A bit of history about my run Disney experience! I first ran the DL half in 2010 and loved it but got very injured. I trained much better in the future and have run the tink 2012-2014,DL half 2012,dumbo 2013, and Princess 2013 for my first coast to coast.
My future races are glass slipper challenge 2014, dumbo 2014, and hopefully wine and dine 2014 and dopey 2015! My first marathon is coming up in one month:LA marathon!
Everyone knows going to WDW, one of the most fun things to do besides deciding where you are going to stay, is deciding where to eat! With preparing for a race weekend, it is even more crucial because of the carb-loading that traditionally takes place the night before the race.
Personally, I have been focusing on how to correctly carbload as in the olden days, I would just eat a lot of pasta the night before, which caused me to feel a bit sluggish the next morning.
After consulting Mark's Daily Apple and Runner's World, I realized I need to carb load earlier than 2 days before because it can take 12-24 hours for the carbs to be "ready to use". All you need for carb loading is an extra serving or two of carbs at each meals for 3-4 days before the event. I also learned in the Tinkerbell Race Guide that carbs eaten need to be consumed about 12 hours before race start time.
Carb loading can take any form: vegetables, root vegetables, potatoes, rice, quinoa, couscous, bread, pasta, tortillas, etc and luckily there are a ton of restaurants in WDW.
I will be highlighting 2-3 in each park and a few from the hotels. Honestly as long as there is some carb-pasta, bread, rice, root vegetables, etc you are okay ;) just know the places that specialize in pasta will be very busy!
PRE-RACE with a focus on carb loading.
- Tony's -pasta. Enough said.
- Liberty Tree tavern -mashed potatoes, Mac n cheese, root vegetables, and a buffet!
- Be our guest-if you can get in!
EPCOT- any restaurant in these pavillions will do
- Italy -pasta and bread galore!
- Mexico-tortillas and rice!
- Morocco-pita and couscous!
1. Make a reservation ASAP.
At WDW, you can book 180 days (if you have a hotel reservation, you can do 180+10 which means from the first day of your hotel reservation you book 10 days out). And restaurants fill up quick especially if it's free dining!
2. Make the reservation for an early dinner for pre-race.
This is twofold: less people want to eat dinner at 5pm(easy to get a table) and also it allows you finish your meal and head back to your room with time to digest and also get to bed at a decent hour. Those 3am wake up calls come early!
3. Know who is going to reservation.
Making a reservation that early is risky as not everyone may know if they are coming, where they will be, etc. Take count of who is in and make a reservation. It's getting harder and harder to change reservations with MyMagic+ so keep that in mind. You don't want to miss out on getting the reservation you want because people were lagging it.
4. Be prepared!
Oftentimes I read menus to know what I may want to order. I do this so I won't be unprepared and also know what can be gluten free (oh my new gluten problems). Also, it helps speed up the process as many traditional carb load places are packed! Last year we ate at wolfgang puck and the kitchen actually ran out of certain types of pasta! Our meal took forever and we ended up taking a cab back to our hotel because the bus took forever and I didn't get as much sleep as I was expecting to.
5. Have a plan of attack
It can always take longer to get around WDW then expected. Make sure you allow 60-90 minutes to get where you are going. For in the park reservations, make sure you plan a few hours in the park that day. If it's at a hotel other than yours, really research how and when to get to and from. You don't want to be stuck trying to get back to your hotel. If it's at your hotel-all you need to decide is what time to be back at the hotel and if you want to dressed or wear pjs to go and eat!
6. Plan backwards.
You need to ensure you get enough sleep so it's best to work backwards. Determine what time you need to get up, the amount of sleep you need, prep time to be ready, transportation back to the room and viola-you have the window of your dinner time. Usually it's between 5-6 are when you need to eat.
POST-RACE with a focus on celebrating!
Be our guest!
Liberty tree tavern
Cinderella's Royal Table
Chefs de France
Princesses in Norway!
50s prime time
Tusker house- good food and a buffet
Flame tree- best food so it's worth it all the time!
Raglan road- good food and drinks
Any restaurant- honestly anywhere would be fun!
California grill- great way to celerate
Chef mickeys-such a fun celebration environment
1900 park fare- character buffet!
Ohana- amazing buffet
Kona cafe- tonga toast!!
Here is a great post by my cousin and running partner on Post-Race Cocktails!
1. Make reservations early just as above!
2. Decide how you want to go.
Personally I want to eat as quick as possible and not worry about a shower until later (I'm weird-I can't shower right after) so we always go to breakfast and the head back to shower and nap.
Some people like to go straight to somewhere in Epcot.
Some like to have a quick meal at the hotel after a shower then go celebrate for dinner.
None is correct-it's what works for you. Just know many of the hotel shuttles have very long lines (depending on finish time, you can take the regular buses). No matter what bring your ID, park pass and credit card (or just bring your magicband!) as plans can change quickly. For example, last year we wanted to go and shower then head to Kona. Didn't happen! We went straight to kona didn't have our tickets or IDs with us and it was a bit of a scramble to get back.
3. Schedule a nap time.
You just ran 13.1 miles and burned over 1300+ calories and got up at 3am. You are going to be exhausted! Make sure to nap a few hours so you don't crash later. Even a short 1-2 hour nap will do the trick.
4. Wear your medal around the park! Be proud of your accomplishment.
We always go and do a photo shoot with the castle, partners, the princess and Mickey. And they turn out so cute! People will congratulate you so be ready! The medals are heavy so don't feel the need to wear them all the time especially if you have multiples!
Eat a piece of cake, have a drink or two, go dance (well-maybe not...). Finishing a half marathon is no small feat. Be happy! And also attend the DTD party. I will be there. If you see me, say hello!
WHATS OUR PLAN?
Lunch-Sleepy hollow (waffle chicken sandwich) or be our guest (quinoa salad)
Dinner- chefs de France (pasta or potatoes)
RACE FUEL-banana and bagel and peanut butter
Lunch- flame tree
RACE FUEL-banana and bagel and peanut butter
Brunch-kona cafe (tonga toast!)
Dinner-either liberty tree or California grill
What are your pre and post race favorite places to eat?
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