Sunday, September 11, 2011

Disneyland Half Marathon Trip Report, Pt. 2

Dough & I headed to the corrals at 5:15am; mercifully, the weather cooperated this year and the temperatures were fairly cool. I was very relieved!

The start of the race is really out of this world. If the loud, thumping music doesn't get you geared up, the fireworks, DJ, characters, and palpable adrenalin in the air should do it. If might want to check your pulse. Disney starts the race right on the dot every year, and thanks to being in Corral A for the first time, I had a good idea of how much time to subtract from the clocks shown at every mile.


I don't know where I was at this point, but I can tell I was having an "oh #$%^ am I going to make it" moment. Thanks to the music, dancers, and crowds along the route, it is much easier to stay focused and positive about the situation.

Running through the stadium is always a thrill; being able to see yourself on the huge TV there is a nice little boost at mile 9.

And the moment I had been training for...the finish line. My final chip time was 1:53.49; I'd finally achieved my goal! It was a real rush to see the clock and know that I'd made it (AND I got to hear my name being called over the loudspeaker as I crossed the finish line). Drew Carey beat me by about 3 minutes. If only I'd run a bit faster!

When it comes to race day bling, Disney also does a great job. Here, Dough & I show off the gold. He has run all 6 of the Disneyland Half Marathons.

Meanwhile, Walt & Dottie also completed the race; can you believe that this sweat-free photo was taken just moments after they triumphantly crossed the finish line?!?

I got cleaned up first and headed over to DCA to get some construction shots (no rest for the weary). Inside the new DCA entrance, there are plenty of concept renderings showing what next summer will look like when all gets unveiled.

You'll also see a number of new attraction posters:

Despite the temporary entrance through Condor Flats, Disney has done a great job of theming and special touches to make it very welcoming.

Even when you exit, you get the Disney message of top-notch service.

The Carthay Circle & Fountain continue to make progress:

More progress at Cars Land, the main area of interest in the billion-dollar DCA renovation:

While waiting for the rest of the gang to assemble for a celebratory lunch, the best spot to relax seemed to be this quiet park in New Orleans Square. The shade of the trees and the sound of the water fountain made this my new favorite spot at Disneyland.

Did I mention the smooth jazz playing nearby?

Noontime finally arrived and we all assembled for lunch at Club 33; where better to chow down after a Half Marathon? Stacy drove up from SD to join us.

A toast to victory and good friends; it just doesn't get better than this.

Mickey & Pluto made the rounds to each table:

Lunch was delish...

and the atmosphere and service were impeccable as usual:

It didn't take long for this Hidden Mickey to disappear:

After lunch, we waddled over to DCA and honed our artistic skills at the Animation Academy by drawing Winnie the Pooh:

The finished product:

Dottie loved the Toy Story Zoetrope nearby:

While waiting for our Tower of Terror fast pass to kick in, we savored the music (and air conditioning) of "Aladdin - The Musical":

Without hesitation, Dottie joined us on the Tower. It's her favorite ride at DCA!

So how do you finish the perfect weekend? With breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen, featuring Peanut Butter & Jelly Pizza! So much for all the weight I lost!

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Disneyland Club 33 photos on my Club 33 web page.


Connie Moreno said...

Absolutely LOVE the tree photos you took in NO Square! on Earth...HOW ON EARTH, did you get construction shots BEHIND the walls????? Awesome!

Gina said...

Congrats. on your 1/2 Marathon time... Thank you for sharing this with all of us, It looks like you had a wonderful time. :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Great job Dave! Howsabout a closeup photo of your medal?!? Nice posters over at DCA. Do you have a Club 33 membership? You seem to be able to go as often as you like!

Chiana_Chat said...

Awesome trip report Dave, I almost feel like I was there!

TokyoMagic! said...

Excellent photos as usual! I was wondering the same thing as did you get the over-the-wall shots of the Carthay Circle Theater and the fountain? I'm assuming the Carsland construction was shot from the elevated area outside the Blue Sky Cellar? I didn't know the Disney characters ever visited with guests at Club 33. Is that something new?

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Congrats on running the race and reaching your goal!

PsySocDisney said...

Oooh I know that Aladdin actor... he went to U of A with me and I used to watch his improv group every week. I knew he went on to the Hyperion but nice to finally see him in costume haha :)
Congrats on your half marathon, I am jealous!