Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon


Orlando, FL

November 3, 2019


This was my first Disney run ever and I wanted to do Wine and Dine because I love Wine and Dine for the food and drinks! The weekend was so well run and I was very impressed with how it went from the expo to transportation and the race and post race party. But let's start from the very beginning.


I arrived in town on Friday evening to the Coronado Springs hotel. I highly recommend staying on property because the transportation is so much easier and free!


EXPO:

Saturday morning my friend Gary and I (Gary was racing alongside my other friend Jaimee) went to the expo to pick up our bibs and shirts. We took the rundisney shuttles that were offered from the hotel and dropped us off back at the hotel. The expo was at ESPN's Wide World of Sports and the space they used was large but definitely not filled up. Once we got our bibs (I had a lower number and A corral because I submitted a previous race time to get my early slot), we walked into the race exclusive shop. There were some nice items, but nothing I wanted. We then walked down the pathway to another area where the rest of the expo was housed. There were some shops including a running store where I purchased the new Jaybird Vistas. They are amazing and I am super happy I bought them at the expo. Once we were done, we took the shuttles back and rested back at the hotel.


For dinner, we ate at a Mexican restaurant at the hotel with the whole crew in tow. My girlfriends from Miami came to enjoy the weekend, race and cheer us on. Afterwards, we went back to the rooms to get ready for bed.


RACE DAY:

The race started at 5:30 am, which means we had to get up at 3:00 AM!! Why? Because we had to take the shuttles to the start, and the last shuttle left at 3:30 from the hotels. Also because they need to open the parks up by a certain time and needed racers out of there! Once on the bus which was designated for our hotel, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom parking lot where the race starts. Once we got there, we took some pictures, saw the lines for taking photos with the Disney characters and waited until 5:15 when it was time to line up.


It was a cool morning but humid to say the least. I was in the first corral while Gary and Jaimee were in H (ie they would start about an hour after I already had.) When the race started for me, it was pitch black out so the only thing lighting the way were the lampposts and big generators with lights on them. I passed Mary Poppins, a bunch of other Disney characters and made sure to hit the aid stations and take in my gels and salt given the humidity. I didn't take pictures with many characters because I didn't want to wait in line. Luckily because I started so early, there weren't many long lines.

We ran from the Magic Kingdom to the Animal Kingdom on the backroads, past the garbage truck depot and into the park. I knew i was getting closer because I could smell the animals. However I could not see them because it was dark out. We entered the park and i tried to get in a photo at Everest (didn't come out) and a jump somewhere else. By the time I exited the park, the sun was starting to come up. So let's just say I didn't really see much of the course prior to Mile 6.


We then ran on some more back roads to the highway where we ran about a mile on the highway, to the off-ramp that took us to Hollywood studios and the Boardwalk. I saw the opportunity to take a picture with a duck (I didn't know which one it was but found out later it was Donald) and I am proud to say I got one!

By this point, the sun was up, a little overcast but definitely warmer. I continued taking in my fluids at each aid station and ran the short bit through Hollywood Studios, along the path to the boardwalk and entered Epcot around England. I thought there would be more running around Epcot but to my disappointment, we exited somewhere after Morocco and ran through the back parking lots, past a sewage area (gross), along another road and finally to the finish line which was in the parking lot of Epcot. There I met back up with our cheerleading section of Megan, Allison and Drew and I grabbed a bunch of water, gatorade, a cold towel and sat my butt down while I waited for Jaimee and Gary to finish. I also enjoyed myself two glasses of champagne cause why not and some breakfast dish they were selling which was much nicer than the bananas and box of random food items they gave us as we finished.


Jaimee and Gary had a much more fun time taking pictures and just enjoying the race with all of the characters.


After the race we went back to the hotel, napped, showered and got up in time for the After party at Epcot. The nice thing with our race fee is that we can get into Epcot beginning at 5PM and still enjoy wine and dine foods. So we walked slowly on our way over to Epcot's world expo and dined on so yummy foods. After the fireworks they keep the park open for racers who want to take in more of the park and evening festivities. I however, was exhausted and content on going back to the hotel and sleeping.


Overall, Disney put on a great race. Expensive for sure, way to early but I happy to say I have run a Disney race. Bucket list CHECK!


Perks: Transportation, organization, course through the parks, medals, shirts, post race food options for sale were great, opportunity to take pictures with characters, access to Wine and Dine festival in the evening

Ehh... Not a Fan: Expo was mediocre, didn't like part of course by sewage pipes or on the highway, finish line area was a parking lot, post race food box

Grade: B+