We are officially one month away from my Disneyland Half Marathon! It’s finally starting to sink in.
I’ve never been to Disneyland before, and I’m actually getting pretty pumped about the race, and about my trip in general.
I’m planning on this being truly a fun run. Since it’s only a week before my goal race (the Chicago Half Marathon on September 9th), I decided I’m not going to think at all about my time and just have fun with it.
If you’re at all familiar with RunDisney races, you know they aren’t really the best races for setting a PR. There are characters and photo ops every step of the way, and the race is so much more fun if you allow yourself to take it all in.
Before I ran the Disney World Marathon, one of my friends who had run it before told me her biggest regret was not stopping more along the course and really taking the time to have fun with it. Taking her advice, I stopped for about 13 different characters along the way, and I am so glad I did.
They even had the Mt. Everest ride open in Animal Kingdom, and were allowing runners to cut in line and ride the ride mid-race. (I didn’t take advantage of that for fear of throwing up, but I’ve already decided if there is a ride open at Disneyland, I’m riding it! After all, when else will I get that experience?)
Anyway, between running through Disneyland, California Adventure, and Angels’ Stadium, there’s going to be so much to see, and I am really excited to run someplace I’ve never been before. It’s going to be great!
But, it’s not just the race I’m excited about. I think I am finally starting to get pumped about the trip in general and I’m actually pretty excited to be going solo. I’ve been through a lot lately, and this trip will be some much needed Cary Time, as well as a celebration of making it through my upcoming move.
I know some people would never travel alone, but it is something I actually really enjoy. I’ve spent time in Ireland, England, and New Orleans on my own, and I’ve had some awesome adventures each time.
At first I was more nervous about going to Disneyland alone, because I was terrified of being the weird creeper hanging around Mickey Mouse or riding rides without any kids with me. But, the more I think about it, the more I’m realizing how awesome it’s gonna be! (This blog post also helped calm some of my fears.)
Here are just a few things I am super excited about for my first Disneyland trip and being on my own:
- Spending as much time as I want at the race expo. Every time I go to an expo with someone else, I feel like I can’t take my time and look at everything I want to look at. Without anyone with me to get antsy, I can spend all day there if I’d like.
- Getting up and going to bed any time I want. The last two times I was at a Disney park, I was with a bunch of people who all wanted to cram different things into the day. I don’t need to worry about that, and I can sleep in if I want to, or I can spend every waking moment at the parks. I’ll decide to do whatever I feel like that day!
- The single rider line. Many of the rides have single rider lines, which means less time standing alone in line, and more time actually riding rides. Yay!
- Being free to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I don’t have to suffer through It’s a Small World if I don’t want to, I can walk as fast as I want across the park, I can ride my favorite rides as many times as I want, and I can wait in line to meet Mickey without anyone complaining that the line is too long. No trying to please people, or feeling bad about dragging anyone around to things they don’t want to do.
- Hanging out at the hotel pool. My hotel has a pretty nice looking pool area, and I am excited to lounge around and relax. I’ll be bringing a few books and a swimsuit, and I’ll be good to go for at least one afternoon.
- Playing the “who might be friendly enough to talk to” game. I don’t really like talking to strangers, but when I do travel solo, I always like to do some people watching and scope out the people who might be approachable to strike up conversation with. I made friends with a guy in Ireland who was from Spain by way of South Africa, and he and I are still Facebook friends today. And I met some very interesting people in New Orleans when I was there on my own. It took a while to step out of my shell, but every time I did, it turned out to be worth it.
- Wearing my medals around the park. This is one of the most fun things about Disney races, because the Disney crew is so well-trained in making everyone feel special. Whenever a cast member sees someone with a medal they congratulate you, and you get to feel like a rock star all over again. :)
- Earning my Coast-to-Coast, and crossing off another Life’s List item.
Have you ever traveled alone? What was the best part? What was the hardest?