Disney Marathon Playlist

Last month I somehow got railroaded into doing the Goofy Challenge at the Disney World Marathon.

The worst part about working at Runner’s World is that it’s easy to convince yourself something like “Goofy”—chasing a half-marathon with a full marathon—is a good idea when you’re surrounded by people who regularly do things like that. But ten minutes later, you’re home, sitting on the couch, trying to rationalize your plan to a normally supportive partner, and several mathematical realities sink in. Two days. 39.3 miles. ONE MONTH to train.

Naturally, remorse was both crushing and immediate.

Disney-based nightmares, which replaced my standard existential-terror dream playlist, were both terrifying and bizarre.

There’s the one where I collapse into a weeping, asthmatic ball at Tinkerbell’s feet. There’s the one where I’m hopelessly lost in the Magic Kingdom, trying to explain to a patient Ninja Turtle what my mom looks like and only coming up with “pink polka-dotted shirt” (an actual childhood trauma). But mostly there’s just the one where my hopes and dreams are brutally crushed beneath the floppy, oversized sneakers of an anthropomorphic dog in a fedora. GOOFY. My new nemesis. His silly-ass hyucking battle cry has been haunting my days and nights for a month.

But now Disney is just a week away. And have I trained to meet my canine bumpkin match? No. NO. Most assuredly, no. In lieu of knuckling down and getting the miles in, I’ve chosen to follow a “three weeks of all-night coughing and constant sinus drainage” training plan. Luckily Goofy panic has been replaced by a kind of general curiosity at how badly I can fail next week. I mean, I really could set a new personal worst out there. I could bring shame to my coworkers, the entire Giddings bloodline, and whichever branch of the U.S. military the “Goof Troop” is contained under.

But regardless of outcome, I am genuinely STOKED for the Disney Marathon. This will be my first Runner’s World Challenge event, and though I know it’s gonna be a lot of work, I’m looking forward to meeting RW readers and the people who nerd out over things like running through the Disney parks.

…And apparently there are a LOT of people who nerd out over Disney and running. I had no idea this was an entire subset of human being! From what I can gather, the Disney running subculture consists largely of childless, costumed adults who vacation, run marathons, and even get married inside Disney parks.

But listen—I am the last person to judge this unexpectedly fervent community. I spent my youth attending Star Trek conventions in a crisp, oversized Next Generation uniform. I worked all through high school and college in a comic book store, where I memorized arcane DC/Marvel trivia and rose to the top of national rankings as a Pokemon-playing champion.  Ask me about my current Dungeons & Dragons character, and I’ll be happy to hold forth at length about a troubled sorcerer gnome whose race was virtually wiped out by merfolk-led genocide.

Basically, I am a GRADE A NERD from before that just meant “every dude in an Star Wars shirt wearing cool glasses.” Having been involved in intense fan communities for my entire life, I understand the urge to recapture the playfulness of childhood as an adult. I’m assuming that’s what motivates the Disney folk, and I bear them no ill will.

Ultimately, I long for simple understanding. I’d like to immerse myself in their realm—to be “part of that world,” so to speak. I even hope to be embraced and accepted as a fellow in the kingdom of magic (and not merely so I can study this princess-ruled society and conduct anthropological research like some kind of Epcot Dian Fossey). It’s a whole new world down there in Orlando, and in lieu of cynicism, I’m ready to adopt a new fantastic point of view. Yes, these are Aladdin lyrics. See how much I’m getting into it?

So in the interest of getting the full Disney running experience, I’ve compiled the following motivational playlist of new and classic Disney songs. May it be powerful enough to overcome my complete and utter lack of post-Philly training. May it carry me on a magic carpet ride and whatnot. A dream is a wish your heart makes, and my dream is to simply not die.

(Also, do they still have Gay Day? When’s Gay Day?)

Disney Marathon Playlist for the Goofy Challenge
Get at me if you want the Spotify playlist!

1. Mickey Mouse Club: Mickey Mouse March
2. Mickey Mouse Club Disco: Watch Out for Goofy
3. Brave: Touch the Sky
4. Mulan: I’ll Make a Man Out of You
5. Newsies: Seize the Day
6. A Goofy Movie: Stand Out
7. Pocahontas: Colors of the Wind
8. Bedknobs and Broomsticks: A Step in the Right Direction
9. Lion King: I Just Can’t Wait to be King
10. A Goofy Movie: On the Open Road
11. Aladdin: One Jump Ahead
12. The Jungle Book: The Bare Necessities
13. Hercules: Zero to Hero
14. Peter Pan: You Can Fly!
15. Pocahontas: Steady as the Beating Drum
16. Princess and the Frog: Dig a Little Deeper
17. Pirates of the Caribbean: Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)
18. Oliver & Company: Why Should I Worry?
19. In Search of the Castaways: Enjoy It!
20. Mousketeers: Mouskedance