Carb loading at and near Walt Disney World for Marathon Weekend

Tuesday, January 6, 2015
With runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon weekend about to start for some of you, I hope you have your dinner plans sorted out. Then again, not everyone is a psycho planner like myself :) The wonderful thing about Disney World is that there are an abundance of dining options. Many people, including locals, are surprised to see the amount of quality restaurants inside of the resort. I for one had no idea 3/4 of these restaurants existed prior to becoming an Annual Passholder years ago and when I thought of Disney Dining, one thing came to mind - Turkey Legs.

I went on the Disney Dining website to see who had reservations available for those looking to carb-load prior to their big race. For the most part, all of the restaurants I mention below have some availability from Wednesday - Saturday night. I also included California Grill, which is an impossible to get into restaurant without a reservations - and how you can dine there without a reservation!

On Property:

Tony's Town Square Magic Kingdom
Reservations required & available
My Mom and I ate at Tony's last year prior to the 10K. At time of publishing this post, they had reservations for Wednesday - Saturday night for a party of 2. That was my first time eating at Tony's and I was very impressed. I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs (substituting the spaghetti for paperadelle) and my Mom got the shrimp scampi. Tony's is a perfect option if you are planning on visiting the Magic Kingdom the day before a race.

La Luce - Hilton Bonnet Creek
Reservations Recommended
photo from La Luce facebook
La Luce is where Keri and I will be carb-loading on Saturday night before the Walt Disney World full marathon. La Luce is home to modern Italian cuisine by Napa Valley famed chef Donna Scala. The offer everything from fresh handmade pastas, pizzas, seafood and protein. I've got my eye on the Pappardelle alla Bolognese with Duck and meat ragu. 

Il Mulino Swan
Reservations available & Lounge seating option
photo from Il Mulino Twitter
Il Mulino is a legendary Italian restaurant in NYC which now has locations throughout select US cities. I have been to the New York location but have yet to venture over to Orlando's. I only found out about this gem last year during Princess Half Marathon weekend. They have reservations available on select days during Marathon Weekend. Il Mulino also has a lounge, which you can dine at if reservations are unavailable. 

Ravello at Four Seasons
Reservations available & Pasta Bar option
photo from Walt Disney World
Ravello is a new restaurant located inside of the Four Seasons. Their menu looks insane and I could probably spend an entire weekend eating there.  My friend Amanda got to check out their media preview this summer, which you can read about here. They do have reservations available during runDisney Marathon Weekend along with a Pasta Bar incase they fill up.

Trattoria al Forno at Disneys Boardwalk
Reservations available
photo from Disney Parks Blog
Literally the new kid on the block, Trattoria al Forno replaced the existing Cat Cora Kouzzina at Disney's Boardwalk and opened a month ago. Check out this review from Disney Food Blog and tell me you don't want to make reservations here stat! Truffle Cheese Pizza?! I think a visit here will happen for my post marathon pizza ritual!

Trails End Buffet - Fort Wilderness Resort
photo from Disney World
I found out about Trails End Buffet from my friend Heather who told me this was their favorite restaurant on property. So during our family trip to Disney a few months ago, we booked a dinner at Trails End for their amazing buffet. This buffet that has options for every picky eater (trust me - we went with a party of 14 of all ages) and is very affordable for Disney (around $25 for an adult). On their buffet, you can find everything from pasta, seafood, friend chicken, hand carved meats, pizza, baked potato bar, veggies, dessert - you name it. You will need reservations, which are available as of today. Make sure you arrive early because getting there is a little bit of a hassle - you have to park in the Fort Wilderness Campground parking lot and take the bus to the restaurant.

California Grill - Contemporary
Lounge seating available first come
Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli
I know you are probably thinking it is impossible to get California Grill dining reservations the week of. That answer is correct - but you can dine at their lounge, which is something I have done on MULTIPLE occasions. They offer the exact same menu as the dining room and if you are lucky enough to be there during Magic Kingdoms nightly Wishes Fireworks, it is a double score. I'm obsessed with the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli and typically get sushi while there.

Brown Derby - Disney's Hollywood Studios
Reservations Required, Outdoor lounge seating available first come
Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger - our post 2014 Princess Half Marathon meal
Brown Derby is another tough to get into restaurant but they do have a few slots available this week. They also have a great outdoor dining area that is first come - perfect for people watching over a glass of wine. I prefer to go here at lunch so I can order their Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger - but they also have a ton of carb options including noodle bowls and various pastas.

Prato - Winter Park, FL
Reservations Recommended - off property will need transportation
Photo from Prato Winter Park Facebook
Prato is hands down my favorite restaurant in all of Orlando. I work in Orlando once a week and get to check out a lot of their trendy dining spots. With that said, Prato is the one place I always recommend to people when asked for dining suggestions. I have sent people there on first dates, girls nights out and corporate dinners. They hand-make all of their pasta, their pizza is the closest thing you will find to Italy without going overseas and their meatballs have a cult following - for all the right reasons. If you have a rental car or other means of transportation that isn't Disney, I strongly suggest going to Prato.


  1. These all look SO delicious!!! My first WDW trip ever will be this weekend, can't wait to enjoy great food along with everything else!

  2. Wow, I am hungry now looking at this. I play on carb loading & unloading..haha. That Tony's shrimp dish looks great!! Can't wait for this weekend!!


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