Five Years Running! It’s hard to believe that the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is already 5 years old, but I’m happy to say that it has just gotten better with age. This is definitely one of my favorite courses because you get to run through 3 of the parks that are all lit up with fun nighttime entertainment…can’t get much better than that. Oh and look at the rad medals you can get!
Like any runDisney race weekend, there are TONS of details that you need to know to make your race go smoothly. Well I’ve got all of that for your right here in one place! Let’s get started…
Health & Fitness Expo
Like all other runDisney race weekends you will need to start yours by heading to the Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Hours for the Expo are:
- Friday, November 7th: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday, November 8th: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Participants in all of the races MUST attend the Expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag doubles at the bag to use for bag check during the race. This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, such as pins or necklaces.
Your first stop at the Expo will be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up. If you are unable to attend the Expo, you can arrange for an absentee pick-up by filling out an authorization form (found here) and providing the person picking up your bib with a photo copy of your ID and signed waiver.
From there you will then proceed across the way to the Jostens Center to pick up your race shirt and gEAR bag, visit with over 50 vendors and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.
Bus transportation will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events taking place during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. This includes the Expo, 5K, Kids Races and the half marathon. Bus service to the Expo will run during the following times:
- Friday, November 7th: 9:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
- Saturday, November 8th: 8:30 am – 2:30 am (last bus will leave for the resorts at 3:30 pm)
For the 5K, runners must be on a bus by 5:30 am to make it to the corrals by 6:15 am at the latest. For Kids Races, families must be on a bus by 9:00 am to make it to the corrals by 9:45 am at the latest. For the 10-Miler, runners must be on a bus by 8:00 pm to make it to the corrals by 9:15 pm at the latest. Buses will run until 4:30 am on Sunday for a return trip to the resort. If you are staying at the Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan or Dolphin, you have the option of walking back to your resort at the end of the night.
These are the host resorts for the weekend:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events. An important thing to note is that there will be NO parking or guest drop-off at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the evening of the race. Runners will need to park at Epcot and take shuttles to the Sports Complex. Parking fees for runners and spectators will be waived at Epcot after 6:00 pm on the night of the race. Runners must be on a shuttle by 8:00 pm, so make sure to leave extra time to park your car and wait in line for a shuttle. Event transportation will be suspended between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm due to road closures and the start of the race.
Costumes are one of the best parts of any Disney race. It’s amazing to see what some people run in! For this race you will see a lot of chefs and food themed costumes. I even saw someone running as a bunch of grapes!
Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated. This is for your own safety, especially during a night race! So who are you dressing up as??
Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.
Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race. The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around if you are planning on staying for the after party.
All bags must be checked by 9:00 pm at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Bags will be available for pick-up in the Epcot Imagine Parking Lot and must be claimed by 2:30 am on the morning of November 9th.
Staging Area & Start Corrals
When you arrive by shuttle to to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex you will be directed to a large staging area. This is where you will find bag check, water stations, photo ops and most importantly Port-a-Potties. You can hang out here until about 30 minutes until the start of the race when you will need to be in your corrals.
The corrals will be located in the Touchdown Lot at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you. All runners MUST be in their starting corral by 9:30 pm. The Wine & Dine Half Marathon will start at 10:00 pm with the wheelchair start at 9:58 pm.
You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number. I will be in Corral H so please say hi if you see me around!
Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt. Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo. Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time. If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly. Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible.
You must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line. Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos. Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time. Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.
There will be 9 PowerAde and water stops along the course and they are located approximately 1.5 miles apart from each other. The PowerAde flavor is lemon-lime, so if that isn’t your thing you should carry your own. There will be one food station at mile 8.4 that will have Clif Shots available.
Changing areas will be available in the finish line area of the Epcot Imagine Lot after the race so you can get out of those sweaty clothes to enjoy the Finish Line Party. But be warned that there is no privacy and the tents can get hot, so I have found that it is worth it to stand in line for a bit to get into an air conditioned restroom to change.
Tip for you: Walk farther into Epcot and use the bathrooms in one of the Innoventions buildings…they are typically empty!
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
More information on other events like the Kids Races is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend. Also, check out some of my packing tips as your get ready to travel and one of my plans for prepping for night races. Also, Jenn from DISining Memories recently shared some great tips on Prepping for a Night Race vs. a Morning Race if you’re not used to running at night.
I ran this race two years ago and have tips and insights from my experience in my race recaps, plus from my friends who covered it for me last year! Hopefully you will find some of them useful:
- Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K Race Recap
- 2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Race Recap: A West Coast Point of View
- Wine & Dine Weekend Health & Fitness Expo
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon: Race Recap
- 2012 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Photos!
- Wine & Dine Half Marathon After Party
I really excited to be returning this year to run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. It’s probably my favorite race course and my second favorite race after Princess. Plus having the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at the finish line is a BIG win in my book! Speaking of the Food & Wine Festival, make sure to get a copy of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to help you plan out what booth you want to hit after the race to refuel.
Take my advice and head straight to Australia for a lamb chop (protein!) and take it inside Craft Beers to enjoy with an ice cold brew. You can thank me later 😉
Hope to see you there!!