Princess Half Marathon Weekend is officially right around the corner - isn't that nuts! If you're running, I wish you the best of luck! Princess weekend is my favorite, and you'll absolutely enjoy every minute. <3
I decided to put together a fun list of some of my favorite items dedicated to Disney Princess style! I hope you enjoy some of my "must-haves", and understand that this list could go on and on and on... :) Expect a Part II in the future!
*All items are linked*
*Treat Yo Self*
Disney Princess Face Mask Collection ($14.50) Who doesn't love a good face mask? Spoil yourself and your princess squad with fun Disney-inspired spa time.
It's A Princess Thing Shadow Palette ($22) This gorgeous neutral and jewel toned palette speaks to me. The perfect palette for all occasions and at a decent price! Prince Charming will be all over you, girl.
Pink Princess Backpack ($14) This fun little accessory may or may not be for children, but who cares?! Cute little backpacks are easier to carry around, plus it's the cutest gosh darn thing. Sequins and patches? Need I say more?
Frozen 2 Anna Nature Backpack ($78) Danielle Nicole does Disney RIGHT. The unique designs are fun, eye-catching, and feature beautiful embroidery and mixed textures.
Princess Denim Jacket ($79.95) A royal throwback to the 90's, this jean jacket is EVERYTHING. Available sizes are limited because it's so dang popular. The perfect park day OOTD.
From AM to PM ($18.74) Cindy is the official princess of Glow Ups. Grab this fun shirt right now online OR at Disney Springs!
Glitter Sneakers ($85) These fun Keds x Kate Spade Sneakers are the perfect glitter getup for any pretty princess. Available in a wide range of glitter (rose gold, metallic, and white to name a few), these sneakers are fun and flirty for a perfect photo day in the parks. Brides or Brides-to-be, these would be perfect for a Disney photoshoot or for a fun WDW bachelorette weekend!
Princess Shoes ($210) These fun and crafty shoes are a step above and beyond! Get your favorite princess heels or sneakers from fundotcom, they're extravagant and undeniably Disney!
Princess Athletic Wear:
Raw Princess Wear ($38+) RawThreads has quickly become one of my favorite Disney-inspired shops. The quality and comfort of their products are unmatched, plus they have so many Disney-inspired collections. Find their booth at runDisney expos!
Crowned Cuties ($58) Crowned Athletics has amazing runDisney-inspired athletic and flowy tank tops! Their fit and flare looks are exceptional, and incredibly perfect for those race day photos! They also sell amazingly detailed princess headbands and scrunchies.
Princess Skirt ($69+) Samantha, the owner of Dottie and leader of Team Butt Bow has established herself as one of Etsys top performers in the runDisney costume department! Her skirts are simply amazing, elegant, and fit like a glove. Prepare to get all the compliments, princess.
Princess Leggings ($23.99) *Now sold out* These 'make it pink, make it blue' leggings are perfect for any runDisney fan! The hype is real, and apparently every princess wanted to get their hands on a pair! Maybe we will see some at the runDisney merchandise area for Princess Weekend??!
Pandora Princess Charms ($65+) Celebrate like a Princess and get yourself a beautiful addition to a bracelet or necklace! Disney x Pandora has the cutest charms to add on to any jewelry piece. It's the perfect gift for a princess after completing a runDisney weekend!
Princess Charm Bangle ($44.95) Another great gift for any princess is a Alex and Ani charm bangle. They're so fun to stack, and can quickly become a tradition to buy one on each visit to Disney. Surprise the princess of your dreams (or BFF, or Queen, or mini princess), with these beautiful and delicate bangles. My favorites are the princess quotes!
Princess Park Accessories:
Gus Gus Fanny Pack ($34.90) One of my favorite things about Princess Weekend is you get to dress up and run in costume, but the fun doesn't stop there! If you choose a specific princess to run as, you can then carry that "disneybound" into the parks after the race is over! Add little touches like this Gus Gus fanny pack if you're Cinderella bounding. There are so many fun little add-ons for every princess bound! Carry that Princess style (and bling) with you all day!
Princess Buttons ($4.99) Another super easy add on to show a little princess flair to your backpack, tote, or denim jacket! I personally love adding buttons because they're great to personalize your Disney accessories. Don't forget you can get FREE ones from Guest Services as the Disney parks and Resorts.
Princess Boss Babe:
2020 Princess Planner ($21.74) Every runDisney planner needs to schedule training, massages, and fastpasses. Get one of the amazing Disney planners from Papier, because every Disney boss babe needs a princess-style office! You can also customize your planner!
I Want More Mug ($18) Doesn't every sleeping beauty need her coffee or tea in the AM? Get this fun and runDisney inspired mug for your collection immediately! Raise your hand if you sung the song while reading the mug.
Comfy Squad ($29.52) I think I'd be doing Vanellope a disservice if I didn't find a way to include her! This iconic moment in Ralph Breaks The Internet is finally on a cozy sweatshirt, and I'm here for it. Now on sale at Hot Topic, get yours now and snuggle up with your pet sidekick and a Princess movie on Disney +.
Princess Meme Tank ($22.95) This looks like the perfect tank top to wear while you're unwinding after a invigorating Princess race! You can also style this tank top to the parks, to yoga class, or to bed! I give this tank a 10/10 because I am literally all of those princess memes. Well played, Shop Disney.
I hope you enjoyed looking through all the Princess goodies I currently have in my shopping carts! :) Let me know if you have purchased, or are looking to purchase any of the amazing items I listed above. Maybe we can be matching princesses? And honey, we never go out of style.
Thanks for visiting!
Hi, fellow runDisney fans!
Today I'm blogging about my favorite photo spots, tips, and tricks for getting the best insta-worthy pics during your runDisney race and vacation! I hope you enjoy reading along, and if you use any of my photo ops...please let me know! I'd love to hear how your pics turned out. :)
1. CASTLE BLING
I realize I'm starting a bit backwards here, but these are my favorite POST race photo ops to date! This past WDW Marathon Weekend had the most beautiful and cooperative weather for post race photos! I spent at least an hour walking around the Castle and Hub Grass area in MK to explore plenty of picturesque spots.
The best time to explore this part of the park is during "golden hour". This is when the sun starts to set and serves up a soft light with less harsh shadows AND less heat. :) My favorite spots to take pictures with my medals are off to the left side of the castle (no crowds here), and near the hub grass where you can hang your medals along the fence. This year I went for a fountain background because less people were walking behind my photoshoot. The "medals along the fence" photo op is one of the more popular for all race weekends because the scenery is iconic.
My new favorite photopass stop is located on Main Street just leading up to the castle. You can either pose as a "T" with your medals dangling down from your arms OR go for the look I did, where you sit on Main Street with your medals spread out in front of you. The cast member who took my photos shot at least three to four candid pics and was incredibly helpful laying out my medals for me. Don't forget to purchase Memory Maker in order to download all your photos from that weekend! It's well worth it, I promise!
2. INDIVIDUAL MEDAL SHOTS
You'll definitely want to get individual medal shots with your beautiful bling! I loved posing with all the medals proudly displayed on my arms, but I also loved seeing them enjoying their own spotlight. Hold your medal up and get the castle in the background for the ultimate post-race bling pic! I also love traveling to Epcot with my medals to take pics in front of Spaceship Earth and with the Festival backdrops. #aestheticgoals These pics are especially crucial if you ran through the castle on race day (not all race courses go through Magic Kingdom).
If you have a favorite character - I found the little statues surrounding the hub grass area at MK to be quite charming and unique! Bonus points if you can work your way around to the Walt and Mickey statues (located in front of Cinderella's Castle) for a shot of your medal with Walt reaching out to grab it! Warning: there will be plenty of families wanting this shot as well, your best chance for a less crowded pic will be 10-30 minutes after the parade.
It's also super fun to wear your runDisney merch after your race and take pics with the medal that matches the shirt or theme of the weekend! For example: I loved wearing my Dopey Challenge Hoodie and runDisney pink leggings for photo ops with my medals. I also loved placing my Marathon 2020 Finisher hat alongside my medals and of course wearing it on and off throughout the day at the parks.
I highly advise visiting the parks after a race because you can proudly wear your medal(s) and congratulate others on their race as well! It's so fun! Plus, it gives you the chance to walk around and diffuse any post-race stiffness. It's also fun helping first time runDisney folks take their first medal pics. :) EVERYONE will be taking photos, so don't feel embarrassed or stress about being emotional. It's a special achievement and it earns you the right to be proud and take photos! And of course you can always pose literally minutes after you've earned your medal because you'll still be in costume. :) I also highly advise showering and changing before you head off to the parks. Hehe
3. POST RACE PICS
You've done all the hard work, so now is your chance to slow down and enjoy all you've accomplished! Running in any race, big or small is a HUGE deal. Slow down and don't rush through the finish line (unless you're trying to PR of course). Try to get some photos right after you finish so that you may update friends and family that you made it past the finish line! It's also super fun to get a pic receiving your medal from a runDisney volunteer. PS all of the runDisney volunteers are super friendly and plenty of fellow runners would love to help you take a photo! This specific photo op is especially fun if you're running with a friend or family member who's running their first race. (BEST RACE EVER) Snap a photo of them (with the medal being presented) for a candid shot they'll cherish forever. I also highly suggest removing Mickey Ears before receiving a medal haha. Also, make sure to stay moving after the finish line so you don't get run over! There's plenty of room off to the side to slow down, walk, and take selfies LOL.
Post race photos are also great if you're looking to celebrate immediately after your big race! Once you're out of the finish line shoot and past the water and Powerade stations, you then receive a "snack box" and bananas from volunteers. If you're doing a runDisney Challenge (multiple races), this is where you'll receive your other finisher medals. Right after this, you'll head to a photopass area with runDisney backdrops where you can hold up "I Did It!" signs. These are usually shorter lines, and really fun if you want a professional pic with each medal you receive. These photos get linked to your memory maker on the My Disney Experience App, but you may also ask a cast member or friend to take your photo at this location free of charge.
Once you are back to where you hung out all morning before the race AKA usually Epcot parking lot, you can purchase additional food and/or drinks. A lot of post-race beer, champagne, and coffee are usually offered to runners and spectators. Get yourself some bubbly and celebrate with friends and family. YOU DID IT! Also, PLASTC CHEESES CUPS are given to you FOR FREE! What a time to be alive. I also spotted some Mickey shaped donuts last race weekend, so don't forget to have credit card, ID, and/or magic band with you!
You can also take post-race photos with characters who were out before the race began. Sometimes these are the better photo ops because you can pose with your medals and the character interactions are so fun! More on that to follow!
4. FINISH LINE PHOTOS
These photo ops are often the most coveted of all the runDisney race photos. Disney Photopass cast members line up on either side of the finish line like paparazzi eager to get you that finish line portrait. Sometimes the runDisney gods are in your favor, and other times you run behind a large group and get short-changed. It's no one's fault really, everyone wants that epic finish line photo. My best advice is to pick a side early on, be aware of the crowd around you, and try to find a pocket of space that allows you to get out ahead of the crowd. This may require a short speed up, so save a little extra energy for the end! It's also easier for the announcer to mention your name when you're not apart of such a large group of runners. Break away from the crowd as best you can, but be thoughtful of personal space and others crossing the finish line.
I haven't mastered a certain finish line pose yet, but I will stay away from jumping at the finish line. I think it's always best to cross the finish line with a smile and play it safe! I would hate to come down and twist an ankle right at the end! One day I may actually look right at the photographer, but until then I will relish in the fact that my happiness is always very apparent!
Make sure to also look for certain characters at the finish line and don't be scared to go in for the high-five! If a great finish line photo is your #1 goal, then make sure you have your bib in clear sight and go in with a game plan! There are photopass photographers seen AFTER the finish line as well, and if your costume and/or exuberance is inspiring, they may even ask you to stop and pose for the runDisney website!
5. PARK HOP PICS
One of the coolest things about a runDisney race is the chance to run through the theme parks. The WDW Full Marathon allows you to run through ALL four WDW parks plus Blizzard Beach (new this year). These are often the most exciting moments of the races along with crossing the finish line. Some of my favorite photopass stops that should not be missed are in front of the castle, running through or down the castle walkway, running down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, and stopping for favorite character photos!
The most popular characters can be found before the races, and usually it costs standing in line for up to 30 minutes. Since you're waiting for the corrals to open anyways, this isn't a terrible option especially if you want a picture with a certain character or princess. I usually stretch and drink water while I'm in line, and it actually does make the time go by a bit faster. Characters usually have special costumes on depending on the race weekend, which makes them "rare" and worth the wait! If you miss them in the beginning before the race, they usually can be found in the same spots after the race with a shorter wait time.
Character photos are what really makes the races much more enjoyable and gives you a chance to rest and just enjoy. You are running through the happiest place on earth, so take it all in and experience as many of the fun options you are given! You'll never regret a photo with the main mouse himself!
7. FRIEND AND FAMILY PHOTOS
Another fun way to celebrate your race is with photos of friends and family before and after your run! Sometimes the pictures aren't as great so early in the morning when it's super dark out, but definitely make sure to get some "after" photos! Nothing says runDisney like sweaty hugs from your best pals. Make sure you chEARs to those new medals, you've done GOOD.
One of the best parts about runDisney races are the people you get to experience them with! I feel so honored to be apart of such a large community of such spirited and kind-hearted people. I've met so many fun and inspiring individuals through runDisney, and so many of the relationships continue to grow. Take as many pics with them as you can, they're the ones who deserve to be apart of your huge accomplishment!
8. EXPO FUN
Before any Disney race, there's a runDisney Health and Fitness Expo. You must go if you're a runner, because you have to pick up your bib at the Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports location in order to participate in the race(s). Before you pick up your bib, you'll want to head into the Arena first to purchase official runDisney merchandise! Head here for fun photo ops and character meet and greets as well. For princess weekend, they usually have Cinderella's carriage out where you can pose in front of it with her footmen. During WDW Marathon weekend, you could get free temporary tattoos of select Disney characters. Merchandise will be everyone's top priority aside from getting their race bibs. Get your merch, and then have fun checking out fun photo backdrops and vendors at the Visa Athletic Center.
Throughout the complex there are specific photo ops where you can hold up your bib and take pics. The Visa Athletic Center has plenty spots to hoist your bib and commemorate the weekend with more merchandise. Now is the time to carry around champagne and shop to and take pics to your hearts content. (This is also THE spot to get any kind of last minute costume item you may need!)
My favorite runDisney expo pic was with cardboard Dopey and his buckets of diamonds. Dopey Challengers lined up for almost an hour to get this photo op! 100% worth it, might I add.
Bib photos are also really easy and fun to take. Hold up your bib in front of the many runDisney backdrops. You'll find plenty to pose in front of, and each race/medal has it's own particular spot along the pathway leading up to The Field House (bib pick-up). Another fun option is to pose with your bib and drink of choice. Boomerangs are also a great option to do with your bib or during a celebratory Disney drink toast among friends! The photo limit does NOT exist.
9. Fun & Fancy Flatlays
A lot of my favorite and memorable photos are the pics I snap of my costumes prior to the race. These photos have become a runDisney tradition of mine, because I'm able to remember the nervous jitters, the anxious excitement, and the fun of running in costume.
A lot of runners do "flat" photos of the outfits they will be running in (gear, bib, and all), while others just take a pre-race selfie or mirror selfie. I've done both, but I'm a really big fan of laying out my costume the day before or the morning of, and snapping a pic for the gram. I've done flatlay sneak peaks, I've done flatlays 15 minutes prior to jumping on the race day bus, and this past WDW marathon weekend I took my first post-race flatlays with my medals and race shirts.
It's certainly a lot of fun to post these pics to your IG or FB story to let your friends and family know that you're getting ready for your big race! Trust me when I say that you'll get so many words of encouragement and praise! I also loooove seeing everyone's flatlays on Instagram! Make sure to tag #runDisney and use the race weekend hashtag so everyone can be inspired by your outfits!
If you're celebrating a special anniversary, birthday, or first visit in addition to the race weekend, get on Etsy and get crafty! I put together a "Princess Party Pack" for my family who ran with me during my birthday weekend (Princess Half Weekend) last year! Small and creative "thank you's" are a great way to celebrate your weekend with the people you love most. It's important to remember those special moments and small gifts with photos! Your friends and family definitely won't mind posing with you.
10. Celebratory Food, Drink, and Merch
My last but certainly not least option: pics celebrating your big race weekend. These are pics you have a friend or family member take so you can enjoy your food, drink, or merch while holding up your medal or just enjoying your big accomplishment. I currently have 6,000 photos on my phone, and I can tell you about 4,500 of them are runDisney photos. LOL. I just love having those moments to look back on, what can I say? A good way to end the weekend is by getting a pic with your favorite Disney World food, drink, or both! End the weekend on a sweet note, and get yourself a Dole Whip or Churro (Mickey bars are up there on the list as well, just a tad too messy for pics).
Don't forget to pick up an "I'm Celebrating" Button at Guest Relations and various spots around the resorts or parks. You have a lot to celebrate, and no runDisney weekend should go un-celebrated! These buttons are free, and a cast member can help you write what you want on your button.
Also, get yourself a damn Mickey Balloon. They're actually the cutest for photos and well worth the $12. Plus, it's super fun to hand them off to a kiddo once you're done taking your pics.
And if you're SUPER into photography like I am, then you'll want to have some professional pics taken! My cousin Carrie and I did a photoshoot in Magic Kingdom for my birthday during Princess Half Weekend in 2018. It was so much fun, and you'll have those memories to hold onto forever. Celebrate big, my friends.
I can't wait to see all your runDisney achievements! Please tag me in a post if you used this blog for taking the perfect race, and race weekend pics! Follow me over at @fitfabdisney on Instagram for more runDisney fun! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!
See ya real soon!
Welcome back, friends! I'm so excited to share some of my favorite tips for helping you become a runDisney expert!
I recently reached out via my Instagram story (@fitfabdisney) to ask my followers which questions they'd like to see answered in this blog post. I figured instead of listing my answers, I'll combine them all into one easy-to-read article. Hopefully my various tips and tricks will allow even the biggest runDisney novice to reach out and run their happily ever after. Shall we begin?
What to Know Before You Go
Before you head off to WDW for your runDisney race, it's important to make a list of all you want to accomplish while you're on your racecation. This is crucial because it will determine where you stay, your number of park tickets, and your ultimate agenda. If you are totally new to runDisney, then you'll need to know registration dates, expo dates/hours, race weekends, race themes, training plans, spectator info, and additional park happenings for the weekend you'll be attending your first runDisney race(s).
What I Wish I Knew
There are three specific things I wish I knew before my first runDisney half marathon weekend.
I'm Injured, Should I still Sign Up?
Unfortunately, injuries can prevent us from living out our dreams to the fullest. All injuries are subjective to the individual athlete, but if you or your doctor are questioning the runDisney race, then perhaps its best to attempt a local race first. This gives you a chance to start small and see how your injury handles a simulation effort. Also, smaller and more convenient races are often less expensive (no refunds for a runDisney race), and provide good insight into how you may fare during a bigger race. If your injury is manageable and you can do physical therapy, then by all means give it a go. Above all, listen to your body and follow your training plan. I follow Jeff Galloway's runDisney training plans (available for free on the runDisney website), and he advocates a unique run, walk, run method to prevent injuries from happening. Most runners run into (no pun intended) a few hiccups here and there, but as long as you stay the course and DO NOT overtrain, you should be able to complete your runDisney race to the best of your abilities.
Post Race Recovery
One of the questions I get asked the most is "how do I recover after my race?" My top tips after any run are to stretch, foam roll, ice (if necessary), and elevate your feet. If you're doing multiple days of running back to back, then I highly suggest an epsom salt bath or a custom massage. Your body needs proper rest and recovery in order to perform at its best. I also suggest recovery items such as compression socks, oofos shoes, CBD balm, and electrolyte drinks. Make sure you are carrying water with you throughout the day, and that you're staying hydrated on the course. You'll also want to be mindful of what you eat, and try not to overdo it with how much active time you spend in the parks, especially if you're doing more than one race. If you're accustomed to taking a bath before or after a run, then I suggest making sure the resort you're staying at has the amenities you need. I was wrong to assume my room at Animal Kingdom Lodge had a bathtub, and upon arrival I was slightly upset at the sight of a rain head shower (under no other circumstances would that have been upsetting). If you're someone who knows they will need an icebath, then check with your resort to make sure your room is accomodating for your needs. It never hurts to ask. If you have a post-race recovery routine already in place, do what it takes to make that recovery time happen. Disney World will still be there after you rest up and take the proper steps to ensure your safety and wellbeing! If you're visiting the parks each day, then definitely make sure to book earlier fastpass times and get to bed early!
First Time Dopey
Yes, it's possible to run your first marathon as part of the Dopey Challenge. I wouldn't change my experience for the world, BUT I do think it's better to have the marathon be your first and ONLY race for a first time marathoner. My personal reason for this is because I'm a girl who loves spending time in the parks. I arrived to WDW two days before the races began and my feet were already tired because I love the hustle and bustle of a full park day. To me, that is when I get the most out of the Disney magic. Time spent in the parks is the absolute best. I would've loved to have stressed less and enjoyed more time riding rides, eating treats, and watching fireworks over sitting on multiple park benches, drinking water, and heading to bed at 8 PM. Doing Dopey is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever do...but it comes at a price. Know what you're in for, and just own it. Dopey is amazing because it is a culmination of your hard work over several months. If you're all in, be all in. Don't skimp on training, and plan your trip accordingly. If I could change one major thing, I would tack on a day or two after the races to just enjoy the parks without the worry of the impending marathon weighing on my mind. Again, I will never regret doing Dopey. I had the best experience I could possibly have. I just felt that I had to share my first marathon experience among the other races. I hope that makes sense, and I know you'll choose the race and/or races that best suit you!
Odds and Ends
Here's the section where I'm just going to answer some of the questions I have not yet touched on!
Until next time, xx
Hi, again! I know it's well past due, but I've finally pieced together this long awaited Naples Blog post! As many of you know, I was lucky enough to visit Naples for the 5th or 6th time (I've already lost count) in early August. Steve and I absolutely love it there because of the beautiful beaches, calm waters, sophisticated restaurants, and amazing architecture. We typically go during the summer because the days are hot, the nights are cool, and the crowds are minimal. We stayed for four nights at Inn on Fifth, which sits only seven blocks from the beach, and is positioned on the most bustling avenue in all of Naples. We love staying at Inn on Fifth because we are in the center of restaurant row, and only a ten minute walk from the sugar-like white sand beaches. I also enjoy the beautiful rooftop pool, and amazing views of Fifth Avenue when staying in one of their luxury suites.
Honestly most of our days spent in Naples consist of walking to the beach, walking around downtown, and eating our way around this beautiful little city. Steve and I always look so forward to heading out to dinner each night, because the culinary scene hosts some of the best restaurants in the country. Attached to Inn on Fifth is Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crabhouse, as well as Ocean Prime. Both restaurants serve impeccable seafood with unique cocktails and drool-worthy appetizers.
Truluck's always came so highly recommended as one of the best restaurants in Naples. Although it's a tad on the pricier side, you can't beat the outstanding service and meal delicious options. Steve ordered the crab cocktail for starters, and I always opt for a cup of Lobster Bisque. Both we're ridiculously good, and a good size portion for a pre-meal meal to go along with our wine and pretzel bread. For dinner, I ordered the sweet and spicy Dutch yellowtail served with crab, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, and rice pilaf. The entire dinner was delectable and the fish was outstanding. If you are visiting Naples during a busier season, you should most definitely book a reservation.
Ocean Prime may just be our favorite restaurant of them all. We love the modernized club-like seating with large windows to see out onto Fifth Ave. The service is always amazing and so attentive. Steve and I always splurge on fancy cocktails here, and some of our favorites are the Berries and Bubbles, Black Orchid, and Black and Blue Mojito. Their sushi rolls are always so fresh and unique, and their main course items are always so hard to choose from! The Ahi Tuna still stands as my absolute favorite.
Other outstanding dinner spots include USS Nemo, The French, Bleu Province, and Chops City Grille. To put it simply, you just can't go wrong. There's something for everyone!
For brunch bites, Steve and I love Captain and Krewe for their amazing seafood sandwiches and side dishes. We also frequent the Cafe for a healthy breakfast/brunch, and their next-door neighbor Delicious Raw Juice Bar. Hob Knob is also a great place to visit during Happy Hour or to share appetizers before dinner. I have also been known to journey to the hotel rooftop and order myself a drink poolside. Aside from one spring break spent in Mexico, this is the only time I'll allow myself to have Miami Vices and/or Pina Coladas. No regrets.
Another great little insta-famous spot we visited (more inland) was called the Hampton Social. If you don't get a picture in front of the "rose all day" wall, then were you even there? I sipped on some $4 specialty drink (due to the restaurants anniversary), and ordered deviled eggs and fancy avocado toast. I felt #basic and #blessed. I'm so glad Steve allows phones and photos at the table. ;)
Aside from all the amazing food we ate within a short period of time, our stay was incredible due to the low key crowds and heavenly beach days. When it's not randomly raining (lol, Florida), we spend a majority of our time walking along the beach in search of shells and friendly dolphins.
No matter what time of day, you'll find the beaches to be quite breathtaking. Steve and I are always saying how underrated Naples is. Beyond walking the beaches and taking a stroll down Naples Pier, there are plenty of shops, golf courses, and swamp lands to explore. I should also mention that Naples has some of the most beautiful and luxurious homes I've ever laid eyes on. It isn't everyday you get to dine at Oprah's former chef's restaurant or saunter through one of the wealthiest areas in the United States.
If you're looking for fun activities, you can rent kayaks, go bird-watching, visit the Naples Zoo, take a day trip to Sanibel Island, or even head to the Everglades. I think it is safe to say that this quaint little city has stolen away our hearts with it's unique ability to charm us in more ways than one. Rain or shine, it is always peaceful, pleasant, and relaxing. We are always able to find summer solace in this fun and prosperous city off the Gulf of Mexico. I hope you get a chance to explore it in the near future! I can't wait until our next trip to Naples.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy all the "foodie" photos! As always - much love!
Hi, guys! I'm so excited to finally be sharing a blog post about some of my favorite Walt Disney World snacks, drinks, and where to find them!
Before I dive in, here's a fun fact for y'all: Walt Disney World is approximately the size of San Francisco, (double the size of Manhattan!) and home to 4 theme parks with plenty of room for expansion! I would absolutely LOVE the chance to try every snack on Disney property, but there's just no way! Also, I don't think my jeans would allow it. :)
For the past few years, I've been visiting Walt Disney World during the winter and summer months. I've been lucky enough to try a lot of their famous festival treats along with fan-favorites that stay in the parks year round! Since becoming a personal trainer and learning more and more about nutrition, I can say that Disney is 100% my go-to place to indulge! (If you'd like me to do a separate blog post about allergy friendly foods at Disney, please let me know in the comments below or on IG!) Many of the snacks and drinks I'll be mentioning are currently still at the parks, resorts, and/or Disney Springs location. I'll be sure to give you the proper details on each, so that you may too try some of my favorite WDW snacks & drinks! Let's begin now, shall we?
This iconic breakfast item can be found at several locations on Disney Property! My favorite places to get Mickey Waffles include Ohana (located at the Polynesian Resort), The Grand Floridian Cafe (located at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa), and at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments (located in Magic Kingdom).
Each of these dining sites have their own delicious spin on this breakfast must-have! Ohana serves up a family-style breakfast buffet where you can pose for pictures alongside Lilo and Stitch, while chowing down on miniature sized Mickey Waffles.
The Grand Floridian Cafe is a casual sit down breakfast with Victorian charm and plenty of side options for your Mickey Waffles. My favorite is when I order from the children's menu, (I'm sure you're all surprised at that one) and they ask if I'd like my waffles served with a side of sprinkles. Um, does Winnie the Pooh love honey? SERVE ME UP SOME SPRINKLES. But seriously, even if you're not celebrating anything, the tiny Mickey-shaped confetti sprinkles are totally worth the extra cals.
Last but not least, I love ordering the GIANT Mickey Waffle from Sleepy Hollow Refreshments located in Magic Kingdom. This little quick-service restaurant is right around the corner from Cinderella's Castle and has plenty of sweet and savory options. The giant Mickey waffle can be served with powdered sugar or whipped cream and strawberries. My advice would be to skip the whipped cream and strawberries, and just opt for the powdered sugar. Hot park days and whipped cream don't mix well together...you've been warned!
One of my favorite non-alcoholic refreshments at Magic Kingdom is LeFou's Brew. I'm definitely partial to the frozen drinks, especially when the park gets crowded and hot in the early afternoon. You can find this tasty drink at Gaston's Tavern located in Fantasyland. Besides using antlers in all of his decorating, Gaston can also serve up some pretty yummy snacks. This one in particular is frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, AND topped off with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. Do yourself a favor and try one, but nix the souvenir cup unless you want to spend $13. *insert shrug emoji*
The Pongu Lumpia is one of my favorite Disney snacks to order at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Located at the popular refreshment stand, Pongu Pongu in Pandora, these decadent little spring rolls are filled with pineapple and cream cheese. It's a weird combination initially, but the flakiness of the spring roll and the sweetness of the pineapple really go quite well together. This snack is not overly popular amongst Pandora explorers, but they're worth giving your tastebuds a shot! (They'll also hold you over for when you're waiting in line for Flight of Passage.)
Jack-Jack's num num cookie
Let me just say how INCREDIBLY hard it is to stay away from a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie!! Jack-Jack's Num Num Cookies made their debut at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios not too long ago, and they are delicious! Disneyland was the first to showcase this mega cookie when Pixar Pier opened last summer, and us East Coasters were definitely jealous. Along with new Incredible theming, Disney's guests can now delight in other snacks like this one at the Neighborhood Bakery (located at Pixar Place in Hollywood Studios). This snack is the perfect size to share with a friend and is always served warm!
Cool-Headed monkey and hovito mojito
If there ever was a time to splurge on souvenir cups, Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar drinks would be your best investment! I personally love all of the theming that goes into every restaurant at Disney Springs. No matter what you're in the mood for, Disney has a way of flawlessly transporting it's guests from one adventure to another. Jock Lindsey's is considered a "dive bar", and is set inside an airplane hangar from the 1940's. There are many appetizers and alcoholic drinks available for the 21 and older crowd. Those who are fans of Indiana Jones will love the theming and the exotic signature drinks! The Cool-Headed Monkey was my favorite - it includes the souvenir mug and is a mixture of rum, tangerine liqueur, fresh lime juice, watermelon, and pineapple juice. As for the Hovito Mojito, Steve gave this one two thumbs up...plus the glass is a totally fun souvenir! We also tried the Snakebite Sliders and the Nang Tao Spicy Popcorn Chicken while we sipped on our drinks. It's the perfect stop pre-dinner reservation for fun drinks and an adventurous atmosphere on the water. (Located at The Landing in Disney Springs).
Walt Disney World did it right when they adopted Disneyland's New Orlean's Square Mickey-shaped beignets. Originally only found at the Mint Julep Bar in Disneyland Park, these doughy beauties recently made their way over to Walt Disney World's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. Aside from the French Quarter being one of the best WDW resorts to stay at, they now host this famous treat in either three or six piece portions (with dipping sauce options). You can find these sugar powdered breakfast treats over at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. Be sure to bring your appetite!
Joffrey's Shakin' Jamaican Cold Brew Coffee
If you've never tried Joffrey's Coffee...you've never truly lived. I'm a millennial and of course I love Starbucks, but Joffrey's always offers refreshing twists to their coffee drinks besides offering amazing smoothies and all-natural tea. This drink in particular can be served with or without alcohol, and boasts hints of vanilla AND caramel. Joffrey's is the official specialty coffee of Disney, and can be found in every Disney theme park, resort, and three different locations at Disney Springs. My favorite Instagram-worthy drink of theirs, is the latte topped off with character art of either Mickey or Minnie Mouse! (Not available at every Joffrey's location)
One of my favorite stops along the World Showcase is Japan. During my last visit to WDW this past February, I HAD to try the Instagram famous Sushi Donut located at Takumi Table in the World Showcase Pavilion at Epcot. This donut shaped fan food had me wanting more, but that also could've been the alcohol from previously visited countries (hehe). This item featured salmon, tuna, shrimp, avocado, and masago with wasabi on the side. The price wasn't too bad either, and the sushi was 100% fresh. Make sure to always stop by Epcot during one of their many festivals for special food, drink, and fun activities! I'm hoping to make it to the Food and Wine Festival this year in November!
Mickey-Shaped Rice Krispy Treats
Just like our favorite Mickey Waffles, Mickey-shaped rice Krispy treats can be found all over Disney property! (You can even watch them being made at Disney's Candy Cauldron in Disney Springs.) These mouthwatering goodies come in all different flavors, but my personal favorites are the ones dipped in M&M's with milk or dark chocolate drizzle! Two other locations house many of these treats including The Confectionary on Main Street, USA and Big Top Souvenirs in Fantasyland (both in Magic Kingdom). This dessert is well worth it, and in the case of Mickey-shaped rice krispy treats, character-inspired candy apples, and churro flavored popcorn, it's best to just "treat yo'self". Your diet can start tomorrow.
Citrus Swirl Orange Float
The slightly less hyped younger brother to the famous Disney Dole Whip Float: the Orange Citrus Swirl. This drink/ice cream duo is perfect for fans of vanilla soft serve and orange soda alike. I was probably in college the last time I had orange soda, but that heavenly sweet bubble taste came rushing right back to me after taking one sip. The sweet vanilla and citrus flavors are a great pairing, and the lines are usually much shorter than that of Aloha Isle (House of Dole Whips, lol). You can find this citrus swirl float at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. It costs $5.29, but the sugar coma is FO FREE.
Cheshire Cat Tail
Located at the Cheshire Cafe in Fantasyland, these tasty tails pair well with a cold brew coffee for the perfect morning treat. Many bloggers and youtubers have deemed this pastry as one of the best snacks in all of Magic Kingdom! If you're a fan of chocolate chips, creamy filling, colored frosting, and a flaky crust, then you need to make a stop at this counter service window located near the teacups.
Andalusian Nights cocktail
If you're drinking around the world at Epcot, make sure to try the Andalusian Nights Cocktail located at the Morocco Pavilion. This drink includes apricot brandy, rum, orange juice, and pina colada for a strong yet sweet taste. Morocco is one of my favorite countries at the World Showcase, because it has so many fun photo spots and so many unique flavors of food and drink. The next cocktail on my list to try is called the Cyprus Sun, but I've also heard the Tangier's Breeze is amazing. (This drink in particular can be found at the walk up bar in Spice Road Table.)
Cheeseburger Spring Rolls
These housemade Spring Rolls located in Adventureland, are the perfect mid-day snack. The Spring Roll cart is very unassuming, but it serves up specialty roll flavors like Bacon Macaroni, Philly Cheesesteak, and Buffalo Chicken. The cheeseburger spring rolls are definitely numero uno on my list, but I'm sure the other players are just as yummy. Be sure to hit up this food cart before heading to Pirates, and maybe you'll even catch Captain Jack Sparrow stumbling by.
Sprinkles Ice Cream
It's no surprise I'm a HUGE ice cream fan, and Sprinkles (located at Disney Springs) offers some incredible flavors and plenty of allergy-friendly options. Sprinkles sundaes can also be topped with their famous cupcakes, or be delivered to you posthaste via a real-life cupcake ATM. My personal favorite item to order is two scoops in a waffle cone. Shown above is their cap'n crunch flavor, which was SO GOOD YOU GUYS. Make sure to leave plenty of room after dinner, because this dessert stop deserves your full attention.
Millennial pink minnie ears champagne
The drink's official name is Millennial Pink Celebration Toast, and it's rather adorable if I do say so myself. My mom surprised me with one at the Health and Fitness Expo during Princess Half Marathon Weekend, and it was just too precious! I'm normally not one for champagne, but if you top it off with sparkly pink white chocolate, I just might have a change of heart. It is currently available at Amorette's Patisserie in Disney Springs along with other drinks, pastries, cakes, and macaroons that are simply TO DIE FOR. I could go on, but my mouth is watering.
Well, folks, that concludes my blog post for this evening. I definitely have more favorite snack and drink items that I'd love to share, so keep an eye out for a similar post soon! Give me a like on IG and a comment if you'd like to hear more. :) As always, thank you for reading and following my adventures @fitfabdisney on IG.
Princess Half Marathon Weekend is officially over, but I'm still LIVING for all things #runDisney.
Princess Half Marathon Weekend is quite the royal event filled with heavily themed merch, sparkly tutus, and so many beautiful princesses. This year Princess Weekend seemed extra popular with the races boasting more than 20,000 runners. A half marathon bib cost each runner $199 entrance fee, which means Disney raked in almost 4 million from just ONE of their Princess races. And to anyone who is new here, participation in a runDisney race does NOT include Theme Park tickets. For a three day park hopper pass, I spent $426 on myself ALONE. Ultimately, it costs a pretty penny to curtsy your way across the finish line, but you'll never find a more magical race on earth.
This year was my second time participating in the Fairy Tale Challenge. The Fairy Tale Challenge, which used to be named The Glass Slipper Challenge, hosts a 10k on Saturday and a Half Marathon on Sunday. Runners who participate in this Challenge receive a medal for each race and an additional medal for completing the Challenge.
Avid runDisney fans wait patiently each year for the medal photos to be released and this year there was quite the uproar. Princess Elena of Avalor graced the front of the 5k medal, and many of us were confused. Don't get me wrong, every princess deserves a shot at runDisney glory, but how many of us are watching Elena on Disney Junior in our spare time? After having Rapunzel on the 5k medal last year, I think we were all just a tad underwhelmed.
The other medals are definitely more beautiful in person, and the merchandise at the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo proved to make up for the bling. Many princesses went early to the Expo and grabbed a fistful of the limited edition runDisney Princess Spirit Jerseys. Luckily, I showed up to the Expo later in the afternoon and didn't have to wait in line like I had the previous year. I definitely took my time wandering the floor and seeing all there was to offer, but ultimately I passed on any new princess merch. My favorite items were the tumblers, pins, and the long sleeve "I run for Dole Whips" shirts. In my opinion, Disney could've performed better on the apparel this year, but that just means that next year is going to be the best designs ever right?! I'm not salty, just sayin'.
This past race weekend provided us runners with record setting heat and plenty of early morning humidity. Luckily, Disney has each race begin at 5:30 AM and does a good job moving the corrals along at a decent speed. We were warned via email of a heat advisory and to be cautious if trying to get a PR for any of the races. I know one of the hardest things to do during a day at the Disney parks is to stay hydrated. I advise anyone who plans on park hopping during race days to stock your hotel refrigerator full of water bottles, and to carry one with you into the parks at all times. Starbucks gives out free water at each location, and there are snack carts around every corner if you want to pay for an ice cold bottle.
Each race was incredibly fun, and I cannot express how much more enjoyable the runs are when you're with friends and/or family. I ran the 5k with 7 of my family members, and it was so much fun posing for pictures and celebrating at the end. If you're planning on participating in the races as a group, I highly advise doing a group outfit and signing up for the race at the same time. It helped that all of us were on the same page as far as pacing goes, and we even got to cross the finish line together! This race made for some of the best memories, and I enjoyed every minute of that fun run!
Next up was the 10k, and it was just as muggy as I remember it to be the previous year. I kept my pace light for this run, because I knew the next day would be the true test of strength. My favorite part about this run was the course. We ran around World Showcase and then along the beautiful boardwalk which is home to some of Disney's most luxurious resorts. It was at this point in the run where the sun started to come up and I could feel a faint breeze off the water. It was so spectacular to run on such a gorgeous morning, that I almost forgot how gross and sweaty I was! Luckily, I had Gus Gus with me to dab away any sweat off my brow. ;)
Sunday came around too fast, and with only 4 hours of sleep under my flipbelt, I was nervous as anyone to tackle the upcoming 13.1 miles. My goals were simple: Beat my previous half marathon time and run diligently while the sun was still down. I managed to achieve both my goals, and I was so proud of myself...and still am! I was off my normal eating schedule for the few days leading up to the race, because Disney calories don't count. ;) I tried as hard as I could to focus on hydration and to stay moving no matter what! I knew that if I stopped and walked or stood too long, my legs would seize up and it would only make my muscle soreness worse. I pressed on with urgency and enjoyed every second of that run. It helps to continuously talk to yourself and be your number one cheerleader, even when the odds are stacked up against you.
It's really hard to put into words the feeling you get once you run through Magic Kingdom. Main Street becomes alive with spectators and fans of princesses both young and old. Music plays in the background as Tinkerbell sprinkles her pixie dust on Cinderella's Castle. It's truly what makes fans of Disney keep running back to the same race year after year.
For anyone who is eager to try a runDisney race or the Princess Half Marathon in particular, I advise you to just try your best, have fun, and soak in every magical moment. There are character stops, castle photo ops, post-race coffee and beer trucks, amazing DJ's, and plenty of chEAR squad members to keep any princess on her feet. You almost forget that you're running, because you're enjoying the atmosphere so much! It's an incredibly hard challenge, especially if you're not used to training in Florida heat, but the quality of the race and the excitement of the runners is worth being bibbidi bobbidi broke! LOL. And those medals, despite maybe not being my favorite designs this year, are incredibly beautiful and high quality. You can't help but show them off! Having said all of that, I think I'll be back for more sooner than later... :)
I cannot believe it's already 2019! Another year has flown by, but I'm super excited about what's to come.
In less than two months I'll be headed back to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! I'll be running with thousands of princesses through the castle and around Epcot for an enchanting 22.4 miles. PLUS, it's my birthday weekend!! :)
So since the runDisney Marathon Weekend and Princess races are almost upon us, I wanted to reach out to my followers on Instagram and answer any runDisney questions they may have!
Question #1: Is there a special training plan when you are participating in more than one race? And how important is nutrition during the training?
Yes! runDisney offers runners the chance to take on multiple miles (meaning more than one race) during each event weekend. I have only ever run the Fairy Tale Challenge, which is the Enchanted 10k and Princess Half Marathon back to back in the same weekend. Every runDisney event hosts a unique challenge, and some are quite difficult. The biggest challenge is during Marathon Weekend where runners have the option to participate in the Dopey Challenge - a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon on consecutive days. runDisney provides FREE training programs for all of it's races and challenges on it's website www.rundisney.com. I have trained using Jeff Galloway's programs for every runDisney race with huge success. No matter what race or challenge you decide on, following a training program focused on the mileage you'll be running is key!!
Part II: Nutrition plays a huge factor during your training! I'm still learning what works best for my body, but following a nutrition plan and/or speaking with a nutritionist can make a world of difference. This year I've trained smarter by following a plan that works best for me, and so far I've been seeing amazing results. My running time has improved, my joints are less inflamed, AND I'm less bloated! Hydration is also super important. (Future blog posts will cover this topic more in depth.)
Question #2: What is the biggest struggle when doing a runDisney run?
The biggest struggle for me personally, was getting the proper amount of rest. I typically spend every day in the Disney parks after completing each race, therefore not allowing much time off of my feet. I would recommend taking breaks throughout the day to relax and also staying out of the sun as much as possible. It can also be hard to stay hydrated all day, so you'll need to really pay attention to your body. The actual run itself is so magical, and so much fun if you train properly. Also, don't skimp on the training. ;)
Question #3: How do you get to the race?
If you're staying at a hotel or resort that's located on Disney property, Disney will provide all your transportation needs to and from each and every race! Buses tend to arrive at each resort around 3:30 AM, and lines form rather quickly. Resorts with monorails provide transportation for the half and full marathons only. Buses are easy to locate after the races, and generally pick up groups of runners every 15-20 minutes. If you're staying off Disney property, it's best to drive and park super early, or I've heard Uber is also a viable option! The earlier you can arrive to the race, the better! Disney traffic can be nightmarish.
Question #4: What do you eat during the half marathon to keep you from your blood sugar, hunger, and energy from crashing?!
The morning of the race, I eat a bagel with peanut butter and a whole banana. (I'm no stranger to eating before endurance events.) I also make sure to drink at least one full bottle of water on the bus on the way to the race. During the race, I stop at every water and Powerade station. I believe last year Disney provided "energy jelly beans" along the course, but I packed Gatorade Energy Chews in my Flipbelt. I have also tried GU energy gels, but I prefer the taste and texture of the Gatorade Chews! After the race, I load up on Mickey Waffles. ;)
Question #5: How long should someone (new to running) prepare in advance for a race? How much should they be running as "practice"?
On the runDisney website, Jeff Galloway has training programs for Beginning Runners and Experienced Runners. Typically his 5k Training Program is 13 weeks with increased mileage every other week. I find running 3x a week to be very beneficial, with my long runs always falling on the weekends. I also highly recommend cross-training and allowing for rest days as needed.
Question #6: Do you prefer wearing pants or shorts during the race?
I prefer to run in capri leggings, but I also love 7/8 leggings. Shorts can sometimes ride up and create chafing, so just be cautious of that! I find it best to train in any outfit you think you might wear during the race. Test runs are always a must! I also usually pack a plan B outfit if the weather decides to be unpredictable.
Question #7: Is it worth the price?!
Unfortunately...YES. Disney races are known to be more expensive than most, but it's still a no brainer for me. I love being at Disney World. I love how easy everything is to get to. I love the magic, excitement, and spirit of the runners. I also love the weather and the race course. When it comes down to it...Disney does it best. The price for registration does not include your park tickets, but Disney does provide unbeatable service, constant transportation, and lots of freebies as far as food and drinks for the runners. They do such a great job putting the whole thing together, and the race merchandise is perfect for any Disney lover. AND THE BLING THO.
Question #8: What do you bring with you while you run?
I always carry my phone (fully charged), ear buds, extra hair ties, and energy chews. Depending on the length of the run, I'll also bring my flipbelt. For the runDisney races, you might also want to bring your magic band, chapstick, and any fun costume accessories. :)
Question #9: How do you recover from the race and still have time to explore Disney?
Honestly, I don't give myself mush downtime at all. I typically take it slow getting to the Disney parks around mid-morning/afternoon. I always shower, stretch, and sometimes ice and foam roll once I get back to my hotel room if time allows. Try to fit in as much as you can while you're there, but I definitely suggest wearing comfortable clothing and putting your feet up when you can. Early bedtimes are always a good idea as well. The races end early in the morning, so you'll have plenty of time to explore the parks...just make sure you're not overdoing it!
Question #10: What are your top 5 songs to get you pumped during running?
For runDisney races I always jam out to my "Run Like It's Midnight" Playlist on Spotify! There's no way I can pick just 5 songs, so my next post will cover all the beats you'll want on your running playlist! Obviously, expect to hear plenty of pop, throwbacks, and Disney classics. :)
Question #11: What are some of your favorite things to do during a runDisney weekend?
Thanks to all those who asked questions! I hope you find my answers helpful and encouraging! Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see another post like this again. Good luck to all those running soon!
Hi, everyone! It's been a minute...but I'm back!
As of yesterday, runDisney announced that guests will now be able to register for all runDisney races via their Disney accounts. Disney is hoping this will eliminate crazy wait times for registration while allowing their guests to register multiple participants at a time. *Drops active.com account like a poison apple*
Thanks to this update, us princess runners are forced to wait until August to register for the 2019 Princess Half Marathon. No big deal, but now my google calendar begs to be updated. If you're interested in learning more about registration updates, visit rundisney.com for more info!
In keeping with the runDisney theme, my post this week will focus on ten tips for running a successful runDisney race! I had so much fun writing this up, so I'll definitely be doing another "runDisney tips" blog in the future! I appreciate all thoughtful comments, and please remember that these are my own opinions when it comes to running Disney. As always, thanks for following along, and I hope you enjoy! (These tips are in no particular order.)
1. Be prepared
I had to start here because A. Scar said it best, and B. this is hugely important when it comes to running a race of any magnitude! A lot of my tips are about being prepared, but I figured I'd start with this general tip.
Races of all shapes and sizes have their high points and low points. It is important to know what you're getting into before signing up (yes, runDisney races are quite pricey and not easily refundable). You'll want to prepare your BODY first and foremost, however, you'll also need to prepare for weather, terrain, transportation, crowds, hotel rates, park passes, accessible food and drink, and so much more. I could write an entire post about preparing for a runDisney race, but I'll keep it short and sweet.
The best way to prepare for a runDisney race, is to take advantage of their FREE online training program. I have followed Jeff Galloway's training schedule both times I ran the Princess Half Marathon, aside from using his walk-run method. It requires only 3 weekly training days, and progressive longer runs on the weekends. Bottom line, you will need to prepare your body for a lot of mileage. Not only are you running a race, but you're at Walt Disney World walking, jumping, waiting in lines, and basically standing on your feet ALL DAY. These are the things you need to take into account, and plan out your days leading up to the race accordingly. (I'm thinking this may need to be an entirely separate post...stay tuned!)
2. Keep your diet familiar
This may sound silly to some, but knowing how your body handles heat, humidity, long days, short nights, fried foods, spicy foods, alcohol, and all that jazz... is MAJORLY important. Disney can run even the most excited toddler into the ground, so it is extremely important to know just how much your body can handle.
One of the biggest challenges for me when I stay at Disney, is creating a Disney diet. You'll want to try and recreate meals that you would eat while at home (if that's what works for you while you're training), or at least know what can potentially upset your stomach. For instance, if you're usually dairy free during training or year round, I wouldn't advise hitting up all the ice cream spots at the Disney parks (even though that's hella tempting.) Luckily for me, I was constantly using carbohydrates as fuel for my long runs during training. When it came time to eat on the morning of each race, I would eat a banana and a bagel. I would also down an entire bottle of water, because I knew my body would need it. This was around 3 AM in the morning, and even though my body wasn't adjusted to getting up and running that early, I needed that food to get me through each race. It's worth it to wake up a tad earlier to properly fuel your body. You'll learn during training what your body likes and dislikes during runs, so it's important to take that knowledge and transfer it to your race day. If you're not typically eating BLAZE pizza followed by a trip to Sprinkles Cupcakes before a 10 mile training run...then why on earth would you see how that turns out right before a huge race? Just saying.
Disney offers fridges in their hotel rooms, and even runDisney goodie bags to it's guests! When I stayed at Pop Century Resort in 2016, my friend and I were able to pick up FREE bags of bagels, fruit, peanut butter, and water from our hotel cafeteria. If you're on a budget, diet plan, or have certain food allergies, Disney goes above and beyond to make sure it's guests are happy and taken care of. Guests can bring food into the parks, and even make their own food in the hotel. It's very easy to make a sandwich at your resort if you'd rather save your money for cute merch. ;) Disney also now offers mobile dining pickup so you can avoid long lines at quick service restaurants. You should also never hesitate to ask a cast member for any assistance while dining on or off property. Every employee is so friendly and especially helpful to those running the races. Make sure to wear your medals during the day for royal applause and congratulatory high-fives.
3. Drink all the water
This may be my most important tip for you. If your hydration is lacking, you can suffer from dizziness, fatigue, and fainting. It's also not uncommon to suffer from mild headaches, confusion, and loss of appetite. Even the slightest bit of body water loss can impair cognitive function, which in turn can affect your performance during any athletic event.
I made sure to have water with me at all times of the day, everyday. This was especially important while at Disney, because my body wasn't adjusted to the heat and humidity. For every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, you should be drinking 8-10 ounces of water. While at Disney, I ran three races over the course of three days AND I walked all day long in sunny 80 degree weather. My body craved water, and I knew the difference between hunger and thirst. The last thing I wanted was to have my body cramp up and give out on me during my race days. I luckily never suffered any cramping, dehydration, or mental disruption. Your body and mind need water to survive and thrive properly. I would advise even the most hydrated individual to keep a large pack of waters in the hotel room at all times.
Disney also allows you to bring a water bottle in the park (as long as it's not glass), and any snacks you may need due to budgetary and/or food allergies/restrictions. Their counter service restaurants also offer free water for park goers. When I went to Magic Kingdom in mid August, the Starbucks on Main Street was passing out trays of free ice cold water to its guests. Disney never wants its guests unhappy, but it's up to you to keep your hydration in check. Cold Water and Powerade are conveniently provided along each race course. Make sure to grab a cup each time you pass a hydration station, and kindly move off to the side to drink so that walkers and runners may go about their race. :)
4. Leave the glass slippers at home
I know it's crucial to snap that perfect castle selfie, but it's also very crucial to wear comfortable clothing! I know when I'm running, or walking around Disney, one of my main concerns is keeping my feet from hurting. This tip also applies to outfits, because you need to wear something that's comfy, and won't cause irritation. I made the mistake of wearing thong sandals to Disney one year, and not only did they break, but I had ZERO support.
If you're running Disney, you'll need to almost only wear athletic shoes your entire stay. The only time I strayed from this was during a photoshoot where I changed into slip-on converse shoes. If you know a certain bra irritates your shoulders, or a pair of shorts rubs you the wrong way, for goodness sakes LEAVE THEM AT HOME. Honestly all you really need to wear in the parks are sneakers, running shorts, maybe a hat, and definitely a Zip-A-Dee Tee. Shameless #ad
While running, you'll most definitely want to dress up in costume! Your costume should be off-the-charts adorable but also super comfortable! Princess ball gowns and Chewbacca costumes may sound tempting, but I wouldn't advise wearing them. Stay the course and stick with your basic cottons, spandex, and polyesters for a smooth run. The beauty of a runDisney race is that mostly everyone is in some sort of Disney-inspired garb. This makes for some great race photos and plenty of fun memories. If you forget to bring an outfit, there are plenty of options at the runDisney expo.
To sum up, pack for comfort and bring multiple socks, sports bars, underwear, and all the running necessities. Train in the shoes you plan to run in, and test out as much of your costume as you can in the weeks leading up to the race. You can't go wrong wearing an outfit you're used to, but you also want to join in on the fun that's runDisney...dawning a decked out character costume! Just make sure you plan accordingly. ;)
5. Cross Train
When training for a runDisney race, it is very important to schedule your runs, but it's also very important to train in other areas of fitness. What you decide to do, should lead to the question of "how will this serve me"?
Cross-training is huge because it has shown to improve your cardio, muscle strength, and flexibility, as well as reduce injuries and increase overall performance. The only thing to be cautious of is how much training you're doing, and to ensure you're taking at least one day off to rest or actively recover.
Exercises such as swimming, yoga, interval runs, and strength training ALL demand different stresses on the body that will increase your structural fitness. During my training from October - February, I lifted weights, I did yoga, I foam rolled, I walked, I biked, and I ran. Was it easy to always fit a routine in? No. Did every training day go as planned? No. Training for anything is about listening to your body, and knowing what you need to do as an athlete to make your body physically capable for the main event. I found that integrating all of these methods of exercise benefitted me greatly because they challenged my body on all different levels. One of my favorite sayings is "nothing great comes from comfort zones". I learned to step out of what I'm used to and to give my body the opportunity to adjust to change. The results were amazing. Not only did I successfully complete a 5k, 10k, and Half marathon in three days, but I also finished those races without any pain. Ultimately, THAT right there is what made me the proudest.
I will tell you that it is easy to fall into the routine of running. I actually really enjoy it, because that's when I can let go of any stress. I get lost in my music and podcasts, and just go. While sticking to only running would've gotten me across the finish line, it was the addition of all the other fitness components that gave me the edge I didn't have during my first half marathon. If you're signing up just to run, then by all means RUN. If you're signing up because you want to push yourself, then get uncomfortable and challenge the way you train. This can be done for any runDisney race. The benefits of cross-training are immense if done properly. (I'm sure this will turn into a separate post as well! What do you think??)
6. Get yourself a ChEAR squad
Disney is great because they allow spectators to line up along the highways, resorts, finish line, and even Main Street USA. They also have runner tracking, so emails and text messages can be sent to spectators during the race. I'm so thankful some of my family members were there to cheer me on. I can't even express the amount of love that came from some of my closest friends and family, to mere acquaintances and strangers at Disney World. Trust me when I say that everyone at a runDisney race is rooting for you. Volunteers line up and down the course singing, dancing, waving, and cheering you on. Honestly, the moment when you enter Main Street is nothing short of magical. There's almost never a dry eye in the house.
Spectators really commit by getting to their chEAR spots early enough to see their favorite runner. If your family or friends are determined to see you run, then they have to make sure they give themselves plenty of time and know your ETA.
If you're running Disney alone, never fear. You'll meet so many fun and eclectic people throughout your stay at Disney. Hundreds of thousands of runners participate in runDisney races every year. No where else will you meet so many happy people to be awake at 4 AM standing in costume, eagerly awaiting a long distance run. I met up with old friends, I made new friends, and I had so many friends texting me cheering me on from home. No matter what your circumstance, a ChEAR squad is key.
7. Enter a Proof of Time
If you're a seasoned runner and know you'd like to aim for finishing under a specific time, you'll want to really consider entering a Proof of Time. You can do this by signing up for a race that's almost equivalent to the runDisney race you'll be participating in. It must be an officially timed race, and you must submit this time before a certain date. Since runDisney has updated their registration process, I'm sure there will be new policies regarding proof of time as well.
My first Princess Half was challenging because my friend and I started in one of the last corrals having not submitted a proof of time. This year I ran my first 10k in November, and submitted my time to runDisney. They then placed me in Corral A/C based on the time I entered and approximately how long it would take me to complete a half marathon.
If you plan on running with a friend, but his or her time has them placed in a slower corral, you can move back to them but they cannot move forward to your corral. This will obviously be up to you, but the further back you go, the more you will have to dodge and weave your way through the non-runners. If you're walking with a group, always make sure to stay to the side and walk one in front of the other. Large groups tend to bottleneck during certain miles spent on the narrow highway. As always, be courteous and aware of all those surrounding you.
I definitely found that entering a proof of time was very helpful. It also holds you accountable to sign up for another race and see what your pace will be like for the big day.
8. Stay on Disney Property
I can't stress this one enough. Every time I do Disney, I do it the "Disney way". By booking your trip through Disney, you can basically leave all worries behind. The only downside to staying at Disney, is the cost. Staying on Disney property can range anywhere from $100 a night to $800+ a night. If you're able to book a hotel room right after you register for your race, your chances of getting the room you want at the hotel you want will be much more likely. I waited too close to race weekend my last visit, and I almost had to pay upwards of $650 for one night alone on property. Generally, the hotels that go quickly are the value and moderate resorts. Disney's Art of Animation and Pop Century are close to the Disney's Wide World of Sports, where guests can quickly get to the runDisney health and fitness expo. Deluxe resorts are the priciest, but they do offer more in terms of transportation and dining.
Staying on Disney property is the ultimate game changer, because Disney has free transportation to all the race events for its guests staying at a Disney resort. I know some people who stayed off property and had to drive in and deal with parking, or use an uber. For me, I like to keep my race day anxiety at a minimum, so I find that using all that Disney has to offer one of the many advantages to running a successful Disney race. Disney organizes everything so well, and wants it's runners to feel like royalty. Treat yo'self. ;)
9. Link your Magic Band
Magic Bands are still somewhat new on the scene, but highly effective for a fun stay at Disney. When booking your trip, you automatically receive a magic band, personalized with your name on it if you're staying on Disney property (another perk.) Magic bands allow you to link a credit card that can be used for making purchases, unlocking your room, entering all the Disney parks, checking in for FastPass, and connecting Disney photopass to your account. You get to choose your color band, but they also have special edition colors in the Disney parks.
I wore mine everywhere, because I literally always needed it! It grants you access to almost everything Disney. After the race, there are vendors, character photo ops, and plenty more that require money or photopass access. Definitely keep your band close, and your bib number showing! Photopass will also link pictures to your account through the number and code on your bib. Remember, medal pics or it didn't happen.
10. HAVE FUN
The main reason I run Disney is because of the atmosphere. How can you not be happy while at the happiest place on earth?! I soaked up every moment, and was able to do so much within the short amount of time I was there. Try to be present, try to be patient, and try to be kind. runDisney races are host to some of the most magical memories, merchandise, and people. Don't take yourself too seriously, and if you're trying for a certain time, then train hard and follow an amazing nutrition plan and fitness routine! You'll see all types of runners and walkers, and that's the beauty of it all. More than anything, have a fun stay and make so many magical memories. I'd run EVERY single Disney race if my little legs and bank account would allow it! ;)
This concludes my ten tips for running Disney! I promise to do more posts like this in the future. :)
Hi, everyone! I wanted to share a fun and quick post today about what I bring to a weekend at Disney. This past trip was focused around my runDisney races, but I also had to make sure my makeup and outfits were on point during a photoshoot for my small business Zip-A-Dee Tees! All shops will be listed, so you can shop to your heart's content. As always, thank you for reading...and I hope you have a magical day!
1. My runDisney Princess Outfits!
As crazy as it sounds, your outfit for race day can make or break your run AND your photos! (If you don't post a pic at Disney, were you actually even there?) My inner costume nerd treated this weekend like a 2nd Halloween and I put.in.work. Finding the right outfit can be challenging, but that's why we have Etsy and many months leading up to the grand event. You'll want to make sure your outfit is comfortable, easy to move in, and free of any masks or long cape-ware. I have seen multiple runners wear wigs, floor length dresses, and hold various props for photo ops throughout the runDisney race courses. The craziest move I thought of making was to dye a stripe of my hair white to represent Anna from Frozen, but I quickly let that one go (see what I did there).
The first race was the Princess 5k which happened to fall on the day I turned 29! Since Rapunzel's story takes place on her birthday, I figured I'd represent the bubbly lost princess and go with a pink and purple theme! One of the more famous quotes from the movie Tangled is "BEST DAY EVER", so I found this amazing tank top from loopyhoot on Etsy! All of their Disney-inspired shirts are super cute and I got this one for free doing a shop swap! (When small business owners swap items at an even price.) This item is listed for $22 on Etsy.
My purple race skirt absolutely blew my mind! I ordered two skirts from Dottie For Running on Etsy, and her craftsmanship did NOT disappoint! Samantha (the owner) has a professional background in fashion and began running when her grandmother, nicknamed Dot, was battling cancer. I can't say enough good things about her shop and all her amazing designs. I received so many compliments and they were actually so easy to run in! I believe Samantha now has her own shop at www.dottieforrunning.com and you can find this skirt plus plenty of others for $69.
The Enchanted 10k was the next race where I dressed up as Snow Queen, Elsa. This outfit was interesting because I knew I wanted to wear a mesh long sleeve shirt but I didn't know what the weather situation would be when running this race. It turned out to be a humid morning, but despite having my braid turn into a giant knot, I had a blast in this outfit!
Here's the Elsa outfit breakdown (purchased over time, don't jude me):
Mesh Long Sleeve Leotard: Dancewear Solutions -- $39.95
Blue Elsa Inspired Skirt: Rock City Skirts -- $32.75
White Leggings: Athleta White Eclipse 7/8 Tights -- $89
White Sports Bra: Lululemon Energy Bra -- $52
Running Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 15 Road Running Shoes -- $150
I also purchased snowflake decals at Michael's and glued them onto my sleeves and up near my neckline. That's about as crafty as I got. By no means does your outfit need to match, but I luckily had all the components to create an amazing runDisney Elsa costume! And a huge thank you to Carrie for braiding my hair before we went to sleep. ;) I definitely wouldn't advise long sleeve outfits during the Half Marathon, unless you can take the shirt off and have a tank underneath. Disney donates any clothes tossed on the side of the road, so wear the zip-up if you're feeling a bit frozen in the beginning. :)
My Princess Half Marathon running costume was Belle! I initially wanted to wear her blue outfit, but I saw this perfect golden skirt and had to have it. Unfortunately, there weren't many athletic yellow tops to match the skirt, so I went with white instead and had my friend sew the gold ruffles on my tank!
Belle Outfit Breakdown:
White Tank Top: Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank -- $42
Guest of a Guest Princess Running Skirt: Dottie For Running -- $69
Black Cropped Leggings: TJMaxx -- $22
The gold ruffle fabric and rose pin were all under $10 and found at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Shoutout to Juliann for being a fabric genius and for completing the top half of my costume! A few words of wisdom: find friends who are equally as excited about Princess outfits as you are, and have amazing crafting skills when you need it most. :)
2. Beauty Must-Haves
Whether I'm running a race or not, these are just some beauty products I can't live without. I used many of the items listed below during The Princess Half Marathon weekend. I promise this won't be a terribly long list!
First and foremost, these are the items I get asked about regularly, and they're the ones I truly believe work. I wore most of these during my princess runs (yes, I wore makeup), and I also wore some during a photoshoot. I typically don't wear a lot of these on a day-to-day basis (besides the FRE products), so I know they will last me a long time. Here we go:
FRE Skincare has honestly blown my mind since I started using it this past November. Their unique 3-step routine has banished my terrible breakouts and I've had glowing skin like never before. I absolutely love that with every skin care set sold, they plant an Argan tree to help replenish the endangered Argan forest and support women who harvest Argan oil in Morocco. I've had the best experience becoming one of their brand ambassadors, and for the next 24 hours you can use my discount code TIUDEVONH and take 25% off your 1st 123FRE set. They are a brand I love, and will continue to use religiously. www.freskincare.com/products/skicare-set
If you're heading to Florida in January, I highly recommend getting your "glow" on! I went ahead and treated myself to a spray tan before Disney, but I typically use these guys if I'm headed out of town for a few days or have a special event I'm attending.
Clarins and St. Tropez are not your average bronzer contenders. If you want to see a quick color change that isn't streaky and isn't orange, then you need to try these! Clarins is a product you put on after a shower, and while it does go on a little sticky, it blends evenly and only smells a tiny bit. I've never noticed it on my sheets or clothing, plus it goes on and gives you that instant glow. St. Tropez is mousse is best used with a tanning mitt (sold separately), for a tan that lasts. I usually wear it for two hours before showering and the tan usually fades after a few days. It's easy to use, and you can see where the tan is applied to your skin. I highly recommend this one, I always receive compliments when I use it.
Tarte is a favorite beauty brand of mine, and finding their waterproof body bronzer was like hitting the jackpot. This one I use on a daily basis to give my complexion a nice glow, and it's fun to sweep along your jawline, collarbone and shoulders if you're headed for a night out. The picture doesn't do it justice, but this bronzer is huge and well worth the $.
My favorite beauty items that I normally don't carry with me unless I have an event I'm going to are the Naked 2 Palette by Urban Decay and the Contour Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. These two are the dream team of my makeup drawer. I am all about the warm copper tones, neutrals, and shimmery mattes that come in this eyeshadow palette. I've been using it for years and I've barely scratched the surface of it's obvious potential. I've never been a good makeup artist, so this amazing palette actually intimidates me. Thankfully Youtube tutorials are a thing and I've come a long way with using this amazing palette.
Anastasia Beverly Hills products give me life (and eyebrows), but this contour kit takes the cake. I'm not a fan of the cream contour kits because they typically cake to my skin, but this one goes on fast, smooth, and I don't feel like a clown when I'm wearing it. I may have swiped some contouring on before my races, because A. no one looks their best at 3 AM, and B. your girl is a damn princess.
Bare Minerals has been my skin's saving grace. Their complexion rescue gel goes on smoother than smooth and gives my face instant hydration. I tend to have very dry skin in the winter months, but this little tube gives me a bronze tint with a dewy finish. I have quite a few of their other beauty products that I am also in love with, but this one hits a home run every time. I wear this almost daily, because I prefer light coverage that doesn't take hours to apply. Do yourself a favor and buy this one if nothing else. Actually, buy them all, and thank me later.
Well that concludes a blog post I thought was going to be short and sweet! I hope I convinced all of you to dress up in tutus when you run, and to contour like Kimmy K if you want those race photo ops to be your friend. ;) Let me know if you purchase any of my faves that I listed, and I can't wait to blog more soon!
Welcome back to my blog full of fantasy, fun, and fitness! Today I thought I'd share with you how I pack for a runDisney race event. As most of you know, I'll be running in the 10th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon next weekend! I'll also be completing the Fairy Tale Challenge, which is a 10k on Saturday followed by the Half Marathon on Sunday. I'm obviously so excited that I started preparing early. Read on for a full list of items you should pack for your upcoming Disney trip/race. :)
I whipped up a document of the most necessary items, and which bag to put them in! The full list is below!
I pride myself as a planner, especially when it comes to Disney and fitness. I like to know what I'm doing, where I'm suppose to be, and I always always ALWAYS want to make the most out of my time!
Quite a few of the items I have listed in my carry on bag can be checked, but I find it calming to know that if the airline were to lose my checked bag, I could still manage to run a race even without my tiara.
I typically wear my bulkiest items during the flight, because that just leaves me more space for items in my checked bag. On the plane ride I will wear my running shoes (the ones I wear on race days), a sports bra, a t-shirt under a sweatshirt, leggings, GPS watch, and glasses. I also like to bring my most important beauty products in a small cosmetic bag inside my carry on bag. Sometimes I'll bring a protein bar to snack on, but I always make sure to drink a bottle of water before and during the flight. It's important to stay hydrated at all times.
My checked bag almost always houses my costumes/outfits. I know some people don't risk losing their race day wardrobe, but I've been to Disney enough times to know that there is no shortage of outfits there. At the Expo, there are vendors that sell literally all of the items I listed above. If you're looking to not spend a fortune, then come prepared and shop at your local Target or Bed Bath and Beyond for the essentials.
The things I typically pick up at the Expo are limited edition runDisney items and energy gels, (because I like to test out any new flavors). It is very important to make sure you have your ID, wallet, and magic band with you at all times. Having your race waiver printed will save you time at the Expo when receiving your bib. I also always wear a few hair ties on my wrist, and make sure to wear makeup with SPF in it just in case I forget to apply sunscreen right away. runDisney will give you plastic drawstring bags to use on race day for items you may want to leave in the tents while you run. While these are great, I also advise bringing some of your own drawstring bags or plastic baggies for food, wet clothing, and shoes.
The day you arrive at Disney will be exciting and chaotic. The best way to alleviate any stress and confusion is to plan ahead and keep the essentials with you at all times. Packing an extra tank top or wristlet in your carry on is also helpful if your room isn't ready once you arrive on Disney property. Most hotels can hold your baggage for you, but you'll want to make sure you have everything you need in your carry on if you decide to go to the parks, out to eat, or head to the expo. Also remember that there are lots of unique photo ops around each Disney Resort, as well as character meet and greets at the expo. You may want to pack those Mickey Ears in your carry on...just in case. ;)
Well, that's it for now, folks! I hope my packing list helped! My next blog post will go further in depth on some of my favorite products to use during Disney races and days in the Disney parks!