Pre-Race carb loading…everyone has their own methodologies. Thank goodness runDisney has brought on their own nutrition consultant, Tara Gidas, to steer us in the right direction and they’ve also tried to demystify “where should we eat?” before a runDisney race by offering an alternative…the Pasta in the Park Party.
I must admit that as unstructured as my life and training are, my pre-race fuel has pretty much been consistent. For night races, I usually go for a McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Sandwich with extra pickles and cheese and an unsweet iced tea. For morning races…sky’s the limit on dinner the night before. I’ve done Mexican, pizza, pasta and for my last half marathon, a five star meal at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure. I know lots of runners at Walt Disney World will try and hit up Via Napoli or Il Mullino to get their pasta on.
This dining adventure was shared with some of my fellow running fanatics. I hope that you go check out their sites! But wait until you get through this post first ok? =) (Left to Right) Carrie Burrows <– She lost 200 lbs!!!, Amanda Tinney, Karla Bruning, Karen Karnis, Toni Carey, Andrea Vincent, Ashley Hicks, and Carla Gomes.
The Pasta in the Park Party is held inside the World Showplace pavilion which is nestled in between the Canada and UK Pavilions inside Epcot’s World Showcase. This building is HUGE and is only used now for special events and at this particular party (runDisney has three scheduled throughout Marathon Weekend) the place was packed! I don’t know how they did it…but the lines were short and the food was plentiful. Here’s a look at the spread…
Mixed Greens with Lite Vinaigrette & Cucumber Yogurt Dressing
Herb Balsamic Potato Salad
Herb Roasted Chicken
Bowtie Pasta with Grilled Vegetables and Basil Pesto
Wheat Penne Pasta with Marinara Sauce
House-made Focaccia Bread with Butter
Ice Water with Lemons and Limes, Lemonade and Fruit Punch
There was also a cash bar for those adventurous enough to imbibe…and the guests at the party who weren’t running =)
I must admit that as a foodie, when I first saw the buffet I had my reservations on how good it would be. I was pleasantly surprised. The wheat penne pasta was the runaway hit for me! I’d have killed for that marinara sauce recipe. The chicken was also really tasty as was the potato salad.
The pavilion was decorated to the nines and really made the atmosphere feel like a party.
Another big draw for this event was the opportunity to have your photo taken with several different Disney characters with little to no wait.
The party atmosphere continued with a live DJ spinning tunes throughout the evening.
We were also treated to a live performance by James Durbin of American Idol fame.
The Pasta in the Park Party is buffet style and food is served from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Following dinner, guests are escorted to Worldview Plaza for viewing Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at 9:00 pm. The cost is $47.50 for Adults (ages 10 and up) and $28.35 for Children (ages 3-9). If an adult were to dine at say Via Napoli here would be the breakdown of the same meal: Beverage $3, Salad $7, Entree $26 and dessert $8. That works out to about $44 give or take. With the Pasta in the Park Party you get unlimited food, drinks and entertainment as well as reserved viewing for Illuminations. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
Have you been to the Pasta in the Park Party before? What was your take on it? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below.
Special thanks to runDisney for providing complementary admission to the Pasta in the Park Party. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.