Disneyland Monorail

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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New Capt. Cook’s Debuts at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


In true Disney fashion, look for a big wow at the new Capt. Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – the menu makeover brings island-style cuisine to the popular quick-service spot that’s open around the clock.

Start with the classic lobster roll served on a buttered bun. They’ve added blackened fish tacos, a noodle bowl (beef or shrimp) and delectable coconut curry meatballs. A new gourmet hot dog is slathered with garlic ketchup and mango relish. And our favorite – crispy fried chicken and waffles, a hearty breakfast favorite that stays on the menu all day.

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No worries, the favorite hot beef ‘n blue sandwich stays, says Chef Pete Bruenen. Ditto for the pizzas, grilled chicken sandwich and house-made sushi, delivered from Kona Island upstairs. The grab ‘n go case stays filled with drinks, salads, sandwiches and the popular cold noodle salad and turkey club, says Chef Pete.

Fans of the breakfast Tonga Toast will still find it on the menu, along with a new breakfast burrito with egg, bacon, potatoes and Cheddar cheese.

Bridget Sherren, operations manager for Food & Beverage at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, shared a little news about Pineapple Lanai, opening the end of August. “Dole Whip gets its own dedicated spot,” she says, a new window in the courtyard for Dole Whip soft serve and floats (pineapple or vanilla Dole Whip). “It’s a great spot for families,” says Bridget.

Another new treat is Hawaiian shaved ice at Kona Island on the resort’s second floor. Located just off the monorail, Kona Island serves specialty coffee and pastries all day, and now shaved ice joins the lineup, along with takeout sushi. Hours are 6:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 5 – 10 p.m.

And watch for Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to open in spring 2015 next door to Captain Cook’s. Details soon!

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Caption This: Up A Tree at The Jungle Cruise

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


While The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean were my favorite attractions growing up, I really fell in love with The Jungle Cruise as an adult – maybe it’s the dry humor.

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Check out this cool shot of one of the more memorable scenes from the attraction. Looks like he’s been up there for quite awhile. What’s on his mind? You tell us – go ahead and “Caption This” in the comments section below.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 17th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we introduced the newest member of the gorilla family troop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and shared the first images of the little one with Disney Parks Blog readers.

Yet-To-Be-Named Baby Male Gorilla at Disney's Animal Kingdom Yet-To-Be-Named Baby Male Gorilla at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The new baby, which is yet to be named, is the fourth gorilla born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which manages genetic diversity among species through detailed records of individual animals.

Check our original story for more details about our newest baby gorilla.

Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park
Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park

And Gary shared a new group of fun Disney Park “light painting” images that included the galaxy’s most famous villain, Darth Vader. Just like our July post, the designs were made in midair (without a guide or template) and the art was captured using long camera exposures that captured every move of the penlights. There were no chances to “erase” a mistake.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more “light painting” later this year.

(*Note: cast members were in a very controlled environment with proper personnel on-site. If you attempt an artful creation like this, please insure proper safety measures are taken.)

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

D23 Expo 2015 — Tickets Now Available! – Read more about the Ultimate Disney Fan Event and find out where you can buy your tickets.

Share Your Favorite Disneyland Resort Memories from the 1990s – Show us your 1990s memories on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #Disneyland60Contest for a chance to win a trip to the start of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration in spring 2015!

Meet the Townsfolk of ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ at Disneyland Park – Get familiar with some of the Townsfolk that are part of this special experience, and don’t forget to mosey on down to Frontierland at Disneyland park for ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’

New Alex and Ani Disney Bracelets Make Two Seasons Collide at Disney Parks – See some of the new Alex and Ani designs celebrating Halloweeen and Winter this year at Disney Parks!

Remembering Lauren Bacall at Disney Parks – Take a look back at legendary actress Lauren Bacall’s visits to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Visiting Walt Disney World Resort? Check Out These Free Vacation-Planning Tools – Click through for the best resources on Walt Disney World Resort, including maps, dining reservations, theme park tickets and more.

MyMagic+: Video Captures Your Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Drop at Walt Disney World Resort – Read up on how MyMagic+ can save your drop into another dimension at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: A Cute Addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on August 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


By far my favorite photo we shared this week on the Disney Parks Blog was of the new baby gorilla that was just born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The yet-to-be-named male gorilla is the fourth to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the park’s history. Too cute!

Yet-To-Be-Named Baby Male Gorilla at Disney's Animal Kingdom Yet-To-Be-Named Baby Male Gorilla at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Experience the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party During “Villains Unleashed” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Guardians of the Galaxy” has become a blockbuster hit with audiences all over the world enthralled by the thrilling cosmic adventure’s cast of characters and chart-topping soundtrack. “Awesome Mix Vol. 1,” a mix tape of retro-1970s gems given to Peter Quill by his mother, plays a key role in the story of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Now a mysterious gang of villains has stolen that prized cassette, and Peter Quill – you may know him as the legendary Star-Lord – is on his way back to Earth on a mission to retrieve it.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned that a “Guardians of the Galaxy” Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party is being planned as part of the “Villains Unleashed” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 23. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

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For those of you attending the event, be sure to duck into Stage 5 in the Animation Courtyard with your fellow Terrans, where the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party promises to be the hottest spot this side of Knowhere with an out-of-this-world DJ and other surprises. Plus, you never know when Star-Lord and his infamous teammate, Gamora, might crash the party to retrieve his prized cassette!

“Villains Unleashed” is a separately ticketed special event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, happening after regular theme park operating hours on August 23, 2014. Tickets are $67 plus tax ($62 plus tax for children 3-9). Quantities are limited, so get yours before they’re gone!

In “Guardians of the Galaxy,” actor Djimon Hounsou portrays the feared intergalactic hunter, Korath. Hounsou visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently and spoke with us about what it was like to play a villain in the film.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll definitely want to catch “Guardians of the Galaxy,” now playing in theaters in 3D. I’ve seen it twice myself and can’t wait to watch it again! How many times have you seen the movie? What’s your favorite song from the soundtrack? Let us know in the Comments.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Experience the Ultimate Day VIP Tour at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


What could possibly be better than enjoying all there is to enjoy at the acclaimed Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Enjoying it via the Ultimate Day VIP Tour!

Delicious Desserts Tempt the Sweet Tooth

Begin the daylong festivities at the VIP Lounge hidden within the Festival Center at the Wonder’s Retreat. This special tour includes Champagne, a beverage tasting, six-course tapas-style lunch, wine, private backstage tours, time on some of the most popular Epcot attractions, food and beverage pairings with Disney chefs, VIP seating at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, reserved seating for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks spectacular and more. Whew!

Sip, taste and enjoy as you travel World Showcase at Epcot. You won’t want to miss this extraordinary celebration of all things culinary, the grape and brew as your Disney VIP Guides accompany you throughout, highlighting special moments not everyone gets to experience.

Occurring rain or shine Thursday and Sundays on select dates September through November, this private tour lasts six and a half hours and costs $399 per person (21 and up only). Call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687) for reservations. You can also access the online VIP Tour Services brochure here for more info.


For more about the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festive, visit the posts below:

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Remembering Lauren Bacall at Disney Parks

posted on August 15th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


This week we learned of the passing of legendary actress Lauren Bacall. The award-winning star of stage and screen who rose to fame in the film noir dramas of the 1940s was reportedly one of the femme fatales from Hollywood’s golden age who inspired the creative team behind “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in their design of Jessica Rabbit.

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Ms. Bacall visited Disneyland park in the summer of 1963 with her husband, actor Jason Robards, pictured here at Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

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Twenty-six years later, Ms. Bacall was on-hand for the opening festivities of Disney’s Hollywood Studios (known then as Disney-MGM Studios), where she placed her handprints in cement in the courtyard outside The Great Movie Ride – an attraction inspired by the kind of movie magic she, herself, created.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Special Edition – Wildlife Friday: Karibuni! Welcome A Baby Gorilla To Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Rachel Daneault, Primate-Carnivore Zoological Manager


Hamjambo! This is a Swahili greeting guests may hear at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as they make their way through Africa to experience the sights, sounds and attractions of the area inspired by the diversity of the country. Another Swahili term is ‘karibuni’ which means welcome. Guests who travel down the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail may be among the first to help welcome the newest member of the gorilla family troop!

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The Animal Programs team reported that mom, Azizi, has been doing great with her new baby boy. During the first days of an infant’s life, mom needs to learn how to locomote while the infant clings to her body. Nursing and learning how to cling to mom without assistance are among the first essential skills for this little guy. Usually, within the first week, the infant is clinging with all four limbs and mom may return to quadrapedal locomotion.

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As with any new baby, there is a lot of curiosity about the newest member of the group especially from 4 year old, Lilly. Both Azizi and Gino (silverback/dad) have been disciplining her appropriately if she gets too rambunctious. So far, she has touched him gently on the head.

The new baby, which is yet to be named, is the fourth gorilla born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which manages genetic diversity among species through detailed records of individual animals. The first gorilla birth at Disney’s Animal Kingdom occurred in 1997 before the park opened, the second baby arrived in 1999 and the third was born in 2010.

Join us in saying ‘karibuni’ to the newest member of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom family!

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Heading to Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World? Don’t Miss These Navigation Tips

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


We recently shared some exciting updates about enhancements coming to Downtown Disney as the area expands and transforms into Disney Springs, which when complete, will double the area’s number of dining and retail options. Work is already underway to widen Buena Vista Drive which will eventually make it easier to access the area. As expansion work continues through 2016, here are some of our best tips for navigating the property during this time so you can continue to enjoy all of the shopping, dining and entertainment options that Downtown Disney has to offer.

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  • Use Complimentary Resort Transportation – Disney resorts offer complimentary bus transportation to Downtown Disney, which drops guests off at the Marketplace end. Watercraft transportation is also available from Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts, Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. Once at Downtown Disney, all guests can use boat transportation to travel between the Marketplace, West Side and Pleasure Island districts.
  • Follow Parking Signs For The Best Access – If driving, follow the lighted signs to available parking lots, including those at the Casting and Team Disney buildings located across the street.
  • Take Exit 67 on I-4 – If you’re arriving via I-4, take exit 67 to approach Downtown Disney from another direction and continue to follow signs for parking.
  • Arrive Early For Scheduled Entertainment & Dining Reservations – Have a reservation or tickets to a show? Be sure to allow extra time for parking; we’d suggest arriving at least an hour early. Most ticketed experiences at Downtown Disney take place at Downtown Disney West Side, so parking in the Team Disney parking lot is your best bet for those.
  • Valet Parking Is Available – Based on guest feedback, we now have two locations for interested guests to choose from. Valet Parking is available from 10 a.m.-1 a.m. at the Marketplace (via entrance 2) and from 2:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m. on the West Side (via entrance 3). The cost is $20 per vehicle.

Be sure to keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future updates as the Disney Springs transformation continues!

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