Sunday, October 19, 2014

What You Need To Know About runDisney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon

HIIIII! Hi, Hi! Hi!

I have missed you all so so much! I am thinking that finally having another runDisney race coming up as well as this fabulous BLOG HOP that it'll get me back into the swing of blogging. I have missed recapping races, MegLovin' Monday and Tastebud Tuesday!

SO! I am going to tell you all about my absolute FAVORITE runDisney Race. The Wine and Dine Half Marathon!

Three Parks. One Night. Wine. Dine. Bling.

One tip I'd like to give you is to make sure you nap before the race. Whether you run the Jingle Jungle 5k like me and nap after or you sleep in, do it. You'll thank yourself.

Make sure your bag check bags are packed before you nap and that you lay out your outfit before you close your eyes. It'll keep you incredibly relaxed and ready for your night race.

Sammy and I planned on getting to ESPN's Wide World of Sports early and brought our pre-race snacks with us. When we arrived we were maybe one of the first 200 there, which is like hitting the jackpot when we noticed that Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Chip and Dale were there for photo ops! We blew through Mickey, Goofy and Minnie. By the time we got in line for Chip and Dale the lines were out of control. However, getting there so early meant we still had time to wait in this last line.

Chef Mickey

Goofy was next!

And OF COURSE Minnie!

Chip and Dale! How cute are these two!?

The wait is what bothers people sometimes but I didn't feel the same anxious jitters I normally have for a morning race. I was pumped, ready to go, rested and relaxed.

It might sound silly but I love all the little touches runDisney adds. Like the way to find your corral.

Sammy and I were in Corral H. We didn't end up spending too much time in the corrals from what I remember. I felt like we were ready to go within a great time frame.

As the corrals were sent off with fireworks I became incredibly excited!


The first two miles went by very fast. I loved that each mile was themed. These miles are on the high way from ESPN's WWOS to Animal Kingdom.

Mile 2

The first characters we saw almost stopped us in our tracks. The dancing hippo and ostrich from Fantasia...WHAAAAAAAT! Both of our mouths must have dropped at the same time. There was no way we were missing this photo op.

Mile 3 came and went.

 We finally made our way into the Animal Kingdom, what a gorgeous tree!

They had these awesome lights on either side of the runners while entering Animal Kingdom too.

We saw Timon and stopped to take in the Hakuna Matata vibe he was putting out. We also attempted to use the bathroom in Asia because lets face it, port-o-potties are gross. I didn't think about what kind of an issue my tutu would become but lets be honest for a minute. I think I ended up with it in my mouth from holding it up. Too much info? Sorry. #TutuStruggles

Mile 4 down! Going through Asia.

 Gorgeous lights. I love Asia. Sorry it's a little blurry, action shot. I believe there is a chance that Baloo or King Louie were available for photos but since we had gotten them during the JJ5k we passed by them during the half.

As we were heading out of the Animal Kingdom (where the start and finish for the Jingle Jungle 5k was) we noticed a huge ship. This line probably killed our time but you wanna know what, Sammy being my best friend knew how much it would mean to me to take my picture with Jack Sparrow. I love her for this.

Mile 5! (Still in the AK parking lot)

Mile 6 - Almost half way done! 

Mile 7! Back out on the highway, headed towards MGM. 

*Heads up, in between miles 7 and 8 you run an exit/entrance ramp, it is slanted up to the right, Take it easy on your ankles and knees*

Mile 8! Fuel Time

Mile 9 is where I got really excited! We were on our way into MGM!

I love the Hollywood Tower Hotel at night <3

This is a great spot to stop and use the bathroom. The parks always have cleaner ones and if you are the person not using the bathroom its a great time to stretch.

I had to take a shot back down the street.

After you pass Mickey's Sorcerrers Hat you head towards Pixar Place and you'll find some good friends there too! The lighting around our two buddies here was awful though. It made everything so blurry.

It has been many many years since I have taken the Backlot Tour and unfortunately I did hear they were closing it for good but I am pretty sure we had our course come through the same areas the tour takes you. This tunnel was an absolute blast! Disco themed with fog lights. It was a huge energy boost.

Mile 10 came around very fast and the excitement began to build for the big event of the race....the part everyone raves about....the part you dream about... On the other side of the sign was Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope. We were ready to be done so we pushed on.

 Then. The best part of the entire course. THE OSBOURNE FAMILY SPECTACLE OF LIGHTS! I will continue to run this race as long as they keep this as part of the course.

I didn't want it to end. I almost forgot for a second, just a second, we were running. I wanted to stop and take it all in, but we still had 2 miles to go. 

After you exit MGM you run along the Boardwalk and then cross over to the Yacht and Beach club. It was amazing. It was a little tight in spaces but it was so fabulous to see spectators with signs and people cheering. I even saw Pam and Christine (We Run Disney) as they were heading back to their rooms. I love this area of Walt Disney World Property the most of any place.

As we rounded the corner past the International Gateway they had adorable Mickey shaped lights. 

When we finally saw the finish line in front of us I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I just lifted my arms in victory! Another runDisney race completed. 

*HEADS UP* I don't care if you're 6, 26, 56 or 96. You are never prepared to see nakedness after giving your all in a race....or well ever. They didn't say that this changing area was a free-for-all. I like my space and a place to sit when I change after running 13.1 miles but instead...boobs and more galore. We changed quickly and headed towards EPCOT and the after party.

I was very disappointed that the 'free adult beverage' they were handing out was down to the end of the beer stash as I was hoping for some free wine. Maybe with an earlier corral this year I'll get one!

Once you are changed, or well ready to party, be prepared to have your bag checked again as you enter the park. These lines were longer than some of the character lines. But getting your finishers shot in front of Spaceship Earth is worth it.

Hope you are having a blast along the blog hop! See you real soon!

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory


  1. Loved everything about this post, Meg! This will be my first Wine & Dine Half since the Inaugural one, so I'm really looking forward to it! Hope to see you there!! :D (The part about body parts in the changing tents cracked me up! Good to know...I might have to change once I'm inside Epcot!)

  2. Yay! Glad you're back to blogging! I'm DYING to run this race, but my friends keep popping out babies and can't run with me :( Maybe next year!

  3. I always scope out the real bathrooms so I can avoid the port-a-potties.

  4. We missed your blog! This was such a detailed race recap. Thanks. I didn't know that there was an actual changing tent. Is there one for women and then another one for men? I think part of this course was the same course we ran for TOT. I remember that on/off ramp leading down to Hollywood studios ( I did not like that part) and then I remember the backstage tunnel. At that part in the race I was just ready to be finished and I did not care for the fog and spinning lights inside the tunnel. It was starting to make me dizzy. I hope you have a great time at this year's wine n dine and I hope you get that free glass of wine at the end!

  5. First of all, PLEASE keep blogging! I missed your blog. Love Salk these pics. I've wanted to W&D forever. I'm hoping for 2015.

    1. Stupid auto correct- that was supposed to say "love all these pics"! Lol

  6. Great recap -- and LOVE the Ursula costume!!! I just wish we lived closer. :)

  7. You have such great pics! I'm so slow, and was in danger of being swept last year so I didn't stop at the Osborne lights. This year, fingers crossed, I can get a quick pic-it's my favorite spot along the course!

  8. Great recap!! This is getting me so very excited for the big event. It will be my first Wine and Dine Half Marathon and it looks every bit as amazing as I envisioned. Thanks!

  9. Thanks for the great recap! This will be my first Wine & Dine and I am so so excited! Does everyone change after the race? I was planning to pack some baby wipes, etc and freshen up after the race, but was hoping to avoid having to change.

  10. great post! I am SO excited to go through wine and dine and am prepping myself for the changing tents now! haha

  11. Fantastic post! The Wine & Dine half sounds epic!! One of my favorite things about a runDisney race is running through the parks, so to go through 3 of them is awesome and I am DEFINITELY getting in line early to take pics with those adorable characters!!

  12. What a fantastic, complete recap and photo exposé- I almost forgot you were running too Meg! This race is a favorite of mine as well; unless you're running the full, you can't beat 3 parks in one night. Yes- 1. Asia at night is gorgeous. 2. That slanted ramp at Mile 7ish is a KILLER. 3. I'm in the "beer only" subset too! Thanks so much for joining the final hop Meg- we're SO glad you did!!!