Posts Tagged ‘Animal Kingdom’

Disney Wine & Dine Half Adds 10K, Challenge, New Time

Disney Wine & Dine Half Gets New 10K, Challenge

Minnie greets finishers at Disney Wine & Dine Half (runDisney)

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is getting a new menu of events, following in the footsteps of every other runDisney race in the U.S. The race weekend at Walt Disney World from November 3 to 6, 2016 will debut the new Disney Wine & Dine 10K, Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge, and a new half-marathon course and start time. Registration for the 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon opens March 29, 2016 at 12 p.m. Eastern at runDisney.com.

The Disney Wine & Dine 10K, with a Ratatouille theme, will take place Saturday, November 5 as the first course in Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge. The second course is the title half-marathon on Sunday, November 6. The new 13.1-mile route will take runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and forgo Disney’s Hollywood Studios due to ongoing construction at that park.

Traditionally a nighttime race, the half-marathon is moving to morning. Why? Walt Disney World is planning to open all four of its theme parks during nighttime hours, limiting when races and race set-up can take place. (Read about the behind-the-scenes process in Planning Disney Races Takes More Than Magic.)

Disney Wine & Dine Half Gets 10K, Challenge

“Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Disney Parks)

New attractions expected to open by race day in November include the nighttime Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Frozen Ever After experience at the Norway pavilion in Epcot.

But don’t worry runners: the race’s signature Post Race Party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will still take place under the stars from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday, November 6, when Epcot stays open late solely for runners and party ticket holders. Now you’ve got time to shower and relax before partying the night away with Festival food booths, Disney characters, musical performances, and special access to Epcot attractions. Read the rest of this entry →

10

03 2016

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

Runners at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

Looking for 2016 info? Look here: Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens With New Races
UPDATE 3/17/15
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K sold out in 30 minutes! If you want to run, you can still register with a charity or tour provider: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Charity and Tour Bibs

Registration for the 2015 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World from November 6-7 opens Tuesday, March 17 at 12 p.m. EST. The race celebrates its sixth year.

How To Make Aladdin & Jasmine Running Costume

Bling! (Photo: Marathon Foto)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this might be my all-time favorite half-marathon. I ran Disney Wine and Dine in 2011 and 2013, as part of press trip courtesy of runDisney and New Balance, and loved every minute. I hope to keep running it for years to come. My husband proposed at the Finish Line Party after the race in 2011, so it’s our anniversary race of sorts.

But the proposal isn’t the only reason I love Disney Wine and Dine Half. The night-time race means dazzling Disney park lights and one killer after party that bumps all night long. This race is the best bang for your buck of all of runDisney’s half-marathons.

The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 10 p.m. outside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and traditionally takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, past Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally to the finish at Epcot. It’s a route runners won’t find at any other half-marathon. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Disney Princess Half Marathon share the same course. But Disney Wine and Dine is truly unique.

Plus, the race finishes with the best post-race party I’ve found—at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which stays open until 4 a.m. just for runners. Admission to the Finish Line party is included in race registration, along with a $15 Disney gift card and a complimentary beer or wine at the finish. Read the rest of this entry →

16

03 2015

Final Expedition Everest Challenge Registration Opens

Registration for Final Expedition Everest Challenge Opens

Yeti! (runDisney)

This is it, runDisney fans: your last chance to run the Expedition Everest Challenge at Walt Disney World in Florida. Registration for the May 1-2, 2015 race weekend opens Tuesday, December 16 at 12 pm ET. After that, runDisney will bid namaste to the Yeti’s signature event.

Final Expedition Everest Challenge Registration Opens

Cargo net crawl (runDisney)

The Expedition Everest Challenge is a mash-up of a 5K obstacle run and scavenger hunt through Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park starting at 10 p.m. Themed to the Expedition Everest roller coaster and its mythical (or real?) Himalayan Yeti, runners complete about five miles total between the 5K and scavenger hunt.

Runners earn a compass medal for running the 5K with three obstacles—often a tire run, cargo net crawl, and hay bale jump—then solving a series of clues around the park to complete the scavenger hunt. Participants can compete as individuals or in teams that complete the race together.

Registration for Final Expedition Everest Challenge Opens

The compass medal

Where are they running to? A late-night post-race party inside Animal Kingdom, of course, with entertainment and wait-free rides like Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, and DINOSAUR, which go until 2:30 a.m. Race registration includes entrance to the party. Friends and family can buy party tickets to join you too.

I’ve never run this one, but it’s long been on my list. That medal might be the best one in the entire runDisney collection. Maybe this will finally be the year… Read the rest of this entry →

15

12 2014

Disney Hotels For Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Choosing among Disney hotels for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo: Kent Phillips/Disney)

I’ve gotten this question a lot and in many varieties: What Disney hotels are best for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend?

There is no “best” hotel for any runDisney race. The best hotel for you for any race depends on many factors: what you want to do while you’re at Walt Disney World, who is in your party, and what your price point is, among other things.

I’ve stayed at eight different Disney hotels (four of which Disney comped for me during runDisney events) and three off property hotels while visiting Walt Disney World. But my hotel recommendations for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are based on two main factors: Whether or not you have spectators in your group and what you want to do while you’re not running.

If Your Group Includes Runners Only

Choosing among Disney hotels for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Walt Disney World Half Marathon finishers. (Photo: runDisney)

If everyone traveling with you is running a race, all the Disney hotels are great.

All the Walt Disney World Resorts are official “host” hotels for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and offer event buses to shuttle runners to and from the start and finish of each race. The buses are comfortable and efficient, both before and after the race.

Having stayed at Disney hotels on the Monorail loop, on the BoardWalk and elsewhere on property for runDisney events, there’s not much of a difference from a runner’s perspective. The event buses got me where I needed to go and back every time from all those different areas.

The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando also offer free race transportation for marathoners and half-marathoners staying with them as part of their Marathon Weekends packages. The hotels are inside the Disney gates, have complimentary park transportation for their guests, and offer another great option for racers booking a Disney runcation. Check out my full post about their offerings.

Choosing among Disney hotels for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

A Dopey Challenge runner races around the BoardWalk. (Photo: runDisney)

So if all the people in your group are runners, I would pick the hotel that makes your days easiest and meets your price point.

Are you looking for a great pool to rest your legs each day while doing Dopey Challenge? Is there one park in particular where you want to spend most of your time? Do you want to be close to the Expo to stalk runDisney New Balance shoes? Different hotels are better suited for each of those scenarios.

Parks
Chooming among Disney hotels at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

The Wishes Nightime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom. (Photo: Disney)

Magic Kingdom

If it’s Magic Kingdom you’re after, any resort on the Monorail loop is fantastic: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, soon to become Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as it undergoes major renovation.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground also have water taxis to the park.

The perks of each? The Contemporary Resort has my favorite quick-service restaurant, Contempo Cafe, and Magic Kingdom fireworks viewing from the hotel. Plus, it’s the next stop after Magic Kingdom on the Monorail. So at the end of a long day in the park, you’re home in a jiffy. Read the rest of this entry →

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

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Chef Mickey and Minnie greeted runners at the finish of Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon on Nov. 9, 2013. (Photo: runDisney)

Registration for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend from November 8-9 at Walt Disney World in Florida opens Tuesday, March 4 at 12 p.m. EST.

It’s no secret that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is my favorite half marathon. I ran the 2013 race as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney. In 2011, the event was my first runDisney race and where my husband proposed. So it will always be a sentimental favorite.

But that’s not the only reason I love this race. Marriage proposals aside, it has the best post-race party I’ve ever been to, at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 10 p.m. outside the ESPN Wine World of Sports Complex and takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, past Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally to the finish at Epcot.

Once there, runners can party until 4 a.m. with Epcot all to themselves. Admission to the Finish Line party is included in race registration, along with a $10 Disney gift card and a complimentary beer, wine or soda at the finish.

wine and dine half marathon

My husband and me with the real Aladdin and Jasmine. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Friends and family can also buy tickets to the Finish Line Party, where select Epcot attractions like Test Track and Soarin’ remain open into the wee hours. The party also includes all the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kiosks, live bands, DJs, and meet and greets with Disney characters. My husband and I got a photo with Aladdin and Jasmine while we were dressed as Aladdin and Jasmine at the 2013 race. In 2011, we photographed ourselves around the world. Read the rest of this entry →

03

03 2014

Race Report: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2013

2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, 2013 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Minnie jumps for joy at the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Finish. (Photo: runDisney)

The fourth annual Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon on November 9, 2013 at Walt Disney World in Florida was a record-breaking run. I attended the race on a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the entire race day experience including:

  • Running in Costume
  • The Course
  • The Start
  • The On-Course Entertainment
  • The Finish Line Experience
  • The Finish Line Party
  • My own race experience
  • And a slideshow of photos from the event
2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Men’s winner Justin Scheid. (Photo: runDisney)

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Justin Scheid, 27, of Sparta, N.J. was the top man, breaking the course record by more than 90 seconds in 1:11:47. He won the race easily, breaking away from the lead pack near the halfway mark and running solo to the finish.

Kristen Tenaglia, 29, of Seminole, Fla. obliterated the women’s course record by nearly 3 minutes, finishing in 1:23:37. Appropriately, she’s a tech rep for New Balance, runDisney’s official shoe partner.

2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Women winner Kristen Tenaglia. (Photo: runDisney)

We mere mortals also helped break a record at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon too: 12,134 runners finished the race, the most in the event’s four-year history.

The race weekend also included the Health and Fitness Expo, Disney Jingle Jungle 5K and Kids’ Races, all at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

It’s no secret that Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon is a favorite among the 60 races I’ve run. My husband proposed at the Finish Line Party in 2011, and it was my first runDisney race. The Finish Line Party also happens to be the best post-race party, bar none, of any race I’ve done.

So when New Balance and runDisney invited me to be their guest for the race, I returned in 2013 with high expectations, but also trepidation. Would it be as much fun as I remembered? Could 2013 possibly live up to the magic that was 2011? Could I really run a half marathon in harem pants? Yes, yes and yes.

2013 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Running as Aladdin and Jasmine (Photo: Marathon Foto)

Running in Costume

It helped that my husband, Phil, and I dressed as Aladdin and Jasmine. As I learned a few Disney races ago, running in costume is always more fun.

We got cheers the entire race from other runners, Disney employees in the parks, volunteers at fluid stations, spectators along the course, you name it. Barely a minute passed without us hearing shouts like:

“Look! It’s Aladdin and Jasmine!”

“Go Aladdin and Jasmine!”

“Why don’t you just take your magic carpet? That would be a lot faster!”

“You’re in a whole new world now!”

It motivated me to keep going and made the whole experience more fun. As usual, a post on how I put those costumes together is yet to come. Read the rest of this entry →

14

11 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon 2014: Run the Marathon, Half, 10K or Dopey Challenge for Charity

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Runners pass a Mickey Mouse hot air balloon at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida. (Photo: Todd Anderson/runDisney)

Want to run the Walt Disney World Marathon 2014 presented by Cigna or even the Dopey Challenge? You still can. The races may be sold out, but a limited number of charity and tour group entries are still available for runDisney fans who want to toe the line in Walt Disney World in Florida from January 8-12.

I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2013, courtesy of runDisney, and had the most fun I’ve ever had at a marathon. And I’ve run six of them including “bucket list” races like the ING New York City Marathon and Bank of America Chicago Marathon. My husband and I got in the runDisney spirit and ran the race in costume as Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse. It was like a 26.2-mile roving street party with Disney characters, music, and more. Read the rest of this entry →

19

08 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon Course Guide

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The Walt Disney World Marathon finish. (Photo: runDisney)

Tribesports asked me to create a guide to the Walt Disney World Marathon course for their social networking site for active minded folks. “Whether you’re a novice or a pro, we think seeing your friends sports activity, and sharing yours will make you want to be more active and do more sports,” their website states. Seems like a good premise to me, since that’s what the blogging community does in a different way.

So I thought I’d share my Walt Disney World Marathon Guide here as well since it highlights the race in a different way than my race report. If you’re thinking of signing up for the Walt Disney World Marathon—registration is still open for the 2014 race—here’s a play by play of what you can expect on the course.

Guide to the Walt Disney World Marathon Course

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Runners fill Magic Kingdom. (Photo: runDisney)

The Walt Disney World Marathon is the crown jewel in the runDisney series of races. Nearly 25,000 runners tackle the 26.2-miles around “the World,” many dressed in costume in homage to their favorite Disney characters. The vibe on-course is as much party as road race with Disney’s signature entertainment lining the way: marching bands, DJ’s, cheerleaders, acrobats, rock bands, and, of course, those famous Disney characters. Read the rest of this entry →

13

05 2013

Register now for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Disney Half Marathon, run Disney

Photo: runDisney

Registration is now open for the 2013 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in Florida from November 8-9. It’s the final race in runDisney’s seven–race series, and, I think, the most fun.

Disney expects more than 20,500 runners to register for the weekend’s events, including 14,000 for the half-marathon. That will mean a whopping 175,000 runners will have registered for runDisney events in 2013—a record for the mouse house’s running branch. In 2012, 125,000 runners competed in runDisney events. Read the rest of this entry →

12

03 2013

Race Report: Walt Disney World Marathon 2013

Race Report: Walt Disney World Martathon 2013

Cinderella Castle before dawn. (Photo: Marathon Foto)

Hot dog! It’s one of Mickey Mouse’s favorite phrases and it couldn’t have been more appropriate for the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13, 2013. The mercury climbed to unseasonably warm temps, with a high of 81 degrees and humidity to match.

But the heat didn’t stop the 20,000 finishers—myself included. Dressed as Cinderella in Rags with Jacques the Mouse by my side (played with gusto by my husband), I soaked in the sun as I ran around the world—Walt Disney World, that is.

It was a magical run punctuated by an army of Disney characters, spectators, and volunteers who helped make it a fairy tale run to remember. Read the rest of this entry →

18

01 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Slideshow

run Disney, Disney running, Walt Disney World Marathon

The Walt Disney World Marathon

Hot dog! It’s one of Mickey Mouse’s favorite phrases and it couldn’t have been more appropriate for the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13, 2013. The mercury climbed to unseasonably warm temps, with a high of 81 degrees and humidity to match. The sun hung hot and heavy in a largely cloudless blue sky as runners worked their way around the World—Walt Disney World, that is.

I was on hand for all of the weekend’s action, from the Health & Fitness Expo to the Pasta in the Park Party, the Walt Disney World Marathon Meet Up and the Downtown Disney Cool Down After Party.

As one of the weekend’s 65,000 runners, I soaked in the sun as I ran through Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Speedway, Animal Kingdom, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot on marathon morning—dressed as Cinderella in Rags with Jacque the Mouse by my side, played with gusto by my husband. These are my highlights from the weekend, including a few brushes with Mickey Mouse himself. Read the rest of this entry →

15

01 2013

Falling Down the Disney Running Rabbit Hole

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The start of the 2012 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

Nearly 14,000 runners stormed Walt Disney World Saturday night for the third annual Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. The half marathon is unique for it’s 10 p.m. start and a private after-party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that lasts until 4 a.m.

It’s also a race that holds a special place in my heart. It’s the one that started my tumble down the Disney running rabbit hole. Read the rest of this entry →

11

11 2012

Runner’s World Challenge Joins Disney World Marathon

Disney marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon, run Disney

Runners charge past Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

It’s a marathon match made in running heaven. Runner’s World magazine and runDisney announced Monday that the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will become part of the Runner’s World Challenge series.

The event will run from Jan. 12-13, 2013 and includes the Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where participants run both the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry →

12

07 2012

Disney World Marathon Course Changed For 20th Anniversary

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The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon course. (Photo: runDisney)

When runDisney promised new features for the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, they weren’t joking.

Disney Sports announced that the Walt Disney World Marathon course will be modified for the race to take runners not only though the four Walt Disney World theme parks, but also through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex including Champion Stadium, a major-league style ballpark that the Atlanta Braves call home for spring training.

“Running through the speedway and the ballpark should provide quite a thrill for the runners,’’ said race director Jon Hughes. “These very creative enhancements should make for a pretty memorable 20th anniversary marathon that people will probably be talking about for 20 more years.’’

Other changes unique to the 20th anniversary include extra entertainment along Mile 20, a specially designed 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse medal and a new post-race party at Downtown Disney. Read the rest of this entry →

21

05 2012

Family Run: Disney’s Royal Family 5K & Kids’ Races

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Karla (left) and her sister with Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Royal Family 5K. (Photo: Karla Bruning)

We came. We ran. We conquered. The Bruning family stormed Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend from Feb. 24-26 at Walt Disney World with the aim of turning our annual family Disney vacation into a fitness fiesta.

My sister, brother-in-law, nephew, niece, fiancé and I participated in every event runDisney had to offer, from the Pasta in the Park party to the Tangled Royal Family 5K, the Royal Family Kids’ Races and Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. We did it all and then some—enjoying lunch at Cinderella’s Castle with a bevy of princesses and taking in a luau at the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. But the highlight had to be watching the Royal Family Kids’ Races. Seeing a whole new generation of runners embrace the sport was a heartening sight. Read the rest of this entry →

29

02 2012

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