Hello and welcome back to yet another trip report! I will stop doing them… NEVER. Find all the entries in this report here. Onward!
Good news, everyone – I went on my WDW Marathon trip! And it was, predictably, magical. Let’s dive right in.
I began by sleeping TERRIBLY the night before, because of course I did, but I woke up on schedule and enjoyed a hella-early but on-time flight to Orlando. Erika’s flight was similarly timed, and we met at the Mears Connect area in Terminal B. Oddly enough, our bus was filled exclusively with people going to Pop Century, so there was only one stop!
We had done online check-in, but on our way into Pop a Cast Member told us if we checked in at the desk anyway we might be able to snag a room that was already ready. Turns out there weren’t any – hardly surprising at, like, 9:30am – but that CM did put down that we were on site.
No matter; the expo didn’t open until noon, and we were in no huge rush. We checked our bags at bell services before wandering over to the Everything Pop food court for some on-theme Mickey-shaped breakfast items.
Then we executed a brilliant idea I suddenly had: rather than drink sub-par coffee from Pop, we took the Skyliner one stop over to the Joffrey’s at Caribbean Beach. There we grabbed some lattes and Skyliner’d right back to Pop. I’m a genius!
Our room still not being ready, we holed up in the business center for makeup application purposes (mostly mine). Having finished this vital task, it was just about time for the buses to start running to the race expo. We hopped aboard our chariot and were on our way in short order.
[Side note: while on the bus, we got the text that our room was open! Before noon! So I think maybe checking in double helped?]
We still arrived ahead of expo opening, however, and wound up waiting in a lengthy line to enter the bib pickup area. (Although it wasn’t nearly as bad as the one to enter the official merch building.) Once it got moving, however, it really wasn’t too bad, crowding being minimal with everyone spread out across the bib pickup areas. In contrast to the acres of Dopey, there was only ONE Goofy bib pickup kiosk, which I thought was kinda funny.
Bibs secured, we headed over to the expo hall to get our shirts and let vendors tempt us with their wares. We poked around quite a few tables, but as I recall we didn’t buy anything just then. Oh, wait, no; I did stop to buy some Honey Stinger waffles for the marathon. Can’t have too many of those.
Finally we made it to the official merch building, which no longer had a line – but we soon found that there was no longer a ton of merch, either. I know! Within hours of the opening of day two! There was a white marathon weekend jacket I LOVED, but nothing smaller than XL still available. Oh, well; money saved, I guess.
On the plus side, I did get something I’ve been fruitlessly seeking for years. Can you guess what it is? Erika could! Behold this true-to-life exchange:
ME: [stopping just short of merch area] Before we go in, should we make a bet?
ERIKA: About whether there are coffee mugs?
I DID mean coffee mugs. I’ve been gunning for a runDisney coffee mug for FOREVER. And while I chose to bet against myself, I was happy to be wrong, because they HAD CERAMIC COFFEE MUGS!!! FINALLY!!!!! So that came home with me, duh.
While there, we performed our solemn duty and orchestrated obligatory multiple photo shoots:
In the meantime, Erika decided she did want a new pair of Goodr sunglasses after all (always a wise choice), so we rebounded to the exhibitor hall for that purchase before finally picking up the bus back to Pop Century.
Our room was actually pretty awesome this time around: we were on the first floor of ’70s building 10, but almost all the way at the end which kept noise to a minimum. As a bonus, our bags had already been delivered to the room, and we were able to drop our expo wares and do quick race supply inventory before heading back out to the Disney Springs.
My primary goal here was Gideon’s Bakehouse for some post-race cake, and I was surprised to discover there was no virtual queue late on a Friday afternoon. We jumped into line and were inside in about 20 minutes, which isn’t too bad. I snagged an ice coffee for the road.
Said road then took us to Uniqlo, where we poked around a bit before heading to World of Disney; Erika wanted some Maleficent horns to complete the next morning’s race costume. She found them and bravely waded into the checkout line while I noped tf outta there. Did you know half the world’s population is inside World of Disney at any given time? It’s true!
Only one mission remained: we dropped very briefly into Fit2Run to check for a shirt I had seen in their expo display. The brick-and-mortar store didn’t have my size either, but it was a noble attempt. More money saved!
It was getting on toward early evening, which is late by runDisney standards, so we hopped another bus back to Pop. Everything was going swimmingly – we had our stuff, we were on track for time, and yes, the line for pasta at the food court was pretty long, but…
I was scrolling though InstarunDisney, like ya do, when I saw it: due to predicated weather, the next morning’s half marathon course had been shortened to 7.1 miles. Further, it would begin 15 minutes early.
This took me by surprise – I had seen rain in the forecast yet no lightning – but what can ya do? By many measures this news sucked; on the other hand, Disney has to put safety first, and I had the precedent of the 2015 Wine & Dine Half Half Marathon and the completely cancelled 2017 WDW Half Marathon to go on. It was going to be okay.
It was with that minor bombshell rattling around in our brains that we finished our dinner, made our final race preparations, and went to bed. In the very early morning: round one of our Goofy Challenge! Whatever that looked like…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!