Tips for Visiting Disney Solo

I was provided with free theme park tickets to help facilitate this blog post. All opinions are mine alone.

Back in January when I went to Walt Disney World for the WDW Marathon I did something I had never done before. I went and explored the amusement parks, all by myself. I know what you are thinking, Disney is the land of family vacations but you can have plenty of fun going solo too.

Tips For Visiting Disney Solo | My Hot Southern Mess


Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap 2015

I had originally intended on taking the week of my half marathon off from writing but here I am two weeks later. It may be two weeks but, I did it, again! I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon. It is really great race full of girl power although  a couple thousand men run it also. Disney is always a good place to start when you want to enter the running world because of it’s usually relaxed atmosphere. After all what is better than running a half marathon with 20,000+ people. Yes, it is a lot of people but it’s all good.

2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Princess Half Marathon Weekend starts on a Thursday with the start of the expo and goes until Sunday ending with the Happily Ever After party after the Half Marathon. My journey to Princess began on Friday morning after I got my kid’s off to school. I left our freezing temps of not even 10 degrees and I drove to Florida. Normally I would say warm and sunny Florida but it was in the 50’s. Still that was warmer than what I was coming from.  I made great time and went directly to ESPN Wide World of Sports to Packet Pick up. The packet pick up process is easy even if you forget your waiver. Disney has computers set up so you can print it out onsite. From there you find your bib number and go to that booth. They go over everything with you and send you across the hall to me main expo to pick up your gear check bag and t-shirt.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap
I was excited to get to the expo a day earlier, I had hopes of picking up some runDisney items that are typically sold out by Saturday but unfortunately all of the eBay scalpers had swiped the things up. I guess I can still look on eBay but then you are paying double or more than the original price. I wandered around the rest of the expo looking for things that I need, I mean want. I even tried on an Sparkle athletic skirt but big butts do not lie. Running skirts are not made for everyone and although you wear shorts under a sparkle skirt I’d rather not have someone staring at my booty for 13.1 miles because my skirt was too short. Despite the sales girl saying it looked cute, I knew otherwise and saw what would of been my issue repeatedly on Sunday during the half. So I left kind of disappointed but had decided I would come back the next day. So off to my non- Disney hotel I went.

The next morning I gathered up my stuff and left to head back to the Expo and meet up with someone from Team RWB Fort Bragg. On the way I learned a very important travel tip. Always call your bank and let them know you will be traveling out of state. Otherwise they may freeze your card because they think the purchases are fraudulent. I learned that while trying to get gas and my card was declined when there was no reason for it to decline. After fixing that problem and filling up my tank, back to the expo I went. This time they had Minnie, Aurora and Cinderella’s horsemen out for pictures so I went ahead and hopped in line for pictures. After spending some more time at the expo we left and headed to Downtown Disney until I could check into my Disney resort. The expo just didn’t seem to grab my attention this year like it did in 2014.

This year I stayed at Disney’s Pop Century resort. It is one of their value resorts but it is a really cute resort with a ton of things to offer. It is decorated very kitchy.  Disney style kitchy. It has a great running path and  it is just fun to explore. There is also a food court and souvenir shop. The food court did have a few gluten free options too.  My only downside was the room I was in. I was right next to their main pool, the hippy dippy pool where the DJ hangs out, they play night time movies etc. It didn’t matter that I had the do not disturb sign on my door. Going to bed early was not the easiest thing to do and neither was taking an after half marathon nap.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap

Alarms were set and off to bed I went. As expected that 2:30am wake up came sooner than expected. I got myself up and going, no caffeine needed. Had my breakfast and off to the buses I went. Once entering the pre race area, I wandered a bit and had my picture taken with Cinderella. I still hadn’t decided how I was going to run. Was I just going to run or was I going to enjoy the race and stop for pictures? After a trip to the port-a-potties I met up with some people from my corral which made the wait until the half started go by in no time at all. I was in corral J again this year. I have no clue how or why since I had hoped I had moved up one corral. I know others with my half times were in corral I. It was, what it was though. J is in ok corral, it is right in the middle so it gives you plenty of cushion if you do decide to stop for pictures. The balloon ladies are still quite a ways back. The down side is J can be crowded. Within minutes after corral J started I knew how I would be running. I dropped my prescription sunglasses and had to retrieve them. At that moment I decided to let it go and enjoy my half. This year I didn’t go out of my way to weave around people. I stopped at some of the shorter lines for pictures too. Those long lines for the heroes and the villains still scared me.  I even stopped and went to the side to take pictures instead of trying to run and take pics at the same time. Yes, it made a difference in my official race time. My overall time was 1 minute slower than my time from last year but from the 2 times I did remember to pause my Garmin my time was much faster and on par with my typical pace.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap

The overall run takes you from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot. You put on a lot of typically boring highway miles but Disney has that covered. Even the overpass you go up and over really isn’t that bad. Just watch for that soldier who will make you do push ups. They have something for you from a DJ to a character all along the route. Then there is the course nutrition and medical which is the best i’ve seen in any race i’ve ever done. The miles in the Magic Kingdom are typically among my fastest. Main street and seeing the castle is always magical. Plus, hello, you are running down Main Street USA! The castle this year was perfect with Elsa, Anna and Christophe. My favorite part is at the end, right before the finish. The high five from Minnie and Mickey right before you cross the finish line.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap

Once you cross the finish line you are given your medals, a mylar blanket if you wanted one, your mesh bags (these were the same as 2014’s), a powerade and water, you are sprinkled with pixie dust and you make your way to finisher photos. It was after photos you were given your food box  and you could go through gear check and back to the pre-race area. In this area they now have the massage tent set up which is now one of my favorite things. After long runs I have issues with my calves cramping. I always ice bath and my husband will roll out my legs. I was by myself and really didn’t feel like rolling myself out. Since I learned last year it was cash only I remembered to zip some cash away in my shorts pocket. It was the best $10 I spent all weekend. Afterwards I walked around a bit. I checked the runDisney tent with optimism that maybe they had some new stuff but they didn’t. Then waited in a couple lines for more princess pictures before heading back to Pop Century.

After getting cleaned up I decided to head to Downtown Disney for the Happily Ever After party. The only deal I took part in was saving a little bit on my Starbucks Shaken Black Tea. There just weren’t the freebies or great deals that were there in the past. Even at Fit2Run’s booth. My free gift was a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $20 or more. In my opinion if I hadn’t needed to walk around the Happily Ever After Party could have easily been skipped.

Overall, I enjoy this race but I think this year was my last Disney Princess Half Marathon and not because I brought the flu home as a souvenir . It just didn’t feel the same as it had the year before. There was absolutely no wow factor for me this year. I’m not quitting runDisney races though. I have my eyes on the Disney World Marathon. Yes, the marathon. I think i’ve gone past being half crazy to being full crazy.


***Country Girl Gourmet was NOT compensated for this recap.***

Disney Running Playlist


Just over a year ago I ran my first RunDisney Half Marathon, the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon and I became hooked on RunDisney races. They are absolutely the best races I have attended. They are very organized, they have awesome course support and the crowd support is really nothing like i’ve ever experienced. If I was a millionaire I would run all of their races but sadly I am not. I am lucky to get one RunDisney race in a year, well that is unless someone out there would like to support my habit. Any Takers? I’ll make you cupcakes!

Next month I will be running the Princess Half Marathon again and I have been busy training. I am at the point in my training where I am racking up more and more miles on my long runs.  While out on my last long run I thought to myself I really need more Disney music on my running playlist. So I have come up with a Disney Running Playlist. I am sure I am missing some songs but it is a pretty decent list if you want to add all or just pick a few of your favorites. I included songs from Frozen,of course because what is a Disney Race without hearing Let it Go now? I also included songs from other Disney movies to the Tiki Tiki Tiki Room song and the Main Street Electrical Parade Music.  The songs are perfect whether you just love Disney or you are training for an RunDisney Race Weekend. They help mentally prepare you for your upcoming races as well as just put you in a good mood. An extra plus to my list is that there are plenty songs on my list to keep going for your whole race.
Disney Running Playlist



Disney Running Playlist

  • Let it Go -Frozen
  • Love is an Open Door- Frozen
  • Fixer Upper- Frozen
  • For the First time in Forever- Frozen
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- Mary Poppins
  • Step in Time – Mary Poppins
  • Spoonful of Sugar- Mary Poppins
  • Lets Go Fly a Kite- Mary Poppins
  • Go the Distance- Hercules
  • Life is a Highway- Cars
  • Something I Want (Grace Potter) -Tangled
  • I’ve got a dream- Tangled
  • Touch the sky -Brave
  • Dig a Little Deeper-Princess and the Frog
  • Almost There- Princess and the Frog
  • He’s a pirate- Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me) -Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • (Lana Del Rey)  Once Upon A Dream -Sleeping Beauty/Malificent
  • Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo- Cinderella
  • A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes- Cinderella
  • Whistle While You Work – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Hakuna Matata- The Lion King
  • I Just Can’t Wait To Be King- The Lion King
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight- The Lion King
  • The Glory Days- The Incredibles
  • He Mele No Lilo- Lilo and Stich
  • Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride- Lilo and Stich
  • Kiss the Girl- The Little Mermaid
  • Part of your World- The Little Mermaid
  • Under the Sea- The Little Mermaid
  • Be our Guest- Beauty and the Beast
  • Something There- Beauty and the Beast
  • Bare Necessities-The Jungle Book
  • Friend Like Me- Aladdin
  • A Whole New World- Aladdin
  • I’ll Make A Man Out Of You -Mulan
  • (Owl City) When Can I See You Again? -Wreck it Ralph
  • Sugar Rush- Wreck it Ralph
  • Tiki Tiki Tiki Room
  • Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
  • It’s a Small World
  • The Main Street Electrical Parade
  • Once Upon a Dream (Lana Del Rey)- Maleficent
  • Try Everything (Shakira)- Zootopia
  • Just Like Fire (P!nk)- Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • How Far I’ll Go- Moana


So there it is, my Disney Running Playlist. What do you think? Did I miss a song? If so comment below and I will add it to the list.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Tips

The Disney Princess Half Marathon registration opened up on July 15th to all of us that are not annual passholders or have DVC. The struggle was real. Active.com was slammed with people attempting to register. I was lucky and it took about a half hour, while others waited an hour or longer. There was a lot of refreshing, freaking out when payment screens went blank and for myself (and possibly others) feelings of relief when that email saying I was registered came minutes later.

Are you planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Check out these tips! #princesshalf

The Glass Slipper Challenge was full in under 2 hours and the half marathon and 10k were full in around 6. I can say for myself  I was thankful that I did not wait to register like my husband suggested. For whatever the reason may be Disney races have been selling out and selling out fast. We are not talking about in days but in hours here.  Could be because the secret is out and everyone is learning how awesome their races are. They are definitely my favorite after running other half marathons. I have yet to run a half marathon where on the course other runners are so friendly and encouraging. Then there is the awesome course support and the support after the race is awesome as well. In addition to all of this you can stop and have your picture taken with your favorite Disney characters. Seriously what is there not to like! Thankfully for those that still would like to run but were not able to register there are options available. You can still enter with charities and some trip planners have entries available.

So if this is your first time running the Princess Half Marathon I am going to guess that you are full of questions. I know I was. I searched and searched for info but to my surprise it was not easy to find. I want to help all of y’all out though. I’m going to answer some popular questions the best that I can and if you have a question. Let me know and I will add it and answer it.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Tips

Is Race Retreat worth the money?

This is what your $120 for Race Retreat gets you:

  • Climate Control
  • Private bag check,
  • “Private” port-a-potties
  • Changing area
  • Padded streching area
  • Character Meet and Greets
  • Self Treat Medical Station/ First Aid
  • Pre race food- Bagels and Fruit
  • Post race food- Hot Breakfast and fruit and champagne or mimosas
  • Post race, commemorative towel, flip flops or comfy socks
  • Massages (self pay)
  • Kid area with bean bag chairs and Disney movies on TV
  • Live result area TV streaming finish

Race Retreat is one of those things that everyone has to decide is this something I need for my Disney Princess experience. You could also think of it as how pampered do I need to be? Although the climate control  sounds lovely I just couldn’t make myself pay for it. If you choose to skip it yes, you will be left to be outside in the elements and that could mean, it is hot or cold or just right. There are areas by the stage for character meet and greets pre-race. There just are longer lines. They offer lounge chairs or you could sit on the ground. Last year I saw people bring dollar store pool floaties to sit on. The lines for the porta potties aren’t really that bad. They keep moving. I was in line no more than 15 minutes. The only problem I had was the porta potties do not have lights so I had to use the flashlight on my phone. Gear check was quick and easy, no lines and it is done by your last name. Post race there are medical tents and a self pay massage tent. Last year it was $1 a minute but it was cash only. As for the food element I am very simple when it comes to my pre-race fuel and being gluten free bagels and fruit  won’t work for me. Post race, i’m ok with my food box, I usually can’t eat for a couple hours after a long run. Plus in the post race area there is food and alcohol available for purchase.

Race Retreat is $120

Pasta in the Park 

There are mixed feelings about Pasta in the Park. You are given admission into Epcot (at 6pm) and you can ride a few rides while you are there so that is a plus.  It is also said there are some great character meet and greets another plus. The food some like it and others don’t. It is served buffet style and there are several choices. A common complaint is the time. When you have to be up at 2:30am to run a half you want to get to bed and try to get some rest. Going to Pasta in the park and staying to get everything you paid for (this includes special seating for Illuminations fireworks show) can lead to a late night. Personally this is something I skip. I eat a gluten free diet so I would be limited to what I can eat plus I like to try to go to bed early the night before.

**note** Disney is awesome about special diets and they can be contacted to see if any accommodations are being made for special diets.

Pasta in the Park is $54 for adults, $30 for children, children 3 and under are free


The Princess breakfast is another option that is hit and miss with other princesses and their families. I haven’t talked to many people who loved it or said it was worth it. In fact many people suggest making reservations at your favorite restaurant for breakfast instead. Complaint’s have ranged from the food being just ok to there being long lines for the character meet and greets.

Breakfast is $39adult $26 child


ChEAR Squad

There are many places along the half marathon route that non runners can see runners for the half marathon to include Main Street at the Magic Kingdom and the Finish Line area. Disney does offer what they call ChEAR Squad that has reserved viewing areas  for those who purchase Gold or Platinum and other perks. For instance the platinum ChEAR Squad includes Race Retreat and that gives non runners a place to hang out if the weather is really hot or cold. There is reserved seating in front of the castle in the Magic Kingdom that has a nice view. There have been mixed views on the finished line seating. It is first come first serve.  Another plus depending on the package you choose (silver- platinum) are different souvenirs (typically a t-shirt and blanket but it may include other things) or Cheer Squad Gear. For ChEAR Squad this is something that you need to discuss with those that are coming with you and what they want. For instance, if you are choosing the Race Retreat  you may want to get the platinum chEAR Squad to enjoy your after half marathon breakfast together.

ChEAR Squad Packages:

Bronze –
Silver –
Gold –
$65.00 – Disney Princess Half Marathon
Platinum –
$120.00 – Disney Princess Half Marathon


Where to Stay

One of the biggest questions is where should you stay. This race is so large  that even locals stay on property and after my experience with the Rock N Roll Raleigh I don’t blame them. I highly suggest stay on Disney Property (to include Shades of Green). With the Disney Princess Half Marathon all resorts are host resorts. That means all resorts have race day transportation and not just that but transportation to the Expo also. Disney has resorts at all prices too and from time to time offer various different specials. Last year I stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort and it was great. Although I had rented  car to drive to Orlando there was no need for me to drive it around and that saved me some money. Disney has a great transportation system that you are able to utilize to go all over the Disney property. I went to Downtown Disney and the restaurants and gift shops at my resort. You do have to wait on buses and depending on your resort you may have several stops.
I have to add in that Magic Bands are pretty cool. You have your room key on your wrist so you don’t need to worry about where you are going to stash your room key especially if you don’t check your bag.
Everyone has their own favorite resort so I won’t suggest one over another but will say if you want to stay at a particular resort I suggest that you book your room early. The longer you wait the fewer resorts that will have availability.
If you choose to stay off Disney property remember to leave with more than enough time to get to the parks on race day.

Are you planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Check out these tips! #princesshalf

To wear a costume or to not wear a question

I remember last year spending a ton of time worried about the costume question. I decided on wearing one, I wanted to dress like Cinderella. I pinned different outfits on Pinterest. Then I started to get worried about what running 13.1 miles in a costume would be like but on the other hand I didn’t want to be the only person not in a costume. I decided on making my own sparkle skirt but I waited too long to make it. I waited until February and at that point I couldn’t find the correct color fabric to make my skirt. It was too late to order fabric or skirt. I planned to go with my DIY Sweaty band and blue shirt and either capris or shorts. I debated buying a spark skirt at the expo but I decided against it. I didn’t want to wear something new on race day. I was perfectly fine in what I was wearing too! Not everyone wears a costume or even just a sparkle skirt.  There is a large variety of running outfits on race day. There is a variety of costumes, sparkle skirts, princess colored clothes, matching shirts and outfits to their favorite running clothes. Where what you want and what is comfortable for you! Wearing something 13.1miles and chaffing isn’t fun so if you choose to wear a costume test your run day outfit out before the big day.



When signing up for the half marathon you were asked for a time you expected to finish and if you had a finish time for another 10k or half marathon. For corral placement  they are looking for that official time otherwise you will be placed in one of the last corrals. I highly suggest running at least a 10k  before December 1st and submitting a time for corral placement. Submitting a time and hopefully being placed in a higher corral will give you a bit of extra time for the race when it comes to taking a break for photos. You need to be able to run/walk a 16 minute mile including any stops if you are in the last corral. If you cannot maintain that there is a good possibility that you could be swept.

Are you planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Check out these tips! #princesshalf


Injuries, Pregnancy Etc.

It happens sometimes and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Something comes up and you are no longer able to run the half marathon. Unfortunately you cannot get a refund but you can defer your entry  for a fee until the following year.

Bib/Packet Pick up

Bib Pick up is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Expo. There is no race day bib pick up. Pick up is pretty simple. In the weeks prior to the half marathon you will be emailed your waiver form. If you forget your waiver don’t worry! There are computers set up so you can print it out at the expo. If you cannot make it to pick up your race packet you can no longer have someone pick up race packets on your behalf.

Are you planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Check out these tips! #princesshalf


The expo for Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend is huge. Even saying it is huge is an understatement. It is a runners dream. Everything you could possibly want for running can be found. If you forgot your gels, you can most likely find the type you use here. Same for GPS’s, compression socks and more. They also have a great Run Disney area but I will add things sell out fast. I didn’t get to the Expo until Saturday last year and 13.1 car magnets/stickers and the t-shirt I wanted to buy my husband were sold out.  Last year you could go to the KT tape booth and get taped, for free. Yes there was a line but it wasn’t too bad. In addition to KT tape there were all sorts of free goodies being handed out. Jeff Galloway can also be spotted near the Run Disney tent at times. Plus they give great lectures.

Are you planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Check out these tips! #princesshalf

Dooney And Burke Purses

Are you a purse person? Every year there is a special Dooney and Burke purse that is sold at Disney Princess Half Marathon. To help with some of the craziness of the Expo these purses can be pre-ordered. Yes, you get a preview of what the purses look like ahead of time. Keep a look out for the email.

New Balance Shoes

New Balance makes a few pair of commemorative shoes for the half marathon that are well sought after every year. After all who wouldn’t want running shoes with Cinderella on them? Last year they used a Virtual Queue system for those interested in buying the shoes. If you are interested keep an eye on your emails for how they will be doing the shoes this year.

Water and Fuel on the Course

Another question that is often asked is if you should carry your own water or rely on what RunDisney provides. This is a personal choice some carry there own and others rely on what is on the course. There are several water and gatorade stops along the half marathon route so have no fear of not being able to get water if you need it. I train with a fuel belt with water and Nunn and that is what i’m used too so I choose to wear my fuel belt during the half’s I have run. It is what i’m used to and it is what works for me. As for fuel on the course they offer Cliff gels around mile 8-9. When it comes to gels and nutrition try different types and find what works for you. There is nothing worse than trying a gel and it doesn’t agree with you. That is something no one wants to deal with on race day. I prefer Gu’s especially the Salted Caramel ones but there are all different types of gels and other fuel choices available. Some people skip the fancy fuel and go with things like pretzels, raisins or even honey packets.

Balloon Ladies

There is something that strikes fear into slower runners at Disney races, the Balloon Ladies! Yes they actually have balloons and if your pace is slower than their 16minute mile you will be picked up and not allowed to finish. These ladies are volunteers and are in the last corral and are the last people to cross the start line. Once they cross the start that is when the 16minute mile starts. They are rumored to be very friendly so don’t be scared of them but if you see them coming you may want to pick up your pace.

Character Meet and Greets

One of the great things about Disney races are the character meet and greets along the half marathon route. The Princess half marathon has several great characters that will be out including some that are rarely seen such as the villains. Bring a small camera or use your phone’s camera to catch these memories. Since I was running alone I had no issues having a cast member take a picture for me when I asked. Marathon Photo is also at some stops as well as sprinkled all over the race route.  Just remember the clock doesn’t stop because you did, watch your time at character stops.

Are you planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Check out these tips! #princesshalf


Florida Hills

Huh, Florida Hills? Growing up in Florida I learned hills are few and far between. Florida is pretty flat. Florida does have plenty of overpasses and during the princess half you get to go up and over them toward the end of the half as you return to Epcot. To help motivate you the green toy soldier is out there to umm, motivate you. Don’t forget hills when you train if you can.

Training and Nutrition

I am only going to briefly touch on nutrition and training. This is a subject that needs to be personalized to each person as what works for one person may not work for another. While some people have done this race with little training and lived to tell about it. The road to success starts with training and to stick to your training. Many people use couch to 5k to get them started and Galloway has a good program for running and walking, Galloway also has free training schedules on Rundisney, there are also tons on Pinterest and runners world. I will suggest to train for more than 13.1 miles with whatever training program that you do choose. The reason for this is simple. On race day you walk from the parking area to the pre race area and then you walk about another mile from pre race to the corrals. This walking is awesome to help warm you up for your run. In addition to all the walking you do to get to the start during the race any weaving you do will add up and in the end you rack up more miles than 13.1.

As for nutrition how well you fuel your body will help you when it comes time to run. When you fuel up on junk you can feel it. I know when i’ve tried to run after eating junk I always felt sluggish and heavy.

Final Thoughts

Disney Princess is a fun and supportive race. Women you have never met before will be there to say an encouraging word or just sing a silly song. On race day remember your training, you have seven months of training ahead, make them count. Disney races are typically not races to plan to PR but it can happen. I know first hand, I PR’ed last year. It just made my race day more magical. The biggest thing I can tell you is to take it all in and have fun while you are out there!

Are you planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Check out these tips! #princesshalf




****disclaimer***** I was NOT compensated for this post. All opinions are my own****



Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I did it, why yes, I did! I ran my second half marathon, the Disney Princess Half Marathon! I can say without a doubt it was a very positive experience and definitely worth all my training and even those ice baths. It has been a week and i’ve started my training for my next half marathon but I couldn’t not give a Disney Princess Half Marathon recap for anyone who is interested in running this race in the future.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend actually started on Thursday but I wasn’t able to make my way down to Disney World until Friday. I rented a car, drove threw severe thunderstorms in South Carolina and stopped to pee more times I would like to share (good hydration starts way before the race!) but I finally made it to Florida and Disney World. Childhood happiness and giddiness came over me when I saw the Disney World sign.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I found my way to my resort on Disney property. I stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. There was a sign for the Princess Half Marathon as soon as I entered the door. I got my self checked and off to my room I went.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

After driving around and finding Trinidad South I found my room and saw that I had been upgraded to the Pirates room. This made me wish my family was with me. My youngest son loves Pirates of the Caribbean  and would have loved this room.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

The fridge was hidden in the barrel. No microwave in the room though but those who need their coffee in the morning there was a coffee maker (with coffee of course but no tea).

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

The details even continued into the bathroom and the bathtub. Flying Dutchman bathtub anyone?

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

There of course were also Mickey soaps that smelled like citrus.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Overall the Caribbean Beach Resort was a pretty nice place to stay!

Saturday morning I woke up and the first thing I did was head over to the Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Packet Pickup was quick and easy. I had brought my waiver but for those who didn’t they had computers set up so you could do it there. After picking up your bib you were sent across the street to the expo.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Walking into the expo it was pretty impressive.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Most anything running related could be found at the expo. Chiquita banana’a were there giving away banana’s, KT tape was there taping people up for free,you could try different types of luna bars and a local hospital was doing body composition analysis along with many other free things. You could find Sparkle skirts, Sweaty bands, Bondi bands, running GPs’s from Garmin to Polar, Gu’s to Cliff shots, hydration belts, running shirts and more. There was also official Run Disney merchandise but unfortunately every single thing I had hoped to pick up from Run Disney was sold out.
At the expo I saw Jeff Galloway and could have said Hi and had my picture taken with him but since I was by myself I didn’t… should have but didn’t. Instead I picked up my bag and browsed  and left picking up some free Dannon Oikos greek yogurt on my way out.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Not without finding my name first.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Curious about what you get when you run. Look no further! You are given a clear bag for race day bag pick up, a champion tech race shirt, race “bible”, some Craisins and…

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

 a mini Luna Bar. I gave mine away on the bus. Darn Coconut and Soy.Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

After the expo Icaught a bus and walked around Downtown Disney for a bit. I loved seeing how so many things were the same from 11 years ago when I lived in Orlando and all of the new things.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

 After a bit of shopping I made my way back to the buses and back to the resort. Stopping in at at the Resort’s Old Port Royale Food Court. There were several food options. Pizza, Pasta, Hamburgers and more. I stuck to some of the and more and had roast chicken rice and broccoli  for my pre-race dinner. Breaking my gluten free diet and getting some pizza or pasta sounded good but I was good.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

After dinner and a rain shower I went for a easy 2 mile run/walk around the resort.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Under the bridge these guys made me smile!
Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

After my run I had bought a special dessert for after dinner. A cupcake from Babycakes at Downtown Disney. Their cupcakes are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, Vegan and made without refined sugar. So needless to say I was excited to finally have a treat I could eat.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I took a bite and decided to look and see what they were made of and I became instantly sad. This Gluten and Soy Free girl is allergic to coconut and I found the allergy warning on their website. The cupcakes had coconut in them. My throat got a scratchy and a few hives popped up. I just hoped for the best. It was to sad to think of coming so far to be sidelined by having a bite of cupcake. Off to shower drink more water (and a bottle of Skratch) and to bed I went hoping for the best.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Of course setting my alarms. I am not a morning person and going to bed before 9pm was HARD!

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I didn’t sleep that well but I was rested and excited for the day, at 2:30am. I still had a couple hives but otherwise I felt ok. I got myself dressed and gathered up everything I needed and ate a quick breakfast. I brought my own breakfast. I didn’t want to be left trying to find something at grab and go or running out to a store. I ate my usual rice cake with peanut butter with maybe a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff on top. It is my gluten free version of a fluffenutter. I then left for the bus stop. I walked up to the bus stop as a bus was leaving at 3am but that was ok because there were 4 buses behind it. They even let the next bus pass and I got on the next one and off to Epcot we went.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

We get off the bus and we are left to walk. I thought this was the 20 minute walk that Disney tells you about but I was wrong. Spaceship Earth looked great at 3am- ish.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Couldn’t help but take a selfie like so many others were doing. Really when else do you get this opportunity?

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Then it was back to walking to the race area with all of the other runners.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

 In this area they had a DJ playing music to get us going, they had a couple areas to take pictures but I didn’t see any characters. This is also the same area you go for Race Retreat if you had bought that option. I didn’t and didn’t have any issues without it. It was warm, I had my water and I had no issues sitting on the ground.  There were lounge chairs you could grab and take a nap on. I did some light stretching and drank the rest of my water while in the pre race section. Around 3:45 I made my way over to the porta potties and then left for what I thought was the corrals. Just a note the porta potties are dark… I used the flashlight on my phone for light.
I was wrong though alike some others who were off to the corrals at the same time.  We thought the letters outside related to our corrals. What they really were for was for gear check. I fully blame my blonde hair.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

It was after going through gear check that the 20 minute walk that Disney tells you about begins. We walked and we walked. There were marathonfoto photographers along the way and volunteers helping tell us which direction to go. I found my corral and ended up in about the middle of it.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Then as time grew closer we had a few people from RunDisney emcee’ing, Miss America spoke and there was a special birthday message to a lucky military spouse. Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother came and started the races. Each corral was counted down and had their own fireworks. Sadly though the Fairy Godmother only counted down the first few corrals and then she had to go.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Before I knew it my corral was off. I started off running and had issues with my water belt so I made my way to the right after being annoyed long enough. I walked and adjusted it and that is when I fell into a group of walkers and those running intervals. I then ran when I could and otherwise walked, weaving and going around others. Even going into the grass but training on muddy trails I was ok with that. I first came across kites from Mary Poppins and was in love. Next up was Jack Sparrow, there was a long line and it was still dark so I skipped him and decided to stop on my way back to Epcot. I continued running and even more excitement came over me as I entered the Magic Kingdom.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

The character stops continued as we went on. On our way into the Magic Kingdom there were the Heroes, a couple race car drivers and cars and Villains such as Malificent. As much as I wanted to stop I had already decided what characters I wanted to stop for if I could. I had a huge fear of the balloon ladies despite my being positioned in a decent corral to start. I took pictures as I ran. Some weren’t the best though. Like this one was running downhill under the bridge to enter the Magic Kingdom from a backstage area I haven’t seen since I was in High School and preformed with my high school choir at Candlelight Processional each Christmas season. On top of the bridge was a DJ with giant Mickey hands.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

One of my favorite moments was running down Main Street USA. One of my must get pictures was of myself in front of the castle and after waiting my turn a cast member took my pic for me. Then off to Tomorrow Land I went and off to storm the castle!

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

This was probably my next favorite part of the half marathon. It was a little slow moving but awesome!

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

The trumpeters were out and playing as we approached and went through the castle. It was also at this point my phone crashed as I entered the castle. Thankfully I got it up and running again.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I continued on through Frontierland and exiting to another back stage area I had again not seen since I was in high school. In this area was Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip and a bit later the 10K check point. We continued on seeing the Train that goes around the Magic Kingdom and more character stops. I can’t forget to mention we heard our “power song” Let it Go.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I kept on going more walking than running but a lot of weaving.  I looked at my time and saw that I was on my way to a PR so I just kept going. Up and over an overpass was next. My first half marathon was up and over the Franklin Mountains and my training had been on hilly trails so this was not that bad for me. I especially loved the green soldier. He was a mean drill sergeant who was making us laugh as we went up. Once we got up to the top and I saw over the overpass and how many people were still behind me the fear of the balloon ladies completely went away. I didn’t slow down my pace though. Although Disney races are typically more for fun and not PR’s, I was going to PR.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Next thing I knew there it was, Spaceship Earth and the last mile. There were so many people out cheering and clapping. Every Starbucks cast member was standing and clapping as well as many other Epcot cast members. I ran past the Fairy Godmother and Sophia the First. Then a Gospel Choir right before the last stretch. I ran (dropping my phone and having to go back) and gave Mickey a high five and finished triumphantly with my hands held high.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I did it, again. Thirteen point freaking one in 100% humidity and I PR’ed.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Those photos’s I had wanted. I missed Mickey and Minnie. I’m still holding hope that Marathonfoto got a pic of me high giving Mickey at the finish. Jack Sparrow well he decided to take a break as I was approaching the pirate ship. It’s all good though after the race I got a pic with my favorite princess, Cinderella.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I wandered around after for a bit. I checked out the Run Disney tent but it was the same merchandise as the Expo. There was a massage tent that I would have loved but it was cash only. There were various food trucks and champagne for sale at the finish also. I ended up going back to my bus line which moved quickly and back to my room with my post race goodies.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

We were first given cooling towels  after finishing the race and then our medals. Mine was put around my neck where other people had theirs handed to them. Next we were sprinkled with Pixie dust. We were given our mesh bags drinks and food boxes. Finisher photos were in there somewhere too.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

The boxes were all pretty much the same. Pop chips, hummus, chocolate covered blueberries, a piece of toffee, more craisins and a Luna bar.

After rolling my legs with my foam roller and a hot shower. I got myself ready and headed for the bus to head to Downtown Disney for the Happily Ever After Party. I made it there just in time for the start of the free socks giveaway at little mismatched and then I went over and spun the wheel at fit2run’s booth and won a great Brooks tech shirt. I am all about Finding Your Happy Pace!

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Overall the Disney Princess Half Marathon is a good race! I would love to do it again but I have to say it is a race that you do with friends. It’s not nearly as fun to run it by yourself. I hope to run it again someday!

I think I have found a new love for RunDisney races!