Thursday, March 27, 2014

Disney's Pasta in the Parks: Why We Did It Again

Our first experience with Disney's Pasta in the Parks Party was during Marathon weekend last year. Although we enjoyed our time there we didn't think it was necessarily something that we would need to do again. Just experiencing it once was sufficient and we were glad that we did it. 

The Pasta in the Parks party includes, early admission to Epcot, a buffet dinner, dessert, character meet and greet, and a reserved seating location to view Illuminations.  Last year we debated on whether or not we wanted to stay for the Illuminations show. Of course we wanted to get our monies worth out of the ticket price so we stayed, but boy were we exhausted by the time we got back to the resort and it didn't help that we had to be up at 2:30 am the next day.

Fast Forward to Princess weekend 2014. We decided that we would go ahead and buy tickets for the party again. We did have fun last year and since our mom would be with us this time, we wanted her to be able to experience it once too!

Since we were allowed in early we were able to play in the park a little bit.  Last year we made our way over to Soarin but this year we didn't want to waste the good daylight hours waiting in line!  So we used our time to visit some characters.
We also had enough time to make our way over to Innoventions and get our free Character Picture done for being a Disney Visa Card holder. If you have a Disney Visa, don't forget to stop there for your free picture! This is on our must do list each time we visit!  The rest of the time was spent looking for a tutu that I could wear for the 10K race the next day because I forgot mine at home.


A bit goofy we know, but we figured this might be the only picture we would have from the pasta party because we remembered it being so dark in there last year that many pictures did not come out. We were just being prepared!


The pasta party is in a pavilion that is behind Canada in the World Showcase. it is usually blocked by a big door. I think we may have actually ran by this building during one of the races.  We arrived just as they were letting people in but had we been the last ones there it wouldn't have mattered. There was so much food and I bet there was probably 50 buffet lines. Nobody had to wait to get food!







                      A sampling of our food ( what we remembered to take pictures of anyway)

Last year we didn't know about the character meet and greet at the party until it was too late. This year since we were already wearing our medals from the Cinderella 5K earlier that day we thought we would have some fun with Cinderella Characters!

This is the very first time we've ever seen Cinderella's Step Sisters and Step mother! Our photographer told us to look serious so of course I gave my best Mckayla Maroney Smirk. Apparently my mom and sister didn't get the memo!

         We were actually surprised with how many characters were present and ones that you don't see too often. I think this would be a great place to bring kids because the character interaction was great and the meal was excellent too!

They were doing dessert a bit differently this year. They were going to be serving it at the Illuminations viewing. I heard it was going to be a dessert buffet but I can not confirm that for sure. We had about an hour or so till Illuminations and we all agreed that we didn't want to stay. It was already too late of a night for us. We were happy with our Mickey Ice cream sandwiches and decided to call it a night.   We did stop to visit with a few more characters on our way out of the park.

We were so happy that we were staying at a resort along the monorail line. We got right on and off the monorail, walked to our resort, and headed for bed!

So, the morale of this story is that Yes, the pasta party is a good time, but it does make for a long night!  It is a shame that we didn't stay for the dessert ( I was curious to see what was going to be served) and Illuminations since it technically is included in the ticket price, but we knew we were just too tired to really enjoy it.

Have you ever been to a pasta in the parks party?  Do you normally take advantage of the pasta parties at other races?   Do you normally cut your evenings short the night before a Disney race or do you stay till park close?

34 comments:

  1. Thanks for a more recent review of this! We went during Marathon Weekend 2013 and were less than impressed. Having a party the night before a race (and we actually went the night before the marathon) was just not a smart move! It makes it hard to enjoy it. However, the characters for this one looked like a ton of fun! Glad you were able to enjoy it together :)

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    1. We went during marathon weekend too! This year I believe the pasta party even started later in the evening which I did not like. It does make for a very long night,

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  2. Awesome review! I've never done the pasta party before for the very reason that it is so late before race day. I doubt I'd fully get my money's worth because of my early bedtime. But it looks like so much fun and the food looks great too!

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    1. The late night really is the only downfall. I wish they would do something earlier in the day but then I understand that they would probably have to raise the ticket price because that would give people more time in the park...oh no!

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  3. Wow, I kinda wish we had gone to the pasta in the park party. You got so many great character photos and the food looked really good. We may rethink this for a future runDisney vacation.

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    1. Yes, you and Allison should have come! Maybe next year.

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  4. Great characters, but like others have said, it's so late in the day. I'm kind of surprised but then we go off property and get take out from a place like Macaroni Grill. This January I got their chicken parm which was very good before the half.

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  5. The food looks yummy! I'd be anxious to see what desserts they served as well. We were back at the resort relaxing by 4:30 the day before WDW Half this year haha

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    1. Yea, the night of the Pasta Party was the latest we were out. We were back in the room pretty early the evenings before the other races!

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  6. Since my husband registered for Dopey through Runner's World, a ticket to Pasta in the Park was included in his package. We debated purchasing a ticket for me, but ultimately decided not to attend. I've read very mixed reviews about it, and with it going as late as it does, it made it difficult to say yes to it this year. While it looks like fun I wish that runDisney adjusted the time of it and/or gave runners the option to attend two nights before race morning.

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    1. They do offer the Pasta Party on several nights, but if you are running every race during the weekend it is hard to stay out that late.

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  7. That's a shame they have it going that late knowing most people get up literally a few hours later...
    Glad this year seemed to be better. Great Character pictures!

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    1. Yea, I wish there was a solution to it being so late.

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  8. I purchased the Pasta in the Park for Avengers. I did the breakfast during the PHM and was pleased. I am worried about the late night but was the only exclusive opportunity for signings at Avengers.

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    1. Can't wait to see how the pasta Party goes for the Avengers!

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  9. I've never done a pasta dinner before the race. It is partly because I am anti social and partly because I'm really picky about what I eat before a race!

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  10. I have never purchased the pasta in the park but I think it would be really fun to try out! Loving all the character pictures!!! I go to bed around 9 for the night before the Disney races.

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    1. Normally 9:00pm would even be too late for us...haha

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  11. I want one of those ice cream sandwiches. And the pasta sounds amazing right now! You two are just the cutest things ever and I wish we could have caught up with each other over the race weekend!

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    1. Awww thanks Rachel! Those Mickey sandwiches were literally frozen solid. I think mine still had some frost on it!

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  12. Thanks for the review! I've been curious about the Pasta in the Park Party, but I prefer to take it easy the night before the race and get some rest/go to bed early (if I can contain my excitement ;) ). I'd definitely like to give it a try one day, especially with all the great character pictures you were able to get!

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    1. We made sure to do the pasta party the night before the 10K instead of the half for that same reason!

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  13. Pasta in the Park is something I'd love to try at least once. All your wonderful character photos are making me think I may need to try it sooner rather then later!

    Lauren

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    1. They usually host them for Marathon weekend and Princess weekend. Hope you get to do it next year Lauren!

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  14. I read another review of this recently and I think it seems a bit odd to have it the might before the race, but I guess they have to take advantage of the limited window of a race weekend. I wonder how/if they'll do this for the ToT 10 since its a night race?

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    1. I'm pretty sure they don't have the Pasta in the Parks Party during TOT weekend but maybe they will have some other party like they did for Wine n Dine last year. Ya never know!

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  15. I literally just stumbled across the Disney Visa Meet & Greet last week! I knew there was one, but had never actually done it - what a great deal, and you are right, a must do! Great review - I'm bummed I didn't attend Pasta in the Park, there were some really great characters in there!!

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  16. I went to the pasta party for princess last year. The only good part in my opinion was that we used it as park admission so it was cheaper than getting a park ticket. But I didn't think the food was worth the price. And our lines were long for the characters. Glad you had fun though. And yes I love the visa photo op!

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  17. Wow! The pasta dinner looks magical!!!! Disney really goes out of their way to make the experience awesome!

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  18. Amazing pic with Cinderella's step mother and sisters! I've done the pasta party a few times and have had a different experience each time. I find it all depends on who I'm with. When I took my niece and nephew we had a blast, other times it's been not as much fun. The night before the race makes it tough, but if you're not planning on racing its doable.

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  19. Very cool...great recap!! We did the Pasta in the Park Party for Princess 2012 and the only characters were Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. I wasn't very impressed but it sounds like they've made a lot of improvements since then!

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  20. Thanks for this great sharing and also for beautiful photographs. This blog is very helpful for those who are interested in Disney world included me. I love Disney events! Disney really goes out of their way to make the experience awesome! Now to do some fun in coming weekend I am looking for yosemite bus tours. It is just fun. Does anyone here have any idea about this tour? Please share!

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