Update: As of 2016, there are no longer any evening runDisney events. The Wine & Dine Half Marathon still includes a post-race party, however it is not directly after the race.
The Expedition Everest Challenge, Tower of Terror 10-Miler and Wine & Dine Half Marathon all have something in common. They are all night races. But that’s not all.
They also have after parties!
That’s right, these night races offer added excitement as you run through the parks at night, then party into the early morning hours afterward!
But the question remains, how do you transition from running a race to partying in the parks? Here are some tips on how to prepare for the after party.
Take an afternoon nap. Since the races start at 10:00 PM, that means you are in for a late night! Be sure to take an afternoon nap to not only be well-rested for the race, but also for the party afterward. The park may be open until 4:00 AM the next morning, so you will be awake for awhile and you don’t want to miss any of the action!
Get tickets for your family/friends. Although the post-race party is included in the race registration fee for runners, it is a separate ticketed event for those not running. In other words, your family and friends (even if they ran the Expedition Everest Challenge Family Edition, Happy Haunted 5K, Jingle Jungle 5K or Kids Races) MUST purchase a ticket to enter the post-race party. And make sure they don’t forget the ticket when they leave their room!
Bring a change of clothes. Let’s be honest, no one smells fantastic after a race. And if it is warm outside (which it can be for the May and October races), your clothes may be wet. Be sure to pack an extra change of clothes including underwear, shirt, shorts, socks and shoes in your bag for bag check (or leave with a family member or friend) so you can fully enjoy the party! There are changing tents near the finish line, or you can use a restroom inside the park.
Pack some essentials in your race bag. In addition to packing a change of clothes, there a few essentials that can make your post-race experience more enjoyable. Your clear drawstring race bag is not going to be comfortable for toting around the park so if you have a lightweight drawstring backpack then tuck it in your race bag and put all your essentials inside it for the post race party. Drawstring backpacks are usually more portable than the clear plastic race bags provided by runDisney. (Please note: you MUST use your clear race bag to be able to check your items before the race. Also, all items will be inspected.) So, just fold your backpack and put it inside. Also, toss a few personal care items in your race bag. Deodorant, baby wipes and a hair brush can go along way toward making you feel more comfortable for your post-race party.
Money, money, money. Once you’ve finished your race, you may be ready for a post-race beverage or meal. Don’t forget to bring some cash! Most vendors will accept room charge if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort. However, there may be some outside vendors who will only accept cash. It never hurts to tuck some additional cash into your race belt prior to leaving the resort. Storing cash in your race bag is never recommended. While it’s probably safe, there is still a good chance your bag could come untied or it could be misplaced.
Do a little park planning. For the Expedition Everest post-race party, you get to explore Animal Kingdom. For the Tower of Terror post-race party, you’ll be enjoying Hollywood Studios. And for the Wine & Dine post-race party, you get to experience Epcot. With these post-race parties, not every attraction is open. Be sure to do a little research beforehand so you know what attractions you definitely want to hit. Also, there may not be a lot of options in regards to food – so plan accordingly!
Have fun! You ran, you conquered, you got the medal. Now it’s time to party! Get photos with your favorite characters. Ride some fun rides. Enjoy the smiles of those around you. Have some fun!