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Sign Up for the runDisney ‘McFarland, USA’ Blog Meet-Up

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and do not receive a confirmation email by 7 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com.

We’ve just finalized exciting plans for a runDisney Blog Meet-Up and it’s one you’ll not want to miss. On Sunday January 11, 2015, we’re offering the opportunity to be part of a special preview screening of Disney’s “McFarland, USA” at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort before it opens in U.S. theaters on February 20.

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Our runDisney Blog Meet-Up begins at 4:00 p.m. EST (doors open at 3:00 p.m.) at Downtown Disney on Sunday, January 11, 2015.

At the event, you’ll see “McFarland, USA,” which is based on the 1987 true story that follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) — a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Soon something beyond their physical gifts become apparent — the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic.

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Disney “McFarland, USA” is rated PG.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at Downtown Disney for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.
  • This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

Also, here are some other things to know:

  • This is an advance screening of the film. Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video services may not be available.
  • Please arrive early. No one will be admitted late. We may refuse, revoke or limit admission in our sole discretion at any time.
  • NO RECORDING

The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any video or audio recording devices (including, without limitation, cameras) into the venue and you consent to a physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device during this screening, you consent to your immediate removal from the venue and forfeiture of your recording device and its contents. Any attempted unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. We reserve the right to pursue any and all available remedies at law and in equity for any unauthorized recording and/or copyright infringement, including without limitation statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation, and nothing contained in this notice shall be construed to limit our available remedies and/or legal recourse. You assume all risks of personal injury arising from or incidental to attending the screening, whether occurring prior to, during, or after the event. Further, by attending you grant permission to Disney Destinations, LLC, its licensees, licensors, affiliates and agents, to record and utilize your name, voice and likeness to publicize the screening and promote the movie.

Hope to see you there.

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Go Retro With The 2015 New Balance runDisney Shoes

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


What better way to kick-off the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna then to unveil the new 2015 New Balance runDisney shoes.

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Inspired by the Disney classic Steamboat Willie, the limited edition Retro Mickey and Retro Minnie 990v3 shoes will be available for the first time at this weekend’s runDisney Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The retro black and white shoes feature musical notes around the front sole, classic images of Mickey and Minnie, character signatures and other hidden Disney surprises.

Now, if you are a fan of the 2014 New Balance runDisney shoes I have additional good news. Due to popular demand, a limited number of the 860v4 Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie, as well as the 890v4 Goofy and Cinderella shoes will be available at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort, January 15 – 18.

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The new Retro Mickey and Minnie 990v3 shoes will only be available at Health and Fitness Expos during runDisney event weekends. To minimize waiting in line for shoes, New Balance has created a virtual queue to let you know when it’s your turn to be fitted and make your purchase. Starting on Wednesday, January 7, starting at 6 a.m. runners can sign up at NBvirtualqueue.com using their bib number, and all other guests can sign up Thursday, Jan. 8, starting at 6 am. Be sure to visit NBvirtualqueue.com to get all the details on ordering and pick-up. For more information on runDisney event weekends, including Health and Fitness Expo dates and hours, visit runDisney.com.

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Santa Monica College Cheers On Their Disney Side

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


It may be a small world but the Santa Monica College cheer squad is big when showing their Disney Side and love for one of the most beloved attractions at Disney. Celebrating team and campus diversity, the cheer squad used their memories of “it’s a small world” to choreograph a routine for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

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The video follows four young park guests through the attraction as they experience everything from the famous boat ride, to beautiful costumes and a cultural celebration.

Santa Monica College is one of four finalists in the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition, alongside Auburn, Louisiana State University and Rutgers University. Dozens of universities from across the country submitted videos choreographed to one of four Disney Parks-inspired songs. The winning squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

How will the best cheer be selected? By your vote!

Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic to view and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic. On-line voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on January 12 in Dallas.

Before casting your vote take a look at the inspiration and Santa Monica College spirit that went into the making of the cheer.

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. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Rutgers’ Scarlet Knight Saves the Day in Cheer On Your Disney Side Video

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


It sounds like the basis of a good fairytale, young women in despair when a knight rides in and saves the day. That’s exactly what happens in the video submitted by the University of Rutgers dance team for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destination and Varsity Spirit.

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Set to “it’s a small world” inspired music, Scarlet Knight, with the help of some of our beloved Disney Princesses, restores school spirit to a tired and dejected dance team. A story and production helping, the Rutgers dance team emerge as a finalist in the competition along with Auburn University, Louisiana State University and Santa Monica College.

University cheer and dance squads from across the country were invited to choreograph routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs. The winning squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Now it is your turn to vote!

Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic. Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on January 12 in Dallas.

So what’s the ‘spirit’ behind the Rutgers video? Check out this behind the scenes look inside their world.

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.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at 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. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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LSU Tigers Show Their ‘Spirit’ In Cheer On Your Disney Side Contest

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


Inspired by the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World Resort and the folk lore that Tiger Stadium, Death Valley, is haunted, the Louisiana State University cheer and dance teams showed their ‘spirit” for both in a routine for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

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LSU joins Auburn University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College as the four finalists in the competition. These schools were among dozens of squads from across the country who choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs.

Incorporating several elements from the popular Magic Kingdom Park attraction with additional Disney characters and some LSU flavor, the following video was created.

The LSU Tigers cheer and dance teams did their part, now it’s your turn to get into the game. Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found Espn.com/CheerMagic.

On-line voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Now before you cast your vote, you may want to go behind the scenes and see what went into the “making of” their video. Profiles of all four schools will be featured this week and next on the Disney Parks Blog.

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. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Your Chance To Vote And Cheer On Your Disney Side With Top Four Colleges

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


As our favorite college football teams kicked off the season this fall ESPN gave college cheer and dance teams something really big to cheer about – their Disney Side.

Dozens of squads from across the country choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs and submitted their videos as part of the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

Last week the four finalists were announced; Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College.

Well now it’s your turn to get into the game and vote for your favorite video at Espn.com/CheerMagic. The school with the most votes wins. And fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic.

Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant from ESPN for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

To help you make your decision we will profile each school over the next two weeks right here on the Disney Parks Blog. You will see and hear how each team incorporated their Disney Side with their school spirit in the making of their video.

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We kick off our behind the scenes series with the Auburn Tigers. They selected “it’s a small world” and featured several of their favorite Disney attractions. Take a look at their submission video and then a behind the scenes feature.

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. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Young Super Hero Celebrates Life At runDisney Diaper Dash

posted on December 14th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Even before taking the start line during Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, 11-month-old Nolan Wyatt from Rochester, WA, had already taken on a race and won.

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That’s right, the runDisney Diaper Dash was not Nolan’s first race, his first race was one for survival. Having difficulties breathing at birth, it was quickly diagnosed that Nolan was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), a hole in the diaphragm that allowed internal organs to enter the chest cavity and prevent normal lung development. Within hours, Nolan was flown by medical helicopter to Seattle Children’s Hospital where he underwent life saving surgery.

After months of recovery it was time for this little super hero who fought through so much in his young life to celebrate with his parents, and what better way than to runDisney, or should we say crawlDisney.

“Nolan’s crawling the Diaper Dash to show how much he has overcome in his first year of life,” said Julie Wyatt, Nolan’s mother. “Just to show what he is capable of and to celebrate his life.”

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After hours of training, dressed in his Captain America outfit, and cheered on by family and Captain America himself, Nolan was ready to ‘start’ a new chapter in life.

#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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Soldier Fulfills Daughter’s Wish At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

posted on December 8th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


One year ago 9-year-old Adisen Kallas made a wish with her family in front of Cinderella Castle. She wished that her dad, Navy SEABEE UT1 Scott Kallas, would return from deployment in Afghanistan in time to watch her dance at the 2014 Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. At that time Scott was preparing for his fifth military deployment.

Well Adisen, wishes do come true.

Soldier Fulfills Daughter’s Wish At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Soldier Fulfills Daughter’s Wish At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

What happened on Saturday after Adisen and the Mighty Might Tri Town Raiderettes dance team from Schererville, IN, performed was nothing short of magical. It is a moment you will want to watch for yourself.

Welcome home Scott Kallas. Thank you for serving our country and showing all of us that wishes do come true.

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‘Cool’ Bling Highlights Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Medals

posted on November 29th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you are registered and training for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, then this blog post is for you. Today, runDisney is happy to reveal the “Frozen“-inspired medals waiting for you at the finish line.

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For our youngest runners in the runDisney Kids Races and those of you taking on the Disney Frozen 5K, you will notice the very ‘cool’ medallions inspired by “Frozen.”

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The Princess Enchanted 10K acknowledges your accomplishment and features a “Frozen” inspired snowflake.

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The Disney Princess Half Marathon features the traditional tiara that our runners have come to love and want. Does anyone else notice that the jewels on the medal look a lot like Queen Elsa’s favorite color?

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And of course for those taking on the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge by running the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, the third medal featuring Cinderella’s glass slipper compliments your weekend collection. Take note of Queen Elsa’s favorite color circling the medal.

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Three beautiful medals fit for a princess.

Now, if you are not yet registered and wondering how you can get your bling, I can tell you there are a few spots still open through groups and charities. Details on those opportunities can be found at runDisney.com.

Good luck with your training and we look forward to seeing you in February.

For additional information on the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and to register for upcoming runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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Real Super Heroes at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

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


I love runDisney finish lines. Short of running and crossing myself, there is no place I would rather be during an event weekend. The shouts of joy, tears of happiness and the pure emotion of runners achieving their goals is amazing.

Although it is exciting to see the winners and top finishers cross, it’s the runners in the middle of the pack and at the end of the race where I find the most inspiration. For many of these athletes, and yes they are athletes, it is their first race. They set a goal, trained hard and are now experiencing one of the greatest accomplishments in their lives. Others are running for a cause dear to their heart. And for some of these runners they battled hardship on the course and are digging deep to make it to the finish.

If you follow my posts you know one of my favorite stories to produce are profiles on last-place finishers. Partly because I like to point out that runDisney treats the last place finisher just like race winners with fanfare, music and confetti, but also because I like to share what motivated and gave those runners the will to finish. My hope is their stories inspire others to get off the couch, try running, adopt a healthy active lifestyle and join us for a runDisney event.

Recently at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort, I set out to do that story again. Fortunately for all of us I ended up getting a story with a little more meaning – an inspirational story that focuses on selfless sportsmanship.

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Now, I’m not going to give you all the details in this blog post because I am hoping you will watch and see the story unfold as it did for me. But what I will tell you is that on race day Cambrey Fuller from South Jordan, UT, met an angel, a true super hero, Ashley White from Phoenix, AZ.

On behalf of all of us at runDisney, congratulations Cambrey for crossing the finish line, and thank you Ashley for being a super hero. This is what running and runDisney are all about.

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

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