(Rachel is taking over the blog today to talk about part two of our 2017 WDW Marathon Weekend Trip – The Fun Part)
As you know from Allen’s previous post, our half marathon – as in the reason we planned this trip – was canceled. So we were in kind of a weird, bummer mood to start the thankfully NOT canceled fun part of the trip. Luckily, that feeling can be completely cured by a trip to the Magic Kingdom. Doctors of the blogosphere: take note.
It had been four years since my parents visited Disney World, so I was happy to have them join our trip partway through (for the fun part). Luckily, we have friends in high Disney places (thanks, N and C!), so my parents were able to sneak into the park for free that day. Seriously, that’s about $220 saved for a peak Magic Kingdom day.
Let me begin by just saying – and this is Florida we’re talking about, so take it with a grain of salt – it was COLD that day. Like, high in the 50s. Starting the day in the 40s. On the ferryboat (the monorail was being commandeered by the marathon). With the wind whipping our faces. We’ve been to the parks in cold weather before, but nothing like this. It was brisk. (Southern complaining over.)
The Christmas decorations (including the tree) were still up, so that was a fun/odd way to spend the January day. (Side note: it was much less jarring than hearing Christmas music in Disney Springs the next day.) The park was crowded, but not overwhelmingly so, and we were able navigate fairly easily. We took a ton of photos – thanks, PhotoPass! – of my parents, Allen and me, and the whole fam.
Due to some actual planning on my part, we were able to eat at Be Our Guest (my favorite) for lunch and give our Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPasses to my parents, as that ride was still being built during their last trip. I’m thinking while that day’s weather is ideal for some reasons (e.g., not sweating), for others – like riding an outdoor roller coaster – it might be less ideal. But I think they had fun! (Mom, you can verify in the comments.)
I also realized that trying to corral six people and decide what everyone wants to do in a timely manner is near impossible, so we did spend some of the day meandering around the park and just enjoying the atmosphere.
That night, Allen and I ditched my parents (sorry, Mom and Dad!) and had an amazing meal with some great friends (Justin and Devin) at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge. It was meant to be a celebratory post-race meal, but since I didn’t run…I enjoyed celebrating everyone else!
Monday was a fun, more relaxing day – the parents didn’t want to pay beacoup bucks for a park day, so we spent much of the day resort hopping. We took them around the Boardwalk and hit the Beach and Yacht Clubs along the way. We ate lunch at Beaches & Cream (yum!) and ice cream at Ample Hills (double yum!), where we split an ice cream flight – my new favorite kind of flight!
We also met up with my sister-in-law and some of her friends, who were down there to surprise friends running the marathon the previous day. It was a great surprise for them – there is truly nothing better during a race than seeing familiar faces!
After leaving the Boardwalk, we hit Disney Springs for a little while, to show my parents all the new stuff that’s opened lately. We grabbed some pizza and made our way back to the condo to watch the college football national championship.
Needless to say, the game did not go Allen’s way…but he is always a gracious fan. Plus, we were hitting Universal Studios and Harry Potter the next day – what’s there not to be pumped about?!
Day 3 was strictly a Universal day. The weather was perfect – I wish all park days could be 72 degrees and sunny. My parents hadn’t yet seen Diagon Alley, so we wanted to show them that awesome land. We started in Dr. Seuss Land and, being a years-long teacher, Mom insisted we make a character stop. We also rode the kiddie roller coaster (I have always wanted to ride it), which was super cute! Thankfully, the crowds were low on a post-race Tuesday.
We made our way to Hogsmeade (to see what my parents had previously seen) and grabbed some lunch at the always-yummy Three Broomsticks. Seeing the castle is always amazing…and the ride isn’t half bad, either!
We took the Hogwarts Express over to Diagon Alley. This land is extremely well done, y’all, down to the smallest detail. We rode Escape from Gringotts, which is such a great ride. I think the parents were a little rattled, but they had fun!
It started raining around the time we decided to head out…always a good sign that a day in the park is done. We had a low-key dinner and tried to pack up that night.
Even though the trip started oddly, we ended up having a great few days with my parents. It’s always hard to leave Disney…so luckily we have another trip planned next month.
Princess Half Marathon, here we come (to hopefully actually run this time)!