Dopey Challenge 2017: the Day Before

Well ya’ll, here it is! The culmination of years of saving and dreaming and prepping, and it’s all over. Spoiler alert: I’m alive, I finished upright, and I still can’t believe that it actually happened.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

The Dopey Challenge started off with some travel – my mother and I had to leave our house at 3am on Wednesday the 4th to make it to Pittsburgh in time for our 6:30am flight. We made it there no problems, checked our bags, and waited for the nice wheelchair pusher lady to pick us up at the Delta counter (my mom is getting hip surgery at the end of the month, so she was confined to wheelchairs and a power scooter for the majority of our trip). We headed through the TSA checkpoint, where I was in charge of our boarding passes and all that paperwork stuff – which would ultimately be my downfall.

We got to the plane just fine, loaded early, and headed out for Detroit… yeah, our thoughts too – who goes to Orlando via Detroit?? Either way, we made it there and had a quick layover until we left for Orlando. Even though it was much colder there, we didn’t have to worry about de-icing or anything. My mom and I got some laughs though, as there were so many children on the plane that I realized we seemed to be the wrong demographic for Disney World.

When we got into Orlando, our nice chair-pusher got us over in line for the Magical Express. I sat on the ground to reorganize my life, and that was when I realized my fatal mistake. As I took my hoodie off and shoved it in my backpack, I looked at the little wristlet that I planned on using as my wallet for the week. My Disney credit card stared back at me. I opened it to look for my driver’s license, then came to the realization that it wasn’t in there. I searched my hoodie, my backpack, my mom’s purse, and her carry-on luggage. Nowhere. I frantically called the Pittsburgh Airport to see if anyone had turned it in.

They had.

My driver’s license was over a thousand miles away in Pennsylvania.

Needless to say, I was freaking out on the inside. We got on the Magical Express as I was on the phone with the lost and found, giving them my email address to scan over a picture of my license – as I needed photo ID for packet pickup and had nothing else to show who I was.

As soon as we got to Pop Century, I ran to the room to freshen up and then hopped on the bus over to the race expo. I wound up leaving my waiver in my backpack at the hotel, so I had to print another one at the expo – no big deal! Then I had to wait in a line. A really long line. The huge line to get into the expo hall for packet pickup was nothing compared to the runner relations line. The RunDisney contact I had called on the bus had instructed me to get in the line to make sure I could use the photo of my license to check in. I wound up waiting in that line for over an hour, but at least there were awesome people around me to talk to. To the retired music teacher from Maryland and her husband who were running their first marathon that were just ahead of me in line, I hope you did awesome!!

Thank god, I was allowed to check in with my photo. I headed over to the Dopey booth, picked everything up with no issue, and got my picture taken for the challenge. I went upstairs to the RunDisney booth and got a Dopey magnet and a SweatyBands headband for the Dopey Challenge. After heading outside and looking at the line to get into the additional center full of vendors, I said “Haha, nope!” and made the trek back to the bus to Art of Animation and Pop Century.

My mother and I headed over to Hollywood Studios, where we got our first Mickey Pretzel of the trip and got in the Fastpass line for Toy Story Midway Mania, after almost getting trampled by the Star Wars show in front of the Chinese Theatre. Anyway, Midway Mania was phenomenal!! Really, I understand why people will wait in butt-long lines for that ride. It was like Space Ranger Spin on steroids. Mom and I got really competitive, but I wound up winning.

After that, I got in line across the street to get my photo taken with Buzz and Woody. Even though it was a bit of a wait, it was awesome! I totally felt like a little kid but it was so great.

Finally, we made our way across the park to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, where we had our dinner reservations. We checked in a little early and got seated after only a few minutes. We got taken to the hitchhiker seats behind a family of four, and we fell in love with the restaurant as soon as we got there. We both sprung for milkshakes, and they. were. amazing. For real, I’ve never had such a thick and delicious milkshake that made me so happy. I’m very into milkshakes, and this one is now at the top of my all-time favorites list. I had a bacon cheeseburger for dinner, and it was the first of many great meals at Disney. I wound up being so full that I had to ask for my dessert in a box to take back to the room.

Back to Pop Century, where I took a shower to get ready for bed. I wound up laying there for quite some time, unable to fall asleep to get ready for the 5k in the morning…

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