Disney’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opened and We Missed It!

Seven-Dwarfs-Mine-Train-logo-jpgWhen we were on vacation there was a soft launch of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  I wanted sooo badly to get on that ride with my son and then have my husband ride it with him.  Every chance I got, I asked the cast members if we could go on.  They said it was opening May 28th, but one person told me that on the day of the Rock Your Disney Side Party there was going to be times where guests could ride it.  I was so excited!  When we walked by the ride it was SUCH a tease to see it running but we couldn’t go on it.  The squeals of the riders was killing me!

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I told my son I would try so hard to get us on it.  I also tried checking with the concierge desk to see if they could get us a secret fast past – no luck.  Then the day of the Rock Your Disney Side Party they were letting guests on.  My friend Marc Acosta was on it I think 3 or 4 times that day!  Then again, he stayed for the entire 24 hours so he had time to wait in the lines.

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The wait time average was 60-90 minutes.  At one point it was below 60 minutes but I just didn’t have the time to stand in line that long, and I knew my son would wig out.  We did stand in line for Space Mountain when the posting said 45 minutes and the Touring Plans lines app said 35 minutes, but we ended up waiting 70 minutes!  He did moan and groan and said he was “oficially bored”and “hated waiting in line”, and “I will never wait in line again”.  So I knew it wouldn’t be pleasant if we waited.  I also knew it wasn’t fair for my daughter to wait around for us, even if she did go on a few rides while waiting.

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Every day we walked by that ride our necks would crane to see as much of the ride that we could see!  Now I’ll have to wait until October to ride it; but sadly my family won’t be there for it.  I wanted that first time to be an experience all of us could share.

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Until we meet again Mine Train!

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Triathlon Swim Testing

I finally made some purchases towards my triathlon goal.  I purchased goggles and a swimming cap to use on my vacation.  When I was in the store and looking at all of the selections to choose from, I messaged a few of my friends to find out what to select from. The advice I got was to try them on before you buy to see what fits comfortably.  I had a limited time to shop for these items, so I didn’t try anything on.  I selected Speedo because I was familiar with that brand.

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My intention was to hopefully get in a few laps at the quiet pool in the mornings before everyone gets up.  That didn’t happen, but I did get a chance to try out my new gear at one of the pools at night while it wasn’t crowded.

To be honest, I didn’t feel stupid when I put them on and got into the pool.  The goggles fit very comfortably.  The cap was ok as well.  Maybe I will get a black one for when I swim in public so I don’t look as dorky!  I did a few practice swims across the pool and back and felt good.  Then I kept doing a few more and realized how tiring swimming is!  I felt a little concerned that I will need to step up my game over the summer to figure out this whole swimming thing.  I had no idea how far we had to swim for the Sprint Tri in September and in my mind I was wondering how long it took the longest swimmer to finish the swim portion of the race.  That is the time I am going to have to beat at least so I won’t be the last one out of the water.

I like swimming with my face under water most of the time, but I am going to have to learn to take breaths at every other stroke or else I will get behind in my breathing and will be more tired.

I also have to figure out the kicking.  Do you kick a little or a lot?  How far is a lap?  How far do we have to swim for the race?  We have a circular 24 foot pool in our yard, I will spend as much time in it as I can this summer going back and forth, but I think I’ll need to research into the YMCA or the North Haven Rec Center to learn about their lap pool and to invest in a cheap Timex watch to help keep track of my laps.

I had my husband video me while I did a lap so I could review it and see how bad I looked and so I could put it out there for critiquing.  So please any feedback would be great!

What Is Your Dream?

downloadThis question has been in my mind for the past several weeks. I don’t recall how the topic came up but it had been a question I am asking myself and I also asked my husband to think about it as well.

Do you have a dream? At first I wondered if I had one specific dream, then as I thought about it I believe I have two. The first is to run the Boston marathon. I want to qualify for it but that may be too big of a stretch for me. As I have been running the past year, my average marathon finish time is at best 5:38.  In order to qualify for Boston I have to take over an hour off of my time.  That just might not be possible for me.  I know if you want something bad enough you can do it, but I am also a realist and know my body’s limitations.  I am prone to injury.  So since the dream is to run it, if I run with a charity bib I will still be happy to be part of the event.  I haven’t given up on that dream, but I am reconsidering my options.  Fundraising for it will not be an easy task either.

While on our vacation, I was out on a run and my husband met a family at the hot tub from New Jersey. They recently moved to Florida. They told him it was a big decision to make the move but it is one they don’t regret. They were about the same age as us and moved when their children were 6 and 7. The kids adapted great and the schools are very good. They are in Stuart, Florida. My husband told me about them and I met them later that morning. After talking with them, my husband and I talked and I told him that meeting them ties right in with the question I have been pondering for a while. What if?

For several days we kept talking about it, what if this and what if that. We even went as far as to looking at houses in a few areas where I have friends. My dream is to find a job that I love in a place that I love. It’s no surprise that I love Disney. I have several friends and many runDisney acquaintances who also love Disney. I just leaned a few days ago that one of those acquaintances just accepted a job at Disney. What a coincidence. It definitely sparked an interest for me. I did some research online and saw a few job postings that are a good fit for me. What a huge what if. I reached out to her and asked her all of my questions, and she gladly answered them. It’s so exciting to hear about her experience.

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But hey, maybe this is something to really think about and throw out to the universe to see if it is meant to happen. Doesn’t mean I have to take a job, it doesn’t even mean I would get a job, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. You never know unless you try.  Following the theme about dreams coming true, I saw this show at the Magic Kingdom and had to get some video of it.  It was so appropriate for the thoughts that were running through our heads.

What is your dream?

runDisney Announces Yet Another Race I Can’t Attend…let the wookie win

Yesterday was my first day back at work after being in Disney for 11 days.  I was catching up on everything from work and then I was noticing Facebook posts were popping up about Star Wars and a new race that was coming up.  My phone was also dinging tweets with clues from runDisney.  Sure enough by lunch time the announcement was made that there would be a race on January 15 in Disneyland for Star Wars with a 5K, 10K half marathon and kid races.

Registration Opens June 10 at noon.  I bet it sells out in record time.

This is the second race in a month that runDisney has announced that I will not be able to attend.  I am very bummed about this.  I will be running my first Dopey challenge the weekend before in Walt Disney World. I already have plans to stay in Florida from Wednesday to Wednesday.  I can’t hop on a plane and fly out West to do the Star Wars races.  I do have a job and I would like to keep it!  My husband will also kill me if I sign up for a race out West the following weekend.

Just a few weeks ago they announced the Castaway Cay Challenge which is the 5K run while sailing on the Disney Dream.  This now presents an issue for those who have registered for the Castaway Cay Challenge and who want to do the Star Wars race because the ship doesn’t return until January 15th.

I think it is great that Disney finally offered the race that everyone has been waiting for, but I wish it was taking place in Walt Disney World in May during Star Wars weekend.

There Is Always Something Being Built At Disney

On my recent trip to Disney we saw the new construction going on at the Polynesian. It seems like every May when we vacation, Disney is re-imagining their resorts.  This is the third hotel on the monorail loop that is adding Disney DVC rooms to their location.  The Polynesian resort is also changing its name to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  We rented the small boats to ride around the lakes and I had the opportunity to take some pictures of the new construction.

View from the Seven Seas Lagoon on the small water boats

The Polynesian is expanding the DVC villas with  20 bungalows right on the water.  It is a nice feature but is changing the look of the resort for sure.  The bungalows are not going to be exclusive to DVC members.  If the space is available, non-DVC guests can rent the space for their vacation.  I believe I heard on the DIS Unplugged podcast that the bungalows were going to be two bedroom only.

View from the monorail

The volcano pool area is being renovated with a water play area for children and a hot tub overlooking the Seven Seas Lagoon.  Also new, will be a Pineapple Lanai kiosk with the ever-popular Dole Whip!

There will also be major changes to the lobby.  As you are used to seeing the waterfalls now, the space will be more open, similar to the look of Alani where you look through the hotel lobby to the waterfront.

Polynesian lobby concept art

Polynesian lobby concept art

Another big enhancement coming to the hotel in 2015 is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto! Trader Sam’s will be themed with tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs just like the bar that is very popular in Disneyland.  Trader Sam’s will reside in the Polynesian Ceremonial House and will provide a nice relaxing place for guests to hang out.  Another great addition to the monorail bar hop!

The children’s activity center formerly known as the Never Land Club is also being re-branded as Club Disney and plans to open in June at the Polynesian.  This center is available for children ages 3-12.

Within the next 6 months you will learn more about when you can start to plan your stay at these awesome bungalows!

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WDW Today’s Lou Mongillo has a great video with the changes you can expect to see at the Polynesian.  Check it out!

 

Rock Your Disney Side

Friday, May 23 was the Rock Your Disney Side party at the Magic Kingdom. The park opened at 6 a.m. and remained open until 6 a.m. It was a very hot day with record heat Friday, but that didn’t stop the crowds. We were going to participate in the event, but not until the sun went down.

We started the day off at the gym for a quick workout at the contemporary fitness center before we went to Blizzard Beach.

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We spent the entire afternoon at Blizzard Beach and it was the perfect location for such a hot day. As usual we closed that park and got the last raft ride down on Teamboat Springs, the family raft ride. Despite being there for several hours we weren’t as tired as I thought we would be. The kids have a good amount of energy and stamina this year.

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After the afternoon at the water park we ate dinner at our room, the kids took a bubble bath, then after a little rest, we watched the sun set, then ventured over to Magic Kingdom.

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There was a feeling of excitement in the air. We got there just before 9:00 and had the chance to see the fireworks and Tinker Bell fly across the sky! Of all the years we have been coming to Disney we only saw her fly from the balcony in our room. It was so cool to see it up close! People were all dressed up and rocking their Disney sides!

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We had fast passes for the Tomorrow land Speedway, Buzz Lightyear and Dumbo. When I made these reservations early in the day I thought it was a stretch that we would actually be there that late and actually use them!

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We left the park at midnight. I was hoping to get to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train because it was open
to the public for the event. But the wait time never got below 95 minutes. It was a great time and we all enjoyed ourselves. My son and I even did a ride together that I NEVER rode on in all the years we have been coming! The Astro Orbitor! It was great!

Were you at the Rock Your Disney Side Event? Did you get on the Mine Train?

Why I Love runDisney

Let me count the ways…. I love being on vacation for one. I love being in vacation with my family. I love that I can usually find a friend down here to bump in to or hook up with! I credit that to the runDisney races. I had the chance to reunite with Dave Dunkowski on Saturday night at Epcot. I forgot to get a picture so we will have to try again!

I also made plans with Becca Bastian, a friend of Gail’s, to go for a run on Sunday morning. I met both Dave and Becca in February at the Princess race weekend.

This morning while at breakfast I had my princess mesh bag and the person checking us in noticed it and we exchanged names and took a picture and hope to see each other again at wine and dine!

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How awesome is social media and the rundisney races that people can meet, stay in touch and get in a run together when we live in completely different states! Dave is from New York, Becca is from Florida and Lizzy is from Ohio and moved to Florida.