Calling all princesses.
It was that time of year again. It was the moment we could dust off our tiaras, don our tutus, and set off for Orlando to celebrate another Run Disney event together.
It was my favorite time of year.
This year we chose the 5K race to include the entire family, which meant all siblings, their respective spouses, and the kids. This also meant carefully spending the time to select a group of characters that would work with eight runners! This year we chose a Beauty and the Beast theme. It was perfect for this vibrant group.
Wet, misty rain. Throw in a 2:30 a.m. wake-up call and an arctic blast from somewhere way up north, it set the scene for quite the Run Disney morning.
Since we had been this route before, and February in Orlando can be chilly in the open Epcot parking lots, I had purchased a number of emergency mylar blankets on Amazon. Since we were completely taken by surprise by this cold, wet morning, I was handing the blankets out to the family like candy. They were now not only protecting us from the wind, but they were serving as ponchos.
As we stood in the corrals, huddled together like sardines, the rain finally subsided as the race began! Let the running commence.
We took off, allowing the smallest one to lead the way. Unbeknownst to us she would be a little rocket this early morning, flying past the other runners at the speed of light.
This particular 5K course is one of my favorites. You start in the Epcot parking lot, circling through the back lot and come into the actual park through a back entrance in the area of Mexico. As you run through the park, the sun is just beginning to rise. The enormous torches that surround the lake are lit, providing an amazing backdrop. There are already workers out in the park, standing outside of their designated countries and/or work stations, cheering you along the way.
As you make your way towards the infamous Epcot ball, you know that the course is nearly over. The finish line is back in the Epcot parking lot where family and friends are there to cheer you to the finish.
Post Race Breakfast:
This year, since we waited a bit too long to book a table, we decided to branch out and try the Trail’s End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness. This is a breakfast buffet that received rave reviews on all the Disney forums we could find. Since we weren’t staying at or near Fort Wilderness, it would take a little bit of transportation maneuvering to get to it, but it seemed like it would be worth the effort.
However, getting there on this cold morning, proved to be quite the task. Normally, when it wasn’t feeling near 30 degrees, taking the boat across the lake to Fort Wilderness would have been fun. This year . . . . we wound up like frozen popsicles by the time we reached the restaurant.
If you elect to try this perfect post-race buffet for breakfast, you can leave from the 5K race (yes, wearing your costumes, because isn’t that half the fun?!) and head towards the Monorail. From the Monorail, you will ride to the Ticket and Transportation Center. From there you can either hop on a bus to Fort Wilderness or you can elect to take the Ferry across the lake. Both are great, fun options. But perhaps don’t choose the coldest day of the year to take that ride on the boat like we did.
Once we had arrived, and completely thawed out, we ate to our heart’s content. Mickey Waffles and every delicious breakfast item you could dream up was served. This was a perfect post-race breakfast option. In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we will absolutely come here again.