Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Disney World
Dates: November 6-7, 2015
At the culmination of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is a runDisney race weekend seemingly designed as a way to rid yourself of some of those extra calories you may have picked up during the previous 6 weeks.
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
The main event for the weekend is a nighttime run through three Walt Disney World parks. This 13.1 mile run begins at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, winds through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and finishes with a tour of Epcot. Since the event begins at 10 pm, runners get a one-of-a-kind peek at these theme parks after they have closed to the general public.
As with all runDisney events, the route is punctuated with entertainment and Disney characters, including some that are rarely seen. Registered participants also receive admission to the Finish Line Party (see below), a Champion long sleeved tech shirt, and a commemorative finisher medal.
The privilege to run all those miles at Disney World is not without its cost. In 2014 registration cost $185 if you had registered by April 1, 2014, $200 between April 2 and May 13, 2014, and $215 after May 13.
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k
Early on the morning of the headline Wine and Dine Half Marathon comes this much shorter event. Held in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, runners of all skill levels get to race past attractions, wonderfully detailed buildings, and exotic animal enclosures while the park is still closed to regular guests.
Even this smaller course is dotted with popular Disney characters and entertainment and each participant will get a t-shirt and finisher medallion. The cost for 2014s event is $55 if you register on or before August 19, 2014 and $65 thereafter.
runDisney Kids Races
Is your son or daughter jealous that you get to spend your time in Walt Disney World running? Well never fear, Disney has some races just for them.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports complex hosts a handful of events made just for the 13 and under crowd. The one mile run is perfect for any distance-oriented child age 13 and under, while there are a few shorter sprints for the younger ones. The 400m dash is for 7-8 year olds, the 200m dash is perfect for those age 4-6, the 100m is there for 1-3 year olds, and the Diaper Dash, while less gross than it sounds, is still the event for the crawlers.
All participants will get a t-shirt and finisher medallion in exchange for a registration fee. For 2014 the One Mile Run cost $30 if you register by August 19, 2014 and $35 after. The other kids races set you back $15 and $20, respectively.
Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo
The most important thing to know about the Expo is that ALL RUNNERS FOR ALL RACES MUST GO in order to pick up their race packets. The Expo is normally open much of the day on the Friday of race weekend as well as Saturday morning, but we will post the 2014 hours as soon as the schedule is set.
In addition to that, the Expo is where you can find lots of Wine and Dine merchandise as well as the latest in Fitness technology and apparel. There are also speakers giving what is presumably valuable information on running.
Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste
This pre-race party is held on Friday evening, the night before the Half Marathon. It is a unique take on carbo-loading where, rather than pasta, you get 5 different dishes from the Food & Wine Festival and the opportunity to buy alcoholic drinks.
This private event is held in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the site of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show. In addition to the five "tastes" of Food & Wine participants receive one “signature sip” coupon, which we assume to be a free drink…a small one. There are also Disney characters on hand for meet and greets. The cost for the 2014 party is $79 for ages 3 and up.
Finish Line Party
Starting at 10 pm in Epcot, just as the Wine and Dine Marathon kicks off is this special party, and the best thing about the Finish Line Party is there ain’t no party like the Finish Line Party, ‘cause the Finish Line Party don’t stop…until 4 am, which is pretty late.
This super-special event is open only to runners and their friends and family and grants all who are worthy exclusive entry into Epcot after hours. During this party several Epcot attractions are open as well as just about all of the International Food & Wine Festival booths. There are also character meet and greets as well as live and house music.
If you register for the Half Marathon, the Finish Line Party is included in the registration price. Any friends or family that would like to attend must pay a separate price, which is $75 if purchased by August 12, 2014, $85 if purchased between August 14 and October 29, 2014, and $95 anytime after that.
Buses to and from every race and event are provided for all runners staying in any of the on-site Disney host resorts. The list of host resorts for the 2014 Wine and Dine are: All 3 All-Stars Resorts, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, both Port Orleans Resorts, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Polynesian, Saratoga Springs, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club.
As with many race weekends, the overall crowds at Walt Disney World are not substantially impacted due to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. While there are extra visitors on property during the weekend, they do not increase the attraction wait times very much. You will notice an impact if you are staying in one of the host resorts or visiting any park the day of an event, otherwise the impact from the race will be minimal.
While the race’s impact is minimal, it does fall on the final weekend of the International Food &Wine Festival, which is a big draw. Also, this weekend tends to be near the Veteran’s Day holiday, thus increasing crowds further. While any one of these things does not impact the crowds significantly, the three of them combined does raise our crowd levels for that particular weekend. Make sure you check our Crowd Calendar for details.
Last updated by Brian McNichols on March 4, 2015