This should be a bit of a shorter one from me as we catch up where we left off at the end of the 5 Km race!
The opening party was something I wasn’t 100% sure I’d do again, as last years had some teething issues to say the least! Luckily for me, a severe case of FOMO and a slight price reduction had me handing over my money to Run Disney in no time, I know I’m a sucker right!
Now I have to say overall I did enjoy the party, however in my eyes this was the main thing that left so much potential unfulfilled, so I’m going to try and give honest feedback on how the event unfolded in my experience, having said that, if the price is right for the next run weekend, I would definitely try again!
The party was on the Friday evening the same as last year, however this year that meant there was a slight matter of running the 5 Km first, the party and the race were also both held in the same park which meant people had to clear through the left hand side (Think Toon studio, Place de Remy and Toy Story Play land) before the party could start. It also meant the Left hand side (Rock N Roller side) couldn’t open fully as runners were still finishing.
After Finishing the 5 Km and getting our medals, it would have been ideal to have been able to go straight into the party, however there was the small matter of our gear bags, once you stop running you get cold pretty quickly so i wanted my hoodie as well as my other personal items which I had left in my gear bag, the bag drop and collection however, was located in the expo tent at the back of Disney village, so yep that’s right, I had to leave the studios to walk to the far side of the village and back to be able to have my stuff with me for the party. This meant the party had been going for a fair while by the time we got there!
On entry into the party there was no list/ schedule of what rides were open, or what characters were out, this was a bit disappointing as we had guides for the party last year and it meant we could prioritize what was most important and head there first.
Out in front lot Belle was meeting where we had seen Cinderella and Prince Charming during the race so we decided to stop as Sophie was dressed as Belle too, the queue was quite quick and Belle was ever so sweet!
We walked through Studio one, and found the Hunchback guys were still meeting outside Art of Animation, we got Quasi and Frollo during the run, and it was Clopin and Esmerelda out at the party when we arrived so we decided to take the chance to finish the set. Just after Sophie had her photo, they brought Quasi and Frollo back out ready to swap over for a while, but as I was desperate to meet Esmerelda, i managed to jump in quick and got a photo with all 4!
The only bad thing about this meet was the misunderstanding between guests and the photo pass photographer, they weren’t scanning peoples existing photo passes and were instead just giving out the temporary cardboard passes, Luckily the following day we got these transferred onto our actual photo pass, so it was more of a slight inconvenience than anything!
We then found out the Aristocat kittens were meeting over at Place de Remy still, as you may have seen in my 5 Km post I really regretted not stopping for them during the race, they boy Kittens have been on my want to meet list for forever so I had to try. So off I went sprinting towards Place de Remy, the queue wasn’t huge when I got there and I finally thought this would be my chance to meet them. And then it happened. we were a few people away from the front when the Cm said the Kittens needed to go in for their break and only Marie would be returning. I don’t even think “gutted” covers it, in fact heartbroken is the word I would pick, I have wanted to meet those kittens for such a long time and I really thought this would finally be my chance, but it wasn’t meant to be unfortunately!
However, all was not lost, as they left Toulouse (who just happens to be my favourite of the brothers) stopped on his way past, gabbed my hand and gave me licks/kitten kisses, and luckily Sophie was on hand to take a photo. Of course I’m still really disappointed to have missed them and not being able to hug them, but I think he could see how upset I was, and it did take the edge off a little.
As we were so close to the front of the queue we decided to hang on and meet Marie anyway, I mean one kitten is always better than 0 kittens, and she was really loved and gave me the biggest cuddle!
We then go told by a friend (again no official program of events to be found, I don’t know what we would have done if it wasn’t for the tip offs we had) that some of the VIPs (Mickey & Minnie etc) were meeting in their Run Disney tracksuits outside rock n roller, so we made our way straight across to the other side of the studios, but when we got there the queue was already closed, more disappointment!
At this point we decided to call it a night, we were both tired, still needed to walk back to the Hi Park and I had the 10 Km race to get up for at 5 am so it was probably the right decision.
Overall, yes I did enjoy my time at the party, and it looked a lot better than last year, however I do think it had potential for so so much more, a guide of when and where the characters were out would have been useful, also having the party straight after the race wasn’t, in my opinion at least, ideal especially for people starting in the last corral as you wanted to enjoy and stop for the characters on the race but also juggle that with getting back for the party, personally i would like to see the party moved to the Thursday.
I guess one of the biggest changes I would like to have seen was with the bag drop, some option to collect your bag without having to go back to the expo, perhaps some way of marking your bag if you’re a party attendant so that they’re transferred to the studios, this would have saved us a lot of time, and may have been the difference in us being able to meet the kittens!
So that was my experience, did you attend? What did you think? What was your highlight and what changes would you like to see next year?
Drop me a comment and I’ll be back soon with my experience of the new 10 Km!