Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

mickey's not so scary halloween party 2017

I did it! I was able to convince my husband that we should totally take the boys to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)!!! We attended the party on October 5th (a Thursday evening) - and we had so much fun!

Here's a recap coupled with tips & some other pertinent information...

The party started at 7pm, we arrived to the park literally right as it was starting. This was not our original plan, but because of naps & some rain delays, this is how things ended up for us. We had our fingers & toes crossed that the rain would hold off...the forecast looked terrible! It stopped raining around 6:15pm...and did not rain again the rest of the evening!

Upon entering the park, you are greeted by cast members, in their Halloween attire, holding wrist bands. They put them on your right wrist, and you must keep them on the entire night. They are not a nuissance - I never noticed mine....and neither did the boys.

That wrist band is the party identifier, you must be wearing it to gain access all over the park.

Our first stop was to get a map and figure out times of shows, character stops, and trick or treat spots. I went into this knowing there would be a lot to see & do, but I really underestimated HOW MUCH there would be. I thought that we would have plenty of time.

I had an idea for autographed tote bags, and luckily a talented friend was able to execute them! Since characters would be out for meet & greets, that are not normally around the parks, I thought this would be perfect for my boys to get some awesome new signatures. Due to lines, and time constraints, we saw a total of THREE characters, and only obtained ONE signature. This is the biggest regret I have, not prioritizing the characters.

We prioritized the show, which was the Hocus Pocus Spectacular with all the villains - - I mean, how could you NOT? Sanderson sisters!? Hello. So we had a great spot in front of the castle to watch this. The boys did great through one cried :)

We then bolted to get the boys more candy from the various trick or treat stops. The trick or treat stops was probably the main thing they had an interest in. The shows they didn't really care about, and they definitely did not like the fireworks. (I on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed them!) I will say, the fact that Disney provided an alternative to the candy being distributed, for kids like mine with food allergies, in clearly identifiable trick or treat bags, was awesome! (I did go ahead & give verbal reminders to cast members distributing the candy throughout the park, because while Beau's bag was wasn't painfully obvious once dark set in).

I was the designated stroller pusher (we brought the double stroller to accommodate a tired 5 year old) and I also would stand in line to wait for characters while the boys would hit the local trick or treat spots. I did exit 2 different lines because of the time constraints with wanting to watch a show or the parade.

Here's what we did...
1. We got trick or treat bags upon entering the park by Main Street
2. We caught the 1st showing of the Hocus Pocus Villian Spectacular - it was awesome! My inner child was over the moon.
3. Did some more trick or treating on the way to Tomorrowland. Once in Tomorrowland, because wait times for rides were non-existant, I stood in the line to meet Lotso with the boys while Matt & Hannah (my sister in law), rode Space Mountain. Matt & Hannah got done in time to join us....which clearly shows: 1. ride lines were SHORT 2. character lines were LONG.
4. We started to make our way to Fantasyland, and I made it a point to stop at each Photopass photographer we saw! The wait times for the pictures were never crazy - but I definitely asked for as many magic shots as possible.
5.While we were in Fantasyland, we were on the hunt to find more characters. We stumbled upon the lines for Queen of Hearts with Tweedle Dee/ Dum...and the line for Mad Hatter & Alice. I got out of one line because the other line "was going faster" and the characters left to go do their rotation. (While I was in line, the boys and adults rode the tea cups, and hit 2 trick or treat spots.)
I ended up having to get out of the line again in order to catch the fireworks show. This was FRUSTRATING and left me so hacked off - - I gave up because I knew the boys could care less about these characters.
6. We caught the fireworks show which was the middle of the night. There is only 1 showing of the fireworks show. My boys are still scared of fireworks, so we made it a point to walk all the way back to the front of the castle. A cast member let me know that the further behind the castle you are, the louder the fireworks are....
7. We headed back to Fantasyland - caught a glimpse of Minnie, Daisy, and Donald dressed in their Halloween costumes, but the lines were too long in order for us to catch the parade. So we did a quick run through trick or treat spots, checked out the exclusive MNSSHP gear for sale, and headed towards Liberty Square. On our way, the boys and I stopped for a non-Halloween photopass: the lantern shot by the Tangled bathrooms! (Matt & Hannah were riding Thunder Mountain while we did this!)
8. Once we were at Liberty Square we found a great spot to watch the parade! My boys had a front row view. The only thing I regret: not getting their sooner. We missed the start of it, which was the headless horseman. Otherwise, it was a great showcase of all the villains!
9. We raced to Main Street to try & locate Jack Skellington - we finally found him...
10. We headed to the front (by now it was 12:30pm), and caught the final photopass photographer for one last shot

What I would do differently:
1. I would have caught the 2nd showing of the stage show. The boys were not interested in it, so they could have slept through
2. I would have prioritized CHARACTERS. My boys got one signature: Lotso. Although they saw Jack Skellington & Sally, they were not giving autographs
3. I would have stopped right away to get the popcorn my 5 year old requested - - as stupid & silly as that sounds, this event was for them & I felt terrible that they sold out.
4. I would have started in the back of the park & moved forward

What I wish Disney would do differently:
1. List what characters are in each area of the park!!!! PLEASE!!!!
2. Have enough merchandise for each event - why did stuff sell out so fast!?! Even the passholder merchandise was gone!
3. Offer a half off ticket price for the event for passholders, not just $10
4. We had a terrible encounter at the Jack Skellington stop. It was 11:38pm and I RAN to get into line as soon as I saw it. I was greeted by a cast member who abruptly told me the line was closed. I had to turn and tell Beau, that the one character he was wanting to see we were too late for, and he of course started crying. The cast member would not make any exceptions. This kind of stuff needs to be posted or something. Luckily, there are still amazing people in the world - a twenty something gal and her friends her me pleading with the cast member, and they offered up their spot in line for us!!! The boys got to meet Jack & Sally - but no autographs :) <- - - all that to say, this needs to be made clear. The party ends at midnight, I get that - but then PLEASE clearly lay out where the characters are so as to avoid this!

All in all, it was a fun event. The boys had fun, the adults had fun, and it really did feel like an exclusive event. Logistically, with this being our first, I really had nothing to go off of except for the map provided at the entrance, which I've linked to HERE and what fellow bloggers have offered up for tips. Hopefully I'll do better next year ;)

I did a detailed Instagram post for all the various magic shots we did that night & their locations...

Some of our favorite shots from Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween party πŸ‘»πŸŽƒπŸ¦‡ I’m sharing where we took these because I wish I had known exact locations to better plan the evening. The headless horseman and the poison 🍎 were top 2 on our list and we did not find the horseman shot til we were on our way out. πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘» 1. Headless horseman πŸ‘‰ at the front entrance in front of the train depot (Beau was asleep) 2. Dancing ghosts πŸ‘‰ Main Street in front of the castle 3. Poison apple and cauldron πŸ‘‰ trick or treat bag start area (this is also the area that you get the TEAL bags for food allergies πŸ™Œ) I should have directed Brooks and #nosocialmediamatt to look at her hand versus what the photographer said to do, which was to look at the ground πŸ™„ 4. Ghost background πŸ‘‰ walking towards Frontierland (Brooks was asleep) πŸ¦‡πŸ¦‡πŸ¦‡πŸ¦‡ Ask cast members, they are always so willing to help! . . . #lifeofbeau #misterbrooks #mnsshp #wdw #photopass #wdwphotopass #disneyfamily #funkybunch #halloween
A post shared by nicole brinson (@fashionablyniki) on
Would I attend again? YES.

disney race: star wars dark side

Well, the running bug is back. A little....

My dad & I recently ran the WDW Star Wars Darkside 5K. We were actually hoping for a 10K race, but per usual with RunDisney at WDW, that race sold out super fast.

Luckily, things have changed and the 5K's are no longer timed races! With this being my first race since 2015, I was very excited to not have it forever on my racing history!

I had 2 main goals with this race:
1. to run / jog the entire time
2. to finish sub 34 minutes

Happy to say, I accomplished both!

My little man also completed the Kids Dash for his age bracket.

Disney gives out the best race medals, hands down....which makes the crowds far more tolerable.

Star Wars drew in a huge crowd, naturally. It was pretty clear that people may have fudged a bit on their "projected finish times" because our corral had a LOT of walkers in it. To the point that my FitBit said I did over 3.5 miles by the time I finished. We did a lot of weaving in & out of people!

The corrals were spaced well. We finished just as the last corral was being released (kinda crazy!).

If you haven't done a Disney race, you should definitely add one to your bucket list!

disney enchanted 10K

I posted about the Disney expo HERE & mentioned how many amazing runs little training I did.

I mean seriously. What the Hades was I thinking?
I have however, been killing it at Pure Barre ;)

And I was running this with my old school running partner, Brittany. We did several races together, back in our "younger" days (ahem, skinnier days) :) We had never done a 10K together....but both of us new that:
A. our time would not be phenomenal
B. we have fun no matter what we are doing

So race start was at 5:30am. Nothing new to me, waking up at the butt crack of dawn. Pure Barre class is at 5:30am, oh & I still have that mini human sleeping in our bedroom that occasionally likes to party between 1am & 4am.

Wake up alarm was at 4:15am....I set MattyB's phone as well. (This was a weekend getaway without the munchkins & I truly thought I was going to over sleep!)

Brittany & I had laid out our costumes the evening before. We went with the villains.....rather than the princess'.

Maleficent (ME)

Ursula (Brittany)

We grabbed our mini Luna bars (hey, thanks goodie bags!) & headed to the start at Epcot.

There were SOOO many people! And it was freezing. But hey, we had our tutus on & were so ready to get this over with.

For whatever reason, Brittany's skirt was all static-y
I mean seriously, get off me!

Lots of people to race past!

Haha, I mean lots of people to race pass us

Fireworks start, and we're off!

Side note, I was NOT thrilled that the first 3 miles of the race were outside of the park :( I mean, I seriously think I would have rathered lap Epcot twice than run outside the park. They did try to provide course entertainment....

Haha, running & snapping a picture. 
That's Anna & Elsa on the overpass that we ran under, singing & making it snow.

Each mile marker had a character sign and / or actual characters. 
No, it did not take me 41 minutes to run a mile.
It was actually 11:35

There was about a 10 minute gap between each corral release. Or so it seemed. I was corral B, and until about mile 3, we kept hearing the fireworks go off & more corrals released. 

Mile 3 let us in to the park - - Norway / China to be exact.

The lines for the characters were RIDICULOUS!
We did a lot of this awkward posing with the character in the background!

So we did a lot of run / walk.
Brittany called it "slogging" :)

We FINALLY finished. 
My legs were LEAD around mile 3. 
While Pure Barre helps endurance, it did not help condition me for running. 
Lol, only running could do that. 

At least we didn't die. 
At least we finished.

And we got the medal.

Time to EAT!

disney expo - princess half marathon weekend

Last weekend was the very popular, Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Flash back to registration back in July of 2014.....the event sold out in a matter of HOURS. At the time, I was 7 months pregnant, and wanting to do the Glass Slipper Challenge. You know, that crazy event where you run the 10K on a Saturday & the half on a Sunday. All for the extra medal :) MattyB talked me down off that ridiculously LARGE cloud, and I just signed up for the 10K.

Fast forward to my's a pretty gosh darn good thing I only did the 10K, because I logged all of TWO runs between having Brooks in October & the race in February. More on that later....

So the expo was at the Wide World of Sports Complex. Not hard to navigate to....but once you're there, it was bit confusing. The bib pick up was in one place....and by place, I mean building. And tshirt / bag pick up was in another building.

Apparently during my registration for the race I checked the box for the commemorative pin. So that was given to me when I got my bib. At first I was like "wow! A free pin!!!", and then I realized it was Disney, nothing is free.

There was a TON of focus on the half. I found one sign / photo op for the 10K.....

We walked the expo...well, what I thought was the expo & then I realized it wasn't the expo. But then we found the real expo....and walked it :)

I had of course hit up the online goody bag that all entrants get. I scored myself a free bookmark (WOO HOO!) & a link to purchase some RawThreads gear before it sold out. Which I totally did.



I was actually disappointed with the physical goody bag we received. There was nothing in it except for the program guide & a mini Luna bar. Yes, goody bags matter, along with the medal.

Since it was just MattyB & I, we took our time browsing the expo, won a few bananas from Chiquita, sampled more Luna bars & picked up some other random goodies. He snapped this pic of me with my ChEAR card....

And I found this tee.....which I loved....

The expo &  surrounding area were pretty crowded, so MattyB & I got our fill & headed out to find dinner. The expo was fun, but as I mentioned, most of the focus was on the half marathon. The Enchanted 10K was like the red headed step sister. I do think the race goody bag needs to be least do a full size Luna bar! ;)

Adventures in Racing

I'm in racing mode ~ like hard core. And by "hard core" I don't mean pumping out the miles left & right. What I'm talking about is the medals, the shirts, and the adrenaline that comes with the race...clearly not the miles associated with each one!

This weekend we have a family race....

The ESPN Weekend is this weekend in Orlando & Dick's Sporting Goods hosts the "Champion 5K". Dad & I ran it last year, and this year he thought it would be even more fun to have my husband, my mom, & my brother do it with us.
I'm not planning for an amazing chip time by any means...5K's require fast runners & well, I'm not fast. I've decided as long as I beat last years time, that's fine with me.
After a super thrilling conversation yesterday about half & full marathons, I've decided to sign up for my very first half marathon! Holler! And to reward myself, I'm purchasing my first running skirt. I've been totally obsessed with them lately. Of course MB (my hubby) thinks that I'm being hopeful by calling them a "running skirt", since he refers to them as "tennis skirts". Potato, po-tah-toe. I just feel the need to bring fashion to the races!
Another race on my radar is the Everest Challenge, hosted by Disney. (Disney medals are Ah-mah-zing BTW!). It's a 5K (bleh), obstacle course, & scavenger hunt. MB is totally game to do it ~ he's a sucker for a competition & I'm a sucker for a medal. We're the perfect match :)