theme parks

D23 Expo 2015 Review: We had a blast!

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We’re back from the 2015 D23 Expo which took place at the Anaheim Convention Center over the weekend and let me just say I had an awesome time! Being a first time attendee, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard so much about the event from previous years, and I must say it did not disappoint. With celebrities, panels, presentations, exhibits, previews, exclusive content, concerts, cos-play, signings, merchandise, giveaways, contests and much more, this event is larger than anything I have ever experienced. Almost to the point of being overwhelming.

We wanted to experience as much as possible at the event with an open mind, and we definitely accomplished that. Throughout the two days there (we skipped the third day as we didn’t see much we wanted to do), we overheard a lot of positive and negative feedback, and being in the events industry had my own two cents to add in as well. Looking across social media and message boards, you can find a giant range of comments saying it was terrible to it was amazing. It boils down to what the expectations of the attendee was and what actually happened. Sadly it’s the people who are negative that have the loudest voices and will be first to share an opinion, versus the people who had a great time who won’t voice it as loudly or at all.
Our goal is to give our unbiased, unfiltered views based on notes made during the event. Going in with no expectations other than having a good time gave a good starting point to review the event. Here is our review of the event, starting with the good, then the bad, and finally a wrap-up. Enjoy!

The Good

Badge Pickup: We didn’t get our badges mailed to use as we live outside the US, so we headed to the convention centre the day ahead to pick up our badges. It was quick, efficient and had no lines.
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StagePass Distribution: Thanks to this pass, we were guaranteed admission into the “A Goofy Movie” 20th Anniversary Reunion without waiting in line outside the theatre. We did wait in a long line to get the pass, but it saved us as the animation panel ran long so we sprinted to the panel and got there just in time to see it. Whew!
Presentations: Most sessions we attended were awesome, with one exception which we’ll get to later. We got into the Disney/Pixar Animation presentation as well as the “A Goofy Movie” presentation and both were filled with amazing surprise guests. Animation was hosted by John Lasseter and has guest appearances by: Dwayne Johnson, Ellen Degeneres, Ty Burrell, and Ed O’Neill to name a few. Goofy had Jason Marsden & Jenna Von Oy, Bill Farmer (voice of Goofy), plus videos from Pauly Shore, Wallace Shawn and a surprise Powerline concert with Tevin Campbell. Disney sure knows how to put on a show!
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Disneyland: The Exhibit: An amazing collection of past and present artifacts, props, videos and models from the park that started it all. So well put together and when we visited the line wasn’t too long which meant we could take our time looking at everything.
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Shanghai Disneyland Preview: This was a comprehensive overview of the amazing new resort currently being built-in China. With many unique attractions and Asian flair, this looks to become one of the most incredible Disney Parks on the planet!
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The World of Avatar Preview: Many folks have been critics of this concept for a while, but after seeing the model in person and hearing Joe Rhode speak so passionately about the details, we’re sold on this being a perfect addition to Animal Kingdom in Florida.
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Star Wars Land Announcement: Finally the cat is out of the bag, and it looks to become a giant hit! Taking a cue from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal and Cars Land at Disney California Adventures, the theme park wars continue to go full force. A full 14 acres of Star Wars sensory overload, look for this to become the most incredibly themed land in any theme park to date.

The Bad

Insane lineups and mass confusion as to which lineups people were supposed to be in: In order to get into the halls, there were three separate lines outside: D23 Gold/ Silver Members, General Admission and Ticket Sales. Problem was, the lines were not clearly marked so it became a treasure hunt to find which line was the correct one. The crowd control people seemed untrained, which is shocking as right across the street at Disneyland Resort they are masters at moving people.
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Badge scanning/ entry: Slowest staff ever. They need to get RFID badges to expedite the lines into the hall. There is no reason a venue of this size can’t have multiple entrances and quicker scanning to get in. Once in the expo hall, there were virtually no crowds for the first couple of hours, with the exception of lines for the panels & shopping. Meanwhile the lines of people outside were dying in the heat wave.
StagePass Distribution: There were 12 kiosks available but only four open for the most popular sessions (ie. A Goofy Movie), resulting in it taking over an hour to get the pass! We’re glad we got it, but there was no reason they couldn’t have used all the kiosks the distribute each option available to expedite the line.
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Food and drink: Simply not enough places to eat or get a drink. Lineups were insane (45 minute waits) and with no vending machines available, you had to line up for everything including beverages. We settled for Mickey Pretzels for lunch! Day 2 we brought our own Lunchables, snacks and drinks so we wouldn’t spend half the day in line for food!
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Shopping: Three separate locations with every long lines (reportedly 4-6 hours at some points). If you didn’t sleep overnight in line, it almost felt like there was no point in trying. Waiting hours to possibly buy something is not how we wanted to spend our Expo. In addition to the three separate stores, you would need to know which store the items you wanted would be located in and then wait in line hoping the item wasn’t sold out.We did get into the Dream Store with minimal line, only to find out what we wanted was in another store! Nowhere was a list of items available so you could make an educated decision. In addition, many people were clearly there solely to buy merchandise to sell for 5x the price on eBay, which is totally unfair to actual fans that just wanted the damn John Lasseter Rayne Spooner shirt (me, me, me!).
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Too many people: With the acquisition of Marvel & Lucasfilm, this event is quickly heading towards San Diego Comic-Con territory without the experience to do so. We wouldn’t be surprised if they announce this as an annual event soon as it’s such a cash cow.
Late Sessions: The Disney/Pixar Animation session started late for no apparent reason, and took over 45 minutes to load in. When you’re running a tight schedule to see as much as possible, timing can become a setback. Other sessions ran late as well.
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Star Wars Land Announcement: This happened right at the end of the Live Action presentation, not during the Parks & Resorts presentation as was expected. As all the parks fans were waiting for that presentation, the internet blew up with the announcement making everyone in line question what exactly we were waiting for now that the cat was out of the bag. Yes we got more details, however the WOW moment was lost.
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Ok, we’ve gone on long enough. To wrap up, events of this magnitude are difficult to pull off flawlessly, and they did a great job. This is a living, breathing event and sometimes things don’t go off as planned. There are typically hundreds of temporary staff that receive little to no training as to what their job will be and how to best make quick decisions without someone in charge being around. In addition, you have three crazy popular brands (Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm) with massive fan bases, all congregating in one place. Sometimes people don’t play well together and that can’t be controlled. As I said before, it’s all about setting the right expectations for  yourself.
 
Overall this was an amazing event that we had the greatest time attending. We got to see so many things we would never see anywhere else, and got to be the first to preview some amazing upcoming movies and attractions. In addition to the star power, being around so many fans brought such a positive energy that you can only really experience there. We had a blast and would definitely go back, thank goodness we have two years to rest up!
Did you attend D23 Expo…tell us about your experience! Would you go back, what would you improve/change? Leave a comment below!
 
 

One Week Until D23 Expo!

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We’re down to one week until the D23 Expo starts, and we couldn’t be more excited! We’ll have a couple of days to play in the parks before the event starts, but we’re so close that we are just finalizing our game-plan for the event. As always, we’ve made a list of must have essentials for any Disney trip, with special considerations for an event of this scale. Being first time attendees, we want to be prepared for anything!

Here’s what we’ll be taking with us in addition to the usual essentials:
iPad Air 2: We plan on waiting in a lot of lines, so having a device loaded with things to read, watch and play is essential.
GoPro Hero 3: How else will we capture all the magic?
Extra Batteries: The GoPro is notorious for terrible battery life, so extra batteries will keep us going all day
Mobile Phone: Staying connected is a must, especially so we can follow along and see what’s happening onsite at the event.
External Battery Pack: Always a must when you’re taking photos, videos and posting on social media. This will help us avoid having to waste time sitting along the wall charging our devices.
D23 Mobile App: So much is going on at this event, we’ll have our schedule set up beforehand but can also get push notifications & stay connected to find out what else is going on.
Disneyland Mobile App: To see up to the minute wait times and optimize our visits to the park.
Roam Mobility USA SIM Card: An essential for us Canadians visiting the Unite States and not wanting to pay astronomical mobile roaming rates. Unfortunately as of this writing the Anaheim Convention Center and Disneyland Resort do not have WiFi (with the exception of the hotels).  The mobile app has some cool features we want to use, but having a data connection is a must. We’ve never used this service before, so look for a review once we’re back.
Small Backpack: To carry everything in and make our lives much easier!
That’s the list so far, did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Journey to D23 Expo!

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So excited to announce we are headed to the D23 Expo in Anaheim! It’s less than a month away. Stay tuned for updates on the most amazing Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm/Pixer event on the planet!
We’ll also be checking out the Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration. Fireworks, parades, attractions, food, shenanigans!
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We’re back baby!

Hong Kong Disneyland "Paint The Night"

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No words can describe how amazing this new parade, Paint The Night, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland looks. Incredible to say the least! All I have to say is why can’t we get this in North America? It’s like they pumped Spectromagic up on steroids and brought it into the 21st century.

From October to December, guests visiting Hong Kong Disneyland at nighttime will see the Park in a whole new light. The brand new “Disney Paint the Night” parade starting from October 1, together with “Disney Haunted Halloween” and “Disney Sparkling Christmas”, will amaze and mesmerize our guests as light creates vibrancy, mystery and romance at the Park.

“Disney Paint the Night”, a first ever fully LED parade created by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, is a state-of-the-art, vibrant wonder that immerses many of our classic Disney and Pixar stories in magical, luminescent worlds. Disney Paint the Night features seven original floats containing over 740,000 individual lights. This fantastical parade will bring to life guests’ favorite Disney and Disney?Pixar stories in unexpected and thrilling ways, illuminating the whole parade route every night.
New technology with imagination unleashed to wow the guests
“Disney Paint the Night” is composed of seven units of creative floats including Tinker Bell Opening Unit, Monsters Inc. Unit, Cars Unit, The Little Mermaid Unit, Belle Candlelight Unit, Toy Story Unit, Mickey & Friends Finale Unit. In this all new technologically advanced parade, Mickey is going to “paint the night” in dazzling Disney dreams of light, and with the scintillating powers of Tinker Bell’s pixie dust, Mickey and his friends create fantastic visions, which come to “light” the streets of Hong Kong Disneyland. The parade features many beloved Disney and Disney·Pixar characters, and for the first time, we have invited Lightning McQueen, Sulley and Mike to join the parade at Hong Kong Disneyland.

“The creative team spent over 2 years and developed over 1,000 scenic and lighting designs to ensure ‘Disney Paint the Night’ will ‘wow’ our guests in a totally new and innovative way. New technology coupled with unleashed imagination takes this parade to a whole new level and Hong Kong Disneyland guests will enjoy a colorful feast for their eyes.” said David Lightbody, Director of Entertainment and Costuming, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
From the design of the floats, props, costumes and cosmetology, to the lighting, music and choreography, innovation and strong story telling have driven the creation of “Disney Paint the Night”.
The vibrant lights feature not only on the floats, but also on Disney characters, dancers and props. More than 80 Cast Members per night are involved in presenting this never-seen-before nighttime parade.
Over 25 different styles have been applied in the design and construction of the costumes and many of them have been developed specially for this parade. Each costume has its own very sophisticated system of lighting controls. The team used new technologies in ways that have never been used on costuming before to bring a new perspective to our guests.
The talented Cosmetology team (hair, wigs and make up) at Hong Kong Disneyland has developed a new technique to create fiber optic wigs that can be styled to create a beautiful glowing effect. They also developed exquisite fiber optic eyelashes that can change color which significantly enriches the whole parade performance.
Interactivity allows Guests to immerse themselves in the experience of “Disney Paint the Night”
Interactivity is always a key to enhancing guests’ immersive experiences. There are special magic enabled merchandise items developed for the parade. The Park especially designed the all-new interactive merchandise – “Mickey Magic Paint Brush” which allows guests to interact with performers.
Paint The Night Interactive Brush
During two show stop moments of “Disney Paint the Night”, guests will be able to “paint the night” with the Paint Brush. It can literally change the colors of the performers’ costumes at the touch of a button. The floats can also ‘talk’ to all other magic-enabled merchandise items, including “Mickey Glow Mitt” and “Minnie Glow Bow” and change the colors of the items to give guests a chance to really become a part of the parade.
The Park has also prepared a series of specialty food and beverage options with a glowing and glittering theme to further complement this latest nighttime experience.
To further celebrate the vibrant spirit of “Disney Paint the Night”, guests can pay a visit to the Tomorrowland Bootique and to be “painted” in luminous make up by our professionals and join the dance party with DJs and an all new illuminated stage performances in the Tomorrowland Party Zone.

 

Christmas Magic arrives at Busch Gardens Tampa

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Christmas Town transforms Busch Gardens® Tampa into a holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas for 18 select nights, Nov. 29 through Dec. 23.

Guests will be immersed in special Christmas entertainment, live music, festive treats, holiday shopping and more than a million twinkling lights, filling their senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors, and creating a beautiful tradition for Tampa’s families.

Everyone’s favorite attraction, SnowWorld® presented by Coca-Cola®, returns with more snow than ever before!
Christmas Town is a separate-ticketed night event, and families with children ages 3 to 9 will enjoy special $10 advance tickets for their youngest members.

 Christmas Town Hours

Even Busch Gardens’ most familiar fans will barely recognize the portions of the park that convert to Christmas Town through special entertainment, live music, festive treats, holiday shopping and more than one million twinkling Christmas lights:

 

NEW AREAS

NEW! Holiday Hills

Enjoy a trip back in time to celebrate Christmas in the good ‘ole days in Holiday Hills. In this nostalgic town, a live brass band sets the mood for seasonal fun with everyone’s favorite Christmas tunes while Mrs. Claus cooks up delicious holiday fare for the whole family at Mrs. Claus’s Family Feast.

NEW! Christmas Time Terrace

Journey into Jungala to see a nature-inspired Christmas, including a new tree light show in Christmas Time Terrace. A larger-than-life Christmas tree comes alive every fifteen minutes with spectacular dancing lights. The breathtaking light show on this 40-foot tree is the perfect place for this year’s family photo.

NEW! Mistletoe Memories

Sneak a kiss with your sweetheart in the beautiful garden walkway of Mistletoe Memories. Here, romantic flowers and sparkling white twinkle lights fill the trees overhead and set the scene for sweet moments with loved ones and beautiful photos worth cherishing.

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RETURNING FAVORITES

As soon as your family enters Christmas Town, the warm colors of Celebration Village will welcome you and the cool lights of Ice Wonder Way will start your night with sparkles and shimmer. On your way to challenge Cheetah Hunt, you’ll see the kind of Christmas found only in nature along Jungle Jubilee. Then, you’ll meet a flock of playful penguins at Penguin Point on your way to see the Jolly Big Man himself in the North Pole.
Your family will marvel at a life-sized representation of the Holy Nativity, made purely of plants at Miracle Way. Little ones will giggle and smile when they meet the characters of Madagascar Live: Operation Christmas Vacation and Elmo’s Christmas Wish.
Then, step into a larger-than-life-sized greeting card to create fun family photos in Jingle Bell Junction before seeing Christmas is in full bloom along Poinsettia Parkway and the thousands of twinkling pink lights in Enchanted Flamingo Valley. It’s night full of Christmastime memories your family will cherish all year long.

From snacks to full holiday meals, feast on all of your family’s holiday favorites at Christmas Town. Savor traditional holiday turkey and mashed potatoes or enjoy hand-carved ham on a warm pretzel bun and turkey potpies. Start a new tradition with tasty treats including peppermint cotton candy, and handmade s’mores and Christmas Town’s signature Elf Munch.

Christmas Town Hot Chocolate

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Zagora Café

Fresh-carved turkey sandwiches, creamy turkey potpies, fresh-from-the-grill burgers and Christmas Town’s holiday harvest salad. Sweeten up your meal with a slice of Busch Gardens’ traditional red velvet cake.

Sultans Sweets

Bring home the gingerbread house of your dreams built by Busch Gardens lead bakers just your family! Stop by Sultan’s Sweets for an assortment of Christmas candies, caramel apples, homemade fudge, fresh-baked cookies and cake. Enjoy them at the event or bring them home to enjoy through the Christmas season. Warm up with a steamy cup of Starbucks coffee and espresso—it’s even better with pumpkin flavor!

Moroccan Delights Ice Cream Parlor

Create your own sundae with a Christmas Town twist.

Jungle Jubilee

Crown Colony Restaurant (open select nights)

Join us for a traditional, family-style holiday feast! This is a memorable meal features fresh-roasted turkey, spiral-sliced ham, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, glazed carrots, cornbread muffins, cranberry relish, Christmas Town’s Harvest Salad and warm chocolate bread pudding.

Crown Colony Café

Savor hearty roast beef with mashed potatoes, Christmas Town’s Harvest Salad, creamy turkey potpie and Busch Garden’s fresh-from-the-oven pizzas. Sweeten up your meal with our favorite pumpkin cheesecake or other holiday dessert selections!

Kenya

Dig into smoked turkey legs with orange cranberry glaze, freshly-prepared funnel cakes with an array of toppings, soft-serve treats and assorted refreshments.

Timbuktu

Find delicious chicken strips, hand-battered onion rings, loaded fries, refreshing Safari Freezes and other frosty refreshments.

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Zambia Smokehouse

Feast on a smoked turkey dinner, complete with sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. Dine on our Busch Gardens’ signature barbeque chicken, ribs or brisket. Sweeten your night with a slice of pumpkin cheesecake or freshly-baked bread pudding.

SheiKra Sweet Treats

Snack on your favorite Busch Gardens treats with holiday flair. Enjoy pumpkin funnel cakes, waffle cone sundaes, chicken strips, foot-long hot dogs, fries and refreshments including Christmas Town’s Candy Cane Sprite Delight.

Christmas Time Terrace

Bengal Bistro

Dine on fresh-carved ham served on a pretzel roll, sweet potato tots, fresh-from-the-grill burgers and delicious holiday desserts.

Christmas Town Village

Christmas Town Village Cabins

Visit the cabins at Christmas Town Village. Enjoy sweet and savory delicacies of freshly-baked cookies, creamy hot chocolate, eggnog, turkey legs with a cranberry orange glaze, warm ham served on pretzel bread, mini holiday pies, caramel apples, Christmas Town’s signature Elf Munch, roasted nuts, freshly-made waffles with your choice of toppings, eggnog, flavored coffees and more!

Even Santa’s elves need a little help to get all their shopping in before Christmas morning! Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at our gift shops, Christmas cabins and specialty artisan stations.

Christmas Town Shopping

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Santa’s Christmas Workshop

Find all you want for Christmas by visiting Christmas Town’s main shopping destination with everything from collectables to toys, we have something for everyone on you list.

Emporium

A souvenir for all! Shop Busch Gardens’ Largest selection of selection of gifts, apparel and toys.

Marrakesh Market: Inspired Threads

Gifts for the Guys! Everything you need to deck the halls of your Man Cave! You can even find something for the ladies in your life.

Xcursions

Looking for something truly unique? You’ll find it here! Xcursions is dedicated to saving the world around us through education and the conservation of our natural resources.

Caravan Crossing

Stop by Caravan Crossings where your family can create a furry holiday friend!

Abby Cadabby’s Treasure Hut

Grant all those Christmas Wishes here! Stop by and find something for children of every age featuring your favorite Sesame Street characters.

Nairobi Kiosk

Don’t miss your chance to purchase penguin presents for the whole flock!

Tigers Treasures

Find the Puuuurfect gift for the holidays! Even the little ones can get in on the fun and take home their very own Cheetah or White Tiger Holiday plush.

Holiday Cabins

Visit the heart of Christmas Town, where your family can enjoy traveling craftsman as they present their eclectic product and conservation messaging. With gifts ranging from traditional ornaments, recycled art, majestic animal paintings, unique carvings and so much more! Our Cabins are home to everything from personalized ornaments to one-of-a-kind collectables. Well even wrap it for you! Complimentary wrapping is available in the Christmas Town Village!
Christmas Town Ornament

Games

Reindeer Games

Join in the fun as you party around the park! Stop by any of our exciting game locations including Timbuktu, Snow World, Gwazi or North Pole to try your luck this holiday season.

Photo

Adventure Photo

Stop by Snow World, Poinsettia Parkway, Santa’s Sleigh or Madagascar: Operation Christmas Vacation to capture the memories! We can even create your Christmas Cards on the spot!

Santa Photo

Smile for our professional photographers for the must have picture of the season!

A Very Furry Christmas Character Photo

Capture the moment and celebrate the Season with your favorite Sesame Street Characters
Click here to learn more about Christmas Town.

Halloween Horror Nights 23 Review

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We just got back from our amazing trip to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23. We spent three nights experiencing the terror, gore and awesome that is our favourite Halloween event. This year’s focus was on zombies and more zombies, which was cool until we got sick of them and hearing The Walking Dead theme in every inch of the park. Read on check out our photos and read our thoughts on the event. Continue reading

Run Disney Tower of Terror 10 Miler Report

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Have you ever got the urge to try something completely out of your comfort zone? You want to combine your love for all that is Disney and get your fitness on?

I highly recommend looking into the RUN DISNEY events that have recently become a phenomenon throughout the lands.

I recently had the unique perspective of assisting in the preparation of a Disney Marathon with my step brother Shane. Not a seasoned runner by any means but has over the last year participated in several different Disney Marathon offerings, I thought during my recent trip to explore the running world with him and all that Disney has offered for these events.
The Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror 10- Miler Weekend provided all the chills and thrills that an October run should offer, including plenty of villains thrown throughout the course to make it scary but so much fun!!
Now, I do NOT recommend using this race as your very first Disney Marathon unless you are a seasoned person because it does offer a challenge course wise, length wise and you certainly have to keep a steady pace or Disney officials will sadly disqualify you. HOWEVER, it is a nice challenge for someone who has trained for these type of races.
Set late at night, throughout the streets of Hollywood Studios, The ESPN Wide World of Sports Fields and then back through the Studios, Disney certainly pulls out all the stops for their events. With many character stops to special surprises, you have the opportunity to combine your love for athletics and getting your fitness on to seeing special not so often seen characters throughout the course.
Waiting for the race to start, I noticed that the runners are corralled into groups. Inside your corral, you are with runners of similar pace, therefore you’re not with a seasoned pro runner if your just starting with your very first race and then the seasoned pros are not with the newbies and so on.
Thousands of athletes are moving like cattle through gates to commence the race. This was a fantastic opportunity to us the spectators to scope out the athletes. So many different costumes and characters here. We saw the sublime runner with merely a set of earjacks for some night music to elaborate Tu-Tu’s created especially for races to Villain’s of every shape and size. Men in Tiara’s to Twilight Tower Of Terror costume replicas complete with bell boy hat to complete the outfit. I suspected with the extremely high humidity that some of those racers would be rethinking their attire once the race commenced.
It was the energy and emotion that I saw not only on the face of the racers but the spectators as well. it was truly an experience, and one I was very grateful to be a small part of.
Once you sign up for a Disney Marathon, you arrive a few days before and are invited to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex to pick up your packet and register. Thousands of runners, family & friends gather in this tight-knit community to share stories, war wounds and  to merely participate in the fun. There is also a fantastic opportunity to purchase any and all types of gear from many participating sponsors. From running shirts, socks, compression gear to assist with the pain caused from the sport to New Balance special RUN DISNEY RUNNING SHOES especially created exclusively for Run Disney events, there was literally something for everyone. Was looking like BLACK FRIDAY inside the retail coral and I attempted to get involved by taking a stroll through. Anything you could have thought of was there and so much more. Plaques for your medal, special tracking devices and there was so much my head was spinning. The energy from the participants was really charging and I wasn’t even running. The Expo is INTENSE SO BE PREPARED!!

The event is extremely well-organized and since Disney has been doing them for a few years now, they have become more seasoned and have been given much feedback and the likes and dislikes and have included something for everyone. HOWEVER, do remember that this IS a Disney event, there are going to be characters and situations happening throughout your event, photo ops which I highly recommend taking full advantage of unless you plan on returning for many more.
Speaking of characters, from the Old Hag from Snow White, which I can throw in here since I am a pretty versed expert in Snow White character sightings, she is NEVER, EVER OUT so I would take COMPLETE advantage of this one which I am kicking myself I am NOT in any shape to run but certainly HAS pushed me into wanting to start training so perhaps I might FINALLY be able to see the Hag.
But I digress, I am here to discuss the Mile Markers and characters. Shane would start sending photos of the mile markers which are electronic tote boards with the time clock timer so paces can be set by the runners, but there was sprinklings of themes throughout. Shane agreed that if Disney truly wanted to do something scary, they could. There was sightings of Scar and the hyenas from The Lion King and Pride Rock.  A haunted woods set up through the dark which took a few runners off guard as they came rounding the trail. Cruella De Vil was spotted although with Malificent and so many more along with a really awesome surprise for the avid Disney fan, one of the beloved submarines from 20,000 leagues under the sea was spotted on top a flat-bed truck which you could have your photo taken alongside.
Also a special note here, Run Disney also provides some of the very best medical in the racing community and they truly do look out for their athletes. With spots to stop throughout to get things from Vaseline to gel to assist your muscles to medic tents for more serious injuries, Disney has you covered. Multiple athletes were in serious need post race, wheelchairs from racers passing out from heat exhaustion to leg cramps and even a few protein spills……..Disney has got you covered in case your race didn’t go totally as planned.
As you came along close to the finish line, you could hear the commentators and the crowds started to get closer and the mere thought of the finish line was certainly  enough to provide some drive to get moving and finish. Flames shooting out of the finish line area was an awesome touch as you passed and the bleachers set up filled with literally hundreds of family, friends and spectators made it truly a memorable experience.
Afterwards, racers and special ticket holders were treated to a Villains Party until 4am. There was food and drink stations set up everywhere throughout the Park. It was interesting to walk through Hollywood Studios at 2am and be able to get a glass of wine or spirits or even a hearty beer and walk to an attraction. This is truly magical for some because Disney is obviously dry and not providing alcohol is pretty standard so this was a surprise.
Villains, Villains and more Villains was the theme. It seemed that since the race was over, EVERYONE was in the celebration mode. Photo spots are set up strategically throughout and if you wanted to snap a photo with the Evil Step Sisters well this was certainly the time.
PLEASE NOTE- this event was NOT free. It was a separate purchase ticket needed. $70+ taxes race day and for 6 hours, and not everything in the Park opened, it is certainly something to consider prior to going if you are a family member. It IS however included in the race fee so if you’re participating, HAVE FUN!!
All in all, from an outsider looking into her first Run Disney event, it was very well-organized, smooth transition and well executed.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10- Miler was certainly filled with chills and thrills and an event that I would highly recommend if you’re a Disney fan and someone who enjoys the sport of Marathons. I would also recommend going to RUNDISNEY.COM for more details on the plethora of offerings for up coming Marathons and the different types available

Theme Park Pro Secrets: Tips & Tricks to make your visit amazing

Last time you waited in lines that were too long, spent too much money and simply didn’t enjoy yourself. Here at Theme Park Canuck, our goal is to equip you with everything you could possibly need to become theme park fanatics like we are. We’ve decided to reveal some of our closely guarded secrets & strategies so that you can have the time of your life on your next visit. Continue reading

Canada's Wonderland Halloween Haunt 2013 Details

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Canada’s premier amusement park, Canada’s Wonderland, is unleashing even more horror this Halloween season with the opening of Halloween Haunt on October 4th. With two brand new mazes, along with returning favourite shows, this event is sure to terrify even the bravest souls. Read all the details after the jump: Continue reading