Posts Tagged ‘ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex’

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

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

wine run, Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

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

Disney Tower of Terror 10-Miler Registration Opens

twilight zone tower of terror 10-miler

The start of the 2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler. (Photo: runDisney)

I already reminded you that registration for the 7 Mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys opens Tuesday, February 11 at 6 a.m. EST. But another popular Florida race opens registration the same day: the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler.

I’ve never run either race, but have run other races at Walt Disney World as media courtesy of runDisney.

Registration for the 2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend from October 3-4, 2014 at Walt Disney World opens Tuesday, February 11 at 12 p.m. EST.

This race doesn’t sell out as quickly as, say, the Disneyland Half Marathon or the 7 Mile Bridge Run, but it will sell out.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is dedicated to the villains as the Disney baddies come out in the dark with a nighttime race that starts at 10 p.m.

At the 2013 race, 9,480 runners finished the 10-mile course that starts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, heads to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Champion Stadium, and finishes at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror back at Hollywood Studios.

tower of terror 10-Miler

Runners disguised as Cinderella’s step sisters pose with Snow White’s evil queen disguised as an old woman. (Photo: runDisney)

But what I imagine is the best part of the race comes after the finish at the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash at Hollywood Studios, where rides like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania stay open just for runners and their guests. Admission to the party is included in race registration for runners. Friends and family can buy tickets too.

Other races at the weekend include the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run and runDisney Kids’ Races, including a Diaper Dash for babies and 1-mile run for older kids. Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo will be in full swing too. All those events take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend benefits Autism Speaks, a charity that funds research for treatments, causes, prevention and a cure for autism, raises awareness of autism, and advocates for autistic individuals and their families. Read the rest of this entry →

10

02 2014

How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes

Disney New Balance Shoes

The 2104 collection of Disney New Balance shoes. (Photo: runDisney)

UPDATE 11/4/2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend:

For the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, November 7 to get an early bird appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. For the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 14. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday during each race weekend. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 10/2/2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend:

For the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, October 3 to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, October 4. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 8/29/2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend:

For the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. PDT each morning that the race expo is open to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, August 30. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 2/20/2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend:

New Balance has instituted a new shoe buying process for runners at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Here’s the scoop:

How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes At Princess Half

——–

I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new Disney New Balance shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them.

First, the shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers. There’s at least one personal shopping company already advertising their services around the shoes. (UPDATE: I’ve been told that particular company got shut-down at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.) Oh, Capitalism.

So you have to attend a runDisney race expo in person. There are currently eight runDisney race weekends throughout the year. Here they are for 2014:

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, January 8-12, 2014
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, January 16-19, 2014
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, February 20-23, 2014
  • Expedition Everest Challenge: Walt Disney World, May 3, 2014
  • Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, August 29-31, 2014
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend: Walt Disney World, October 3-4
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, November 7-8
  • Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, November 14-16

You don’t have to actually register for any of the races to buy the shoes. The expos are free and open to the public. But you do have to get to Florida or California at the right rime.

Second, to buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, folks have to make a reservation at the Disney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They’re trying to minimize lines at the New Balance booth, which were mayhem last year.

Third, they’ve instituted buying limits so that a few people can’t scoop up all the merchandise. Read the rest of this entry →

05

01 2014

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Schedule

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, runDisney

Goofy high-fives finishers at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

No Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up

I’m attending the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as press courtesy of runDisney, and I just got word from the folks there that there will be no Meet-Up for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this year. With four races over the course of four days for the first time in the history of the event, it’s understandable. I’ve interviewed a number of folks on the runDisney team about the logistics of putting on these events. It’s mind-boggling. Don’t believe me? Read the article I wrote about it, Planning Disney Races Takes More Than Magic. But runDisney says they will be doing plenty of Meet-Ups later in the year. So stay tuned for those.

I know that will disappoint many runners who were hoping to get in on a possible Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up this year. But there are plenty of other events to keep you busy while you’re not running.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Schedule Read the rest of this entry →

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

runDisney, Walt Disney World Marathon 2014, charity

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

run Disney, runDisney, Disney running, Walt Disney World Marathon course

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

runDisney, Walt Disney World Marathon course, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Cinderella Castle

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

Walt Disney World Marathon Changes For 2014 Race

run Disney, runDisney, Disney running, Walt Disney World Marathon

The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend featuresmany changes to improve runners’ experience. (Photo: runDisney)

Registration opens today at noon EST for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna from January 8-12, 2014.

Last month, runDisney announced the addition of the Dopey Challenge and the Walt Disney World 10K.

Now, Disney’s running branch has announced Walt Disney World Marathon changes for the 2014 edition of the race, and a video to explain it all. Read the rest of this entry →

09

04 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

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