Friday, January 27, 2017

Race Recap: runDisney Star Wars Weekend

May The Course Be With You
Two weeks ago, we headed across the country to California for runDisney's Star Wars - The Light Side weekend.  After Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, adding Star Wars to the runDisney lineup was a no-brainer.  The inaugural weekend in Disneyland was in 2015, and it was such a success that they decided to expand to both parks, making Disneyland "The Light Side," and Walt Disney World "The Dark Side" in 2016.

I held to my word last year, retiring from half marathons after the Princess Half, so we did the 10k.  I love that distance because it gives you a mile or two to get into a groove, and then, before you know it, you're done.  Plus, shorter training runs/schedules are my favorite.

The Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel was great, as always, and we spent Friday in the parks before the race.  If you go to Disneyland, you NEED to get a Park Hopper.  Unlike Walt Disney World where you drive or take a shuttle/monorail/boat from park to park, it's only a 200 yard walk from the Disneyland gate to California Adventure.  We decided to hit up California Adventure first, for one of our favorite rides that doesn't have a Fastpass in CA - Toy Story Mania.  We got there about 20 minutes before the parks opened to hang out and wait before the official opening.  The super nice lady at the entrance asked where we were from.  When I told her that it was Mike's first time to Disneyland, she handed us a pass to enjoy the rest of the Extra Magic Hour.  She was so sweet!

Sidenote: another difference between FL and CA is that while I always suggest visitors stay at a Disney hotel in Florida for proximity to the parks, free transportation and car parking at each park, and overall ease, there are tons of "neighbor hotels" in walking distance for fantastic prices in Anaheim.  The one downside is no Extra Magic Hours, but the price difference and discounted tickets at those neighbor hotels are worth it!
On Friday, we crisscrossed the parks back and forth and went on so many of our favorites: Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin', Indiana Jones Adventure, Mr. Toad, and the new Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Mountain.  I absolutely love the way they redesigned this ride, even though I'm not very good with change.  I can't wait to see the new Star Wars land near Big Thunder Mountain after it opens next year!

Another sidenote: Disneyland does not yet have the Fastpass+ system that Walt Disney World has, where you log into the system on your computer with your Magic Band ahead of the trip and choose your ride times.  In fact, they don't even have Magic Bands yet!  Good old fashioned paper tickets and inserting those tickets into the Fastpass system at each ride, it is!
It was early to bed on Friday night for a 3:30am wake up call for the 10k.  There were a few fun photo op scenes like the trash compactor on the Death Star and hanging upside down in the Wampa's cave, but no characters before the race.  As for during the race, we were pretty disappointed with only a few stops: R2D2, BB8, Chewbacca, and two empty stops that we later found out were Darth Vader and Kylo Ren.  I know there are regulations that characters can only stay out there for so long, but waiting 20 minutes for a character to "get sometime to eat" or "solve a problem at the Death Star" is a bit much when you're trying to stay warm and in the groove with a race.  We made up for it with a trip to see Darth Vader at the Star Wars Launch Bay later that morning.  Other than that, the race course was great - I love getting to go through both parks - and there were bands playing and Jedi trainings going on at different spots.
Of course, we also treated ourselves after running six miles and enjoyed some fantastic fireworks at the happiest place on Earth.  It was the perfect start to our vacation, and I loved getting to run another 10k with Mike!

18 comments:

BLovedBoston said...

The Disneyland in CA is definitely on my list of places to visit!! Looks like you guys had a blast - that sundae was well earned! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

So fun! My brother in law was supposed to do this one! I think he was going to try to do both this year. It looks like you guys an an awesome time. And your treats look so delicious!

Chesson | Magnolia+Main said...

I so want to do a RunDisney race sometime soon! They always look like so much fun.

Rebecca Jo said...

SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! A 10k is my favorite distance too - challenging enough but not enough to ruin your day/weeks after ;)

Lauren Honeycutt said...

Awww it looks like you had a great time! I'd love to go to Disneyland!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

I'm surprised they haven't upgraded to the FastPass system at Disney World, but I'm sure it's coming soon. How amazing that you guys run in these races, such a fun experience <3
Green Fashionista

Julie said...

So you'd say 2 days for Disneyland?

Kaitlin Schubert said...

This looks like such a cool trip! Jealous! :)

Katie | Willow and White

Carly Blogs Here said...

I love these themed races-- so much fun and that sundae looks delicious and well deserved I'm sure!

Jen said...

I am running the Pixie Dust Challenge at Disneyland in May and I am so excited!

Emily said...

So fun you made it to CA this time for another Disney race! Looks like a blast. I need to visit Disneyland one year. Which one do you prefer FL or CA in terms of the actual theme parks?

Nicole said...

Congrats! I love that Disney is giving spotlight to Star Wars in their parks. I would love to see Space Mountain Star Wars! Hope to see those touches at WDW

Girl Meets Bow said...

What a FUN weekend at Disney and congrats on completing your race!! I can barely run a 5K lol! :)

Rose Nika said...

Omg how fun was this!

Life is just Rosie
Instagram

Lily A. said...

This brings back SO many memories of visiting years ago -- gosh I want to go back now! So glad to hear you guys had a good time -- such a neat and fun race!
xo, Lily
Beauty With Lily

Christy Ashley said...

I just read this and your post about Disney Princess from last year and it definitely got me excited for Princess this year! Seems like such a fun race...despite the ungodly wake up times!

Erica Ashley said...

I just got engaged there back in October! Seriously one of my favorite places :)

Brenda @ Chatting Over Chocolate said...

This post made my heart so happy! I absolutely LOVE all the photos you shared, both from the parks and on race day (that Wampa's cave pic was amazing!) How awesome that that sweet cast member hooked you guys up with a pass to enjoy throughout the rest of your Extra Magic Hour! Disney magic is always appreciated! ;) I've been back and forth about wanting to do a RunDisney event but this made me want to put it back on my bucket list! lol. Sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing all this Disney goodness! We had a great time at Disneyland last fall and this helped me relive that magic a bit! xo - Brenda // ChattingOverChocolate.com

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