October 21, 2013

Wine and Dine Half: What to Expect

Wine and Dine is a bit of a different animal for many racers.  The simple fact that it is a night race poses lots of questions for most runners.  So in today’s post, we’re sharing all of our best tips and advice for this fantastic runDisney event!
We are excited to have this beauty hanging around our necks!
Day of the Race
What to expect: Since it’s a night race, be prepared to relax that day.  Take advantage of the hotel pool and other resort amenities.  We never do a park this day to save our legs.  If you must leave the resort, I would recommend a short trip to Downtown Disney for lunch and a little shopping.  Alternatively, if you are comfortable with a very short park day, spending several leisurely hours in the parks might keep your mind occupied.  But if you are looking to PR, I’d rest!
When to eat: Last year, runDisney posted a great video about fueling for a night race.  The basic guidelines - lots of small meals and stick with foods you know.  Race day is not the time to try a bunch of new things at the Food and Wine festival - wait until the after party!
Last year, I had an omelet for breakfast and a turkey sandwich for lunch (I ended up eating half at lunch and then the other half mid-afternoon).  And then before we were leaving for the buses, I ate my normal pre-race meal of a banana and peanut butter on an English muffin.  Race day is not the time to try a bunch of new things at the Food and Wine festival - wait until the after party!

What to expect: This race starts outside ESPN WWOS complex and there is ample area for milling about.  Most of the area is grass, so it’s a nice spot for sitting with other runners and resting your legs.  Unlike many of the morning runDisney events, this one left us feeling like we were there SUPER early last year!  I think we had close to two hours of milling about before we got to the corrals.  Like all Disney events, there is usually a character or two for photos (plan for a LONG line!) and a DJ getting the crowd hyped.
What to bring: Plastic trash bag or poncho for sitting; any pre-race snacks or fuel; bag-check bag

Corrals and Starting Line
What to expect: You will line up according to your corral.  Usually there are volunteers checking to make sure people are in the right corral.  In true Disney fashion, each corral will be sent off with fireworks! 
What to bring: Anything you need for during the race – fuel, hydration belt, etc.

Race Course
What to expect: You'll go through three parks - Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT plus the Boardwalk resort area.  It will be dark but there is more than enough light, so don’t feel obligated to bring a headlamp or anything like that.  The most crowded area of the course is going into Animal Kingdom and running through Animal Kingdom.  It’s also very dark in the park and the pavement is a bit uneven so pay attention!  In terms of characters, there are several Spectromagic floats on the course before and after Animal Kingdom and several characters as well.  I remember seeing Goofy and Chip ‘n Dale.  And there are several in Hollywood Studios – I know Darth Vader was there last year.  And then there are the magnificent Osbourne Family lights in Hollywood Studios.  Be prepared to be wowed! 

Finish Line
What to expect: In typical Disney fashion, there is a fabulous finish area with plenty of snacks and drinks.  They typically provide a snack box, bananas, PowerAde and water.  You’ll have an opportunity to take a finisher photo with Wine and Dine back-drop.  There are tents for changing (one for men and one for women) before you go into EPCOT.
What to bring: Pack a change of clothes in your bag check bag.  Last year, I brought flip flops, a jacket, and some wipes to clean up.  Bring your ID, the $10 gift card and some extra money as well – I carried this in my belt during the race.  I would also bring a bag (like a string backpack) to carry your things around the party.  The plastic bag check bag is a little unwieldy.
Heading into EPCOT

After Party
What to expect: A fantastic time!  The Food and Wine booths are open, characters are out and rides are open.  Last year, I believe that Soarin, Spaceship Earth, Maelstrom, and Grand Fiesta Tour were open.  All of this information will be confirmed in the Final Race Instructions.
What to bring: ID, $10 gift card (part of what you receive with registration), money, and camera




  1. This is a great post! This will be my first Wine and Dine so it let's me know what to expect. True story: when I ran PHM last year I didn't get ONE character photo! My goal and Wine and Dine is to not look at my Garmin and enjoy the experience!
    Hope to see you there!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

  2. Wine & Dine sounds like so much fun! I wish I was running it this year, but won't be there until next year.

  3. I feel like I have been so focused on Marine Corp I've barely even thought about W&D! It's going to come up so quickly once I get back from Florida!

    I LOVE the Osborne lights, I think it may be my favorite part of any Disney race!

  4. I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for the Wine and Dine in a few weeks!
    Thanks for this post!

  5. One day I'll do this race! Hope to see you ladies soon!

  6. I stopped for most of the characters last year, since I thought this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Little did I realize I would be running it again this year :) I got photos with Pluto, Goofy, Army Man (from Toy Story - he was yelling at people trying to motivate us up a hill), Woody, Wreck It Ralph...I also saw Chip & Dale and Darth Vader and a couple others that I didn't stop for.

    This was the first time I had seen the lights in Hollywood Studios...unbelievable. And then seeing the show with music a few days later with my family was even more awesome! And since I wasn't trying to PR this race, we totally went to Epcot during the day :) but I didn't sample any new foods at the Food & Wine Festival.

    This year, I totally plan on spending more time at the after party...completely bailed on it last year because of kids back at the hotel that would be waking up early. But this year, I'll just be sleep deprived!

    1. Oh I hope we will see you at the race Cara. We definitely will be taking photos this year and we plan on not getting separated for almost 8 miles too!

    2. I'm in corral G...what about you girls? I'll be dressed like Vanellope :) by the way, the whole corral letter scared me this year. I was in C last year, and expected to be in C or maybe even B this year, but then I saw the letter G and literally gasped out loud. Then I noticed that they go all the way out to L, so I'm really still in the middle of the pack...hoping that helps some with the crowds.

  7. Thanks for the tips ladies! This is my first night race and I've been wondering about some of these things!

    1. Kristen, You will love the race and especially the after party. We had so much fun with friends last year celebrating at the Food and Wine festival!

  8. I really want to run this one one day!!!

    1. Mindy, It is such a fun race and you will have a blast doing it someday!

  9. All great tips! :0) I really enjoyed W&D...can't wait to run it next year! Have a great time, guys!