Disney World Special Events: Run, Run Like the Wind or Discover Backstage Magic!

Calling all walkers and runners for Disney’s Marathon weekend!  The holidays are over; it’s time to shed those pounds and begin a new year with a great fun run at Disney! Disney has some great marathon walk/runs planned for January 7- 11, 2015

Cigna is the official Walt Disney World Marathon weekend host.  The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has a lots of events and races designed for each participant’s pacing level of fitness.  The Walt Disney World Marathon is 26.2 miles of adventure!  The final race of an exciting marathon weekend covers all four Theme parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Walt Disney World’s Speedway.   If you are really the determined marathoner, Goofy’s Race and a half Challenge is 39.3 miles over 2 days; half marathon on Saturday then finish up with Sunday’s marathon.  Participants receive a marathon medal and the commemorative 10th anniversary Goofy medal.  The various locations of these events include all four theme parks so you can walk, jog, or walk/jog as the spirit moves you, through the WDW Resort.  Winners receive medals featuring Mickey and his friends.  The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2015 is going to be so exciting but you better hurry and register now  as this event traditionally sells out –on your mark, get set, RUN!

Now for all you non-running mouseketeers, there are some awesome backstage tours throughout the four theme parks.  While these tours are not special seasonal events, they are not to be missed!  This month since the special events at Disney World Resort & Parks focuses on the marathon weekend, I’ll cover a few of my favorite behind the scene tours.  Some are strictly for adults while others are all age inclusive.  These tours range from $16.00 to $249.00.

Behind the Seeds is an hour walking tour through Disney’s fish farm and 4 greenhouses at The Land Pavilion.  If Living with the Land is one of your favorite attractions and you love gardening, you will be in heaven during this tour.  When Steve and I did this tour, our guide was just an encyclopedia of gardening the Disney way!  The hydroponics plant-growing technique was absolutely fascinating for me!  Reservations are required but are easy to obtain while you are at Disney, just head over to the area and sign up. 🙂 All ages from preschool up to adults are welcome on this tour!  There is truly something for everyone, from fish and ladybugs to gigantic fruits and veggies! Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and arrive 15 minutes before tour time.   Tickets are $16.00 for children; $20.00 for adults.                                                                     

Backstage Safari is a three-hour education as you watch the Disney Cast Members take care of the 1,500+ feathered, scaled and furry residents at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.  Just a couple quick facts:  Disney Cast members prepared over 3 tons of food in the Animal Nutrition Center each day!  During the tour you will see how they manage this feat, explore a backstage animal –housing area, tour the veterinary hospital, and learn how Disney is promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.  Light refreshments are served during the tour and each tourist receives a keepsake.  Portions of the proceeds from this tour go to Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.  Reservations are required in this tour as there appear to be only 2 tours per day as a general rule.  Sorry folks, but adults, age 16 and over, only at this tour.  Photo IDs are required for this tour too.  No cameras, cell phones or video equipment may be used while you are backstage.  The non-backstage areas do permit photographs so just turn the cellphones off during the backstage portion.  This is an outside tour so be sure to wear weather appropriate clothes and comfortable shoes!  Tickets are $72.00 per adult.

Backstage Magic gets an inside view of all four parks plus more in this 7-hour tour!  If you are an avid Disney Fan, this is the backstage tour for you as Disney flings open its back doors for you to marvel at the history, secrets and daily operations that Cast members do to make every day magical at Disney World!  This is also an adult tour only, 16 years or older with photo ID.  Closed-toed and closed heel shoes are required for safety, photos are not allowed backstage here either.  Non-backstage photography is encouraged!  Tickets for this 7-hour tour are a bit pricey at $249.00 per person, but this tour is on my bucket list to do before I go to the nursing home.

Well, ending up our January events this month is a bit of sad news for those visiting mouseketeers.  A few of our favorite rides and restaurants will be closed for refurbishments beginning in January.  I’ll make sure to update you as they reopen, better than ever!

  • Flame Tree Barbecue, Animal Kingdom, 1/5/2015 – early April 2015
  • Liberty Square Riverboat, Magic Kingdom, 1/23/2015 – 1/27/2015
  • Splash Mountain, Magic Kingdom, 1/4/2015 – 1/30/2015
  • Kali River Rapids, Animal Kingdom, 1/20/2015 – 2/4/2015
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table, Magic Kingdom, 1/5/2015 – 3/6/2015

Happy New Year!

Make your Disney memories magical, not expensive!

 Till Next Time!

Leigh Anne


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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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