Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Doing Something Awesome

Around April of last year, I decided that we needed to go on a real family vacation.  In addition, with my 40th birthday coming in 2016, I wanted to do something awesome.  After doing some looking around, I kept coming back to the same idea...  I wanted to take my family to Walt Disney World.

I had been to Disney a few times over the years, but hadn't been since 2003.  Freddy had never been and we felt Marshall was old enough to remember and enjoy the experience.  I started looking at options, pricing, and our collective schedules and started to formulate a plan.

In the middle of that, my something awesome came to light.  For my 40th birthday year, I was going to complete the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World!

What is the Dopey Challenge you ask?  The Dopey Challenge involves participating in a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon over the course of four days during Walt Disney World's marathon weekend.  That is 48.6 miles in total and 6 medals.  With the Dopey Challenge, you also receive the Goofy Challenge medal which is for completing both the half and full marathons.

But I wasn't done!  While I was researching details of the marathon weekend, I also found a 2nd challenge the following week.  If you completed at least one of the long distance races during the marathon weekend and then set sail on a specific Disney cruise and complete the Castaway Cay 5K, you also complete the Castaway Cay Challenge.

Not only would we be doing some awesome things over the course of 10 days, I would be able to cross a few items off of my Day Zero Project list:  Take Marshall to Walt Disney World,  take my family on a Disney cruise, finish a half marathon, finish a full marathon, and complete the Dopey Challenge.

So after crunching some numbers, we decided to go for it.  Oh... and I signed Freddy up to participate in the full marathon with me :)  That weekend was also my mom's birthday weekend so we invited her to come along as well.  We planned to spend 5 days in Walt Disney World and 5 days on the cruise.  And then my sister decided to crash the party for the weekend.

But, it was only April and I had a whole lot of training to do before January if I was going to finish four races in four days.  I decided to complete them using a run/walk interval method so that I didn't tire myself out not only to be able to finish upright, but to also be able to spend some time in the parks.

The family trip became much more important when we found out a couple months later that Freddy's unit was now scheduled to deploy overseas sometime in the fall of 2016.

Even though my mom has a Time Share in Orlando, we decided to stay at one of the Disney resorts.  The main reason being they provide transportation to the race expo and to/from each of the race locations.  Since we had to be traveling at 3:00 in the morning each day, I figured it would be a lot less stressful if we didn't have to worry about driving ourselves there and not getting lost.  We settled on the Art of Animation resort and booked the Cars family suite for the weekend.

What initially seemed like a long time was suddenly behind us.  In December, our magic bands showed up.  The last time I visited the mouse, everything was paper based from the park tickets to the Fast Passes.  This was going to be my first experience using the magic bands and dining plans.

Our trip was now only about a month away and we were getting excited!

To be continued...  :)



Julie Danielle said...

That sounds amazing! I have never been to Disney World, just Disneyland. Would love to go someday :)