New Disney Entertainment at Largest Nighttime Half Marathon

Epcot attractions to be open for first time along with expanded food and wine offerings and extra Disney characters at post-race Finish Line Party; Sold-out field of 12,000-plus expected

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2011) – A capacity field of runners will experience new food and wine options as well as have exclusive access to signature Disney attractions for the first time at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, at Walt Disney World Resort, further enhancing an event affectionately known as the “ultimate runners night out.”

At the post-race Finish Line Party at Epcot that lasts until 3 a.m., several Epcot attractions will be operating, including Soarin’, Test Track and Mission: Space. Also, there will more than 20 new food and beverage kiosks, bringing the total number to nearly 90, as well as live video feeds of the race on giant monitors.

The new food and entertainment enhancements are designed to further heighten the runner experience and build on the race’s instant popularity. This year, more than 12,500 runners – nearly 2,000 more than last year’s inaugural race – are expected to take part in the unique experience of running through Walt Disney World theme parks at night. The 13.1-mile trek starts at 10 p.m. at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before finishing at Epcot during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The event features a relay option which gives runners the opportunity to team up with a partner and each run the course in 4.8-mile and 8.3-mile intervals. Everyone who completes the race receives a finishers’ medal.

Defending champions Anton Van Zyl from Ft. Lauderdale, FL., and Melissa Wisner from Washington, D.C., return, leading a field of runners from all 50 states and 21 countries.

‘We are excited how quickly the popularity has grown for this race with runners across the country and around-the-world. We continue to provide unique opportunities and add new signature entertainment elements to give runners and guests of all ages the ultimate destination running experience.’
— runDisney Manager Kathleen Duran

Fans can purchase tickets to the post-race party at Epcot at or at the event’s Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

In addition to the race and Finish Line Party, the weekend features the Disney Halloween 5K at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Kids’ Races at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, both on Saturday. The Health and Fitness Expo takes place Sept. 30-Oct. 1 inside the Jostens Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The expo features the latest in running equipment, products and apparel as well as seminars from running experts – including runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway.

For more information on runDisney events and the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, please visit

Media Contact / Credentials:

Bob Hitchcock, runDisney Public Relations Manager, (407) 922-3422,

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