Last month, Emma and I were lucky enough to be invited along to DISNEYLAND to get a taste of this years Disney Marathon weekend taking place this September. I was vaguely aware of the American parks running these events but I had no idea that Paris was also in on the action.. a lot closer to home for Brit fitness fans!
Initially I thought we’d signed up to a weekend in Disney and a run through of events but it soon became obvious that I’d signed us up to RUN. Only a 5K but still.. there are people training for even these short distances and we are not those people. Thankfully we had an entire day in the park before we had to worry about this ‘run’ business so we enjoyed ourselves, met some other UK influencers and I got to see Disneyland through a fresh pair of eyes (always exciting) because Emma had never been before. A weekend is definitely not long enough for your first visit but we crammed so much in to those two days, including the ‘marathon’ experience that I’m sure it felt like enough 😉
The new ‘Illuminations’ show was fantastic (gotta say, preferred ‘Dreams’ but still) nobody does it quite like Disney. Prior to the show I’d bragged to a member of our group (another Disney virgin) that he would have never seen a display like it.. he said it would be competing with the Sydney Opera House – I was worried – after the show he said there was no competition. I overused the word that day but it really was magical.
After the longest of days and the latest of nights came.. the earliest of mornings. We met with our group at 6am to make our way to the starting point, we were achey, nervous and still exhausted from the previous day but the energy was something I’d never experienced. People were excited.. to run and once we got in to the park I totally understood why. The real runners sped off ahead leaving the ‘slow runners’ (read-walkers) in a cloud of dust..and an empty park. We’d been assured that there was no pressure to run, it was a ‘DISNEY’ 5K and it should be fun.. so we took our time. At one point we may have been closely followed by the little car at the end of the race but honestly? I didn’t care! In what world would I ever feel completely alone in Disneyland again?
There were people occasionally scattered around but for the most part I could see far across the park and.. nobody. It was amazing! The castle at sunrise, the TEACUPS at sunrise.. magical, magical, magical! We made our way back to Main Street to be greeted by Mickey and Goofy by which time (looking at our faces) we were clearly high on the moment and ready to crash.. and we still had another park to go.
By the time we crossed the finish line (not LAST, I’d like to make clear.. but close) the sky was beautiful, we walked past the people waiting for the park to open, the security teams being briefed for the day and (thankfully) Starbucks on our way back to the hotel. We went through what felt like a million emotions that morning and one of them (around 5am) was definitely ‘I don’t want to do this’ but on that walk back we both agreed we were incredibly thankful that we had.
Once we’d recuperated and had some breakfast we went back out in to the park for out last few hours before our Eurostar home and I tried to get Emma on all of my favorite rides. I’m not a ride person, ordinarily but if you’re going to feel safe anywhere, you’re going to feel safe in Disneyland, aren’t you? My favourite Thunder Mountain has had a bit of a tune up since I last rode it .. which made for amusing vlogging for Emma – WATCH HERE – still my favourite just now with added TERROR. We went on Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast (I think that’s what it’s called) ..and it broke down.. not having much luck so far. We were on there for quite a while, actually but it’s still awesome and one I’d recommend, The Haunted Manor, The Studio Tram Tour, Ratatouille.. we had limited time but I think she got a good taste of ‘the magic’ in one weekend. We even met Lightening (Flash, to the French) McQueen!!!
When I visited last year I really wanted to come back for the 25th anniversary but with other holidays we’ve booked I didn’t think I was going to get chance so I’m extra grateful for the opportunity to not only go back and experience things I never have somewhere that feels almost like a second home to me but also to take Emma along with me. Some people would say that Disneyland is not for adults.. I would say, those adults are not for me.
The RunDisney weekend takes place 21st-24th Sept and includes KIDS RACES, a FAMILY 5K, a brand new 10K RACE and a HALF MARATHON. The 5K costs 35€ per person and there are other parties and events across the weekend for those taking part. You can find out more about DisneyRun here