Registration for the Wine and Dine half marathon opened at 12 pm today and I showed a great deal of restraint. A LOT of restraint. I held back. For a whole 13 minutes.
Look at that ad? How can I say no to that ad? No really, how?! If you want to do a half marathon in Disney World and you don’t know which one to do, I say don’t even think about it: Choose the Wine and Dine half marathon. In my opinion, which is the only thing that counts for anything here, Wine and Dine is the best race in Disney World. You go through three parks instead of just the Magic Kingdom, you get the added value of the after party, you get to run through the Osbourne lights… It’s just my absolute, hands-down favorite. Did I mention no hot sun beating down on you on the highway, either?
I’d done a lot of hotel shopping and budgeting beforehand to see what the cost of the weekend would be. Disney’s site was either sold out of the standard rooms at the Beach Club/Boardwalk/Yacht Club or quoting me a minimum of $450+ a night for a room. Yeah, nice try.
I tried the Swan and Dolphin but decided that their decision to charge me a mandatory $14 resort service fee for two bottles of water and access to the fitness center was too egregious a miscarriage of justice for me to be a guest there. No freaking way. Plus, I couldn’t use the Magical Express and let’s be honest it’s become an integral part of my vacation experience. Integral.
Typically, I book every aspect of my vacation myself. Just like my parents raised me to appreciate cable television, so too did they ingrain in me that you don’t use a travel agent. You book your airline tickets, hotels, dinner reservations, all on your own. And then, you go back and cancel them because you feel like you’ve been there, talked to every single agent at Continental, and that’s that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “been” to Hawaii. And I am a compulsive control freak and I think I know more about Disney than anyone else so I don’t need to relinquish control to a travel agent.
Guess what changed my mind? If you thought it was ease and convenience for not having to wait on hold 30 minutes to talk to someone at Disney you’d be wrong and you obviously don’t know me. Cost, people! COST! Melissa at Mousekeplanner, besides being a total doll and really nice and you know, a runDisney person, offered me a great deal on a room at…
THE BOARDWALK! I’m very excited to be staying here, the rate is “run of the house” which apparently means I get what’s available when I check in in terms of view. Originally, she had said I would have to book with either a ticket or dining package but emailed me a few days ago to say it wasn’t necessary. So, now we’re all set to go to the Boardwalk in November. I’m pretty excited that this is going to happen, I’m staying in the hotel I want, and I won’t go totally broke in the process. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be rolling in dough between now and then and I’m definitely cutting costs to make this happen (so long, cupcakes, it was good while it lasted) but in the end I think it’s totally worth it. Sitting down and looking at what I’ve spending on has also helped me realize that when push comes to shove, I’d rather skip the sale pants at Lululemon and instead put the money towards a Disney vacation. As time goes on, I’ll let you know how it works out with a travel agent, but so far Melissa’s great–she gets back to me really quickly, is really responsive and it’s definitely been easier than calling Disney and doing this stuff myself. You know, now that I have a job where they like, expect me to do stuff.
The only missing piece for the fall, which will be totally figured out on March 27th, is whether the Wine & Dine is an easy, post-Marine Corps Marathon run or the start of my Philly Marathon taper… It’s definitely going to be just one more training run for my upcoming Goofy challenge…
Who else is in?