2016 WDW Marathon Weekend Arrival Day!
Race Recaps runDisney

2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend: Arrival Day!

Happy Friday! I received the best email yesterday morning, one that said I’M IN FOR THE CHICAGO MARATHON!!! So excited about this. Four other folks from my running group are in, including a gal named Kelly who I ran the Princess Half Marathon with. Have I mentioned yet how excited I am about this!!!!

Okay, enough of that. I need to get to my recap about the beginning of our amazing 2016 WDW Dopey Challenge experience, starting with our arrival!

Jackey, Megan, and I had initially planned on arriving on Wednesday and heading straight to the expo, but since we were going to be waking early Thursday through Sunday for races, we decided to head in Tuesday instead.

So glad we did! I made our expo experience much more relaxing.


Jackey actually flew down from Buffalo to meet me at BWI which was FANTASTIC since I was knee-deep in my usual anxiety! (Forgot to pack my antibiotics, didn’t know if I brought the right running shoes, and did I remember to zip my suitcases shut???) She eased my worries and then calmly led me to the bar area for a pre-flight beer.

Me hitting the bar to settle my anxiety.
Beer #1


More anxiety settling. Don't judge.
Beer #2. Don’t judge.

IMG_5128I was also especially nervous about picking up some germ that would make running 48.6 miles in 4 days even harder, so I wiped EVERYTHING with antibiotic wipes plus I used hand sanitizer every five minutes. I’m also ashamed to admit that I did profile at the gate … meaning I took note of anyone who was coughing a lot to make sure I didn’t sit near them.

Yeah, I know. I got a bit nutty but after paying nearly $600 in race fees, I wasn’t taking any chances!

After arriving in Orlando, we made sure to get our traditional photos with The Weary Traveler and of course, Mickey Mouse himself.

The Weary Traveler
Dude, I feel ya.

2016 runDisney WDW Expo

Because it was later in the day, we had decided to get our own suitcases rather than have the delivered to our resort. Have I mentioned how I might have over packed already?

2016 runDisney WDW Expo

Yeah. You need a lot of stuff for Dopey, considering how wonky the weather can be. Wow, those bad boys were heavy and we had quite the time getting everything down to Magical Express! But thanks to good timing, we were soon on our way to Bay Lake Towers which, by the way, was an AMAZING place to stay for Dopey! With four ladies, (and a fifth who arrived on Saturday,) have two bathrooms was fantastic. Plus it had a washer and dryer!

2016 runDisney WDW ExpoWe soon met up with Megan. After months of communicating through Facebook, it was great seeing each other face to face! Jackey wisely decided to go to bed early, but Megan and I headed to Magic Kingdom for some rides and character photos. (Diehards.) It was rather chilly, so I was grateful for all those extra clothes in my monster-sized suitcases!

After some fun on Big Thunder Mountain, we met up with Megan’s friend, Brooke, who surprised me with these adorable ears that Megan had purchased through her Etsy shop, Bippidy Boppidy Brooke!

I love them!!!
I love them!!!

We didn’t stay out too late … well, maybe it was 11:00, but it didn’t matter anyway because I got ZERO sleep that night. I’m telling you. My runDisney insomnia is getting very old! But still, I felt good the next morning and ready to tackle the expo, which Jackey will be talking about tomorrow!

Until then, here’s some of my favorite pictures!

Expo 4

2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo


2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo


2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo
Meeting up with Rob and Lauren from our running group.


2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo
Seeing John Galloway and having him sign our bibs!


2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo
Meeting runDisney announcer, John Pelkey, who is our favorite!

Having a blast at the Cigman 360 photo booth:

2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo
And getting lots of fun photos like this one!


2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo
And this one!

2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo


2016 runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend Expo
Let the Dopey Challenge begin!

Next up, my 2016 runDisney WDW 5k recap! Thanks for reading and hey, be sure to check out the video recap I made for our Joyful Miles YouTube Channel!

Have a fantastic weekend!


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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