Mangia! Mangia! A Virtual Blog Hop!!

3 Feb

Carb loading. Almost every runner’s favorite part of training. Okay, so every runner in THIS house enjoys this part of training!! And when people think of carb loading, they picture that nice plate of spaghetti and a big hunk of garlic bread!! 

spaghetti_dinner pinecrestonline dot org

Picture from Pinecrestonline.org

Often misunderstood, carb-loading does NOT occur the night before a big event – it’s a process. A process I don’t know enough about to share with you – Now…I will be studying up for my #Dopey2015 experience though and will keep ya’ll in the loop!

What I’m gonna share with you today is Carbo Loading – Disney Style!

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Meet all your new best running friends!!

At *most* of the big runDisney events (WDW Marathon weekend, Tinkerbell, Princess, Disneyland Half Weekend), runDisney offers an extra event – The Pasta in the Park Party. Now, I should insert here that I have never purchased an entry to the Party but have attended as part of a charity team for WDW Marathon Weekend (I went both Friday and Saturday) and at Princess last year a lovely couple gave me their daughter’s ticket since she couldn’t attend. So I can’t comment on the Disneyland events, but really, we’re all about the Princesses today!

In Walt Disney World, the Party is held in EPCOT at the World Showcase Pavilion (located between Canada and the United Kingdom). You party ticket includes entry into EPCOT as well as special seating for the Illuminations show after you eat and party!

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Entrance to the World Showcase Pavilion

The Food: It’s Disney, so you go in believing that at least it won’t be bad 🙂 Given that they’re cooking a really LARGE amount of food to appeal to a LOT of people, it might not be as fantastic as dinner in a smaller venue. But it’s good — and there is something for everyone. Roast chicken (my personal favorite!), vegetables, a couple of pasta varieties including a vegetarian option, bread, salad, desserts (brownies and cookies) and some bananas. All the lemonade, water and punch you can handle is included in your ticket, but there is also a cash bar. I did hear on at least on occasion, a partier asking for gluten free options and the chef came out to make sure they got something suitable (as is the Disney way!)

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Disney Brownie!!

The Seating: Big round tables! Get ready to make friends! You never know who you’ll be sitting with! Aside: I was lucky enough in January 2013 to meet a couple of running greats (thanks to my involvement with Team McGraw!) People move in and out pretty quickly for the most part and the Disney folks are quick to clean up and make room for new people.

The Entertainment: Now this is where you KNOW Disney is gonna go all out! DJ, Dance Party, Hula Hoop contests…there is something for everyone! It’s loud. There are flashing lights! It’s fun!! And, of course there are characters! We were lucky enough to get to meet Mickey, Minnie and Donald!!

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Another part of the entertainment is the special seating for Illuminations (the amazing fireworks show on World Showcase Lagoon). I don’t know about you but the night before a half marathon or a full marathon, I need to get to bed! Especially at Disney when I know I have to wake up around 2:30 or 3 to get on a bus!! So I have never taken advantage of this perk of the Pasta Party since Illuminations tends to start around 9 pm!

The Price: For Princess Weekend, the Pasta in the Park party is USD52 and you can choose to go on Friday or Saturday. Is it worth it?  If you want to make it a party, then this could be a fun way to do it! You *do* get entry into EPCOT for a couple/few hours which is a nice perk and if you have non-running folks with you they can stay for Illuminations (hey, runners can stay for Illuminations too, but..dang you’ll be tired in the morning!!)  I’ve seen groups and families making it a party – the kids do love the dance party!!

Personally, left on my own, I tend to go for a quicker, smaller dinner on my own for less money. Or if you’re on a Dining Plan then you might as well use that. In fact, this year I actually *am* on DisneyDining and will be having (what is becoming my standard) meatloaf and potatoes at 50’s Prime Time Cafe early in the evening then relaxing for my 13.1!

Whatever you decide to do, wherever you decide to eat, remember that your entire weekend will be Magical!! 

Now, head into the great wide internets and catch lots more information from Princesses who *know*!!

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

15 Responses to “Mangia! Mangia! A Virtual Blog Hop!!”

  1. Disbroad Julie @RunWalkFASTPASS February 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    That venue is gorgeous…really that room is huge and just lovely. Haven’t tried this yet.

    • outrunningthefork February 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

      It really is fun — I think everyone should do it at least once!

  2. Jenni February 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I bought Pasta in the Park party tickets for Friday night instead of buying park tickets for Friday, We figured we will do the expo that day, go to the pasta party, and get the extra magic hours to hang out until 11:00 in the World Showcase (great drinks and lots of fun!). We aren’t running until Sunday, so this is a great night to blow off some steam and get a meal AND four hours in the park for only $52 per person. So excited!

    • outrunningthefork February 6, 2014 at 11:10 am #

      That’s an excellent plan! I was thinking of doing something similar…but ended up not for this time!

  3. Abby February 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    I want to do Pasta in the Park one day, but it hasn’t worked well with my schedule during race weekends so far.

  4. Didi Marie February 5, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    How nice that your charity included the Pasta in the Park Party as one of its perks! I wrote about this party for the Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop, and came to the same conclusions you did: the chicken is nice; the entertainment is fun, especially with a group; IllumiNations goes off too late in the night for a runner who is headed out in the wee hours; everyone should experience it at least once! It is a Disney Special Event, after all. I’ve told non Glass Slipper runners to try the party 2 DAYS before their long run (which is possible now that the Princess Half Marathon Weekend offers it on Friday night as well). I love your sense of humor and your writing style Anne; we’re so grateful that you joined the hop!!

    • outrunningthefork February 5, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Thanks for letting me play along DiDi Marie! Can’t wait to do it again!

  5. tabethawells February 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    We did this for our first race (Princess 2012) but haven’t felt the need to do it again. We’ve opted for Carrabba’s offsite instead!

    • outrunningthefork February 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      I think doing it at least once is fun! After that, it’s just as nice to have a quiet dinner somewhere!

  6. Alicia February 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    I love that this includes seating for Illuminations! Had no idea! I typically go burger + fries routes for before races, but this is something to consider for next time 🙂

    • outrunningthefork February 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      I discovered a few years ago at Marine Corps that meatloaf and mashed potatoes work miracles! The beef and potato combo is tastier for me and more filling. But, definitely try the roast chicken at Pasta in the Park! It is very very tasty!

  7. Jennifer @ The Final Forty February 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Great info! I’ve never done Pasta in the Park, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to try — worth doing at least once, right? 🙂

    • outrunningthefork February 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Yeah — I’d say definitely something to do at least once!

  8. Meranda@fairytalesandfitness February 3, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    We did this party during Marathon weekend last year and said we wouldn’t do it again cus it made for such a long night, but we caved in and decided to go again for princess. I wanted my mom to be able to experience this once!

    • outrunningthefork February 3, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Yeah, I think it’s a fun thing to experience but to really enjoy you need to spend a LOT of time + Illuminations and …then run 13.1? hahahah!! 🙂 Your mom should love it!!

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