This past weekend my family and I went to Orlando for the 2016 Marathon! My dad, sister and cousin all did the FULL marathon (26.2) miles, ya you read that right! This was my dads 9th marathon and my sister and cousins FIRST. They did AWESOME!!! We had the BEST time and it was so motivating to see all the runners! All shapes and sizes, ages, body shapes, everyone was amazing!!
My sister and cousin both have 3 kiddos so Annabelle was in heaven all weekend! She thought she was 8 years old! For the spectators you can wait at the finish line OR right before the finish line. Some tips if you are watching, Get their EARLY! Its very crowded, so if you want to see your family at the finish line, then make sure you have a good spot! We had a hard time getting a good spot, BUT they do have a big screen, so you can still see the people finishing!
Basically the race line up is this: Friday 10k, Saturday Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and Sunday is the FULL 26.2. I have done the half twice a couple years ago and it was AMAZING!! Theirs fireworks, characters, it really is such an awesome experience! I may do the half next year.
A couple days before the race there is a BIG runners expo where you can pick your packet up (separate building) then come to the wide world of sports and theres LOTS of booths! I have to say theres not a whole lot of freebie swag LOL But we did play corn hole and get a banana! haha But theres great vendors like Garmin, Sweaty Bands, New Balance and more! Its a great time to check out the latest running gear and get some new running stuff! PS the expo closes at 7 PM every night, so def get their early if you want to check everything out.
Annabelle is just a bit obsessed with Mickey Mouse at the moment, so she was soooo excited to see him! I’m pretty sure she thinks we went to an actual park, she was pretty excited about the 7ft statue LOL
The night before the big race we went to Disney Springs (Downtown Disney) and ate at the T-Rex restaurant. So first of all def make a reservation! That place is CRAZY busy! We did plan ahead and booked our table a couple weeks before (thanks sis!) I was a little nervous that Annabelle would be freaked out with giant T-Rex over the table LOL seeing that she really hated Santa! BUT to our surprise she LOVED IT!! Omg theres so much to look at, its such a COOL restaurant! There’s fish everywhere, like REAL fish in aquariums. Giant Dinosaurs, and all kids of sound effects and even meteor show on the ceiling!
I had the Stuffed chicken, OMG y’all it was AMAZING! Sometimes with restaurants like this, it can be all about the atmosphere and the food is not so good or the service is slow. That was NOT the case at all!! We had an AMAZING dinner, everyone’s food was SOOOO GOOD!! And the service was awesome!! Our waiter was so nice and quick and def made sure we had everything we needed! and FYI you have to get the Chocolate Extinction for dessert!!! OMG it’s to die for!!! Best dessert I’ve had in a long time!
The restaurant also has a gift shop, with a build a bear store too! AND they have a covered Fossil Digging area for the kids! Annabelle loved it! I’m highly considering putting one of these in our backyard! It was so cool! Overall we had a great time and I highly recommend going to the T-Rex restaurant. Check out their website HERE.
So since our runners had a big day and an early morning we all headed back to the hotel and just relaxed for the night.
Speaking of the hotel we stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. We booked it back in July, so we got a great deal! Since everyone was doing the Marathon on Sunday we decided to not do a park this year. BUT honestly we had SOOO MUCH to do at the hotel the kids didn’t miss it all! Theres 8, yes EIGHT pools, one at each building, then a BIG giant one with slides and a kiddie pirate ship at the main area. Theres two restaurants, that we ate at the whole time, the food was really good! They also have nightly movies under the stars! We watched Frozen and 101 Dalmatians with the kids!
To see Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort website CLICK HERE.
Annabelle loved being at the hotel, we booked all our rooms close by so we could just walk to everyone. It was so nice waking up and having coffee together! And Annabelle loved running around the boardwalk every day! They basically have it set up to be a big giant circle, so kids can run free! LOL They also have a couple beaches with hammocks and fire pits too!
Like I said, the pools are AMAZING!! AND they have about 4 lifeguards on duty at all times, so it was really nice to feel safe with the kids too! They also have 2 hot tubs at the main area. The kids didn’t want to get out of the pool the whole weekend, especially Annabelle! Like I said she thought she was a big kid!
The hot tubs were great especially for all the runners after their races! It surprisingly wasn’t too crowded at our hotel, so it wasn’t bad at all! The best thing about the weekend was just being together as a family! Seeing Annabelle get so excited to be with her cousins was so cute!
Did I mention the mickey waffles yet? These were so cute! That is one thing about staying at a disney resort, is even though you don’t go to a park, you can still feel like you are at Disney! The food at the hotel was great!
Can I just say how PROUD I am of my family!!! I cant believe they did a FULL marathon!! Like no problem, my sister and cousin both said it’s ALL ABOUT training! Some of their training runs were harder than the actual race! Their is def a DISNEY MAGIC on the day of the event, that can help push you! Not to mention the 25,000 other people who are doing it too!! It really is amazing! They did have to get up at 3am to take the shuttle to the race. Then it started at 5:30 AM, you are set up in corrals based on the time you entered when you registered. Depending on your wave is when you will start.
They did AWESOME!! As my sister said just so perfectly about the run “Not only did my dad train w me and encourage me these last 7months but he’s also the reason I love running in the first place… When he was in rehab he was introduced to running and the only one aloud to leave to run, because he needed to have an outlet for his stored up energy and emotions. It helped tremendously and he stuck w it all these years and in the process introduced us to it as children even coming to watch his very first marathon here at Disney. Fast forward 21 years later and my cousin Lisa and I got to have this same race as our First Marathon with him running with us! He’s 61 and just completed his 9th marathon! He’s a machine, an encourager and the best kind of hilarious and wise running partner a girl could ask for! It meant the world to run this w these two!”
I also splurged this weekend and had lots of cookies, hot chocolate and croissants! OMG it was delish!! Had to get back to the clean eating trying this week. My stomach was not too happy with my weekend food buffet LOL
I loved just spending time with these two! It really is so fun to see Annabelle experience new things! She has such a spunky personality and was so excited all weekend! David def gets DAD and UNCLE of the year!! He did so GREAT and helped so much with all the kids! I tend to get overwhelmed and easily stressed LOL But he’s always calm and is great at just balancing me out!
I would say my parents are blessed, wouldn’t you?! They are super healthy, have amazing grand kids and are already talking about coming back next year! We had an awesome time, my only complaint was it went by too fast!