Casual Runners know that while running is a part of our lives, it is not our entire lives. Better yet, as Casual Running allows us to be healthier and live more active lifestyles, it allows us to experience new and wonderful adventures. In this special series, we will look at fun Casual Adventurers that our Team takes on when we are away from our training, even if its only for a day or two! Check out other installments in this series by clicking here.
The What: The WDW46 Challenge
The Where: Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
The When: November 9, 2015 (but can be done on any day of your choosing)
For today’s installment of Casual Adventurers, we are taking the CASUAL out of it. Because what Mike and I attempted to do one day in Walt Disney World is anything BUT CASUAL. In fact, some would stay it was downright stupid…a stupid great time that is!
The good folks at Parkeology created the WDW46 Challenge. The Challenge is simple. You have 1 day to ride every single ride/attraction at Walt Disney World. There are some rules to completing this challenge, and you can check out all of the rules and details here. But in its simplest terms, you have 1 day to hit all 46 attractions in the 4 WDW parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios).
Now, I have been trying to talk Mike into taking on this challenge with me for some time, and it just so happened that, during our trip for the 2015 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I prevailed upon him to begrudgingly accept. Maybe it was the lightning storms, maybe it was all of the wining and dining, but no matter what it was, he was committed, and the challenge was on!
A few caveats we should give from the start. First, this challenge is TOUGH. As in really TOUGH. As in really really TOUGH. Our hats go off to anyone who attempts it, let alone completes it. You really need to pick the perfect day (long park hours, low crowds) to even have a shot at completing it. To be honest, we were doing this on a whim and going by the seat of our pants, which brings us to…
Second, we knew from the start that we could not complete the challenge. We chose a day where not all 46 attractions were open (Primeval Whirl and Walt Disney World Railroad were closed for refurbishment that day; Peter Pan’s Flight was scheduled for refurbishment but ended opening up for us; and Seven Dwarfs’ Mine Train ( (look! we have a new on-ride video of this roller coaster) was open but unexpectedly closed for most of the day for maintenance issues). Also, the last park closed at 11pm that night, so we would be limited on time. Thus, this became more of an adventure just to see what it would take to complete this challenge (for a future attempt – right Mike?) rather than actually finishing it. But hey, that’s what a Casual Adventure is all about – the journey is more important than the destination.
Third, because we knew we could not complete the challenge under the rules, we decided to use a couple of bonus Fast Passes that some Cast Members gave us (which are not allowed under the rules, but only serves to highlight just how difficult this challenge really is!). OK, so, here is our story of the day we attempted to Ride all the Rides!
Disney All Star Sports Resort. This challenge almost suffered a huge setback before it even got started. We walked out to find a Magic Kingdom resort shuttle in the process of boarding. We got in line, with several people waiting to board in front of us, but noone was moving. We could see there was plenty of room in the middle and rear of the bus, but guests just were not moving. Another guest asked the driver to ask them to make room, and, well, some were being very un-Disneylike. The driver finally got them to move aside and allow more people to board and we ended up being the last two people on the bus (although it could have accommodated more, we think the driver gave up trying to reason with some of the unfriendly park guests).
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 8:20am, planning on seeing the Rope Drop show (Mike LOVES Rope Drop – its 1 part cute, 1 part scary just how much he loves it, but its amusing nonetheless). To our surprise, the park opened early – WAY early. So we proceeded straight down Main Street.
HINT: Even though Magic Kingdom had the latest closing time of all 4 parks, we had to begin our day as there are several Magic Kingdom rides that are only open during the early morning park hours. So we would have to visit the park twice that day (I know, we Casual Adventurers live tough lives).
#1 Astro Orbiter – My first time flying! We hit this one first because it is a slow load time and we wanted to attack Tomorrowland first.
#2 Space Mountain – Any time this ride is a walk-on, you ride it. It was and we did.
#3 Tomorrowland Speedway – This is best enjoyed when there are not hundreds of small children. Surprisingly, this was our second time riding this on this trip after having not ridden it in years.
#4 Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin – We hit this on the way back as it was on our way back to Main Street USA. I may have “let” Mike win.
#5 Main Street Vehicles – This is a HUGE obstacle for anyone completing the challenge. These do not open until 9am and close at 10am, so you have to be on your game schedule-wise. We thought we were toast as they were closed for filming the Christmas Parade that day, BUT a helpful Cast Member told us the double decker bus would be in front of Tony’s, so we sought it out. Turns out we wound up with our own private PhotoPass session on the bus, so it counts.
#6 Magic Carpets of Aladdin – This can also have a slow load time so we hit it along our walking route.
#7 Haunted Mansion – ROADBLOCK. What??? Why did this line take so long? No explanation whatsoever. We got on this ride solely because we had some time to kill before the Riverboat, and it ended up taking way longer than the posted standby line. AND, we ended up missing the next Riverboat boarding time. Fortunately the Happy Haunts kept us in good spirits.
#8 Tom Sawyer’s River Rafts – How do I know that this was my first time on this ride? Because I have never been to Tom Sawyer’s Island. I STILL have never been to Tom Sawyer’s Island as we never actually got off the raft, we just road it there and road it back without getting off.
#9 Liberty Bell River Boat – A nice ride to relax my legs, hey – we did run half of a half marathon earlier in this trip! We also took the time to take some fun pictures with other park guests (speaking of which, why doesn’t Disney put Photo Pass photographers on the boat? That would be a nice touch).
With that we hit everything that HAD to be done in the early morning at Magic Kingdom, so Mike declared that it was time to head to Animal Kingdom…NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!
Silly Mike, didn’t he know that we had to stop at Starbucks on Main Street USA? This ate up some time, but caffeine was a much needed fuel for this Casual Adventurer. We coffee’d it up, proceeded down Main Street, blew our kisses to Cinderella’s Castle, and then said “See Ya Real Soon!”
ROADBLOCK. Ugh. Ugh. On this day we relied on park transportation, which was a mistake. We waited 30 minutes for a bus to take us to Animal Kingdom. You are probably asking why we didn’t just hop on the monorail to Epcot? We considered that, but knew we would be walking from Hollywood Studios to Epcot later in the day, and then taking the monorail back to Magic Kingdom, so, you win some, you lose some. Now, onto Disney’s Animal Kingdom…
#10 Dinosaur – They’re not gonna make it! They’re not gonna make it! …. Perhaps Disney was trying to tell us something here? Foreshadow much?
#11 Triceratops Spin – Neither Mike nor I ever rode this one before, I can’t say we were missing much.
#12 Expedition Everest – Single rider line is definitely the way to go to see Disco Yeti.
#13 Kali River Rapids – My first time on this ride. We used one of our extra Fast Passes for this, and were glad we did because the line was long and the payoff was…just ok. The best part? The two teenage girls next to us got soaked and we walked off mostly dry. Talk about lucky.
#14 Wildlife Express – I will turn this one over to Mike for his commentary: If there is a bigger waste of time in the Disney arsenal of rides and attractions, I have yet to find it. This train treated us to some great views of trees…some more trees…and yet some more trees. We could not understand the spiel on the train speakers, but I am guessing they were telling us to look out for even more trees.
#15 Kilmanjaro Safari – Keep in mind, when doing this challenge, the ride itself (not counting the line) is going to eat up a good chunk of time, and that is even when a giraffe does not block the road, stopping your safari vehicle. On a related note, a giraffe stopped in the middle of the road blocking our safari vehicle.
We ended up spending an extra hour at Animal Kingdom than we expected. But we started to get hungry. So what did we choose? Ice cream cookie sandwiches and popcorn…hey, it is Disney…don’t judge us. But next time we will pack snacks to save time.
We still have a lot more stories from our Casual Adventures to share with you,
Best of luck to you all, and remember, adventure is out there!
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