Daughter and I went to Walt Disney World in November for the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k. (Our trip review of the race can be found here: https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/mickeys-jungle-jingle-5k-recap/) As I planned on only ever running one race in my life and it was a huge feat to get there I purchase Daughter and I finish line party tickets to celebrate. (I was not a runner, I was barely a walker prior to last fall.) Sounds kind of odd, going to a half marathon party as a reward for hours spent thinking I might drop dead at any moment preparing for my 5k. And with the race, packet pickup and everything else this was only way I was going to Epcot that weekend.
The Finish Line party is held at Epcot after the park closes to general guests for the evening. The hours are listed as 10pm Saturday night to 4am Sunday morning, they allow early entry at 7pm. This is also the end of the food and wine festival so we were able to sample the festival at the party, we were given a $10 per person gift card for the festival.
We ran our race in the early morning, up before the sun! And then tried to sleep in the afternoon/evening to prepare for our party. We arrived right at 7pm and headed off to hit a few rides. In some ways arriving at 7pm was a disappointment, some of the future world rides were closed. And not everything was open for the party all night, we missed riding Figment for example. But I did get to see Illuminations which was amazing as always!!!
As people were clearing out of the world showcase we started to walk from Canada toward France. The downside was all the stores were closed but we had the area to ourselves. The half marathon did not begin until 10pm so very few families were walking around like we were. There were no lines for the the festival booths, we had to show our wristband to be served. No wait was fantastic, tables were open, it was nice to have a place to eat our festival food!
And my favorite part was the Dj playing in front of the fountain with the music piped through the whole park. it was a riot to see the cast members relaxing and dancing to current music. We had more fun dancing and laughing with them that evening than we did on the rides!
We rode Maelstrom and Gran Fiesta a few times between snacks.
We made a few cars on test track and on a couple of trips didn’t even have to leave our ride vehicle to go again.
We checked out the Seas with Nemo and hung out with Brucey. And took some time to cheer on the runners as they came near the end of the course! What a riot and we loved being able to see everyone finish in their costumes.
We even rode Soar’n a few times since the wait was 0!!!!
We rode ourselves out, I was almost falling asleep in the last ride. It was a little after 2am and I was calling it quits.
As we exited the park we ran into all the runners with their new shiny half marathon medals.
All Star Sports was very quiet at 2:30 in the morning.
It was a crazy day, we had been up at 4:45 that morning to get ready for our run. I was dead tired, we were flying home around noon Sunday but I wouldn’t change a thing. We had the best time and it was a different way for us to do Disney than our usual family vacations.