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Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend, April 2017 - A Report
DisneyDan  Friday, May 19, 2017 2:31:39 PM
Hello everyone,

Last month (April 2017), Jon and I took part in our second runDisney weekend, the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World. Followers of my blog will know that in February we participated in our very first ever runDisney event at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Well, here we were, two months later, ready to do it all over again for the Empire!

I won't repeat everything I said in my first Princess blog about our impressions of runDisney, training, organisation of the event, impressions, etc, as many of those aspects were very similar this time, but needless to say, we were exceptionally proud of ourselves for being able to achieve not just one half marathon weekend, but now two in the space of two months!

As per the usual setup with the runDisney events, we went along on the Thursday before the race weekend to collect our bibs and merchandise at the health expo, at ESPN. The setup was virtually identical to the Princess Half expo, down to the bib collection areas, the vendor booths and show area, and the official race store.

  [ Read More... ]
Star Wars Galactic Nights, April 2017 - A Review
DisneyDan  Tuesday, May 9, 2017 3:41:47 PM
Hello everyone,

Last month, on the 14th April, Disney's Hollywood Studios held its first ever Star Wars Galactic Nights; a premium ticketed event held after park closing.

When Disney first announced Galactic Nights, it was kind of bittersweet. 2015 saw the last ever Star Wars Weekends at the park, which at the time we didn't know would be the final event. Star Wars Weekends were held over four or five consecutive weekends in May and June since 1997. The weekends were insanely popular, and involved many fun character greetings, shows, celebrity appearances, special dining options, special merchandise and much, much more. They were quite simply the ultimate Star Wars fan event. Without warning, Disney announced, after the 2015 event, that they had decided to cancel them, and so anyone who missed 2015 - or had already made plans for 2016 - were left very disappointed, and honestly, as diehard fans we were left bitterly let down and a little stunned.

Disney have tried in the past year to increase the Star Wars presence at Hollywood Studios, including the Star Wars Launch Bay, the March of the First Order, the fireworks spectacular and other small offerings. When Galactic Nights was announced, with the celebrity appearances, cavalcade and special character greetings, it felt like they were trying to give the fans a little bit of Star Wars Weekends back, if only for one night, and at a high premium.

With all that in mind, I was a little skeptical, honestly. How could one night live up to the all-day activities that lasted for four weeks per year? And how could we possibly get everything done in one night? I imagined it being a little frustrating, and actually anticipated complaining to guest relations at the end of the night, based on our recent experiences at Disney events. I don't deliberately go into these things wanting or intending to complain, but I think I was so jaded by the loss of Star Wars Weekends, and now having to pay a lot of money to just even get a slither of that back for one night, that I just expected to dislike it.

  [ Read More... ]
Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast Dining Review, April 2017
DisneyDan  Tuesday, May 2, 2017 2:07:48 PM
Hello everyone,

A couple of weeks ago we dined at Trattoria al Forno at Disney's Boardwalk (Walt Disney World) to try the new Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast character dining experience. You do not need to enter the Boardwalk resort hotel in order to access the restaurant; it is located along the Boardwalk area itself, and not within the hotel.



For those who like to know these things, for planning purposes or whatever, we had a 7.45am reservation. Our reservation was on a Saturday, and it seemed to be fairly quiet at that time.

  [ Read More... ]
A Walk Through the Parks, February and March 2017
DisneyDan  Tuesday, April 11, 2017 1:55:03 PM
Hello everyone,

As Jon and I spend an increasing amount of time at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, I find it correspondingly redundant to post "trip reports", in the more traditional sense. You may have noticed that, for example, recently I posted a stand alone review of the Garden Grill, a report on meeting the stars of Cars 3, and my report on the DVC Moonlight Magic event here on Character Central, and over on Two Lost Boys, my review of Flower and Garden 2017 at Epcot. I thought that it would be nice to share the more "generic" things we saw, too, over the past two months, and so decided to make this report more of a round-up of multiple visits, rather than breaking it down into separate trip reports. We will actually be back at the parks again this week and next, and so you should expect to see a similar round-up and more specialised individual reports once I get around to doing them, too.

Let's start our February-March walk though the park with the Magic Kingdom.   [ Read More... ]
Chip 'n' Dale's Harvest Feast, A Review - March 2017
DisneyDan  Thursday, April 6, 2017 10:33:59 AM
Hello everyone,

A couple of weeks ago we had lunch at The Garden Grill, inside The Land pavilion at Epcot. We had eaten there several times in the past, but it had been several years, so we thought it was time that we went back to get an updated view.

The Garden Grill is a character dining experience, which has its own title of Chip 'n' Dale's Harvest Feast. Throughout your dining experience, Chip and Dale, as well as Mickey Mouse and Pluto, make their way around the restaurant for hugs, photos and autographs. Prices can be up to $60 per adult, depending on the time of day, plus tax and tip. You should plan to be in the restaurant for at least an hour. Reservations are accepted, and can be made on the My Disney Experience app.

  [ Read More... ]
Magic Kingdom Moonlight Magic, A Report - February 2017
DisneyDan  Tuesday, April 4, 2017 8:30:17 AM
Hello everyone,

At the end of February we were fortunate enough to attend a special event at the Magic Kingdom held for DVC Members. Moonlight Magic was held on two separate nights from 10pm until 1am. Tickets were free for DVC members and up to five of their guests, however, you needed to book it in advance, and spaces were limited.   [ Read More... ]
Meeting the Stars of Cars 3 at Disney Springs - A Report, March 2017
DisneyDan  Friday, March 31, 2017 9:09:44 AM
Hello everyone,

Last weekend, the Lightning McQueen was joined by Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm at Disney Springs, at Walt Disney World, for a special three-day appearance to kick off their nationwide tour to promote the new movie (June 16th).

We were there on Sunday to meet them, and so I have some photos to share with you all.   [ Read More... ]
NEWS - Music of PIXAR Live show, Cars 3 Characters at WDW, New Disney Jr Dance Party, StellaLou to debut and more!
DisneyDan  Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:52:29 PM
Hello everyone,

This week has been a particularly good week for character news, with lots coming out of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Paris.

Let's start with Tokyo Disney Resort, where last night they announced a brand new character to join Duffy and friends at Tokyo DisneySea - a bunny named StellaLou.   [ Read More... ]
Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon Weekend Trip Report, February 2017
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:06:45 AM
Hello everyone,

Last month Jon and I, along with a very dear friend, took part in our first ever runDisney race weekend. We participated in all three races (5k, 10k and half marathon) at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in Florida.

It's hard to even know where to begin describing this entire journey to you, since it wasn't at all like a normal trip. We didn't just go to the parks and happen to run through them like our lives depended on it - this was an altogether different experience. A journey that involved months of hard training, registrations, and bookings at precise moments to get what we wanted, and planning out strategies and coping mechanisms for running these events as a team, while making individual achievements.

We had known for a few months prior to booking that our goal was to be fit enough to want to complete a runDisney event, and when we booked the races last year, we had reached a point where we felt we could be ready in February to compete. The booking process itself was a challenge - as with everything with Disney these days - and we had to make several calls and enquiries to get what we wanted. They don't really make it very clear with regards to some aspects of it, if you have never done this before. So to that degree it was frustrating.

Months later still, and February finally arrived, and we were as ready as we were ever going to be!   [ Read More... ]
Walt Disney World December 2016 Trip Report, Part Four - Magic Kingdom Continued
DisneyDan  Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:38:55 PM
Hello everyone,

In this fourth and final part of my trip report for our visit to Walt Disney World during Christmas 2016 I am going to share with you some more of our adventures at the Magic Kingdom.

Let's start on Main Street USA where we met Santa Claus before he set off on his magical deliveries on Christmas Eve.   [ Read More... ]
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