Tag: RunDisney

MickeyTravels Agent Virtual Meet & Greet – Stacey Ehly

October 13, 2014

MickeyTravels is excited about our new initiative – The MickeyTravels Agent Virtual Meet & Greet. We will feature a different MickeyTravels agent on a daily basis. We’re proud to have the best Disney Travel agents in the world as part of our MickeyTravels team and this will allow you to get to know them even better. Today the spotlight shines on Stacey Ehly from Pennsylvania!

Name: Stacey Ehly

Where are you from? Bucks County, Pennsylvania

First memory of Disney? I remember going on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride when I was 2 years old and feeling like I was going to fall out of the boat when we “dropped” into the “pirates world” part of the ride. Going back as I got older, I realized that this “drop” wasn’t that steep or long after all. It’s great how your enjoyment of Disney evolves as you get older!

runDisney

What makes Disney MAGICAL in your eyes? Disney is the most magical place on earth. When you drive under the “Welcome to Disney World” entrance, the outside world is left behind. You have entered a place of magic and pixie dust. The cast members are happy and so accommodating to every need that you can think of and some that you wouldn’t even think you wanted!! There are extra magical touches at your every turn: whether it is Peter Pan waving to you while you’re on board the Walt Disney World Railroad, receiving an award for being a wonderful grandfather from a cast member, or getting extra fastpasses just because! Disney magic is second to none and why we continue to go back year after year.

Favorite Disney destination and why? My favorite Disney destination is Walt Disney World because my family and I enjoy the many different attractions, shows, restaurants and resorts that are offered. Because Disney imaginers are always adding to and/or reinventing existing attractions at Disney World, we have a new and different experience every time we visit. I have also fell in love with the runDisney races offered throughout the year at Disney World and now get to experience my favorite place in a new and exciting way!

Favorite Disney Character and why? My favorite Disney character is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I really like her because not only is she beautiful, but she is smart, likes to read, is kind, and has the ability to look beyond one’s looks to what lies inside.

Aerosmith ride

Favorite Disney Attraction and why? My favorite classic Disney attraction is the Pirates of the Caribbean. As I mentioned before, the ride holds my first memory of Disney World and so it will always remain near and dear to my heart. My favorite newer Disney attraction is the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I love Aerosmith and the ride is so much fun. It takes you from 0 to 57mph in seconds and then takes you through a series of neon lit twists and turns all to the sounds of Aerosmith’s music. I love it!

Favorite Disney Resort and why? My favorite Disney Resort is the Boardwalk Inn and Villas. I love its old fashion charm reminiscent of Atlantic City years ago. The lobby is pretty and quaint and has a fireplace with cozy chairs to sit on. The pool is carnival themed and has a cool clown water slide. Its location, on the boardwalk of course, can’t be beat. There are great restaurants, shops, clubs and entertainment all along the boardwalk, just outside of your room. You have to ability to walk to Epcot’s World Showcase through the International Gateway. You can also walk or take a water launch to Hollywood Studios. I enjoy the ability to run following an interesting route rather than having to circle around the resort several times. At night you can watch the fireworks from Hollywood Studios and Epcot as well.

Hollywood Studios

Favorite Disney Restaurant and why? I enjoy so many of Disney World’s fabulous restaurants that it’s hard to pick just one. My family and I always like to visit Chef Mickey’s for breakfast during our stays. It’s so fun to meet and take pictures with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. I love when it’s time to “celebrate” and we dance and twirl our napkins around. The food for breakfast is delicious, from the Mickey waffles to the yummy quiches, there is something for everyone.

Favorite Disney Quick Service Restaurant and why? My family and I love to visit Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in the Magic Kingdom. We love Sonny Eclipse’s entertaining songs and antidotes. The restaurant offers three different areas, called bays, to order from. Each bay has different food choices; Bay 1 offers barbeque chicken and ribs, Bay 2 offers hot dogs and burgers, and bay 3 offers double cheese burgers, salads and wraps. Vegetable burgers are also offered and are delicious.

3 Disney characters you’d like to have dinner with and why? I would first love to dine with Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He is so funny and not bad on the eyes as well. I love how he seems not to have a clue, but is really developing some clever, unique plan to get out of whatever trouble he finds himself in.   Second, I would love to dine with the girl behind the mouse, Minne Mouse. I want to find out how she deals with the day to day pressures of being one of Disney’s beloved characters and also how she deals with being in a relationship with Mickey Mouse, who really is THE Disney character supreme. Finally, I would love to dine with Walt Disney himself. It is hard to wrap my mind around how one man could dream of such a wonderful place that makes so many people so happy.

Favorite Disney snack and why? My favorite Disney snack isn’t really a snack. I don’t know if you know this, but Disney World doesn’t sell gum anywhere on its property. However, Disney does sell Goofy Candy Co. Cinnamon Flavored Mints that are delicious. My family and I look forward to these mints all year. We purchase a ton of them to last us our whole vacation and beyond, but they never do last long enough!

Pirates of the Caribbean ride

Favorite Disney Movie and why? My favorite Disney Movie is Beauty and the Beast. As I mentioned before, Belle is my favorite Disney character because she is smart and kind. I love how the Beast and her relationship develops over time, there is no instant love. My favorite part is the end when the Beast is dying and Belle tells him that she loves him. He turns back into the Prince and they live happily ever after of course!

3 Favorite Disney Song and why? My three favorite Disney songs are Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Beauty and the Beast and Zippity Doo Dah because they were all played at my wedding! Can You Feel the Love Tonight was my processional, Beauty and the Beast was my wedding march and Zippity Doo Dah was my recessional!

Disney character you’re most similar to and why? I think I am most like Belle because I enjoy reading immensely, especially romances, I love to learn and I like to think I look beyond someone’s looks to what lies within.

If you could be one Disney mascot for a day who would it be and why? If I could be one Disney mascot for the day, I would be Cinderella. Come on, she is the ultimate princess and has one of the best happy ever afters!! Also, I love her dress, shoes and castle!

Disney World Travel Agent

If you could work at one of the Disney theme parks, what job would you want and why? If I could work at one of the Disney theme parks, I think I would like to work at Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion. I’d like to tell all the “bodies” in the room to move to the “dead center”!

Best part about being a MickeyTravels Disney Travel Agent? The best part about being a MickeyTravels Disney Travel Agent is creating the most magical vacation experiences for each and every one of my clients. It gives me such pride and pleasure, (More so then a handful of pixie dust!), to plan a vacation that puts smiles on all my clients’ faces, young and old, and to be a magical part of a vacation that creates memories that will last forever.

Why should I book my vacation with you? You should book your magical vacation with me because I will give you 110% of my attention, experience and expertise in order to create an exceptionally unique and magical experience for your family and you. I will plan your adventure down to the last detail; from resort room or cabin to dining reservations, detailed itineraries, excursions and Fastpass reservations; I will do it all! It is always my pleasure to plan for you a memorable vacation that is of your most magical dreams!

Feel free to reach out to Stacey with any questions or comments. Stacey can be reached at sehly@mickeytravels.com or 1-215-262-0207. She can also be found on our website at http://mickeytravels.com/stacey-ehly

Walt Disney World’s Marathon Weekend

July 11, 2014

“When you run Disney, every mile is magic.” RunDisney is Disney’s endurance series that includes 5Ks to marathons, triathlons, adventure and road races. If you are a Disney fan, a running enthusiast or both (like me), then it’s an absolute must that you experience a runDisney race!

Disney Marathon

This past January 12th and 13th, I ran the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge and a half. This challenge was part of Walt Disney World’s signature Marathon Weekend held this year on January 8th through the 12th. The weekend’s running events included a Family Fun Run 5K, the inaugural 10K, the Half Marathon (13.1 miles), and the Full Marathon (26.2 miles). The Goofy Challenge and a half combined running the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday, totaling 39.9 miles. Named after one of Disney’s beloved characters, this 2 day challenge left me feeling a little goofy indeed!

The Friday before my first race, I picked up my race packet at Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. This Expo was held from Wednesday through Saturday of the Marathon Weekend. Packet pick up was at the HP Field House and was fast and easy. Afterwards I headed over to the Jostens Center to visit the many wonderful exhibiters featuring plenty of running and Disney running gear, clothing, nutrition and even Disney special edition New Balance sneakers. After purchasing “My Mom Ran A Disney Marathon” shirts for my daughters, a 39.3 Goofy Challenge and a half magnet for my car, some KT tape for my ankles, and a running Minnie Mouse airbrushed onto my leg, I was pumped up for my upcoming races. How did I expend some of the excess adrenaline I had flowing through my veins? Well, I was in Walt Disney World, so I went to Hollywood Studios and spent the rest of the day on the rides of course!

The half marathon and the marathon, (as well as the 10K), have a very early, 5:30am start (the 5K started at 6:15am). Early, right? Its Walt Disney World though and the parks have to allow the non running folk in too, so an early start it was! Staying at Animal Kingdom’s Kidani Village, a Disney resort property, made getting to the races easy and hassle free. Special Marathon Weekend Transportation was available for all participants staying at Walt Disney World resort hotels. On my race mornings, buses started service at 3am. I was told to leave my resort early because buses become crowded with racers, so I caught the 3:30am buses on both days and was whisked away to the start zone at Epcot’s Wonder parking lot.

It was early in the morning, but the start zone was jamming! After walking through security, I entered a party zone at 3:30 am! A DJ was spinning tunes, Toy Story green army men characters were posing for pictures, short lines for porta potties had formed, and tons of excited racers were milling about, many in Disney character costumes. On the marathon morning, I purchased entrance to a special race retreat area where prerace food and drink were offered, lounge areas with comfy couches were available, private porta potties were of use, and characters were present for special photo ops!

Walt Disney World’s Marathon Weekend

The actual corrals, from where you start the race, were a 20 minute walk from the start zone. The walk was a great warm up for the race ahead and motivating as the moral of all the racers was high. There were 17 designated corrals based on your predicated finishing time imputed when registering for the race. With a 16 minute per mile maximum race pace required, these races had a ton of first time half or full marathoners.

Once in my corral, I stretched and bounced around a little while listening to the DJ playing music. Close to start time, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy came out to cheer us on and count down the race. Each corral gets its own countdown and firework send off. It was truly amazing!

For both the half and full marathons, I began running down World Drive towards the Magic Kingdom. I entered the Magic Kingdom through a side entrance, but soon was running down Main Street, towards Tomorrowland, then though Cinderella’s Castle. As I ran through the castle on both days, I was so overwhelmed that I cried. I couldn’t believe I was doing what I love so much, racing, in the place I love the most. What an amazing experience that I will always treasure!

Once through the castle, I continued running down Frontierland and then out the park by Splash Mountain. For the half marathon, I raced the opposite way back down World Drive entering Epcot’s Future World, down through the World Showcase entrance and back, made a right at Spaceship Earth and then finished in Epcot’s Wonder Parking lot with Mickey and Minnie cheering me on.

Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge

For the full marathon, instead of running towards Epcot, I ran to and then around Walt Disney World’s Speedway. This experience was truly awesome as I had never been there before and they had all the cars lined up along the speedway. Then I continued to the Animal Kingdom where the cast of The Festival of the Lion King greeted me. The park was closed to the public when I ran through, but I was told runners who arrived after the park opened, were riding Expedition Everest and then continuing on running the marathon. Only in Walt Disney World would you be able to do this during a race!

I continued running towards the ESPN Wide World of Sports, where my name was announced on the loud speakers as I ran through Champion Stadium (your name is on your race bib). Motivated by a Toy Story green army man shouting encouragement on a megaphone by the side of the road, I completed my journey by running through Hollywood Studios, down the path to the boardwalk, and then through the World Showcase in Epcot to finish again in Epcot’s Wonder parking lot.

Epcot’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Both races had a bevy of characters to stop, meet and take pictures with along the way. Some of these characters are rarely seen on a typical day at Walt Disney World, such as Flynn Rider and Maleficent. Music was pumping at so many places along both races; I never needed to wear headphones. There were 9 water/PowerAde stations for the half marathon and 22 at the full marathon. Both races had gel stations. The marathon had additional food such as bananas and candy give aways as well as a cool towel station at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Finally there were medical stations every 2 miles along both courses offering medical attention if needed, as well as Vaseline and band aids. With all these stations and offerings, I felt like I ran two luxury races. Of course this is a Disney race, a runDisney race to be exact, and Disney always thinks over and beyond all of your wants and needs.

Both races awarded medals to all finishers. For the half marathon, I earned a Donald Duck medal, for the marathon I earned a Mickey Mouse medal, and for completing both races I earned a Goofy Challenge medal. Three special medals that I will truly treasure forever.

Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo

There were so many activities going on associated with the race as well. Kids races, where all kids under 13 years can earn a medal, Pasta in the Park prerace dinners in Epcot, Family Reunion Breakfasts after the races, a Race Retreat tent for runners before the race and runners and their families after the race, and an after race party in Downtown Disney were among the additional offerings over this amazing weekend.

Although I did not PR on either race, these two races were my most favorite I have ever run. Why? Well I completed them in the happiest, most magical place on earth. Now I am addicted and am coming back for more. I am registered to run Epcot’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November 2014, and am planning to register for the Walt Disney World Glass Slipper Challenge and Disneyland’s Avengers Half Marathon in 2015.

When you are ready for your first, or your next, runDisney challenge, it will be my pleasure to plan your entire race experience for you. Whether you want to run with friends or combine it with a family vacation, I will plan every detail so all you will need to do is remember your sneakers! So what are you waiting for, call or email me today!

Stacey Ehly
Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
MickeyTravels, LLC
215-262-0207
sehly@mickeytravels.com
www.mickeytravels.com
Click here to visit my facebook page

Running in Disney

January 20, 2014

Running and Disney…two things that I absolutely love.  The feeling that I get after a great run and the feeling that I get when I think about Disney are emotions that I can barely describe!  Last Spring I decided that I was going to combine these two loves and sign up for a RunDisney race.  What better high than running a race in DISNEY WORLD!  So being a HUGE fan of the Disney Villains and Halloween, I chose the Tower of Terror 10 Miler as my race.  Early October (5th to be exact), nice weather, Halloween at the parks, PERFECT!  Sure, it’s a race that starts at 10pm, not your conventional time to run any distance, but this is in Disney World AND there was a Disney Villains Hollywood Bash Party at Hollywood Studios until 4am when the race was finished.  Enough motivation for me.  10pm?  No problem.  I got my sister on board and we booked our trip and made it a girl’s weekend.

And now…the waiting.  It seemed like an agonizing 6 months until we finally were boarding the plane and arriving in sunny FL!  We boarded the Magical Express to our resort and I quickly got thrown into the hype of the event!  Super exciting!



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