We can almost taste it! Registration for Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend opens this Tuesday, March 17th at Noon EST and there are many, many reasons why Disneyland fans will want to examine this race “menu” closely. The uniqueness of this runDisney weekend makes it particularly delectable! Check your reservation book and pencil in November 6, 7 and 8, 2015; here is why:
1. Run through not one, not two, but three Disney Parks: Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You won’t get your moment running through a castle, but you will get maximum mileage immersed in the Disney magic.
2. Here’s your chance to wish upon a star and participate in runDisney’s only nighttime half marathon. The Florida sun will not attack your eyes or your skin, which means you can forego the sunglasses and lotion. Likewise, intense heat and humidity will probably not be a factor. (Yes, last year was a chilly and wet mess, but race weather is unpredictable no matter when you run.) Running at night does, however, require discipline to pace yourself during race day. Limit your theme park frolicking for another day and be sure to plan your fueling wisely; no one wants to be stumbling around a porta-potty in the pitch black!
3. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is wonderfully unique to Walt Disney World Resort and this year runs from September 25 until November 16th. With over 25 International Food & Wine Festival Marketplaces offered, you can take a culinary tour around the world and never leave Orlando. (Once again, complete food and wine indulgence is best done after your 13.1 miles.)
To supplement the party atmosphere, the Eat to the Beat concert series will add some jazz, soul, funk or rock to your weekend. Nothing is better than toasting your race success (with a cold Blood Orange Margarita in hand) while being serenaded in the outdoor American Gardens Theatre by your favorite tunes from the 1980s. Nada.
4. Need a double-dose of these yummies? Access to the world’s best runner’s night out is included in the price of the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon; after the race, treat yourself to the exclusive Finish Line Party in Epcot where you’ll get your celebration kick-started with a complimentary glass of wine or beer and a $15 Disney Gift Card! The party continues until 4:00 a.m., so refer back to my advice on pacing yourself. If you are a runDisney special events party animal, you can also purchase a ticket for the Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste; a private affair on Thursday night at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Theater that serves up entertainment, Disney Characters, four food samplings, and a complimentary “signature sip.” (Perhaps you are sensing a theme here.)
5. Christmas in November. This race is perfectly timed to take full advantage of the end of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and the introduction of many of the festive Holiday events. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party kicks-off in Magic Kingdom on November 8th (a special ticket event) and the truly sensational, one-of-a-kind The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights presented by Siemens bedazzles Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There was some concern that this display might be displaced because of anticipated construction, but runDisney has assured its fans that all half marathoners will once again run through the lights!! This alone is worth that $190 price tag!
Are you now ready to dig in? As always, if you want to avoid indigestion have your Active account and credit card at the ready on Tuesday before Noon EST. Since there will not be another fall race in Walt Disney World for 2015 (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler has been pulled from the calendar), chances are this one will also sell out quickly. Don’t be left hungry!