Posts Tagged by Pasta in the Park Party

A Look at the Pasta in the Park Party

The Pasta in the Park Party is an event that takes place during most runDisney race weekends. It’s a great way to fuel up for the big race while enjoying the Disney magic.  At Walt Disney World, the event is held at Epcot and includes a private viewing area for Illuminations!  Today Bianca is taking us inside the Pasta in the Park Party over Princess Half Marathon Weekend…let’s take a look!

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Pasta in the Park Party

Last year, I made a goal for myself to participate in my first ever runDisney event. After some research, I chose the Princess Half Marathon weekend. I decided since this was my first runDisney event (let alone my first race in years), I would seize every opportunity to make the experience as memorable as possible. Many “firsts” occurred for me over the weekend, including the Pasta in the Park Party.

Held in Epcot’s World Showplace Pavilion, the party took place the Friday and Saturday evenings of race weekend. You don’t have to have a separate park ticket to attend the event, which is pretty nice for someone who doesn’t have an annual pass. You get to enter Epcot as early as 6pm, even though the party doesn’t start until 7 (a nice perk in and of itself). The party featured a full buffet, rare character appearances (more on this later), live music, and the best part, reserved viewing for the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks!

I participated in the 5k (Friday morning) and the 10k (Saturday morning). I opted for the Saturday party, which turned out to be the right choice. It gave me plenty of time after the 10k to go back to my resort, take a nap, and get ready to head to Epcot in the evening. My son and I arrived at Epcot right at 6pm and got our wristbands for the party. We had an hour to kill before it started, so we got in line to meet Baymax at the Character Spot (number one on our list of character appearances at Epcot this weekend), and went to the party shortly after.

Pasta Party Pic 1

Pasta Party Pic 2

The World Showplace Pavilion is nestled between Canada and the United Kingdom, and it’s huge! I’ve never noticed it before, but it’s a bit recessed, so it doesn’t really interfere with the World Showcase scenery. Once inside we found ourselves seating, and before I could even check out the spread, I was shocked to see Pain and Panic from Hercules doing a character meet! I was totally “fangirling”. Remember I said there were rare character appearances? Well, if there’s one thing this girl loves, it’s meeting “rare” characters. I immediately dragged my eight-year-old with me and got in line for a photo and signatures.

Pasta Party Pic 3

Pasta Party Pic 4

Pasta Party Pic 5

Pasta Party Pic 7

Once we were finished with our first meet of the evening, we went to make ourselves a plate of food. The spread was fairly robust. There were several types of pasta dishes, salad, vegetables, and of course, breadsticks. If you’re participating in the half marathon the following morning, this is the perfect way to carb up. Water and lemonade in large pitchers were provided and a selection of sodas, beer and wine were available for purchase.

The food was delicious! My favorite was the green beans and assorted peppers mix. They also had Mickey-shaped ice cream bars and sandwiches for dessert which my son couldn’t get enough of. I think he grabbed a second one while my back was turned! After we were done stuffing our faces, we got in line for a few more character meets. We met Megara and Hercules together, and then one of my favorite Disney Villains, Hades. After meeting characters we got on the dance floor. They had a host for the evening and a live DJ who did a really great job of playing old and new music, as well as some pretty cool Disney mash-ups.

Pasta Party Pic 6

Pasta Party Pic 8

Pasta Party Pic 9

Pasta Party Pic 10

Pasta Party Pic 12

Around 8:30 they started to wrap up the party, so we went outside for the fireworks. If you are attending the party Saturday and have to be up extra early for the half marathon, you may want to consider skipping this part. I, however, never miss IllumiNations, and would rather run on fumes than skip it. But I understand not everyone works that way, so to each their own. Our spot for the fireworks was between the two gift shops (Disney Traders and Port of Entry) at the entrance to World Showcase from Future World.

Pasta Party Pic 15

It was an amazing spot for the show, and separate from guests who had used FastPass+ for their viewing area. We found a spot right in front, sat the whole time without obstruction and enjoyed the show. IllumiNations is, in my opinion, the most beautiful nighttime spectacular (though Wishes is a close second). So if you skip the party, make sure you carve out some time during your trip to see it.

Pasta Party Pic 11

Pasta Party Pic 13

Pasta Party Pic 14

All in all, I think the Pasta in the Park Party was very well done. I was kind of surprised when I saw three empty tables near the back of the party, assuming it would have been a sold-out event. But hey, that just means more pasta for me! I would purchase these tickets again and recommend it to anyone who may be on the fence about it. Between the food, the music, the family-friendly atmosphere, the awesome character meets, and preferred seating for IllumiNations, this just might be one of the best-kept secrets for race weekend!

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Bianca-Stout-Bio-PicBianca is a Disney mom of one, residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. She runs a Facebook group for local Disney enthusiasts, Cincinnati Disney Junkies. A running newbie, Princess Half Marathon Weekend was her first runDisney experience and certainly not her last! With a little bit of faith, trust and pixie dust. Follow her on Instagram for all things Disney related as well as personal photos.

Registration is Now Open for the 2014 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

disney-princess-half-logo

Registration is now open for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon taking place February 20-23, 2014!!

This magical race weekend is obviously inspired by the Disney Princesses and is the epitome of girl power!  With tiaras shining brightly and tutus primped and primed, over 25,000 runners will once again be taking the streets of Walt Disney World to to earn the sparkliest bling in the land.

2013 Princess Medal

While men are by no means excluded from participating in the race (in fact we LOVE to see them out there in their princess attire!), the unique thing about the Princess Half Marathon is that the first two corrals are reserved only for women to guarantee that a woman will be the winner of the race.

New for 2014 are the additions of the Disney Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge where you get a 3rd medal for completing both the 10K and half marathon.  There is also the new pink Coast to Coast medal that can be earned by participating in both the Tinker Bell and the Princess Half Marathons.  The Royal Family 5K will be taking place again with a Cinderella theme this year, as well as the Kids Races which look like they will be held at Epcot this year.  Information for all the race events are as follows:

Disney Princess Half Marathon (February 23rd at 5:30 am)

  • $160 by August 13, 2013
  • $175 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $190 on or after November 20, 2013

Disney Enchanted 10K (February 22nd at 5:30 am)

  • $95 by August 13, 2013
  • $110 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $125 on or after November 20, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge (February 22nd & 23rd)

  • $270 by August 13, 2013
  • $290 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $310 on or after November 20, 2013

Cinderella Royal Family 5K (February 21st at 6:15 am)

  • $60 per participant

runDisneyKids Races (February 21st & 22nd)

  • $15 per Kids Dash participant
  • $30 per One Mile Run participant

For 2014, there is a new way to register as a 2-Princess Team, as well as new perks for you and your teammate!  Unlike in years past where a team would register together, now each individual runner will register for either the Princess Half Marathon or the Glass Slipper Challenge (There is no team division for the Disney Enchanted 10K).  Then the team will have to register separately for an additional $15.  Yes that’s right, there is an additional fee for running as a team where there hasn’t been before.  But there are additional perks that will now be available, such as a commemorative sash and a special team photo area at the expo.  Hopefully other surprises will be in store as well!

Before any of the races, all participants must stop by the Fit for a Princess Expo to pick up your race bib, t-shirt and do all the shopping your heart desires.  The expo runs from February 20 – 22 and it has been confirmed that it will be returning to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this year after a tight squeeze at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  I’ve attended the expo at both locations and you can read my experiences at the 2012 and 2013 expos to see the difference.

Welcome

If you’re looking for the ultimate VIP experience over Princess Weekend, then the Race Retreat may be for you!  For an extra $120 (yowza!!), you will have access to various pre and post-race amenities, such as a temperature controlled tent, snacks, private bathrooms, a commemorative item and more.

There are also various dining events over the weekend that you can attend.  The first event is immediately following the 5K on February 21st with an all new Breakfast.  Here you can enjoy a breakfast buffet with items such as quiche, breakfast burritos, french toast and more, as well as special character meet and greets and photo ops.

Returning for 2 nights this year (February 21st & 22nd) is the Pasta in the Park Party.  This family oriented event takes place in the World Showplace Pavilion inside Epcot and includes a buffet dinner of pasta (duh!), character meet and greets, and a reserved viewing area for Illuminations.  Pricing for both of these events is as follows:

Pasta in the Park Party Tickets

  • $52 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $28 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast

  • $37.50 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $17.50 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

And let’s not forget the most important part of any race, the spectators!  There are 4 different package levels available and range from a newsletter at no cost to the platinum package that includes entry into the race retreat.  You can get all the details of the packages here and the pricing is as follows:

ChEAR Squad

  • Bronze – No Charge
  • Silver – $39 per package
  • Gold – $65 per package
  • Platinum – $115 per package

New information about the 2014 race weekend is available here regarding logistics and procedures.  Also, make sure to visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend including details on the CheEAR Squad, packages, transportation information, park tickets and more.

Pre-sales for the Glass Slipper Challenge sold out in 2 days this past week, so I’m sure the event itself will sell out very quickly.  So if you are interested in participating, I would register as quickly as possible!

I LOVE this race weekend and have had the best time over the past 2 years running it with my friend Amanda!  It’s a great girls trip 🙂  You can read my race recaps from this year here: Royal runDisney Meet Up, Fit for a Princess Expo, and Princess Half Marathon Race Recap.

And don’t forget about 2012, my FIRST half marathon!: Tangled Royal Family 5KFit for a Princess ExpoPrincess Half Marathon – Pre-RacePrincess Half Marathon – The RacePost Race Snacks, and listen to my full recap on the Be Our Guest Podcast.

Will YOU be a Disney Princess in 2014?!?

Price Breakdown of the Runner’s World Challenge for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

This week runDisney announced the Runner’s World Challenge as part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend taking place January 11-13, 2013.  My initial reaction to this news was: “I must sign up for this now!”  Then I saw the price of $1,649 for Marathon participants and I put the brakes on that.  That is way out of my budget for a weekend trip for the race.

Here are the details:

JULY 9, 2012 – (New York and Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) – Imagine a weekend where you run through Disney theme parks, experience Disney entertainment and are rewarded with a unique Disney medal, all while running side-by-side with Runner’s World editors who helped you train and encouraged you along the way.

The 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which are part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, are the latest races to be designated Runner’s World Challenge events. Participants will virtually train with Runner’s World editors leading up to race weekend, and then on race weekend have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive VIP race experience with Runner’s World editors all hosted by runDisney at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL.

The weekend consists of the Half Marathon Jan. 12, 2013 and the Marathon Jan. 13. Those who choose to can run the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where participants must complete the Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by the Marathon on Sunday to qualify for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal.

More excitement awaits runners taking on the challenge of the Disney Marathon, which marks two decades of magical miles of Disney entertainment, one-of-a-kind medals and family memories. The 20th anniversary race will feature a new course routing through the Walt Disney World Speedway and Champion Stadium ballpark at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary; a commemorative 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse medal and a new post-race party in Downtown Disney.

Interested runners can signup at RunDisney.com or Runnersworld.com or call 407-939-7781 for more information.

 “We’ve planned 2013 to be the biggest year ever for the Runner’s World Challenge, and we’re excited to be collaborating with a great new partner for this kick off in January at Walt Disney World for the 20th anniversary Disney Marathon Weekend,” said David Willey Runner’s World Editor-in-Chief and Rodale Inc. Active Living Group General Manager.  “Our editors are already gearing up training plans, logging miles, and preparing for this unique event.  As with all of the Runner’s World Challenges, our readers can count on receiving expert advice and personal engagement with our editors while training for this special weekend.”

“The opportunity for our runners to have personal access to some of the leading minds in the running industry through the Runner’s World Challenge is going to be hugely beneficial to anyone running our half marathon and marathon that weekend,’’ said Faron Kelley, Director of Sports Marketing and Communication at Walt Disney World. “With so many races taking place around the country, partnering with the running experts at Runner’s World will further differentiate our Disney Marathon Weekend and noticeably enhance the overall race weekend experience for the thousands of runners who are expected to participate in our 20th anniversary event next year.”

Challenge participants will have exclusive access to a Challenge-only website where they can ask questions that will be answered by Runner’s World editors. They can also share their best tips on nutrition, injury prevention, health issues and other essential training topics as they get ready to run at Disney.

This exclusive package created for participants in this special Runner’s World Challenge weekend at Walt Disney World includes:

  • Entry into the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge with preferred corral placement
  • Three night stay at Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club Resort
  • Private packet pick-up and hospitality suite at the resort
  • Keepsake 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend gift
  • A Runner’s World Challenge tech shirt
  • Course strategy session with the Runner’s World experts and editors
  • Exclusive shakeout run with the Runner’s World editors
  • Entry to the Pasta in the Park Party on Saturday night Jan. 12 at Epcot® with Runner’s World VIPs & editors
  • Private transportation to and from the start and finish lines
  • Entry to the Race Retreat which includes pre and post race hot and cold beverages, dedicated stretching area, and private portalets & bag check, post-race buffet, massage and live results
  • Post-race celebration on Sunday night at the Cool Down at Downtown Disney

The price for half and full marathons participants is $1,649 and for the Goofy’ Race and Half Challenge is $1,899.  This sticker shock led me to breakdown the price to see if this price is warranted.

Race Registrations

  • Half Marathon & Marathon Registration = $150 (current rate)
  • Goofy’s Race & a Half Challenge = $320 (current rate)

Additional Weekend Events

  • Pasta in the Park Party = $47.50
  • Race Retreat = $99

Hotel Accommodations

  • 3 nights at the Yacht or Beach Club Resort = $1,300 (estimate for standard room rack rate)

If we add this up, the total for the half and full marathons is $1,596.50 (a $52.50 savings) and the total for the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is $1,766.50 (a $132.50 savings).

Yacht Club

Well now it doesn’t look as expensive, but is a commemorative shirt, a keepsake item and the strategy sessions worth what you would safe?  Or is it the prestige of running with the Runner’s World elite that’s worth the extra cost?  You also need to ask yourself if you would take advantage of these additional events or stay at a deluxe resort if it wasn’t part of the package.  I’m a DVC member, so I wouldn’t pay for a deluxe resort.  I would either use my points or stay in a value resort for race weekend, so obviously this package doesn’t make sense for me.  But if you are planning on running one of the races and are already booked in a deluxe resort, this might be a great option for you.

If you are interested in the Runner’s World Challenge, you can find more information on the runDisney website.  Don’t worry if you have already registered for any of these races, your race registration will be refunded when you register for the challenge.

What do you think of this partnership?  Are you registering for the Runner’s World Challenge?

Registration is Now Open for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

I am so excited that registration is now open for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon!!  This is the 5th anniversary of this royal race and the festivities will be taking place February 22-24, 2013.  This race holds a special place in my heart since it was my first half marathon, and you can bet your tiara I will be at this one!

This race is inspired by the Disney Princesses and all of the attributes they posses: commitment, courage, determination, fantasy, perseverance, and strength.  It brings women of all ages together to run through Cinderella’s Castle and meet Prince Charming.  The atmosphere is truly empowering and the outfits are legendary.  There is nowhere else you will ever see so many tutus in one place!

The half marathon begins at 5:35 am (yes, that is early!) on February 24th outside of Epcot on World Drive, and takes runners up to the Magic Kingdom and back.  Along the way you will find all of the Disney Princes waiting to take their photo with you, as well as some other unique characters you don’t normally see.  A unique aspect of this race is that you have the opportunity to run as a 2-person team.  This gives you the opportunity to run side by side with a friend and cross that finish line together.  Teams will also get a 2nd commemorative bib to wear that has their team name on it and be eligible for team prizes.  I’ll be racing as part of Team RunningAtDisney.com with my good friend Amanda, so keep an eye out for us!

Also taking place that weekend is the Royal Family 5K and Kids Races.  The 5K is held at Epcot at 6:30 am on February 23rd.  You and your family will have a chance to run through World Showcase and meet all of the Princesses in their respective countries.  The 2012 5K was based around Tangled.  I wonder if 2013 will be a Brave themed race since Merida is the newest princess.  One can hope!  The Kids Races will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at 10:00 am that same afternoon.  What a great way to get those kiddos training for their big Disney race debut!

Pricing for the events are as follows:

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon

  • $140 by September 25, 2012
  • $155 between September 26 and November 13, 2012
  • $170 on or after November 14, 2012
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Team Category
  • $280 by September 25, 2012
  • $310 between September 26 and November 13, 2012
  • $340 on or after November 14, 2012

Royal Family 5K

  • $55 per participant
  • $60 per Stroller division participant

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $10 per Kid’s Dash participant
  • $25 per 1-Mile Run participant

Pasta in the Park Party

  • $47.50 for adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $28.35 for children (ages 3-9)
  • Children under 3 are free

Race Retreat

  • $99 per participant

ChEAR Squad

  •  $0 Bronze package
  • $39 Silver package
  • $65 Gold package
  • $99 Platinum package

You won’t want to miss out on the Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning February 22, 2013.  This is where packet pick up will be along with numerous vendors and photos ops.  This expo is where I got my fun shoe charms from Beecause Charms in February!

A great thing about this race is that the commemorative performance t-shirts that come with your race registration are women’s shirts instead of the usual unisex sizes at the other races.  Keep that in mind when you pick a shirt size during registration.  Oh and don’t worry guys, you can run this race too!  They’ll have men’s sizes for you.

Make sure to visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend including host hotels, park tickets and ChEar Squad info!

To say I’m looking forward to this race is an understatement!  It’s a fun girls weekend and I can’t wait to do it again!!

You can read my race recaps from the 2012 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend here: Tangled Royal Family 5K, Fit for a Princess Expo, Princess Half Marathon – Pre-Race, Princess Half Marathon – The RacePost Race Snacks, and my full recap on the Be Our Guest Podcast.