Thursday, September 25, 2014

So You Want to Run Disney--Part 9: Celebrating Your Achievement

If you’ve never been to a runDisney event, you’ve never experienced my favorite part: celebrating your achievement!  In part 9 of this series, we are talking celebrations!  Of course it’s fun to run and all, but one of the many reasons I love to run at Disney is the celebration that follows.  You can celebrate way past the snack box and finish line photos.  In fact, in Disney, you can celebrate for days!

2013 Coast to Coast
First, let’s get one major point out of the way—wear your medals around the parks!  I promise, everyone will be doing it!  Yes, even If you “only” ran the 5k—that’s still an accomplishment to be celebrated, so do it!  Other runners will recognize and congratulate you, cast members will chat you up (and at least one or two will vow to run too someday), and you will at least have a perfect excuse for your slow, calculated walk and why you can’t get out of Space Mountain.  Speaking of Space Mountain, I like to tuck my medal into my shirt for some thrill rides.  I like to use my medals for perfectly posed ride pics too (hello Tower of Terror!).  You’ll also want those medals for when you see the race-characters around the parks.  If you’re running a challenge or just got your Coast to Coast, bring all the medals with you and stash them in a backpack when you’re not wearing them.  Keep them handy for the perfect photo opp!  Also, Coast to Coast runners—why not bring your other medals too? It’s a great picture to have all the bling that got you that special medal.

Along with wearing your medals, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate your achievement.  Of course, just being at the Disney parks is a celebration, so I get as many vacation days in after the race as I can.  To be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve visited Disney WITHOUT running, I’m not sure I remember what that’s like! 

Dinner at Narcooses
A favorite way to celebrate is an elaborate meal. Why—well I love to eat, and eating a large meal after a race is your right!  We will usually plan ahead and make a reservation for dinner the evening of the final race.  We have done lunch before, but personally it’s too soon after running for me to have a large meal.  In Disneyland, Carthay Circle and Blue Bayou are our favorites.  Walt Disney World offers many more options, but we usually stick to a place just a touch fancier.  Some great suggestions are Fulton’s Crab House, Yachtsman’s Steakhouse, Brown Derby, Narcooses, and though we’ve never been, I bet Be Our Guest is amazing. 

Cheers! (After Wine & Dine)
Recently at the WDW races, runDisney has sponsored “cool down parties” where runners unite for a night of celebrating.  This night includes discounts at restaurants and shops, as well as a final shot to purchase merchandise.  Some runDisney races include after-parties as part of your race fee.  Wine & Dine, Tower of Terror, and (at this time) Expedition Everest all have awesome parties.  And don’t worry—everyone else is stinky and sweaty too!  Just have a great time!

Don’t underestimate a stroll downtown, a stop at a pub or wine bar, or even a spa treatment to reward yourself for a job well done!  Disney has so much to offer, and this is a great time to try something special!  Congratulations on your achievement—now celebrate!

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