A couple weeks ago, I posted tips from Jeff Galloway about the importance of families running together. As my husband and I stood in the our corrals at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon, we knew we were signing up for this Inaugural race as soon as they announced it. So, we began planning our racecation, with the race being the center of the experience and the rest of our vacation being about enjoying a little piece of Europe.
We arrived at Disneyland Paris after our week in Bilbao, Spain and checked into our hotel, Sequoia Lodge. Then, headed to the expo.
One of the things I appreciated most about this race venue was how easy it was to get back and forth between our hotel, the race expo, race start and the Parks. We are used to going to Disney World which is very expansive in terms of the layout of hotels, parks, and Disney Springs. So, the proximity of everything at Disneyland Paris was very nice! As you can see, our hotel was right across the lake from the Race Expo and start lines. Disneyland Paris even had a security booth set up along the path between the hotels and the race expo/park. It was the same set up as you find at the airport, so everything got scanned before you entered the area.
We picked up our packets at the front of the expo and then headed into the expo. As we approached the check out for the Photo Pass purchase, we ran in to one of our neighbors former Au Pairs who is from Paris and works at Disneyland Paris! It was a complete surprise. She was working the expo, so we had her supervisor take a picture of us with her.
Since Mini me was traveling with us, The Hubby and I had decided that he would do the Half Marathon and I would do the 5K with Mini Me. Not knowing how things were going to be setup for the race, there was no way I was leaving her alone in a foreign country without one of us being with her. We’ve also already decided that he and I will be flying back to Paris for the weekend next year so that I can run the Half Marathon.
So, the morning of the race, we all headed over to the start line. It only took us about 6-8 minutes to walk around the lake, through security and to the start line. We were in Corral A and ended up right under the start line. We were just a few rows back or we would have probably been in all of Disney’s official race photos at the start line. That would have been cool!
When the gun went off, we were off. We saw The Hubby on the sidelines just about a minute into the race. I threw him my jacket and kept on going. As we entered the Disneyland Hotel area to head into the Park, I looked at my Garmin and we were running about a 12:20 pace. I was super excited! This was a great pace for me. It was pretty easy to run our race since we were at the front of the pack. There were barely any runners in front of us so there was plenty of room to spread out and run.
As we entered the Parks, there were many Disneyland Paris staff members lining the course, the Characters were out a plenty. Mini Me and I didn’t want to stop to stand in line for pictures, so we just kind of stood off to the side when we saw a character we liked and snapped our own selfies…then kept on running!
As you can see, we had a blast! We spent the rest of the day at the Parks doing all our favorite things. The two parks at Disneyland Paris are Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios. Disneyland Park is a mini version of Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney Studios is similar to Hollywood Studios. All Mini Me’s favorite rides were there – Rock N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Disneyland Park has a main street and castle just like Magic Kingdom and also my favorite ride, the tea cups. They are my tradition from childhood and I can’t go to Disney EVER without riding them. Disneyland Park also has Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast and Space Mountain. We spent the evening one night running back and forth between the two several times because no one was in line!
The next day, The Hubby and the other friends that were with us ran the Half Marathon. You couldn’t get up close to where the course was except in the area around the lake. Mini Me and I had breakfast in the hotel and headed out to stand along the course route. We were able to catch The Hubby as he came around the lake heading toward the finish line.
The Hubby wasn’t running this race to PR. So, he had a fun time on the course. All but one of our friends really enjoyed the race. The one that didn’t was injured, but had wanted to try anyway. Disney got a great shot of The Hubby crossing the finish line…and our Photo Pass Photographers got a great group shot of all of us after the race. Yes, Mini Me and I brought our bibs and medals for the group photo opp on Sunday!
Were you able to venture to Paris for the Inaugural Disneyland Paris Race Weekend? Tell us about your experience! If you weren’t able to go last year, consider the race for your 2017 race calendar. If you need help planning your racecation, you can find me pbbtravel.com. I’d love to help you cross this one off your bucket list!
Follow Me on social media: