Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

Once you’ve decided to channel your inner princess at one of runDisney’s popular races, there’s more to consider than just what distance you’ll conquer or which tiara you’ll rock. In true Disney fashion, the folks at runDisney make their race weekends extra special with exclusive events to enhance your experience. In November I earned my second Wine & Dine Half Marathon medal along my first coveted Coast to Coast medal. TMOM Travel DisclosureOne of the Wine & Dine’s claim to fame is the Finish Line Party at the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival. While I know firsthand how much fun that event is, I was excited to get the party started early at one of my favorite races with the Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste.

Pre-Run Fun

My husband selflessly volunteered to take a few days off from work and accompany me to the Wine & Dine race weekend to cheer me on and do a little wine and dining of his own.

My husband, Napoleon, and I at the Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste. Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

My husband Napoleon and me at the Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste. Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

We arrived at the happiest place on earth just in time for the Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste. It was held on the Friday night before the race at the Lights, Motors, Action!® Extreme Stunt Show® inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. The two hour exclusive event featured four food selections from the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, a signature drink and a cash bar.

Tickets for runDisney race weekend exclusive events are sold online when race registration opens. The tickets are limited (I estimate about 100 people were at the Pre-race taste) and sell out quickly so take that into consideration when planning your weekend fun.

One of the great things about this party is it’s more than 24-hours before the actual race start time so you can unwind, have a drink if you’d like, and really relax because there’s no early morning wake up call. You can also purchase tickets for family or friends who are there with you, but aren’t running the race.

Food

The food selections were delicious, of course – they came from the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival.

Empanadas! Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

Empanadas! Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

A few of the dishes we noshed on were the Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crumbles from Australia; Terra Vegetarian Blackened Chick’n Breast, Farro Wheat, and Spicy Gumbo Sauce; Roast Bratwurst in Pretzel Roll; and my favorite – the most scrumptious beef empanadas. While there wasn’t any traditional pasta – the food selections aren’t posted at registration time so you don’t know what they will be – this wasn’t a big deal for me since the race isn’t until Saturday night at 10 p.m. I could indulge and enjoy with no pre-race worries.

Special Guests

It simply would not be a Disney event without some special guest to greet us. Belle and The Beast invited us to be they’re guests – I couldn’t resist. There were a few other Disney characters in attendance at the soiree along with live music and entertainment.

Beauty & The Beast. Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

Beauty & The Beast. Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TMOM

Below are details from the 2014 Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste. Make sure to check runDisney.com for updated information for the 2015 Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste and other runDisney Weekend exclusive race weekend events:

$79 (ages 3 and up)
Children under 3 do not need a ticket
Early entry into Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at 6:00 p.m.
Private party at Lights, Motors, Action!® Extreme Stunt Show®
Four tastes from the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival
One “signature sip” drink coupon
Cash bar
Disney character meet & greets