For all of the runDisney races I have run, I have never done the Family Reunion Breakfast or a Race Retreat. I honestly never knew what exactly was included and if it would be worth the money. So when Stacy told me she was going after the Inaugural WDW 10K, I had to have her write about it!
It is a well-known fact among my friends that I am a Disney nut. I find the Disney service to be (mostly) unparalleled, so I am willing to splurge on Disney experiences from time to time. I have run eleven runDisney events and am always looking for something new. When I saw that Disney was offering a “Family Reunion Breakfast” after the inaugural 10K I thought it would be fun to attend!
I want to start my review of the breakfast with my finish to the race. I am out of running commission at the moment due to foot surgery four weeks ago. I couldn’t go to Disney and NOT participate in an event, so I decided to walk the 10K with a friend. (I deferred my half marathon registration to next year.) That said, we were far from the earliest of finishers at this race. The corrals were sent off exceedingly slowly at the start, and it was nearing 8:00 a.m. before we crossed the finish line.
Once we crossed the finish line and collected our medals, we asked a volunteer where the Family Reunion Breakfast was. We asked another volunteer. And another. Finally, the FOURTH volunteer tracked down a runDisney employee who also did not know! She was able to get the information, and send us in the right direction. This whole process ate up another 10-15 minutes of the breakfast that was already halfway over. For those of you who have attended a runDisney event with the Race Retreat, the breakfast was held in the same tent. However, the tent was not labeled in any way for this event. You would never have known anything was going on in there without going right up to the entrance. There was no information about the location of the breakfast in any of the printed material other than it was “at Epcot.”
Once we arrived, we decided to do the character photos before getting some food. The theme of the breakfast was “Monsters, Inc.” In typical Disney fashion, they did an outstanding job with the theming! The character photo station was very well done. It was a scene right out of the movie complete with large doors and lots of Monsters.
Once we had indulged ourselves by acting like “big kids,” we decided we should get some food. There were two long buffet tables set up. These were also runDisney themed with cute “running Mickey” cutouts at the end of the table.
The buffet selections included both hot and cold choices. There was a fresh fruit salad and an assortment of pastries at the beginning of the buffet. The hot selections included sausage, breakfast burritos, an egg casserole and French toast sticks. There was also a beverage station with water, orange juice and iced tea. I felt like even though this was only a 10K, there could have been more choices for “recovery” foods such as bananas, bagels and Powerade made available.
When we sat down with our food, the Monsters, Inc. theming continued with packages of Monsters fruit snacks left on the tables!
While eating our breakfast, we noticed that the employees started to take down the buffet and drink station. I looked at the time on my phone and noticed it was 8:18 a.m. at this point. The breakfast was supposed to run from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. By this time it was admittedly un-crowded, but I still felt like it was premature on Disney’s part to start taking it down. After having rushed to find and get to the breakfast, this made us feel somewhat rushed while trying to eat. They did leave up one table of each so everything was still available, it was just more the feeling of having the “clean-up crew” right there while we were eating that we disliked. (It took them all of five minutes to complete their clean-up, so it would not have seemed like a huge deal for them to wait until 9 a.m.!) The food itself was nothing remarkable. Nothing was terrible, but it was all average-at-best in a place where I have come to expect higher quality.
There were a few nice features of the breakfast, depending on your family and needs. There was a kids area set up with a large tv and bean bag seating area. There were also small tables set up with crayons and pictures for coloring. This area even got a special visitor at one point during the breakfast!
There were doors located at the far end of the building leading to private bathroom areas. They even had separate areas for men’s and women’s bathrooms. They were still just port-a-potties, but they were kept at least a little bit cleaner than the ones “on the outside.”
There were also several lounge areas that would have been very comfortable to hang out if you were waiting for a family member to finish the race.
In thinking about whether I would do this again, my personal answer would have to be no. However, this does not mean I might not recommend it for some of you! I think the reasons that this event was not a great fit for me was the fact that we got there on the later end of things and we only had two adults (and no children) in our group. This breakfast would be a great option for families that are waiting for a family member to finish the race. It would be a lot more comfortable for small children to wait inside this venue than at the extremely crowded finish line. It might also be a great treat for a first-timer to running, runDisney or Disney World in general. I am glad I tried it out, but in the future I think I will save my money toward actually running an additional runDisney race or to splurge on a great meal elsewhere at Disney!
Have you attended the Family Reunion Breakfast? What were your thoughts?
Stacy is an avid runner and fan of all things Disney, but especially runDisney! She has has participated in eleven runDisney events over the past several years. She is the co-author of a fitness blog, http://fitfemmes.wordpress.com