Hi friends! Because Jenny is awesome but doesn't have her own blog, she has graciously agreed to share her thoughts, photos and feedback from her Disney Marathon experience last weekend. She has some great insights and the most adorable photos, so I hope you enjoy her journalistic stylings.
In September last year, whilst Chicago marathon training, my friend and I decided it would be a great idea (ha) to sign up for the Disney Marathon. 2013 would be the 20th anniversary of the marathon so it would be extra special. So we both dashed home and signed up excitedly.
Among the options we could select were souvenir necklaces, pins and tickets to their Pasta in the Park Party held at EPCOT, so we chose the party.
Pasta in the Park runs for three nights and costs $47.50 for Adults (ages 10 and up) and $28.35 for Children (ages 3-9) per night. The tickets promise:
· Buffet pasta dinner and dessert at the World ShowPlace Pavilion inside Epcot®
· Disney character appearances
· Live DJ and a reserved viewing location of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, a mesmerizing fireworks, laser and water show.
We arrived around 7:30 p.m. and the party was in full swing. We were told to eat lots (no problem) and after choosing our food from the buffet tables we were told to seat ourselves. The food was delicious and the menu included:
· 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
· Parmesan Cheese
· House-made Focaccia Bread with Butter
· Whole Bananas
· Chocolate Brownies
· Ice Water with Lemons and Limes, Lemonade and Fruit Punch
· Cash bar
The DJ entertained the children with the latest dance crazes while the parents ate and we were introduced to one of the Marathon directors who presented race information and facts for the weekend. We had gone on the Thursday night and the Family Fun Run 5k was being held on the Friday morning, which probably explained all the children being there.
65,000 runners and spectators were expected for the Marathon weekend, with 20,000 half marathoners and 25,000 full marathoners.
The night was also to celebrate the 95 Perfect 20 runners. These were the runners who had ran all 20 marathons since they had started. 79 men and only 16 women all received commemorative Perfect 20 rings. Simply amazing. I spoke to a few of the Perfect 20s and asked them at what point they decided not to skip a year. Most said they loved the race so much they were just compelled to return. Others said they run until they reached different milestones, like 10 and 15 just to see how Disney celebrated the dates. I suspect the low number of women was due to the fact that they weren’t encouraged to run in the earlier days and that a lot of the women runners stayed home with their children.
Overall the party was a great night out and the food was excellent. It was extra special this year with the 20th anniversary celebrations.
My tip: Ensure you get there in time to enjoy some of the rides before EPCOT closes.