2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Dopey Challenge Trip Report - January 4, 2012

It's truly hard to believe it is already 2012 and I'm heading to Walt Disney World to do the Dopey Challenge for a second time!
The alarm went off at 3am and the second one at 3:05am.  I got up took care of the pups and got ready to go.  I didn't have a lot of time to waste, so I headed straight outside to wait for the shuttle van and I was off to the airport at 3:40am.  There were a couple of stops on the way and I didn't make it to the airport until 4:30am.

I checked my suitcases at Southwest which was quick and easy.  Then I headed to security where the TSA woman didn't want to let me through because my driver's license has short hair and I currently have long hair...Seriously - I don't look that different.  Sadly, I don't have any other picture IDs and even if I would have had my passport with me, that picture is even worse.  It was somewhat annoying, but finally I put my glasses on and then it was all okay.  I fly pretty frequently and this was a first for me!

After getting through security, I headed to the gate to wait.  While I waited I decided to log in and do a little work.  Then I just did some people watching - always interesting at the airport.

Not sure why, but I'm pretty nervous today.  Maybe even more nervous than last year.  For some strange reason I feel a bit under prepared and I'm a bit worried about the weather being too hot to be comfortable.  Of course, the weather can change in an instant so I can't do anything about that one.  December was a bit weak on the training front so I'm just not sure what to expect.

I'm down about 5.5 pounds from last year.  Not as much as I should be, but I'll take the loss.  I've had issues this year with my knee, hips and foot so it worries me a bit.  No matter what happens, I'm going to do my best and try to have fun.

The first leg of the trip was pretty bumpy.  It was 1.5hrs of crazy turbulence.  I tried to rest, but with all the bumps it was just not conducive to leaning against the window.  The sunrise over the snowy mountains was absolutely gorgeous.
PhotobucketPhotobucket
We landed in Denver and I had time for a quick bio break and then about 15 minutes before boarding the next plane.  The flight left on time and it was another bumpy, bumpy flight for the first two hours or so.  Nothing to exciting other than that.

The passenger next to me, Dixie from Colorado, and I started chatting and it turns out that she was headed down for the races as well.  Her daughter lives in Florida and she did the Goofy Challenge during one of the first years.  Her daughter is one of the pacers for the full marathon - the one that carries the balloon to let you know if you're in danger of being swept.  She gets free entry in to the race, but she has to buy her own balloon - I just found that really funny.

The plane landed about 10 minutes early, I headed down to get my bags and then headed to Disney's Magical Express.  Of course mine was the last stop and it took about an hour and ten minutes from boarding to arriving at the Contemporary.  I tipped the driver and headed to check in.  Matt was awesome and got me all checked in when there weren't any other Cast Members available.

I headed to my room in Bay Lake Tower.  I was on the 11th floor, room 8128.  This is a Magic Kingdom view room.  Hmmm....another cruddy Magic Kingdom view - I really can't see much at the Magic Kingdom unless I go out on the balcony and lean way to the right.
2012 View 1
2012 View 2
2012 View 3
2012 View 5
2012 View 6
The pictures make the view look good, but I really almost had to fall off the balcony for the Magic Kingdom view pictures.  It was just a little disappointing considering I had to use more points to get a Magic Kingdom view.

The did make some changes to the Studio rooms as well based on member feedback.  The bathroom sink is no longer across from the kitchenette sink, it's in the bathroom now.  The other change is that there is a lock on the sliding bathroom door.  The rest of the studio looks the same.
KitchenBath
Kitchenette/Bathroom Sink Before
2012 Kitchenette
No Bathroom Sink, but what's with the Hawaiian looking panels?
2012 Kitchen
Kitchenette
2012 Bathroom Sink
Bathroom Sink in the bathroom
2012 Bathroom Lock
Unlocked
2012 Bathroom Lock
Locked

I took some time to unpack and relax for a few minutes before heading out.

At 5:20pm I walked over to the Magic Kingdom and I just took my time so it took about 15 minutes to get over there and get in the park.  I headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean first and it was a 35 minute wait - they had two lines going, but there was no delineation between the sides so it was just a jumble of people and quite a mess.  As always I enjoyed the ride and had the back row all to myself.

I headed over towards Haunted Mansion and met up with Jeff and then we met up with Andy.  We went on Haunted Mansion - man, I do love the Haunted Mansion.  This is one rehab that they really enhanced the ride and thoroughly enjoy the changes every time I go on the ride.

The three of us headed out to catch a bus to Port Orleans Riverside.  We met up with Lisa, Trace and some other great folks to see Ye Haa Bob.  After we said hi to Bob - Jeff, Andy and I headed over to the food court to grab some dinner.  I had a great make your own penne pasta with chicken, mushrooms and alfredo sauce and it came with bread.  The serving was huge and it was really well priced and quite good.

This is the first time that I had seen Ye Haa Bob.  I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the experience or not.  I knew from listening to various podcasts that it was going to be a very interactive show and that worried me.  If you know me, you'll know that I don't typically draw attention to myself and I'm not all that social - everything opposite of what Bob's shows are about.  It really was a ton of fun.  Bob includes everyone and everyone there really got in to the spirit of the show.  Bob makes it very difficult not to have fun - he really draws everyone in to the show, has so much energy and enthusiasm that it's truly just great.  Lots of kids and adults and I didn't see anyone not enjoying themselves!

At midnight we headed out.  Jeff, Andy and I headed to the bus stop to catch a bus to Downtown Disney.  Then I caught a bus back to the Contemporary.  I had to wait about 15 minutes for a bus, but my bus driver was just awesome!

I got on the bus and there was this awful screechy music on.  It's not a track I recognized, so the driver asked if I minded if he turned it off.  I didn't mind so we had quiet on the bus.  We proceeded to chat for the entire ride and I learned so much from the driver.  There are 300 buses in the fleet, everyday each of those buses goes through a full maintenance inspection, fuel and wash.  The buses are kept in different locations for the different parks, etc....There are about 80 buses kept across the street from Downtown Disney, about 105 buses for Magic Kingdom, about 50 for Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios gets what's left and they pull buses from other locations if needed.  The drivers at the end of their shifts go get a bus that has been through the full inspection, etc...and leave the one they've been driving.  It's quite an operation for sure.  We also discussed some basic park information and then we switched to the races.  The driver's brother has done every marathon from the beginning and actually helped organize the first few - that is so cool!  I really wish I would have gotten his name because he was really an amazingly nice man and you could tell he loved his job.

I made it back to my room at about 12:35am and was in bed just after 1am.  It was a super long, but pretty awesome day!

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