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Celebrating the Holidays at Mickey’s Fun Wheel at Disney California Adventure Park

Runners Enjoy a Full Menu at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

posted on November 11th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Despite wet conditions Saturday night, thousands of runners kept their “reservations” and participated in the Fifth Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort. Exciting finishes, a wedding proposal, costumes and magical runDisney memories were all on the menu.

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After an exciting start at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and covering 13.1 miles through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, 21-year-old Chris Sorrick of St. Petersburg, Fla., was the first to cross the finish line. It was his first ever half marathon victory. Jenn Berry, 34, of Denver, Colo., was the top women’s finisher. Berry’s victory was twice as magical; she was the first place women’s finisher at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna in September.

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Rain did not dampen the runDisney spirit for the thousands of runners who followed our winners. From our favorite “Frozen” characters to a wine bottle and spaghetti and meatballs, runners showed their creativity and Disney Side with their costumes. Shouts of joy, high fives, choreographed finishes and tears of happiness were all served up at the finish line. And for one runner this night was just a little more memorable and magical. Krystyna Hanley of Buffalo, N.Y., was surprised by her boyfriend Andrew Masterson at the finish line. Standing in the rain and in front of thousands of screaming fans, Masterson asked Hanley to join him for the marathon of life and to be his wife. Before getting a finishers medal she received a diamond ring. Oh, by the way, she said yes!

I hope you take a moment to watch our recap video and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Fifth Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I invite you to join in the fun and create your own runDisney memories and I look forward to seeing you cross a runDisney finish at a future event.

To make your reservation for an upcoming runDisney race weekend, visit runDisney.com.

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Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side With Never-Before-Seen Moves

posted on October 24th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


With some never before seen fancy footwork, unique dance moves and a cheer lift, Minnie Mouse and her spirit team recently stopped by the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to cheer on her Disney Side.

Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Performing never before seen moves, Minnie is looking to inspire college cheer and dance squads to show their Disney Side and compete in the nationwide Cheer Your Disney Side campaign.

College cheer and dance squads have until November 10 to create and submit a 30-second Disney Parks-inspired routine using remixed Disney Parks attraction music to show off their Disney Side. Video submissions are being accepted at Espn.com/CheerMagic. Four teams will be selected as finalists and announced December 11 on ESPN around the telecast of the Home Depot College Football Awards show at Walt Disney World Resort. The winning squad will be announced January 12 on ESPN before the college football National Championship. The winning team of Cheer On Your Disney Side sponsored by ESPN working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit, wins a $100,000 grant for their college spirit program and a group trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The excitement is not limited to just cheer and dance squads. Fans can get into the action by voting for their favorite Disney Side cheer and dance routine from the four finalists.

For more information, rules and to submit a video, visit Espn.com/CheerMagic.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side – their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of 50 US States and DC, at least 18+ who are a School Administrator, Teacher, Coach or Administrative Director, representing a public or private, 2 or 4 year college/university located in the 50 US States or DC. Starts 9/3/14 12:00 PM EST. Ends 11/10/14 11:59 PM EST. To enter visit www.espn.com/CheerMagic and follow the directions provided to complete the Online entry form, and upload your Spirit Squad’s 30 sec videos. For prize details odds of winning and complete Official Rules go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Subject to Official Rules. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158.

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A runDisney Love Story at the Disneyland Half Marathon

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


So do you think you love Disney? Do you think you love Disney enough to run 13.1 miles? If the answer is yes to both questions, you are not alone. Christine Cheng and Anthony Tsang’s love for Disney and each other have put them on the course to love runDisney.

“We run because of runDisney,” Christine recently told me when I visited them at home in San Francisco, just before they completed the Dumbo Double Dare at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Disneyland Resort. “We have really never exercised too much before, but Disney gives us the motivation to get out there and lead a healthy, active lifestyle.”

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Saying Disney is a part of their everyday life is an understatement. Their home is filled with Disney keepsakes, they enjoy using their annual passes and visiting the parks several times a year, and of course, one of their greatest Disney memories – a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding.

“We just love that Disney opens so many new experiences to us, so there’s always some way to incorporate Disney into our lives,” the couple said. “Even if you don’t think you can run, you can do a runDisney race.”

I hope Christine and Anthony’s love story inspires you to add a little runDisney to your life.

For more information on runDisney and to register for an upcoming event, visit runDisney.com.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.

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Bling! Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed

posted on October 7th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you are one of the thousands of runners training for an event at the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, and asking yourself, “why am I doing this?” Well I have an answer to that question. It’s all about the bling and today runDisney is excited to reveal all the finishers medals for the event weekend.

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From the runDisney Kids’ Races and Mickey Mile, to the Dopey Challenge medal, I hope you will agree these finisher medals are amazing and worth all the training miles you are logging.

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As most runDisney fans know, this January we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. Runners participate in the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday, 39.3 miles over 2-days. Once they cross the finish line of the marathon, they not only receive a marathon medal, but they also earn the commemorative anniversary Goofy medal. This one of a kind medal features a spinning Goofy in the middle and clearly commemorates the 10th anniversary. Up for the challenge? Registration remains open for the Goofy Challenge.

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Now, for runners out there not wanting to take on Goofy but still wanting to join in on the fun in January, I am happy to tell you it’s not too late. Currently a limited number of marathon registrations remain open as part of the Goofy Giveback, a unique opportunity that re-opened marathon registration for 39 days, representing the number of miles covered in the Goofy Challenge. Your chance to take part in the marathon is scheduled to close on October 24th, or until the race reaches capacity.

If you are interested in registering for the Goofy Challenge or the Walt Disney World Marathon, visit runDisney.com.

I hope you like the medals and I look forward to seeing you at the finish line showing off your bling.

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Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Race after runDisney race I am constantly amazed by the creativity our runners show when selecting their costumes for event weekends. However, when it comes to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, everyone seems to kick it up a notch. From the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run and runDisney Kids Races on Saturday morning, to the featured 10-Miler Saturday night, runners of all ages came prepared to show their Halloween inspired Disney Side.

Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

Congratulations to the more than 15,500 registered runners who participated in all the runDisney events this past weekend. A special acknowledgement goes out to Marc Burget from Jacksonville, FL, and Lynn Baione from Jensen Beach, FL, our male and female champions.

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It was an exciting weekend for everyone and I hope you will take a moment to enjoy the following recap video. And if after watching the video you feel inspired to join in on the fun at a future runDisney event weekend, visit runDisney.com for details on upcoming races.

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Set Sail for the New Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


We hear it all the time, “It’s all about the bling!” Well today, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend runners who registered for the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Cay Challenge will not be disappointed as we reveal the treasure waiting for them at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.
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The inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge takes place in January 2015. Hundreds of runners are combining the excitement of participating in a marathon weekend event with a four-night cruise aboard the Disney Dream. After running their event at Walt Disney World Resort, challenge participants set sail on a four-night cruise and run the Castaway Cay 5K to earn the inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge finisher medal. They will also enjoy exclusive runDisney activities throughout the cruise, including featured menu items, guest speaker session and special merchandise.

Now some of you might be wondering how can I get one of these amazing medals?

If you are registered for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon you still have the opportunity to claim your treasure. Registered runners can book the four-night cruise aboard the Disney Dream departing Feb. 23 from Port Canaveral, and participate in the Castaway Cay Challenge.
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It’s the perfect way to extend your family trip or your ultimate girls weekend and keep the celebration going for four more nights. In addition to the Castaway Cay 5K and the Castaway Cay Challenge finisher medal, runners can purchase a trip to Senses Spa for a post-race massage, a steam bath or sauna in the Rainforest room. Continue to relax by the fresh water pools, jetted hot tubs or take an exciting ride on The AquaDuck, a thrilling transparent tube water coaster that actually goes off the side of the ship. End your days with the girls enjoying a Broadway-style show, or dancing and celebrating the night away in one of several nightclubs.

For more information and to register for the Disney Princess Weekend Castaway Cay Challenge, visit runDisney.com.

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Celebrating A Soldier’s Safe Return at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This story has it all: runDisney magic, tears, joy and celebration.

If you participated in the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or follow my runDisney blog posts on a regular basis, this story will be familiar. It is a follow-up to an emotional magical moment that played out at the start of the race in February, but with a new twist at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna.

Kim Myers of Seattle, WA, traveled to Walt Disney World Resort to run the Princess Half Marathon for a couple reasons. First, she was part of a larger group running on behalf of “Wear Blue: Run to Remember,” a running organization that participates in races around the world to celebrate the sacrifice of US military and their families. Second, she was celebrating her birthday and ran to take her mind off the fact that her husband, CW2 Travis Myers, couldn’t be with her. He was serving our country in Afghanistan with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces group. Thanks to a thoughtful husband, technology and a little Disney Magic, we were able to surprise Kim with a special birthday message from Travis who was half a world away. At that time Kim said if everything went according to plan Travis would be home in time to run the Disneyland Half Marathon with her and they not only would celebrate his return but ironically his birthday.

Well, I am happy to tell you that everything did go according to plan. Travis returned home safely to his family from his final tour of duty. And as promised he took Kim’s hand and together they ran the Disneyland Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort earlier this month.

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When I recently visited Kim and Travis in Seattle, Kim told me, “I run as a way to find my own identity as a very busy person, mom, wife, fulltime job …. and a very positive way to deal with a lot of stress.”

Now, with Travis safely home, the loneliness of running alone is replaced by running with her partner in life.

“The Disneyland Half Marathon is our celebration run,” Kim said. “We’re getting out there to celebrate where we’ve come from as well as how far we have left to go, both as individuals and also together as a couple.”

I hope you will take a moment to watch Kim and Travis’ journey to the Disneyland Half Marathon. It is truly a story of love and celebration.

runDisney salutes and thanks all of our service men and women and their families around the world for keeping our country safe.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.

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Showing Their Disney Side – Miss America Contestants Get Adventurous, Goofy and Live Happily Ever After

posted on September 11th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


They are known for their intelligence, talent and beauty, but after spending a day at Magic Kingdom Park they may be better known for their Disney Side.

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Recently, all 53 of the 2015 Miss America contestants visited Walt Disney World Resort and celebrated their adventure side, their goofy side, their happily ever after side – their Disney Side. It was a chance to let their hair down (as much as a pageant contestant can), relax and spend time with fellow contestants. The day was capped off by a special walk down Main Street U.S.A., where they were greeted by thousands of park guests cheering for their home state.

Whether it was adventurous twist and turns on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, pirates play with Goofy or a dance with Prince Charming in front of Cinderella Castle, these girls all had the chance to celebrate their Disney Side.

This week, the girls got down to business in Atlantic City, NJ, where they are competing for the title of Miss America. You can watch the competition live on ABC, Sunday, September 14 (8:00 – 11:00 p.m., ET). The evening kicks off with The Countdown to the Crown, an unprecedented look behind the scenes of the Miss America Competition, followed by the 2015 Miss America Competition.

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Three Generations Crossing The Disneyland Half Marathon Finish Line Together

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Here is a little secret, I love my job and working with runDisney. Event weekends are exciting and standing at the finish line watching thousands of people accomplish their goals is uplifting, rewarding and sometimes emotional. From cheers of excitement to tears of joys, the stories that unfold at the finish line are incredible. I am truly inspired meeting and talking with our runners. Their stories provide messages we can all learn from.

Three Generations Crossing The Disneyland Half Marathon Finish Line Together ‘it’s a small world’ At Disneyland Paris

Last year I introduced the runDisney community to 81-year-old Flor Irlandez from Portland, OR. In 2013 she was the oldest runner to complete the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort. She ran the Disneyland 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, 19.3 miles. Last weekend she returned to run the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare, this time at the age of 82. Running with two of her daughters, a son in-law and grandson, she once again completed the two-day event and collected three runDisney finisher medals and family memories to last for years.

There are a couple lessons we can takeaway from Flor’s accomplishment.

First, we should not let age be a barrier to accomplish our goals. Flor’s message is simple, “Just get going, not just running, but walking, getting out, sweating …. I just feel good after a run, everybody should do it.”

Second, participating in a runDisney event can be fun for the entire family. Flor has inspired three generations to lead a healthy active lifestyle. “It just makes it fun and it’s no longer about running and racing, but about being together and being healthy as a family,” says Marissa Walker, Flor’s daughter from Berkeley, CA.

Flor, your accomplishments are amazing, not just in running but also in how you have inspired generations. We all look forward to seeing you at the finish line for years to come.

For more information and to register for a runDisney event, visit runDisney.com.

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Cheer On Your Disney Side ‘Kicks-Off’ With Nationwide Competition

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


With college football season underway and teams fighting for the four spots in the new College Football Playoff system, college cheer and dance squads from across the country are jumping into action and competing for national recognition of their own by cheering on their Disney Side.

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This week, college cheer and dance squads began competing in a nationwide competition by creating 30-second videos of a cheer or dance routine using remixed Disney Park attraction music to show off their “Disney Side.’’ Video submissions are being accepted at Espn.com/CheerMagic through Nov. 10 with four finalists announced Dec. 11 on ESPN around the telecast of the Home Depot College Football Awards show at Walt Disney World Resort. The winning squad will be announced January 12 on ESPN before the college football National Championship. The winning team of Cheer On Your Disney Side sponsored by ESPN working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit, wins a $100,000 grant for their college spirit program and a group trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The excitement is not limited to just cheer and dance squads. Fans can get into the action by voting for their favorite Disney Side cheer and dance routine from the final four finalists.

How do you get involved, take a look.

For more information, rules and to submit a video, visit Espn.com/CheerMagic.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their “Disney Side’’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.

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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of 50 US States and DC, at least 18+ who are a School Administrator, Teacher, Coach or Administrative Director, representing a public or private, 2 or 4 year college/university located in the 50 US States or DC. Starts 9/3/14 12:00 PM EST. Ends 11/10/14 11:59 PM EST. To enter visit www.espn.com/CheerMagic and follow the directions provided to complete the Online entry form, and upload your Spirit Squad’s 30 sec videos. For prize details odds of winning and complete Official Rules go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic.

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