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WDW46 – A Test of Mental and physical endurance
Mar 20, 2015
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I start by saying this run is not for the faint of heart. In a grueling 16 hour day in the Florida sun, everything about you is tested; your physical endurance, your brain, etc. Shane and Ted from Parkeology created a beautiful test of efficiency.

There was a lot of research, planning, and even training. But all of those things, as much as you do it, can not prepare you for what you are about to endure on that day.

GAMEDAY! To quote the great Ari Gold: “We’re going to hell, so bring your sunblock.”

I woke up and started getting ready for the day ahead knowing I wouldn’t be able to rest again until sometime after midnight. By 6:30, I was in the car after making sure I had everything (portable cell phone charger, poncho, water, Clif bars, green shirt since it was St. Patrick’s Day). I didn’t pack sunblock like I mentioned above though. I stopped by the McDonalds just outside of the All Star resort for some sort of a bigger meal knowing I was not going to eat much during the run.

Pre-run

I got to EPCOT so early that no one was in the parking attendants area and I made my way to put my car at the end of a row in the Journey lot which would be closest to the exit since they didn’t have anyone telling me where I had to go. Walking up at before 7 am, there were no security guards in sight and I couldn’t even get to “the turnstiles.” I was the first person into the park waiting for the turnstiles which was great. No worries about strollers, children that can’t get their fingerprint to work, etc. One of the supervisors then says to me “Happy St. Patrick’s Day, we will be letting you go over to in front of Spaceship Earth in about 15 minutes.”

The problem: It was 7:30 am. All the research and data I found showed that most rides opened at 7:45 or 7:50, not 8:00 like this cast member told me. I already knew the plan was going to be a bit behind on time which I did not have a lot of compared to those that have completed the challenge.

Before 8:00 am, they told everyone “No Running” to the attraction you were going to. If you guessed Test Track or Soarin’, you would be correct on where most of the crowd makes their way towards at rope drop. At first, there was a lot of fast walking from the crowd and I but the second CMs were out of sight, I took off as fast as I could towards The Land.

Leg 1 – EPCOT

Ride #1 – Soarin’ and I was the first person on the ride. I felt like I deserved a cookie or something.

I get off the ride and start to follow my plan by hitting Living with the Land knowing it closes at 7:00 pm trying to get at least 1 of the 3 early closers done. The ride though was down and I knew I had to make a quick audible. Quick being the key word…

Ride #2 – Test Track. Hopped in the Single Rider line and was probably off and on within 20 minutes. I knew though I was going to need to get on one more ride before making the hop over to Magic Kingdom.

Ride #3 – Mission: SPACE since it was next to Test Track and I saw Green team was a walk on. Unfortunately, all the pre-show stuff for that ride takes about 10 minutes so by 9:00 am, I was done with 3 rides and knew I had a long trek ahead.

Knowing I had to come back though for all 3 early closers was going to weigh on my mind all day though.

Leg #2 – Magic Kingdom

This is where I needed to decide whether or not take the Express monorail or the ferryboat. The Express monorail had a very long line that went into extended queue, while the boat was almost loaded up and ready to go. I would have been on the 2nd monorail that left the TTC but that beat the boat by about a minute.

Once I got into the Magic Kingdom, I fell victim to the same luck as Team Parkeology: Main Street Vehicles closed earlier than the time posted due to the silly “Move It! Shake It!” parade. A cast member did tell me the trolley would be back around 10:15 or so to pick up the performers for the Trolley show. I figured no time to waste, and head to Chickapin Hill.

Ride #4 – Splash Mountain. This had a longer wait than posted. It said 10, I waited 15. I figured it would as you could already feel the Florida heat already beating down on you.

Ride #5 – Railroad from Frontierland to Storybook Circus since Big Thunder had a 40 minute wait already. At that point, I knew my scheduled plan was going to hell, so it basically went out the window. Or the first trash can I saw.

Dumbo and Barnstormer also had longer waits then I expected so I ran down and grabbed a ride on the Prince Charming Carrousel (Ride #6). At this point, I started to feel a time crunch about the Trolley coming back. After that ride, I booked it down to Main Street. I caught it just in front of the Emporium after a brief explanation and they let me hop on. They did ask anyone else but I don’t think anyone heard so it was a nice Ride #7 on the Trolley.

After a stroke of good luck (I attribute it to my green shirt), I felt a pep in my step as I wanted to finish off early closers. I knocked off the boats between Tom Sawyer Island and Froland (Ride #8) but I had some time to kill before the 11:30 Riverboat.

Ride #9 – Peoplemover. I sprinted across the park to get this ride. Not the greatest idea, but it was something. And I didn’t want to sit and wait. At this point, Pirates and Space Mountain were both down. No one knew when the rides were going to open. So I charge on.

Ride #10 – Riverboat. This is a nice relaxing ride on the Rivers of America which I needed before the next hop to Hollywood Studios. I planned for only one trip there, so I wanted to get in and out as soon as possible.

Leg #3 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios (New name TBD)

It was great coming into the park and not seeing the Hat. It truly was a beauty, but I could not admire for very long. I needed to step into the 5th dimension.

Ride #11 – Tower of Terror. Using my first Fastpass, the line I thought was a Standby line (since it was 105 minute posted wait) was in fact the FP line. 10 minutes later, I am into the library and 10 minutes after that, I am on the ride.

Ride #12 – Rock N Roller Coaster. I am going to say this: I am not a fan of roller coasters that go upside down. So having to do this alone and not having my girlfriend next to me to calm me down scared me more than Chuckie Finster in any adventure on Rugrats.

I get through it thinking “I can’t believe I’m through, it’s over…why are we stopped?” The ride stopped for about 5 minutes (probably an over-reaction on my part) and I was thinking that I needed to head over to Toy Story. I also thought “Hooray for not doing this mid ride. I would have freaked out more!”

We then moved towards the VIP area, but I needed to rock ‘n roll out of there and to Pixar Place.

Ride #13 – Toy Story Mania. Every time I use the Fastpass for this, there is always a long line. Not on this day. I flew through the line and even got a whole 8 person set of cars to myself. Side note: I seriously hope they do better on that with the expansion. That’s inexcusable.

Ride #14 – Great Movie Ride. I was able to get on this ride in about 15 minutes, but it’s a 20 minute ride, so you can only imagine how you feel the clock moving ever so slowly on this one.

Ride #15 – Star Tours. It was a good thing I had a FastPass for this because the standby line was about to be roped off to the outside. I was off to Hoth and Naboo for trips on Flight 1401 with C-3PO at the helm. It felt good getting off that ride and being able to cross a park off the list.

Leg #4 – Animal Kingdom

Just like Dr. Seeker says “We gotta get in, grab the iguanadon, and get out before that asteroid hits.” Except well, replace iguanadon with 7 rides and the asteroid being 6:00 PM. It seemed like a daunting task as I got there at around 3:10. Grabbed a FP for Primeval Whirl and I was off.

Ride #16 – Triceratop Spin. I had never been on this ride before and I was glad it was a walk on. I would also like to know who decided to put the up/down lever in the back of this ride. Luckily, my next ride’s entrance was right at this ride’s exit.

Ride #17 – Primeval Whirl. I rode on this with a couple who just ate lunch and had never been on this. They expected a kiddie ride and they were sadly mistaken. I did see them later and they were all good. No worries there.

Ride #18 – Expedition Everest. Single rider line here moved much more smoothly than the one over at Rock N Roller Coaster and I was on in about 5 minutes. I then grabbed a FastPass for Dinosaur seeing it was the only one available and it was for something soon. Plus, it was posted at 30 minutes.

Ride #19 – Wildlife Express. There is really nothing special about this. I did get to see the construction for the new Harambe add-ons. #DAKSPANSION

Ride #20 – DINOSAUR. It ended up being a walk-on so I didn’t use the FP just to see if maybe a miracle would happen and allow me to get on Kali or the Safari which both had at least 40 minute waits. My picture on this ride is priceless as I hold up “20” on my fingers but look scared or tired…one of those works.

I see that the Safari was posted at 20 minutes and I book it over back to Harambe. I hop in line and see it is clearly longer than that. While in the line for no less than 2 minutes, by some miracle, I was able to grab a FP for Kilimanjaro. I then ran really fast over to Kali and decided to “bite the bullet.”

Ride #21 – Kali River Rapids. I got loaded on to a boat that needed one more and I pass by a group of 12. I talk to everyone on this ride as some know they will get wet, others have no clue. But I think they got it when they saw I was wearing a poncho. When they made fun of me for wearing the poncho, I told them all my story. They thought I was nuts but said they would cheer me on.

Ride #22 – Kilimanjaro Safaris. Before I got on, I tweeted out a PSA to all white rhinos to not block our ride through as I was hoping for a quick ride. Unfortunately, they did not relay that message to the zebras. Two of them blocked the truck for 2 minutes (that was the amount of time between my 2 overreaction tweets). We got through and then it was off to EPCOT. The time is now 6:07 PM to kind of quote Dr. Bill Nye from Ellen’s Energy Adventure.

Leg #5 – Back to EPCOT

Ride #23 – Journey Into Imagination. I’m definitely Team Figment, and I know a lot of others are Team Dreamfinder. I was hoping I was able to make it off and on both this and Living with the Land before 7:00 pm hit. Luckily, this was a walk-on.

Ride #24 – Living with the Land. This is seriously the slowest boat ride in all of Walt Disney World, especially when you are counting down the minutes while on the ride. By 6:59, the boat ride ended and it was a full on sprint to hopefully get on Universe of Energy.

In my head here, I could imagine Dr. Seeker saying “They’re not gonna make it. They’re not gonna make it” by the time I got there, and at…

7:04 PM – I didn’t make it to see Ellen and Mustached Trebek. But I made a promise to my girlfriend, all the followers on Twitter and myself, I wasn’t going to give up even if I missed a ride. I was close enough to World Showcase to knock off the boat ride there.

Ride #25 – Gran Fiesta Tour. Unfortunately, it’s not the fun one that is already gone and being replaced with that Frozen stuff. #LongLiveMaelstrom

Ride #26 – The Seas with Nemo. I used this walk-on experience as a power-nap time. I remember falling asleep before the glowing fish and waking up in the EAC because the ride stopped. Moving on…

Ride #27 – Spaceship Earth. Also more nap time because I was starting to feel my body break down from being so tired. Minus one ride, I finished EPCOT and it was on to the final leg.

Final Leg – Magic Kingdom

Ride #28 – Carousel of Progress. I needed something with a short wait. Unfortunately, this was the only ride with one at the current period. Knowing lines would go down 20 minutes from then, it was a good way to kill time and sing a fun song.

Ride #29 – Mad Tea Party. I was so tired that I did not want to spin the cup at all. Add to it that I never try to spin the cups (except when I did the Magic Kingdom 25), it was okay to not do that.

Ride #30 – Dumbo. I started to notice that Fantasyland was thinning out so I was hoping to get Dumbo, Barnstormer and Under the Sea knocked out before headed over to Adventureland. After the ride, this is where I get off and I hear “Star Command! You can do it!” Scott from @DisneyInADay found me as he was at the parks with his family and he cheered me on. This gave me an extra bolt of energy as I ran to Barnstormer, saw it was down and ran back to…

Ride #31 – Under the Sea. I was on my phone the entire ride looking at the different areas seeing if I could map out the next few rides in succession.

Ride #32 – Barnstormer. It was back up and running and this ride is really short. Add to it that it was a walk on and I was on and off quicker than you could say “YAAAAAAA-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOOEEEYYYY!!!”

Ride #33 – Magic Carpets of Aladdin. I grabbed a FP for Jungle Cruise thinking it may have somewhat of a wait. I saw one of my old managers from Publix at the park celebrating her birthday (the day before it actually took place) on the way there. I talked to her really fast and was then on a carpet after one cycle.

Ride #34 – Jungle Cruise. It is really funny to see how the skipper reacts with fireworks going off behind them. I was on my phone most of the ride and they pointed that out since I barely laughed at the jokes.

Ride #35 – Pirates. To say no one was on this ride is an understatement. It was me and one other guy. He had to sit in the front row and, thanks to the new boats (hooray for refurb), got wet and he was not expecting that. We joked about it later when we ran into each other again at another ride.

Big Thunder had a 20 minute wait so I skipped that and headed to…

Ride #36 – Mansion. I didn’t get stuck on the ride at all. Miracle seeing that it always stops at least once while I am on it. Doesn’t matter.

I then knew I had barely touched Tomorrowland and made my way over there to hit those rides.

Ride #37 – Speedway. Back in November, my girlfriend and I saw Shane and Ted on the Speedway and cheered them on from the stands. Shane believes it is the only time in WDW history that those stands were actually used for that purpose. Scott and his family found me again there to cheer me on from there. It was awesome knowing that I might have started something for people on these runs. Also, my legs were killing me and my right leg was shaking pushing down on the pedal.

Ride #38 – Buzz. At first, I really didn’t care about the score (LolTedWins), but I hit a couple targets to get a score of 600 so I kept going. I got up to 228,000 after 2 rooms and then stopped. I also took a “Tyler Breeze-esque” selfie at the point where you get your picture taken.

This is where I got a little cute on wait times and I could have fit more but I went for the two closest rides rather than finish off Fantasyland, which had shorter wait times.

Ride #39 – Space Mountain. While I was in line, a lot of people decided to stop and do the interactive game. I couldn’t get around them and this hurt having to stand there for 5 minutes and not move. I was debating about hopping into the FP line to get around them, but that would have been cheating. At least, they had both sides going and I was able to get on quickly when the game ended.

Ride #40 – Astro Orbiter. This line was a bit long and the thing that upset me the most here was the group of 4 in front with the Cast Member for this ride, holding 3 cards, allowed them to split up one group into two and take the remaining cards. That held me back seeing it was backed up at the top of Rocket Tower Plaza.

After all was done, the time was 11:59 PM. I had 1 minute to try and get to one more ride. The closest one was the Mine Train. I got off the elevator and sprinted towards it with all of the energy I had left. It wasn’t much…I got there right at 12:01 as did two other people. Seeing me pant as I try to talk, the supervisor said “let all of them on but these are the last three.”

Ride #41 – Mine Train. I sang the whole way long on the ride, deliriously tired and probably annoying the guy I rode next to. I didn’t even care. On the drop, I held up the number 41 knowing I had completed a lot.

 

I felt like a zombie walking down Main Street. I then see all the tweets of congratulations for not giving up and completing that many rides. I was proud of myself and even grabbed a picture in front of the castle. I even look dead in the pictures.

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped by Hess Express, grabbed a sub and a couple Gold Peak teas. That sub was very satisfying, but I knew I didn’t claim victory. I wanted to have my own “Avengers” moment where you finish everything and can’t figure out what you should do next. Unfortunately, that may have to be saved for next time.

I don’t know when but now I know how to finish this and get it done. Walt, Mickey, Shane and Ted, I’m letting you know now, I am coming back with a particular set of skills. Skills that can only be acquired from trying this run at least once. You don’t need to tell me to try again, you already know I will. But just know, I will come back to WDW, I will ride all the rides, and I will complete the WDW46.

About author

Profile photo of Dan Suárez

Dan Suárez

UCF grad that is way too much into the theme park life here in Orlando (Disney World and Universal mostly). I also work full-time as a Human Resources Coordinator and I am a huge sports fan when not frequenting the World.

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