Picking up where I left off in my Wine & Dine Half Marathon runDisney recap, after James and I lingered over a beer, I headed back to my room for a shower and a long, long nap. Walking in that boot was exhausting and we had a late night ahead of us at the After Party! So I was in no rush to head to the parks or pushing myself in that boot one minute more.
But then Jackey, Shannon, and I realized we were starving and James texted, saying he snagged a reservation at Via Napoli and asking how soon could we get there. Pizza? Oh my gosh, yes, pizza sounded AMAZING so we quickly dressed and headed to the bus area where one for Epcot arrived soon. Thank goodness! Still, they weren’t going to seat James until we arrived so he sent another text, warning us not to dally and stop for pictures.
Sigh. James should have know better.
This only tempted us to quickly snap photos and text them to him, while still busting our rears to get there. Of me adjusting my boot, pretending to chat with random strangers, of us by the entrance, me watching the acrobat show, etc.
But karma caught up to us after we made it past China and saw that the drawbridge was up with the Illuminations barges slowly chugging in. Argh. So we had to send him another text, claiming this one wasn’t our fault. They did seat him without us, though, and the pizza and beer we ordered? Oh my gosh. Amazing. Jackey, Shannon, and I nearly polished off a family size.
Afterwards, we took some pictures of us wearing our medals while waiting for Megan to arrive.
We then hit up the end of Eat to the Beat’s show with Delta Rae! I love their song Bottom of the River, so it was fantastic being able to see them perform that.
What was also fantastic? The three special fastpasses we had received on Thursday, after dealing with some annual passholder and ticket purchase glitches. Thanks to them, we were able to ride the new Frozen Forever ride, Test Track, and Soarin’! Frozen’s queue area and the ride was really cute, in a ride-only-with-a-fastpass kind of way. And the refurbished Soarin? Amazing!! But you’re hear to read about the After Party, right? Right. I better get to it then.
The party officially started at 10:00pm with doors open at 8:00. We headed to World Showcase’s United Kingdom area before 9:00 to meet up with friends. Good thing we got a round of drinks before the Rose & Crown Pub closed at 9:00, not be reopened until 10:00!
By the way, mine was a Strongbow Black, a cider ale with a dash of black current. Delicious! We also sent our group this photo, in an effort to hurry them along.
They soon started to trickle in, so we spent the next hour chatting and getting pictures!
Since our priority was getting character pictures, we headed out, armed with a brochure we had received while getting our wristbands that listed every character. Mary Poppin’s line was long, so we headed to Remy and Emile, since they represented the 10k!
Oh my gosh. Talk about long.
That was the theme for most of the party … super long lines and long waits for characters, food, and drinks. After nearly an hour, we finally scored this cute picture!
Megan then left to head back to All Stars, since she had a very early morning flight and needed to be at Magical Express at around three-thirty. Yikes. By then, I was exhausted so I said my goodbyes and left with Megan … only to regret my decision a few minutes later. Leave and miss out on potential shenanigans? Nope, couldn’t do it. So I sucked it up and went back to the others.Our #WineDineHalf After Party blog recap! @runDisney #werunsocial #Epcot #Disney Click To Tweet
Next up? Tiana and Louis, where the line was just as long, made worse by Tiana taking a fifteen minute break! Gotta say. That was a bit diva-ish of her. So we decided to get a picture with Louis instead, who was happy to also dance with us. Knew I always liked him for a reason!
The line was much shorter for Pinocchio and Geppetto at 12:38, since the crowd was thinning out. With the party ending at 1:00am and more characters to get, however, we were running out of time!
So Jackey–God bless her, started to run to each character to get in line, with Shannon and me quickly following. Timestamp for Snow and Dopey, 12:47!
We HAD to get Donald, after we missed him last year from the cast member closing his line at 12:55. But this time, we made it at 12:57!
But then time was up, party over. James had managed to slip into the Frozen ride line beforehand, so while waiting for him, a different cast member got this awesome shot of us by practically laying on the ground!
Afterwards, I was done, mentally and physically. Hobbling back to the bus stop was painful, with all of us being punchy tired. So when we saw the VERY long line for the bus? Things got even more punchier, especially when James decided to order an Uber, meaning we had to walk to a different area. Just the thought made me want to cry so when Jackey told me to get in an abandoned wheelchair, I listened. After what took forever, the Uber finally found us and we got back to our rooms at 2:20 … waking poor Megan up.
The next morning, Jackey and Shannon left early as well for their flights home, but I was able to sleep to a luxurious noon before getting ready to hit Magic Kingdom. My agenda for the day? My very first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with Sara!
That’s the topic for my next post, but until then … here’s my final thoughts about the Wine & Dine After Party. It was crowded with huge lines and folks I suspect weren’t wearing a wristband. I gripped about this then, but now I realize how the party really is a great perk for Wine & Dine – crowds, long lines, and all.
I mean, what other race weekend offers a party with a park open at special hours PLUS a $15.00 gift card to use for food and drinks? So yes, it was pretty great. I still prefer the night race, however, with the party right afterwards where everyone is still feeling their post-race buzz. But it was nice being able to shower and take a nap.
What about you? QOTD: Were you at the Wine & Dine After Party? If so, what are your thoughts?
Also, be sure to check out our Jammin’ On The Run weekly chats, where we will be discussing everything Wine & Dine, including the after party!
Until then, thanks for reading and have a joyful day!