Running and Racing and Dancing and Chasing: A 2017 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Trip Report!

Ariel484

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Hello Friends! Time for another runDisney trip report - this one from 2017's Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

The cast is...me! Shannon, 32 years old. The one in the middle. :)



Joining me on this trip were 2 of my friends from graduate school (we met 10 years ago...time flies! :eek:). I'll refer to them as K & M...I won't post pictures of them since they aren't members here. But we had a fun weekend!

This trip was actually supposed to happen last year, but I injured my back about 5 weeks before I was supposed to leave for 2016's Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Thankfully, runDisney was still offering deferrals back then, so I was able to push my Glass Slipper Challenge registration to this year...for a small fee, of course! ;) I lost the 5K registration (no deferral option for 5Ks) and the race pins I had pre-ordered, but I was able to cancel my hotel and had booked flights on Southwest that I could cancel for free...so while I didn't lose a lot of money (whew!), I was devastated to be so injured that I couldn’t make the trip. :sad1:

Thankfully I am in a much better place injury-wise now than I was then :banana: but this trip didn't come without its own set of challenges. After running the marathon in January, I apparently didn’t take enough time off before jumping into Princess training one week later, and ended up straining my hip. I knew it wasn't a serious injury, but to be safe, I saw a doctor who confirmed it was nothing more than a strain. He suggested no running for 2 weeks to let the inflammation go down - in total, I was sidelined for about 3 weeks before leaving for WDW on February 22 (including the time I had stopped running before the doctor's appointment). The soreness went away, and I was able to do non-weight bearing cardio in the meantime (bike, elliptical, etc.), but it's not the same as running, and I just wasn’t as well-trained for this weekend as I had hoped to be. And K & M are Disney newbies...this wasn't their first trip, but we did have a lot of stuff planned and I wanted to make sure they had a good time, which resulted in my not being very smart about time on my feet before the races! :rolleyes2

So who's ready to run..."course by course, one by one?!"
 
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Ariel484

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Day 1: Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Packed and ready!



One great thing about this trip was how relatively cheap it ended up being for me. I had my annual pass (purchased in November), 2 other people to split the room with, and free flights, parking, AND rental car! I was wheeling and dealing! :teeth:

Another great thing was that I had managed to get a direct flight down to Orlando...I feel like those are next-to-impossible to come by anymore. I like to get to WDW by about 11 or noon, and to do so in January, I had to fly out at about 6AM since I had a connector. This time, my direct flight left at 8:30. Amazing!

This also meant that I could see Mr. Ariel484 before I left, since he was up for work (instead of my leaving at 4AM like I did in January and he was still dead asleep). We said good-bye and I was off to the airport. There was a like-minded person on my shuttle!



Everything was super easy this morning, with 2 notable exceptions: 1. I was bummed to find that my favorite bagel place in the airport was closed for renovation :sad: and 2. Big Purple (my suitcase - which is both giant and purple, see picture above) was overweight at the United check-in desk by 3 pounds!! :headache: Someone needs to teach me how to not overpack. After shifting some stuff around to get Big Purple down to a healthy 47.5 pounds, I breezed through security and had a somewhat bumpy flight into Orlando. Nothing too bad, and really, the captain/crew had made it sound like it would be much worse than it truly was, but still...bleh. I hate flying.



My flight landed just before 11 and I was instantly shocked at how crowded the Orlando airport was! Apparently the Daytona 500 was also going on this weekend, not sure if that was why? I don't buy that the Princess Half caused *all* of this craziness...

Little Red (my carry-on suitcase, which is both small and red) and I headed down to baggage claim to collect Big Purple. Then we headed to the Alamo check-in desk...I'd walked right up to it in January with no line, but today I had to wait about 15 minutes. Not terrible, especially since this car was f-r-e-e! :banana: I picked a white Toyota Camry from the garage and headed to Disney Springs - I was parked by 12:30.

Up next: a rainy day in Disney!
 
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  • SarahDisney

    So ... Yeah
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2014
    There was a like-minded person on my shuttle!
    So, here's a funny slightly-Disney-related luggage story:
    From all of our trips to Disney, my sister and I have accumulated a nice collection of Disney luggage tags. Almost every suitcase in my house has a Disney luggage tag on it (including the three new suitcases we bought for our Israel trip). When we got back from Israel, my dad and I were at baggage claim at JFK with three of our four suitcases, waiting for my suitcase to come out, and we saw a suitcase that I thought might be mine, but didn't look right from the back (I'm really bad at identifying my suitcases from the back), so we let it pass ... but then I saw the Disney luggage tag, so I went to grab it, because apparently it actually was my suitcase.
    My response: We need to start putting Disney stickers on the back of our suitcases to identify them. Apparently just having Disney luggage tags isn't enough.
    (NOTE: This method of identifying suitcases probably doesn't work very well at MCO ... but I really feel like there aren't quite as many people with Disney luggage tags flying ElAl from Tel Aviv to JFK as there are flying any airline that goes to Orlando)

    Nothing too bad, and really, the captain/crew had made it sound like it would be much worse than it truly was, but still...bleh. I hate flying.
    I actually don't mind flying ... except turbulence. It's just not how you want to start a trip. I'm glad it wasn't too bad, but still ... ugh.

    My flight landed just before 11 and I was instantly shocked at how crowded the Orlando airport was! Apparently the Daytona 500 was also going on this weekend, not sure if that was why? I don't buy that the Princess Half caused *all* of this craziness...
    Hmm. I knew the Daytona 500 was this past weekend (although I don't know why I knew that...), but I never realized that Orlando is the closest airport to Daytona. That probably made for a very busy weekend at the airport - which makes it even more impressive that you only had to wait 15 minutes for the car!
     

    cyndiloveswalt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2010
    Hello! Fellow Princess runner here. We arrived on Friday and it was busy at the airport! Even worse on Sunday when we left! It was a quick weekend but I had a blast! My DH came down but just cheered me on. Can't wait to relive it through your report and see how our experiences compare.
     

    Sailormoon2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2015
    Great arrival time! Definitley getting in by noon is preferrable, otherwise it just feels like a wasted day.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    What would be a race weekend without an Ariel484 TR?

    Can't wait to hear all about it!
     
  • BigEeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 22, 2008
    Yay a TR! I can't wait to hear your always honest and real experiences of the weekend! Princess was my very first half marathon AND rD event back in 2012 - but even though I've done multiple rD races since then, I've never gone back for Princess for various reasons. :rolleyes: Hope you had a great time!!
     

    Dis5150

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2015
    Yay, a trip report! I also hate flying. When my son was like 5, on a very bumpy flight out of LAS, he announced to the entire plane that it felt like we were going to fall out of the sky. :scared:
     

    ZellyB

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2010
    Trip report time!!! Yahoo!!! :cloud9:

    I actually like the actual flying portion of travel, it's all the hassle of check-in and security and loading that I despise. Once settled in my seat, I'm perfectly happy.
     
  • Ariel484

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2011
    So, here's a funny slightly-Disney-related luggage story:
    From all of our trips to Disney, my sister and I have accumulated a nice collection of Disney luggage tags. Almost every suitcase in my house has a Disney luggage tag on it (including the three new suitcases we bought for our Israel trip). When we got back from Israel, my dad and I were at baggage claim at JFK with three of our four suitcases, waiting for my suitcase to come out, and we saw a suitcase that I thought might be mine, but didn't look right from the back (I'm really bad at identifying my suitcases from the back), so we let it pass ... but then I saw the Disney luggage tag, so I went to grab it, because apparently it actually was my suitcase.
    My response: We need to start putting Disney stickers on the back of our suitcases to identify them. Apparently just having Disney luggage tags isn't enough.
    (NOTE: This method of identifying suitcases probably doesn't work very well at MCO ... but I really feel like there aren't quite as many people with Disney luggage tags flying ElAl from Tel Aviv to JFK as there are flying any airline that goes to Orlando)
    I think all of the things need Disney stickers! More Disney stickers is never a bad thing! ::yes::
    I actually don't mind flying ... except turbulence. It's just not how you want to start a trip. I'm glad it wasn't too bad, but still ... ugh.
    I hate it. The older I get, the more i hate it! I need teleportation to become a thing, like...yesterday. :faint:
    Hmm. I knew the Daytona 500 was this past weekend (although I don't know why I knew that...), but I never realized that Orlando is the closest airport to Daytona. That probably made for a very busy weekend at the airport - which makes it even more impressive that you only had to wait 15 minutes for the car!
    True!! 15 minutes wasn't bad at all! I think it was Princess, Daytona, and apparently people had a long weekend for Mardi Gras... ???
    Hello! Fellow Princess runner here. We arrived on Friday and it was busy at the airport! Even worse on Sunday when we left! It was a quick weekend but I had a blast! My DH came down but just cheered me on. Can't wait to relive it through your report and see how our experiences compare.
    Hello fellow Princess! :wave: Glad you had a great time, so did I!!
    Great arrival time! Definitley getting in by noon is preferrable, otherwise it just feels like a wasted day.
    Agreed!! This way I felt like I had tons of time!
    What would be a race weekend without an Ariel484 TR?

    Can't wait to hear all about it!
    :rotfl2: Thanks for reading so far!
    Yay a TR! I can't wait to hear your always honest and real experiences of the weekend! Princess was my very first half marathon AND rD event back in 2012 - but even though I've done multiple rD races since then, I've never gone back for Princess for various reasons. :rolleyes: Hope you had a great time!!
    Same with me, except in 2011 - my first half and first rD event. SO different back then! runDisney was nowhere near as popular as it is now...crazy to think how it has changed.
    Yay!!! I'm soooo looking forward to hearing all about your trip and races!
    Yay! Glad you're here! :)
    Yay, a trip report! I also hate flying. When my son was like 5, on a very bumpy flight out of LAS, he announced to the entire plane that it felt like we were going to fall out of the sky. :scared:
    That's pretty much what I feel like every time I fly. I hate long car rides, too, but flying sometimes freaks me out!
    Trip report time!!! Yahoo!!! :cloud9:

    I actually like the actual flying portion of travel, it's all the hassle of check-in and security and loading that I despise. Once settled in my seat, I'm perfectly happy.
    Yahoo! Is there some way that you can do the flying for me on future trips and I can just appear at the Disney destination of my choice? Is that a thing? It would be ideal. I think I need to start knocking myself out or something. :confused3 This time wasn't as bad, but other trips I have had to sort of calm myself down!
    Can't wait to hear more.
    Thanks for reading so far! :yay:
     

    FFigawi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 28, 2009
    Everything was super easy this morning, with 2 notable exceptions: 1. I was bummed to find that my favorite bagel place in the airport was closed for renovation :sad: and 2. Big Purple (my suitcase - which is both giant and purple, see picture above) was overweight at the United check-in desk by 3 pounds!! :headache: Someone needs to teach me how to not overpack.


    Luggage scale

    The best travel accessory you can buy. We're pretty good by now at getting ours to 69.5 pounds by feel, but it's nice to have the scale to be sure.
     
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    Ariel484

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2011
    Joining in! Hope everything was as great as it could be (even lacking training).
    Helloooo! :wave: I would say overall things went pretty well! :)



    Luggage scale

    The best travel accessory you can buy. We're pretty good by now at getting ours to 69.5 pounds by feel, but it's nice to have the scale to be sure.
    Yeah, I may need to invest in one of those. Normally I am pretty close on the weight (like a half pound under) - this was the first time I have gone over! And I thought I was packing less than usual...:upsidedow
    YAH!!! TRIP REPORT TIME!!! Can't wait for more...
    OH HEY! :banana:
     

    Ariel484

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2011
    Disney Springs!

    One benefit of being an over-packer is that, well...you have packed everything. The night before, when I was doing a final check of my luggage (didn’t weigh it, obviously...ahem :upsidedow), I had noticed an umbrella in Big Purple and considered not bringing it with me. I'm glad I did, because it was POURING almost all day today!

    My first stop was Ghirardelli for an iced caramel latte (which was not as blurry in real life as it appears in this picture :)) - yum! I also got a sample, of course (chocolate with caramel).



    Next I went to the Marketplace Co-op to check out the purses and special Princess Half Marathon Weekend phone cases. I didn't buy anything, just looked.



    Race weekend is here! Yay!



    Lunch was Earl of Sandwich's berry almond chicken salad...yum!



    The big reason for coming to Disney Springs was to get a personalized ornament from the Christmas store. I was hoping they'd have some already done for Princess weekend, but nothing was out yet, so with the help of a CM, I put in an order for my own and asked for it to be delivered to the resort. It was about 2:15 by now.

    From there, I just wandered around, checking out the stores.

    Love these Kate Spade bags! The ones with the ears are so cute!



    I got a text that my room was ready a bit after 3. While walking around, I'd decided I wanted to change something on my ornament, so I headed back to the Christmas store and was surprised to find that it was already done! They'd told me what time it would be ready, but somehow it just didn't compute in my feeble brain - the CM who did the personalization was fast! So I just picked it up there. I really love what the she did and at the time I couldn't even remember what I had wanted changed on it! Thinking back now I do remember - I'd wanted a glass slipper drawn on it somewhere. Oh well, I still love it!



    It even has a little half marathon medal on it!



    Other stops included Fit2Run and Sprinkles for a strawberry cupcake...yum!!



    I find it so hard to get my bearings in Disney Springs...the layout is just not intuitive to me at all! :confused3

    I made it back to the Lime parking garage and sat in the car, inhaling my cupcake. I'd wanted to eat it outside but the weather was looking dicey.



    Up next: park #1!
     
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    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    Okay, I didn't know about these ornaments, but I'm going to have to get one in January! Such a great souvenir idea :)

    Can't wait to read the rest! I'm still in Disney mode from the weekend, so I'm stalking all the TRs possible.
     


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