Dani and I took in our first food and wine festival as Disney a couple weeks ago. As a huge fan of Disney and of the RunDisney races and with the announcement of the inaugural Lumiere's Two Course Challenge, we couldn't pass it up the opportunity for another trip to the happiest place on earth. It also didn't hurt to be there during the final stretch of this awful election year (but that's a story for another post).
As usual, we stayed at our favorite budget hotel, Pop Century. Staying at those resorts makes getting to the parks, the race expo, and all the races so much easier. While Dani has signed up for all three races, I decided just to do the 5K this trip. That meant I only had to get up SUPER early one of the days. This race, my first RunDisney 5k, actually turned out to be one of my best RunDisney races. As per usual I didn't stop for any pictures, due to the long lines, but I managed to plod out a 40ish minute 3.2 miles without having to do intervals or stop to walk. I think I even managed to get negative spits. I guess all the cross training is starting to pay off.
The race itself was mostly through Animal Kingdom which was actually pretty nice. We got to see a fair amount of the "backstage" areas of the park - which included some animatronic Dinosaurs in storage as well as the floats for their new lagoon show. And how about this start? Is that snow? In Florida? ;)
Outside of the races we enjoyed six awesome days at the parks.
While we were there, the 2016 Food and Wine expo was also happening. Essentially what this was, was at Epcot they set up food and drink kiosks all over the world showcase with tapas sized food options from all over the world. There was even a passport booklet you could get to check off all the different food and drink you tried. It's a bit expensive as you have to pay for each item and they aren't cheap. But it's so much fun to try all sorts of food. I think my favorites might have been the Korean Barbecue and the Elderberry Cider. Oh and we didn't even know that they had special concerts for the festival, so you can imagine how excited Dani was to see Boyz II Men live.
The other amazing highlight was going to the first of this years Mickey's Magical Christmas Party. This was an extra ticket which got us into a four hour "party" at Magic Kingdom that Monday night. They had many of the rides open (with much shorter lines), free treat stops with all sorts of cookies, eggnog, and hot chocolate, special character spots, an incredible holiday parade and an even more amazing fireworks show. I'm so glad we decided buy tickets to the party. It was so much fun,
As per usual, a lot of photos were taken. (Although I always find I forgot to capture a few things).
We even saw my gal, Phasma, marching the troops through Hollywood Studios!
We enjoyed the experience so much we are already planning on going back again next year.