Who’s going to be in Orlando for Princess race weekend? For me, one of the best parts about running is getting to carb load the night before! I love any excuse for a big bowl of pasta. And luckily, Disney World has plenty of places where you can get good Italian food. I’ve tried all of the ones on this list at one point and haven’t really had a bad experience yet. So if you’re going to be visit Disney World for a RunDisney event and need that carb loading experience, here are some of the places you might want to look into:
Trattoria al Forno
Located at Disney’s Boardwalk, this Italian restaurant is open for dinner and usually has 3-4 pasta dishes on the menu, including a risotto. When I ate there I had a tasty pesto dish which isn’t available anymore, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and try something new! Read my review of Trattoria al Forno.
This restaurant in Epcot tends to be popular, so if you’re interested in eating here you might want to make sure you grab a reservation early. They are known for their pizza (another great way to carb load!), but have a number of pasta dishes as well. If you’re going for pizza I love the unique prosciutto and melon pizza.
Also in Epcot’s Italy pavilion, Tutto Italia is supposed to be slightly more higher end (though not a signature restaurant). I had my pre-marathon meal here. While the pasta dish I got was good, it wasn’t anything outstandng and we didn’t have the best service. So I don’t know if I would make much of an effort to come back here. I’ll be putting up a review of that experience soon.
Perhaps you’re not a fan of Italian food or having pasta to carb load. One of my good friends likes sushi before a race. And it makes sense because rice is also a great carb! I really enjoy Tokyo Dining for sushi. It’s somewhat basic but very good.
Over in Hollywood Studios, Mama Melrose is going to be your go-to Italian place. It’s a fun, kitschy sort of restaurant, and their pasta is quite good. I’m a big fan of the penne alla vodka there.
If you’re not planning to be in the parks before a race, Portobello is a great option because it’s in Disney Springs. They have some very good Italian food there, including a number of pasta dishes. Read my review here.
Tony’s Town Square
Just like Lady and the Tramp loved sharing a plate of spaghetti, you too can carb load on spaghetti and meatballs here! Or one of the other traditional pasta dishes at this restaurant located on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. It may not be the best restaurant on this list, but if you’re in Magic Kingdom anyway it gets the job done.
Over at the Swan hotel, Il Mulino is a nice Italian restaurant that is either walking distance or a boat ride from Hollywood Studios or Epcot. They have one of the biggest selections you’ll find, with currently 8 different pasta dishes, 2 different risottos, and 4 different kinds of pizza.
Pinocchio Village Haus
Maybe a sit-down restaurant with a reservation isn’t really your style. If you’re packing a lot of fun into a Magic Kingdom day, check out Pinocchio Village Haus for dinner. They have flatbreads and a chicken parm dish served over pasta.
Resort food court
If you’re staying in a resort with a large food court (like one of the values or moderates), almost all of them have a “make your own pasta” station. I love this because it’s fast, easy, and you can get it exactly how you want it. I’m staying at All-Star Sports this trip so I’m planning my dinner before the half marathon to just be here (after watching Rivers of Light!).
What’s your favorite place to get a meal before a RunDisney event?