Bunk Madness LIVE – Championship Rounds: Episode 202

BunkMadnessFinalsHost: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: Brad Coates; David Juart; Ryan Treichler

DISDads Podcast Episode 202, originally broadcast live on DISDads Radio on June 29, 2014, concludes this summer’s podcast tournament. With the held of live listeners participating in the chatroom during the show, the panel chooses the winner of the Bunk Madness Walt Disney World resort hotel tournament.

What did you think of the championship rounds? Tell us about it – Email us at podcast@DisDads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards; and check out our DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes.

DISDads Podcast is also available on Stitcher Smart Radio.

Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

The Friday Five is back again, with a collection of news and notes as we head into the weekend:

1. Cinderella’s Royal Table is getting a two-month long refurbishment in early 2015. It’s currently scheduled to be closed from January 5, 2015 through March 6, 2015 (but as with any construction project, that re-opening date is just a best guess). I think most will agree that it’s about time CRT got a refresh. There’s no word from Walt Disney World about adding a temporary character meal elsewhere (as they did when they put colonial-dress characters in Liberty Tree Tavern while Crystal Palace got its refurb). I expect that the CRT closure will make it MUCH harder to get reservations at Akershus’ Princess Fairytale Dining and, to a somewhat lesser extent, 1900 Park Fare’s Cinderella’s Happily Ever After dinner, as those are the only “princess meal” alternatives. I also expect this to place a greater premium on Princess Fairytale Hall Fastpass+, since that’s one of the few alternatives for meeting multiple princesses at once.

2. Walt Disney World is adding several “Frozen”-themed entertainment opportunities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of “Frozen” Summer Fun – LIVE, running from July 5, 2014 through September 1, 2015. Entertainment will include Olaf on Summer Vacation (which involves something called a Take-Along Olaf and social media-posted photos hashtagged #OlafSummerVacation). We don’t have much detail about this yet, but I’m guessing is sort of a “Flat Olaf” thing, like Flat Stanley; an Anna & Elsa parade (it doesn’t sound like it will include a meet & greet); “Frozen” sing-alongs throughout the day in the Premiere Theater; Soundstage One will become a “Frozen” playground and shop, including “Frozen”-themed snacks as well; a “Frozen” dance party at 5:30 p.m. each evening; and “Frozen”-themed fireworks at 9:45 p.m. each night, after Fantasmic! (Note that the evening events will not take place on August 23, when the park closes at 7:00 p.m. for the hard-ticket Villains Unleashed event).

3. Thanks to DISDads contributors Bob Chavez, Al Jardines, Ryan Treichler, Todd Breaux, Scott Henney, Justin West, Tony McDaniel and Andy Fix – it’s the participation of the community that makes this place special!

4. There’s still time to join us for the DISDads Dream Cruise. We’re sailing on the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral, Florida from June 22-26, 2015. We’ve got a great group of DISDads families already booked, and would love to have more. Our travel partners at Fairytale Journeys would be happy to put together a no-obligation quote for you – book today and you’ll have over 9 months to finish paying for your vacation!

5. The final round of DISDads Podcast’s Bunk Madness Walt Disney World Resort hotel tournament will be LIVE this Sunday on DISDads Radio, starting at 8:00 p.m. We hope you’ll join us – there’s a chat room at DISDads Radio for live chatting and opportunities to call-in and talk with us on the show.

The DAD Show #63 – Early Summer at WDW with Bob Chavez

Dole Whip v Citrus SwirlWelcome back to the DISDads Podcast Midweek Destinations And Diversions Show. The DAD Show is your humpday vacation fix. Our intro and outro music was created and performed by Mitch Furman.

The DAD Show is sponsored by Kingdom Strollers, Orlando’s Premium Stroller and Crib Rental source.

This week on the DAD Show, Bob Chavez shares his experiences traveling to Walt Disney World with new friends, and maximizing planning efficiency to make the most of a shorter trip.

Do you have any questions or comments about Bob’s trip? Want to share your vacation story with us? Email us at podcast@DisDads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards; and check out our new DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes.

Our Podcasts are also available on Stitcher Smart Radio.

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Star Wars Character Dining

Jedi Mickey Dinnerby Al Jardines

One of the things that many visitors to Disney World resort look forward to is getting to meet their favorite characters. One of the ways that guests meet their favorite characters is at the various character dining meals available around the resort. They offer all of the kids in the family – both young and young at heart – the opportunity to unwind, enjoy a meal and meet some of the characters.
It is no surprise to me that many WDW visitors flock to these meals as a great way to take a break from the chaotic and frenetic pace of the theme parks and getting some nourishment without completely stepping out of the magic. So when Disney announced earlier this year that special Star Wars character meals would take place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the time period that included Star Wars Weekends, online Disney fan groups were abuzz and phone lines were jammed at 7:00 a.m. the first day these character meals were open for booking.

There’s always fan talk around Star Wars Weekends events, but I cannot recall the last time such a diverse cross section of Disney fans was lit up by a character meal like they were over these two. The excitement of palpable across the fan sites and social media – fans of all ages were energized by the announcement. My family and I had already planned to try to make it to a Star Wars Weekend, and these character meal announcement cinched the deal. Fortunately, we were able to get reservations to both meals, the Jedi Mickey Dinner and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast.

Details after the jump. Read More

DISDad On the Run – Preparing to Train

starwars-half-marathonby Ryan Treichler

Preparing to train? Wait. Isn’t “to prepare” just another way of saying “to train?” Not quite, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. There are things you need to do before you just head out and start building up practice miles, whether walking or running.

A few weeks ago, on a blog far far away, runDisney announced a race that should Force most any dad to consider running a Disney Race. Your chance to run a half marathon dressed as Wookie is finally here. runDisney announced the much-rumored Star Wars Half Marathon, scheduled for Disneyland the week after Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January 2015. Registration opened to the public on June 10, 2014, and most races were sold out by the end of the day. If you’re still interested in running a Star Wars Half Marathon race, there may still be opportunities to sign up in conjunction with a charity sponsor as a fundraising runner. There are a list of participating charities that may have registrations available on the runDisney site.

If you’ve already signed up for a January race, either at Walt Disney World or at Disneyland, let me be the first to assure you that you most likely can do this. Of course I’m not a Dr. and I don’t have any intimate knowledge of your medical history so you should get checked by someone with actual medical qualifications first. That being said most people can finish a half marathon or 10k at Disney so long as they take time and ramp up their training slowly. A couch to 5k plan is a great way to get started – there are a number of these sorts of plans available on line, some with just a .pdf document listing the daily or weekly workout goals, others incorporating tools like FitBit or a smartphone gps app, and still others with detailed online components – you need a program you’re comfortable with, so do a search for C25k or couch to 5k and browse a few to find what works for you. Regardless of which program you decide to use, here are a few things I wish that I’d known about before I started running:

1. Anti-chafing sticks – You could save a little money by not using this stuff, but if you’re not willing to pay $10 or so to avoid searing pain in your crotch, you don’t need to be spending money on any race. I used to use BodyGlide, but it would melt and be ruined if I left it in the car. So I’ve switched to 2Toms SportShield liquid roll-on. It starts out as a liquid, so it doesn’t have the melting/ruined issue.

2. Stretching – There are 2 types of stretches: static and dynamic. When you warm up before a run, you only want to do dynamic stretches. An easy dynamic pre-run stretching routine is looping through 10 steps on your tiptoes, 10 steps walking on your heels with your toes pointed up, 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 steps kicking your legs straight out in front of you and 10 steps where you try and bring your heels up to your bum. It’s a quick routine that gets everything loosened up before you run. (It also makes you look like a member of the ministry of funny walks). Post run you can do some of the more familiar static stretches.

3. Find a Running Buddy – If you ever pass out it’s great to have someone to pause your Garmin and call for help. This makes the runs go buy much faster and you’ll get to know a ton about whomever you run with. Running with a partner can also help you maintain a proper pace. When you’re training you should be able to carry on a conversation the whole time you are running. If you can’t carry on a conversation, you’re running too fast.

These tips should help smooth your transition into a training program (insert BodyGlide joke here), and keep you away from some of the pain I experienced as a new runner. If you still thinking about signing up for a January race, I encourage you to give it a try. Good luck, and have fun out there!