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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Countdown-37 Days

It's building, can you feel it? You know that excited feeling you get in your stomach as your Disney trip approaches? Like you are a child and Christmas is getting closer? Yes, of course you know that feeling. Well I'm happy to report, it has arrived. But April, you say, you kind of have another half marathon halfway across the country 13 days before Wine and Dine, shouldn't you be focusing on that? Yes, and I am. I rocked out an 11.22 mile run this past Saturday. I actually got out of bed at 5:30 in the morning(and if you know me at all, you will realize that even with 3 kids, I am not a morning person) to get my training run in before my son's 9 am soccer game. The official Jeff Galloway training plan put out by runDisney called for 11 miles, but I felt like an overachiever that day and added almost an extra quarter of a mile, and I still made it to the soccer game, with the team snacks in hand. I am a rock star mom. But let's be honest. While I am excited for the Rock N Roll half marathon in St. Louis at the end of this month, excited to set a new PR, excited to visit family, it's not Disney. There won't be fireworks when I start, there won't be a character along the way, and I won't be running through the most magical place on earth. I will actually be running through the city of St. Louis, which many years has been voted the most dangerous city in the US, so you can see where the hesitation comes in. But the training plan calls for a 14 miles run that weekend anyway, so I might as well drive 700 miles and earn a medal to get those training miles in right? Plus the medal is pretty awesome.
Yes, RnR is but a training run for the big show. I only have the Princess Half Marathon under my belt, and the Wine and Dine half marathon is a different ballgame. In a lot of ways, it's bigger than PHM weekend for me, and that's saying a lot, because PHM weekend was EPIC for me this year. Unfortunately, in order to convince the boss man, aka my husband, that I NEEDED to run this race, I needed to cut down on costs(especially because I'm still looking forward to the Tinkerbell Half in California in January and the Glass Slipper Challenge in Florida in February). I had to make this a quick trip. I'm flying down on Friday morning and flying home on Sunday afternoon. But that doesn't mean that I am not going to pack every waking minute with magic, oh no, every second will be sprinkled with pixie dust.
The first big part of my trip is Magical Express. Yes, Magical Express. Magical Express is Disney's complimentary shuttle service to their resorts. A big wonderful bus that runs on hopes, dreams, pixie dust and Dole whips. I've never take Magical Express. Living within 500 miles and having 3 children, we usually find it cheaper to drive, but this time, with me on my own and my ability to score a killer deal on plane tickets, I am flying down. This means I will need to get from the airport to Disney, so lucky trip #7 earns me a ride. I can't wait. My Magical Express ride will drop me off at a new to me resort, Port Orleans French Quarter.
There are so many awesome Disney resorts to choose from, so with each trip, I like to stay at a different resort. I've only stayed at the same resort twice, Coronado Springs. We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside in 2009, and enjoyed it, so I'm looking at staying at the resort right next to it. First stop will be the famous beignets. Everyone talks about the beignets, and I am running a half marathon that weekend, so we are going to ignore the large amount of sweets I plan to eat, and call it carb loading. The best part of where I am staying is who I am staying with. Wine and Dine weekend is one big Disbroad party. The Disbroads is a small group of ladies who love Disney and running Disney. I will be reunited with my BRF(best running friend) Patty. Patty is pretty much entirely responsible for my love of runDisney. At PHM this year, she introduced me to two of her BRFs, Amy and Julie. Us, along with a few other girls I will talk more about later, call ourselves the Disbroads, and we know how to rock Disney. Patty is staying at the resort, as are all of the other ladies. Amy, Julie and me(along with one other girl) are rooming together. Sleep over!! Friday evening we have dinner reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern. To me, this is the best place for a pre-race meal. It's just like a good Thanksgiving dinner, so you get your lean protein(turkey) and plenty of carbs. It's delicious to boot. While this did have to be a trim weekend for me, we did score tickets to the opening night of Mickey's Very Magical Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. I think this is what I'm most excited about. I. Love. Christmas. Like really, really love Christmas. I keep this up year round for the countdown.
Aside from really loving Christmas, it's an obvious fact that I really love Disney as well. Put the two together, and I'm in heaven. I've never been able to get down that way around Christmas time, so this will be my first. Characters dressed in festive wear, Christmas carols, snow, hot cocoa and I'm excited. We get to ride rides and have dinner and just have a merry time. This is also the first time I have been since the new FastPass+ system went into testing, and I've already reserved FastPasses to meet Rapunzel and Cinderella at the Fairytale Hall . While many people love the rides at Disney parks, I love the characters. I love being able to book a fastpass to check out the attractions I want to check out in advance. All of that excitement(including the Expo, which I didn't even mention!) is reserved just for Friday. Saturday will be just as jam packed. Beignets for breakfast, more time with the 'broads, more time at the Expo(I do have to score an I Did It Shirt and a medal for my Vinylmation runDisney Mickey after all), lunch at Kona, all before the pre-race festivities and the race, that starts at 10pm. I know a lot of people are concerned with the night race, but not me. As I mentioned above, mornings and I aren't exactly besties. I seem to do my best when running at night, so I think I will do much better with a 10pm start, opposed to the 5:35 am start I faced at PHM. This race takes a different route than PHM did, including different parks. PHM went through Magic Kingdom and Epcot, while Wine and Dine goes through all park except for Magic Kingdom. This includes Hollywood Studios, and if you aren't familiar with Hollywood Studios at Christmas, then you don't know about the Osborne Lights. I have looked at pictures and watched Disney specials featuring these lights, lights that would put Clark Griswold's house to shame. I'm in love.
Running through these lights is going to be nothing short of amazing. I actually think I will enjoy this course more than I will the Princess course. After the race is an after party in Epcot. An exclusive party, with rides being open and food food food. Wine and Dine coincides with the Food and Wine Festival, and there are lots of treats to taste during the after party around the world at Epcot. We know I love Christmas, we know I love Disney, well I also love food, and I've been saving my pennies just to eat all the food!
Sunday will be my lazy day, sleeping until Mousekeeping knocks on my door at 11 am to kick me out. I will have to make the sad trip home, but I'll be ready to see my family. Plus, it'll be jjust two short months until I get to visit Disneyland for the first time, for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, the first half of my pink Coast 2 Coast medal journey.


  1. Can't wait for every last minute of it!

  2. Oh my word! It sounds AHmazing! I am so jealous! The food, the lights! I will have to be excited for you, I can't wait for pictures and the recap now! Rematch 2014!

  3. This trip is going to be amazing! Can't wait!

  4. Epic.trip. I can't wait!!! #EatAllTheFoods

  5. I'm so jealous!! I am really hoping to to make it to W&D next year, but I'm so bummed I can't make it this year!