Wine & Dine Finish Line Party

Last year when I was training for the Wine & Dine Half during the horrible hot and humid Florida summer, I swore up and down that I’d never sign up for that race again.  I thought it couldn’t possibly be worth having to do double digit runs in September and October (in Florida).  And then I ran the race and partied at the after party and I was hooked.

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There are two ways to get into the Finish Line Party at Epcot.  All half-marathon runners will get a wristband along with their race bibs which will allow party access after finishing in the Epcot parking lot.  Spectators who purchase a separate ticket to the Finish Line Party can enter Epcot starting at 7pm.  The tickets were available for purchase through active.com and have now sold out.   If you purchased your ticket early enough, it was probably mailed to you.  If not, you can pick the ticket up at the will-call area of the race Expo.

All of the runDisney special events are fun, but this is my favorite one because it coincides with the Epcot Food & Wine Festival so the festival booths are still there.  I love the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but it suffers from its own popularity with lots of guests and long lines.  During the Finish Line Party, the crowds and lines are minimal which makes hopping from booth to booth to replenish after 13.1 miles fun and guilt free.

Some of my favorites from last year were the “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce from Canada and the Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream from Belgium.  This year I have my eye on the Chicken Potstickers from China, the Frozen S’mores at the Dessert booth and the Schinkennudeln (Pasta gratin with ham and cheese) from Germany.

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But food and wine aren’t the only things to look forward to at the after party.  There are also some great character photo opportunities.  I really enjoyed getting complimented on my “medal of valor” by Mulan.

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And I got to meet Tiana too!

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Finally, there are also some great rides open to enjoy with little or no wait.  There’s nothing like riding Soarin’ with a bunch of crazy runners at 3am.

Here are some tips to make sure you get to enjoy the Finish Line Party:

  1. Rest during the day and nap if you can.  If you spend all day on your feet in the parks and then run 13.1 miles, it isn’t likely that you’ll have a lot of energy left to party until dawn.
  2. Eat lightly after lunch.  That will help you avoid getting sick during the race and you’ll have plenty of room to sample all the treats at the party.
  3. Take it easy during the race.  If you’re going for a PR feel free to ignore this advice, but I like to look at this race as almost a training run for the Space Coast Half later in the month to ensure that I have plenty of gas in the tank after the race to party for a few hours.
  4. Accept that if you finish anywhere near the middle of the pack you’ll have to “cross the path”.  To get into the world showcase (where all the food and wine booths are) you have to cross the race course and it can take a while and you will be packed in with other runners like sardines.  Just be patient, it’s a necessary evil and once you’re across the fun will begin!
  5. Bring a change of clothes.  My husband doesn’t run half marathons, so he takes my post race bag into the park with him, but you can also check a bag before the race to pick up afterwards.  Read here to see what I make sure to pack in this bag for this race!
  6. Don’t drink too much after the race.  I know there’s lots of alcohol to choose from and it comes in nice miniature cups, but it can add up quickly.  Getting sick on a ride or on the bus back to your hotel isn’t going to make you or anyone around you feel very magical.  Feel free to imbibe but use some restraint if you want to have fond memories of the event.

I hope to see you at the party!  What are your favorite things to do at the Finish Line Party?  Want to learn more about Wine & Dine.  Check out this great linkup!

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

 

Comments

Wine & Dine Finish Line Party — 18 Comments

  1. I loved the Belgian waffle with the chocolate last year too! I thought about it all race and was committed to getting it, even though it felt like the Belgium booth was the FURTHEST booth from the finish.

    This year I’m super excited for the salted caramel creme brulee from France!!!
    KellPow recently posted…Wine & Dine Tune UpMy Profile

    • I know, Belgium was sooooo far! I need to read up on the deserts available this year!

    • Thanks! I just love those characters and there were almost no lines!

    • It’s pretty awful, but it doesn’t last too long. I’m kind of claustrophobic when I’m squished up in groups because I’m short so I get my face squashed up amongst chests and backs of taller people. And in this case they are mostly sweaty, stinky chests and backs! 😉

    • Great point! I will admit that because I didn’t know in advance about the crossing the path ordeal, I probably was just more focused on trying to breathe in that squished up mass of humanity (I’m pretty short!) but I’ll make sure to send out some cheers this year!

    • Yay! I’m starting to bounce in my chair about the race too! 🙂

  2. I will be running Wine and Dine for the first time this year. I am so excited. I have heard such great things about it. Also, I love the Food and Wine Festival so it seems like a win-win to me.

    • It is my very very favorite runDisney race, I think you’ll love it!

    • No, they would have to have a ticket to the event (which are now sold out). I’m not sure what time they start escorting non-ticket holders (they’ll be able to tell because you get a wristband if you have an event ticket) out. Probably 9pm which is what the calendar shows as park closing for that day.

      • Thanks. Do you know of any ways one might be able to obtain a ticket now that they’re sold out? Has Disney sold last minute tickets due to no-shows?

        • I don’t think Disney sells last minute tickets once it’s sold out but anything is possible! You might want to check around online and in different runDisney Facebook groups. I know bib sales aren’t allowed, but the after party tickets should be ok. Good luck!!

  3. The Finish Line Party is THE best post-race event I’ve ever been to. As you say, the lines at the International Marketplace are usually shorter than normal, and you don’t have to watch what you eat! The champagne flows and the festive mood can’t be beat. Darn I wish I was going to be there with you this year. (I just know I’ll be looking around post-Avengers Half for some food and wine rewards.) Thanks so much for joining this last hop April- it’s bee a real pleasure!!
    DIStherapy recently posted…November Roadtrip!My Profile

    • It really is! Thanks for hosting the blog hops, I have enjoyed working with you!!