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Run Disney Tower of Terror 10 Miler Report

TOT Logo

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

Disney releases incredible new World of AVATAR Details

Disney Avatar Land Overview

Disney just released amazing new renderings of the upcoming World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. While it’s only a few new glimpses of what we can expect to see, it looks amazing! Interestingly enough, they mention new nighttime entertainment using floating lanterns, water screens, live music and more. Seems like the long rumoured “Rivers Of Light” is finally blossoming! Read the details from the Disney Parks Blog below: Continue reading

Do You Know Disney Stacey?

disney stacey

One of the best parts of heading off to Walt Disney World is plopping down in our hotel room, turning on the television and watching the effervescent Stacey guide us around Walt DIsney World. Who are we talking about… oh so you haven’t met Stacey? She’s the in room host of the Walt Disney World Resort, bopping around showing you the best of what to do! No matter where you stay from Pop Century to Animal Kingdom Lodge, she’ll be the first (and most likely last) person you see on your television.

As quoted from her website:

If you have been anywhere near a television screen at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida since 2005 then you have been captivated by a vivacious and adorable woman telling you about the fabulous rides and attractions you’re going to experience during your stay. The hyper-energetic, totally mesmerizing personality, known to her fans as “the human exclamation point” is Stacey J. Aswad. She is the Resort TV host of Walt Disney World’s TOP 7 MUST SEES and MUST DO DISNEY TV shows that loop 24/7 and are watched and memorized by millions of people!

Her full name is Stacey Aswad, and she hails from California. Believe it or not, Stacey has her own cult following. Her Facebook Page has over 1500 fans and she regularly responds to people’s comments. You can even donate $20 to save animals and she will send you an autographed picture.

stacey aswad wdw

She’s been the host of Must Do Disney since 2005. The best part is that each time Disney adds new attractions, they get Stacey to update her original video. If you didn’t notice, the original video was filmed a few years ago!
If you ever feel like you need a taste of home, just watch this video and pretend you’re getting ready to head off to your favourite park:

Don’t forget to visit her official website!

Top 5 Newest Disney Treats

Big Red's Disney Bootcamp

Look out friends, I am on a roll. I have been drooling over some tasty treats Disney has created the masses. From a delicious crazy drink contraption to scrumptious sweets……..Disney Chefs are totally IMAGINEERS in their own right I can assure you.

So, in honor of those hard working chef’s and for all the behind the scene cast members who create these mouth watering treats, we here at THEME PARK CANUCK have decided to dedicate a TOP 5 list of the newest Disney creations that will certainly help you with your trip planning and are MUST-TRIES: Continue reading

Lisa goes to Walt Disney World

Our good friend Lisa Leeman has just returned from a triumphant escape to the happy place, AKA Walt Disney World. She has kindly prepared a trip report for our readers, including New Fantasyland, Test Track 2.0 and The Legend of Jack Sparrow. Sprinkle some pixie dust and let’s head off to Neverland… Continue reading

A Dragon, a dragon…I thought I saw a dragon!

 

As the official opening of New Fantasyland fast approaches, Disney continues to release mysterious nuggets of information about Dragons. What role will they play in the expansion? We’re not sure, but it’s really exciting! We’re keeping our eye on the Believe in Fantasy Tumblr as well as the Believe In Fantasy 2012 Youtube channel. Plus, you can always look for hidden information at the official New Fantasyland page. This looks to be a fantastic viral campaign by the marketing team at Walt Disney World, which could have actually kicked off a few months ago with the strange appearance of a flying machine that looked like a dragon over Animal Kingdom. Send use your thoughts!


WDW Unwraps Plans for Holiday 2012

Walt Disney World has unwrapped its plans for the coming Holiday season and it looks merry and bright! Guests of the resort have much to look forward to, including the annual Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at The Magic Kingdom and The Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Here are some details about this year’s events:

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will have its longest-ever run with 20 magical nights from November 9-December 21. For a quarter century, Walt Disney World guests have been mesmerized by this must-see event, a grandly festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit. Dates for 2012: Nov. 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30 and Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21.  Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours), guests with special event tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy all the holiday splendor with lively stage shows, spectacular fireworks, a unique holiday parade and favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. For more information, visit www.Disneyworld.com/Christmasparty.  NOTE: this is a hard ticket special event after regular park hours; purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.

Entertainment, Fireworks and More: Santa’s elves have transformed the Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland with festive wreaths, bows, garland, sparkling lights, parades and towering Christmas trees.  The fun includes the Holiday Wishes nighttime spectacular: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks, plus live entertainment with Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays.
Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle: Cinderella Castle transforms into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays — thanks to a special effects spectacle bathing the castle in 200,000 shimmering white lights. Magic Kingdom guests are treated nightly to the dramatic castle celebration and stage show.

Epcot

Candlelight Processional is a timeless holiday offering at Epcot that combines seasonal music with the poignant reading of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a mass choir performing seasonal melodies, and a 50-piece live orchestra nightly November 23 – December 30, at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. Crowd favorites Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise return to America Gardens Theater stage on select nights.  Guests can purchase a Candlelight Dining Package, which combines lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants with guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional and VIP viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  For more information and reservations click here.

Holidays Around the World: Storytellers from around the world share traditions and lore from their homeland throughout World Showcase.  The merriment continues with meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus the nightly “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” laser, light, fireworks display capped with a seasonal finale.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall.  The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from Nov. 9, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Celebrate safari style as Disney’s Animal Kingdom is wilder than ever this winter season. Mickey and his pals rejoice in traditional holiday music with a world beat twist during the daily “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade.”

Downtown Disney

Get all your Christmas shopping done at Downtown Disney during Festival of the Seasons. The shopping mecca is draped with yuletide cheer, plus live entertainment, holiday carolers, a lively street party, plus photo ops with Santa and Santa Goofy.

Walt Disney World Resorts

The resorts are dressed up for the holidays with festive décor, gingerbread houses and more. And guests can experience even more magic this season with  great pricing.  For as little as $72 per person, per day, guests can enjoy a 6-night, 7-day vacation package with room and tickets valid at all four theme parks. Visit Disneyworld.com, for booking information. Rates are based on availability.

New Fantasyland, a Pirate’s Life for You, Splitsville, Test Track 2.0 and More

Fall 2012 Brings New Stirrings for Fantasylanda Pirate’s Life for You, New Downtown Disney Entertainment Complex, Test Track 2.0 and Many More Treats to Walt Disney World Resort

 
As the weather cools down this fall, entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort heats up with new experiences offering guests a chance to strike up fun at a new bowling and entertainment complex, indulge their Disney fantasies in the New Fantasyland, immerse themselves in the world of Jack Sparrow, become automotive designers, see zebras up close on safari, and much more.
Here’s a look at what’s in store…

Preview date of Nov. 19 has been set for the next phases of the New Fantasyland leading to the Grand Opening on Dec. 6. Adding to the big top fun of Storybook Circus, already in place, guests will delight in everything new coming on line for fall and winter:

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Ariel’s Grotto
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle

Splitsville: bowling re-imagined

The age-old image of bowling is about to change with the opening of Splitsville, America’s Bowling Alley, at Downtown Disney West Side this fall.
Splitsville’s 50,000 square feet, two-story location will be unlike traditional bowling alleys — with 30 lanes separated into several clusters to create a one-of-a-kind perspective immersed in hip and retro elements. The Downtown Disney location also will boast billiard tables, live entertainment, a dramatic balcony and ample outdoor seating.

Placing a whole new spin on the bowling experience with its emphasis on unique design, Splitsville will greet guests with upscale sushi bars, plush booths and dynamic decor overlooking the bowling lanes. Between strikes and spares, guests can feast on menu items including hand-tossed pizza, fresh-rolled sushi, grilled mahi-mahi with “Voodoo” shrimp and hand-cut filets alongside alley-classics such as cheeseburgers and crinkle-cut fries served right at the lane. For more information, visit www.splitsvillelanes.com.

Enjoy ‘best’ eats and sips from around the world

New vegan and fresh-from-Florida dishes will debut along with international bites and sips at the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 28-Nov. 12, 2012.  The 46-day culinary event — named one of the “Best Food and Wine Festivals” on the Travel Channel web site – adds an extra day of festival fun this year. Festival goers are treated to top music acts during daily Eat to the Beat! pop concerts, where four new Eat to the Beat! acts -Smash Mouth, “The Voice” winner Javier Colon, Blues Traveler and Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX — and 14 returning bands will take their turn on the America Gardens Theatre stage.

Authentic Taste seminars, HGTV home-entertaining presentations and most event experiences are included with regular Epcot admission.  To book special festival programs like Mixology Seminars, Culinary Demonstrations and the Party for the Senses grand tasting events, guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378).  Information for select events and programs will be updated periodically at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

Design, then test drive! The new Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

A re-imagined, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will debut in fall with a sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center.” Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers and create their own custom concept vehicles.
The adventure will then shift into high gear as guests buckle into their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit. Their performance testing complete, guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did.

The Test Track refurbishment is part of a new multi-year alliance with General Motors. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.

“Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality” Debuts at Downtown Disney

Starting this fall, Walt Disney World Resort guests will become the stars of “Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality.” The virtual experience will allow guests to play with animated characters from Disney’s Emmy Award-winning animated series “Phineas and Ferb.” The fun happens at Downtown Disney West Side, next to Bongos Cuban Café Sept.1 – Dec. 1, from 2-9:30 p.m. daily.
How it works: As many as three guests are invited to stand inside the virtual experience set, and out of 20 randomly pre-determined animation segments, Phineas and Ferb, Agent P or even Dr. Doofenshmirtz will magically appear to play and dance alongside them. It all happens in a virtual (on-screen) 30-second experience. But the fun doesn’t end there! Guests may visit a special website to download and share with family and friends a complimentary souvenir photo of their starring role. To complement this limited time engagement, special Phineas and Ferb merchandise will be available at a nearby merchandise stand.

Swashbucklin’ this Fall: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow debuts this fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, giving Walt Disney World Resort guests a chance to become immersed in the world of the four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
Aspiring pirates will experience the story of Jack Sparrow like never before to discover if they have what it takes to join Captain Jack’s crew.
The attraction will be included with theme park admission and will be located in Soundstage 4, former space of Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Disney Cruise Line Sets Sail from New Destinations

After summer sailings out of NewYork City to Canada and the Bahamas, the Disney Magic will call the Port of Galveston home for the first time during fall and winter 2012 for a series of seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean.  The Disney Wonder will return to the Port of Los Angeles to host four Pixar-sinspired seven-night California Coastal cruises in September and October, a special 14-night voyage to Hawaii in October and seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises throughout fall and winter.

Kilimanjaro Safaris: From A to Zebra

Zebra at Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcome guests on Kilimanjaro Safaris to their new home in fall 2012. A reconstructed savannah space featuring a new watering hole for live animals will offer an additional viewing opportunity at the end of guests’ expedition through Africa.

Tricks, Hits and more as fall favorites return to Walt Disney World

  • Soulful sounds

Now in its 30th year, Night of Joy returns to Magic Kingdom Park with a contemporary Christian music festival Sept. 7-8. Headlining this after-hours event in 2012 will be Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, NEEDTOBREATHE, MercyMe, Third Day and Kutless along with 10 other inspiring singers in a variety of genres. While artists perform at several stages, many popular attractions also are available for guests. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening and require a special ticket. Additional information is available at www.nightofjoy.com.

  • Spook-tacular treats

A family-friendly fright-fest in Magic Kingdom featuring a children’s parade, trick-or-treating throughout the park, face painting, and more, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a Halloween-themed special event held on 23 select evenings Sept. 11-Nov. 2. Purchase of an additional admission ticket is required to attend. More information:Disneyworld.com/Halloween

  • Running scared

RunDisney double-dares guests to brave dark and ghostly streets haunted by Disney villains in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Sept. 28-29. The newly created 10-mile race takes place in and around Disney’s Hollywood Studios with thrilling rides operating late into the night. The weekend includes the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash, kids’ races and a family fun run 5K at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For more information, visit runDisney.com.

  • A hole-in-one for children

The PGA TOUR returns to Walt Disney World Resort for the 42nd Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Nov. 8-11. The Fall Series event, held annually at the Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses, features some of the world’s top golfers playing in one of the resort’s longest-running traditions.
A popular destination for golfers and their families, the Classic serves as the season finale for the PGA TOUR, and the final opportunity for golfers on the threshold to play their way into the Top 125 on the money list. Additionally, the pro-am format has recently been headlined by popular names such as Johnny Damon, Ray Allen, Doc Rivers and Jerome Bettis. For more information, visit: http://classic.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org

  • The ultimate “runners’ night out”

With a start under the stars, the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon takes runners through the theme parks with world-class Disney entertainment along the way to help the miles fly by. After finishing, runners and their guests can celebrate their accomplishment at an exclusive after-hours party inside the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  The weekend, Nov. 9-10, also includes kids’ races, a family fun run 5K and a health and fitness expo. For more information, visit runDisney.com.

  • Come alive with color

Downtown Disney invites guests to the 37th Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels Nov. 9-11. This outdoor fine arts show features more than 150 juried Fine Artists and over 40 Emerging Masters, offering one-of-a-kind selections in jewelry, paintings, clay, glass and eight additional categories. Plus, live entertainment, interactive activities for kids and families and unique food offerings. Additional information can be found at disneyworld.com/downtowndisney
More information about Walt Disney World Resort is available at disneyworld.com.