Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Disneyland Half Marathon Report, Pt. 1


For the last six years, I have returned to Anaheim for the bodily punishment known as the Disneyland Half Marathon. Each year, I have a goal in mind for the finish line, and this year was no different. Top of my list was to trim off the extra weight I had packed on since I moved here back in 1999. Now, 21 pounds later, I can finally say that my driver's license is truthful (except for the hair, which hasn't been brown in years). I also set a goal of crossing the finish line at 1:45, about 13 minutes better than last year's race which also happened to be my personal best.

It has also become an annual tradition to stay at the Disneyland Hotel for the race, as it is the closest location to both the start and finish lines. How many races can you roll out of bed and be steps away from 14,000+ runners?

I love the remodel; somehow, Disney has managed to update/upscale the hotel while still giving it a retro/fantasy feel.

The textures/colors at the check-in area are way cool.

Teacup seating is available for those waiting for their loved ones to finish the check-in process.

Whimsical seating for the tots to watch Disney cartoons:

This huge vintage map reproduction greets guests as they enter the hotel; animated lighting calls attention to various attractions, such as the Burning Cabin, Dumbo, and The Astro Jets. Even the elevator and pool from the original hotel are highlighted (see lower lefthand corner):

After checking in, we immediately went to the Expo to pick up our running Bibs and Commemorative Shirt. Photo opportunities abounded in this area:

Promoting Cars Land:

The design of this year's shirt was right up my alley. Simple, clean, and just the right amount of retro:

I had to have some carbs the day before the race, and Naples Restaurant in Downtown Disney was the perfect place to load up. The Gnocchi was out of this world!

Back to the Disneyland Hotel...now it was time to relax back in the room, located in The Adventure Tower:

In the lobby area of the Adventure Tower is a display featuring reproductions of the maquettes used as models for the Jungle Cruise:

Marc Davis' comic touch is evident in the faces of these apes.

Kudos to Disney again on the room remodels. Much better than the previous incarnation, these rooms are sleek with just enough nods to Mickey and the Disney magic without being obnoxious.

I bet they could sell these!

The room was spacious with a nice view of Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat.

A writing desk to compose all the postcards you'll want to send to friends and family:

In all of the room guidebooks and information folios, Walt's presence was front and center, with lots of cool and rare vintage photos of the park:

Turning early, I managed to get a great night of sleep before getting up at 4am for the race. Here's how it looked when it began at 5:45:

More to come tomorrow!

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stu29573 said...

I love the map. I can just glance to my left here in my office and see my framed example of the original. It hangs just under my framed 1970 Gulf oil lunar lander paper model (unbuilt, of course) and next to my framed X Antencio signed photo. That was has cheered me up many times!

stu29573 said...

That should have been "that wall has cheered me..." oh well!

K. Martinez said...

The Teacup seating is way cool!

K. Martinez said...

Just noticed the seating area also has a Mary Blair Small World quality to it.

Rich T. said...

I agree, those teacups chairs really are one of the best ideas ever. :)

Connie Moreno said...

Great pics, Dave!!

Sashanme said...

Love your photos!!