Race Recaps runDisney

2015 WDW Tower of Terror: The Expo!

Originally posted at laurabowers.net on April 6, 2015. I’m updating my author website by moving all older runDisney and running content here!

I’m kind of dreading writing my WDW Tower of Terror 10 Miler recaps because I have a horrible memory and this race was in October but oh well, here we go!

So. Some backstory. I wasn’t planning on signing up until I wandered over to the runDisney website and saw that registration was at 95%. (Of course, this was back in the good ole’ days when races didn’t sell out in five minutes. Ah, good times, good times.) Huh. 95%, eh? This sparked the following conversation with my husband:

Me: Looks like TOT is almost sold out. That’d be a cool race to do.

The Hubs: Do you have any friends going?

Me: Well, yeah …

The Hubs: You’ve got an annual pass and plenty of Southwest points. Why don’t you see if anyone has room for you and go?

And this is why I adore my husband. (Among other reasons, of course.)

So after finding out that some lovely ladies in my running group did have room for me, (if I didn’t mind sleeping on a sofa bed which–heck yeah, I was totally fine with,) I registered and read a bunch of race recaps to see what I had gotten myself into!


Fast forward to October 3rd. I had booked a 6:15am flight along with my friend, Lynda, who was also staying with me and the others at Old Key West. I had to warn her about my flight anxiety, though, and how I tend to tick with my right arm when turbulence hits. She handled my quirks like a pro!

Have to always get a picture with Mickey!
Have to always get a picture with Mickey!

I was beyond excited when we arrived in Orlando. It was going to be my very first all-girls Disney trip and although I love my husband dearly … it really changes the tone of a runcation!

Lynda and I wanted to get to the Expo as soon as possible, but it took forever for our Magical Express bus to arrive, forever for us to check-in at Old Key West, and forever for the Expo bus to show up. Can’t remember exactly what time we got to the ESPN center, but it was way later than we expected. But no worries, I wasn’t particularly itchy to buy anything specific and neither was Lynda, so we were quite relaxed.

Tip: Take a picture of the runDisney schedule in your resort's lobby!
Tip: Take a picture of the runDisney schedule in your resort’s lobby!

Speaking of relaxed … TOT’s Expo was BY FAR my absolute favorite because of the relaxed vibe. How different it was from Princess Half Marathon’s! Less vendors, sure, but less stress without having to worry about whether or not merchandise will be sold out by 10:30.

We took out sweet ole’ time wandering through the Josten building, checking out the different vendors and Disney merchandise where … yeah … I might have spoken too soon about things selling out because this is what the ladies “I Did It” shelves looked like:


Again, no biggie, I’m not a big tee-shirt wearer, but I did treat myself to a magnet, pin, and commemorative jacket that I absolutely love and wear all the time!

And yes, one of our roomies, Shannon arrived!

Have to get a picture with this awesome guy, Jeff Galloway!
Have to get a picture with this awesome guy, Jeff Galloway!
Oh the medals, the gorgeous medals!
Oh the medals, the gorgeous medals!

After a quick lunch at the ESPN Grill–yeah, I kind of indulged with a hamburger and fries–we headed over to get our bibs and race shirts.

I love how the flash made Shannon's eyes look creepy! How appropriate!
I love how the flash made Shannon’s eyes look creepy! How appropriate!

After some more wandering around and meeting up with another roomie, Sara, we called it a day and headed out. Had to get some more pictures first, though!

image from Expedia.com
image from Expedia.com

Oh, and have I mentioned that Old Key West is GORGEOUS! Not only was this my first all-girls’ Disney trip, it was also my first stay at a deluxe resort. (With two boys in college, I’m more of a value gal.) I must say–the bus service at the values are much better, most likely because the folks who stay there are more interested in going to the parks rather than lounge around the resort. But still, it was gorgeous and I loved our villa! And the ladies I was staying with? Oh my gosh, they’re a total blast!!

They had an ADR to make … can’t remember which one now, maybe California Grill … so I headed on over to Epcot to experience the Food & Wine Festival for the very first time! (You’re going to hear that a lot in these recaps.)


It was also my first time using Disney’s PhotoPass Service, (see? Told you!) which turned out to be TONS of fun and got me addicted to doing character photos, much to my husband’s dismay. (He’s not a big character guy.)

But here’s where I have to confess my epic Food & Wine fail. Because I hadn’t researched first, I was overwhelmed by all the choices so I kept wandering from one booth to another, saying “I’ll buy something to eat at the next booth … or the next one … or the next,” until the time came for me to head over to Hollywood Studios and I hadn’t eaten a single thing.

Yeah, I know.

Leaving Food & Wine with an empty stomach? Unthinkable.

So my dinner? A Mickey Ice Cream bar bought at Hollywood Studios. Don’t say it. And trust me when I say that I more than make up for this epic fail during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend.

Meeting up with more lovely ladies!
Meeting up with more lovely ladies!

We had fastpasses for the Frozen Sing-along which–gotta admit, I wasn’t very excited about seeing as how Disney has pushed the Frozen frenzy to the max. But to my surprise, I really enjoyed it! The hilarious historians really made the show. What I did NOT like was how the child behind me sneezed a particularly wet one. At the time, I was talking with Angie, so guess where it landed?

All. Along. The side. Of my face.

Have I told you that I’m a bit of a germaphobe? So yeah. I was nearing freak out mode and sacrificed my makeup to dab hand sanitizer on my face. Can’t blame the kid–sneezes happen–but hey, Mom, how about an apology? Yeah. Kind of gross when a kid snots all over you.

After hitting up a few rides, we then called it a night since we had a big day coming up! How big? Well, let’s just say there was some parade grand marshalling involved, which will be discussed in my next recap!

Until then, happy Monday! I hope you have a great week. 🙂

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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