I was most pleased to add to my own collection!


And since I returned with a new Disney mug, I couldn't return without some of my favourite Disney coffee.


Kelly was excited to add a few more ornaments to our collection which is now getting so big we might have to set up another Disney specific Christmas tree in December. One is no longer enough to house what we have to display!


I was also able to unbox my new Funko, which is currently sitting on my desk at work along with numerous other Disney knickknacks.




And with that, an amazing, grueling, and most memorable visit to WDW was complete. I was so happy to see 18 months of training had paid off and even if my legs felt like Jell-o, I was already plotting when my next race would be and when I might be able to participate in another runDisney event.

As crazy busy as this trip was, it made Kelly and look forward to getting back for a more traditional Disney World visit. Thankfully, we won't have to wait too long!
 

Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Another trip report in the books! I want to thank each and every one of you who have followed along, liked and commented as I've gone along. I know it means the world to me that people follow along to these things and both Kelly and I love how tightknit this community is.

I always get sad when I wrap up one of these reports as I'm never really sure when the next one will spring up. Thankfully for us, but maybe not so for others on this board depending on if you like reading our reports or not, I'll likely begin a brand new pre-trip report next week! We're heading back to the World in September, with the full crew in tow, and then some. We've supersized this trip to two full weeks and two different resorts.

Our window for ADR's opens Monday so once we set the first week of meals in place, I'll start the report!

In the meantime, I will have a few final thoughts about this trip, the runDisney experience, and what we thought of our condensed visits to the parks but I wanted to make sure I took a moment to thank you all very much for making these reports so much fun to write!

THANK YOU!
 
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