Posted by: Sara | August 30, 2013

Day Two: Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

The Dumbo Double Dare might still be one day away but I’ve been managing to get through a triple challenge: the three-hour time difference. It’s ridiculously noticeable. Last night, while Telisa and I explored Downtown Disney, we found ourselves yawning before 7PM because it was really 10PM on the East Coast. I called it the night before– I’d be in bed by 1AM “our time” and awake at 9AM “our time,” which translates into Pacific Time as down at 10PM and up at 6AM. And I was correct. But hey, we got to see the sunrise and I’m willing to bet this will be an advantage to us waking up for the next two days of racing.


After a few early hours of coffee and pool time, Telisa and I headed over to the Disneyland Hotel for the expo and packet pickup. And wow. I was not expecting there to be such chaos as there was. I was surprised that the lines were as disorganized as they were, and standing in the hot hot HOT California sun (and since when did California get humid!?) every annoyance was magnified. But as quickly as it seemed we would be outside for an hour or more, we were ushered into the Disneyland Hotel convention center to get our packets, half-marathon pin, bib, and the coveted Coast-to-Coast wristband.

At that point, the real wait to leave packet pickup and get our shirts began. We waited at least an hour in a line in which we had to verify with several line standees that they were waiting for the same thing we were. At one point, when it seemed like the line was going to merge with another one, a Disneyland employee showed up to usher everyone into the expo. He explained that, with the 8,000 extra runners signed up for the Alice in Wonderland 10K, the crowds were extremely heavy because everyone was trying to get to the expo first. We recommended a three-day expo for next year. I hope they listen.

The expo itself was overwhelming but fun. I enjoyed seeing Ali Vincent speak, especially as a fan of the Biggest Loser and because she appears on my Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD. The highlight of the expo, however and besides buying a teal sparkly skirt for my costume (hint hint), was meeting Jeff Galloway and having him sign a copy of his book on running motivation! I told him about having lost my job but also about my sister being afraid she wouldn’t qualify for Boston because of tighter qualifying times. Check out what he wrote to us:


After leaving the expo, Telisa and I got twilight park passes to Disneyland and stopped by the mini-expo for the A-T Children’s Project and the ATCP Cure Team. We were both surprised to see Emily Hughes, the young girl we were both raisin money for through ATCP. Truly, going through the ATCP, I felt like I was part of something more real and special than the entire Disneyland experience and it just made me all the more excited to sit with Emily and her family tomorrow night at the ATCP Pasta Party.

After 4PM, Telisa and I went to Disneyland and rode Pirates of the Caribbean (my favorite Disney ride!), then Jungle Cruise, and then Splash Mountain twice where we both each say in the first and second seats and each got DRENCHED literally head to toe. It was obviously worth it. Disneyland always, always, always makes me feel like a child. And a special shoutout to the girl at the French Market restaurant who let us order mac ‘n cheese from the kids menu for that very same reason. After leaving a sun soaked and 96-degree day in the sunshine of the happiest place on earth, we headed back to our hotel for a 4AM wake-up call to get coffee and breakfast before the 10K starts at 6AM.

I’m so happy to be here, and I’m having the best time so far. Disneyland has always been such a special place to me, from all the times I came here as a kid with my dad and siblings to the time my twin sister and our two best friends came here to celebrate our high school graduation in 2000, to the time my twin, brother Joel, his friend Seth, and I came here in 2001 right before I left home for college, and again when my family and I came here in 2006 when it was all decorated for Christmas. Each of those times, I felt, as Jiminy Cricket says, fun and fancy free and lived in the present, just enjoying the smells of kettle corn and musty water theme rides and hearing countless runs of Disney songs. I can’t wait to explore the park some more on Sunday wearing my golden D. I just feel so blessed to be here.



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