Sunday, January 22, 2012

Marathon Weekend Trip Report - 1/5/12

1/5/12 - Thursday - Packet Pickup and Parks

Dad and I get up and around and head on down to the food court for some breakfast.  I keep it easy and choose a pancake breakfast.  I'm not wanting to get too adventurous heading into the race day soon.

We goof around back in the room, waiting a bit to head over to Wide World of Sports complex so I can pick up my packet and visit the Expo.

Taking the buses would have been the better decision!  Parking was a mess and the line to just turn into the complex was very long!

Entering into the Packet Pickup building
Line up by your Bib number, mine was 47774.
I received my packet in very short order.  What took the most amount of time was shopping in the official merchandise area!  If I would have realized that the merchandise over at the Expo was the same, I'd have probably gone there, as the line for checkout was winding through the entire shopping area, making it difficult to get around in this small area.

Packet Pickup on left & Official Merchandise line lower Right!
Looking up at Dad waiting for me while I'm in the Official Merchandise checkout line.

We then head over to the expo building.  After you pick up your goody bag, your put right into another official merchandise area!

We wandered around the Expo area for a while.  It was super crowded!  I saw an item that I'd like to have gotten, but the $150 price tag was out of my range for now.

Not quite the one I wanted, didn't get a picture of that one!
Lasting Commemoratvies is the place that makes these frames.  I've set the link to the actual one that I would have liked to have gotten.

Once we are out of the Expo, Dad and I decide to head over to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  It turns out like the day before, the crowds are HUGE!

First Ride at the Studios!


It's already lunch time by the time we get into the studios, so we head to Backlot Express.  I got the Grilled Turkey and Cheese and fries.

We take a Star Tour after our lunch.  This time through, we don't get any scene repeats from our previous trips!  Our next stop is Muppets 3D!

Waiting for Muppets.
We finish up our foolishness and take a stroll through the shop with Muppets merchandise.  I swear that every trip down to WDW, this area get's smaller and smaller.  It's a shame, I'd love to see more Muppets themed merchandise available.  There was very little in the way of merchandise from the new movie too, which was sad.

Once we're done at the shop, we decide it's time to head over to Toy Story Midway Mania.  Our scores were much closer than we normally get!

We caught a little bit of the Mulch, Sweat and Shears show before making our way to the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.

Mulch, Sweat and Shears on the stage in front of the Hat.
We named the Mouse Indiana.
With the crowds we've been battling with, we decide that it's time to start thinking about dinner.  I pull out the phone and attempt to use the WDW Dining interface on the mobile web.  It's still not ready for prime time use, or it's a possibility that EVERY sit down dining location is totally out of ADR's.  Oh well.  Dad says that we're not limited to just the parks, and I use the Urbanspoon app on my iPhone to give us some other ideas.  We wind up agreeing that Giordanos Stuffed Pizza sounds like an excellent idea.  We've not eaten at one of these since the one in Merrillville, IN closed down (it's now a FedEX store...:(  ).

There are 2 locations close by, we choose the one on 192.  We head through Disney property, as over by Animal Kingdom there is a small road that get's you to 192 fairly easily.  We then head west a bit on 192 (Irlo Bronson Highway) and find our Destination on the left.  It was disappointing to see so few people here.  Their stuffed pizza is really good for a chain shop, Uno's is terrible compared to the original.

For anyone not familiar with true Chicago style stuffed pizza, here is a picture of a SMALL pie:

Stuffed Pizza!  SUPER YUM!

I stick with 2 pieces, Dad manages to get 3 done.  Here in the Indy area, I've only found one place so far that does a decent Stuffed Pizza, it's all the way on the Northwest side, and a big journey to get there and back.  So I've only been there a couple of times in the past year plus, which I think is probably a good thing, since I'm still trying to loose weight!  If we hadn't gone here, I think we may have ended up at Flippers' Pizza.  No stuffed pizza there, but still a mighty fine pizza to be had.  The crowd was beginning to pick up as we left, so I guess we were just there earlier than their normal crowds.

Dad and I decide that we're going to head back over to Epcot to finish out the evening.  Maybe some walking will help with the meal we just had!

Spaceship Earth
There is no line for Spaceship Earth, so we go ahead and queue up for it.  There is a portion of this ride that they take a photo of you for a computer sequence they generate later on.  Since we are frequent visitors, Dad and I make faces now to see how they come out.  I stuck my hands by my head to make some impromptu Mickey Ears and Dad puts on a silly look.  I didn't manage to get a picture of it, but it was quite funny looking on how the computer tried to make sense of my image :)

I note from the times guide that the last show for Off Kilter is not too far off, so we of course head over to the Canada pavilion to catch their last show for the evening.

We're going to stick around for the Illuminations of Earth fireworks show, but even after the last Off Kilter show, we still had time to kill.  Time for a little bit of dessert!  We head back into Futureworld to get to a vendor cart.  We both get a Mickey Mouse Premium Ice Cream Bar.

Dessert!  Mickey Ice Cream Bar, YUM!
We finish up our dessert and head into Mouse Gear for some shopping.  We're debating on some t-shirts we've been looking at.  Since this is just after the busiest time of the year for Disney World, size selections are still hard to find.  We're finding that most shirts are currently out of the XL size.  By the time we're through Mouse Gear, we've killed off enough time that we're wanting to get over to the lagoon to pick a spot to watch the show.  

After Illuminations is over, we head back to the resort.  I go through the goody bag that I got from the Expo.  I'm really disappointed that we didn't wind up with more items.  A Geico drink koozie, a protein bar sample from Clif and of course my 1/2 Marathon shirt and commemorative pin that I ordered when I signed up for the race.  You automatically get the tech shirt, but the pin of course was an extra.  I also get out the items that I got from the Official Merchandise stand.  I didn't notice until I got home that the green shirt is a woman's shirt.  At least the yellow tech shirt fits, and the pin I got at least has the "I did it!".

Thanks for Reading!  Regards,


Lighter, Stronger & Faster for 2013!
Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon - January 7, 2012 FINISHED 3:48:49


  1. The goody bags were truly disappointing this year...I have never seen so little in a goody bag at a Disney race before.

    Sounds like you had a good day overall!

    1. I sometimes get a bit anxious when I get into a very big crowd. I was starting to get that way at the Expo. It was just too many people crowded in there for me to feel comfortable.

      About the only thing that I would have changed would have been to shop at the Official Merchandise area before getting my packet. I don't remember the line being that long when I first got there that morning.