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What You Didn’t Know About Watching Disney’s Happily Ever After Fireworks | New Tips

There’s a new nightly fireworks show at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom called Happily Ever After and you want the best viewing experience possible. What do you need to do?  Start with throwing out all the “tried and true advice” from friends who had seen Wishes, the blog posts you’ve read about Wishes and any type of advice that dates back to the old fireworks show. Happily Ever After is a whole new type of show with a new set of rules.
This is a show that you’re going to want to see more than once if you can. There is so much fighting for your attention, in a good way, that there’s no way you can take it in one time. I found myself watching the projections so much that I would forget about the fireworks, then I would focus on that and miss the projections.
Here are 5 Suggestions for a having a Happy, Happily Ever After Viewing Experience….
1. It’s essential that choose a location in the hub area so you have a full view of the castle and all it’s turrets. What do I mean by the hub? The park is laid out in a hub and spoke design, with the Partner’s Statue of Mickey and Walt in the Center. You want to locate yourself in the yellow area below.
Why: With Wishes, the fireworks and Jiminiy Cricket told the store and any castle projections were icing on the cake. It’s the exact opposite with Happily Ever After. The castle projections are essential to the story, with the fireworks in more of a supporting role. We had a spot back by Main Street Ice Cream Parlor and there were times when the story was a little disjointed because we couldn’t see all the projections on the castle to know what was going on.
2. If you really want to see Happily Ever After, don’t try to watch it from Fantasyland. With Wishes, you used to be able to get a good view of the show, not missing a lot from the back side of the castle if you were in Fantasyland…not anymore. You would miss about 90% of the show this way, again, because the projections are now telling the story. You won’t see any of this from Fantasyland.
3. Be considerate of those around you, everyone wants to see the show. If you put your children up on your shoulders, you’re basically saying, “I don’t care about anyone behind me being able to see”. Admit it, you would be upset if your child’s view was blocked….remember, everyone is there for a good time, you all spent the money to come, instead, get there a little earlier and head to a viewing location where doing something like this isn’t necessary. It’s safer for your child anyway if they are not up on your shoulders, perched on a rail someplace etc. Consider instead holding them up in your arms…it’s a safer alternative if they can’t see from the ground.
4. If this is a vacation that your family will take only every other year or couple years, I understand…Disney can be expensive, but you want to give your family the best experience. So consider booking a Fireworks Dessert Party to guarantee your family a great viewing location and a special treat. There are currently 2 dessert party options for Happily Ever After. The Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party gives you access to a dessert buffet and viewing from the Tomorrowland Terrace locations. The Plaza Garden Fireworks viewing party gives you access to the same dessert buffet, but then you are guided to a viewing location out in the plaza garden area to see the fireworks show. This is a less expensive options because it will involve standing only. Now you have a great location, you can relax and you’re not fighting the crowds.
5. For the sanity and enjoyment of everyone around, TURN OFF YOUR FLASH on your camera or phone. The flash is good for about 4 feet..it’s not going to help, it’s just going to annoy everyone around you. Don’t hold your phone up over your head the whole time either to record the show. Again, you’re just annoying everyone else, and you’re going to be so focused on recording that you’re going to miss the whole show you waited to see. Don’t watch it through your phone, watch it “in the moment”.
Grab your family, grab your friends or grab that special someone and head over to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom to experience the new show. In fact, I loved the song enough to download it from ITunes!

 


Blogger, Traveler, Wife, Runner….I’m known as many different things.  But I’m here to be your Travel Professional.  Ever since I was a little girl I had an interest in travel. I would collect the postcards books that my grandparents brought back to me from their travels and I kept them in a special box that I loved to pull out and flip through. As I traveled with my family I started collecting postcards on my own and pictures, maps, and other mementos of my travels.

Believe it or not, I still have those postcards and every once in awhile I’ll bring them out and flip through smiling at the memories they bring back. Although I might not collect postcards anymore I collect photos, stories and information on my travels. I love to soak up a destination, reveling in the local food life. I absolutely love sharing my travel stories, foodie moments and special encounters.

Carrie@MustLoveTravel.com
(321) 323 – 9835

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap

We welcome Kingdom Magic Runners‘ newest Guest Blogger, Beth Kripple, who shares her recap of her very first RunDisney race, Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

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There are few times when you won’t mind starting an adventure off “on a dark and stormy night”! Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World is definitely one of them. I had been prepping to run the race for several months. This was not only my first half marathon, but my first race ever. If I was going to run 13.1 miles, I was going to do it Disney-style. I knew that not being an elite athlete and being new to running was not going to diminish my first race experience if I was at Disney. From the first trip to the Expo to pick up my bib, through the race itself, and to the trip back to Disney Port Orleans Riverside at 3 am, the cast members and volunteers who endured the rainy weather with me had my back.

The support and help doesn’t just start the weekend of the race. On the Run Disney website is a lot of information, including training programs for beginning and intermediate runners, nutritional advice, and advice from experienced Run Disney participants on how to make the best of your time. This kind of support extends into social media and email as well. RunDisney will send out periodic emails as well as update on Facebook and Twitter. You are always in the know, and with the weather the way it was for Disney’s Wine and Dine, that helped with a lot of my first race nerves.

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Arriving at the race at 8:00 pm was a great mix of easy going and nervous excitement. There was no rush and no pressure. People were there to run, yes, but also to have fun. Around 9:30, the rain softly started. 10 pm, the first corral was off and running! Even though I was running alone, I did not feel alone. I had the chance to talk with other runners in my corral. We talked about our Disney vacations, joked about the rain and about how we did not care how rainy it got: if the race was on then we were running. There was exchange of advice and support all along the way. Cast members and volunteers guided areas of the route and manned drink stations in their ponchos, all still cheering us on and bringing smiles to our soaked faces.

It was a magical memory. My favorite part, besides finding that finish line, was running through Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the holiday lights. The lights were so beautiful and had a lovely reflection on the wet pavement. And just as an added bonus, rain makes laser lights look awesome with flashes and sparkles as the raindrops reflect the colored beams.

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Rain or not, I loved every minute of my first race and was so very thrilled it was a Disney race. I’m getting ready for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February! If you’re going to run, run Disney-style!


Guest Blogger – Beth Kripple

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Beth is a mom, librarian, sf geek, new runner, Disneyphile, and past Cast Member. Her favorite place to stay at Walt Disney World is Disney Boardwalk Villas. She has had the chance to visit Disneyland and Disneyland Resort Paris. Hopefully visits to Disneyland Shanghai or Disneyland Hong Kong (which only got a wistful wave as she passed through the city two years ago) are in the future, but Walt Disney World is her favorite!

Would you like to be a Guest Blogger for Kingdom Magic Runners? We’d love to share your race review (Disney or other race), product review or personal running accomplishment here! Feel free to email Carrie@KingdomMagic.com or Donna@KingdomMagic.com!

Running in Paradise On Castaway Cay Challenge

If you’re an avid runDisney fan than you probably signed up for, or at least highly considered the Castaway Cay Challenge that runDisney tacked on to Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend earlier this year.  The Castaway Cay challenge will take place during the 4-Night Bahamian Sailing on the Disney Dream from January 12-16, 2015.

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To be eligible for this challenge you need participate in a runDisney race during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and complete both that race and the Castaway Cay 5K within the allotted 16 minute time frame.  The 5K on Castaway Cay is run on a paved path, through the winding bike route and past lush foliage of palm trees and other tropical plants.  Once you finish…kick off your running shoes and soak in the turquoise blue waters of the ocean either at the Family Beach or Serenity Bay (the Adults Only beach).

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The medal for this challenge was just released and I was able to get a shot of it for you at the Tower of Terror 10-miler Expo.  The detail is fantastic and it has great color to it…I think the designer did a wonderful job.  What about you?

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If you will be participating in this event you will receive:

  • Castaway Cay Challenge Inaugural Event T-Shirt
  • Commemorative Castaway Cay 5K Finisher Medallion* **
  • Commemorative  Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal for participating in one Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend 5K or longer event PLUS the Castaway Cay 5K* **
  • Post-race refreshments
  • Exciting Activities and access to Special Merchandise on board Disney Cruise Line
  • Featured Healthy Menu Options on board Disney Cruise Line

*The number of registrations for the 2015 Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend races and the Castaway Cay 5K is limited and subject to availability. To be eligible for the Castaway Cay Challenge runners must enter their cruise reservation number at the time of registration for the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge race event. All races are subject to age eligibility requirements and capacity limits. All race registration fees are non-refundable. Runners must complete both races within the 16-minute mile pacing requirements and must have an official time for each race to receive the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal. Runners deferring any 2015 Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend 10K or longer races will not be eligible for a Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal. Events/races may be subject to delay, change, or cancellation for inclement weather or other safety concerns.

** A reservation on the January 12, 2015 Disney Dream 4-Night Bahamian Cruise is required in order to participate. It is recommended that you register for your Disney cruise PRIOR to registering for the Castaway Cay Challenge. Cruise Line reservations must be booked by August 1, 2014 or your Challenge Reservation will be forfeited. If your Disney Castaway Cay Challenge spot is forfeited for any reason, the race fee is non-refundable. Please refer to Disney Cruise Line for cruise refund policies.  


carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first runDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

 

Guest Post -Reviewing the Tower of Terror 10-Miler, One Runner’s Thoughts

After completing the Happy Haunted Family Fun 5K earlier in the morning our guest blogger recaps his day leading up to and including the Tower of Terror 10-Miler!  How many races would you run in one day?

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This go around it seems like runDisney had problems with participant’s proof of time and people not being assigned the correct corals. Lots of emails and phone calls were made to get those corrections in place. I was not one of those people I was right where I was supposed to be…so I thought. But when I got to the expo I found out I was placed in Corral C, one up from where I thought I would be for the 10-miler. My family and I were running earlier in the day for the Happy Haunted 5K and we were placed in Corral F.

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Together we attended the expo on the first day.  It was full of the usual vendors and had the speaker series with nice information about ways to train and prepare for running events. If needed you could buy anything you may have forgotten to bring; and at decent prices. You could also get KT tape applied or take part in quick massage demos with various massage tool as well.

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My evening began with dinner was at 5:15PM at Chef Mickey’s. I am not a diehard runner that watches everything I put in my body but I feel overall most  Disney dining options have foods that are good to fuel the body for running events. To me it is about making right choices and portion control.

That night  at 7:30 we were on our way to Hollywood Studios for a 10pm start. This run from what I understand has a history of horrible weather but on this night it was great! No rain, light breeze and perfect temperature as far I’m concerned, for Florida. The starting area was loaded with people but only about half the amount of the bigger events. Disney works very hard to keep things organized and managed.  They have the same style entertainment as other runDisney races;  jokes and  dancing to try and loosen up the body and get warmed up for the run.

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I started just after 10pm behind Hollywood Studios and headed towards Animal Kingdom. It’s pretty much a run down the highway with character stops.  We went through Animal Kingdom’s gate and shortly made it to the turn around, heading back towards ESPN Wide World of Sports. A small portion of the course was on the same trail and through the sports complex as the 5K that morning.

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image2 (1)For me the trail wasn’t as bad as I expected knowing how crowded it was earler in the day. The run around Champions Stadium was pretty cool; being a sports fan and just being in big stadiums. From there it was back on the road towards Hollywood Studios. I have now run through Hollywood Studios twice doing runDisney events and even though it is the smallest park I always end up feeling like it was the biggest! I think that’s due to the fact that I know it’s the smallest park and just feel like the finish line is going to be around the next turn.

The spectator viewing throughout the park is pretty awesome. Running through the parks is always fun. It always helps getting that encouragement from the people cheering you on your way to the finish line. We went through the Lights, Camera, Action set, parts of the no longer existing Back Lot Tour attraction, through Streets of America, by Toy Story Midway Mania, in front of The Sorcerers Hat, and finished behind the Tower of Terror.

I collected the pretty awesome finisher medal and had the long walk to the family reunion area. I’m not the picture type, so I once again skipped all the character spots. It is cool to see them on the course and there was plenty of them. The walk way leading to changing areas and bag check could be a bit confusing, but by listening to volunteers I knew right where to go, and finding my wife was easy. The Villians Bash was a bit crowded but nothing I didn’t expect from a runDisney event.

Overall the weekend was a great time and the volunteers were great! I don’t think I would do the Happy Haunted 5K again unless my daughter wanted to just because of the congestion, but I would deffinetly do the Tower 10-Miler run again.  I would also recommend runDisney events for families! The entire weekend experience is full of fun and excitement for everyone in the family!

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Guest Blogger: Val Carillion

About 3 years ago I decided I needed to change my lifestyle and decided running was an easy, affordable choice. I set my first goal of running in a half marathon deciding The Wine and Dine Half Marathon would be it. Training for it went well because I gave myself almost a year to train for it; completing a 15K and a Half before my goal race. Since I started running I have completed a local race called the Pensacola Double Bridge Run twice (15k), Gulf Coast Half Marathon (twice), Wine and Dine Half, Glass Slipper Challenge, and now the Tower of Terror 10-miler. Through this whole process I started doing crossfit to balance out my overall fitness and would like to try the Dopey challenge when I go all  “Dopey” with my fitness goals. 

Would you like to be a Guest Blogger for Kingdom Magic Runners?  We’d love to share your race review (Disney or other race), product review or personal running accomplishment here!  Feel free to email Carrie@KingdomMagic.com or Donna@KingdomMagic.com!

Guest Post – One Family’s Journey to the Happy Haunted 5K

Have you ever considered running the 5K races together with your family?  It’s a great way to get in shape, promote a healthy lifestyle and bond as a family.  Read on to find out how this family prepared. – Kingdom Magic Vacations

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Walt Disney World and fitness are not two things that are usually associated with each other.  A few years ago my family and I were living the average life; working, hanging out and planning trips to Walt Disney World. This was not the healthiest of lifestyles, although fun and relaxing.

One day I realized I was overweight and it would only continue to go down that path unless I made changes and the commitment to those changes started.  I thought, how can I make these changes and still enjoy the lifestyle I am living? My wife and I set a goal to complete a half marathon and that it would be at Disney World during the world famous Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We love to eat, so what better way to reward completing our goal than by tasting our way around the world!

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After completing this achievement I learned a lot about a running community I never knew existed, and found ways to live a healthier lifestyle, while still enjoying everything I was in the past. We knew that we needed to pass on this new gained knowledge to the rest of our family!

Fast forward to the opening day of registration for the Tower of Terror 10 miler.  We decided to turn it into family affair by encouraging our 8-year-old daughter to participate in the Happy Haunted 5K. We wanted to stress the importance of trying to live healthy and happy, and she was all in. I guess for adults we say “Will run for wine” for kids maybe its “Will run for Mickey” ?

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She spent parts of her summer vacation training for her very first 5; not to mention the days of walking the parks after the race. My wife and she would train together, using it as a way of counting down the days until the trip.

runDisney sends periodic emails to keep you informed and little tips and tricks for your event. When we would get emails or new information about the weekend’s events she would be filled in. The excitement would continue to build every day that vacation came closer.

Usually when you are around the one month left mark you will get the official race program with lots of info in it about park hours for the weekend, activities, and such. Then about a week or two later you will get your bib number and waivers to print out. For my wife, daughter, and I the excitement got real! We would all be doing the 5K, but I would be doing the 10 miler by myself.

Saturday was an early wake up call for the three of us. It’s not as early as the longer races, but for vacation, 4:30AM comes really fast; followed catching the bus by 5:30AM for a 7:30AM start. The weather was good, a little rain, but temperature was not bad at all. Pre-race entertainment consisted of radio show hosts John Boy and Billy telling jokes, followed by a DJ. The highlight was the Headless Horseman appearance to give us race warnings, telling us to stay on the trail.

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Between myself and my wife coaching our 8-year-old through her first 5K was fun! It was filled with “I’m tired, my feet hurt”, but then she would take off runnning. She loved the encouragement from other runners. Disney events are always filled with such nice people and there are a bunch of them! The course being a trail  with a lot of rain before our arrival the ground was still a bit saturated and had a few mud holes, but still in very good condition. My only complaint would be the course can be very narrow at a lot of places and to trying to get out of the way of runners was not very easy because of all the surrounding trees.

A few character stops were along the way. We skipped all of them pretty much because my daughter didn’t want to stop. Brer Fox, Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen from Snow White, The Haunted Mansion grave diggers and Zombie athletes were along the course.  Once we finished she realized that all her nervousness and worries about it being to hard for her just vanished and she was filled with the excitement of accomplishment! She enjoyed walking around getting the congratulations and telling people she completed her first 5k ever and showing her medallion off. After that it was relaxation time and snacking for me.

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Guest Blogger: Val Carillion

About 3 years ago I decided I needed to change my lifestyle and decided running was an easy, affordable choice. I set my first goal of running in a half marathon deciding The Wine and Dine Half Marathon would be it. Training for it went well because I gave myself almost a year to train for it; completing a 15K and a Half before my goal race. Since I started running I have completed a local race called the Pensacola Double Bridge Run twice (15k), Gulf Coast Half Marathon (twice), Wine and Dine Half, Glass Slipper Challenge, and now the Tower of Terror 10-miler. Through this whole process I started doing crossfit to balance out my overall fitness and would like to try the Dopey challenge when I go all  “Dopey” with my fitness goals.

Stay tuned for this runner’s Tower of Terror 10-Miler Recap!

You May as Well Face It You’re Addicted to Bling

I was running and I had the Robert Palmer Song “Addicted to Love” in my head.  If you replace the word “kiss” with Medal and “love” with Bling, the song really says it all. This is exactly how I feel when I’m ready to hit “send” on my next race registration. It may be my new mantra.

 

Your lights are on, but you’re not home

Your mind is not your own

Your heart sweats, your body shakes

Another medal is what it takes

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat

There’s not doubt, you’re in deep

Your throat is tight, you can’t breath

Another Medal is all you need

Ohh ohhhh

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff.. oh yeah

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough

You know you’re gonna have to face it

You’re addicted to BLING!

 

My Bling obsession started out innocently enough.  I had run a few 5ks because it was a way for our family to have some fun together.  I had participated in the Great Aloha Run a few times when we lived in Hawaii. That’s an 8 mile course from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium. Lots of fun.  No Bling.  I decided that my husband and I needed some common hobby that we could do together, maybe travel a little, and have fun at the same time now that the kids are out of the house. So I started training.

I first heard about RunDisney races in 2010. I decided that we needed to sign up for the 2011 Wine and Dine Half Marathon. My husband being the foodie, wine guy that he is I figured this weekend would make us both happy.  Well, long story short, I trained using the Galloway method and was ready and hubby wasn’t able to go.

That was it. I was hooked.  I wore that first medal with such pride and accomplishment but like a junkie I needed more.  I went right home and registered for the 2012 Princess Half Marathon (can you believe I was able to register that late??? Those days are gone).  Since that first race I have participated in 3 princess Half Marathons, 2 Wine and Dine Half Marathons (finally got hubby there), 1 Tinkerbell Half Marathon, 1 Expedition Everest 5k, Royal Family 5K, 2 Castaway Cay 5ks, and Princess 10k. I have my Coast to Coast and a Glass Slipper Challenge medals that I am very proud to show off.  This January I’ll add the Half marathon medal from Marathon weekend and hopefully Dumbo Double Dare and new Coast to Coast medals later in 2015.

I have also branched out to help fill my Bling need when I can’t get to Disney. I have run the Hershey Half marathon (Helloooooo chocolate at mile 11), the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and the Nike Women’s’ Half Marathon where I received my Tiffany necklace at the finish.  Now, that’s BLING!

It’s an expensive habit, but lets face it, there are more destructive things I could be addicted to that would harm more than just our bank account.  I love the RunDisney races and will try to run all of the Half marathons so I can check them all of my ToDo list.  Problem is they keep adding new races.  It looks like my list will never be complete… and I’m ok with that.

Donna's Bling Collection

Donna’s Bling Collection

 

Donna Genco ~ Collector of Bling

 

Guest Blogger – Donna Genco

donna1-199x300Donna is not only one of Kingdom Magic Vacations Independent Travel Planners, she is also a runner and contributor over at Kingdom Magic Runners Facebook Page. She’s participated in numerous RunDisney Events from the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Expedition Everest and more on the East Coast, but she’s also been to Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon as well.  Her passion may be RunDisney races, but she has also participated in other races as well.

We Want YOU to Write for Kingdom Magic Runners!

You read that right!  We want to hear from our Kingdom Magic Runners Community on Facebook!  We believe there’s nothing more motivating than hearing the stories from your fellow runners.  For awhile now Donna and I have been sharing some of our stories with you through the Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog.  We love writing for you and will continue to do so, but we invite you to join us.

Share with us your triumphs, learning experiences, your equipment reviews etc.  Tell us why YOU started running!  Why is it important to you?  Donna and I will be reviewing races as we run them, but we’d love to get your take on things.  We’ve established some guidelines & ideas to help you out, but feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  Submissions can be sent to:

Donna, Donna@KingdomMagic.com

or

Carrie, Carrie@KingdomMagic.com

Guest Blogger Guidelines

Share your insights on the Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog. Our editorial team is always delighted to consider guest posts. Send us an email with a brief pitch.

Hot topics: running, running tips, running destinations, running at Disney, Universal or other theme parks, race reviews, running apparel and equipment reviews, bucket list running, stories on how you became involved in running, what it means to you etc. and more.

Browse our website and blog to familiarize yourself with our content.  Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog’s guest bloggers gear their content to our predominantly North American audience families seeking incredible vacation experiences. They appreciate our positive perspective and passion for what we do.

Guidelines:

  • Word count 400-800 words
  • All submissions will be edited for correct grammar before publication. We may also break up long blocks of text to increase readability.
  • Keep titles short and simple, preferably no more than eight words.
  • Content is geared to the Kingdom Magic Vacations audience and is unique, meaning it is not posted on or committed to a media outlet or syndication service
  • A balanced viewpoint that doesn’t singularly promote a specific company or service
  • We prefer posts that include resources to learn more and stimulate follow-on discussion by posing a question, etc.
  • We welcome image submissions with your blog, as long as you have the rights to the image and provide a brief caption and photo credit.
  • Please include a short bio (2-3 sentences). Include your twitter handle and other social media info, and a quality photo
  • Please submit draft in Microsoft Word to our Editorial Team

We strive to complete the review process within 48-72 hours of receiving a submission. If needed, feedback will be provided for a revision. Please understand we can’t guarantee publication until the review board reviews and accepts a final draft.  We also respectfully ask that the content you submit is not submitted or published on any other website.

Article Author – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

The Case of the RunDisney Addict | Kingdom Magic Runners

Hello, my name is Donna and I’m addicted to RunDisney races.  Yes, I have a problem.  I’m currently looking for a 12-step program to help me.  I knew I loved the races but I didn’t know how bad my addiction was until the registration for Disney’s Princess ½ Marathon Weekend opened.

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I found myself actually sitting on my hands, trying to control myself and NOT register for this race.  Here I was, sitting at my computer, watching the registration numbers go up, races booking up, watching the posts on Facebook and various blogs, clients calling me all excited because they got in and now they want to book their packages.  It would have been so easy, just enter your name, address and approximate race finish time.  I was doing all I could to control the urge.  I even had a support system of friends reminding me, don’t do it, don’t do it.  At the same time I was texting my running buddy Wendy, “stay strong, we can do it, it’s almost full, we are almost there”.  She was texting me back “ I just want to log on and see how it’s going.” NOOOOOO I’m “Shout texting” back, “Don’t do it, you’ll be tempted to register”.

Fortunately the Glass Slipper Challenge filled up quickly.  To complete the Glass Slipper Challenge you must finish the 10K and the 1/2 Marathon.  If we were going to go that weekend, we would only do it for the challenge.

Medals from the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

Medals from the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

It was a long afternoon waiting for the ½ and 10K to fill up. She signed up for a fitness class at her gym so she would be busy and I went for a walk, I just had to stop looking at the computer.  Later that night she texts me, “You know, the 5K still has slots”. Evil temptress.  “No, we are NOT going that weekend” I told her.  Stay strong.  By the end of the day I was exhausted. I felt as if I had run a full marathon.

We did it!  We both made it through the day.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Disney’s Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend.  It’s a wonderful weekend, the race is awesome, I love the costumes, the camaraderie and I really like the whole theme of the weekend.  The reason we had to stay so strong is because we are both running the month before in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  We are also hoping to register for the Dumbo Double Dare later in August out in Disneyland so we can get our Coast to Coast medals.  (Coast to Coast medals are can be received for completing a Half Marathon or Marathon in Disney World, followed by the completion of a Half Marathon in Disneyland during the same calendar year.)  I already have a Coast to Coast medal, but I’m trying to check off all of the Disney ½ marathons and figured that if we were going to go out for that race we may as well do an East Coast race and earn a Coast to Coast Medal.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this obsession.  Once you run your first RunDisney race, whether it’s a 5K, 10K,  ½ marathon or full marathon, you will be hooked!  It’s unlike any other race I have ever participated in and I’m sure will never find their equal.

Sincerely,

Donna Genco, RunDisney Addict

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Guest Blogger – Donna Genco

donna1-199x300Donna is not only one of Kingdom Magic Vacations Independent Travel Planners, she is also a runner and contributor over at Kingdom Magic Runners Facebook Page. She’s participated in numerous RunDisney Events from the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Expedition Everest and more on the East Coast, but she’s also been to Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon as well.  Her passion may be RunDisney races, but she has also participated in other races as well.

One Miscalculation During a Race, Space Coast Half Marathon 2013

Have you ever miscalculated something during a race and regretted it?  Sometimes what seems like an insignificant decision or change at the time can be a costly error on the course.  Perhaps it wasn’t getting the body glide every place it should it have been, maybe you forgot to pack enough “fuel” for the course.

I recently ran the Space Coast Half Marathon in Cocoa, Florida and was excited that there were going to be pace groups out there.  My husband and I run at different paces and are never together during a race….so a lot of time it’s a lonely road of sorts.  Surrounded by other runners, but alone with your thoughts and your goals for the race…so I was happy for the opportunity to join a pace group for this run.

Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon Medals

I joined up with the 2 hour, 10 minute group for the Half Marathon.  This meant a pace of 9:55 per mile…one that was faster than what I had run before, but I figured I could at least start with this group and then drop back a bit if I needed to.  I had run my last half marathon the month before in 2 hours 15 minutes, so I figured this was a great next goal.  This was my first miscalculation of the day.  As the race started I could feel that this was a faster pace than what I’m used to settling into, but I pressed on determined to keep up.  As the miles added up, so did the feeling that I’d made a grave error in my reasoning.  I was able to keep the group in sight until around mile 4 to 5 and then they pulled away and I was back to being on my own.  And it wasn’t pleasant, I knew now, with a majority of the race still ahead of me, that I had gone out too fast.  By the turn at mile 7.5 I was in trouble…I was sore and I was dehydrated.  The second miscalculation…once you feel like this, it’s too late to “catch-up” on fluids.  For the first time ever I experienced pain in my chest and arm from the dehydration.  It was going to be an uphill battle, but I knew I could finish, even if I had to walk.

Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon Course

I watched a couple pace groups pass me, and when I saw the 2 hour 15 minute group pull away my heart really sank.  I wasn’t going to even make my time from the last race, which had been a PR for me.  Granted, you’re not going to run a PR every race, but it was hard to swallow that I wasn’t going to at least hit that time.  I wanted to walk….I really did….my mind was trying to rationalize the need to walk to me…but at least I ignored that and kept going.  The pace wasn’t fast and I’m pretty sure the form wasn’t pretty, but I kept jogging.

I ended up finishing that race at 2 hours 22 minutes….definitely off my best time, but I had done it.  I’d also learned a valuable lesson….start slower and then try to push more at the end.  It had seemed like such a good decision at the beginning, but it ended up costing me time at the end.  In fact, it ended up with me using a heating pad later in the day because I could barely move my leg.  Lesson learned and duly noted….I won’t be making that mistake again.

Sporting my new Space Coast Half Marathon Medal

Sporting my new Space Coast Half Marathon Medal


Guest Blogger – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniak
I am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap Part I, the Expo

The weekend really started once we headed over to ESPN Wide World of Sports to pick-up our packets on Friday, November 8th.  I’m a huge fan of picking up my packet the day before the race…I like the time to digest any additional information they provide, stroll the expo and generally just take it all in without having to worry about being on my feet the day of the race.   I make it a point to avoid the expos right at opening…there are usually long lines…so we arrived about 2 hours after opening at noon.  We breezed through parking at ESPN Wide World of Sports, not even having to park on the grass, which is unusual and headed into the Expo.  If you were staying at a Host Resort at Walt Disney World, you had bus transport, but we were at Bay Lake which wasn’t a Host, so drove ourselves.

Packet Pick-up at ESPN Wide World of Sports

Packet Pick-up at ESPN Wide World of Sports

As with any of the larger races that RunDisney does the area to pick-up your bib / packet and the Expo itself are separated into 2 buildings.   As we headed in to packet pick-up we realized that we had left our race waivers at home…a slight lapse of memory on my part when packing.  runDisney makes it very easy to print your waiver there and that’s what we did.  They had set up computers in the middle of the floor there that you could literally walk up to, type in your name and birthdate and your waiver printed.  Painless and efficient….a definite plus.  Heading into the lines to pick-up the bibs some people had shorter lines than others, but the volunteers were doing a good job of keeping things going.  I really think that waiting a couple hours to attend made all the difference for us, the crowds were very low and it was great.  If you wanted, there was an Official Race Merchandise area to shop…which I did…it’s usually less crowded.

Wine & Dine 2013 011

Photo Ops outside of Packet Pick-up

Photo Ops outside of Packet Pick-up

Packet Pick-up Building

Packet Pick-up Building

It’s nice that you no longer have to activate your bib by walking across the strip…that used to be something that you definitely had to remember to do at the Expo otherwise they wouldn’t be able to track your time.  Kudos to runDisney for simplifying the process and not making us do that now.  Although some lines were longer than others we got through packet pick-up in about 10-15 minutes and then headed over to the Josten Center for the Expo portion and to retrieve our race shirts there.  It was a bit more crowded over there…but not unbearable like some years have been.   The longest line I saw was for family members that had purchased party only tickets and needed to retrieve those…the line was winding around outside and people were getting grumpy.

I browsed some of the vendors after retrieving my shirt.  I always love checking out the medals for upcoming races at the runDisney booth.  We spent about an hour at that portion of the Expo before heading back to Bay Lake Tower to relax for a bit.  The only snafu of the day came when we tried to do runner tracking at the Expo…some people were logging into their personal accounts on the computers and not logging out…so if you didn’t check, a stranger might be tweeting out your times depending on what way you were selecting to have your times published.  We opted to do the runner tracking from our phones on our own and forgo having to be sure that no one else was logged into the computer we were using.  Stay Tuned….Race Day will be coming tomorrow!  For More Race Photos check out: Kingdom Magic Runners

Men's RunDisney shoe

Men’s RunDisney shoe

Women's RunDisney shoe

Women’s RunDisney shoe


Guest Blogger – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

What Does 2 Days Before a Race Feel Like?

What Does 2 Days Before a Race Feel Like?

Here we are…just 2 days until the running of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Disney World.  The course will take us 13.1 miles through 3 parks and then to an after party in Epcot until 4am to celebrate our accomplishment!  But what does 2 days before the race feel like to a runner?  If you’re me…it’s nerves, nerves, nerves.  Before any race I find myself double and triple checking my gear that I’m packing to be sure that I have it all…this happens whether or not we’re traveling for a race or just driving to one from our home.  I’m always afraid I’m going to forget something vital.  I mean, there’s the one race outfit, the back-up weather outfit, the fuel belt, the Vibrams, the Injinji socks, the Body Glide, the compression socks, the headband and ponytails, the Ipod, the sport watch….AHHHHH…will the list never end?!

Then there is the charging of equipment…the watch, the Ipod etc.  I still haven’t finished creating my playlist for the run on Saturday…sigh…add that to the To Do List yet.  I like to make sure that I have a playlist for the different race lengths…this way as I put it together I know when I’m nearing the end of the playlist…I know where my “push” is going to be.  And sleeping…you expect me to sleep well?!  Forget it…the night before the race I usually don’t sleep that well….the nerves get the better of me, I may sleep on and off, but it’s not restful.  So right now I guess you could say that I feel my body “humming”, humming with the anticipation of the race, waiting to see what the weather will be like, waiting to see how I feel after the start.

I feel bad for my husband because as the race draws even closer and we head to the pre-race gathering it doesn’t take a lot to get me moody….he likes to pace around and stretch forever…it makes me batty.  I’m just not wired like that.  He likes to keep drinking fluids…I’ve cut myself off because I don’t want that feeling of running and needing a restroom.  My goal?  Finish the race without using a Port a Potty!  I just want the race to start…I don’t love the long wait times…I want to get going and get in my rhythm.

What Does 2 Days Before a Race Feel Like?

Some people will say that if I’ve trained enough I shouldn’t be nervous.  I do train and I try to follow the Galloway training program as closely as I can, but life gets in the way, let’s be honest.  Some weekends you don’t get those long runs in like you wanted to.  And really, can you ever train enough?  So yes, I’m left wondering if missing a long run here or there is going to hurt me.  I’m also feeling the pressure, purely from myself, to run a personal best.  The last 2 races that I’ve run have been personal bests for me…so how can I, as an athlete, not want to do better than my time last year in this race?  It’s not enough for me to finish…I want to improve from year to year…I want to get faster and stronger, I’m putting in the time and I’m pushing myself…so I expect “me” to show “me” some results.

So that’s what 2 days before a race feels like if you’re me!  What does your 2 days before feel like?


Guest Blogger – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

Kingdom Magic Runners Look Forward to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Kingdom Magic Runners Look Forward to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

A week from today runners and their families will converge on Walt Disney World for the running of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  The weekend features Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K, Kids Races, an Expo and the crowning moment…the Half Marathon that evening.  Kingdom Magic Runners will be there to take part in the race and celebrate at the after party!

In fact, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been following the Jeff Galloway program for experienced runners that want to improve their time, and let me tell you…it works.  I ran a personal best at the Tower of Terror 10 Mile race in October and am hoping for another PR in the Half coming up!  In keeping with the training program today was my last long run before the race….a 5 mile run.

My husband and I decided to run together (usually he’s a lot faster than me) and just take our time.  There’s no sense in overdoing things right before the race and risking injury.We ran at a 12 minute pace and kept up a conversation with each other.  Since my training runs and races are usually run alone because I’m at a different pace than my husband and other friends it was nice to have the companionship for this run.  Coming into race week I expect to run 2 more times before the race…one a normal maintenance run and the last run will feature some speed work to get me in the mindset for the race.

Kingdom Magic Runners Look Forward to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Normally we are pretty healthy eaters in my household…but race week always find us concentrating even more on our fluid intake and making sure that we really are eating balanced meals.  I find myself referring to the 2 Nancy Clark books on food & running that we own…Nancy Clark’s food Guide for New Runners and Food Guide for Marathoners, this gives us some great meal ideas.

What preparations do you go through race week?  We’d love to have you share some of yours with us, it could definitely be helpful to other runners!  See you at the race!  In the meantime…happy training and don’t forget to check out our Facebook Page: Kingdom Magic Runners!


Guest Blogger – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

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