slide show

January 30, 2013

"True Love Week" Will Shower Disneyland Guests with Romance as part of Limited Time Magic

Love is certainly in the air as Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  In my opinion, Disneyland Resort can be a romantic getaway any day of the week but especially so this February as "True Love Week" will be hitting the resorts and theme parks just in time for the lover's holiday as part of the Limited Time Magic promotion.

This celebration of love and family will take place for a whole week and will shower guests with surprises and unique opportunities that are sure to result in special, lasting Disney memories.  From special entertainment to character greetings with favored Disney couples, to romantic candlelit dinners for two, "True Love Week" is sure to be an event filled week stamped with Cupid's approval... but... this is the year of "Limited Time Magic" and all of the star-crossed fun will sail in and out in a jiffy so be sure to head to the Disneyland Resort during February 11-17, 2013 to "get your love on."

Here's a rundown of what to expect during 'True Love Week" at Disneyland:

  • Romantic Setting: Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn Disneyland Park, making it an ideal place to celebrate Valentine’s week.
  • Blushing Castle: At dusk, hues of red and pink will bathe Sleeping Beauty Castle, with projections of flowers and hearts.
  • Floral Heart: A giant floral heart makes a sweet setting for a Valentine photo, in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland.
  • Valentine Wishes: Flowers, garlands and decorative doves will create a second ideal location around Snow White Wishing Well near Sleeping Beauty Castle. At night, magical lighting adds a romantic touch to the wishing well and Snow White Grotto.
  • Disneyland Sweethearts: Also near Town Square, guests will find a photo location with resident Disneyland sweethearts – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck.
  • Dinners for Two: Romantic dinners for two with prix fixe menus will be offered at select restaurants during the most romantic week of the year.  Specially-created menus at Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure Park, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel or Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel make    ideal choices for a romantic evening. To book call 714-781-DINE (714-781-3463).
  • Cupcake Lovers: Chefs have prepared a specially themed Valentine’s dessert: a chocolate cupcake with raspberry mousse filling and dark chocolate mousse frosting. It will be available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland Hotel Coffee House.
  • Valentine’s-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plush, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations will be available at select merchandise locations.
  • Ears for your Sweetheart: The classic Disneyland ear hat gets a total glitz makeover just in time for the most romantic time of the year. It will dazzle your Valentine and become the most sophisticated pair of ears in your collection.
  • Royal Romance:  Guests will enjoy a rare opportunity to get photos of Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses along The Royal Walk in Fantasyland. In New Orleans Square, guests will find another pair of sweethearts, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.
  • In Search of True Love: Guests may also encounter the Wandering Wallflowers, in search of “true love.”

January 26, 2013

A Glamorous Bubbly Cocktail from Carthay Circle Lounge

This post contains a recipe for an alcoholic beverage and is intended for readers 21 and over!  Thanks!

Go ahead and play the following video to set the mood while you're reading :)

You guys already know that I am a huge fan of all things sparkly and bubbly so Champagne and I go hand in hand!  On my recent visit to Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge in Disney California Adventure Park, I found a quiet corner furnished with comfortable and richly upholstered couches... it was the perfect spot to spend a few minutes of down time in the middle of my busy day, so I though..."why not?" and settled in for a mid-day snack and a cocktail.  This, by the way is a great place to just chill so be sure to check it out the lounge area even if you aren't in the mood for a sit-down meal!

When ordering sparkling wine, I usually stick to the regular by the glass Brut but this time something caught my eye... something almost as glamorous as Carthay itself... and I just couldn't resist!  The Sparkling Mare is a Champagne cocktail consisting of a Iron Horse Fairy Tale and a couple of sweet liquors which add to the floral notes with a little hint of citrus!

Sparkling Mare- Carthay Circle Lounge Menu

It's been a while, so I decided to treat you all to the recipe here on Disney Go To Girl.  Please note, this is my adaptation so it might not be an exact replica... however, my version is really tasty too, even though things always taste better at Disneyland ;)  This reminds me of an Elderberry Royale so I went with that and added a little Orange Apertif for a Citrus boost!

Here is a secret for you too... Fairy Tale by Iron Horse Vineyards (a local vineyard for me) is only distributed and available through Disney Parks... BUT... you can purchase other Iron Horse Sparkling Wines from your local wine dealer!  I bought mine at BevMo for a really good price!  Can't find Iron Horse?  Any good, dry Brut sparkling wine or Champagne will do the trick!

My version of Carthay's Sparkling Mare

1oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
1oz. Aperol Orange Apertif
6oz. Sparkling Wine or Champagne (Iron Horse)

Pour the liquors into a champagne flute and top with cold Champagne.  Garnish with an Orange Peel Twist and say "CHEERS."  And to really enhance this in-home Disney experience, dim the lights and throw on The Carthay Circle Sessions (as shown above. Be sure to pick up a copy on your next visit).

January 25, 2013

Second Chance Disneyland Half Marathon and 10K Registrations Available Through Travel Groups and Charities

If you are a runDisney fan or just a regular old Disney fan, chances are you've already heard that this Fall's Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend's main races (Half Marathon and 10K) sold out in just over 24 hours with the all new Dumbo Double Dare (a special challenge which "dares" racers to complete both the 10K and Half Marathon to earn a unique medal) sold out in just 2 hours.

The Twitterverse broke open with posts from disappointed runners who were unable to register before the races sold out as I don't think anyone expected the sell out to occur so quickly.

Well here's the good news for those who missed out on the official registration:  There are still registrations available for the Disneyland 10K and Disneyland Half Marathon through Travel Partners and some really worthwhile charities, granted you will pay a bit more for your registration.

Get Travel is offering packages for the Half, 10K, 5K and Kids Races


You'll see this message when you visit their site, so if you plan to book I'd get "running"...

Other Disney-preffered Travel Operators offering registrations include:

Wanna Run for a CAUSE?  Most charitable registrations will offer to waive your registration fee with the promise of a certain donation... and running for a charitable cause is very rewarding... to both yourself and the cause!

Participating charitiable organizations include:

Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Heading to Disney California Adventure Next Month

Next month, Disney California Adventure will give guests the opportunity to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a special event taking place daily beginning February 8th through February 11th.  The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration will branch out into various areas of the park while paying tribute to ancient customs, festivities, and ceremonial traditions of this cultural occasion that commemorates the moment when the sun and moon embark on their annual journeys that will continue throughout the year.  This is a very fitting occasion to celebrate at Disneyland because it marks the time to appreciate family and to focus on positivity and the offering of kind wishes for the future.

Happy Lunar New Year Banner

If you plan to visit Disney California Adventure February 8th-11th be sure to keep an eye out for areas decorated for the occasion:  Beautiful lanterns and bright ornate banners and signs wishing guests a Happy Luna New Year in English, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese!

One of the highlights of this cultural celebration will be Mulan's Chinese New Year Processional which will occur along the parade route in front of Pacific Wharf!  The colorful processional led by Mulan and Mushu will include bright, costume-clad umbrella dancers and a beautiful musical arrangement.  The parade will end at a vibrant photo location near the Ariel's Undersea Adventure attraction where guests of all ages will have the chance to meet and pose for photos with select Disney characters who will be decked out for the celebration!

Throughout the day there will be special entertainment throughout the park including dancers, musicians, and even martial artists so be sure to grab a Times Guide at the Main entrance so you are able to take part in all of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration fun!

January 24, 2013

Walt Disney World Moms Panel Renamed Disney Parks Moms Panel

6th Year of Sharing the Magic Brings First-Ever Team Sports Moms and 19 New Panelists

19 new "Moms" join the Pixie Dusted Roster this year

As you may already know, I am a member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel, formerly, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel where I serve as a Disneyland specialist...spending my days answering guests' vacation planning questions on the ever popular online forum!  As of today, the panel officially inducted 19 new "magic makers" and that's not all... TODAY... we have an adorable new logo and a new, and catchy name that fits as perfectly as Cinderella's glass slipper:

Today, Disney Parks has officially given a new name to the ever-growing Walt Disney World Moms Panel: the Disney Parks Moms Panel. Along with the change in title the company announced the website’s 19 newest members. New for 2013, two Team Sports Moms will join the roster to assist guests with youth sports-related travel to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Disney Parks Moms Panel, located at, is an online forum that serves as a resource for planning Disney Parks vacations. Whether guests are looking to kick it on the fields of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, find the best character dining experience for their family, jog around Disney theme parks with runDisney or discover the cultures of the world with Adventures by Disney, there is a panelist who can share authentic opinions and tips on almost anything and everything Disney Parks. Spanish-speaking visitors can also read and submit questions to a group of dedicated multilingual panelists.

"Since launching in 2008, the Disney Parks Moms Panel has answered countless questions from travelers considering a Disney Parks vacation," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. "Known for their sound and practical advice, the panelists continue to be a great resource, helping even more guests make unforgettable Disney memories."

In September 2012, thousands of hopefuls from around the world submitted applications for a seat on the panel. From the many passionate applications, 19 new moms and dads have taken their seat with the 2013 Disney Parks Moms Panel.

So all of that said, we hope you'll enjoy our new look, and as always, please stop by to ask me, or any of my fellow panelists all of your questions!  We are here to help you plan the magical vacation of a lifetime!!!

Disneyland (Large)

Disney on Ice Presents "Dare to Dream"

Dare to Dream Takes Adventure To New Lengths With Magical Moments
From Disney’s Newest Fairytales and a Timeless Classic


Join a celebration of royal proportions when Rapunzel, Tiana, and Cinderella star in the all-new ice skating production of Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream!  Relive memorable moments from Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, and Cinderella as a cast of world-class skaters brings the romance of two modern-day princesses, Rapunzel and Tiana, with classic elegance of Cinderella, Dare to Dream wisks audiences away on exciting journeys where dreams really DO come true!
Experience Disney's hilarious hair-raising escapade, Tangled; as Rapunzel, her unlikely companion, Flynn, and Maximus, embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths.  Boogie to the beat of the bayou with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a magical, musical journey that all begins with a fateful kiss.  And fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true!  

All your favorite princesses take the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime.  Experience the beauty, sparkle, and spirit when Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to the a town near you.

Mark your calendars for Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream Bay Area Dates:

WHEN: San Jose – HP Pavillion at San Jose:  Wednesday, February 20 – Sunday, February 24
525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113
Wednesday, February 20 – 7:00pm
Thursday, February 21 – 7:00pm
Friday, February 22 – 10:30am & 7:00pm
Saturday, February 23 – 11:00am, 3:00pm & 7:00pm
Sunday, February 24 – 11:00am, 3:00pm & 7:00pm

Oakland – ORACLE Arena:  Wednesday, February 27 – Sunday March 3
7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621
Wednesday, February 27  - 7:00pm
Thursday, February 28  –  7:00pm
Friday, March 1 – 10:30am & 7:00pm
Saturday, March 2 – 11:00am, 3:00pm & 7:00pm
Sunday, March 3 – 11:00am, 3:00pm & 7:00pm

TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $20, $27, $50 (VIP) and $80 (Front Row)*
Opening Night tickets available for only $15 each (not valid for premium seating)  
All seats are reserved and available for purchase at the venue Box Office, online at         or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.                *tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.  

National Dates:

Get tangled up in this fanciful adventure as it travels to audiences all over the world. Dare to Dream will play at the following venues this tour season:
    San Diego, California, Valley View Casino Center
    Jan 23 - Jan 27

    Fresno, California, Selland Arena at Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center
    Jan 30 - Feb 04

    Stockton, California, Stockton Arena
    Feb 07 - Feb 10

    Sacramento, California, Sleep Train Arena
    Feb 13 - Feb 18

    San Jose, California, HP Pavilion at San Jose
    Feb 20 - Feb 24

    Oakland, California, ORACLE Arena
    Feb 27 - Mar 03

    Salt Lake City, Utah, EnergySolutions Arena
    Mar 06 - Mar 10

    Auburn Hills, Michigan, Palace of Auburn Hills
    Mar 14 - Mar 17

    Sunrise, Florida, BB&T Center
    Mar 21 - Mar 24

    Miami, Florida, AmericanAirlines Arena
    Mar 27 - Mar 31

    Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
    Apr 04 - Apr 07

    Columbia, South Carolina, Colonial Life Arena
    Apr 11 - Apr 14

    Lexington, Kentucky, Rupp Arena
    Apr 18 - Apr 21

    Little Rock, Arkansas, Verizon Arena
    Apr 24 - Apr 28

    January 23, 2013

    Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Sets Record Pace With 26-Hour Sell Out

    Hi there!  So excited to share this official runDisney press release with my readers today!  I am so happy I was able to register for the Dumbo Double Dare before it sold out in mere hours! If you missed out, there still may be time, as limited spots are still available through Travel Groups and Charities! Visit the runDisney website for more information!
    Congrats to runDisney on continued and increasing success!  Will YOU be running with Disney this year!?  If so, please let me know by commenting below!

    A little more than 26 hours after opening on-line sales to the general public, the Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K and Dumbo Double Dare reached capacity and set a runDisney sell out record.  Coming off successful back-to-back capacity filled race weekends, in which more than  65,000 registered runners participated in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and more than 19,500 in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland ResortrunDisney races have reached a new threshold with record fast sell out times, joining the ranks of other sell out races Marine Corps Marathon, ING New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon.
    Of the more than 25,000 runners who registered for the race weekend, 17,500 runners will participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon and 8,000 in the Disneyland 10K - including 5,000 in the Dumbo Double Dare.  The new 10K race, the latest in the popular runDisney series, will be a timed event and will take runners through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the streets of Anaheim.  Each finisher will receive a specially designed commemorative finisher medal. Runners looking for an extra challenge registered for the Dumbo Double Dare, which involves running the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total).  Participants who signed up for the Dumbo Double Dare will receive a Dumbo Double Dare tech shirt and a special finisher medal, in addition to the Disneyland Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals.
     “Runner response to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is overwhelming,” says Disney Sports Marketing and Communication Director Faron Kelley.  “This points to the growing popularity of runDisney events and runner demand for two-day, back-to-back race challenges, along with the ever popular 10K distance.”
    A verylimited number of registrations are available for the half marathon and 10Kthrough charity and travel groups.  Runners can get more information on these opportunities by going to
    In addition, registration remains open for the Family Fun Run 5K and runDisney Kids Races. These races are filling quickly so runners are encouraged to register today at
    About runDisney
    runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks.  Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.  The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, Expedition Everest Challenge in May, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine& Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend.  More than 200,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @runDisney.

    runDisney Tinkerbell Half Marathon Recap

    As promised, here is my race recap of the second annual Tinkerbell Half Marathon which took place last weekend on February 20 at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.  This was my second runDisney event and I honestly must admit that I am completely hooked. I began training last year for the Tower of Terror 10 miler and my life has been changed ever since.  I am suddenly hooked on running every day, eating a healthy, organic diet, and actually making it to the gym to meet my trainer... why? you might ask.... Well... because it feels great.  In fact, I've never felt better! (and the cute clothes and shoes are a bonus too).  I find that I am living my life from race to race all of a sudden and I just can't get enough!  (Did I addition to several local and Bay area races, I've already signed up for the Dumbo Double Dare during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend this Fall with hopes of returning for the Tower of Terror 10-miler and earning my Coast to Coast Medal at the Wine and Dine half Marathon in November) Is it August yet?

    Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum aka Me and FiddleDeeMe's Ashley!

    There's something amazing about running long distances... it's really hard to articulate, but it's such an inspirational feeling to know that I am capable.  I never dreamed that I would be embarking on a new athletic journey at 31, but here I am!  I just can't believe I am a runner... but now I have the medals to prove it... and trust me... I look at them a lot!!!

    My race weekend kicked off with a fabulous runDisney meet up which really got me pumped up for Sunday's main event.  After picking up my bib and shopping for a while at the runDisney Expo at the Disneyland Hotel, I spent the afternoon on Friday and all day Saturday enjoying the Disneyland Resort theme parks before heading out for an evening of Carb loading with pasta and some good friends!  The race began early, at 5 am, so I knew I needed to try to get some sleep, so I settled in around 10:30 expecting to "be up all night."  Surprisingly, I dozed off pretty quickly and awoke to my alarm at 3:00 am!

    I boiled water in the coffee pot to pour into my French Press (I'm a coffee snob and never travel without it) and then boiled another round for my breakfast (Organic Oatmeal with a banana).  Just as I was getting dressed, my running partner Courtney arrived and we sipped our coffee and made finishing touches to our running costumes before heading over to the corrals which were just across the street.  We packed a bag containing our oatmeal (in compostable containers), some bananas, and some bottled waters to enjoy a little in-Corral picnic prior to the gun.

    It was about 3:50 when we left the room and we made it to our assigned "B" corral by 4am.  We purchased inexpensive fleece blankets from Target to snuggle up with in the corral so we were quite cozy while enjoying our breakfast!  Although it was still early, the excitement was extremely palpable as scenes from the previous year's race filled the jumbotron which was directly overhead.  As the clocked ticked closer to 5 am and "Go Time" familiar songs filled the air and runners filled the corrals.  Since we arrived so early, we were at the very front of "B" and had a great view of the stage area and the jumbo screens.

    Waiting in the Corral!  I decided to dress as Tigerlily from Peter Pan!  

    Before we knew it, it was time to go, so we tossed our blankets aside, did some last minute stretching, and prepared ourselves as the "gun" was fired and the "A" Corral was on its way.  We began moving up to the starting line and it was a blur because it was a bit nerve wracking being at the very front of the group.  My adrenaline was on overdrive and I looked to my right to see my favorite characters on the stage.  I took a deep breath and before I knew it, I was running!

    Course Map

    I had trained at a 2:00 / 1:00 run/walk interval in hopes of a sub 2:45 finish but to I decided to keep running for the first 3 miles because I felt so good and they FLEW by!  Before I knew it, I had ran through California Adventure (as World of Color splashed away for us) and I enjoyed seeing the attractions running with no one in them!  Radiator Springs and Cars Land welcomed us with glowing neon and the old Hollywood tunes on Buena Vista Street bid us farewell as we headed through the gates and across the esplanade to Disneyland Park (but not before stopping for my first of 3 potty breaks).

    I entered Disneyland Park and had that feeling like I was "home"... I have walked down Main Street many times, but running through is such a unique experience!  As we rounded the bend from Tomorrowland into Fantasyland, I could see the lights on "it's a small world" glistening in the distance and I knew I just had to stop for a photo with my favorite Princess before turning the corner to spy the Lost Boys goofing around on the Carousel!  From there, it was back through Sleeping Beauty Castle into Frontierland, past Pirates of the Caribbean (and Jack Sparrow) and then somehow..I think... we ended up backstage, where floats from Mickey's Soundsational Parade were setup in various locations!

    Stopping for a picture with Snow White in Disneyland

    After that, it was off to the streets of Anaheim.  To be honest, I was a bit worried about keeping up momentum after leaving the parks, but surprisingly, I was still feeling great and found that I was ignoring my "low" interval to keep running!  I was stopping at most of the water stops, which by the way were sufficiently staffed and stocked with ice cold water and powerade.

    The streets of Anaheim were filled with cheerleaders, marching bands, a string band, street performers, glee name it!  I remember passing by The Red Hat Ladies at some point and they were my favorites!  I was throwing high fives like it was nobody's business.

    I can remember passing Mile 7 and I was feeling a bit hungry and starting to feel my energy dwindling. That's when I remembered that Clif shots would be handed out at mile 8.  Just thinking about it gave me some extra oomph and I powered through until I saw that red Clif banner blowing in the wind!  It was like a beacon of light on a dark night!  I ended up exchanging my Vanilla shot for a Raspberry and held onto it until the next water station where I diluted it with water to get it down without gagging.

    By this time, I met up with two girls from my home state of NC and we began chatting for a while.  Before I knew it, the shot had kicked in and we were already past mile 10 (I'm getting chills BTW).  I heard one of the girls mention that they had been maintaining a 12 minute mile and it occurred to me to check my Facebook page for the race tracking (I wasn't wearing a GPS watch or keeping up with mile times b/c I was having too much fun)... OMG!!! I was maintaining just over a 12 minute mile and was expected to finish in just over my goal of 2:45.  Well I couldn't have that, so I picked up the pace, once again ignoring my interval timer and running as long as I could and walking for about 30 seconds in between.

    Next thing I knew, I could see Matterhorn in the distance and I was busting a Left on the all too familiar Harbor Boulevard.  I was texting friends and family as I ran under the Monorail track and into backstage of California Adventure.  We ran through a tunnel and on the way out, I noticed my fingers looked like sausages which alarmed me.  I began swinging them in circles over my head and decided to slow down a bit.  It wasn't long before I looked up and saw the Finish line up ahead in the parking lot of the Paradise Pier Hotel.  It was SO close, yet so far away as we still had to zig zag a few times through the parking lot to get there!

    Goofing around!

    As I neared the finish, I noticed the time! And I sped up to give Mickey a high five and a hug!  I did it!!! I finished 13.1 miles at the Happiest Place on Earth and I beat a goal that I had expected to be unachievable with a finish of 2:41!  I hurried to grab my medal snapped a terrible picture of myself swollen face and all!

    Swollen Face and hands and all, but the bling is worth it!!!

    I headed over to have my picture taken and wait for my friends to finish I realized that I felt really good!  I chowed down my banana and bundled up in my new runDisney space blanket and admired my new bling!  It was a good day! Can't I just runDisney everyday??? (I can't wait to receive my images)

    Kudos to my buddy Courtney who finished her first Half Marathon!

    Thanks to runDisney for this incredible and inspiring experience!

    runDisney Tinkerbell Half Marathon Meetup

    So... I just returned home from a whirlwind Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend with runDisney at the Disneyland Resort.  The fun started early Friday morning (6 am to be exact) as I was invited to attend the runDisney Social Media Meetup / Tweetup which included an exhilarating run/walk led by Jeff Galloway through Downtown Disney, Disneyland, and California Adventure.  As if running through the empty Disneyland Parks at sunrise (with Jeff Galloway himself) wasn't enough,  there were surprises around every corner:  A meeting with Tinkerbell herself in Pixie Hollow, a visit from Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy on Buena Vista Street, and a special ride on the one and only Radiator Springs Racers attraction in Cars Land!  My phone was already dying but I was able to capture a couple of pics along the way!

    My favorite couple (and the BEST cheerleaders, by the way)!
    Taking a moment to pose with special guests Jeff Galloway (L) and Sean Astin (R)
    Photo courtesy of Disney: Group shot with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the Red Car Trolley on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure!

    Once we were all finished with our run, we were treated to a deliciously healthy breakfast buffet in the Grand Californian's Napa Rose restaurant while we listened to the likes of Jeff Galloway, Sean Astin (Run3rd), and Ali Vincent (Biggest Loser, Believe it! Be it!) speak on their platforms.   There was so much inspiration inside one room which really got me pumped for Sunday's run!

    I have to say I was really inspired by Sean Astin's Run3rd platform, so check it out if you get the chance!
    We also had the opportunity to catch a first glimpse of the all new New Balance runDisney shoe!  In my opinion, this is a match made in heaven!  The comfort and quality of New Balance paired with the magic and style of Disney!  I can't wait to slip into a pair of these! You can learn more about this amazing partnership in this Disney Parks Blog video.

    Since I'm a foodie, I really enjoyed listening to runDisney's new nutritionist Tara Gidus as she provided tips on healthy fitness eating habits and also touched on common dietary mistakes made by runners and athletes.  After Tara's speech, we were once again treated to a culinary masterpiece as two chef's from Napa Rose prepared a delicious Black Bean Cake topped with a Poached Egg and Pico de Gallo.  I can't wait to share this healthy recipe with you in a future post!  Be sure to visit Tara's page on the runDisney website for lots of insight on properly fueling up before the big run!

    In closing, this event was an absolute blast from start to finish and really got my Tinkerbell weekend off to a "running" start!  Special thanks to runDisney for the opportunity.  Be sure to check out my 2013 Tinkerbell Half Marathon Recap!