Race Recaps runDisney

2015 runDisney Wine & Dine Expo plus a Very Merry Night at Hollywood Studios!

Originally posted at laurabowers.net on March 28, 2016. I’m updating my author website by moving all older runDisney content here!

After running a wet and chilly Splash & Dash in 2014, I was looking forward to a nice, normal Wine & Dine Half Marathon with nice, normal weather conditions.

Those familiar with runDisney are snickering right now, because that surely didn’t happen.

And those familiar with runDisney news also know that 2015’s race was the last one to be held at night. Sniff, whimper. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up to my arrival on Thursday. My friends and I had planned on arriving on Friday, but we bumped it up a day so we could wake later before the expo and start the weekend well-rested.

2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Expo

Rested. Ha. Another thing that surely didn’t happen.


Thanks to me and my (not so) charming procrastination, I finished packing at 10:00pm on Wednesday night and had zero sleep before leaving for the airport at 3:15. Our room at All-Stars Sport was ready, (thank goodness,) so I tried to take a since Jackey, Shannon, and Melanie weren’t due to arrive until later.

And yet another thing that didn’t happen.


But whatever, sleep on the plane ride home and all, so I headed to Magic Kingdom to meet up with Robert, a newcomer to our group and my half marathon running partner who fit in right away. After hitting some rides, (where he proved to be a sport by doing a nice princess wave with me,) we watched the Electrical parade before meeting up with Linda, the first gal I ran the Princess Half Marathon with. Seeing the Wishes Fireworks display from the FPP viewing section is so nice, being able to sit and relax. Afterwards, I was pretty tired, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see others in my group and check out Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian.

Taking the boat to the Polynesian.
The whole gang!
The whole gang!

It took a while for us to get a table at Trader Sam’s, but it was worth every second! What a fun place. Great décor, cool effects, and a festive atmosphere with our waitress donning a pair of google-eyed glasses at one point. Gotta love that. I can’t remember how late we stayed out … but it was late. I figured it’d be a good thing, though, because surely I’d sleep well that night.

Surely not, except for maybe an hour or two.

My runDisney insomnia was getting to worse but again, whatever, I overdosed on coffee the next morning before we packed, shipped our luggage off to Beach Club and headed to the Expo.


Now, last year, Bob and I arrived after lunch and enjoyed a chilled, relaxing expo experience. This year? Yeah, lots of chaos, especially in the Disney merchandise area. And the line for commemorative items? Long. Insanely long. I had wanted to return my commemorative jacket since I had purchased a different one I liked better, but once we were finished with our list of must-do’s, I was ready to get out of there. It was fun running into more friends throughout the morning, though, and getting the required expo photos like these:

I couldn't WAIT to run my first Jingle Jungle 5k!
I couldn’t WAIT to run my first Jingle Jungle 5k!

Afterwards, we headed to the Beach Club Villas that Jackey had rented points for. Oh wow. Gorgeous, just gorgeous, and a very convenient place to stay for Wine & Dine! We were all pretty excited about swimming at Stormalong Bay, so we threw on some suits and had fun for a few hours.

(Btw, I stink at beach ball volleyball.)

We then showered up and got ready for our epic Very Merry Night at Hollywood Studios! See, I’m kind of the unofficial Julie McCoy in my running group, (for you whippersnappers out there, she was the cruise Director on Love Boat,) so I had put together an evening of coordinated FFP times on rides, drinks at Prime Time Lounge, a picture with Goofy Santa, and seeing the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. All in holiday-themed clothing.

I always need to say hello to Coke Man, (aka Bo,) first thing.
I always need to say hello to Coke Man, (aka Bo,) first thing.

It ended up being an amazing night, with tons of us riding Toy Story Midway Mania, chatting over drinks, and filling an entire elevator on Tower of Terror.

And best of all, we got a picture with Santa Goofy!
And best of all, we got a picture with Santa Goofy!

Seeing the Osborne Lights with everyone was especially bittersweet, seeing as how it was their final year on display. Sniff, whimper. Finger crossed they bring it back at a new location!

One of my favorite pictures of the night.
One of my favorite pictures of the night.
Osborne Lights, you'll be missed!
Osborne Lights, you’ll be missed!

Afterward, we grabbed a quick meal from one of those outside booths on the boardwalk at around 9:30ish … not a great one, but it did the trick. I was the only one in my group who was running the Jingle Jungle 5k the next morning, so I headed back to Beach Club while they went to Dance Hall, determined to be fast asleep by the time they returned.

Which I did, for about an hour.

Ugh. Sleep deprivation ended up being a major theme for this weekend. But I’m good at mustering up energy so after a bucket of coffee the next morning, I was ready to go for the Jingle Jungle 5k, the topic of my next post!

Oh, and if you want to see more pictures of the expo and our fun night at Hollywood Studios, (plus a video of our Tower of Terror ride,) check out my latest recap video!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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