The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 1/7

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Time for another trip report! I’ll be covering my 2022 WDW Marathon Weekend trip. Find all the posts in this report here. Onward!

Despite the delays and cancellations that have plagued the airline industry of late, my departure to WDW was smooth sailing: up at 4am, flight at 6am, no problems. We landed early and everything. Hooray!

Unfortunately my trip buddy Erika didn’t arrive for another 3 hours. Under normal circumstances I would’ve posted up in Starbucks or something to wait for her, but in the COVID Age it seemed wise to get away from all my fellow travelers. Disney’s Magical Express having sadly ended its run, I picked up an Uber to Pop Century.

A quick aside for those traversing this new territory alongside me: my Uber ride both to and from the airport was around $35 not including tip; I price checked Lyft too and it was comparable. While airport signs indicate there is ground transport on both sides of the airport, do not believe this – I wasted time walking the A side before finding ride share pickup on B.

Anyway! I scooted over to Pop and dropped my bags at bag check, then went in search of breakfast. Despite a lackluster experience last time I tried it, I gave the Everything Pop bagel breakfast sandwich another shot and was pleasantly surprised. It was much improved! The bagel was a proper bagel this time, which made all the difference.

WDW trip report - Pop Century

I killed some time exploring the gift shop, then just wandering about, before finally receiving a text that my room was ready. Since there was no “near the gondolas” room request option that I could see, I had elected to simply accept whatever room was ready first, which left me in the boonies of the ’80s. I’m used to something more central and constantly got lost, but hey, it was a great place to keep my stuff and sleep.

Pop Century resort room

Erika arrived shortly after, at which point we gathered ourselves and grabbed a bus to the expo. The first order of business was of course bib pickup, followed by the exhibitor hall. I bought some KT Tape, while Erika shopped for sunglasses (she later ended up getting some Disney-branded aviators in a gift shop). I also stopped by the Grandma’s Marathon booth, believe it or not, as my grandfather grew up in Duluth and this is a bucket list race for me. One of these days!

WDW marathon expo

Before we left we stopped by the official race merchandise building. Man, does that place get picked over FAST. It was only Friday and a TON of stuff was gone. No mugs, no spirit jerseys, nada. Erika did get a tank, but I wasn’t overly tempted by any of the remainder. Hopefully by next year the world will have escaped its supply chain woes, at least in part. At least the photo ops are still good.

WDW Marathon expo

Finally it was time to hit up a theme park! We had park passes for the Magic Kingdom, and resolved to sneak onto the Contemporary bus. Alas, it took FOREVER, so we bailed and took the Grand Floridian bus instead. Hooray for the bridge that completes the GF path to MK!

We slipped into the park and were immediately met with a Character Cavalcade coming straight down Main Street, so we side-slipped up the Emporium and headed straight to Sleepy Hollow Refreshments for lunch. Is it even a trip to WDW if you don’t eat at least one meal off a trash can?

Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

While we ate, I kept an eye on the wait times in the app. Crowds were manageable, but I still suggested we start with Carousel of Progress. Learning that Jean Shepard is the voice of the father only makes me love it more. But we had to repeat one scene because someone made an unauthorized exit? Not sure what that was about.

Is this when we did Buzz Lighyear’s Space Ranger Spin? I know we did it but I’m not sure about the order. I suck at it anyway. Just know we rode it.

We considered the Peoplemover next, but the line was spilling out of the queue in that way that suggests the wait time hasn’t caught up yet. Instead we walked over to Pirates of the Caribbean. I was willing to bank that the wait time would not be as long as posted, and sure enough, we were in line only about half the advertised time.

I hope no one ever travels to Disney with me with the goal of economic movement, because I am a notorious zig-zagger, criss-crosser, and back-tracker. Case in point: after Pirates, we zipped right back to Tomorrowland to tackle a now more manageable Peoplemover line. That ride always does it for me.

After that we headed over to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor show. This is not necessarily a must-do for me, but I nevertheless consider it something of a sleeper hit. The key is the audience participation – it can be freakin’ hilarious if the people selected for the show are into it. This round was decent, but not as good as that one time the guy representing Randall hid under his seat for the entire story. He understood the assignment.

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor

Despite a few hours of park time remaining, we decided to conserve our strength and head back to the room. We did make a pitstop in the Emporium again to get Erika those aforementioned sunglasses, plus a Magic Band since she forgot hers. Then it was onto any one of the 3 Pop buses that showed up it once. Feast or famine, am I right?

We chilled in the room briefly and discussed some plans for the upcoming days before setting our sights on some dinner from the Everything Pop food court. I picked the Impossible burger, which was actually pretty decent; it had avocado on it and a spicy sauce. Not bad.

Thus sated, it was time for bed. Our marathon weekend trip was just beginning!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!


  1. If you go to Duluth eventually for that race let me know, because I have a goal to run a race in every state! And I can’t say Minnesota is particularly high on the list at this point…

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