Today we flew across the country for the start of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in California. We had two excellent flights on Delta from Charleston to Atlanta, and then on to Los Angeles. There was not a single issue or delay with our flights. God was looking after us. We left home about 7:25am and arrived in Los Angeles about 11:15am PST. It was like we gained more of the day, but as I write this, it is catching up with me. Our friend Sean picked us up at LAX, and after gathering our bags, we were off to Disneyland!
After stops for a quick bite to eat and some food & beverages for the room at Target, we got to our hotel. We checked into Paradise Pier Hotel about 1pm. Our room wasn’t ready so we checked our bags with Bell Services and off to the race expo we went.
Wow what a difference from Walt Disney World. As a seasoned veteran of RunDisney events at Walt Disney World, we quickly noticed our first difference. The three Disneyland hotels are within a few blocks of each other.
So we walked to the race expo that was held at he Disneyland Hotel. We got to the expo about 2pm, and did not experience any lines or waits for anything.
We first went down into what appeared to be a modified parking garage to pick up my race bib, and our park tickets.
After getting this, we went back up to the main level to the actual expo. We started by getting our race shirt and remaining items for the race. After that we went into the RunDisney merchandise area. I picked up a long sleeve race shirt, two Disneyland Half Marathon pins, and a magnet to add to my collection on my truck. We walked around the expo for about an hour, but as it was mostly standard RunDisney participants, we didn’t stick around long.
Since today was a travel day, we decided not to do any parks today. So our plan was to check out each of the three Disneyland Hotels, Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Hotel, and Grand Californian Hotel. Like their counterparts at Walt Disney World in Florida, each resort had its own theming; however, the Grand Californian was amazing! We call it a cross of the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge in Florida. After checking out the resorts, we walked around Downtown Disney for a while, then headed back to the resort to unpack and relax a little before dinner.
For dinner, we had reservations at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria. It was carb loading night for the half marathon, and this was a great selection. My wife had a four cheese personal pizza, and I had the Lasagna. They complemented the meal with bread and oil. We found out that most of the restaurants on property offer a 10% off discount to Disney Vacation Club Members, so that was nice. With the discount, it cost us about $45 including tip. We highly recommend this restaurant. It was awesome, with great taste and flavor.
After dinner, even though it was only about 7pm, our bodies thought is was 10pm, so we went back to the room. With our Disney California Adventure Park view, we were able to watch the World of Color show from the comforts of our room, with the music streaming in from a defined TV channel, and then we crashed.
Finally, here is another review of the race expo from my friend over at Why I RunDisney.