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Dylan Kriglstein
Dylan Kriglstein

Countdown To Disney’s Wine Dine Half Marathon

In the running community, runDisney races are known as one of the most magical ways to to get your race on. These races take place at the enchanted Disney theme parks around the world and provide participants with Disney Characters along the courses, live entertainment, and commemorative, uniquely themed Disney finisher medals when you've crossed the finish line. Offerings range from a full marathon and half marathon, 10Ks and 5Ks, to kids races and multi-race challenges. Whether you're a beginner, a seasoned marathoner or somewhere in between, there's something for everyone.

Countdown To Disney’s Wine Dine Half Marathon


The Disney Castaway Cay Challenge has been added to theMarathon Weekend lineup of events. Runners who are registered for any of theDisney races (5K or longer) during Marathon Weekend have the option tocomplete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge during their Disney Cruise Line vacation. When runners complete both a Marathon Weekend raceand the Castaway Cay 5K, they will receive a special DisneyCastaway Cay Challenge Medal in addition to their finishing medals. Runners will also get to participate in exclusive activities, enjoyfeatured menu items and purchase special merchandise while on thecruise.Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is for runners wanting to run both the full and half marathons. Those who complete the challenge will earn the coveted Goofy medal in addition to their finisher medals.The 5th Anniversary Dopey Challenge is four days of racing for a total of 48.6 miles! Participants will run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and 25th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, and if you complete all four races within the pacing requirements, you will be awarded the Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge medal and the Dopey Challenge finisher medal for a total of six pieces of "bling." Of course, the big draw of any Disney race is running through the theme parks. However, there are also many characters and entertainers throughout the course. Racers will stop for photos with characters, many of which are rarely found out and about in the parks. There will also be bands, high school cheering squads, DJs, dancers, and lots of entertainment along the course to distract you from the miles.Registration spots for the races fill up quickly. If you know for sure you want to participate in one of the events, we recommend you register as soon as possible.

If you're familiar with the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, then the Disney Princess Half Marathon will feel very similar. The 13.1 mile half marathon follows the same route as January's Walt Disney World Half Marathon - starting outside Epcot, up and through the Magic Kingdom, and back to Epcot.

With the previous incarnation of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend hosting Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k Saturday morning and the half marathon later that same evening, it was not feasible to fit in a 10-kilometer race or two-race challenge. The previous two years of night races had also proved to be problematic, with the pouring rain in 2014 turning the race into a "splash and dash" run, and thunderstorm damage to the Animal Kingdom course in 2015 causing a race start delay to 11:00 p.m. and the cutting of the distance of the half marathon course, to 6.72 miles, in what became referred to as the "Half Half" race. Yet, as 2016 registration dates approached, everyone assumed it would be business as usual.

Then, on March 10, runDisney announced a radical change in the weekend format: The 5K, now called Mickey's Holiday 5K, was moving to Friday morning. The newly announced Disney Wine & Dine 10K would be held on Saturday, and most shocking, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon was moving from Saturday night to Sunday morning. Lumiere's Two Course Challenge was added for those taking on both the 10k and half marathon. The traditional Epcot after-race party, instead of occurring right after the half marathon was over (into the wee hours of the morning), was moving to Sunday night.

For 2016, runDisney would continue with the $15 gift card but made the change to send it in an eGift Card format via email to all half marathon participants. Well, that was the concept. Many did not receive the card (Rae was among that group) and would have to stop by Runner Relations at the expo to get a replacement.

Mary and I collected our real metal Mickey's Holiday 5K finisher's medal and headed back to the hotel for a breakfast of Mickey waffles. Given that we didn't have a half marathon waiting for us that night, it was off to the parks for the day.

runDisney knows there needs to be changes for the 2017 event. The branded merchandise area needs better crowd control management. The issues with the eGift and party cards require better coordination. Proofing to avoid problems like the 'inauguaral' misspelling should be tightened. And finally, the half marathon course needs less road time and more park time to bring back the runDisney race magic.

But with all that, it was still a wonderful weekend. The medals are beautiful, the weather was better than in previous years, moving the half marathon to morning opened the race to more race participants, and adding the 10K and the challenge provided more incentive for many to try new distances. While moving from night to morning did unfortunately drive away many of the "Perfect Spatulas" (now down to 173 from 278 two years previous), I for one was happy to keep the streak alive for yet another year, and look forward to seeing what 2017 brings.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend begins on January 4 and runs through to January 8. Runners will be able to attend the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo and participate in the 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon. Runners may also complete the Goofy or Dopey Challenge during the weekend.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is held on February 23 to 26. Runners can take part in the Disney Princess Yoga, 5k, 10k, and half marathon. The Disney Fairy Tale Challenge also takes place during the weekend.

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place early on in the month, from November 2 to 5. Runners can participate in the 5k, 10k, and half marathon and Post-Race Party. This is the first runDisney race weekend of the 2023-2024 run season.

Disney Princess Sunrise YogaDisney Princess 5kDisney Princess Enchanted 10kDisney Princess Half MarathonDisney Fairy Tale Challenge (10k and half marathon) General Registration: June 21, 2022 , no time posted

In 2018, I participated in the Disney Wine and Dine half marathon, which also happened to be my first half marathon ever. I have been running races for three years and being able to complete a runDisney event has been a huge motivator for me. If you are a Disney World fan, then I highly recommend putting a Disney half marathon on your bucket list because it is a truly unforgettable experience!

Last year, the processing fee was $13 for the half marathon, so you can expect a fee around that price. The main event is the half marathon on Sunday, November 3rd, but Disney has many participation options! If you rather not run 13.1 miles, a 5k takes place on Friday and runs through Animal Kingdom and a 10k on Saturday which goes through Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

If you are feeling very ambitious, you can do the two course challenge and participate in both the 10k and the half marathon. I thought you would have to be crazy to do this, but then I saw the medal they give out and am debating trying it next year! There is also a kids race at Wide World of Sports for kids for ages 0-13. Participants in the half marathon have to be 14 years or older, 10 years or older for the 10k and 5 years or older for the 5k. All races also include a finisher medal and a participant shirt.

The Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 5:30 AM, but you should plan to get there before 4:15 AM. I woke up for the half marathon at 3 AM which might be the earliest I have ever woken up! The one positive thing is that this run usually takes place on the day we turn our clocks back for Daylight Savings, so it will actually feel like an hour later than it is!

Finally around 5 AM it was time to line up in our corrals. If you submit your past time from a 10k or a half marathon ahead of time, you will be placed in a corral for your speed. This is highly recommended, because it can take over an hour for all the corrals to start running. Andrew regularly runs 7 minute miles so he was in Corral A, whereas my Dad and I were in Corral C for our 10 minute mile pace. You should probably get in your corral even earlier than 5 AM because then you can be closer to the head of the pack.

My Dad and I ran the half marathon together and enjoyed pointing things out along the way. The race starts out a bit boring just running on the road from the Magic Kingdom parking lot to Animal Kingdom. It was dark at this point, but they have a decent amount of lighting for the roads as well as the water stations and bathrooms.

I got my personal best in a local half marathon and my legs felt great when finishing. It really works! With many runners using the run/walk intervals there are people running and walking at all different speeds. There are also pace groups on the course. Find one of these if you are trying to finish in a certain amount of time.

Notably, I have to say that the Apple Watch Series 5 has fully recovered in my view from the battery life issues that plagued it prior to the watchOS 6.1 software update. I just may try running with the always-on display activated at my next half marathon race!

This is my third year running half marathons with Apple Watch and AirPods, and this year there were more Apple Watches and AirPods on

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