Marathon Trip Recap: Part 3

Here is the final installment of my Disney Marathon Trip! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Don’t stop moving

After getting back to our room at Bay Lake Tower, we decided to rest for a little bit before we headed to Magic Kingdom.

Post-Marathon Tips:
Tip 1: After you run a marathon, keep moving throughout the rest of the day, even if it is painful!
Tip 2: Wear your race medal. People will understand why you’re walking funny.

space mountain

We had to show off our medals, of course!

We set up our FastPass+ before we got to the park, and after taking a few pictures in front of the castle, we made our way to Space Mountain. Riding Space Mountain after running 26.2 miles was very painful! I do not recommend it. After that, we rode Peter Pan’s Flight, which was much more enjoyable. You should definitely stay away from the rougher rides when your entire body hurts!

Dining in style

We were able to snag last-minute dinner reservations at California Grill! California Grill is “Signature Dining” at Walt Disney World, which means it has a more upscale experience than other table service restaurants. The views from California Grill are perfect for watching Wishes and admiring Disney’s Magic Kingdom property.

Once we were seated, we decided to order appetizers. I chose the Crispy Rock Shrimp Salad, and my mom got the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. While we waited for our appetizers to come out, our waiter asked if we would like to take some pictures outside. Of course, we said yes!


We had a beautiful view of the sunset!

Both of our appetizers were delicious. I really loved mine and would have gladly eaten a bigger portion for my dinner!


Mmmm, crispy rock shrimp salad!

We each decided on the Oak-fired Filet of Beef for our main course. Our server said he could tell we had dined there before, because we chose some of the best dishes. The filet was cooked to perfection and melted in our mouths. The tomato risotto was creamy and delicious. I would definitely recommend ordering it.


California Grill presents its food perfectly!

Even though we were full, we couldn’t pass up the dessert menu. I chose the Warm Homemade Fritters, and my mom decided on the Creme Brûlée. We washed down our dessert with coffee (decaf) and then headed outside to watch Wishes.

Creme Brulee

Heavenly dessert!

Even though it was chilly, we still enjoyed the picturesque views of Wishes. We could hear the music perfectly.


And, all your wishes will come true!

The meal was indulgent and satisfying and complete with fireworks – a perfect celebratory meal!



Marathon Trip Recap: Part 2

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Make sure to read the first part of my Marathon Trip Recap!

Marathon Morning

Runners seriously are a special breed. Our marathon alarm starting going off promptly at 3:00 am, although I decided I wasn’t going to move until 3:15 am. I ended up falling asleep around 10:00 pm the night before, so I got a whopping 5 hours of sleep. My mom got even less. Oh, the joy of Disney races! It all adds to the experience, right?

I think I found my morning motivation!

I think I found my morning motivation.

Before we went to sleep, we set out everything we needed and packed our runDisney plastic bags. We even pinned our bib to our SPIbelt. I definitely recommend that you get as much as possible ready the night before. I don’t know about you, but my brain doesn’t usually work that early!

By 3:30 am, we were out the door and walking over to the monorail at the Contemporary Resort. Since we are Disney Vacation Club members, we use our points to stay at Bay Lake Tower. Marathon morning would not go as smoothly for us if we didn’t. Seriously, stay at the Contemporary, Grand Floridian or Polynesian for the marathon! It will be one of the best decisions you make.

Oh, it's a jolly holiday with you!

Oh, it’s a jolly holiday with you!

As soon as we got to Epcot, we walked over to the Race Retreat tent to enjoy character meet-and-greats and eat a bagel. The Race Retreat is an extra add-on, but for my mom and me, it is worth it. We ate a bagel and a banana then waited in a short line to meet Mary Poppins, Bert and two penguins.

What happens if you don’t want spend money on the Race Retreat? Don’t worry. Disney still takes care of the rest of the runners. A DJ blasts upbeat music, race photographers take pictures and snack booths are set up (for a purchase).

Heading to the start

By 4:45 am, we were walking towards the start line. Disney definitely isn’t afraid to make guests walk. I think we walked at least a mile before the race even started! All of the walking is just another reason why you should give yourself plenty of time to get to any of the runDisney races.

Disney groups all of the runners into separate corrals; this year runDisney switched up the way corrals are assigned. My mom and I were in Corral H – further back than we usually are. This way seemed to work well, but I did hear some people say they were unhappy. Disney does allow walkers to participate, and even though the announcers go over guidelines, not everyone follows proper race etiquette.

A glimpse of the crowd

A glimpse of the crowd from Corral H

How many people ran in the marathon, you ask? 26,000 runners participated in the full marathon! A little under 20,000 runners finished. This year, runDisney hosted a 5k (Thursday), 10k (Friday), Half Marathon (Saturday) and Marathon (Sunday). People who chose to run in all of them registered for the Dopey (new this year), and those who ran the half and full marathon registered for the Goofy.

Before the race, we were still jamming out to music. Can you picture What Does the Fox Say with 26,000 people? Too funny! Jeff Galloway, Olympian and runDisney trainer, and Dave McGillvary, the Boston Marathon Director, spoke to us before the race started. I thought it was awesome that Disney invited McGillvary. Obviously, inviting him was great for Disney’s PR, but also he boosted the runners’ morale, or at least mine!

Here we go (off to Neverland, or something like that)

Promptly at 5:30 am, Mickey Mouse welcomed us and sent the first corral (wheelchair athletes) on their way. Disney goes all out for its guests, and runDisney events are no different. Fireworks go off at the starting line for nearly all corrals, and the announcers have fun talking to the runners.

Finally, it was our turn. And, off we ran! It’s crazy how many people willingly participate in these runs. 26,000 people running 26.2 miles? It’s no wonder that runners support each other. There is a great sense of camaraderie, and I love it.

I won’t tell you the details of the race today; that will come in a separate post. But, 4 hours, 46 minutes and 38 seconds later, I crossed the finish line, high-fiving Mickey Mouse along the way! I have never felt so proud of myself or accomplished as I did in that moment. 26.2 miles is no easy task, but I did it!

26.2 miles and still smiling :)

26.2 miles and still smiling 🙂

Shortly after I crossed the finish line, my mom did! We met up in the Race Retreat tent for a post-race meal. We had eggs, veggie/ham/turkey sandwiches, potatoes, bananas, muffins, and whatever else was there. We also had lots of water and coffee. In my post-race haze, I may have forgotten some things.

We hobbled back over to the monorail to head back to our room.

What did we do the rest of the day? Part 3 of the marathon race recap will come soon! 

Thank you for reading! Enjoy your Tuesday, and don’t freeze out there. Right now, it is 0 degrees here and feels like -13 degrees! I think I’ll stay inside today. 🙂