Tag Archives: Animal Kingdom

Jingle Jungle 5K

14 Nov

It was an early Disney morning! Which means it was a little chilly but not cold.


Another beautiful Disney sunrise – my last one for the year….?

We had to be on the bus “no later than 5:30 am” so I thought we’d be early and get on the bus by 4:30. Um. Yeah. Apparently buses didn’t start running until 5! Which explained the 4 buses waiting and no runners!


Now this was strange….no line at a runDisney race?

Ended up being among the very first to get to the starting area in the Animal Kingdom parking lot. Which is GREAT if, like me, you wanted to get the big picture op in! (Note – after I took the picture below and put it on Instagram, a girl came up to me to say she just saw my picture on Instagram!! Whoa!!)


Pre-race Photo Ops ROCK!!


Our weekend’s hosts

After a bit of Disney Dance Party and some stretching, we checked bags and headed to the corrals. Since the sun was up, there were no fireworks at the start but that doesn’t diminish the excitement as Mickey and Minnie send the runners off on their adventure.

And it was an adventure for sure!! Though I didn’t make any picture stops, that doesn’t mean there were no pictures.

It was slow going for me because of some lingering pain in my glute but as long as I kept going things were all good!!

We finished up and headed directly to the bus – there was a big day of pool-time ahead and we needed to get right on that!! Resting up for tonight’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon!!


My home for the afternoon…

Yeti? I thought they said Spaghetti!!

9 May

So, this is the year I’m running all of the events at runDisney which means I’m doing lots of races I’ve never done before – but always wanted to! One of these is the Expedition Everest Challenge that took place this past weekend. Some great firsts for me! First night race, first “obstacle” race (more on that!) and first race with an official “after party”!

Since the Everest Challenge is a short run I wasn’t expecting the big expo that you usually see at a runDisney event and that’s okay by me! Since I’m doing so many of their events this year, I have kind of committed to just buying a coffee mug and a wine glass so the less expo the less temptation I have!

Heading into Packet Pickup

Heading into Packet Pickup



I was excited to wear my new costume – Isabella from Phineas and Ferb – and got dressed and headed over to the Animal Kingdom Parking Lot!! Race night weather was great – a little warm, a little humid but it’s Florida in May so I was a little concerned about wearing a hat the whole way! Got some pictures taken at Base Camp and then headed over to my corral. Since I was in a slower corral, I was going to have a half hour after the first gun went off! Time went by pretty quick and soon we were crossing the starting line!

The first mile was basically in the parking lot at Animal Kingdom. We got to the first obstacle – hay bales – shortly before Mile 1. As an inherently clumsy person, this was the one I was most concerned about. In my mind I could see myself taking a face-plant and being trampled by the (albeit slow) runners coming up behind me!! I compromised and instead of hurdling over I stepped on 007each bale and got over that way! 

By the time my corral headed into the park we were being passed by people who were already on the scavenger hunt part of the night! But the CM’s were great at keeping people on the right path!! And seeing them heading back into the park only made me want to finish faster to get to the hunt!! So I kept moving!



Before Mile 2 we headed into an out and back in the backstage area with some great views of the back of Everest, which only made me more eager to finish so I could get my butt on that coaster!! I love running out and backs since you get to pass a lot of the the other runners. Lots of high fives and “good jobs!”. And then the second obstacles – the Tires. I couldn’t help but laugh because no one was running them. There were two columns of runners walking through the staggered tires in sync just swaying back and forth! I giggled the whole way through this obstacle!!

And then we were in the home stretch! We finished up in the same backstage area and headed out to the parking lot! Obstacle 3 was right before Mile 3. It was crawling under a net. I actually skipped this one and just headed to the finish in the parking lot.


After crossing the finish line for the 5K the rows of volunteers handed out a small flashlight, a bottle of water and the first clue! At the bottom of the clue was the instruction for where we were to go next. When you get to that location, you give the answer to the CM standing there and, if you’re right, you get the next clue! I have to say, I wouldn’t have guessed the first one if I hadn’t overheard someone else! I mean, I would have gotten it, but probably not before I got to the “Oasis”!

Not the toughest clue, but I still needed a little help!

Not the toughest clue, but I still needed a little help!

Easy Peasy clue!

Easy Peasy clue!

The next 2 clues were a piece of cake for me to solve – but when I got to clue 4 I was stumped again! I thought there was a pattern to the responses so guessed. Wrong! Eventually, there were about 4 of us standing there trying to guess correctly when someone else came up with

Another super easy one!

Another super easy one!

This one was confusing and tough!

This one was confusing and tough!

the right answer – so we all said it, but I had to ask for an explanation cause I still didn’t get it!! The Final clue ended up being a puzzle we had to solve with all of our clue cards so I plopped myself down and started arranging cards. And arranging them. And. Arranging them. Eventually, the 7 of us who ended up working together had to ask for more help from the CM and FINALLY had an A-Ha moment!

009 011Once we solved the puzzle we could run again (oh yeah, no one tells you -til now that is! – that you’re gonna run a bit more than a 5K), back out the same last mile we’d already done. This time, crossing the finish line we had to point on our bibs to the answer to the puzzle we’d put together! Of course by the time I got there, no one cared!! But I was done! And it was probably past midnight and I was completely amped and ready to go!!

Grabbed my bag and some water and headed back in to the park for some After Party fun!! First stop – picture with Mickey and Minnie!  IMAG0848Second stop – beer! IMAG0850  Third stop – a ride on Expedition Everest. In the Dark! Most excellent ride – it just is tons better in the dark! Though, probably not the BEST choice post beer! Next stop was Kali River Rapids. One of my absolute favorite rides at Disney, I carry a poncho with me on every visit to the Animal Kingdom so I can ride! This time I figured it was so hot and humid that a little water would feel good. Yeah. Another poor choice! When I packed 2 days later, some of my running clothes were still damp! But we were able to go two rounds without getting out of the boat!! After the second time around I decided to head back to the resort and get a little sleep before another day in the parks on Sunday!

I don’t know what I enjoyed more the run or the scavenger hunt! I seriously loved the whole thing – runDisney really knows what they’re doing! In summary I would so totally do this one again – I’m going to try to get one of my nephews to run with me!!

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