• Animal Kingdom + Disney Food & Wine Festival

    November 13, 2013

    The rest of Saturday at Disney was a ton of fun! New Balance gave everyone a ticket to enjoy one of the parks, so a group of us went to the Animal Kingdom.

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    After running through the Animal Kingdom earlier that morning, it was fun to see it at a slower pace and enjoy what it had to offer. It was Saturday afternoon, so it was really busy, but we didn’t have to wait all that long for rides or attractions.

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    Tree of Life!

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    Expedition Everest!

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    Monkeys!

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    There were a few animals that you could see from the main park, but the majority of animals were housed in a wildlife reserve that you could explore via safari. I was especially excited about this because I love all animals and enjoy learning fun facts. We waited in line for about an hour, but we had plenty to talk about, and it was well worth the wait!

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    The 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve is dedicated to the protection of African animals, and it’s filled with open plains, forest, and wetlands.

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    We saw all sorts of animals!

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    And we even got pretty close to them!

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    This ostrich walked right next to our safari vehicle. The person sitting closest to the outside could have easily touched it!

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    After our adventures at the Animal Kingdom, I headed back to my hotel room, took an awesome and much-needed nap, and then rallied for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I was only spectating, but as soon as I saw everyone all dressed up and excited about the race, I really wish I had done it.

    How awesome do these ladies look?! They had so much fun!

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    Spectators!

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    Since we had a couple of hours to kill before our friends finished the half marathon, we headed to the Food & Wine Festival (aka Finish Line Party).

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    The event featured all sorts of great music and other entertainment, but the primary focus was the food!

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    More than 25 international kiosks were set up all over Epcot, each one serving tapas-sized portions of their regional specialties. It was so cool!

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    I had the most amazing cheddar cheese soup from Canada. It was almost like a cup of fondue! Yum!

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    We eventually found our way to the New Balance party where we snacked on some appetizers.

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    And checked out the printed photos from our Instagram accounts. (We got to take them home too!) New Balance worked with a company that printed out all of the photos on Instgram with the hashtag #NBatDisney. Cool, right?

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    After spending some time at the New Balance party, we headed to the finish line to cheer on our friends.

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    I am an old lady (apparently, Julie is too), so we took the early shuttle back to the hotel a little after midnight.

    All in all, it was a fabulous few days in Disney. A huge THANK YOU to New Balance for sponsoring me. I am so, so, so happy that I had a chance to attend such a wonderful weekend at Disney!

    Question of the Day

    If you could chose to run any of the seven Disney races, which one would you pick? 

    P.S. Be sure to enter my giveaway to win a set of headbands from BIC Bands! I will pick a winner tomorrow!

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    { 37 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kimberly November 13, 2013 at 6:50 am

    How blessed to be able to participate in such an awesome event! I would LOVE to do the Tower of Terror 10-miler! It’s in my favorite park and you get to stay and ride the rides after.

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    Karien @ Running the Race November 13, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I would LOVE to do the Glass Slipper Challenge during the Princess Half weekend – love races that cater specifically for women! :)

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    Monica November 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

    I love Animal Kingdom and all things Disney! It would be a dream come true to do any one of the Disney races. They all look like so much fun! Great recap!

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    Melanie_F November 13, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I love all things Disney…Walt Disney World, Disneyland…you name it, I Love it! One of my aspiration is to run a Disney race event, so I am really happy that you had the chance to participate in such an event.

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    Robyn November 13, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I have actually been pondering this question for a year! It’s on my bucket list to do one but they all sound so fabulous I can’t decide. I do agree with Karien though that the Glass Slipper Challenge is something I would LOVE to do. Maybe I should just change my bucket list try to do ALL of the Disney races some day ;)

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    Tina November 13, 2013 at 8:27 am

    THAT would be fun! :)

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    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun November 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

    My dream is to run the disney marathon one day! I have always wanted to do it and it has been on my wish list for quite some time!

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    Shel@PeachyPalate November 13, 2013 at 8:32 am

    They look great in their costumes!!! LOVED Epcot with all the different food on offer..been way too long since I was in Florida…actually your side of the world! Trip much needed!

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    lexa November 13, 2013 at 8:33 am

    We joined Disney vacation club this year and I hope to go to one race a year with my Husband.

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    Elizabeth @ Positive Change November 13, 2013 at 8:35 am

    What a fun race! I run the marathon in January (training for it right now). I am hoping to do the California 1/2 in September to get my Coast-to-Coast medal!

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    Linda @ running4two November 13, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I love Animal Kingdom! This sounds like such an awesome race and weekend to attend. I love all of your new New Balance gear. :)

    Tower of Terror 10 miler!

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    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 13, 2013 at 8:38 am

    It’s very cliche, but I’ve always wanted to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon! I definitely grew up loving the Disney Princesses and I think it would just be such a fun race! Although honestly I’d do any Disney race, I LOVE Disney World despite that fact that I’ve only been there twice: once when I was five, and once when I was 21!

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    Lisa November 13, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Animal kingdom looks like such a blast!
    I love getting to see the animals up close (well not too close).
    The whole event sounds amazing. Disney is just such a happy place all around.

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    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee November 13, 2013 at 8:42 am

    So fun! When I went to Animal Kingdom I think I went on the safari at least 5 times… the best.

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    Brittany @ The Fit Phoenician November 13, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I would love to do ANY Disney run, although I really like half-marathon distances these days!

    When I was in Animal Kingdom I was pregnant and throwing up but it was so much fun… :)

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    Alex @ Kenzie Life November 13, 2013 at 9:05 am

    My goal is to one day do the Tinker Bell Half because I love Tinker Bell! It looks like you had an awesome time! I really want to take my godson to Disneyworld when’s he’s older. He’s only 15 months so I think it would be more fun for him when he’s at least old enough to ride something besides those elephants, and I’m not sure he can even do that! But I love the Animal Kingdom, I think that’s my favorite one :)

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    Tara November 13, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I would love to do any Disney Half Marathon!

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    Heidi November 13, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I have been dreaming of doing the Goofy Challenge :) I did a race like that in Cape Cod, but everything is better with Disney :)

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    Sim @ The Micro Harvest November 13, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Glass Slipper Challenge! No matter how old I get I always have a special place in my heart for Disney princesses :) And Cinderella is my fav!!

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    Jenny November 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Looks like a blast!!!! No wonder so many folks head to Disney for their honeymoons! It’s just as much for the BIG kids as the littles!

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    Graig November 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I think a half mary or a 10k would be about as much as I would want to do. You still have to be on point the next morning to walk through all the parks with the kids! Limping around in Disney is just no fun. It’s on my bucket list too!

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    Captain Competition November 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

    This looks like an awesome event! I had no idea that Disney had the Animal Kingdom, it’s been a while since I have been to the Magic Kingdom.

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    Elisabeth November 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve Disney World & would love to do the marathon some January or the Princess half!

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    Elisabeth November 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    @Elisabeth:
    I LOVE Disney World, not I’ve Disney World ;)

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    Ashley November 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I think I would choose the Wine and Dine — it sounds like it would be TOUGH being at night, but SO much fun!

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    Sarah @ Sweet Miles November 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I would love to do the Princess Half Marathon sometime, or try the Goofy challenge and do the disney full and half!

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    RFC November 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Glad you finally got to do a RunDisney event, Tina! I still have the Dopey Challenge on my to do list. Because why run one race when you can run four, right? ;)

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    Tina November 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Haha! Totally!! 😄

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    Amanda E November 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I ran this race last year and it was, hands down, the most fun I’ve had at a 1/2 marathon ever – not to mention a PR because the course is AWESOME! And I did it in a Cinderella costume to boot.

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    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance November 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    This looks like so much fun! I love Disney!

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    erica November 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I love Disneyworld and I love Halloween, so I think i’d love to do the tower of terror….but florida is too far for me to travel for a race…. disneyland is much more do-able….I signed up for tinkerbell half 2014!!! =) i’m super excited

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    Ashley @ BrocBlog November 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I would pick the princess one because Im a princess (or at least will be someday…)

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    Livi November 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I’m running the Disney Princess Half and I couldn’t be more excited!!!

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    Tina November 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Fun! Good luck! 😄

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    Niki Mosier November 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Animal Kingdom looks awesome! That is pretty sweet that New Balance sent you to disney. And of course all of the amazing bloggers/fitness folks you got to meet!

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    Kristen @ notsodomesticated November 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I would love to do a Disney race! I am total cheese-ball when it comes to all things Disney! ;) Looks like you guys had an awesome time!

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    Jen November 21, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    That’s such a coincidence! I was in EPCOT Saturday evening too! I’m a little sad I missed the registration for the half marathon since I was there on a family vacation anyway!

    Reply

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