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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... ]
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... ]
News and updates - Avengers runDisney half marathon and new night parade both coming to Disneyland!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10:59:05 AM
Hello everyone,

Hot on the heels of the Marvel/Spider-Man news the last few days from Disneyland Paris, which I talked about yesterday, today the Disney Parks Blog announced that the Disneyland Resort would be hosting an Avengers half marathon from 14th - 16th November this year! The promotional video clearly states that Avengers characters and entertainment would be at the event, with the picture showing a cartoon of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, who have all previously featured as characters, but also now the Hulk! If the image is accurate then as far as we know right now, this will be the first time the Hulk will be featured as a character at the Disney Parks! There is of course the chance he may appear before then anyway, or he may not show up at all, but I am guessing they are going to be fairly accurate with their concept portrayal and who actually shows up. Very exciting news indeed!
EDIT: I just checked the official runDisney site, and it states "Join the Avengers team of Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Tony Stark for the Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend." Could this mean that Black Widow and Hawkeye will come to Disneyland, too? It would be amazing if true!

Also, the blog site Disney and More posted yesterday that the new Hong Kong Disneyland nighttime parade, Paint the Night, that I had previously mentioned could be on its way to Disneyland for their 60th anniversary next year also! This would mean that, sadly, it would only be a Hong Kong exclusive for a few months before Disneyland get their own version. Although it is awesome that Disneyland could get a new night parade again, it is sad that they have to degrade the uniqueness of Hong Kong's efforts by copying it. Nonetheless, I'm sure it will be a welcomed addition to both resorts.

There has been a ton of news the last few days, so why not check out my previous blog posts for all the latest information. Links below.

Read here the news about Spider-Man at Disneyland Paris, Festival of Fantasy at WDW and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Read here the news about Star Wars Weekends at WDW, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Spring season at Disneyland Paris and parade changes at Hong Kong Disneyland.

That's all for now!

Dan.
News and Rumours from Around the World: WDW cuts DHS parade and show, New DLR Long Lost Friends Week vote and more!
DisneyDan  Monday, March 18, 2013 11:42:39 AM
Hello everyone,

A few small pieces of news today.

First up, Disneyland in California has abruptly ended the Plaza Inn's "My Disneyland Birthday" which used to take place at the restaurant. The special gathering which saw the debut of a brand new park-exclusive character "Pat E Cake", ran for over 10 years, before ending this past Sunday. It was a neat little happening that also featured Mickey and Minnie meeting the invited guests together for pictures.
You may recall last year WDW similarly cut its Tony's Town Square Gathering, which featured the Lady and the Tramp's chef Tony exclusively at the Tony's Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
It's sad to see that these unique events are gradually disappearing from the parks, as it is often these little details and happenings that really add that extra sparkle to a guest's day.

The Disney Parks Blog finally announced details of Disneyland's version of Long Lost Friends Week. Although no date is set yet, they have released on the blog a list of characters which can be voted on, and the top ones will be the ones that appear in the park that week (whenever that may be). The list has been met with some mixed reaction from the fan community overall, simply because it isn't as diverse as we were all hoping for. Sure, it does have the Three Good Fairies, Merlin and Ludwig Von Drake, amongst others, but it also has Alice, the Mad Hatter, Peter Pan, Chip 'n Dale, and many more who are all in the park regularly.
Some have pointed out that it's the opportunity to get these groups of characters together that is also the draw, but to be honest, when I think "long lost", meeting Alice with the Tweedles doesn't exactly inspire me. The fear is also of course that people will vote for those characters, and the event will end up being nothing more than a big gathering of current friends, rather than the return of anyone truly "lost".
I guess we shall see soon enough what happens!

Over at WDW, although Disney themselves haven't made a public announcement, Cast Members there are reporting that Hollywood Studios' Countdown to Fun parade and Disney Channel Rocks will both be ending permanently on April 6th this year.
There is no word on any replacement yet for either offering, sadly.

In Disneyland Paris, our friends at Dedicated to DLP reported that they have heard whispers of a runDisney event being held there late next year. For anyone who doesn't know, usually these events have lots of random and cool characters featured along the course! I guess we should all start training now!
This past weekend DLP also held its annual St. Patrick's Day event, which featured characters in their Irish finest, and Leprechauns! It's one of the very few things that we still haven't been to, here at Character Central. Every year we say we will, and we always fail! Maybe next year?...
Lots of the main DLP Facebook and Twitter pages had some good updates throughout the weekend of the characters, shows, special fireworks and the pre-parade, so be sure to check them out!

Remember that just a few days ago I made another News post, which contains details of lots more cool things coming to the parks this year, including a Greek event at DLR! So be sure to read that.

Although its birthday has passed now, two days ago it was Walt Disney Studios Park's 11th anniversary. I made a special tribute post with lots of really great photos in it, so if you're curious at all, then have a look.

Finally, I want to mention our brand new Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planner that was launched last week. If you are planning to visit Tokyo, and haven't yet seen our special Trip Planner, I would suggest you do not miss it!
For those who have asked, or are curious, more Trip Planners are on their way, for the other Disney Parks and Resorts - they just take a lot of time to create! We'll let you know here on the blog when we do launch them.

Ok, I think that's all for today.

Dan.

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