I Don’t Want To Leave Orlando

This will be my last “I’m having the best time ever in Florida” post. I promise. I have to go back to NYC on a very early flight tomorrow.

The trip has been pretty great. Today was a total work day (though it did start out with a 4-mile run and a jump straight into the pool — in running clothes — afterward).

As I mentioned yesterday, despite all the playing I’m doing, the reason I’m in Orlando is actually for work. I’m here covering national dance competitions, which is fun for me because I grew up attending them and now I get to go and watch and enjoy without all the pressure.

I spent the entire day today in a very chilly auditorium and now I’m getting ready for my final Orlando meal.

It won’t beat last night’s meal, that’s for sure.


California Grill at the Contemporary Resort isn’t just one of my favorite restaurants in the Disney area, it’s one of my favorite restaurants ever. The food is great, the atmosphere is fun, the wine is delicious and the fireworks show overlooking the Magic Kingdom doesn’t hurt.

Fireworks! Magic Kingdom! Space Mountain! Woo!

But the real reason I keep going back to California Grill?

This little beauty:

Oh. My. Yum.

No, I didn’t share.

All in all it’s been a great trip. Clearly. I rode rides, I ate good food, I still got my runs in, my stomach felt fine the entire time (huge victory!) and even though I did a lot of work, I still felt relaxed and happy.

Carousel = Happy Ali
Mickey Ice Cream = Happy Ali
Mickey Parade = Happy Ali
Chocolate Covered Anything = Happy Ali
Such an original photo, I KNOW

Disney World, thanks for a great trip. You know how to make a girl feel magical.

Seriously though, it’s amazing what this place is capable of. I’ve felt like a total little kid for the past few days.


Next time you hear from me, I’ll be back in the city, ready to get back to regular updates about running and things.

Speaking of running, guess what I’m super pumped about?

Coach Cane’s plan for me this Saturday = 15 miles. It’ll be my longest run yet and I can’t wait!

Bye, Disney!

Epcot, you pretty ball.
Minnie! Mickey! Donald! Pluto! Goofy! Ali!

Hope to see you again soon…



0 Responses

  1. I think you definitely needed a dose of Disney magic. It came at the perfect time! I’m so glad you’re feeling good and you were able to enjoy the trip. Please remember to bring chocolate covered Mickey treats back to all of your friends.

  2. Looks like soo much fun and California Grill is my absolute favorite too. Took the husband there for the 1st time when I ran the Disney marathon in January and he was equally impressed. Said they wine list is amazing.

  3. oh my gosh what a magical trip! I want to go back to disney!
    Also, awesome awesome jumping pic! (although it gave me a minor heart attack when I saw jumping in flip flops…… be careful, please!!!)

  4. I think you may have covered one of my old dance studios while you were there!! Which Nationals was it for? So jealous!!

  5. Never been to Disney, but keep going back to vacation in Florida… I love that state too! Don’t know what it is about it… Think probably the heat.
    Pictures are awesome, glad yo uhad a good time


  6. Looks like fun! Did you actually get to do the Orlando trip alone?! Just wondering because I had to go to Vegas for work last year (emergency medicine conference…snooze), with two bosses that were older than my dad. It was my fourth visit, but first as an adult. Would have been way more fun to experience alone. 😉

  7. You’ll totally rock that long run!

    I’m most likely going to Orlando in October — TWO WEEKS before NYC – ahhh! Share good running routes!

    Oh ps – you were in Orlando during the Casey Anthony verdict, was it crazy there?! Maybe not at Disney though.

  8. I went on a “work trip” to take a tour of Valley Forge Historic Park. It rained the entire three hours we were outside, it was cold, and we had to eat lunch on the big yellow school buses. Top that! haha. I miss Disney : (

  9. everything looks awesome! your energy is contagious.

    i’m curious though, who is taking all the pictures of you? and are you dining alone? no judgment…just nosey. 🙂

  10. Intensely jealous. Not only of your Disney trip but of your job. I love dance, and I love watching the competitions on ESPN when I can catch them.

  11. Ali you are adorable!! And that picture of you with the Mickey ice cream totally took me back to my childhood trips to Disney – those taste extra amazing, for some reason 🙂 It must be a wonderful feeling to have your stomach cooperate while you traveled. SO glad you had a great time, you deserved a nice getaway!

  12. My work trips are never this much fun — need to get myself signed up for some kind of conference in Orlando 😉

    And yes, Disney’s magical powers are pretty fantastic. I volunteer with a great organization called Give Kids the World which basically organizes the trips that the Make-a-Wish Foundation grants, and it is AMAZING what a little pixie dust can do. A little Mickey goes a long way in the healing process.

    And now I have to put California Grill on my must-eat list!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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