Time for day 2 of the Dopey Challenge, the WDW 10k!
I was up and at ‘em by 2:45 again, had coffee and a peanut butter sandwich in the room before heading to the Aruba bus around 3:35am. I was on a bus by 3:41am and we made our way around the rest of Rivera and Caribbean Beach exiting after Trinidad around 3:55 and made it to Epcot by 4:10am. We had a really animated bus driver which was fun & everyone was still pretty pumped since it was day 2 of WDW Marathon Weekend!
I didn’t sleep very well because I was so full from Victoria and Albert’s (totally worth it) so I knew today was going to be another easy paced run and with all the rich food and wine in my gut I was nervous it might rear it’s ugly head during the race (again totally worth it). I was starting in B and the plan was to run this as a focused training run since the real goal this morning was to get to Hollywood Studios for rope drop to get Rise of Resistance virtual queue spots!
I didn’t have any bags, so I just headed through and met up with the running Ohana again. I love this group! I then headed to my corral a little earlier than usual, 4:40am, to try to get near the front. I hung out until the corral moved into place behind A at 5:05am where I continued to try to move up.
The announcers were once again fun to listen to, we heard another beautiful singing of the National Anthem, got some fireworks, and the race was off! I ended up right at the rope line of the 2nd wave of B which worked great. I basically had a clear path for the first 0.5 miles which was awesome and allowed me to set a nice pace from the start instead of usual shuffling, darting, and weaving.
I was feeling pretty good running but it was definitely warmer this morning and my pants, while cute & perfect for other scenarios, were pretty hot this morning. The first couple miles I tried to help keep myself cool by venting my pants at the top but eventually I got to a “homeostasis” of sorts and just got use to the swamp conditions.
We ran outside Epcot for the first few miles before entering Epcot between Norway and China. The race then took us around World Showcase and exited to Crescent Lake (Boardwalk/Beach/Yacht area) via International Gateway where we made the loop and entered the backstage area back at International Gateway.
Each mile I kept feeling a little bit better, the aim was to run around an 8:30 pace but each mile just kept feeling better and I just ran by feel. I think this might be my favorite race of the weekend, the 10k is a great distance and I LOVE that they play fun Disney music in World Showcase because it makes for fun run dancing and gives me such a boost!
We came back into Epcot, ran the rest of World Showcase and across the “front” of World Showcase before exiting between Mexico and Norway and made the finish line run we would make for each race. This is not a great finish, we just ran through a construction area and they put NO effort into making it more fun (no music, no character, no bands, etc). I really hope this is a 1-year problem and we are back to running through Future World for the finish.
Characters I remember being on course:
Anna and Elsa on the bridge over the course around 0.5 miles
Alice characters at the turnaround outside Epcot
Miss Chipmunk in the Epcot backstage area (they were also playing cartoons on a screen as you approached which was cool and gave you a heads up of what character might be coming)
Screens of cartoons were in a few places on course
I think there were 2 characters in World Showcase but honestly I wasn’t really focused on this
Goofy was outside the ESPN Zone at the Boardwalk
I finished in 52:19 and felt great. I hurried through the finish chute again and made my way over to the Epcot Lyft pickup. I was a little nervous since I didn’t finish until around 6:35am and DHS opened at 7am and those boarding passes go fast! I called the Lyft as I made my way to the pickup area, made a runner friend who was also going to DHS, and we were on our way by 6:52 and got dropped off at 7:05 (according to my ride history).
I had chugged my water and Powerade and bypassed taking my snack box this morning to ensure I didn’t have to go through bag check at DHS and make it to my husband who was already in the park. Once I tapped my Magicband, we got on the app and got into the 1st backup group (group 106) and based on historical data I was feeling very confident we would get in! Woo hoo it worked!
I had given my husband some clothes to change into so I b-lined it to the bathroom on the way to Tower of Terror, we had Fastpasses for a few rides for the afternoon/evening so we were on our own for the morning until our Oga Cantina reservation at noon. We rode Tower of Terror and then grabbed a french toast pretzel and coffee for breakfast (that little Incredibles area is too cute) before heading to Toy Story Land and riding Toy Story Mania and Alien Swirling Saucers with a short-ish wait (we had a FP for Slinky Dog later).
We then made our way to Galaxy’s Edge to finally check out this new land and… WOW! Just wow! Every inch of this land is themed. There are no “naked” warehouse ceilings or unthemed anything in this gigantic land and the scale of everything is huge. We wandered through the market and grabbed some popcorn (yum!) before hopping in line for Smuggler’s Run. This is a really fun ride but we learned that it is VERY dependent on your crew for better or worse. I really enjoyed this experience but my husband was pretty grumpy about the fact that our crew had no idea what was going on. We then bummed around the land, watched some of the land’s story play out, and just enjoyed being in the space. We grabbed a ronto wrap each (so tasty!) and just waited for our reservation. at Oga’s since we were both tired and ready for a nap.
Oga’s was super fun, I had a Fuzzy Tauntaun (I did not experience a lot of mouth tingle) and my husband had a Slug Slinger. Both were really tasty and the environment there was awesome. Can’t wait to go back!
We then headed back to the room, I showered (finally) and then we napped until about 3pm. We woke up and got ready and were out the door by 3:30 since we had some Fastpasses coming up. As we were heading to OPR to fill up our mugs, we got the notification that our Rise of Resistance group was called (YAY!) so we knew we had 2 hours to get to that attraction, just enough time to use our Slinky Dog Fastpass.
We got to Slinky Dog and it was down so we just went over to ride Rise and… WOW! Just wow! To call Rise of the Resistance an attraction is cutting it short, it’s a complete experience and takes a tried and true pre-show + ride experience and makes it so much more. It was totally worth the effort to get to the park early.
We rode Rise and then decided to give Smuggler’s Run another go (much better) and then grabbed dinner at Docking Bay 7 (the Shrimp noodles & Kefta were both delicious, Galaxy’s Edge is definitely helping the food situation in DHS) and then we headed over to Slinky Dog to see if we could get on that with our Fastpasses that never converted to anytime Fastpasses due to the down time.
It wasn’t a problem so we hopped on and then we had to decide what to ride before the park closed, we decided on Tower of Terror and I’m so glad we did. Our whole car was pumped to be on the ride and having a group of people super excited to ride made the experience so much more fun. Highly recommend making this your as-the-park-is-closing ride!
We then headed to the Skyliner and were back at CBR so quickly (I love the Skyliner, even if it makes me a little nervous sometimes) and it was lights out because day 3, my Maleficent 80’s bound, and my goal race were coming up the next day!