Splitsville Luxury Lanes

A few months ago, Megan and her husband enjoyed a week-long vacation in Walt Disney World. One of the restaurants they went to was Splitsville Luxury Lanes. Out of all of the restaurants they ate at, this was one they couldn’t stop talking about.

Fast-forward to Megan & Krista’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend trip and they both agreed to add this restaurant to their list. After all, Megan couldn’t stop talking about the amazing gluten free pizza!

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Splitsville graciously offered to pay for our bowling and meal. As always, our opinions are our own – and we can honestly say that we would have paid for this meal regardless! (Our only regret is that we should have made this a celebration meal after a race, so we could really enjoy every course.)

After a walk through Disney Springs for a little shopping, we made our way to Splitsville for lunch. Upon arrival, we were asked what size shoes we wore. That’s right – you can bowl and eat your meal! (Keep in mind that when you make reservations, you need to reserve a lane as well as a meal time.) We were led to the second floor of this massive restaurant, and were seated at a booth right next to our bowling lane.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

We quickly put on our shoes and laughed over the fact that it had been years since we bowled! (This was confirmed as Megan bowled a gutterball within the first frame or two.) While we bowled, our server, Diggie, stopped by to take our drink order and explain the menu.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Believe it or not, the menu is quite extensive! We had a hard time choosing what to order, aside from the obvious gluten free pizza. Diggie was fantastic as he offered his choices, claiming they have an amazing staff of chefs. (After our meal, we absolutely agree!) In fact, their sushi is actually one of their top choices. We started with a gluten free version of the buffalo wings, which we enjoyed so much – we actually asked for the buffalo sauce recipe!

While our main courses were being made, we continued to bowl. The good news is that we did get a little better as the game went on, but we actually found it fun to watch the games around us. Families were laughing as they bowled together. For the littlest bowlers, bumpers were put up in the gutters and there was even a ball “slide” they could use to get the ball down the lane.

Soon our meals arrived, including the gluten free pizza that Megan continually talks about at length! Krista ordered the Grilled Salmon with Mango Chutney and it was perfectly cooked. (Note: Megan’s husband got a rice bowl during their trip and it was very good as well.)

Splitsville GF Pizza

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

After our entrees, Diggie told us that we had to try the gluten free cupcake. Now, we both have tried many gluten free bakery options. While they hit the spot, they are never quite as good as their gluten-filled counterparts. When this cupcake was brought out, we couldn’t believe it was gluten free. In fact, it may be the best cupcake we have ever had! It was extremely moist, with a strawberry mousse topping. Even though we were full from our main meal, we couldn’t stop eating it!

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

While we let our food settle, we talked some more with Diggie. He gave some great tips, including that you can purchase one of their exclusive Splitsville bowling pin drink holders, and receive unlimited use the Coke Freestyle machine! This is a great idea if your family is planning on making a day of it at Disney Springs (or if you plan to watch a movie at the AMC theater across from Splitsville).

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Even better news, the owners of Splitsville will be building a new restaurant in the Marketplace at Disney Springs, that will feature homestyle cooking! We can’t wait to try that one out as well.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Overall, we absolutely enjoyed our meal at Splitsville and would dare to say it is one of the top restaurants at Disney Springs. It is a great location for families who want to have a little fun with their meal, or even couples who want excellent food choices.

 

Magical Miles Buy Now 2016

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Former soccer player Shannon Crawford from Bronxville, NY notches first half marathon title; More than 24,000 mostly-women runners participate in 13.1-mile race through Walt Disney World Resort

2016 Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Photo: © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – (Feb. 21, 2016) – If soccer had any chance of staying near and dear to Shannon Crawford’s heart, those hopes likely disappeared in a cloud of pixie dust Sunday at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

An avid soccer player since her childhood days in suburban New York City, the University of Virginia senior recently took up distance running and, in just her third 13.1-mile race ever, she won the popular Disney Princess Half Marathon title at Walt Disney World Resort.

To Crawford, who isn’t even on her school’s cross country team, it was…well, magical.

“Disney is probably my second favorite thing in the world besides my family and friends, so I just decided to run this race,’’ she said. “It was the most incredible feeling ever. I’m still in shock.’’

Crawford, 21, easily won the race through Magic Kingdom and Epcot, covering the entertainment-filled course in 1:24:49. That was nearly two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Brooke Adams of Randolph, New York (1:26:10). Heather Schulz of Orlando, Florida was third (1:27:06).

Needless to say, after winning her first half marathon, Crawford is totally hooked on running. As for soccer’s place in her life, it’s in a deeper slumber than Sleeping Beauty.

“I don’t really play soccer anymore,’’ she said. “I just run.’’

The Princess Half Marathon capped the four-day race weekend that featured various races and events all geared toward women, including the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, runDisney Kids Races and the Glass Slipper Challenge, which involved runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. In all, more than 44,000 mostly-women runners participated.

The weekend event also included a health and fitness expo which featured the latest running apparel and equipment, plus a speaker series involving running experts such as runDisney’s official training consultant Jeff Galloway. And there were several family-oriented events such as the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast, the Pasta in the Park Party and the Happily Ever After Party.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of nine annual runDisney events and one of two women-focused events taking place in 2016. The other women-focused event is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry, which takes place in May at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.  Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women’s empowerment, women’s health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation’s largest race weekends geared towards women.

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runDisney Speaker Series

Every runDisney race weekend begins with the Health & Fitness Expo. We have discussed our top tips for navigating the expo, as well as the various ways to approach the expo. However, if possible, there is one item you definitely should experience – the runDisney Speaker Series.

runDisney Speaker Series

Inside the expo are many places to explore. Picking up your race bib, looking through the official race merchandise, visiting your favorite vendors and much more. However, during the Speaker Series, you can get insight on the race course, nutrition and maybe even a celebrity visit or two.

During the Walt Disney World races, the Speaker Series can be found in the Jostens Center. The speaker area is located on the second (or ground level) floor. When you enter the Jostens Center, go to the right (as if you are getting ready to exit) and you will see the Speaker Series set up, prior to entering the restaurant area.

During the Disneyland races, the Speaker Series can be found in the Disneyland Hotel Ballroom (where the vendors are). It usually is straight ahead when you enter, between the official race merchandise and vendor area.

The schedule of speakers can often be found in the official race guide, however there are signs outside of the Speaker Series area as well. During every race weekend, Tara Gidus, the official nutritionist for runDisney and Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney, will speak. Along with their tips and tricks, they usually leave time for the audience to ask questions. Definitely take advantage of this!

runDisney Speaker Series

The additional speakers will vary from race to race. Past speakers have included Ali Vincent (Biggest Loser), Paula Radcliffe (women’s marathon record holder), John Hughes (race director for the runDisney events), Sean Astin (actor) and many more. There has even been a fashion show by Champion!

Taking a break to listen to the Speaker Series is a great option for the new or veteran runDisney runner. There is always more to learn!

 

Magical Miles Buy Now 2016

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Second Star Wars Half Marathon victory for Arciniaga; Fellow Olympics hopeful Annie Bersagel is female winner; Event was first of four runDisney events at Disneyland Resort this year; More than 30,000 runners started races during the four-day event weekend

 

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Light Side 2016

Photo: © Disney

ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 17, 2016) – The Force was with Fountain Valley, Calif., native Nick Arciniaga once again in the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort Sunday. After winning the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015, he followed up with second-straight victory in a record-setting time of 1:05:49.

Arciniaga, 32, who now lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., blasted past First Order stormtroopers to break the tape at the finish line. Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., was second (1:12:29) and Hunter Sapienza of Seattle, Wash., was third (1:12:38).

“This is a race that means a lot to me,” Arciniaga said of the victory. “I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since I can remember.” Arciniaga goes on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in the upcoming weeks.

Annie Bersagel, 32, of Colorado, also flew at lightspeed across the finish line Sunday as the female winner with a time of 1:15:09. Bersagel is also set to compete in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. Second-place female finisher was 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon female winner, Jennifer Berry, of Denver, Colo. (1:21:11) and third-place finisher was Kendal Sager of Los Altos, Calif. (1:25:05).

“I was the fastest stormtrooper out here today,’’ Bersagel joked after her win, clad in Star Wars-inspired running gear. “So that’s all you can really ask for, right?”

Arciniaga and Bersagel jumped to hyperspace to outrun more than 13,000 athletes in the 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets, where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.

The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend included several family-friendly events, including a three-day Health and Fitness Expo with the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets. It was the second runDisney race weekend of 2016 and the first this year at Disneyland Resort. The event offered athletes a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. The ultimate test for Star Wars rebels was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.

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Fredison Costa notches third straight 26.2-mile victory at Disney; Orlando area’s Natasha Yaremczuk claims her first women’s title; More than 100,000 runners and fans take part in the four-day runDisney event

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2016

Photo: © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2016) – Under unseasonably warm and humid temperatures, Brazilian runner Fredison Costa, chalked up his third straight win at the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna Sunday with a time of 2:33:24. With this win, Costa has now won the Disney Marathon five times in the past six years.

For the past two years, Costa has been living in the Orlando area and training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort under the guidance of former US Olympic track coach Brooks Johnson. But the unseasonably warm and humid conditions zapped his speed, saddling him with the slowest of his five Disney victories.

“I am very happy to win here at Disney today and defend my title. I love the people and I love Disney,’’ Fredison said. “My dream now is to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the upcoming London Marathon and run in this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.”

Mateus Trindade, also from Brazil, finished second again this year with a time of (2:34:49), just over a minute behind Costa. Jeff Martinez of Binghamton, New York, finished third (2:36:00).

Natasha Yaremczuk, 35, of Montverde, FL, was the first female finisher with a time of (2:52:23). It was Yaremczuk’s first victory at the Walt Disney World Marathon after running various runDisney events in the past. Jennifer Walton of Wesley Chapel, Florida, was second (3:01:38) and Corina Canitz of Brookfield, Wisconsin. (3:03:48) was third.

“I have raced Disney in the past and always loved it,’’ said Yaremczuk. “Today, I found myself taking more water breaks than ever before due to the humidity.”

Also among the field of more than 26,000 runners Sunday, was Cedric King, a U.S. Army retired Master Sergeant who is a decorated war hero and double-amputee as a result of injuries during combat in Afghanistan. King, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient from Fayetteville, North Carolina, completed the 26.2-mile race despite his disability.

In all, more than 100,000 runners and spectators took part in the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. More than 7,500 runners ran in all four weekend events – the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon and the marathon, completing the popular “Dopey Challenge’’ (48.6 miles).

The Disney Marathon featured events for the entire family such as runDisney Kids’ Races, the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, the Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday. A Health and Fitness Expo ran throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and featured the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running expert Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney, and Tara Gidus, the official runDisney nutritionist.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the first race in the 2016 runDisney series, which includes eight weekend events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts, plus the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend, Sept. 23-25. Next up in the runDisney series is the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, Jan. 14-17. 

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Forum to feature the world’s foremost running industry leaders tackling a variety of relevant topics; Event part of new runDisney Race Director Series; 2017 Running USA Industry Conference up next for Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - State of the Sport Forum

Photo: © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Jan. 6, 2016) – Global running industry leaders are converging on the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna this weekend for runDisney’s first-ever State of the Sport forum and Race Director Series.

Nearly 100 of the most highly-respected names in the global running sector – major race directors, media executives, industry influencers and former Olympic runners – are expected to attend the Jan. 7 forum, making it perhaps the most significant gathering of running industry leaders ever assembled.

The event, staged at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is being anchored by a panel discussion featuring race directors and executives from the world’s top running events – Peter Ciaccia (TCS New York City Marathon), Tom Grilk (B.A. A. Boston Marathon), Tad Hayano (Tokyo Marathon), Hugh Brasher (Virgin Money London Marathon), Carey Pinkowski (Bank of America Chicago Marathon) and Juergen Lock (BMW Berlin Marathon). The panel, moderated by Runner’s World editor-in-chief David Willey, is expected to tackle several key industry topics, such as the evolving demographics of runners, the impact of the upcoming Olympics, increasing runner participation and other best practices.

Additional speakers expected are Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger, B.A.A Boston Marathon race director David McGillivray and Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports. Other special guests will be reigning women’s world marathon record-holder and four-time Olympic distance runner Paula Radcliffe and former Olympian and runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway.

The State of the Sport forum kicks off runDisney’s new Race Director Series, which affords race directors from around the country with behind-the-scenes experiences during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. More than 40 race directors and race management personnel are expected to take part in the series that gives them special access and insight into various aspects of the four-day event operation, plus the Race Director Challenge, a light-hearted competition during Saturday’s Disney Half Marathon race.

The State of the Sport forum aligns with runDisney’s goal of broadening participation in road running and encouraging people to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. Next year, Walt Disney World Resort will once again become the center of the running universe when it hosts the 2017 Running USA Industry Conference during the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The annual conference brings together industry experts for sessions on best practices, panel discussions, industry awards and more.

Hosting the 2017 conference and this weekend’s forum build on runDisney’s growing stature as one of the leading running series in the world. In the last few years, runDisney has experienced extraordinary growth and popularity with the launch of four new race weekends – including its first international event, the 2016 Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend – and frequent race sellouts at events at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.

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