Never Land 5k -Tinker Bell Race Weekend

Friday January 17th kicked off our 3 day running spree at Disneyland.  We were super happy we got to sleep in.  Sleeping in meant we didn’t have to wake up until 4am.  This was a luxury to us in comparison to Walt Disney World.  The Never Land 5k was to start at 5:45am so we made our way out our hotel door at 5am.  It was a short walk across the street towards Main Street inside Disneyland.  Participants made their way to corrals during this time.  Although Disney does ask participants to corral themselves according to their pace, most don’t and upon arrival, seed themselves in the next available corral. When we arrived, we were able to place ourselves in C however we soon found ourselves stumbling to run once we began our race.

Pirates "Argh"

Pirates “Argh”

Start of Never Land 5k

Start of Never Land 5k

I always enjoy the start of the race as they play the Disney theme song and Tinker Bell flys out of no where (or Never Land if you prefer).  She is suspended on wires and zooms around the castle. Remember when you used to watch The Wonderful World of Disney on TV and Tinker Bell would come out and fly around the castle? It was kind of like that! Cool eh?

Once we were off, we made our way through Disneyland. It was still pretty dark. Disney had some props out and we took a few pics of them as well as Toon Town.

Disneyland in the dark!

Disneyland in the dark!

One of the fun photo ops was at It’s a Small World. It’s one of my most favourite visuals at Disneyland. Bright lights, big city? Nope, it’s just a small world after all.
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Once we made our way through Disneyland, we soon entered California Adventure.

Smee!

Smee!

We made ourselves around Hollywood Land, Cars Land, Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier. The Mickey ferris wheel and lights is always a wonderful sight.

Soon we found the end of our 5k adventure. We received our medal and picked up our snack box and drinks. Before we left, we were sure to take a few celebratory pics over looking the water.

Never Land 5k complete!

Never Land 5k complete!

All in a days work right? Really it was only around 7am. It was time to shower and change for our big day. We returned to the expo and then spent the rest of the afternoon at California Adventure.

Next up on our Tinker Bell running trio – Tinker Bell 10K.

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2014 Tinker Bell Expo and a Little Birthday Fun

We were still on a high from achieving Dopey status at Walt Disney World.  We arrived back in Toronto late on Monday night (actually, early Tuesday morning by the time we got home).  I went straight to bed as I had to go to work Tuesday.  By Wednesday night, we were packed and ready to travel to California for the Tinker Bell running weekend at Disneyland.  I tried to get some sleep over the two days being back, but in all honesty, it was tough.  Between work, unpacking and packing, and getting things organized around the house, I maybe was managing about 5 hours of sleep per night.  I actually was looking forward to the long flight to California; to attempt to sleep.

Our flight on Thursday morning was delayed for a good hour and a half. We knew we’d have little time to waste upon arrival.  Coincidently, it was also my birthday, so I was a little excited to get the party started down in Disneyland. We had plans to spend a little time there after the expo.  We picked up our car at LAX and drove to the hotel.  We made good time and checked into our hotel (thank you HOV lane) before walking towards Downtown Disney, onwards to the Disney Hotel.

Due to the crowds at the expo, we decided to pick up our race kits only, and check out the Run Disney merchandise section before making a very brief look at the other vendors. We had plans to come back and really explore the expo the following day after the 5K and this worked out really well as we got there prior to opening, and was able to check in for a New Balance appointment for the limited edition Run Disney shoes.  As it turned out, we actually came back a third time on Saturday to see Margaret Kerry speak at the expo. The original Tinker Bell.

For interest of sharing my expo experience in it’s entirety, I’ll be grouping our expo sights in this one post.

Race kit pickup was pretty flawless.  We entered the lower exhibit hall of the Disneyland hotel.  The line for the 5k was pretty big, but the 10K and half marathon pickup windows had little wait. The biggest wait was for the Park Hopper pass we purchased with GET Travel. All things considered, it wasn’t too lengthy.  We were out of the pick up area in about 20 minutes.  We then, went into the hall and picked up our race shirts and quickly browsed the vendors.  It really was a mad house in terms of people, so with a brief look at Sparkle Skirts (the line was huge to pay), and a few other places, we left it for the day as we knew coming back first thing on Friday was a better option.

Tinker Bell Race Shirts.  Packet pick up and exhibit hall.

Tinker Bell Race Shirts. Packet pick up and exhibit hall.

Once we got to the upper exhibit hall, we made our way to the long line that awaited us for the Run Disney merchandise.  Disney organized a line outside the hall that moved pretty briskly, but upon entering the line, I was at first taken aback as I thought it would take forever to get inside.  I heard from others that this was due in part to last year’s Disneyland half marathon weekend, which apparently had crazy crowds and long line ups to cash out.  Once inside the merchandise area, it was easy to get around the aisles.  Disneyland employees did a great job at not over packing the area with people and the cash out process was swift and easy.

Line up for the Run Disney Tinker Bell Merchandise area outside of the hall

Line up for the Run Disney Tinker Bell Merchandise area outside of the hall

I will say, on the Thursday when we arrived, there was a lot of merchandise to be bought to commemorate the Tinker Bell weekend. Unfortunately, those that didn’t arrive until Friday or Saturday missed out on a lot to be had as the expo sold out on many of the items. When we went back on Saturday and took a brief look at the shelves, many of the items were gone, only to have the shelves replaced with non commemorative Tinker Bell mugs and Mickey stuffed toys. The demand for “I Did It” shirts, mugs, wine glasses, shirts and jackets was great. I took a few pictures of some of the items on Thursday, only to see them gone the following days. I didn’t purchase much here, however, I do have a habit of buying a hat during these expos, however, I wasn’t too happy with the design for this years Tinker Bell as it was just a plain white hat with grey lettering which I thought was a bit dull. I opted to buy a Run Disney hat instead and a 5K and 10K pin.

I Did It shirts, tees, wine glasses, mugs all were in great demand at the expo

I Did It shirts, tees, wine glasses, mugs all were in great demand at the expo

After we left the expo on Thursday, we made a quick stop at our hotel, and dropped off our expo gear.  Then we crossed the street so I could enjoy a few hours on my birthday at Disneyland.  We ended up at Carnation Cafe for dinner.  Enjoyed the deep fried pickles (definitely recommend) and one of Walt’s favourites.  At dessert time, a few of the cast members came by and sang a birthday song, and I was given a Mickey cupcake.

43rd birthday at Disneyland

43rd birthday at Disneyland

On Friday, we arrived just prior to the 10am open of the expo, but the doors were already open. I went directly to Sparkle Skirts and picked up a few skirts I had previously had my eye on via the website. We had about a half hour before the crowds starting coming in, so it was great being able to get what we wanted without waiting too long and to be able to browse effortlessly. While I was doing that, my spouse was drooling at the 620 Garmin that was at another vendor. I came by shortly after and started my drool on the 220. After that, I spent some time at Bondi Bands and bought a couple I had seen at Disney World the week before.

We lingered around and visited many vendors to see what they were selling.  I bought a pair of CEP calf compression sleeves.  As well, I splurged and got the 220 Garmin on Saturday.  It was time for a new Garmin and it was also a fantastic deal in comparison to  Canadian prices.  I love the fact that I can also use it as a watch.

220 Garmin and Tink 5K and 10K pins

220 Garmin and Tink 5K and 10K pins

I also got these….Oh yeah!

2014 New Balance Goofy Shoes!

2014 New Balance Goofy Shoes!

When we went back on Saturday to see Margaret Kerry, I was so glad I did. She spoke at the speaker series in the exhibit hall, and she was fantastic. She told us about her experience working at Disney and how fond she was of Marc Davis (creator of Bambi, Tinker Bell, and Cruella De Vil) who directed Margaret during her movement sessions.  She shared her audition process for Tinker Bell.  As someone who has dabbled in improv and sketch, I really got a kick out of it as she mimed her movements as she proceeded to tell her story.  In true Tink fashion, it was obvious that Tinker Bell was Margaret Kerry.  At a time when the majority of crew were male, she said she felt safe and protected on set with Marc Davis, or Mr. Davis, as I’m sure he was called back then. In fact, she said that one day on set, a member of the crew said something about Margaret, and that crew member was swiftly told to leave the set and to not return. She also met Walt Disney himself. She seemed very fond of her experience on Peter Pan. She went on to do other acting projects, and found her niche in voice work. After the speaker series, I was standing off to the side of the stage, and she walked by. By luck, I was able to say “Thank you” and told her how much I enjoyed her talk. She graciously stopped to talk for a moment. I wish I said more but I tend to forget to seize the moment sometimes and just be polite and brief (it’s the Canadian in me) and left it at that….then she was whisked away by her handler for some photo ops. It’s not great, but I took a quick picture of her as she walked toward us.

Margaret Kerry - Tinker Bell

Margaret Kerry – Tinker Bell

Next up – The Never Land 5K

Happy Running!

Tinker Bell Race weekend – Video Recap

It’s been a rainy and snowy day in the Toronto area so I’m still running on my Treadmill.  Here’s hoping Mother Nature brings us some warmer temperatures soon.  It would be awesome to have something above 5 soon like we did in early January.  Even if only for a day or two. *Crossing fingers

I finally finished my video of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland this past January.  Hope you enjoy it!

P.S. Urban Running Girl’s 20% off shrug sale is still on til Friday.  Enter code : URGFEB If you dislike the thought of tying your jacket around your waist one more Spring during a run, now’s the time the order!  Don’t miss out!

Disneyland Tinker Bell Half Marathon Recap

We had a spectacular time in Anaheim during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. The weekend was jam packed with running, park hopping, and roller coasters!  Let’s just say, that by the time we left Anaheim to go to L.A., I was pretty much fueled with the help of caffeine and perhaps adrenaline.

We arrived in Anaheim on Friday afternoon and after a quick stop at our hotel, we made our way to the Tinker Bell Run Expo to pick up our race packs.  Once we got our race bibs and shirts, we did a little shopping at the expo.

I went by Sparkle Skirts and picked up a skirt for race day.  The booth was packed as many Tink runners were also in the mood for a little sparkle in their step.

Tinker Bell Race Expo

Tinker Bell Race Expo 2013

On Saturday, we made our way to the start of the Neverland 5K. The race began inside the Disneyland park, so we entered into Main Street to make our way towards the castle. As we were walking towards the castle, I had a chance meeting with Sean Astin. How cool was that?  As you can see, he was totally into Tink spirit as he was wearing wings!                             

Neverland 5K

Urban Running Girl & Sean Astin at Neverland 5K

Neverland 5K Finish

The 5K is fun, however, if you plan on running this race, make note it will not be a fast race. Much of the course has narrow running paths, and lots of congestion.

After our 5K, we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for a full day of fun at California Adventure.

On Sunday morning, we were up bright and early. Here we are, prior to leaving for the race.

Ready to run the Tinker Bell half marathon

Ready to run the Tinker Bell half marathon

I had an excellent time, running the course. I have to say, the people of Anaheim are fantastic at cheering along the runners. There were several marching bands, and cheerleaders from various schools.  Also, I can’t forget about the Red Hat Society ladies.  They were out in full force cheering us on! There were some great signs along the course, but my favourite by far was this one…

We found out at the expo that all male participants were put in corral C by default, therefore; ‘Peter’ and myself were not starting at the same time as I was starting in a corral ahead of him. This worked out perfect (or so we thought), as I had planned on stopping and taking lots of pictures along the way which would give ‘Peter’ lots of time to catch up to me, and that we would be able to finish the race together. Although, we did finish together, it came down to the very last minutes of our race. I had expected he would have caught up to me around the 15K mark, however, he was no where in sight, so I slowed my pace down, in the hopes that he would eventually meet up with me. It wasn’t until the last stretch of the race, where there is a hairpin turn that I saw him running up on the other side. I think I was about 200 meters from the finish, and I waited for him to run around the hairpin, so we could cross the finish line together.

As always, it was another excellent Disney running adventure. In the next couple of weeks, I hope to be able to share a video of our running adventure with you.