Dates: November 3-6, 2016
In the midst 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 around World Showcase.
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
The main event for the weekend is an early morning 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. (Note: This event was previously held in the evening, but will begin at 5:30am in 2016.)
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.
Disney Wine & Dine 10K
On Saturday morning, Ratatouille's star Remy is the host of this 10K. Registered participants receive a Champion long sleeved tech shirt, and a commemorative finisher medal.
Lumiere's Two Course Challenge
Runners participating in both the 10K and the Half Marathon can enter the Two Course Challenge. Participating in both nets runners three medals: one for the Challenge and one for each race.
Mickey’s Holiday 5k
On Firday morning comes this 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.
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.
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 Thursday of race weekend as well as Friday and Saturday.
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.
Post Race Party
Starting at 8 pm in Epcot is this special party, and the best thing about the Post Race Party is there ain’t no party like the Post Race Party, ‘cause the Post Race Party don’t stop…until 1 am, which is relatively late for a lot of people.
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.
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 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 June 1, 2016