Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Run Disney

Run Disney-

By Shelley Jones

With the recent Disney Marathon held Feb 24-26, 2012, I wanted to share my past experience of running my 1st race in WDW.

Let me start off saying I am not one that loves to run. It takes a lot of mental and physical effort on my part. Though the thought was planted for me when a friend, Shalon noticed that I started living a healthy lifestyle and I was losing weight. When my friend that is a local to being near Disney, kept suggesting it I kept say I am not a runner, but every time I gave it thought I was like what would it be like to do at least a 5k.

With those thoughts it leads me trying a local 5k. I realized I was not well prepared. I decided to see what it is I need to be more prepared for a 5k. If I was going to do this I had at least 6 months to get my mental and physical in shape since the next race would be the Disney Food & Wine Festival and of course the 5k was the Halloween 5k.

I found an app for my itouch called couch 25k. I started using it on the treadmill and I can say I did pretty well. I though started to realize that I needed to get outside since running on a treadmill to running outside is completely different.

Now with that process started I thought the only way I was going to commit to this was to register at the official website, Here you can see all upcoming races for the next year. The cost to run a 5k, half & full marathon is different.  The registration online is very simple. Also Disney has a few of the resorts that are considered to be the “host” resorts since they will provide transportation.

My family & I arrived in WDW 2 days before the race since we really did not know what to expect, we rented a car at the airport to help us with our transportation needs, but if you do plan to use the Disney transportation do know to allow extra time.

The day after our arrival was the day we had to go to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of sports complex. When you go make sure you have a photo ID, a print out of your waiver (if you do not, they had computers then and volunteers to help you retrieve your information. We walked the floor and got all kind of cool freebies and items we purchased.

The day of the race, since I was doing the 5k my race was to start at 7:00 am and it was in the Animal Kingdom.  I was to be there by 6:15 am. Since we drove we arrived by 5:50 am. I was so surprised how many people we already there and ready to race. There was an area to have a picture taken with Mickey & Minnie. Then by 6:45 they had every find there corral time. Since I felt I was not the strongest I went right before the strollers. Then right be the start fireworks started and then we were off.  I had my itouch going and off I went. It was an amazing experience to be in the park to just race, a lot of Cast Members were along the route to cheer you on and there were a lot of photo opportunities. As I close this out I will say that when I saw the finish line I was so surprised how easy it was and to see my family and friends at the finish line made it a great accomplishment and now it has planted a seed of possibly running a half marathon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Review of Disney Cruise Lines®

A Review of Disney Cruise Lines®
By: Monday Cleghorn

Before going on a Disney cruise, I was happy with cruising.  I guess I should rephrase that - I was satisfied with cruising. 
As a travel agent, I have sailed on several ships that are known for their “fun ship, party-type" atmosphere but nothing like the Disney cruise. Their level of service, attention to cleanliness and to detail far outweigh anything I have experienced anywhere. 
Since sailing on the Disney Dream inaugural cruise in January 2011, I have been on one more unnamed cruise ship as an escort for a tour group.  We had fun as a group but I can say without a doubt, there was no comparison.  Disney just does it right! Everything they do, they do right!

The food on a Disney ship is far better than what you will get on other cruise lines. The rooms are larger, MUCH cleaner and more comfortable than any I've ever stayed in.

                                                                 Disney Cruise Line®
The shows are some of the best you will ever see - comparable to a Broadway show. They’re shows are stunning!  To give you an idea of what caliber of actors you can see on the Disney ships, let me bring your attention to Jennifer Hudson. Hudson is a former cast member who regularly performed on the Disney Wonder before making her debut on American Idol. 

The public areas on Disney ships are immaculate! Cast members are always cleaning the ship.  Every turn you make you can see a Cast member taking great strides to make your experience pleasurable.  Beautiful, elegant, whimsical, entertaining, immaculate and breathtaking all describe the Disney ships. 

Disney also offers something called rotational dining, which allows you to rotate each night to a different restaurant. You aren't confined to the same restaurant, same table with pretty much the same menu each night.
I love this about Disney Cruise Lines® because it gives you the opportunity to try different foods and the other restaurants onboard. When you rotate to each new restaurant, your same wait staff goes with you and are there to take exceptional care of you. They learn your name the first night and call you by name each night after that. They learn your likes and dislikes to food and drink and if you have food allergies they will make sure that your menu is catered to fit your needs.  They are truly amazing!

There is so much to say about the restaurants onboard the Disney ships that it would take a whole new article just to describe what you have to look forward to.

There's no doubt that on a Disney cruise ship there will be lots of children, but no more than you will see on any other cruise ship. Many people think that a Disney cruise is only for kids, but a Disney cruise is for everyone. Sure they have characters on the ship, and kids clubs (the most amazing kids clubs you will ever experience and one club for each age group) but those can be avoided if desired. There are plenty of adult only areas, clubs, lounges and amazing quiet areas.

There are pools galore for adults only, kids only and for everyone. Not to mention the thrilling AquaDuck™ on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the first ever water coaster located on a cruise vessel! My point is, if you're there to spend time with kids and do things for kids, you can most definitely do so and have an amazing family experience, but if your there for romantic private time, trust me you’ll find romance spilling from almost every corner of the ship and also at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.  
Disney Cruise Line®

Castaway Cay is one of the most amazing private beaches you could ever experience. It’s a private beach located in the Bahamas, owned and operated by Disney.  Of course, Disney knows how to treat their guests and guests on Castaway Cay are treated with the same respect they would receive as if they were staying at a Disney resort.

Adults love Serenity Bay located on Castaway Cay.  Serenity Bay is an adult only beach for ages 18 and over.  Adults can enjoy a couples or single massage in a private massage cabana on Serenity Bay if booked in advance while on the ship. There are lots of activities on the island. One can snorkel with and feed the sting rays, charter a boat, parasail, rent bicycles, play volleyball, table tennis, pool, basketball, play at pelican’s plunge and so much more.  And don’t worry about getting hungry because your meals while on the island are included!
Someone recently said to me, "l will never go on a Disney cruise! They are too expensive!" But, my response to them was “if you ever DO go on a Disney Cruise, you’ll never want to go on any other cruise because the experience is far greater than you could ever imagine!”  A Disney cruise is worth every single penny spent!  There is nothing quite like it in the world! 

Yes, Disney cruises are a little more expensive than some of your "fun ship" cruises, but once you've experienced it, you'll understand why.  I'd rather pay a little more and have the most amazing experience possible on a cruise, than to pay less and just be satisfied.  My comparison of Disney Cruises to “fun ship” cruises is that of a cheap motel to the grandest luxury hotel in New York City without naming any names. Trust me when I say, you get what you pay for and why not pay just a little more and get the “luxury hotel” experience? 

So if you are looking for a romantic cruise - Disney is perfect!  If you're looking for a family, friendly cruise - Disney is perfect!  If it’s a group cruise that you’re interested in – Disney is perfect!  If you're looking for an array of activities to participate in on a ship - Disney is perfect!  If it's shopping, relaxing, dining, Broadway caliber shows, amazing kids clubs, dancing, watching first run movies in the Buena Vista Movie Theater, basking in the sun, enjoying private beach time on Disney's own private island Castaway Cay – then trust me from experience, Disney is the perfect fit for you!
Disney Cruise Line®

Magic of Mickey Travel
Turning Magic Into Memories!