Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pre and Post Race Fueling at The Happiest Place on Earth

Welcome to the Disneyland Half Marathon Virtual Blog Hop!


Virtual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

It hardly seems like it was a year ago that I was headed west for my first trip to The Happiest Place on Earth for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!  It was such a fun trip that even though I'm not going this year (sad face) I wanted to participate in this blog hop to help you plan YOUR trip!!

If you are new to The Smith Summary - welcome!!!  My name is Kristen and I'll be your tour guide for this stop on the hop.

My topic for today's hop is pre- and post-race fueling options.  I'm gonna go ahead and tell you - there are SO many good places to eat at Disneyland that you probably cannot go wrong wherever you eat!  But I have selected a few of my favorites to share with you!

Pre-Race Favorites

I am a big fan of not trying new things before a race - so for me, I wanted to stick with foods that were familiar to my tummy.  Usually before a race I eat a protein and a pasta dish to build up my glycogen stores for the next day.  My first inclination is to go Italian, and my first pick last year was Naples Ristorante in Downtown Disney.  They also have a quick service restaurant attached called Napolini for those wanting to get in and out a little faster.

However, last year at 5pm on Saturday night there was a 2 HOUR wait for a table at Naples!  If you have your heart set on some spaghetti and meatballs then I highly recommend a reservation for this restaurant during a race weekend.  Even the quick service had an extremely long line.

So let me fill you in on my secret carb loading spot in Downtown Disney:

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen

At 5pm we walked right in - no waiting.  This chicken and pasta dish was delicious and was the perfect pre-race fuel for a half marathon.


And the beignets weren't bad either ;)


My honorable mention goes to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney.  Like I said before, I love to try new things and Disneyland has tons to offer - but save it for after the race!!!

Speaking of after the race...

Whether you are running the Disneyland 10K, the Disneyland half marathon, or both for the Dumbo Double Dare, you will want to celebrate with a delicious meal so without further adieu...

Post-Race Favorites

I have to break post-race favorites into two categories - formal and informal.  Immediately following the race (and not necessarily before you've had a shower!) you will probably want some grub and Disneyland has plenty of lighter and not so light options for you!  Here are my favs from each.

If you are like me and crave a little caffeine after you're all cleaned up, then I would hit up Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney's California Adventure for a pastry and a Starbucks.  

If it's closer to lunch though, how about a turkey leg??  


I'm sorry, but nothing says Disney quite like a turkey leg.  You agree?

I got this piece of deliciousness at a cart beside Award Weiners in California Adventure.  

My honorable mention here goes to Jamba Juice in Downtown Disney.

If, however, you are absolutely famished at the end of 13.1 miles and need something with a little more sustenance, might I suggest a breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney??


I had no idea this place served breakfast y'all!  And it's location near the finish line makes it an ideal place to stop and grab some nourishment.  Not gonna lie, we stopped here last year before I had the chance to hit the hotel for a shower.  Don't worry, I wasn't the only one ;)

My honorable mention here goes to Blue Bayou inside Disneyland park.  More specifically, it is INSIDE the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Their Monte Cristo sandwich is to DIE for y'all but be forewarned, it's big enough to share!  Another tip - this place is incredibly popular so I would highly recommend a dining reservation here.  But it's worth it.

So after you've cleaned up and played around in the parks a bit, if you are looking for a nicer sit-down environment for your celebration meal, I have a few recommendations there too!

Napa Rose, located inside The Grand Californian Hotel

Last year on Sunday evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Napa Rose - however, it is currently closed for refurbishment - sad face.  Some incredibly worthy alternatives include:

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney's California Adventure

For any of these I would definitely recommend an advance dining reservation.  A few also have dress code so be sure to read up on that in advance!

Like I said before, there are SO many good places to eat at Disneyland that you are not going to go wrong wherever you choose!  I hope some of these recommendations are helpful and make your trip more enjoyable!