Celebration Cruises at Walt Disney World

There are many ways to celebrate your runDisney accomplishment! For those who love the sea, a cruise may be just the ticket. But if a trip aboard the Disney Cruise Line isn’t in the budget, there are a few additional cruise options at Walt Disney World!

Celebration Cruises at Walt Disney World

Fireworks Cruise – Watch Wishes or IllumiNations from a new perspective during one of the fireworks cruises! Set sail from one of the monorail resort marinas or sail up the International Gateway for a celebration you are sure to enjoy.

Grand 1 Yacht – For a luxurious experience, cruise aboard the Grand 1, a 52-foot yacht. Accommodating up to 18 guests, you can bring along your friends and family! Add on private dining for a true pampering experience around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Pirate Adventure Cruise – Even the kids can celebrate as they set sail on a pirate adventure! Kids ages 4-12 can choose from four adventures – setting sail from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort or Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. They will search for treasure and even split the pirate booty!

Pirates & Pals Firework Voyage – The entire family can go on a wild voyage from Disney’s Contemporary Resort aboard this pirate ship. Enjoy snacks, meet Captain Hook and Mrs. Smee, then drop anchor and watch Wishes from the sea.

Celebration Cruises at Walt Disney World

Whether you choose luxury or a swashbuckling adventure, these cruises are great ways to keep celebrating your runDisney race!


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Best Walt Disney World Buffet & Family Style Restaurants

After a runDisney race, you may have quite the appetite! Let’s take a look at some of the best buffet and all-you-can-eat family style restaurants at Walt Disney World.

Best Buffet & Family Style Restaurants

Biergarten – If your idea of celebrating includes beer, sausage and a Oompa Band, then Biergarten is just for you! This buffet is available for lunch and dinner. Buffet items include authentic German fare such as bratwurst, various salads, Bavarian cheese cake and much more.

Boma – Hands down one of the best breakfast buffets on property, Boma is located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and is sure to fill you up. Along with traditional breakfast foods, there are some great African dishes to try as well. The buffet is also available at dinner including foods with an African flare.

Cape May Cafe – This restaurant is located at Disney’s Beach Club and has two great options. For breakfast, join Mickey and his friends as they are in their beach clothes, ready to party! For dinner, the buffet transforms into a clam bake.

Cinderella’s Royal Table – Sitting in the gorgeous Cinderella Castle, this restaurant is a truly magical experience. Along with meeting your favorite princesses, choose from various entrees and even choose more than one if you wish! Cinderella’s Royal Table is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

‘Ohana – Head to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and dine with your ‘Ohana (family)! Breakfast is with Lilo and Stitch, offering your favorite breakfast foods brought right to your table. At dinner, a family style feast includes wood-grilled meats, vegetables, chicken wings and the amazing bread pudding.

Trail’s End – Nestled in the woods of Fort Wilderness, this restaurant offers homestyle cooking in a buffet style setting. Choose from breakfast, lunch or dinner, with those favorites such as scrambled eggs, pork ribs, fish and more.

Tusker House – Take the path to Harambe in Animal Kingdom for a meal at Tusker House. For breakfast and lunch, Donald and the gang stops by to join in on the fun. Along with your favorites, enjoy African-inspired dishes.

Best Buffet & Family Style Restaurants

These restaurants are great for runners with a hearty appetite, or even for those who want a fun experience! As always, make sure you get your reservations 180 days in advance.


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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Every fall a special event comes to World Showcase – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

This festival is included as part of your Epcot theme park ticket. New food stations appear around World Showcase, each highlighting a specific country’s culinary delicacies. Each marketplace includes samples of the local food along with adult beverages that pair wonderfully. And with over 30 to experience, it may take you all day (and even all night) to experience them all! These marketplaces include Africa, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Hawai’i, New Zealand, Poland, Scotland and many more. Use your MagicBand or load up a gift card and experience as many as you wish.

Need a little break from all the great food and beverages? Take your samples to the American Adventure Pavilion where you can enjoy the Eat to the Beat Concert Series! Listen to your favorite bands such as Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, Rick Springfield, Boyz II Men and more as you enjoy the beautiful fall weather and cuisine.

The International Food & Wine Festival isn’t only about tasting your way around the world. There are many fantastic events to experience as well! Enjoy a food & beverage pairing event. Savor culinary wonders as part of an exclusive dining package. Learn how to bring your experience home during culinary demonstrations. You can even go to mixology and beverage seminars! (Note: most of these events include an extra cost.)

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

It may take a day or two (or even a week) to see everything this festival has to offer. If you are heading to the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, it may be worthwhile to add on a few extra days to enjoy it all!


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Japanese woman becomes first international winner; Commemorative 10th Annual Medal awarded to all finishers; Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Annual party kicked off celebratory weekend events

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2015

Photo: © Disney

ANAHEIM, Calif. (September 6, 2015 ) – James Lander from Fullerton, Calif. ran and won his first runDisney race this morning at the 10th annual Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna. He led the field of nearly 15,000 runners and crossed the finish line more than six minutes ahead of the second place winner from Sao Paulo, Brazil, 35-year-old Valdir Aparecido Bueno.

Lander, 36, used to stand on the sidelines and watch his wife run multiple runDisney races but decided this time, he wanted to get in on the action. So he did. And won, finishing in 1:08:56

“I’ve loved this race, even though I had never done it before, because everyone has an amazing time,” said Lander. “I see people laughing and smiling the entire way versus most races where everyone looks like they are killing themselves. It’s a special thing! It’s really great!”

Lander has run competitively for years. He’s a local chiropractor and claims that running  “is just part of what chiropractors do.” He used to be on a professional marathon team, winning many times, but now runs a couple of half marathons and local races a year to support the community.

Momoko Tanaka, 29, from Urayasu-shi, Japan, wrote her own chapter in the race’s annals today coming in first place for the women, finishing in 1:21:30. This is the first time in the race’s 10 year history that an international runner has won. Tanaka finished just ahead of last year’s female champion, Jennifer Berry, 34, from Denver, Colo.  Berry crossed the finish line in 1:23:21, beating her prior year’s time by 12 seconds.

All half marathon finishers take home unique 10th annual medals to commemorate the occasion. More than  400 “legacy’’ runners ran this weekend, completing all 10 Disneyland Half Marathons since the inaugural race in 2006.  The half marathon traveled through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, the streets of Anaheim and Angel Stadium.

Runners celebrated Thursday night with a Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Annual party.  Guests experienced select attractions, Disney entertainment and character meet & greets in Disneyland Park West Side.  As the event coincides with Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, the party gave runners exclusive viewing of Disneyland’s “Paint the Night” Parade which is part of the 60th anniversary celebration.

More than 29,000 runners from across the nation and 28 countries gathered in Southern California to celebrate the 10th annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The weekend of events also included the Disneyland 5K, runDisney Kids Races and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo.


Updating your runDisney Proof of Time

After registering for a runDisney race, you may think the only thing you need to do is train and plan your vacation. While that is true, there is also one more thing to do – update your proof of time!

Updating your runDisney Proof of Time

As many runDisney runners know, the corrals are definitely an area of discussion during a race weekend. By submitting a proof of time from a previous race, you will then be placed into a corral with participants of a similar pace. If you do not submit a proof of time, you will be placed in the last corral.

*Note: Proof of time is for race distances of a half marathon or longer, including challenges. It is not needed for 5K or 10K distances.

So how exactly do you update your proof of time? Here’s a step-by-step guide!

Step 1: Register for your runDisney Race

The very first order of business is to register for the race(s) you are interested in. Registrations open at Noon EST. There is a change to previous years and you no longer enter your proof of time at registration. Keep this in mind!

Step 2: Find the Proof of Time Information and Deadline

Since you no longer enter your proof of time at registration, you will need to check the runDisney website for more information. Go to the race weekend you registered for, then click Runner Info. Scroll to Proof of Time and there will be information regarding when you can submit your proof of time. Be sure to put the deadline in your calendar (usually 3 months prior to race day) so you don’t miss out!

Step 3: Get that PR!

Your proof of time must be within a year and a half, so it may be time to run another race or two to see if you can earn a shiny new personal record. For a half marathon (or the 10K+half marathon challenges), your proof of time needs to be for a 10K race or longer. For the marathon (or Goofy/Dopey Challenge), your proof of time needs to be for a 10 mile race or longer. Just make sure your race is an officially timed event! (Self-timed, training or virtual runs are not accepted.)

Step 4: Enter your Proof of Time

Once you are ready to submit your proof of time, head to the runDisney website and click on your race weekend. Go to Runner Info and scroll to Proof of Time. You will then click on the link to submit your time. A new window will appear where you will type in your last name and birthday. Click on update.

A screen will open that either needs to be updated or shows the last update you entered. You will need to type in the race name, race date, race city and state, race finish time and a link to your results. The race distance also needs to be checked. Once you have filled in this information (make sure to triple check!), then click submit! The website will calculate an anticipated finish time if the race you are signed up for is longer than the race you submitted.

You are able to update this at any time, so it doesn’t hurt to enter your current race time – then update if you get a better race time later. If your proof of time is from a previous runDisney race, you still need to enter the information.

runDisney Dopey Challenge - All You Need to Know

No matter what corral you are in, what proof of time you have or how long it takes you to finish – make sure to enjoy every mile. After all, you are running at the most magical place on earth!


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April 14-17 event in Florida joins Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort and features new Kessel Run Challenge and Dark Side Challenge

2015 Star Wars Half Marathon

Photo: © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

“Ever since we launched the Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the Star Wars franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “If the inaugural Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge — running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at www.runDisney.com.

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.