One benefit of participating in some runDisney events comes at the conclusion of the long weekend of races. Participants and their travel companions are invited to attend a post-race party with exclusive offerings during the party hours. Ticket holders may enter the park early to begin enjoying the attractions, eating at restaurants, and viewing entertainment that are available during normal park hours, including the nighttime spectacular!
The runDisney race season kicked off with Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend in early November 2023 with the post-race party occurring at EPCOT on Sunday, November 5 from 10:00PM-1:00AM.The fun atmosphere, complete with DJ playing lively tracks to keep up the energy of all attendees and cast members who are working a later-than-normal shift, is not to be missed! The post-race party at EPCOT is a tradition of Wine and Dine weekend, so if you are planning to attend in 2024, here are five pointers for what you can expect at a runDisney post-race party.
Special Character Meet And Greets
Each runDisney race is assignd a theme and you can expect to see associated Disney characters during the races and at runDisney events throughout the weekend. This is also true of the post-race party. Expect to find characters aligned to each race’s theme at the afterhours event and many more, including rare pals that are often not available to meet during regular park hours. Bring your autograph book and tap your MagicBand for your PhotoPass photos.
Exclusive Food And Merchandise
In addition to character appearances that associate with the race themes, expect to find select food and/or drink and merchandise to be available for purchase. For Wine and Dine weekend 2023, a specialty drink entitled “Wonderland Potion,” giving a nod to the Alice in Wonderland 5K, was available at select locations throughout the party. In addition, beginning at 8:00PM, a limited number of jumbo Wine and Dine Weekend 2023 pins were made available at Creations Shop. Needless to say, the exclusive merchandise is extremely anticipated and your best likelihood for purchasing is right at the hour it goes on sale.
Limited Availability Of Dining Locations
If you are in need of a full meal, make sure you make a reservation for a table service dinner or visit a quick service location before 9:00PM. After this time, guests will only be able to find snacks available for purchase at the various food kitchens and carts scattered across the park. Though you may be limited in what you can purchase, there were more than enough locations open to accommodate the number of guests in the park.
Standby Queue For Guardians Of The Galaxy
The post-race party during a runDisney weekend is one of the current rare opportunities that guests will find a Standby queue for the ever-popular Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Since the official time of the event is so brief, lasting only 3 hours, guests who wish to ride the attraction should join the line at the beginning of the event. As a result of the overwhelming popularity of the attraction, be mindful that you may spend most of the party waiting in line for this state-of-the-art indoor coaster as the wait time can easily creep up to over 120 minutes.
Despite being an exclusive after hours party open only to runDisney participants and their guests, you can expect that the post-race parties will be highly attended! For Wine and Dine Weekend 2023, all participants of the half marathon received free entry plus all other racers were permitted to purchase post-race party tickets for themselves and other guests in their travel party. While the lines for the open attractions were still quite shorter than what they are during normal park hours, you can still expect to wait around 30 minutes for the highly sought-after Test Track, Frozen Ever After, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, with Soarin’ Around the World not much less.
Like all after hours parties, there simply isn’t enough time to do every special offering or ride every open attraction. However, the extra time in the park with much lower crowds and unique characters to meet combined with the fun and celebratory atmosphere of everyone’s weekend running accomplishments make the event well-worth attending.
Have you every attended a runDisney post-race party? What did you like most about the after hours event? Let us know in the comments below!