Daniel Staten
Staten the Facts

Staten the Facts

Road to the Wine & Dine Half Marathon

It's been a while since I ran my last half-marathon. Following the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon in January 2013, I took a break from longer runs until the Tower of Terror 10-Miler last October. Since then, I've only participated in one runDisney event, the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K back in January.

Since then, my running has been a little haphazard, with brief spurts of dedication to getting in some miles. The second half of 2014 is going to be a bit busier, with the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare coming up quickly in August, followed by the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in early November. Both of these are events that I'm really looking forward to and needless to say, the trip planning has already begun!

Eye on the prize!

Eye on the prize!

Being an Annual Passholder allowed me to sign-up early for both events this year. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I will upgrade my park hopper to an annual pass in November. I let my pass expire just a few weeks ago, as I won't be at Walt Disney World for another five months or so. Also – I was able to book the free Disney Dining Plan offer early because I have a Disney Rewards Visa card, for which I was required to purchase theme park tickets. 

So far, the trip plan for November looks like this:

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party: We're really looking forward to this! This trip will mark our first for November and our first being able to see the Christmas decorations in the parks! A few years back, I did catch a glimpse of the Christmas tree at Disney's Hollywood Studios, but I've never seen the Magic Kingdom in all of its Christmas glory. Rumor is that this year there will be new decorations on Main Street, USA due to the height of some of the Festival of Fantasy parade floats.

How could I forget about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? After seeing some preview testing in May, I'm even more excited to ride in November!

How could I forget about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? After seeing some preview testing in May, I'm even more excited to ride in November!

Wine & Dine Half Marathon: This will be the fifth anniversary of the Wine & Dine. The sneak peak of the medal looked pretty awesome and the Food & Wine Festival is one of my favorite events. You all know I love food, right? Hopefully, I won't be too exhausted from the Dumbo Double Dare, but I'm thankful that W&D is a nighttime race! They're so much more exciting and you don't have to wake up at 2 AM like some of the other runDisney events!

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World! At this year's Flower & Garden Festival, we tried the ghost pepper dusted talapia and it was outstanding! I'm hoping some form of this dish makes an appearance at F&W. It's high on my list!

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World! At this year's Flower & Garden Festival, we tried the ghost pepper dusted talapia and it was outstanding! I'm hoping some form of this dish makes an appearance at F&W. It's high on my list!

Disney Dining Plan: For the past year, I've had the luxury of using a Tables in Wonderland card for receive 20% off food and drinks at restaurants around WDW. One of the things I like about the DDP is that it encourages us to try new restaurants. Up on the list right now is the San Angel Inn at Epcot! This restaurant has always intrigued us, so we figured we would give it a shot. I've heard mixed reviews, but if the food isn't good we can always make up for it with margaritas from La Cava!

Disney's Wilderness Lodge: Since the DDP arrival dates started the day after the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, we'll be booking a few nights "room only" at Wilderness Lodge. Having never been to Walt Disney World in November before, I'm hoping the weather cooperates enough to enjoy some time by the pool without having to worry about park hopping! I'd love to do the resort tour, spend a few hours by the pool and grab drinks at Territory Lounge. My shoulders just relaxed thinking about it.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge seemed the most "theme appropriate" for a pre-Christmas trip!

Disney's Wilderness Lodge seemed the most "theme appropriate" for a pre-Christmas trip!

I'm sure there will be more things that I think of that we will add to the list! Until then, I need to get working on my running plan!