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Walt Disney World Resort Feels the Dark Side of the Force in All New Star Wars Half Marathon Event

The Force has awakened at Walt Disney World Resort through runDisney’s newest addition to its portfolio – Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side.

This intergalactic quest through Walt Disney World theme parks blasts off April 14-17, 2016 and channels the Dark Side of the Force. The events will include a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon plus a special challenge for completing the 10K and half marathon called the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge!

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Runners who join the Galactic Empire will enjoy a true Star Wars experience, including Dark side-inspired medals and merchandise throughout the weekend.

After the thrilling inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort this past January, runners and Star Wars fans alike have been vocal about their desire for a similar themed race at Walt Disney World Resort.

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To differentiate the two races, Disneyland Resort will embrace the Light Side of the Force with a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon as well as continuing its Star Wars Rebel Challenge upon completion of the 10K and half marathon.

Whether you are a runDisney veteran or Star Wars enthusiast, these races will be a journey like no other. By participating in both Star Wars Half Marathon events, runners will earn the inaugural Kessel Run Challenge medal, which Star Wars fans know is the ultimate test of skill.

As runDisney broadens its resume, it continues to bring runners uniquely inspired races while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle!

Registration for the East Coast event opens September 22, 2015 at noon ET. May the courses be with you!

Are you excited for this event?

Castaway Cay Challenge Part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Open for Registration

Once again, runners in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna have the exclusive opportunity to participate in the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge! Registration for these January 2016 events opened today, marking the second year that runners can extend their Marathon Weekend by setting sail aboard the Disney Dream and completing a 5K run through paradise on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

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The Castaway Cay Challenge takes place on the January 11, 2016 Disney Dream sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida. Visit KingdomMagic.com to book your voyage, and then head to the registration page on runDisney.com to reserve your spot in the race.

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If you’re among the select group that has completed the Castaway Cay Challenge, what was your favorite part of the experience? The scenic course? The character photo opps in front of swaying palm trees? The unique medal? Tell us in the comments!


 

Fifteen Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World In 2015

It’s a brand new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

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1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan.

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2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running – Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11.

4. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

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5. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings.

6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

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8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training.

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

11.  The Expedition Everest Challenge – The Challenge runs it’s last race this year so you don’t want to miss the final expedition!  Check out the special runDisney offer for this year’s race weekend!

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11. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Plus, this year, you can take your Star Wars Weekends experience to a whole new galaxy with out-of-this universe dining experiences including Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast and Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more.

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13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye open for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun – Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at Disney parks in 2014.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.


Tour of the Wine and Dine Expo, Waldorf Astoria, and Hilton Bonnet Creek

Carrie Bryniak from Kingdom Magic Runners takes us on a tour of the runDisney Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon Expo and also the Waldorf Astoria and Hilton Bonnet Creek Resorts!

Hope you enjoy today’s video, be sure to leave a comment and share it with your friends!


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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!

runDisney WDW Marathon Medals Revealed

If you are one of the thousands of runners training for an event at the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, and asking yourself, “why am I doing this?” Disney provides an answer to that question. It’s all about the bling and runDisney is excited to reveal all the finishers medals for the event weekend.

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From the runDisney Kids’ Races and Mickey Mile, to the Dopey Challenge medal, these finisher medals are amazing and worth all the training miles you are logging.

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As most runDisney fans know, this January Disney is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. Runners participate in the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday, 39.3 miles over 2-days. Once they cross the finish line of the marathon, they not only receive a marathon medal, but they also earn the commemorative anniversary Goofy medal. This one of a kind medal features a spinning Goofy in the middle and clearly commemorates the 10th anniversary. Are you up for the challenge? Registration remains open for the Goofy Challenge.

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Now, for runners out there not wanting to take on Goofy but still wanting to join in on the fun in January, I am happy to tell you it’s not too late. Currently a limited number of marathon registrations remain open as part of the Goofy Giveback, a unique opportunity that re-opened marathon registration for 39 days, representing the number of miles covered in the Goofy Challenge. Your chance to take part in the marathon is scheduled to close on October 24th, or until the race reaches capacity.


10 Things To Love About Fall at Walt Disney World

When the weather cools at Walt Disney World, you know it’s time to pull out the Halloween decorations and get ready for some magical treats! Here’s a list of the 10 things to love at Walt Disney World this Fall!0909ZW_0392CC-613x437

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties – This special after-hours Halloween party at Magic Kingdom Park is a must-do during a fall visit. Bring your Halloween costumes, get ready to trick-or-treat and expect to see some amazing Halloween entertainment and fireworks! More details on this offering here.

Villain’s Sinister Soiree – Available only on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights, guests can book this special package that offers a wicked good time that includes VIP viewing for the parade and fireworks, as well as an exclusive dessert party that features some of your favorite Disney villains, musical entertainment and some delectable treats. The package costs $99 per person. Contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner for more information.

Decorations- Fall at Magic Kingdom Park offers up some amazing photo opportunities, as our photography team showed in this blog post earlier this month. What I love most are the pumpkins along Main Street, U.S.A., which each feature their own unique design. Take a moment to check them out.

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Haunted Mansion Merchandise Shop Set To Debut – This fall will see the debut of a new dedicated merchandise shop that Haunted Mansion fans are guaranteed to love. Steven Miller offered a sneak peek at some of the items that will be available at the shop in this post. Stay tuned for more on the shop’s opening.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Each night through November 10, Epcot will come alive with food and fun thanks to the return of one of our most popular events, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year, 25 marketplaces will show off the talents of 270 chefs, including some of Disney’s finest, as well as some celeb chefs.

Celebrity Chef Appearances – This year’s festival will feature appearances by celeb chefs Jamie Deen, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro and Allen Susser, among others.

Eat To The Beat Concert Series – While we’re talking about fall fun at Epcot, the Eat to the Beat concert series is already underway with several new acts – including Fuel, Jim Brickman, Los Lonely Boys and David Cook – in the lineup. (Concerts are included in park admission).

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runDisney Races Return – Two race weekends – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler Weekend and Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend – will return to Walt Disney World Resort October 3-4 and November 7-8, respectively. Registration for Kids Races and after parties are still available.

Special Fall Treats – Even snacks are dressed up for the holiday, with new Maleficent cups, Zero popcorn buckets and more now appearing in parks.

Fall Savings on Resort Rooms – Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort this fall can save up to 30 percent on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, including Deluxe Villa Resort rooms and Deluxe Resort rooms. This offer is valid for stays most nights October 4 through November 25, and November 29 through December 23, 2014 and must be booked by October 3, 2014. (Some restrictions apply). To book, click on the image below.

What’s your favorite part of visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the fall season?


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.

Run for The Force or Dark Side for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog has announced a Star Wars-themed runDisney weekend at Disneyland Resort, January 15-18, 2015!

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Disney’s advertising team took a scene from the movie where R2-D2 and Chewbacca are playing some kind of galactic chess, and C-3PO quips, “I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win,” and made it the heart of our advertising campaign, #LetTheWookieeWin.

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Whether you’re a runDisney veteran, a first-time rookie or even a Wookiee, Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort is going to be a fantastic weekend – and another great reason to runDisney. So may the Force, or should we say the Course, be with you!

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Now if an invitation and Jedi mind tricks from runDisney isn’t enough, maybe this message Lord Vader himself will convince you to join him to complete your training.


Disney Cruise Line and runDisney Inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge

runDisney announced a brand new event that I think many of you Disney cruisers will be thrilled to hear about! For the first time ever, you have the chance to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, an exclusive to Disney Cruise Line guests who are participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

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The inaugural challenge, which takes place in January 2015, combines our Castaway Cay 5K with any Walt Disney World Marathon race with a distance of 5K or longer. Following the completion of an eligible race at Walt Disney World Resort, cruisers on the January 12 Disney Dream voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida can then take part in the second half of the challenge – the Castaway Cay 5K – when the ship stops at our private island in the Bahamas.

If you complete both races within the pacing requirements, you’ll earn the Inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Medal in addition to your Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Castaway Cay 5K finisher medals.

Which races are eligible, you ask? Any race that includes a distance of 5K or longer. So, complete the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, or either of the Goofy and Dopey Challenges, and you’re eligible to enter the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge!

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The race fee will include a race bib, t-shirt, 5k Medal, Challenge Medal and a post race refreshment. There will also be exclusive activities designed for runDisney guests, plus featured menu items and special merchandise, just for the cruise! The entry fee does not, however, include your cruise booking, which will have to be made separately through Disney Cruise Line.

Challenge registration opens Friday, May 23 at Noon ET. We hope to see you sailing away this January during Inaugural Disney Castway Cay Challenge!


 

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