Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort

#DisneyKids: First runDisney Race

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Okay, I am just going to be honest with you, this Disney First is really cute and the photos and videos below are guaranteed to put a big Disney smile on your face. What do you get when you combine adorable kids in costumes, Disney characters and a runDisney event? You get unforgettable Disney memories that will last a lifetime.

This past weekend hundreds of kids participated in their first runDisney race at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort. From the 400 meter run to the diaper dash, our youngest competitors lined up to challenge themselves and each other.

If you or your child wants to experience a runDisney first at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort, visit runDisney.com for more information and to register.

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I runDisney: Dave McGillivray

posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Dave McGillivray is the race director of one of the most prestigious running events in the world, the Boston Marathon. Every April he and his team put on an elite event, attracting the top marathoners in the world. It is the one race every runner hopes to qualify for and complete in. McGillivray is also an accomplished runner who has competed in races around the globe. At one point in his early years, he literally ran across the country, Medford, OR, to Medford, MA, for charity. He lives, works, eats, and breathes running.

Running is extremely personal to McGillivray, the roots of which start at an emotional time in his life. As a child McGillivray wanted nothing more than to be an athlete, but each time he tried to make a team he was faced with a challenge, his size, and turned away. In elementary school he gave it one last shot and tried out for the basketball team. Not lacking in ability but lacking in height the coach once again cut him. At the age of 12 this was a defining moment in his life. It was then he decided he would never again let anyone tell him he wasn’t good enough and he took up running because no one can cut you from that.

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“Running gives me self confidence, it gives me self esteem, it makes me feel good about myself,” McGillivray said. His message to runners and those thinking about starting to run, “never under estimate and never not appreciate where you’re at, that you have this gift to be able to do this (run).” “Never take it for granted that you are healthy enough to do this,” he added. And speaking of health, recently McGillivray was hit with a heart related health issue and he reminds runners, “That just because they are fit doesn’t mean they are healthy.” Make the right choices to take care of yourself for you and for those around you.

Some of his McGillivray’s favorite race memories are those from runDisney events. This veteran of several runDisney marathons, and the 2014 inaugural Dopey Challenge, gives high marks to the entertainment and excitement for Disney races. “It is one of the most well managed, well orchestrated road races I have ever competed in,” McGillivray said. Having young kids he’s also quick to point out how exciting these destination races are for the entire family.

We hope you will take a moment to be motivated by Dave McGillivray’s story and see the unique way he celebrated his 60th birthday. There is no doubt Dave McGillivray has gone and continues to go through life running.

#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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Competition, Fun and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Difference Has Boston Team Hitting the Road to Disney

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


This Labor Day weekend, more than 700 athletes and coaches representing nine states, 5 countries from as far away as Japan, will hit the diamonds at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Turn Back the Clock Weekend. For the 18th straight year, teams will enjoy international competition on the field and fun off the field in the parks, and at a private water park party at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.

For teams like the Cambridge Hitmen, planning the “Road to Disney” started months ago. Team manager Ronnie Ferrara has led teams from Boston to the tournament for the past 14 years. “We have a lot of fun down there,” said Ferrara. “The Disney difference, they are wonderful down there, they treat everyone first class from the day you get there, they go over board trying to help. The fields are unbelievable.”

For the kids, it’s an opportunity to experience good competition and enjoy time with friends and teammates. “What’s great about the baseball is how good the competition is,” said catcher Samuel Olivet, who is making his second trip to the tournament. Rookie pitcher Elliot Harris said, “it seems like a vacation with one of my favorite things to do, which is play baseball.”

Recently, we caught up with the Hitmen on their home field in Cambridge, MA, as they practiced for their trip of a lifetime.

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Cheer On Your Disney Side As The New College Football Playoff System Kicks-Off On ESPN

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


There’s a change in the air and it’s just not back to school, cooler temperatures and changing leaves. It is the dawn of a new era in college football, and the chance for college cheer and dance teams to cheer their Disney Side to support their team and win a $100,000 grant for their spirit program and a group trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

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This fall, Disney is teaming up with ESPN and the ABC family of networks to cheer on the new College Football Playoff system and what is sure to be the most memorable college football season yet. Every team starts the season “in,” but only four teams will stay “in” for the inaugural College Football Playoff in January on ESPN.

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The competition is not just limited to the player on the field. ESPN, in partnership with Disney Parks and Varsity Spirit, is excited to invite college cheer and dance teams to create a 30-second Disney Parks-inspired routine set to four music remix choices of our favorite Disney Parks attraction music. Teams can submit their routines between September 3 – November 10, and the top 4 will be announced on December 11, during a live ESPN broadcast of a College Football Special from Disney’s Boardwalk Resort immediately following the College Football Awards Show. The winning team will be announced on January 12, the day of the College Football Championship.

Teams can get more information and register by visiting ESPN.com/CheerMagic.

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I runDisney: Jeff Galloway

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


When it comes to running, Jeff Galloway is a rock star. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, stop by the runDisney booth at a health and fitness expo and witness the line of people waiting to meet and get advice from this running legend.

runDisney fans know Galloway as the training consultant for runDisney. His Run-Walk-Run method is credited for getting thousands of people off the couch, running and crossing finish lines at Disney and races around the world. His warm southern charm combined with his passion to help every runner succeed, makes him adored by all who come in contact with him.

Galloway’s professional running career is historic and well documented. Running alongside Steve Prefontaine and Frank Shorter, he was a member of the 1972 Olympic Team in Munich, Germany. His extraordinary running resume includes winning the inaugural Peachtree Road Race 10K in Atlanta, winning the Atlanta and Honolulu Marathons, and a 7th place finish in the Boston Marathon.

One might think an athlete with those credentials is unapproachable and incapable of relating to the average runner, however with Jeff Galloway, those preconceived notions are far from the truth. With his competitive juices evaporated like the sweat from the thousands of miles he has logged, Galloway is committed to helping all of us become better runners and achieve our goals.

“What I have discovered is I get a whole lot more back in helping another person than I ever got in doing this for myself,” said Galloway. “I’m one runner trying to help another runner and that gives me tremendous joy.”

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Practicing what he preaches, Galloway uses the Run-Walk-Run method in all of his races. At most events you will find him running alongside his wife of 37 years, Barbara. He credits his parents, both educators, for giving him the ability to teach. His professional running career provides the credentials and platform to be heard.

The accompanying video provides a small glimpse into Galloway’s spirit. He talks about what jump started his running career at the age of 13, his motivation for running today and his passion for runDisney.

I invite you to come out to a runDisney event to meet him in person and run with him during a race. One tip, when you meet Galloway ask about his unexpected path to the 1972 Olympic Team and the unselfish act of friendship and sportsmanship he demonstrated during the Olympic Trials. It is a story that will leave you in awe; it is a story that makes Jeff Galloway a legend on and off the course.

Jeff, thank you for what you do for runDisney and for runners around the world. You are changing lives, and in the end that is bigger than any medal and raises you higher than any winner’s podium.

As the official training consultant for runDisney, Galloway provides training plans for runDisney events. His plans and videos on how to get off the coach and use the Run-Walk-Run method to jump-start a healthy active lifestyle can be found at 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.


For more from the “Why I runDisney” series, visit the stories below:

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Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Finisher Medals Revealed

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


runDisney is looking to provide major incentive for runners training for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, November 14-16. After months of meticulous design work, here are the finisher medals for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, Avengers Super Heroes 5K and runDisney Kids Races. All three medals pay tribute to some of our favorite Avengers super heroes.

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For the more than 12,000 unleashing their inner super hero and taking on the half marathon, the Inaugural Mission finisher medal features a spinning inner medallion with the signature Avengers “A” on one side, and symbols recognizing Captain America, Thor and Hulk on the other.

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Inaugural Mission Finisher Medal Front The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Inaugural Mission Finisher Medal Back

Although individual registration is sold out for all events, there are a limited number of spots remaining through through our charities and travel providers. For more information on those opportunities click here, and to get information on future runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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I runDisney for Those I Couldn’t Help – I am Running for Charity

posted on August 4th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


At 34 years of age, Tisa Daniels of Round Hill, VA, is a wife, a mother of two boys and a runner. Four years ago Daniels returned to the sport to accomplish two things; fight off weight gain as she quit smoking cold turkey and start living a healthy, active lifestyle to be a role model for her oldest son. A couple years later after taking a 15-month break to have her second child, Daniels would again look to running to help battle through postpartum depression.

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Today, Daniels is running strong as a veteran of several 5K and 10K events. Her current goal is to run the Glass Slipper Challenge at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Networks Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort, February 19-22. Running a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday will push her body to new limits, but the distance and physical challenge is not all that’s new. This time she is running for a cause- she is running for charity.

Daniels is thankful that her kids have never needed the services of a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, but working as a social worker at a Level 1 Trauma Center she has witnessed first hand the blessing these facilities bring to kids and parents. It is for those kids, and kids of future generations needing a local hospital that she has dedicated these races to raise money for CMN Hospitals. “I am running Disney as a charity run to help all the families I have seen though the years but couldn’t help,” Daniels said.

Running for charity is a great way to add more meaning to your experience and offers you a chance to give back to people and organizations in need. Starting with the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, runDisney is excited to offer our charity partners the opportunity to use CrowdRise. This registration platform makes it easier for runners to find a charity, register for an event, then track and share their fundraising progress with friends and family.

As Daniels told me, “It is the ultimate gift to be able to raise money to help families who you don’t know, who you’ll never meet, who need it.”

To get information on running for a participating runDisney charity, visit CrowdRise. And click here if you want to join Daniels and run the 2015 Princess Half Marathon presented by Children Miracle Network Hospitals.

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

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New Challenge, New Medal For Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort

posted on August 1st, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Well runDisney fans, Tinker Bell is at it again!

With a little faith, trust and pixie dust, runDisney introduces the Pixie Dust Challenge for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, May 7-10, 2015. Runners looking to test their wings and register for the challenge will take on the Tinker Bell 10K on Saturday and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday. At the end of your 19.3 adventure you will receive the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge finishers medal, in addition to your 10K and half marathon finisher medals.

Whether you participate in the runDisney Kids Races, the Never Land 5K, the Tinker Bell 10K or the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, runners can expect Disney entertainment and excitement throughout each race. Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Fairies will cheer you on all weekend long as you make your runs through Neverland, the amazing Disneyland Resort and along the historic and charming streets of Anaheim.

Registration for the Pixie Dust Challenge and all Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend events opens on Tuesday, August 12, Noon EDT / 9 a.m. PDT, at runDisney.com.

Here’s a little message from our very own Tinker Bell.

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Soccer is the Game, Developing Leaders is the Game Plan – Celebrating at Disney Cup International

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


“At the end of the day they don’t remember the scores….. I want them to remember the experience, I want them to remember the feeling.” With that belief at the center of his coaching, Steven Horwood of the Ajax Football Club from Ontario, Canada, has led his team to victory both on and off the pitch. The majority of his team has played together since they were 8-years-old, and now playing in their final season together, Horwood thought the Disney Cup International, Presented by AS Roma was the right thing to do for all they have accomplished.

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Ajax Football Club was one of 239 teams, more than 3,500 players, representing 18 countries, to play in the tournament. Teams from Canada, South America, Aruba and as far away as Australia came to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to test their skill against international competition.

But before stepping on the plane to come to Disney, before the kick-off whistle blew for their first game, Ajax FC was already a winner when it came to international sportsmanship.

For more than seven years these young women have volunteered more than 3,000 hours in their community helping others. The most notable program has them literally giving away the jerseys off their backs. Through the SOS Children’s Village program the team donates jerseys and soccer equipment to kids in Ghana, Africa. To date they have donated more than 300 uniforms, and expect to send another 200 after the tournament at Disney, as well as some other Disney keepsakes.

“Soccer is the sport but we really wanted to make them community leaders,” said coach Horwood. Helping fellow teammates in Africa is rewarding and raises their awareness of the world around them. Recently the girls received photographs of kids in Africa wearing their jerseys and playing with their equipment. “Growing up soccer has been kind of a lifestyle for me, something I really enjoy, giving the chance to give other kids in Africa the chance to play is fulfilling,” said Ajax FC defensive back Lauren Pugh.

On behalf of everyone at Disney Soccer and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, I want to congratulate Ajax FC for their hard work on and off the pitch. Win or lose, we celebrate the fact you have all scored one of the most important goals of your lives.

For more information on Disney Cup International and other Disney Soccer events, visit espnwwos.com.

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Meet ESPN Talent During the Inaugural ESPN Fantasy Football Convention at Walt Disney World

posted on July 15th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Nothing says “fall” like tailgate parties, chili cook-offs and, of course, football season. On August 22-23, you can officially kick-off sport’s greatest season of the year with ESPN‘s inaugural Fantasy Football Convention, taking place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The first-of-its-kind event features unprecedented access to ESPN talent including Matthew Berry, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Sara Walsh, Mark Schlereth, Stephania Bell, Tim Hasselbeck and more!

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Start things off with an epic Tailgate Party, where you can mix and mingle with ESPN talent and be a judge in the first-ever ESPN Chili Bowl. Decorated Disney Chefs from around the world will serve up their best creations for a chance at this prestigious award. The next morning, you’ll have breakfast with some of your favorite characters decked out for the gridiron.

Ever wonder what it’s like behind-the-scenes of an ESPN studio show? You’ll get the chance to find out, as the Convention includes a live broadcast of Fantasy Football Now. The event finale features the opportunity to take part in a live fantasy football draft. Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a long-time veteran, you’ll get the chance to pick your teams with the help of ESPN Fantasy

Experts roaming the floor. And best yet, season winners of leagues created during the Convention will receive a customized trophy. Talk about bragging rights!

For more information on the inaugural Fantasy Football Convention at Walt Disney World Resort and to register, click here.

Who’s ready for some football?

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