Alright, fellow runners! For those of you in Orlando this weekend for the Disney World marathon and half-marathon, it’s time to decide where those all-important pre-race carbs are going to be consumed!
Carb Loading Tips: Experts say the best carbs for increasing those super-important glycogen stores come from starchy carbohydrates like pasta, bread, rice, and potatoes. You should also have some protein alongside your carbs. Try to avoid sugary options, such as fruit and baked goods.
So let’s take a look at a few of our favorite carb-tastic treats!
Dinner Carb Loading
When planning for an early morning race, it’s at dinner the night before where you’ll truly pack your energy stores. And when it comes to starchy carbs, everyone knows the king of eats is pasta!
Epcot‘s Italy is THE place to find incredible dishes that will help you distribute your energy throughout the race.
My first pick? Definitely Via Napoli. This place has incredible pizza, but the pasta selection is fresh and delicious as well.
Be warned that the options here are baked and tend toward the heavier side, so you may want to make a few special orders to lighten them up a bit.
Next door to Via Napoli you’ll find the more upscale Tutto Italia. You can’t go wrong with either location when carb-loading.
If you find yourself in the Magic Kingdom the night before your big race, head over to Tony’s Town Square for a traditional dishes like their Chicken Parmigiana or Spaghetti with Meatballs.
The Ravioli with Grilled Chicken Breast would be a great choice to pack in the carbs and some lean protein.
We were super impressed on our last visit here, when I ordered the guest favorite Penna a la Vodka. My tip? Get the cheese plate for an appetizer and add some cheese into your pasta. Awesome flavor booster!
In addition to protein-packed spit-roasted meats, you’ll also find a good assortment of rice, couscous, and orzo dishes that will easily fill your carb quotient.
You could also grab a couple of Baked Macaroni and Cheese options at Eight Spoon Cafe. These pack in carbs and protein — especially if you go for the Sweet Chili Shrimp or the Pulled Pork!
No park tickets? There are some spectacular options outside of the standard Disney park restaurants, too. At the Disney World Swan and Dolphin, try Il Mulino New York Trattoria for rustic, authentic Italian eats from the Abruzzi region. One of our favorite parts about this restaurant? They also serve half portions of their meals, so feel free to try two choices!
Looking for a high-end, contemporary approach? Consider the delicious La Luce by Donna Scala at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, within the Disney World gates. The handmade pastas and house sauces here are out of this world!
And don’t forget to follow up with Butterscotch Pudding (yep, I’m totally serious).
And now Disney Springs is big into the Italian restaurant game with Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, multiple pizza options, and Terralina Crafted Italian. All of these serve up classic Italian dishes that’ll help you load up on carbs!
Not in the mood for noodles? No problem. We’ve got a couple of other options you might be able to grab on the go!
If it’s a snack you’re after, check out the Liberty Square Market and one of our most favorite snacks: piping hot Baked Potatoes!
We’ve even spotted Baked Sweet Potatoes there as well, which would give you even more nutrition for your glycogen buck!
So what are your pre-race eats of choice? For those of you who are runners — or who are aspiring runners — chime in and let us know what your pick would be for Disney World carb-loading before your next big race!
runDisney Events Announced for 2019
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, January 9-13, 2019, Walt Disney World
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend, February 21-24, 2019 Walt Disney World
Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, April 4-7, 2019
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, October 31 – November 3, 2019