Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing fun ways to splurge at Disney.
Think running a 5K for $80 is a splurge? Think again! In addition to travel, hotel, and park entrance costs, you might just be tempted by the many runDisney “plusses” available to you during your race weekend. Beginning with picking up your bib at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo and ending with post-race celebrations, there is temptation aplenty awaiting. In fact, many of these goodies are dangled before you during each event registration process. Need a commemorative race pin (now sold in “bundles” for $42.99)? A runner’s jacket ($91.37 for the Walt Disney World Marathon version) that you can forever crow about? Even though these items don’t come cheap, you better move quickly and pre-order, or you’ll never see them outside of eBay’s site. Though each race weekend differs in what is offered to its participants, I’ll give you a sampling to whet your ferocious runner’s appetite.
runDisney Race Enhancements
Available exclusively for Disney Princess Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon/Half Marathon, the runner VIP Race Retreat Package is the full-on splurge treatment; early access to the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, entrance to the private Finish Line tent (which includes breakfast/brunch, private restrooms, photo-ops with Disney characters, stretching areas, and on-site masseuses for an additional fee) plus a commemorative item. For 2017, this experience will add $120 to your tab…
You can read my full review of the Disney Princess Half Marathon VIP Race Retreat HERE.
Formerly offered during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the Pasta in the Park Party; perhaps it had gotten a bit stale. Let’s see if that returns next year.
In Disneyland Resort, the Star Wars Light Side Lounge: A VIP Experience offers personalized race check-in and early access to the runDisney Health & Fitness expo (including exclusive access to the New Balance runDisney Collection), and exclusive post-race party at ESPN Zone is priced at $79.
A Disney Dooney can start at $191.35 for the Large Zip Around Wallet, and hit $320.35 for the Zip Zip Satchel. For me, these prices are not attainable. But, to mark my first half marathon, first trip to Disneyland Paris- you get the idea. It’s a bit easier to justify when you tell yourself “you’v earned it” with all of your training hours, but a collection? For some, it is THE reason to register for their next runDisney race!
How about some shoes to go with those bags?! New Balance, the Official Running Shoe of runDisney, has unveiled a new limited collection every race year since 2013. While the styling is “must-have,” the execution of these shoes for racing is in dispute. I own three pair, but must confess that I prefer to use them as kick-around-the-park shoes. Starting in price at $125, unless you need the latest and greatest, wait until you can get them for a steal at a local New Balance outlet store. (My Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracays cost $50!) If you’d like to browse for yourself at your next runDisney weekend, be sure to monitor the New Balance website. Don’t be caught flat footed! Signup at the New Balance Virtual Queue so that you are not denied.
runDisney apparel is a bit more affordable, but if you run most of the races, these Performance Jackets can get set you back some. (Not to mention how they have overtaken my closet!) Again, those “firsts” need to be celebrated; my Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Rebel Challenge (my first 19.3), and Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Performance Jackets are some of my favorite things. Every time I wear one to a Disney park, it’s like I’m showing off my medals all over again! Of course, tech shirts, caps, and the like are less costly collector’s items.
Cheaper still are the racks and racks of collectible pins (my absolute favorites are the miniature versions of each medal; yes, those I must have), hats, glasses of every configuration, earrings, etc. These items are changed up for every race, so keep an eagle eye out when you register. As always, the sooner you get to the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, the better your shopping choices.
You’ve watched your consumption of fats before the race, hydrated with every form of sports drink for a week prior to your event, and counted your carbs in he lead-up to your race. After 13.1, or 19.3, 26.2, or more, you NEED to indulge your system. (Think of that as free medical advice.) Of course, booking Disney Signature Dining experiences after your race is a personal choice, but one I personally don’t skimp on. Whether your coveted culinary reward is Victoria & Albert’s, Carthay Circle Restaurant, Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose, or California Grill, be sure to make your reservations at the ealiest possible date to avoid disappointment; runners know how to celebrate, and they are all thinking the same thing…
Likewise, racers run hard and play hard. It might be difficult getting into your favorite on-property lounge on race days. Plan ahead and get there early! (Have I mentioned that Tambu Lounge often runs out of pineapples on race weekends?! A Lapu Lapu may taste the same in a plain glass, but it just doesn’t have the same panache.) The Trader Sam’s on both coasts, The Cove Bar, Brown Derby Lounge, and Tambu Lounge are all personal favorites. Don’t be disappointed by arriving for your must-have cocktail too late in the day, or you’ll be saying Uh Oa!!
Post-race, you’ve either heard it or said it, “oh my aching back” or “my feet are killing me.” Though I have some professional opinions about the merits of massage and/or pedicures after the big day, let’s face it- some princess primping is in order after all that mileage. Disney park spas have come a long way over just the past 5 years; the Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel are spectacular and oh-so-zen, and the Senses Spas at both Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort are beautiful oases. Need some TLC? Go for it.
You can read my full review of Senses~ A Disney Spa HERE.
Disney Floral & Gifts
Still have some pennies left? Then fulfill your every runDisney wish with a very special something extra. Balloon bouquets, gourmet snack treats, cakes, jewelry, and more can round out the weekend in the most magical ways. Choose from Princess, Mickey and Friends, Star Wars themes, and more. The sky literally is the limit with the cost of these packages, but prices generally begin at about $60. In case you’re interested, I have my eye on the “Create a Fairy Tale” combo; a tiara, and Arribas Brothers crystal slipper set atop a pillow of flowers only costs $200. (Someone please forward this to my non-running husband.)
Have you participated in your first runDisney weekend yet? Please share, what is your favorite runner reward?
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Splurges Loop:
- 1st Stop – Cool Nouns | Specialty Apparel
- 2nd Stop – Frontierland Station | Visiting During Peak Seasons
- 3rd Stop – Saving Up for Disney | Disneyland Splurges for Kids (and Where to Cut Costs)
- 4th Stop – Post 50 Rx | runDisney Splurges
- 5th Stop – Adventurer Mom | Early Morning Magic Fantasyland
- 6th Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | When a Disney Parks VIP Tour is Worth the Splurge