I’m so excited to relive all of the excitement from our most recent trip to Disney! This trip was much different than our past couple of trips, and to the surprise of many, only my second racecation at Disney (3rd if you count when we went in 2013 for Preston’s first marathon). My first racecation, back in January 2014, was when I ran my first half marathon and Preston completed the Dopey Challenge, so to be able to run my 10th half marathon at the same place where I ran my first was quite nostalgic.
When we initially booked our trip back in March we had planned to fly down mid-Thursday morning, but back in September when Southwest was running a fare sale we decided to change our ticket to Wednesday night (yay for no change fees on Southwest!). Although the timing of our flight would have worked out perfectly with little man’s bedtime routine had we been on time (we were supposed to leave DC at 7:00 p.m.), our flight was delayed by over two hours. I’m very proud of how well little man did, and although he was up past his bedtime he did eventually fall asleep in the Ergo while I walked him around the terminal.
One special note about our flight down – we found out before we boarded that there were 40 honor veterans on our flight returning home from their day trip to DC. They received much earned recognition and applause, both inside the terminal as well as on the plane. And when we arrived in Orlando we decided that since we already weren’t going to get much sleep, and since little man was still soundly sleeping, that we’d stay and be a part of their “welcome home” greeting as they walked past security. Preston and I had the privilege of helping welcome honor vets to DC back in 2013 so it was a wonderful experience to be able to be a part of their day again. By the time we made it to our hotel and to bed, it was about 1:30 a.m.
First on our agenda Thursday morning was a character breakfast at Cape May Cafe. This was my first time dining there, and little man’s first character meal. I was quite impressed with the spread on the buffet, and little man loved being able to interact with Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck.
After breakfast we headed over to Wide World of Sports for the expo. We arrived around 11 a.m., about an hour after the expo opened. Since little man was napping in his stroller, and you can’t take strollers into the expo, my father-in-law and I decided to hit up the official merchandise first so that Preston could stay outside with little man. Although there was a line to get into the Jostens Center, and then another line to get into the official merchandise area, both lines moved quickly. After spending about 15 minutes browsing the merchandise, I left with exactly what I wanted: a Lumiere’s Challenge shirt, a Sweaty Bands headband for both the half marathon and the challenge, as well as magnets for both the half marathon and the entire race weekend. I could have purchased way more than I did, but I’m quite pleased that I was able to exercise restraint. Preston wasn’t impressed with the men’s merchandise, and opted to not get anything for himself.
After making our purchases and briefly walking the expo floor (I did check out the current New Balance runDisney shoes lineup but was far from impressed), we met back up with Preston and little man who was now awake, and headed over to the Field House to pick up our bibs. Since all four of us participated in various races throughout the weekend, we each had bibs to pick up. Little man and I received our shirts with our bibs, but Preston and my father-in-law had to go back into the Jostens Center to pick up their half marathon and 10k shirts. This is the one thing that I find frustrating about runDisney expos. Why can’t the shirts and bibs just all be in the same location?!?
By the time we were done, we had spent about two hours at the expo, it was after 1:00, and we were all starving. We decided to head to our hotel, Art of Animation, to try and check in (we stayed off property Wednesday night) as well as eat to lunch at the food court. While eating lunch, we received the text message that our room was ready (I greatly appreciate this newly added convenience at Disney hotels), and after eating unpacked our rental car and got settled into our room. While Preston tried to get little man to take a nap (he was very wound up and never fell asleep), I made a quick trip to Publix to pick up baby food for little man for the trip, as well as breakfast and snack foods for the rest of us.
That evening we had a dinner reservation at Tutto Italia at Epcot. Since my father-in-law wasn’t feeling well, he decided to stay back. At dinner Preston and I decided to share an appetizer and entree (we shared the “Fior di Latte” Mozzarella salad, basically a take on Caprese salad just made with sweet peppers instead of tomatoes, and lasagna) partly because the portions were huge but also partly so that we could enjoy a post dinner snack at one of the Food and Wine Festival kiosks. It was a great decision!
After dinner we changed little man into his pajamas, and he quickly fell asleep in his stroller. We walked around World Showacase, each enjoyed a drink from one of the festival booths, took turns riding Test Track (yay for parent swap!), and then returned to World Showcase to end the evening by watching Illuminations. It was a great end to an exhausting and busy first full day at Disney.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our racecation recap. On Friday we spent the day at Magic Kingdom and enjoyed another first for my little man – his first haircut!
QOTD: What is your favorite restaurant at Epcot?