#DisneySportsFestival Day 2 Part 2

We left off with my last sports festival post talking about taking team or individual athlete photos in front of the awesome green screen. After saying bye to goofy, we moved on to discuss the Welcome Center.

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The Welcome Center is where anyone can go to get information about things going on at the complex, or where teams can go to get information on their specific group package, park tickets, etc. They can answer questions from where a field is located to where they can snag dining reservations at the Magic Kingdom.

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Keep in mind that a lot of teams, especially ones traveling internationally, have never been to Walt Disney World before. The great team at the Welcome Center can help point groups in the right direction.

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We also had the opportunity to walk out and see some of the awesome fields. But first they gave us a treat to cool us off as we walked outside.

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me and Meghann with our frozen treats

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Jen and I Checking out the soccer fields

We also had the opportunity to check out the New Balance Track & Field Complex.

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Some of the great folks from New Balance came out to tell us a little about the field, and about some of their awesome shoes (they gave us all a pair!)

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It was time for lunch, so we headed to Champion Stadium to the Braves conference room.

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We had the same food that you can order as a boxed lunch for your team while they are playing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It tasted great!

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While we ate, we learned about youth sports trends from the folks at Sports Travel Magazine, and it was so interesting! Did you know that when a family is traveling for sport’s for a girl, it is likely they will spend more money overall than if traveling with a boy’s sports team?

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Live tweeting during the presentation

It was quite the full morning, but I learned so much about this hidden gym on Disney property. If your child plays youth sports, I highly recommended trying to get them into a training camp or tournament here!

QOTD: Did you know Disney offered all of these things?

#DisneySportsFestival runDisney Fun Run

This past week while I was in Walt Disney World for the #DisneySportsFestival, I had the opportunity to participate in the runDisney fun run that was held one morning.

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Me, Jen, and Carissa before the run

We got up bright and early (although not as early as a runDisney race!) and met up at Sea Breeze Point on the Boardwalk between our hotel and EPCOT. Darrell Fry, sports media director, welcomed us and gave introductions.

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We also heard from our friends at New Balance who were joining us that morning. After our .8 mile loop if we wanted to we had the chance to keep running along the path that they are calling the “New Balance trails”.  Mention of the new runDisney shoes for next year also came up, and I can’t wait to see what they came up with this time! They also said they will start rolling out teasers during Wine and Dine weekend. cannot. wait.

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We started up on the bridge before going into EPCOT. We spotted a friend before we started, and took a group picture. She promised we could take pictures with her after the run, it was a good incentive to hurry and get back.

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We made it into EPCOT and weaved our way around the World Showcase. It’s so much fun running through the empty park listening to the music and enjoying the surroundings. An amazing way to start the day.

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I can’t remember what was so funny but there are several pictures of us looking at each other and laughing!

We made a pit stop in Germany for some water, and some of my favorite pals came out to cheer us on. Of course, picture taking was in order.

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I spoke to Dopey, and told him that I would soon start training for his race in January. I asked him if he could tell me about the finishers medal, but he just acted well…Dopey and pretended like he didn’t understand. Oh well, I tried.

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I wanted to stay and chat, Rapunzel was just getting to the good stuff, but sadly we had to continue on our run.

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We made it back to the exit of EPCOT, and as promised Princess Minnie was there waiting for a photo op.

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I hadn’t seen Minnie since the Princess half marathon, so we had a lot to discuss. But first, we worked on my posing.

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Some people decided to go back to Sea Breeze Point for refreshments like bananas and Powerade, and some continued on the New Balance trails to get in some more mileage.

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As a runDisney runner, it was a great reminder of why I love this brand and their races so much. The fun run was just what it was named: fun. I smiled the whole time! It was a great behind the scenes look at the spirit of runDisney. I got to speak with several folks after who have never participated in a runDisney event before, and they all said they couldn’t wait to try one out after experiencing the fun run!

QOTD: If you could have a photo with any Disney character on a race course who would it be?

You can runDisney too! Spots are still open for the Happy Haunted 5k trail run, Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k, The Disney marathon, Goofy’s Challenge, and The Tinkerbell 5k and 10k! (as of 7/22/2013)

*Disclosure: I was a guest of Disney sports for this event. They provided me with accommodations, flight, meals, and park tickets. However, all opinions are my own.

Weekly Workout Recap: July 2013 Week 2

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter. I feel very loved! I had a great first day in Disney!

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I have some work things starting today, I am here for the Disney Sports Media Festival. (#DisneySportsFestival) The festivities start tonight and continue through Tuesday night. I will be tweeting and instagraming the whole time so be sure to follow along! (@HeathersLG for both)

Here is my workout week in a nutshell:

Sunday: rest

Monday: beach

Tuesday: beach

Wednesday: beach

Thursday: 30 minute stationary bike

Friday: 9 mile long run

Saturday: travel day

Vacation weeks are definitely not the best workout weeks, but I am glad I was able to get my 9 mile long run in before going to Disney. This week won’t be good since I am here in Orlando, so I will have to kick it into high gear for Dumbo when I get back!

Disney Sports Made Easy

When I visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World back in February, I got to sit down with some folks who work for Disney sports and talk about the complex, and also more specifically about springs training, youth sports, and how they help you from the beginning of your fundraising all the way through your stay so your trip is as easy as possible. I never had the opportunity to play sports there as a kid, but I hope one day my future kids have the opportunity to participate because well, per usual, Disney does it right!

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A lot of youth sports teams come from all over the place to participate in tournaments and spring training programs. Teams have a lot of opportunities to travel to many different states and events, but the logistics can be difficult. It may seem a bit overwhelming as a coach or a parents trying to figure out where to start, but at Disney they take care of all the details for you and makes everything so simple. First let’s start with who can participate. As far as spring training goes, high school college teams may participate. (Generally in March and April). However, there are plenty of other tournaments and events geared toward club teams ages 8-18. When it comes to spring training, teams can get a leg up on the competition and take advantage of the warm Florida climate to get the team ready for their season.

For some teams travel costs can be an issue. However, there are plenty of great fundraising ideas to help you get to Florida. Disney will even give your team a Walt Disney World vacation to raffle off in order to help you earn money. There is also an ESPN magazine sales program you can take advantage of. Not to mention your team will receive a checklist about 90 and 60 days out from your arrival, making sure you are ready to go. Upon arrival, you can get information and help for your group on site at the Wide World of Sports Complex Welcome Center. They can even booking dining reservations for you. What a great way to congratulate the team on a job well done…breakfast with Mickey and the gang!

Not only are these events exciting for the athlete participating, but the whole family can get involved. In addition to all inclusive packages with discounted hotel stays and park tickets, there are also activities for siblings to take advantage of during games. (Think bean bag toss, hula hoops, etc.) Games are scheduled in such a way that teams are generally off the field by 4:00 in the afternoon so there is plenty of time to hang out with your family and explore all the other experiences Disney has to offer.

There is so much attention to detail with these events. For instance, there are professional photographers that take photos during games forpurchase. Boxed lunches or pizza can be pre ordered for the team and are brought straight to the field. There is even a convenient equipment drop off at the front of the complex, and gear will then be transported to the field. Just a few ways that Disney makes teams feel comfortable, and makes the trip an easy one.

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Teams love working with the ESPN brand. Some games are even featured on ESPN3.com (where they are shown live so family members and friends around the world can watch), YouTube channels, and even Disney hotel room TV’s. Some highlights from games have even made it onto Sportscenter!

Disney is a great first traveling tournament for teams with it’s fun but competitive nature, as well as learning experiences on and off the field. Good communication is offered, and awards are given for the top teams in each division. There is typically a consolation bracket, so players have the opportunity to participate in multiple games against teams from all over (30% of teams come from outside of the United States!)

Not to mention, with summer coming up more and more youth will be participating in sports and tournaments, so teams can use this summer as an opportunity to play in central Florida. Planning for a tournament or camp doesn’t have to be stressful and an impossible task. In today’s world where everyone has a full plate efficiency and ease of planning are important. Sitting down with these wonderful Disney folks I learned that there are so many options available to cater to your teams needs and to make magical memories for athletes of all ages. I can’t wait to experience it for myself.

If you would like more information on attending a tournament or event with your child or team, please visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Contact Page.

QOTD: What is your favorite part about the way Disney runs these tournaments and trainings that you learned in my post? Or, what sport would you most like to watch at the complex?