2012 Disney’s Wine and Dine Meet Up and Warm Up


After a long day at the Food and Wine Festival, I was really worried that I wouldn’t wake up in time for the runDisney Meet Up event on Friday morning. (Remember when I attended the Meet Up and Eat Up event during last year’s Wine and Dine Race Weekend? Well I was selected to be one of 40+ participants in this year’s event.)


On Thursday night, I made sure to set the hotel room’s alarm clock for 5:15 AM to make sure I had plenty of time to get ready. The alarm never went off! Thankfully, I was so nervous that I woke up at 5:46 and still had enough time to get ready. I left the hotel at 6:15 and drove over to Epcot. When I arrived, a bunch of the other participants were already there. I checked in and grabbed my first goodie bag.


While I was waiting, I met some wonderful blogging/twitter/internet friends. One of the things that I love most about this community is that I am able to connect with so many different people in very different ways. When I get to meet them in person, it is almost like we have been lifelong friends!


[Source: runDisney (Kelly, Julie, Me, Krissy and Heather)]

After everyone arrived, we divided up into two running groups. The first group (the faster runners) ran with Anton Van Zyl, the two-time (now three-time) winner of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. The second group ran with Jeff Galloway and ran an easy :30/:30 pace.


Our route went from the front of the park straight through Future World, where we ran into Mickey in his track suit. The group stopped and we took a bunch of group photos.


[Source: runDisney]

Then we continued running through the World Showcase. During the run, I talked with Julie about everything related to Epcot. She had never been to Walt Disney World so I gladly shared some of the many stories I have.


After one and a half loops around the World Showcase, our group ended up at the Germany Pavilion for breakfast and a chance to learn from the special guests. We learned some great tips about running and avoiding injuries from Jeff Galloway, the official runDisney training consultant. He also gave us some great tips about what to eat before a night race.


[Source: runDisney]

Then we got some tips about the actual race from Anton Van Zyl. He probably knows this race better than anyone else, especially since he has won the race twice! I really enjoyed listening to Anton. Not only is he an athlete but he is also a coach. He understands the mindset and knows that not every day/workout/run is the best one. He promised us that he wasn’t planning to win the half marathon but I guess he was the best runner after all!


[Source: runDisney]

Next up was Tara Gidus and Chef Steff. Tara recently became the official runDisney nutritionist and is a runner. She gave us a few tips on how she maintains a healthy diet (and a not-so-healthy diet). She recommends eating every 2 to 4 hours so keep your blood sugar level throughout the day. Tara also told us to eat a meal with carbs, proteins and antioxidants after running. I had no idea that antioxidant were important after working out!


[Source: runDisney]

Chef Steff gave us a great demonstration (and recipe) of a meal that has Tara’s recommended balance of carbs, protein and antioxidants. This simple meal can be made ahead of time and easily reheated after you return from your long run. I plan to try this recipe out soon. By the way, red pepper flakes are FULL of antioxidants and are the secret ingredient in this dish!


After breakfast (and before the park opened), we finished up the morning by taking the time for photo opportunities with Jeff and Chef Mickey! (I think I might have a new profile picture. What do you think?)



[In front of the Germany Pavilion]


[In front of the Norway Pavilion with the statue of Grete Waitz, an Olympic runner]

[Source: runDisney]

If you are interested in participating in the next runDisney Meet Up event, be sure to watch the runDisney twitter account and the Disney Parks Blog for more information. The next event is going to be during the Walt Disney World Marathon Race Weekend!

2012 Food and Wine Festival at Epcot

I was hoping to have started these recap posts sooner but I have been really sick all week. I have so many awesome posts about last weekend that I can’t wait to share with you. Please bear with me as runDisney takes over my blog!

Last Thursday, I didn’t wake up to an alarm. I didn’t hurry through the shower and make my weekday commute into the office. No I didn’t do any of my normal Thursday routine. Instead, I woke up with a feeling of excitement and anticipation. I woke up ready to go to Walt Disney World!


Harley decided that I should wake up around 8:30 to start getting ready for the weekend. Even if I forget to set my alarm clock, I know he will always wake me up in time. My boyfriend and I started packing our bags, eating breakfast and tried to get out of the house as quickly as possible. We planned on checking into our (first) hotel for the weekend before we met our friends at Epcot for another round of the Food and Wine Festival.

We arrived at Disney’s All Star Music Resort around 12:30. Our room was ready so we dropped our bags off before our friends arrived. We were greeted by a few very cute towel animals.


Once we were settled in, our friends showed up and we all headed over to Epcot. By this point, my boyfriend and I were pretty hungry and so were our friends. When we got to the park, we decided to eat a light lunch at the Coral Reef Restaurant before starting our adventure around the festival. Our lunch was delicious but I totally forgot to take pictures of it. I am sure we will be going back there soon because the food was amazing!

Once we finished lunch, it was time to wander around the Food and Wine Festival. My boyfriend and I decided to try some of the dishes and kiosks that we didn’t check out the weekend before.


[Ropa Vieja with Cilantro Rice, Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney, and Frozen Dragon Berry Colada]


[Beef Empanada]


[Taco de Filete (Beef Tenderloin with Cascabel Pepper Sauce and scallions on a flour tortilla), Dos Equis Beer, and Lime-Strawberry Margarita on the rocks]


[Chicken Satay with Spiced Peanut Sauce and Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun]


[Cheese Ravioli with Beef Bolognese Sauce and Chocolate Covered Cannoli]


[White Corn Arepa with Mangalista Pork Rillette and Zellwood Corn Salad]


[Yogurt Panna Cotta with Orange Cake, Raspberries and Pomegranate, Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote, and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Chili and Salted Caramel]

Once again, we really did enjoy everything my boyfriend and I tried at the Food and Wine Festival. We didn’t nearly as much as we did the last time but we still tried a lot. This round we really loved the food from the China kiosk. We were a little scared of the steamed bun but it was perfect with the beef. We also loved the steak taco from the Mexico kiosk. My favorite dessert was the dark chocolate mousse. It was amazing! My favorite drink was the frozen dragon berry colada from the Caribbean kiosk.

Before our group left the park, we stayed around for the IllumiNations fireworks show on the World Showcase Lagoon. Our friends were able to hook us up with VIP seating and some awesome “Mickey Vision” glasses.


Check out what happened when I put the “Mickey Vision” glasses on my camera! I loved what they did to the all of the lights and fireworks during the show.