Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is upon us! And it got us thinking… where would we most like to relax and celebrate after a runDisney race in Disney World? There are lots of things to consider when planning your post-race celebration. So, lace up, friends, and read on!
Located in the heart of the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s fun-filled buffet is also character meal featuring the Fab Five… which, of course, includes the Big Cheese himself, Mickey Mouse!
• A great buffet with an abundance of choices to fill most any post-race craving;
• If your race happens during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January, this is the place where you can get your picture taken with a character that likely matches the one on your medal! (Minnie for 10K finishers, Donald for Half Marathon finishers, Mickey for full Marathon finishers, and Goofy for those just goofy enough to run both the half and the full!)
• There will be a fair bit of standing (for character pics) and walking (to and from the buffet)… something to keep in mind for tired legs;
• Chef Mickey’s is not open for lunch (when most runners will finish the full marathon), so you’ll need to wait for dinner or next morning’s breakfast to celebrate.
OTHER CHARACTER MEALS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:
• Epcot’s Akershus in the Norway Pavilion: We’re thinking of all of you Princesses running the February races with this one!
• Crystal Palace: while you won’t see the Fab Five at this Magic Kingdom buffet, you will get to hang out with Winnie the Pooh and friends. AND it’s open for lunch (as well as breakfast and dinner).
Interested in the all-you-care-to-eat feature of a buffet, but not so excited about walking back and forth to fill your plate? Why not let all-you-can-eat come to you at Epcot’s Garden Grill?
• As we mentioned, all the food here comes to you, served family style;
• Mickey is here, too, along with your hosts, Chip and Dale!
• Again, this one is open just for dinner… but, hey, that’s plenty of time to take a shower and a big ol’ well-deserved nap before your meal!
OTHER FAMILY-STYLE OPTIONS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:
• ‘Ohana: Features Hawaiian cuisine for dinner and a Character breakfast in Disney’s beautiful Polynesian Resort.
• Liberty Tree Tavern: Lunch is a la carte (though I don’t think you can go wrong celebrating with Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, served at Lunch only), but dinner is Thanksgiving served family style all year ‘round!
Big River Grille & Brewing Works
After a long race, sometimes there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a burger and a beer (or two 😉 ). The BoardWalk’s Big River Grille & Brewing Works has both! Bonus: five signature beers are brewed onsite.
• Big River Grille doesn’t accept Advanced Dining Reservations, so you can go on the fly.
• Big River Grill doesn’t accept Advanced Dining Reservations, so plenty of other people can go on the fly, too ;).
OTHER BURGER JOINTS (AND A PIZZA PLACE!) FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:
• ESPN Club: more burgers and beer, and you’re keeping the sports theme throughout the day! ESPN Club currently does not accept Advanced Dining Reservations.
• Via Napoli: For burgers? Not so much. But that thing I mentioned about a burger hitting the spot? I think the same can be said for a really, really, REALLY good pizza 😉 ! And you can definitely find that at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion.
If you’re one of the brave souls tackling the Parks after running the distance… well, first of all, MAJOR kudos to you!
Fairfax Fare over at Hollywood Studios made the list thanks to their offerings of Gourmet Hot Dogs: the Macaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil Dog and the Barbeque Slaw Dog. Have you seen these things? It’s like getting two meals in one! Typically I recommend sharing one, but you’ve EARNED two-meals-in-one with your finish 😉 !
• It’s Counter-Service, so no pre-planning is necessary;
• There may be a line. On a typical day, this is no big deal, but if you’ve just completed The Dopey Challenge (4 races in 4 days), you may want to have a friend place your order and let them do the “I’ve-got-two-huge-hot-dog-trays-oh-please-PLEASE-don’t-let-me-drop-one” two-step!
OTHER HOT DOGS SPOTS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:
• The Lunching Pad: Not only can you find a couple of Gourmet Hot Dogs (Philly Cheese Steak and Coney Island Dogs, to be precise), but you can hop on one of the most relaxing attractions in Magic Kingdom right after you finish: Tomorrowland Transit Authority (the People Mover!).
Of course no Disney World Hot Dog list is complete without mentioning Casey’s Corner, but since it’s currently closed for refurbishment, we wanted to present a few other options :).
Beaches and Cream Soda Shop
Yep, Beaches and Cream made the list twice… first, for the burgers, and second, for a little something known as The Kitchen Sink.
If you’ve grabbed a few friends to run the race with you, you may want to keep them by your side to see if you can finish this mountain made of eight scoops of ice cream, angel food cake, Oreos, brownies, candy bars, and “every topping in the place!” Oh, and an entire can of whipped cream, too!
• The Kitchen Sink also has bananas in it… post-race potassium!!!
• Ummm… I can’t think of any cons to eight scoops of ice cream 😉 . But this place DOES get crowded and there may be a wait.
OTHER GINORMOUS SUNDAES FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:
• Ghirardelli Soda Fountain: Downtown Disney’s best stop for ice cream boasts the Earthquake Sundae, another eight-scoops-with-all-the-fixins’ explosion… and you don’t need an Advanced Dining Reservation! Just show up good and hungry!
Well, that’s quite a few spots, and we’ve barely scratched the surface! There are so many great places you can celebrate your accomplishment. No matter where you choose to eat, wear that medal (or “those medals,” for those of you taking on the Goofy or Dopey Challenge 🙂 ) with pride. You’ve earned it!
I’ll see you there!
Where would you most like to celebrate a runDisney race finish? Please let us know with a comment!