Disneyland Paris, Phantom Manor

Bastos Regains Disney Marathon Title in Magical Fashion

posted on January 13th, 2013 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


“Adriano
One way or another you had to figure the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna was going to turn out this way. After all, it was the 20th annual event, so it was only fitting that Brazilian runner Adriano Bastos, the greatest name in Disney Marathon history, would break his two-year drought and win on Sunday. I mean, what else would you expect from the place “Where Dreams Come True?”

So, after fending off another fierce challenge from his fellow countryman and training partner Fredison Costa, Bastos made it back home Sunday – a la to the finish line ahead of everyone else for his seventh Disney Marathon win in the past nine years and eighth overall.

He wants to get to 10.

It was a day of former champions winning again. Virginia’s Renee High won the women’s division for the second straight year, easily finishing ahead of the rest of the field which included more women (57 percent) than men for the first time in the event’s history.
“Joey

Among the more than 25,000 runners who trekked through all four Disney theme parks were former pop star Joey Fatone, who had never run so much as a half marathon previously, yet completed the half marathon and the full marathon this weekend at Disney.
“Runners

The race capped a magical weekend of running events, parties and family entertainment that commemorated the 20th annual event. The four-day event drew more than 65,000 runners, including celebrities and famous running legends, that culminated with the 26.2-mile marathon Sunday that included new course enhancements, a new finisher’s medal, a post-race party at Downtown Disney and spectacular entertainment along Mile 20.

For those runners who are craving the opportunity to run another Disney event, they won’t have to wait long. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon is next weekend at Disneyland Resort in California. Meet you at the starting line!

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Italian Soccer Club AS Roma Announces Upcoming Winter Training Schedule at ESPN Wide World of Sports

posted on December 18th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


You may remember that back in March, we announced that famed Italian soccer club AS Roma would be coming to Disney for their winter training. We now have details on where and when you can catch the three-time Serie A champions later this month at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Francesco Totti and the Rest of AS Roma Will Train at ESPN Wide World of Sports

International soccer superstars Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, and U.S. National Team member Michael Bradley, among others, will kick off their training December 29, with their first session at 11 a.m., and continuing through January 1.

At the same time, America’s top youth players will be taking the ESPN Wide World of Sports pitch as well. The Disney Soccer Showcase presented by AS Roma runs December 27-30, and features top teams from around the country. During a special clinic, the dream of taking the pitch with the pros will come true for two youth teams. Players from Orlando’s FC America (girls) and Atlanta’s Concorde Fire Soccer Club (boys) will train together with AS Roma in a 30-minute clinic.
Michael Bradley and the Rest of AS Roma Will Train at ESPN Wide World of Sports

AS Roma Training Schedule:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  • 4:00-6:00 PM

Monday, December 31, 2012

  • 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

  • 4:00-6:00 PM

All training sessions are open to the public with paid admission to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

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Brees to Host Prestigious Football Academy at Disney

posted on December 12th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


NFL star quarterback Drew Brees shouted those famous words “I’m Going to Disney World’’ after his team won the Super Bowl in 2010. Now, he’s coming back to Disney, this time during the summer to launch his first high school football academy.

The Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament will make its debut at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, June 27-30, 2013. The academy is open to all skill levels but is expected to attract some of the most highly-ranked high school players in the country and will involve elite-level instruction from Brees and other marquee NFL players and coaches. The academy participants will learn insider tips related to virtually every facet of the passing game, from the proper throwing motion to throwing on the run to taking command of the huddle, from one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.

Also, the athletes will immediately get to test what they have learned by taking part in three days of intensely-competitive 7-on-7 competition, a format which has been widely credited with helping accelerate the development of several current young NFL starting quarterbacks. The 7-on-7 competition will be run by KSA Events, the nation’s premier host of high school sports events.

The unique part of the academy is that the proceeds from it go to benefit Brees’ charitable foundation, the Brees Dream Foundation, established in 2003 by Brittany and Drew Brees to help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need.

Teams can sign up for the academy at www.ksaevents.net/.

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Splitsville Almost Ready to ‘Roll In and Rock Out’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 13th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Construction has been underway on the new Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Downtown Disney for several months now, and I bet you’ve been wondering how things are going over there.

Me too.

So, I decided to pop by there the other day to check out the place and find out firsthand what’s going on behind those construction walls. Splitsville founders Guy Revelle and Mark Gibson, two of the driving forces behind the project, suited me up in a hard hat, vest and safety glasses and allowed me to take a look around. Afterwards, they talked to me about what we can all expect when the doors to the place are finally swung open.

I was really interested in what they had to say. I thought you would be too, so we shot this video of them talking about everything from the construction process to the excitement surrounding the greatly anticipated grand opening later this year.

 
Sorry, I could only show you a little of the actual venue right now because there’s still some construction going on (some of the video you’ll see includes renderings and video from their Tampa location), but I’ll definitely have a full video tour for you once we get a little closer to the grand opening. Be sure to check back here regularly for more updates from me, in particular when I announce the official grand opening date.


Read about Splitsville at Walt Disney World Resort in these posts:

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Fairytale Ending at Disney Golf Classic at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 11th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Pro golfer Charlie Beljan at Disney Golf Classic at Walt Disney World Resort

It just wouldn’t have been right if pro golfer Charlie Beljan of Arizona had won his first PGA TOUR tournament somewhere else Sunday besides Walt Disney World Resort. I mean, his performance throughout the week at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic here was a classic fairytale story – rookie player takes early lead then falls ill on the course only to recover the next day and go on to win his first title at the last TOUR event of the season.

Only this was no fairytale, but rather a real-life dream come true for Beljan, 28, whose $846,000 winner’s check was nearly double what he had earned so far this year. And then there’s this: he joins Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in the fraternity of eight players to win this tournament the first time they played here.

While leading the tournament, Beljan’s blood pressure spiked during Friday’s second round when he also developed a shortness of breath, causing him to nearly collapse at times during the final few holes. After getting medical attention, he returned the next day and continued his blistering play the final two rounds – he had 22 birdies in all – to notch one of the most emotional and inspiring victories in the Disney tournament’s 42-year history.

“Every day I drove underneath that Disney sign coming here (and) it said ‘Welcome to Disney World, Where Dreams Come True,” Beljan said after his win. “And that’s just what happened this week.”

Of course it did.

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All-Stars Tee Off at Walt Disney World Resort for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

posted on November 9th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Funny things can happen when you mix together pro athletes from different sports for a golf tournament such as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World Resort this week.

For instance, former Major League Baseball all-star pitcher Heath Slocumb is playing with PGA TOUR golfer Heath Slocum. Kinda funny, right?

Both Heaths are among the field of TOUR stars and marquee athletes from the NFL, MLB and even professional boxing participating in the season-ending TOUR event on Disney’s Magnolia and Palm golf courses. Among the big-name sports celebs in the pro-am field are Minnesota Twins superstar Joe Mauer, former light-heavyweight boxing champion Antonio Tarver, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price, former Tampa Bay Bucs great Derrick Brooks and former Green Bay Packers star Ryan Longwell.

They are teeing it up again today on the Magnolia and Palm courses with the TOUR pros if you want to come out and watch. There are also food trucks and big-screen TVs to watch all of the big college and NFL games this weekend in between watching golf.

If you can’t make it out, here’s a quick video look at what you’ll be missing.

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runDisney and the ‘Diet Diva’ to Host Meet-Up and Warm-Up for Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

posted on November 1st, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


UPDATE: Click here for a complete list of attendees. If you are on the list and did not receive a confirmation email, please contact us at WDW.SportsMeetUps@disney.com. Please note that we will not be responding to questions via this email address. If you have questions, please ask them on the Disney Parks Blog, and we will do our best to answer them.

UPDATE: We have reached capacity! Thanks for everyone’s interest in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Meet-Up and Warm-Up, and we appreciate your quick responses. At approximately 12 p.m. ET, we will send the meet-up attendees a confirmation email. If you are on the list and did not receive a confirmation email, please contact us at WDW.SportsMeetUps@disney.com. By 1 p.m. ET, we will post a link to the complete list of attendees. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for additional unique opportunities in the future.

If you’re looking to gain tips and training advice from Gidus and Galloway, they will also be available at the upcoming Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Expo on Friday and Saturday. For more information, and for additional Galloway and Gidus training details, please visit www.runDisney.com.

What better way to get ready for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend than by hanging out with runDisney’s newest consultant, Tara Gidus – or as she’s affectionately known, the “Diet Diva.”

If you’re looking for better ways to fuel yourself, before or during a race, or how best to recover, this meet-up is for you. Along with serving as official nutritionist for runDisney, Gidus is also an author and team dietitian for the Orlando Magic.
Tara Gidus, 'Diet Diva' and Official Nutritionist for runDisney

In addition to Gidus, there will be a short training run led by runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway, plus a couple surprises along the way. Anton Van Zyl, winner of the past two Wine & Dine races, will also be on hand for the morning event.

Galloway, who has run all 19 Walt Disney World Marathons as well as other runDisney events, is well known for his popular Run-Walk-Run training method, and the expertise he’ll share with the 40 selected applicants has helped thousands of runners complete their first marathons and improve their race times.
RSVP for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Meet-Up and Warm-Up

If you don’t want to be left in the dust, RSVP right now to WDW.SportsMeetUps@Disney.com. Only 40 qualified runners will be selected to participate, so be one of the first to apply.

In the meantime, here are a few things you should know:

  • All participants must be available for a 7 a.m. ET start time on Friday, November 9.
  • Qualified applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A valid ID is required. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Limit to one RSVP per email address.
  • Valid RSVPs must include your name. RSVPs that include more than one person or are missing information (e.g. incomplete names) will not be accepted.
  • Admittance to the event is non-transferable and limited to the selected applicant; no additional guests please.
  • The event and individual appearances are subject to change or cancellation.
  • Because this is a running-oriented event, we ask that applicants be experienced runners, able to maintain a 12-minute per mile pace (qualified).
  • Selected applicants attending the meet-up are not required to purchase admission.
  • We will send an email to selected qualified applicants who sent their valid RSVP via email before we reached capacity to confirm their attendance for Friday. We plan to send this email at approximately 2 p.m. ET today, and we will also post a link on the Disney Parks Blog that will include a list of names of all selected qualified applicants. If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation and your name does not appear on the list of selected applicants, you were not selected.
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The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon: It’s A Sell Out

posted on September 7th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


When you consider all of the cool new features we’ve added to this event lately, this news should come as no surprise: The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna is sold out.
The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Is Sold Out

Yep, the last spot has been snapped up, pushing the total number of registered runners over the 25,000 mark, ensuring this will be the largest marathon field in Disney history. And it went fast, selling out less than five months after registration opened. As best as anyone around here can tell, this is one of the quickest sellouts in the event’s history.

There’s no doubt part of the appeal of the race is the many commemorative features, such as the new twists to the 26.2-mile course (it goes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the Champion Stadium ballpark), the new Mickey Mouse medal, the post-race party at Downtown Disney and the slew of celebrity runners who have signed up to run. Indeed, the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, January 10-13, is going to be unlike any we’ve ever staged.

But if you’re kicking yourself for not signing up sooner, all is not lost. You can still get in on the 20th anniversary marathon fever here in a couple of different ways. One of the best ways is by signing up through a group with reserved entries, such as the Runner’s World Challenge package, which involves several exclusive features, expert training advice and VIP amenities, in addition to entry into the marathon. You can sign up for it and other runDisney race weekends at runDisney.com.

Also, there are a few spots left in the Disney Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which involves running the half marathon and the marathon on consecutive days. Granted, that’s a lot of running, but if you think that’s too much to endure in order to be a part of this 20th anniversary weekend, consider this: You’ll have to wait another 16 months for the next Walt Disney World Marathon.

Read these posts for more about the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon:

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The Magic Behind Mickey’s 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Medal

posted on August 28th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Since we unveiled Mickey’s commemorative 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon medal two weeks ago, the response has been amazing. It is truly unlike any runDisney medal we have ever created, and runners apparently love it.

In case you missed the video reveal on Facebook or Twitter, you can watch it now:

The creative force behind the medal is Disney art director David Brotherton, who designed the unique medal by incorporating the perfect balance between athletics and Disney. In this video, David takes us behind the scenes and shares details about the creative journey that led to this signature medal that will be the jewel of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, January 10-13.

There’s still time to get your hands on this or one of the other inspiring Disney medals. You can sign up for any Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend event, including the runDisney Kids’ Races, Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Half Marathon or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge at runDisney.com. And be sure to connect with other runDisney runners on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out these posts for more updates on the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon:

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20th Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is Going Hollywood

posted on August 16th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


More and more celebrities are signing up to be a part of the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. Alison Sweeney, host of the popular reality show “The Biggest Loser,” and ESPN personality Colin Cowherd signed up weeks ago.

But recently Drew Carey, Gilles Marini, Sean Astin, Kit Hoover, Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn threw their names in the hat, too. Astin and Carey are taking on the 26.2-mile full marathon, while the other celebs are sticking to the 13.1-mile half marathon during the historic race weekend, January 10-13, at Walt Disney World Resort.

Most of them are eager to run here because they already know what it’s like to run in a runDisney event. Carey, the comedian and host of “The Price is Right,” ran in the Disneyland Half Marathon last year. Astin, the lead actor in the movie “Rudy,” ran in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon earlier this year. And reality TV stars Morasca and Zohn (“Survivor” and “The Amazing Race”) ran in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon earlier this year and the Princess Half Marathon last year.

Cowherd, Sweeney, Marini (“Sex and the City: The Movie” and “Dancing with the Stars”), and Hoover (“Access Hollywood” co-host) are the runDisney newbies. Hoover and Sweeney have run other half marathons, but this will be the maiden voyage for Marini and Cowherd, both of whom have never run a half marathon previously.

Cowherd, in particular, is apparently not the least bit nervous about biting off a half marathon. In fact, he’s been having a lot of fun with it. Check out the video below, which appeared on the runDisney Facebook page and on Twitter, and you’ll see what I mean.

By the way, you can run with these celebs. The weekend races are filling up, but you can still register at runDisney.com.

Get more news about the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon in these posts:

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