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This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

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Disneyland Tinker Bell Inaugural 10k

Posted by gck Sunday, January 26, 2014 3 comments

I haven’t been the best blogger lately, but it’s a new year, and maybe I’ll actually post more! Jenni, Sandy, and I went to Disneyland over MLK Jr. weekend to run the inaugural Tinker Bell 10k. Sandy wanted her first event to be a Disney one, and we were all ready to sign up for the half marathon when we saw that they added a 10k option. Still a great shirt and medal, a cheaper event, a shorter distance to run, and a higher percentage of the run inside the parks. It made perfect sense!

Paradise Pier at night

After our arrival in Los Angeles and a quick stop at In-n-Out, we headed for packet pickup. The whole process was pretty easy and we had our shirts and bibs in no time. We checked out the merch section, but it was crowded and most of the items were for the half marathon, so none of us got anything. Maybe I’ve been spoiled with the other runs I’ve done, but I’m used to getting a lot more free stuff in my bag and at the expo, but that wasn’t the case with this event.

Left: People waiting in the corral for the run to start
Right: Characters in the park for pictures

After packet pickup, we spent an eventful day in the California Adventure park, ending the evening with World of Color. Since we were there too late to get Fastpasses, we did the lunch dining package at the Wine Country Trattoria to get preferred section passes for the show. The food wasn’t spectacular (it was edible), but it was definitely worth it. We managed to get the rides in that we wanted: Soarin’ Over California, Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story Midway Mania, and California Screamin’ (twice). Also caught the Aladdin show, which had great singers and was a lot of fun. We did the Ariel ride when we were nearby, and we ended up stopped for awhile (probably because someone needed extra time to load or unload) at Ursula, who kept singing “Pour Unfortunate Souls.” From that point on, anytime we got stopped at a ride, we’d start singing that as well. The lines for World of Color formed way before they were supposed to, but we still managed to squeeze in some space in the very front. I also discovered that you’re allowed to buy alcohol and drink it anywhere in the park. The World of Color show was really amazing, but it did stop in the middle with technical difficulties (poor unfortunate souls…). I loved the lighting effects, the fountains, all the Disney characters, etc. We didn’t get wet, but I can see how people would if there was even the slightest bit of rain.

Right: Photo ops at the castle
Left: Running past the Tower of Terror

The next day, we were up bright and early to make the 6am start time. We started in Corral B, crossing the start line almost 10 minutes after the clock started. It was a lot of fun running through the parks because there was so much to see! We got to run through areas that were typically behind-the-scenes, and crew members were standing outside the buildings and cheering us on. There were some character photo ops (which we didn’t stop for because we wanted to make sure we’d finish before they started sweeping) and they had a few of the rides turned on. And of course all the costumes that people were wearing were fun to see as well. I think next time, we’ll try to coordinate some costumes as well.

Left: Running as the sun rises
Right: Inaugural medal and shirt

The last part of the run was outside of the park. We even passed by our hotel, and it was tempting to run back to bed! But we made it to the finish line with one final sprint and got our fancy inaugural medals! The medals are pretty and solid, and I noted that if Disney sold them in stores, they’d probably cost almost $50, so maybe that helps justify the steep race cost. We wore them proudly around the park for the first part of the day, and a few people asked us about them. The half marathon medal is really cute as well, but I’m glad we did the 10k this year because both the shirt and medal say “inaugural” on them. We also got a bottle of water (worth $3 inside the park… hah!) and a small box of snack food (which we took into the park later). Again, I’m used to there being more freebies at the finish line, but oh well… There wasn’t anything else to do, so we headed back to the hotel to shower.

Left: Monte Cristo sandwich from Café Orleans
Right: Desserts from Wine Country Trattoria

We made it to Disneyland not long after the park opened and quickly got in two rides at Space Mountain, Star Tours, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Indiana Jones. We stuffed ourselves with fried chicken and mashed potatoes at Plaza Inn, grabbed Fastpasses for Indiana Jones for the evening, then went back to the hotel for NAP TIME. After two days in a row of waking up around 5am, all of us were exhausted. When we returned in the afternoon, the park was noticeably more crowded, but we still got quite a lot in: Haunted Mansion, two rides at Matterhorn (one on each side), Buzz Lightyear, and Winnie the Pooh (which seemed more like Pooh on acid). The line finally got short enough for It’s a Small World for us to ride it, but near the end, the ride stopped for quite a long time. Unfortunately, this version of the Small World ride is a Small World + Christmas ride, so we had to listen to Deck the Halls and It’s a Small World over and over and over until we were about to go crazy (poor unfortunate souls). Dinner was at Café Orleans, which was very tasty. I got a bowl of gumbo and a salad for a very reasonable price – something that doesn’t usually happen at Disney! We stumbled upon the fireworks (and a very nice viewing spot for the fireworks) by accident, so we got to watch most of the show, which featured Tinkerbell and many of the rides in the park. For our last ride, we stood in the long line for Peter Pan (still 30 minutes at 11pm!) and enjoyed our short flight through Neverland.

Me in front of the castle!

We didn’t do a Disney day on Sunday and slept in instead. Had a brief panic moment when the car wouldn’t start, but we got some jumper cables from the hotel and the guy parked next to us gave us a jump start, so we were good to go. We did continue the Disney theme by seeing Frozen, which we loved. Sandy promptly got the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” song stuck in her head, but she only knew the first line, so she sang that over and over again. I think it’s been awhile since a Disney song has been so catchy!

Great weekend, and maybe we’ll repeat this (with a longer distance) next year!