Thursday, August 20, 2015

Running the World: Running Trail Signs at Walt Disney World Resorts

Have you noticed any of the Running Trail signs at Walt Disney World Resorts? The next time you're strolling through a resort, keep your eyes peeled for these helpful signs. I've been seeing more and more of them, and I think they're an interesting addition to resort amenities.

I used to think there were two kinds of people in the world- those who would never voluntarily run while on vacation, and those who were... crazy. Sometimes, of course, things happen in the least expected of ways. Such was the case when I slowly (and I do mean slowly) became a runner over the past few years. (Me! A runner! Practically unimaginable). I now understand that there are some really legitimate circumstances that might find people running while at Walt Disney World. Whether it's for basic fun and fitness or for more structured training, you're bound to see people out and about around the resorts. Just last week, I helped my brother-in-law figure out a place to run. He's training for the New York City Marathon, and his training plan required that he run 18 miles last weekend- right smack in the middle of his Walt Disney World vacation. A quick request for help to one of my supportive runDisney groups got us the info we needed in no time (thanks, RtD!).

With the ever-growing popularity of runDisney races, and the increasing number of runners in general, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing more ways that Disney supports guests in their efforts for fitness. A few years back, Running Trail signs started to pop up at various resorts on property. Sponsored by New Balance, these signs can be found along pathways, tucked under trees, and beside waterways around many Disney resorts.

The signs each feature a map of the area with a general trail sketched out, along with some running tips. There are a few variations of the signs, some with more information than others. Here are a few versions you might find around property:

This one can be found at Boardwalk Inn, and a similar one (with a different "you are here" dot, of course), is between Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts (see first pic). The Crescent Lake/Boardwalk area is  a perfect locale for running. This map features the distance of the trail marked off, which is a helpful inclusion. A loop around Crescent Lake will take you a distance of .8 miles.

Next up, we have the sign at Disney's Polynesian Village. This trail stretches between The Poly and The Grand Floridian. This one is pretty wordy, like the Beach Club sign, and includes extra tips covering hazards, sunscreen, wildlife, and more. Maybe those extra tips took up too much space, because missing from this Poly sign is a distance measurement. I wonder how far it is... 

This next sign comes to us from Pop Century. As with most of the other trail signs, this route covers two resorts, bringing us from Pop Century over to Art of Animation. Like The Poly, though, no distance marker can be found here. (Anybody know this distance?) They seem to have pared down the tips on this one, so the sign's a bit less busy. 

This is the latest sign I've seen- and the longest trail. This one stretches between Wilderness Lodge and across through Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, covering 2.5 miles (with a clear map of other roads and loops for anyone who wants to extend that run).

Whether you're running for fun, for fitness, or as part of a training plan, these resort running trail signs have you covered.

Have you seen any Running Trail signs at other resorts? What do you think about running while on vacation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Nature


Thanks to Deb @ Focused on the Magic  for hosting 
the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop! 

If you hopped over, I invite you to check out my other posts, 

and please consider joining the blog or following on twitter.

Check out all the other Wordless Wednesday links by clicking below, 

and remember to share some comment love...

Focused on the Magic

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Transportation



Thanks to Deb @ Focused on the Magic  for hosting 
the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop! 

If you hopped over, I invite you to check out my other posts, 

and please consider joining the blog or following on twitter.

Check out all the other Wordless Wednesday links by clicking below, 

and remember to share some comment love...

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Construction Wall Artwork

So, just what is going on behind those walls next to Epcot's Norway pavilion? Are they recreating Arendelle? Construction walls can really dampen the atmosphere in the parks, but there's usually an effort to create some visual appeal appropriate to the surroundings. Such is the case with the artwork gracing the construction walls near Norway. These banners have a really appealing style and color scheme. 

They're each unique, and I get a strong storytelling element from them. I'm really curious about that last one. It seems to depict some kind of vertical farming scene...

What do you think is happening behind the walls? And what do you think of these banners? Tell us about it in the comments... 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Disneyland- 60 Days to 60 Years: 1968

I'm thrilled to be participating in 60 Days to 60 Years- a blog series highlighting each year as we count down to Disneyland's 60th anniversary.

1968 was an important year for me- it was the year I was born. I did not visit Disneyland in 1968, but I've long been interested in what special places were like during that year.

A while back, I learned about the pictorial souvenir and guide books that used to be issued each year. Found in gift shops on property, they were a great keepsake to commemorate a visit to the park. It's hard for us today to imagine a time when not everyone had unlimited photographic powers at their fingertips- but back when cameras and photos were not as prevalent as they are now, these souvenirs offered many families a great option for capturing the sites and experiences of their visits.

One of the things I find interesting about these pictorials is the candidness of many of the photos. Today, promotional material put out by the company is meticulously crafted- photos are staged, the people are models with a careful balance of demographics, and everything is just so. Outfits are coordinated, and everyone is smiling. When I look through photos in the old guidebooks, I get a much "realer" sense of that slice of life. Few photos seem staged, candid shots abound, and we get a more honest feel for the environment.

With that, I share some photos and highlights from the 1968 version of the Disneyland Pictorial Souvenir and Guide:

The cover! While this book was published for 1968, this famous photo 
on the cover was taken a few years earlier. 

Ahhh, maps! I have a thing for maps. I'm drawn to them. I especially love the retro look of some of the maps in the souvenir books- and this one is no exception. Simple, stylized, and meant to give a broad picture rather than a detailed road map. I could look at a map like this endlessly.

Following the map, the pictorial goes on to highlight each land, with photos, and descriptions of the highlights in each area.

The page above features what just may be the greatest photo ever- two nuns about to embark on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (a journey made more ironic when you know where the attraction brings them in the end)!

With limited space in the pictorial, the photo in the lower right (enlarged below) is an interesting choice for inclusion. I guess they were really pushing the cleanliness idea...

Walt's quote about Disneyland After Dark:
"It's difficult for me to choose my favorite time of day to be at Disneyland... naturally, I enjoy them all. But one which has a special attraction for me is Disneyland After Dark. As night falls, a new kind of magic and excitement takes over in Disneyland. Aboard the Mark Twain there's a real Dixieland Band. The Tahitians in Adventureland really dance up a storm. While you're in Tomorrowland, I suggest you take in our band over there. And I never miss dropping in at the Plaza Gardens. Like most people, I have fun just watching others have fun."

Towards the end of the guidebook, the pages on Disneyland Hotel and "Service a la Disneyland" advertise the then-state-of-the-art onsite hotel, as well as many of the sponsors found throughout the attractions, shops, and dining locations.

back cover

Are you interested in seeing a Souvenir Pictorial and Guidebook from a special year? They are widely available through online resellers, and they're usually fairly affordable. These special books give us a fantastic glimpse of what the park was like at various points through its history.

Thanks to DidiMarie (@Distherapy) and Gayle T (@Disneygals)  for hosting 60 Days to 60 Years! make sure to visit all the other stops on this sixty year journey...

InLinkz code: