And now back to my Disney trip days…
This morning was the 5K. If you have never done a Disney race, you may not know that they start EARLY. And because they need to manage 20,000+ runners, the bus transportation starts crazy early.
I like to be on the first bus because things can get crazy with traffic and confused bus drivers (thankfully that has never happened to me but I have heard stories). So that meant being outside my hotel for the first bus at 3:30 am. Donna and Pam were not doing the 5K so I was heading out solo.
As I approached the front doors, I saw the wind in the palm trees… not good. And then I saw that the ground was wet… really not good. It wasn’t supposed to rain so I was not prepared with rain gear. It was going to be interesting.
I got to the race area and started to text a friend so we could find each other. I know Gretchen from singing at Women’s Harmony Brigade each year. She came up to me at the end of last year’s Brigade and said she was doing Princess and she saw on Facebook that I like runDisney events too. We connected on Facebook and discovered that we were both doing the 5K and the half marathon this weekend. She was also doing the 5K solo so we planned to meet up and do it together.
We found each other and chatted a bit while we waited for the corrals to open up.
My least favorite part of runDisney events is waiting for the race to start. I have a bad back and the standing around for 90 minutes or more does not make it happy. Since it was morning #1, my back was ok and it was great to pass the time chatting with Gretchen. With chorus competition season starting, we had a lot to discuss. It was cold and rained on and off the entire time but we made the best of it.
I really love Disney 5Ks. It’s a fun run so its not timed which means no pressure. You see families doing it together which is awesome. It’s a great first race for anyone. The only thing that I don’t love is that the character lines on the race course have gotten pretty long. On the timed races, I don’t have enough time to stop for photos so it would be nice to stop on the 5K and I have done that in the past. But over the past few years, the lines are just too long and I don’t want to wait 20-30 minutes for a character picture…. especially this year when it was cold and wet. So Gretchen and I just moved along though the 3.1 miles.
The 5K was themed to Moana which is a favorite of mine. And I just LOVE the medal! It’s shaped like the Heart of Tafiti (check out the movie if you don’t know what that means).
Gretchen and I got our medals and parted ways to go back to our hotels. Donna, Pam and I were switching hotels to Port Orleans Riverside today so I had to shower and pack up. We had decided to try a Minnie van to get to Riverside so we could bring all our luggage with us. Yes, Disney will transport your luggage over and I have done that before. However, there is always a little anxiety when your bags have all your race gear and we just felt better doing it ourselves.
The Minnie van service is available through the Lyft app. It is more expensive than a regular lift but the drivers are Disney cast members. And since it was a mini van there was plenty of room for our luggage. The cast member was awesome and it was great experience.
We got over to Riverside and dropped our bags at bell services because the room was not ready yet. Then we took a regular Lyft to Animal Kingdom Lodge to have breakfast at Boma. My friend Ashley was joining us there for breakfast as well.
No pictures at Boma but its a wonderful buffet. Some adventurous items inspired by African cuisine but plenty typical breakfast items too. My favorites are the tater tots… because it’s always a good time for tater tots… and the French toast bread pudding with caramel pecan sauce on top. It’s a great spot for a post race breakfast.
We had the deluxe dining plan for this portion of the trip and this was the first meal that we were using it. Apparently, it hadn’t loaded incorrectly into my account and there was an issue. The manager at Boma was great and said they would charge the breakfast to my room, fix the dining plan and make the adjustment. He called over to Riverside to work on it. I got a phone call from Riverside a few hours later that everything was fixed and when I checked my Disney app, it was all good.
Ashley was switching hotel rooms too so she went to take care of that while Donna, Pam and I went to the expo so they could get their race bibs. Everything went smoothly and we did a little shopping. It was crazy to see how much of the runDisney merchandise was sold out from when I had been there the day before.
Once we were done there, our room was ready so we went back to Riverside to get settled in. We had a standard room with two queen beds. Riverside was the first resort that I ever stayed at on property many years ago and I haven’t stayed there in a very long time.
Here are some pictures of the property from our last day there (because this day it was cold, windy and overcast). Below those are pictures of our room.
We got settled in and then needed to go to Disney Springs for our dinner reservation. One of the features of Riverside that we were excited about was the little friendship boat that runs directly from Riverside to Disney Springs. Unfortunately, because of the weather, the boat was not running so we had to take the bus over.
We were eating at Maria and Enzo’s which was new to all of us. It was “Carnevale” which meant a special menu and some other activities in the dining room, like a juggler and someone making balloon animals. We all got beads when we entered and there were masks available too.
With the deluxe dining plan, each guest received an appetizer, entree and dessert plus one alcoholic beverage. PLUS the restaurant brought a platter of meatballs and another dessert item. It was a lot of food but everything was so good.
We were all doing the 10K in the morning and had planned to be in bed by 8 / 8:30 pm. We left the restaurant and went to grab a bus back to the resort. Unfortunately, we hit a snag there as we waiting over 30 minutes for a bus… in the cold and wind. I do not do well in the cold and my legs were actually shivering by the end of our wait.
For the most part, I have not had many issues with the bus system but every now and then you hit a problem. It isn’t fun but not much you can do about it. We thought about bailing on the bus and getting a Lyft but after waiting for a bit, you always think the bus has to be coming any minute so why leave the line and then wait for a Lyft.
Eventually we got on a bus and made it back to the room. It was later than we wanted but we had to just make the best of it and get ourselves ready for our early wake up the next day.