In Which Jenn Is Going HOME (aka WDW)

Mickey Minnie

At last! At last! After over a year of grueling separation and two jabs of the COVID vaccine needle, I am finally going back to Walt Disney World! For a whole week and everything!!!!

Alas, there’s no race attached this time, but I’ll be so busy applying the balm to the soul that is being on Disney property I might not even notice. (Just kidding; I’ll notice. But it’s okay!)

Needless to say, a pre-trip list of goals is absolutely necessary. There’s so much pent-up demand!

  • Run the newly-completed loop around Seven Seas Lagoon
  • FINALLY ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Hopefully get in another ride on Rise of the Resistance (less stressfully for preference)
  • Ride Splash Mountain for the last time????
  • Take a spin on the reopened Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
  • Drink all the hibiscus drinks at the Epcot Flower & Garden food booths
  • Do the Flower & Garden scavenger hunt and get a Figment souvenir
  • Pick up Orange Bird sippers for my nieces
  • Top up my oatmeal face soap and solid shampoo bars at Basin
  • Maybe get a Corksicle from Wine Bar George if the color du jour is cute?
  • Swing by the Art of Animation to see if I can commission a new Figment tattoo drawing
  • Take PICTURES! PICTURES! PICTURES!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for real-time updates on my activities, and check back later for my famously detailed trip reports. One more sleep and it all starts. I. CAN’T. WAIT!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Simply Must Dress Up For WDW

I haven’t built up to it as much as I usually do, but it’s true – I’m going to Walt Disney World in the beginning of May! It’s been a nail-biter, what with COVID and vaccines and race cancellations, but I can finally say I’m going home.

And you know me, Disney Dandy that I am: I simply cannot go to WDW without blabbing to anyone and everyone about what I plan to wear. If the clothes themselves aren’t enough to grab your attention, perhaps my experimental attempt at a new photo format will interest you?

Hit it!

So here’s what we’ve got:

  • My “Li Shang’s Training Camp” tank and frankly amazing Mulan skirt – pretty self explanatory.
  • My Pin Up Couture castle skirt and white peasant top, as modeled previously.
  • My Dark Side Half race shirt to be worn on May 4 because, uh, it’s the only Star Wars item of clothing I own. Plus my longline cardigan because it has a vaguely Batuu-like robe quality, right? Please say right. And, of course, no bottoms. Ha! No, I just haven’t quite decided on what I want to do for bottoms – I’m leaning toward a gray pencil skirt but we’ll see what happens when I actually pack. I also have a wildcard polka dot skirt option but that wouldn’t go with the robe. Hmmm…
  • My Marie dress, which is a bit of a ringer – I may switch it out for my Snow White dress at the last minute, but since I’m already packing one more outfit than I should need I have to draw the line somewhere. Normally I would pair it with appropriate Minnie ears but the pink Marie-style bow feels right in this case.
  • My Fantasia 2000 flamingo dress as modeled here, poorly, in bad lighting. That’s how the cool hipster kids do it, right? Um, maybe don’t click that link.
  • My super-cute retro Moana set. This one’s a little more subtle but I just love the styling SO MUCH I have to bring it.
  • My Mickey/Oswald dress, which is my ringer outfit in case I accidentally ruin one or suddenly hate one of my other outfits. Unless I wear it, and then the Marie dress is the ringer. I like options, is basically what I’m saying.
  • My new Ariel tank, which I will wear with bike shorts as modeled here.
  • … And one outfit NOT pictured, because it’s a surprise – I’m going to do a real, proper Disneybound for the very first time! To be revealed after the trip, of course. I would never dream of leaving you hanging like that. Try not to let it keep you up at night.

Technically it’s a little too early to start packing just yet, but I might start anyway. It’s like the Coast Guard say: semper paradis. I bet they’re thinking about WDW when they say it too.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Has To Run For Oga’s Cantina

Okay, let’s pretend for a moment you’re me. (I’m sorry.) You are going to Walt Disney World, theoretically and vaccines willing, in April. Your travel buddy is on top of the vast majority of dining reservations, but just to be safe you have been given one, and only one job: secure the ADR for Oga’s Cantina. Mission date: February 16. You put a reminder in your phone and carry on your merry way.

Of course, February 16 arrives. You remember nothing of your assignment. You get up at 5:30am, cheerily slap together your morning’s outfit and provisions, and set out on an 11 mile run. Your bothersome heel is taped up, you’re wearing your newest Brooks Ravennas, and you’re feeling good. 

Until 7:30am,* when the reminder you set all those day ago pops up on your Garmin: Oga’s Cantina ADR. Thirty minutes. You have a little over 2.5 miles to go.

You can do this.

You – not really you; take a deep breath and remember that for you this is strictly a mental exercise – don’t want to blaze it because of that whole left heel thing and you don’t want to risk an injury. But you trudge out your last mileage under mild stress and come screeching into the alley next to your apartment building with scarcely any time to spare.

No problem! You have the My Disney Experience app in your phone and you know how to use it. OR DO YOU? Because you open it up with your thumbprint and tap furiously through to the Oga’s Cantina ADR screen only to discover that it’s not giving you the day you need. Why isn’t it giving you the day you need? Is the app angry?!

You race through the gate and into the elevator to hit up your computer, feverishly checking your email while you’re at it to make sure you’re trying for an ADR on the correct day. You confirm that you are as you slide in front of your laptop and whip through the MDE login screen. Ah, there’s Oga’s Cantina, and there’s the day you wanted!

But wait… the calendar on the website won’t load?!

You hit a hard refresh while you thumb through the MDE app on your phone and discover that while you were logged into the app, you were somehow not logged in ENOUGH, and the app didn’t register the hotel reservation that should open up the extra ten days of ADR openings. You fix this problem and now you can access the correct date. You select 1pm per the agreed upon early afternoon time slot preference. Hooray!

Hold on. It’s not loading? Switch back to the website. Ah, yes, there’s the calendar. Refresh. Okay, 1pm is gone, but there’s 1:20pm. GO THROUGH, DAMMIT!

Okay, back to the app. How about 1:40pm? No? 11:25am on the website? Fine. No, not that either? 2:30pm on the app? 3PM ON THE COMPUTER???

Ah, whew. That one finally went through. You did it! You did it! It’s a bit later than originally intended, but you did it! DJ Rex, save me a seat!!!!!!!

Oga ADR

Sit back. It’s over. You’re not me anymore. Sweet.

Hmmm. It’s hard to tell, given how far up Disney’s butt I have crawled over the last 15 years or so, but this might be one of the most inside-baseball blog posts I’ve ever written. But then I suppose you’d have to be pretty inside the baseball yourself to get to the end of such a melodramatic tale. The point is, I got my coveted ADR. Now who’s got a vaccine they’re not using?

*Yes, you’re right – the Disney reservation system opens at 7am. PR doesn’t do daylight savings and is therefore currently 1 hour ahead of… everybody else, basically.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Gets The runDisney Rug Pulled Out From Under Her

Hope springs eternal but reality kills it dead – the Star Wars Rival Run race weekend is no more. I think we can all agree that we saw it coming.

Obviously I’m pretty darned sad about it. I mean, of COURSE I can see the necessity and of COURSE I recognize that as an ostensibly healthy person who already works from home I’m very very lucky right now. But also… I had such a good trip planned. 🙁 🙁 🙁

But in the face of a large problem, I like to turn my attention to solutions. Okay, I want to runDisney and go to WDW for a week. When can I do that next? The Wine & Dine Half! It’s far away but I can pivot to that!

Except noooooo I can’t, because even though it’s been on sale for less than two weeks it’s sold out. Travel agents? SOL with them too. (Shout out to Becky for trying her level best to get me one – book your trip with her, guys.) There are some charity bibs available but the lowest fundraising minimum I could find was $700 and I’m not that good at asking for money anyway, so, no dice.

Pat is suggesting we wait and see what happens and if the parks are open by mid-April we just take the trip anyway. I suppose I could do some of the resort fun runs in that case. But let’s be real – anyone see that happening? I can’t claim to see that future but most reasonable forecasts seem to place WDW opening again somewhere in May at the earliest.

The one silver lining to that possibility is that if the parks stay closed for 7 weeks or longer, my Annual Pass will probably be extended enough to cover a Princess Half Marathon trip. But I don’t really like that course as much – I really wanted to run this Star Wars Half for time. But do I really want to wait a whole year before I go? (Marathon Weekend excepted, naturally.) I would need a whole new park ticket, too… unless the parks close until, like, June, but in that case, yikes.

I don’t know. I’m just sort of spinning my wheels and then typing it into this little box. I know the problems of one little person don’t amount to a hill beans in this crazy world, but all the same, I has a sad. Doubtless I will get over it soon enough, but I has it.

AND I DON’T EVEN GET TO WEAR MY NEW PICARD/RIKER 2020 SHIRT TO THE RACE DAMMIT

… I should probably go. Here’s good health, social distancing, and new plans, ’cause the old ones clearly aren’t gonna work. 🤪🤪🤪

I’ve been thinking about Casablanca a lot lately for some reason. Viewing party, anyone?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn’s Fifteenth Marathon Is Cancelled :(

Alas, my friends, add my name to the legions of the bummed out.

I was all set to run my fifteenth marathon next Saturday, the Wilmington Marathon in North Carolina. But like so many events, the threat of coronavirus forced the race organizers to cancel it.

I don’t begrudge them this – their hands were forced by a combination of government edicts and common sense. Race communications have been very promising; we’re assured that if we can just wait a bit while they organize their thoughts we’ll be given an array of options including at the very least a deferral to next year at no charge. All in all the trend is one of generosity.

But I can’t help but be a little sad – I trained! I planned! Now I have to do battle with Spirit Airlines customer service! Blast and damnation!

Ah well. What can ya do. I’m sure a lot of you are in similar boats, both in terms of races and also Disney trips, what with, oh, every single Disney resort closed around the world right now. Obviously we all recognize the necessity of the cancellations, but also: drat.

Speaking of which, my next trip to WDW for the Rival Run doesn’t begin until April 18, so fingers crossed that this health crisis has improved enough that we can all enjoy the race weekend by then.

In the meantime, Becky at Disney In Your Day wrote a great piece on handling the anxiety of trip planning and cancellation in these trying times. I recommend it if you’re currently in the throes of a similar fate.

Stay safe out there, kids!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Seeks Flower & Garden Festival Redemption

Remember last time I ran the Star Wars Half and was in WDW for the Flower & Garden Festival? Remember how I excitedly made a to-eat list in advance? Remember how I was so zombie-fied from the race that morning I didn’t try a single thing from the booths????

Dark days, my friends. Luckily, what I have on my hands now is the chance at redemption: another Star Wars Half trip, another Flower & Garden Festival, and another to-eat list.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list and items may change as the early reviews roll in. But for now, here’s what I’ve got my eye on this time around, kids:

Booth Item Notes
Magnolia Terrace Housemade boudin
Citrus Blossom Tuna tataki bowl
Northern Bloom Griddled maple pound cake
Northern Bloom Beer flight Fruity!
Honey Bee-stro Honey-mascarpone cheesecake I <3 Mascarpone
Honey Bee-stro Lemonade mead Lemon could really cut mead’s syrupiness
Trowel & Trellis Grilled street corn All about the garlic spread
Pineapple Promenade Frozen desert violet lemonade I’ve heard good things!
Pineapple Promenade Pineapple beer flight
Jardin de Fiestas Quesadilla al pastor
Jardin de Fiestas All the drinks!! I love rose stuff!
Lotus House Jasmine draft beer Floral stuff generally, really
Bauernmarket ALL THE FOOD Potato pancakes! Pretzel bread! Strudel!
Hanami Market Frushi It’s time to try the legend
Florida Fresh Watermelon cucumber slushy
Florida Fresh Beer flight Citrus-y!
Fleur de Lys Goat cheese tart
Refreshment Outpost Cider flight

Only this time I’m gonna TAKE A POST-RACE NAP and then ACTUALLY EAT SOME OF THE STUFF ON MY LIST.

What do you plan to eat at this year’s Flower & Garden Festival?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Is Off To Orlando Once Again

And away I go! (Almost.)

Tomorrow is day 1 of my WDW Marathon (or in this case, Goofy) trip, and as always, I am JAZZED. There’ve been some hiccups – my MDE tags went to the wrong address; WDW sent my Magic Bands too late – but everyone knows that a bad rehearsal leads to a good performance. As we say in ballet: merde!

As per usual, I shall now provide you with my bucket list for this trip:

– Do not die during Goofy! I’m undertrained as hell BUT my KT Tape regimen seems to be working and I’m feeling good about my nutrition and hydration over the last week or so. And if nothing else, my costumes are on fleek. (Do they kids still say fleek? I’m finna find out.)
– Facebook Live either running up Main Street or through World Showcase. I always mean to do that and then remember too late.
– By hook or by crook or by 5am alarm, I want to ride Rise of the Resistance. Duh.
– Pick up a bunch of stuff from Basin – I need more solid shampoo and oatmeal soap.
– Try Woody’s Lunchbox – or Baseline Taphouse – or both? Hmmm…
– Witness Epcot Forever in the flesh!
– I must meet Kevin!

And so now I leave you, dear sweet readers, but not for long. Hell, a lot of you are probably right there with you. We never walk run alone!

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

In Which Jenn’s Race Costumes Are Ready – With A Twist!

Ruh roh, guys – I guessed wrong, a little. Looks like this marathon weekend is gonna be a pretty warm one. So much for all my long pants and gloves and heat packs!

Doesn’t matter too much, though, as my race weekend wardrobe has acquired a ringer. Behold:

– For the half marathon, I’m running as Spaceship Earth! I’ve shared this outfit before, with an important substitution – I originally included my black running pants with the colored stripes, as they felt rather Epcot-y to me. Well, check those SE leggings – Pat got them for me for Christmas! There’s a man who knows what I like.

They’re super soft and comfy, but they’re midrise and not really designed for running; I was skeptical they would stay up during runs. But I tested them on some training runs and lo and behold, they work! They’re long but I plan to run the half extra easy, and I think in the early morning and with such light fabric I’ll be okay. Anyway, how can I resist such a perfectly synergistic offering? You can get the tank here and the leggings here. I don’t see the ears on the Shop Disney site but I think they’re still in the parks.

– My Sally costume for the marathon is the bigger risk as it is – I’ve never run a race in shorts! But I didn’t bring any capris and I freaking LOVE these shorts so I think it’ll be fine; just some extra Vaseline for safety. The compression socks will be a game day decision, but Sally has striped socks so I had to get them, obviously. And the arm warmers are just throwaways for the morning (tune in the next month or so for super easy and cheap throways from tights!).

I got the Sally cosplay top from Thredup, but I betcha it was originally from Hot Topic. The Sally ears are no longer available but Disney has a new version. Shorts are from Old Navy and socks are from Amazon.

Pat did ask me “Why did you bring TWO pairs of sneakers?” but nobody’s perfect.

See you at the start line(s)!

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

In Which Jenn’s Disney Wardrobe Will Work Out Fine

I was all worked up about my Disney wardrobe for my upcoming trip – and it turns out the weather is going to be pretty Florida-y after all!

Despite the extremely variable climate of Florida in January, it looks like it’s going to be in the high 70s and low 80s while I’m there (which could be interesting for my race costumes, but we’ll get to that tomorrow…). I have knee socks and extra layers, but I probably won’t need them.

Instead:

– I’m excited to debut my Oswald dress! (I didn’t wind up wearing at at Universal because it was pouring down rain). I got it from Wish.com but I don’t think it’s available anymore. Ditto my rainbow ears – Disney now makes a different version.
My Three Caballeros t-shirt is very old! I plan to pair it with some high-waisted black shorts and my Dia de Muertos ears – which Disney only seems to release around the holiday, in various forms.
– I freakin’ love my Ursula cosplay dress from my constant in Disney shopping, Hot Topic, paired with Purple Potion ears, which are still available in the parks but I don’t see online unfortunately.
– My Li Shang’s Training Camp tank was from Box Lunch. The Mulan skirt is from Thredup; I’m afraid I don’t know the provenance. I believe the Spaceship Earth ears are still available in the parks but I don’t see them on the site.
– My Jack Skellington & Zero dress is also from Hot Topic. Once again, Disney has replaced the Sally ears with a new version. They sure have been shaking things up on the ear front lately!

As always, if you see me out in the parks, say hi! I promise I’m only a little bit awkward. >D

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

In Which Jenn Packs For WDW Three Weeks In Advance

Yes, I own this luggage for realsies.

Look, I don’t know you. I don’t know your packing habits. But I can tell you my usual ones, which some might describe as anal-retentive: I have a spreadsheet. Everything I need to pack is in that spreadsheet, and once it’s in my suitcase, which happens at least a day in advance, I mark it off. I save every individual trip’s packing list so that I can go back and consult it to check for items I may have missed. And of course I check the weather to make sure my clothing items are appropriate.

Yeah. About that last bit…

So this time around my WDW Marathon trip is but one leg of my personal Grand Circle Tour of the east coast. Next week I fly to Baltimore for Christmas with my husband’s family; the week after that, we drive down to NC to visit my family; and then, the week after THAT, I fly down to Orlando for the Goofy Challenge.

Which means I am packing all the portions of my trip at once… including for Orlando weather. In January. Let me tell you from experience: NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE WEATHER IS GOING TO BE LIKE IN ORLANDO IN JANUARY.

I mean, sure, once you close in, your local weatherperson can give you an idea. But three weeks out? Total crapshoot. I’ve been down for the marathon and been already warm at the start line. I’ve been down and FREEZING TO DEATH. Hell, one time it was even delightfully moderate. Do I know what I will be encountering in 2020? Nope. Not a clue. Zilch. Nada.

And here I am. Packing for it.

Obviously I can make some educated guesses. Some contingency items. Knee socks to wear with my dresses. A pair of running shorts to supplement the pants, just in case. Arm warmers and gloves, for safety. Those shake-em-out hand warmer pack things.

In an extreme worst case scenario, I can always go to Target or something while I’m in NC for emergency supplies. But man, I sure wish I was working with more information while I have access to the stuff I already own, ya feel me?

To make a long story short: YES I will be making you look at my Disney Dandy wardrobe and running costumes for this trip! … Just as soon as I figure out what that looks like. >D

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