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)
Now, we knew we had some time to make up. So, we were thrilled to discover that the bus to Hollywood Studios was there waiting for us as we walked up to the bus station, but then it waited another 10 minutes before leaving. What was that line from Dinosaur again?
We love Hollywood Studios and figured that, with our Fast Passes we could knock this park out in an hour…yeah, not so much.
#16 Great Movie Ride – This was the first time we rode this ride with the TCM upgrades. We like the TCM upgrades, but this ride really can use some more TLC to go with some more TCM.
#17 Star Tours – Here is where we screwed up. The line said 30 minutes, so we used one of our coveted Fast Passes, which would come back to bite us shortly. But, I am happy to say that Mike rode this with me and did NOT puke. Mission Accomplished.
#18 Toy Story Midway Mania – We rode it. We love it. We will NOT discuss who won.
#19 Tower of Terror – This is the first Disney ride that Mike and I ever rode together. Cue the oohs and the ahhhs. Great, is that out of your system? Can we move on?
#20 Rock N Rollercoaster – Yeah. we screwed up. We always rely on single rider line (which is why we used a Fast Pass on Star Tours instead), and it let us down. It took us over an hour to ride this one, because math (and just about everything else) was against us. We stood and watched not 1, but 2 full trains load with nothing but parties of 2. How does that happen? No 4s, no 6s, just 2s. However, some nice folks did offer for us to ride this one together, which was nice as we saw our challenge attempt circling the drain. And no, we were not “those people” who wait in the single rider line and then ask if they can ride together, but we have all seen them in the parks before.
Time to walk to Epcot. We know that on a run-walk pace we can make it in 13 minutes. This route is on both the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon courses, so we know it well. Plus, it takes you into the back entrance of Epcot, which saves you some time.
However, we knew before we entered Epcot that we were toast. Ellen’s Energy Adventure closed at 7pm that night and it takes 45 minutes to ride. So we had to choose – do we ride Ellen and lose valuable time, or do we take a calculated risk and skip Ellen to try to hit the highest number of rides possible? Well, since we already knew that we could not hit all 46 rides due to closures and rehabs, we opted for numerosity, and skipped Ellen.
#21 Journey into the Imagination – This is Mike’s favorite ride. I am preventing him from writing about this ride because we do not want this to turn into a 13 part article (he can be a little wordy, in case you hadn’t noticed).
#22 Living with the Land – To our surprise this was a walk-on (since Fast Pass + the line has grown longer). We came, we saw Mickey-shaped fruit, we left.
#23 Soarin – Somebody needs to teach a certain Cast Member how to run a Fast Pass line. This killed us. For some inexplicable reason, she kept taking guests from the standby line instead of the Fast Pass line, which resulted in us spending nearly an hour in total on this ride. Maybe Ellen would have been the more time efficient choice after all?
#24 The Seas with Nemo and Friends – We found Nemo! And got ourselves excited to dive in the aquarium (more on that adventure in a future article!).
#25 Gran Fiesta Tour – We found Donald! But no, they would not let us dive in this one…but who would want to go in that water anyway?
#26 Test Track – Single rider line actually worked in our favor for once on this trip. In fact, I would always recommend single rider over even fast pass for this ride.
#27 Mission Space – Non-puke side. I knew that since Mike survived Star Tours without puking I was not going to push my luck on this one. Bonus points as we got to see our favorite Cast Member and fellow Casual Runner, Jessie, at the end of the ride.
CUTTING OUR LOSSES. Having already decided to try and hit the highest number of rides possible (rather than all of them, which we could not do), we decided to skip Spaceship Earth and head back to Magic Kingdom. We will have to thank the Phoenicians some other time.
We hoofed it to the highway in the sky, then took the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom…only to get stopped on the track next to Space Mountain. A traffic hold cost us more valuable time within visual distance of our park. As we had saved our scheduled Fast Passes for Magic Kingdom, I had to change our scheduled Fast Passes from my phone during this traffic stop so we would not lose out on it.
Back in the Magic Kingdom…
Jungle Cruise Jingle Cruise – We sailed on the holiday edition of this classic attraction. The skippers chipped in and got Ginger a crockpot.
#29 Pirates of the Caribbean – We sat in the back row. Why? Based on recent experience, the front of the boat gets soaked while the back stays dry. We stayed dry. Also, a trip planning tip, if you can schedule these Fast Passes back to back (Jungle Cruise and Pirates that is), you can hit one at the end of the first window and then walk directly to the next one as it becomes available.
#30 Splash Mountain – We asked Cast Members how to not get wet (because it was getting a little cooler after sunset) and they said sit in the back. We did, and we remained dry as they threw us in the briarpatch.
#31 Big Thunder Mountain – This childhood favorite is always more special at night (and look! we now have a new on-ride attraction video for this roller coaster!!).
#32 Peter Pan’s Flight – As we said from the onset, to our surprise, this attraction opened early from its planned refurb, so we were able to use the Fast Pass that we earmarked for Seven Dwarfs as it was unexpectedly closed (look! we have a new on-ride video of this roller coaster).
#33 Its a Small World – After all, enough said. Though, we did finish this as the fireworks were ending.
#34 The Little Mermaid’s Voyage Under the Sea – Honestly, at this point, we were getting so antsy to hit as many rides before 11pm that we spent more time strategizing our next move than paying attention to the ride itself.
#35 The Barnstormer – We don’t have numbers on it, but this may be the shortest ride time in all of Walt Disney World. Bonus points as the ride was a walk-on after 10pm.
#36 Dumbo Flying Elephants – Haven’t we already ridden this same attraction…3 other times today? Classic spinners are, well, spinners.
#37 Mad Tea Party – I was under explicit orders not to spin the cup if I wanted Mike to not fill our cup with puke.
Here we had a huge decision. We were trapped and running out of time. To our left we had 2 rides (Carousel of Progress also closed early). To our right there were 2 rides. We knew we likely could hit one set but not the other. We chose to go right.
#38 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – We still miss Toad.
#39 Prince Charming Regal Carousel – We knew that in all likelihood that this would be the last ride of the night. We were thrilled to have beaten our friends’ attempt earlier that summer (they timed out at 38). But we still spent the ride wondering…what if we could hit 40?
As soon as the ride stopped we lept off our trusty steads and took off for Tomorrowland. We headed for People Mover only to be turned away due to closure. You know that we really wanted to hit #40 as we made a break for Stitch, only to see the Cast Members closing the gates in front of us. We were turned away with no foul smelling chili dogs on this nights.
To celebrate this fun adventure, and to wind down after 15 non-stop hours of craziness, we decided to celebrate with ice cream sundaes (yes, 2 ice cream meals in one day – don’t judge us!) and a leisurely stroll down Main Street USA.
So here are our stats from that day:
- Number of parks: 4
- Number of rides: 39
- Number of monorail rides: 2
- Number of bus rides: 4
- Number of full meals eaten: 0
- Number of ice cream meals eaten: 2
- Number of miles walked: 16.54
- Number of relationships ruined: 0 (though I am told that I did try to run Mike into a planter or two in my haste to get to the next ride).
Here are our takeaways from this challenge:
This challenge is tough, really tough, really really tough. Didn’t I say this already? Well, it is. Honestly, we both left this with the same conclusion: completing the WDW46 Challenge is actually more difficult than completing runDisney’s Dopey Challenge. That is some high praise indeed, and our hats go off to anyone who attempts this challenge, and we commend anyone who actually completes it.
Will we try this again? Perhaps, but to be sure we will undertake more planning before doing so, and pick a day with longer park hours and lower crowds…which, it seems are becoming more and more rare at Walt Disney World. Oh, and since Disney plans on bringing more rides and attractions online in the coming years, this challenge is going to be even harder.
Best of luck to you all, and remember, adventure is out there!
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