Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon No Longer a Night Race

Wine & Dine Half Marathon
My favorite Wine & Dine Half Marathon picture ever!

I’ve heard the rumors, and I was excited for a 10K addition to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, but I have to say I’m sad about the no night race. I was secretly hoping the 10K would be at night, too. I can understand without the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights to run through, you lose some of the glitz. That was my favorite part! But I do love a good night race. It was something different. And I love the idea of a Saturday Half Marathon, too.

On runDisney’s site, they show an all-new Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge and Disney Wine & Dine 10K, plus Half Marathon, 5K, runDisney kids races, Post Race Party and more! The 10K and Half Marathon start times show as beginning at 5:30 a.m. Sigh.

Registration for the 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend will open March 29, 2016 at Noon ET.  Here are the registration fees.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

  • $190

Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge

  • $330

Disney Wine & Dine 10K

  • $120

Mickey’s Holiday 5K

  • $70

runDisney Kids’ Races presented by GoGo squeeZ® Applesauce on the Go

  • $20

runDisney 1-Mile Run

  • $30

Post Race Party Tickets

  • $79

This adds some bummer feelings to losing the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler, too, but I know some people will be happy about it. I guess you can’t please everyone. What do you think?

2016 Disney Princess Enchanted 10K Recap

runDisney Princess 10K
Spoiler alert: we did it! Photo credit: Julia Stewart

After running the Walt Disney Marathon last month, I knew I’d want to take it easy and have some fun. Enter your best running friends, the runDisney Enchanted 10K race, and a rocking group costume. You know I love a group costume.

A bunch of girlfriends and I decided to stay in a 2-bedroom-villa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the party started immediately! We hit up the expo, got our bibs , and did some shopping. We arrived Thursday afternoon, and I felt there was still a lot of merchandise left even with reports of Princess craziness that morning.

runDisney expo

Our 2:45 a.m. wake-up call came early Saturday morning. We probably should have gone to bed earlier. I had my usual bagel and Nuun for breakfast, and we left for the buses while leaving trails of feathers down the hallways. We made it to race transportation at 3:30 a.m. and had plenty of time to take pictures, dance, and use the port-a-potty before we headed to the corrals.

Our friend Amy is a ballerina, so she had the brilliant idea to be the dancing ostriches from Fantasia. I think at first we were like, errrr, ok.

Fantasia Ostrich
Photo Credit: disneyscreencaps.com

But her genius came together nicely I believe. Tutus, long socks that look like pointe shoes, white gloves, pink bows, and ribbon around the neck.

Fantasia Ostrich Costume

I don’t usually wear tutus for running costumes, because I find that they’re itchy or my arms rub against them when I run. However Amy said we needed tutus. We got our tutus from Shelly Rio Boutique on Etsy. They were so soft and well made. It really completed the costume, because how can a ballerina not have a tutu? I know this might sound silly, but I felt pretty in this costume. I started dancing around doing arabesques when it was all complete. My tutu didn’t slide down when I ran and stayed in place. I’m just going to say we nailed it 🙂

Ostriches from Fantasia
Gaggle of ostriches! Photo credit: Patty Holliday

We all headed to our respective corrals, and Amy, Faith and I ran together. The first few miles are kind of boring. It’s a bunch of back road. There were a couple of character stops along the way like the Old Hag from Snow White and some Fairies (Tinker Bell’s friends). We decided not to stop and ran the first 5K.

When we hit World Showcase, I got distracted by the beauty and we stopped for a selfie. Then I saw my main cricket, Jiminy. That was a must-stop for me. He is one of my very favorite Disney Characters!


We didn’t get too much further when we spotted Lumiere and Cogsworth, so we stopped again.

Lumiere and Cogsworth

I didn’t stop for them during the marathon in January and had regretted it. Both of those lines were probably a 5-ish minute wait or so at the time we passed them. We kept running and made it to the BoardWalk area. We saw the Genie in his vacation clothes and Sofia the First later on. We didn’t stop for either of those. But we needed one more Epcot selfie.

Epcot selfie

We had one more corner to round and the finish line was in sight! I had run out of gas, but my two running partners were full speed ahead. The plan was to grand jeté across the finish line, but we were holding hands and I felt like I was being dragged the last 100 meters. So I had to try to jeté a lot sooner, just so I wouldn’t fall down. And when I say jeté, I mean just start jumping like an awkward crazy ostrich.

Fantasia Ostriches with Enchanted 10K Medal
Love that bling!

We did it! We had a great time, and I’m so thankful for those Mylar blankets runDisney hands out. It was chilly out when we finished, and we waited for all our ostrich squad so we could take an epic photo like the one at the beginning of this post.

The 10K is quickly becoming my favorite race distance. Still a challenge, but the distance isn’t too horrendous that it makes me want to start cursing. The weather was perfect for race day. Plenty of water stops, real bathrooms, med tent.

Once again though, my big complaint, runDisney, is the lack of action on the course during the boring stretch of roads. I’m not even asking for more characters (though it would be nice), but music, bands, something pretty to look at…something! These races are expensive, so honestly, I do expect a little more.

It’s an Ariel themed race, could we get some more characters to align with the theme? I saw Sebastian rocking it out at the party in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so couldn’t he have made an appearance here? But I sure was happy when the edamame trail mix made it back into the runner’s boxes, so for that, you get a big ‘ol thank you!

Now that my racing was done it was time to get my Disney eating on and prepare for chEARing for the half the next day. It’s hard work, people, and requires things like cupcakes, ice cream cookie sandwiches, Nutella waffles, and Mickey Ice Cream Bars. Seriously.

Cigna Blogger Meet-Up and Interviews with Laura Flores and Aaron Diaz

Cigna Blogger Meet-Up at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
Awesome group of bloggers! Photo provided by Cigna

I’m getting ready to head out for Princess Half Weekend. Yippee! Just last month I was running my first marathon at Walt Disney World. Marathon Weekend has such an electrifying energy. I was able to participate in a Cigna Blogger Meet-Up and fangirl two awesome Telemundo stars. Not only did I have a lot of fun, but I learned the importance of my numbers. What numbers? Good question.

Cigna Blogger Meet-Up
Testing out our knowledge. Photo provided by Cigna

I’m one of those people who tends to take really good care of my children, but when it comes to my own health, I usually wait until something’s not feeling right to visit a doctor. This is no bueno, friends. Just like our children get yearly well-checks, we need well-checks, too.

I arrived a little late to the event since I was given the incredible opportunity to interview Laura Flores and Aaron Diaz, both stars of the Spanish-language television network Telemundo. Let me tell you how excited I was, because I have dreamed, I mean dreamed of being a telenovela star since I was a girl. My gringa accent would never take me far, but oh how I’ve dreamt of it.

I loved meeting with the two of them, because, they were both so incredibly nice and gracious, (and good looking!), but they also are big proponents of health and wellness. Both being active in sports and running, they were part of Team Cigna and ran the Family Fun Run 5K a day earlier with girls from a local Orlando chapter of Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Don’t you love that mission?

Telemundo star Laura Flores
Laura Flores

Laura Flores

Laura is a fellow Texan, y’all. Well she has a house there, so we claim her. Laura loves to run! She lives in Western Florida where there are a ton of runners. I asked about crocodiles. She gave me the side eye and said if there’s a crocodile, then he is exercising! Yoga and running are her main sources of exercise. “I feel happy, I feel healthy,” she said when talking about her exercise routine. “I’m 52, I have to keep up with my kids.”

Laura is a mother runner, and so am I! She has 4 children, and I loved the passion she spoke with when talking about her experience with Girls on the Run and runDisney. She had a fun 5K walk with her new friend, and they stopped and took pictures along the course. Hmm, that sounds familiar. Character photos rock!

Laura also ran the Walt Disney World 10K presented by Cigna. You go, girl!  I asked if she would ever do another Disney race. She replied, “Heck, yeah! I love being with people who want to have fun and want to keep up with their health. We are giving the world a great message. If we don’t love life, then what’s the point?” I agree 100%, Laura!

She concluded, “We need to give the world hope and give positive messages.” That’s why she loves Girls on the Run. “The only thing I regret is not bringing my children. The next run, I’m running with them!”


Telemundo star Aaron Diaz
Aaron Diaz

Aaron Diaz

Aaron was so fun to chat with. His energy and love of life and his work shone through. He said, “Cigna is incredible to be doing this. They hooked me up with a girl named Julia [9-years-old] with Girls on the Run.”  He loves Girls on the Run, because it encourages kids to be healthy. I was laughing while he was describing Julia. “She was like Speedy Gonzalez. When the race started, she started running, and I was running behind her. We only stopped once to take a picture with the character. She wanted to prove a point.” I love the two experiences Aaron and Laura had with their girls. There’s no right way to run. The point is both are out there exercising and moving. It reminds me of why I love the runDisney community so much. All different runners and paces, but one common goal. Run your race.

Aaron said, “I didn’t know these races existed. It can’t get any better than this. It was a great experience; I’m definitely coming back.”  runDisney has that effect on people. Ahem. I’m proof of that. You can’t ever just run one.

Aaron has 2 little girls, so we talked about the joys of parenting girls, and then I talked to him about his career.  I asked if he enjoyed playing the good guy or bad guy better. “I like playing whatever people want me to play, but the bad guy is fun to play. What I do like is for the character to be different than any other character I’ve played.” Aaron described the process on how he decides what’s next. He said he takes his time to decide on his roles to make sure it’s good for his career. “An artist wants to be creative and express himself.”

Aaron pretty much does it all. He’s an actor, an artist, he sings, he dances. He said, “The incredible thing about being an artist is that there’s no limit to expressing yourself. I don’t see myself doing the same thing over and over again.” I love that attitude, and it resonated with me, even as a blogger. There is no limit in expressing yourself. Those are words I will take to heart.

Aaron promised he’ll be back. He said next time he was going to try to do the half marathon or the full marathon. Well you better start training, Mr. Diaz. Respect the distance 😉

I was on cloud 9 after speaking with them, but I was late to the blogger event, so I briskly walked through Epcot to get to my destination. I walked into games and laughter! Our knowledge was tested, we were educated, and we were active. My kind of event.

Cigna Blogger Meet-Up
Being active! Photo provided by Cigna

The numbers I was talking about earlier?

Body mass index: Less than 30

Cholesterol: Less than 240

Blood pressure: Less than 140/90

Fasting blood sugar: Less than 100

These numbers are important, and we should know them. Many health problems – and related costs –can be avoided by meeting the goals above. Getting health screenings help us know what our numbers are and address health risks in a timely manner. I appreciated the reminder, because my grandmother has diabetes.  According to the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention, 25% of adults who have diabetes don’t know it. It runs in the family, so it’s important that I keep checking.

Cigna Blogger Meet-Up
Photo provided by Cigna

Let’s stay healthy friends and take care of ourselves! A HUGE thank you to Cigna for inviting me to the blogger meet-up and providing me with an opportunity to interview Laura Flores and Aaron Diaz. It was incredible!

Health doesn’t have to be boring. Start off small, and then take off big! If stars like Laura and Aaron can find time to exercise, so can we. It’s all about having fun while doing it. Love life, but most importantly love YOUR life, and take care of yourself. I never thought in a million years that I’d be able to run a marathon. Well I did, and it was the most amazing feeling ever crossing that finish line.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Cigna Blogger Meet-Up
Surprise guests! Photo provided by Cigna




Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Recap – My 1st Marathon!

Even upon arrival in Orlando, I was still shaking in my running shoes. What was I thinking? Why was I doing this? What was I trying to prove? I had the bright idea of running the Walt Disney World Marathon a year and a half ago. I had to defer last year because of an IT Band injury,  one that was still following me around. That was my biggest fear. I hadn’t had a pain-free long training run yet, so I knew this marathon wasn’t going to be pain-free.

Walt Disney World Marathon
At the runDisney Expo

I arrived on Friday, got to attend a really cool social media event (recap on that coming), and headed to the expo Friday afternoon. It wasn’t too crazy. There was still plenty of merchandise (I think they restock), and I love taking these pictures at the expo. It helped me get excited instead of freaking out so much.

Walt Disney World Marathon
26 Magical Miles!

I was proud of myself for really staying out of the parks. It was hard. Very hard. But I went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to watch Star Wars Fireworks and Epcot for dinner the night before the big race. Saturday morning we chEARed on the Half Marathon runners, which was a lot of fun! More on my controversial sign later.

I was staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort with my BRFs, the DisBroads, and it was nice to have that support in our room. Most of them had run the marathon last year, but DisBroad April and I were firsties! We set the alarm at 3 a.m. (gah!) and made it to the bus around 3:30-ish. Luckily a bus had pulled up right behind another one, but we made it with plenty of time to spare to meet up with our friends, snap a few pics, and use the port-a-potty. Hint: Don’t just get in line for the first port-a-potty you see. There are walls of them in the race area. We saw lines of about 20 people deep, kept looking around and found ones with 2 or 3 people in line.

Walt Disney World Marathon
Uno, Dos, Tres…McFarland!

You know I love a good costume. But even I wasn’t playing around here. Patty and I needed simple and some inspiration. So we decided to channel one of my favorite movies – McFarland, USA. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. We both wanted to be Danny Diaz. He was the heart of the team, and that’s what we were that day. The heart. We knew we weren’t going to be the fastest, but doggone it, we were going to give it our all. I can’t tell you how much I loved hearing people yell, “That’s not Danny Diaz!” My favorite line from the movie. Man it put a smile on my face when I didn’t feel like I had a smile left.

Walt Disney World Marathon
Fireworks for every corral!

The fireworks went off for each corral, and we were off! I always appreciate that each corral gets its own celebration at a runDisney event. I was running with my friend, Shannon. I think she was worried about me. She was an old pro at this marathon thing (Um, hey she ran a marathon tied to people. Yes, tied to people..by choice). The rest of the group split up to do their own things. We were getting our heads in the game now.

Miles 1-10

Pretty uneventful as far as injury is concerned. I felt slight twinges of pain, but no big deal. There was some crowding issues at the beginning. A gross period story I won’t disgust you with (but ladies they do have supplies at the med tent). I made it to mile 6, so I could use real bathrooms inside the Magic Kingdom. Running down Main Street and through Cinderella Castle is always amazing! The crowd cheering you on really energizes you. As much as it pained me not to stop for character photos, I didn’t want to risk knee pain from stopping. There’s Sebastian and Ariel! Gah, Lumiere!! I waved and kept on running at our nice slow pace.

Walt Disney World Marathon
A quick snap and run in front of Cinderella Castle

Mile 10-13

The pain came. I was ticked. I was just mad that every method I tried to keep it at bay wasn’t working. I had done so much chiropractic care with the Graston technique (which did help some), taped my legs, purposely went at a slower pace the first half to try not to fatigue my legs, biofreezed at every stop…and well here it came. I could still do a run/walk and keep moving, but I was getting discouraged. I knew my friends were waiting just outside Animal Kingdom, so I just kept telling myself to make it there for food, more biofreeze, and support. I thought about stopping for Expedition Everest just for the experience since they had opened it a little earlier than park opening, but I didn’t want to risk it messing up my stomach. I’m not a real roller coaster fan.

Walt Disney World Marathon
Oh hey, Mr. Richard! I couldn’t miss the opportunity to take a selfie with my favorite greeter from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Poor guy was just trying to cross the street.


So just outside Animal Kingdom is a little past the halfway point. You guys, friends are everything. First, Shannon and I saw Bonnie. Bonnie rocks. She carried various items for like 9 people in her bags and cooler. Dudes, seriously. Extra pair of running shoes and socks, drinks, snacks, sandwiches, biofreeze, bandaids, vaseline, body glide..everything we requested, she carried for us. I had a Coke and ate half of my Earl of Sandwich from the day before. It was amazing. I needed some real food.

Walt Disney World Marathon
Bonnie the Great!

So we chat a bit, I cry a bit. And we keep running. Well just around the corner, I see my Moms Panel friends and hear Uno, Dos, Tres..McFarland! I think some tears came then, too. And you couldn’t miss them with their giant Steve Harvey head (yeah, that was them). I laughed at the ugly photo they had blown up of me for my sign. Gave hugs. Grabbed some grapes and pretzels (which were the best pretzels I’ve ever had in my life, thank you very much. I even crossed the finish line with them).

Walt Disney World Marathon
Moms Panel Cheerleaders!

Having people cheer for you means so much to a runner. I can’t explain how much this helps a runner’s mental state, well runners like me. It gave me the lift I needed at a time I needed it. Ok, 13 more to go. No problem, just do what I did..again.

Miles 13-25

Seriously, I don’t even remember much about these miles except I hated them. The pain was getting worse. We entered hell, otherwise known as ESPN Wide World of Sports. I think I basically walked ESPN. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t will myself to run. I decided to take a picture, stopped for a real bathroom break, and basically just had to decide to keep moving. I was trying to reset my intervals. I started with a 3:00 run/ :30 walk and wanted to do 1:30 run/ :30 walk. My Garmin wasn’t cooperating, I accidentally reset it, so I was lost on overall time.

Walt Disney World Marathon
Pretending I really like you, ESPN.

Luckily Shannon would give me updates. Oh bless her. She was trying to keep me upbeat and positive. But I was in a mood. Every mile is magic, yeah right! Lies, all lies. I muttered a few frickety fracks here and there… I finally had to turn to her and say, “I don’t need your motivational anythings. I know we’ll finish.” I felt awful, but at that point. I was OVER IT. I hated running, I hated marathons. I was never running again. I hated everything.

I was able to do a little running and just decided to wing it based on pain factor. I would run until I couldn’t and then walk. The back roads were boring and also mentally draining. But I appreciated every character, every band member, every volunteer, every spectator. They kept me going. I decided to have some fun and stop for some photos.

Walt Disney World Marathon
Boo from Monster’s Inc.

Walt Disney World Marathon
Only the Fairy Godmother could make me laugh at a time like this

By the time we reached the Fairy Godmother, I was in a jovial mood. I knew the end was in sight. We were about to go through Disney’s Hollywood Studios, around the BoardWalk, around World Showcase in Epcot and be done.

We saw Bonnie again by Disney’s Beach Club, gave her a hug, grabbed some Twizzlers, and kept trucking. I just wanted to be done.

Miles 25-26.2

I’m not sure what came over me that last little bit, but I wanted to be done. World Showcase was a blur. I just started running and running. I don’t know if adrenaline came over me, but that last mile and a half were our fastest miles – by a lot. We saw the Moms Panelists again in Epcot, I gave them an air hug, and just kept running. I was on a roll, and I didn’t want to stop. I crossed that finish line with all the emotions in the world. I had done it! I finished! A marathon!! Me? A marathoner!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Final Thoughts

Man, that was hard. Really, really hard. But I want to do it again. I need a redemption run. Walt Disney World Marathon is great for people like me, because there is entertainment galore, water stops galore, crowd support galore, and some real bathrooms along the way. I didn’t need to carry water with me, but I had Tailwind in my bottle which served me well. Bless Shannon for sticking with me. I told her to leave me many times, but she didn’t. She’s stubborn like that. Good friends serve you well in this whole running business.

Running a marathon is like having a baby. You forget about all the pain, and are crazy enough to want to do it again. I guess that’s why I have 5 children 😉 It taught me a lot about myself. You have so much time for your thoughts out there on the course. Good thoughts, negative thoughts, and everything in between. I don’t care if you run, walk, run/walk, or crawl. Doing that for 26 miles is amazing. You are a rock star. Plain and simple. And so am I. I’m pretty proud of myself.

It wasn’t the race I had imagined or hoped for, but I don’t care. Looking back at some of my pictures, I’m glad I stopped for some, even the quick ones, because I’m glad I remembered to have fun. Every race teaches you something. I pushed through whatever I had to push through, and I finished. I did it! I DID IT!! And you can do it, too.

2016 New Balance runDisney Shoe Collection

Surrounding the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, New Balance released the newest, limited-edition shoe in the runDisney collection! January 6, 2016 is the day to get your hands on these babies! There’s something for everyone – fans of bright colors and fans of more subtle, neutral colors. The one thing they all have in common…they’re inspired by a Disney Character!

Ariel Vazee Pace

Ariel Vazee Pace
Ariel Vazee Pace

Not gonna lie. This one’s my favorite. I adore Ariel. After all, she did want to be part of our running world. These are available in Women’s Sizes 5 to 12. The Vazee Pace is a neutral cushioning shoe.

Dumbo Vazee Pace

New Balance Dumbo Vazee Pace
Dumbo Vazee Pace

New Balance Dumbo Vazee Pace
Dumbo Vazee Pace

Inspired by that adorable flying elephant, I think these are cool. Less flashy, yet still statement worthy. The Dumbo Vazee Pace is available in Men’s Sizes 7 to 14.


Red Carpet Minnie 860v6

Red Carpet Minnie 860v6s
Red Carpet Minnie 860v6s

You’ll be photo ready in these beauties! Definitely flashy. The Red Carpet Minnie 860v6s is a stability shoe and available in Women’s Sizes 5 to 12. Watch out for the paparazzi.

Red Carpet Mickey 860v6s

To catch a glimpse of the Red Carpet Mickey860v6s check out the video! These are available in Men’s Sizes 7 to 14.



How do you get these shoes, you ask? Only at runDisney race weekends and starting Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the race expo. To minimize waiting in line for shoes on race weekend, New Balance has created a virtual queue. To begin, runners can sign up at www.NBVirtualQueue.com using your bib number starting Wednesday, January 6th, at 6:00 AM EST, and all other guests can sign up Thursday, January 7th, Friday, January 8th and Saturday, January 9th, starting at 6:00 AM EST each day.  Be sure to visit NBvirtualqueue.com to get all the details on reserving a pair and pick-up.

Good luck! I can’t wait to see which ones you chose. See you real soon as Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend starts tomorrow!!