A Very Merry Wine and Dine Half Marathon Trip: November 2018

Anne

Well-known member
Fantastic evening! Glad you could switch the dessert party to the earlier one, that worked out great! Good point about the viewing angle for little kids. I've taken my kids (when they were each 10 yo, and much shorter!), to this and we stood at the railing for one and stayed seated for the other. The one where we stayed seated was when this was brand new and not super popular yet, and in fact nearly everybody stayed seated! It was awesome. But yes, these days the view is very much obstructed for little kids and tiresome to hold the kid on your hips! btdt for parades!
Hippopotomai tai is my favorite. Yum!
I was pretty happy about the party change, it made the evening go a lot more smoothly. I was considering Buzz standby before the fireworks if they hadn't let me change, but the wait was longer than I would have liked. There weren't a lot of good FP options that came up when I refreshed, not even Buzz which usually isn't too hard to get. Although as I said, I didn't refresh for very long.

I was just sad I wasn't able to get the HippopotoMai Tai glass to go with the one I already have. It's always nice to have a set :)
 

Anne

Well-known member
I am really loving this trip report. Solo trips can be awesome, and it looks like you are taking full advantage of all the Disney magic!
I'm so glad you're enjoying it! I always like reading about your trips, solo and with friends.
Do you have any upcoming race trip plans?
 

lovett1979

Member
I'm so glad you're enjoying it! I always like reading about your trips, solo and with friends.
Do you have any upcoming race trip plans?
Aw, thanks so much. I've been debating Princess 10K. (assuming I can find a TA with a bib for it) Something keeps holding me back, I'm not sure why. If I don't do it (or even if I do), I think I'll try to do Wine & Dine 10K again, I just love that time of year in Disney. I just got back from a 40th Birthday Trip with my best friend and will be writing that TR shortly.
 

Anne

Well-known member
Aw, thanks so much. I've been debating Princess 10K. (assuming I can find a TA with a bib for it) Something keeps holding me back, I'm not sure why. If I don't do it (or even if I do), I think I'll try to do Wine & Dine 10K again, I just love that time of year in Disney. I just got back from a 40th Birthday Trip with my best friend and will be writing that TR shortly.
Looking forward to hearing about the birthday trip!
 

Anne

Well-known member
Fantastic, Anne! Is that a Cinderella bag you have in your HEA pic?
Yes. It is this one and I love it.

https://www.shopdisney.com/cinderella-tote-by-dooney-and-bourke-1471940

Looks like it is now sold out at Disney online. I got it in May on Main Street. There was a woman in front of me purchasing a bunch of them :-(
If it ever comes back into stock I would recommend it (or you can still get it resale but for a mark up). I like it better than the other totes because the shape is a little different and I found easier to carry. It is taller than wide and a little more thin so I didn't feel like I always had this bulky bag sticking off my hip like I do with my other totes and satchels. But because it is taller the volume is still enough to carry tons of stuff.
 

momof2boys

Active member
Yes. It is this one and I love it.

https://www.shopdisney.com/cinderella-tote-by-dooney-and-bourke-1471940

Looks like it is now sold out at Disney online. I got it in May on Main Street. There was a woman in front of me purchasing a bunch of them :-(
If it ever comes back into stock I would recommend it (or you can still get it resale but for a mark up). I like it better than the other totes because the shape is a little different and I found easier to carry. It is taller than wide and a little more thin so I didn't feel like I always had this bulky bag sticking off my hip like I do with my other totes and satchels. But because it is taller the volume is still enough to carry tons of stuff.
Love it!
I am like Mary Poppins, having anything you may need in my 20 pound bag :RpS_biggrin:
 

kmc8826

Well-known member
I had been telling my kids it was 12, and then a coworker said they were going to take their 10 year old and I looked and low and behold it is 8. Did it used to be a higher age or has it always been 8 and my memory is poor???
Just caught this. I really do think it used to be older than 8 and at least 12. Let's go with the fact that they changed it and not that we are both going crazy. :)

Oh and Miss Anne you have inspired me. Just signed up for the Star Wars 10k in April. I wanted to do the half but DH talked me out of it. Since he is generally being supportive about the whole thing I thought I would do what he thought.
 

Anne

Well-known member
Just caught this. I really do think it used to be older than 8 and at least 12. Let's go with the fact that they changed it and not that we are both going crazy. :)

Oh and Miss Anne you have inspired me. Just signed up for the Star Wars 10k in April. I wanted to do the half but DH talked me out of it. Since he is generally being supportive about the whole thing I thought I would do what he thought.
I agree, it can't possibly be us both going crazy ;-)

So excited for you!!!! I look forward to hearing all about the race if you have time to post a trip report. I've done three of the four race weekends that they are currently offering so I'm excited to hear about the one I haven't done. I'd love to do that one this year but can't really justify a trip right before our Spring Break. Are you doing a quick trip on your own or going with the whole family?
 

Anne

Well-known member
Saturday November 3
This was primarily a work day so not as much Disney to discuss.
Lows: Transportation
Highs: The Parisian Afternoon at Monsieur Paul’s and of course the arrival of my family.

Transportation
The following is a section to skip if you don’t like negativity.

I needed to be at the Orange County Convention Center early for my conference. The 10 K was that morning and the race route included a small stretch on World Drive, the only option on the map for getting off Disney property from the Grand Floridian. I stopped at the front desk on Friday to ask how this might impact my morning drive. I showed the CM the map of the race route (because she didn’t have a copy of the race guide or any information about the race). She checked with a few different people. No transportation advisories had been communicated to the front desk, managers, or valet. She said “Probably” there is only 1 side closed so it will be slower but not completely closed. Hahahahaha!

I gave myself an extra hour in the morning (I was awake early anyway). Google maps showed delays of 15 minutes along World Drive, but still said “fastest route despite delays”. I got as far as the Car Care Center and could go no further. I pulled into the Car Care Center and thankfully staff was already there. A VERY helpful Alamo employee drew in a service road on my map and directed me around the blocked region of World Drive. I can’t recall what the road name was, maybe Bear something…something rustic sounding. Several signs along the road said things like “authorized vehicles only” but there were no gaits or physical restrictions to access.

I made it to the conference with plenty of time and it was only about a 15 to 20-minute delay. I talked with someone else who was staying Club level at GF and she said she approached club staff on Friday night to ask how to get around race closures in the morning. They also didn’t have ANY information.

I said this in the Marathon trip report and I’ll repeat it here. I can’t figure out why this continues to be so poorly executed, given that Disney has been doing race weekends for 25 years! Moving large amounts of people efficiently is usually an area where Disney excels. I understand that for the race roads need to be closed and some inconvenience is inevitable. What I find less excusable is the lack of communication with guests and front-line staff.

There was a letter at check in from the hotel manager with a direct email to his staff and a request to contact them with any compliments or concerns. I have been debating sending an email. It seems like something they should be able to improve on, and yet I find it hard to believe they don’t already know there is an issue here for guests. Mostly I haven’t taken time to write an email because it’s more fun to spend my time reliving the fun parts of the trip by writing a trip report. Although I guess I’m getting some complaining time in here, but here I don’t have to be tactful so writing my complaints doesn't take as much time :RpS_lol:Also, I hate getting back those patronizing form emails that basically say “thanks for letting us know your concerns, we value your feedback, but we probably won’t do anything about it and have a magical day”. I suppose I will eventually send an email and hope for the best. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised with the response. Mostly I’m just puzzled why they haven’t already tried to improve the guest experience in this area.

The Parisian Afternoon

On to the fun part of the day! I decided to take my lunch break at Epcot and enjoy a Food and Wine Festival special event. There were some transportation “challenges” here as well but those were entirely predictable and my own fault. As I sat in the backed-up traffic to get into Epcot I wondered what in the world I had been thinking when I planned to “just pop over to Epcot” for lunch. On a Saturday. During Food and Wine Festival. On race weekend. I made it in time for the event but had to cancel my Soarin’ fast pass. No rides for me today.

The food reminded me of Afternoon Tea except with mimosas and no tea. It was delicious! Compared to my other two tea experiences this was in a whole different league. The price was, of course, higher but I don’t recall exactly how much (maybe in the $50-$60 range). Pay in full at the time of booking and non-refundable. Seating was communal depending on the size of the group. I was seated with two very nice ladies who happened to have met each other the day before at the Monsieur Paul’s Food and Wine Festival lunch. There was supposed to be a fourth but she couldn’t make it and without being asked the staff thoughtfully packaged up her meal and sent it back with her friend.

I love the napkin fold

MP-Napkin.jpg

Menu

MP-Menu.jpg
MP-Menu2.jpg

Pre-mixed Mimosas were brought to the table

MP-Mimosa.jpg

We could also request straight champagne. Champagne and mimosas were bottomless and the others at my table opted to start with the mimosa and have their glasses refilled with champagne without any additional juice. I unfortunately had to drive and go back to work so I didn’t get to take advantage of the refills but even with limited alcohol the experience was totally worth it!
 

Anne

Well-known member
The first course was a cold cauliflower soup but I forgot to get a picture. It was delicious and I’m guessing that was because it included a liberal amount of cream. Unbelievably smooth and creamy.

The hot and cold sandwiches were plated together

MP-sandwiches.jpg

I’m having trouble coming up with superlatives that do these little guys justice, but they were all outstanding! I would give a standing ovation to the chef who made the herb croissant if I could. Light and melt-in-your-mouth. The only thing I’ve had that comes close (and still wasn’t as good) was a croissant recipe I made from a Julia Child’s cookbook. Those took me DAYS to make because of the repeated rolling, folding, chilling in order to get all the layers needed for a light instead of dense croissant.

The dessert round

MP-dessert.jpg

I ate the pot de crème and could do no more. I had the remainder packaged up to take back to my room and the kids enjoyed some later that night. Yay rental car! I could actually take leftovers! The portions don’t look huge in the photos but because the food was so rich and heavy on butter and cream it was FILLING.

During dessert there was a proposal at another table. So sweet. And they had two Photopass photographers there to catch the event for them.

I would absolutely recommend this event if you are at Epcot during Food and Wine when it is offered. The woman at my table who is local said she’s been coming for at least the last four years so it will likely be offered again next year.

Family Reunion
The convention had rented out Universal’s Islands of Adventure park for the night. I debated attending but it didn’t start until 7:30 pm and I had the race the next day and my family arriving. I enjoy the Harry Potter stuff but not much else at Universal. In the end it didn’t seem worth it for a few rides on Hidden Journey. If my family’s flight had gotten in sooner, we might have tried to make it work. They haven’t been to Universal yet and would have loved to see the World of Harry Potter.

I met up with my family at the hotel after work. I was really missing them by Saturday night. Two solo days was just right for getting in some fun activities (and work). But any longer and I would probably have started tearing up when I saw other people with their kids at the park. They landed at 7:15 pm and were in our room in time to enjoy the 9 pm fireworks

GF-Sat fireworks.jpg

Tomorrow, the Wine and Dine Half!
 

kmc8826

Well-known member
I agree, it can't possibly be us both going crazy ;-)

So excited for you!!!! I look forward to hearing all about the race if you have time to post a trip report. I've done three of the four race weekends that they are currently offering so I'm excited to hear about the one I haven't done. I'd love to do that one this year but can't really justify a trip right before our Spring Break. Are you doing a quick trip on your own or going with the whole family?
Thank you! It will be a super quick trip. Fly out Friday, do race Saturday, fly home Monday. DH is going to come with me...I sold it to him as a trip for our anniversary this year. Our Anniversary is end of February and we usually try to go somewhere but this year it isn't really working out since we have family trips planned January and end of March. (I could go all the time but there is only so much travelling he can do). So plan is just the two of us and then we will take the girls as planned in May. He is convinced that we can't tell the girls where we are going until we are back but I don't know how that will work. I guess we will see how it goes without them...I think we will be like you a couple days okay but much more than that and it gets too hard. Doing a little bit of both like you did on this trip seems perfect.

I agree with you about Disney. I don't understand why the simplest things they constantly struggle with (i.e. traffic and road closures). I guess because it is ultimately such a huge company?!? But it couldn't hurt to email them although doubtful it would matter. :)
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
Transportation
The following is a section to skip if you don’t like negativity.

But this is usually the most interesting part of any trip report! :RpS_laugh:


On our last trip in February this year, we departed on the same day as The Princess Something-or-Other race, I think. When I asked for advice on driving out, I just asked the question with the assumption the race would get in the way and that I should avoid World Drive. I think the CM still tried to convince me it would not be a problem but because I directly asked for alternatives instead of whether I needed an alternative she gave me the necessary directions. She also gave me a cool looking driving map (I mentioned this in my trip report) for WDW that I have never before seen, and to my regret, I somehow misplaced before getting home. I'm still waiting for someone else to get one and post a scan of it.
 

runDisneygirl

Well-known member
I know they just switched W&D to a morning race a few years ago, but the hotel should still be 100% familiar with road closures on race mornings. I can't believe the hotel didn't know this! Wow.
Yes, Bear Island road is part of the marathon course. That takes you to the "back door" of Animal kingdom. It's like miles 8-12 or something!
I'm guess rD assumes that since most of the race happens super early in the morning and kind of not near MK much at all, they perhaps didn't communicate anything to the MK resorts? It's a piss-poor excuse, but it's the only reason I can come up with that they wouldn't inform GF of what's happening.

Anyhoo.... the Parisian afternoon sounded wonderful! That's awesome the convention could rent out IOA for you guys, but probably a good idea that you skipped it.
 

Anne

Well-known member
Thank you! It will be a super quick trip. Fly out Friday, do race Saturday, fly home Monday. DH is going to come with me...I sold it to him as a trip for our anniversary this year. Our Anniversary is end of February and we usually try to go somewhere but this year it isn't really working out since we have family trips planned January and end of March. (I could go all the time but there is only so much travelling he can do). So plan is just the two of us and then we will take the girls as planned in May. He is convinced that we can't tell the girls where we are going until we are back but I don't know how that will work. I guess we will see how it goes without them...I think we will be like you a couple days okay but much more than that and it gets too hard. Doing a little bit of both like you did on this trip seems perfect.

I agree with you about Disney. I don't understand why the simplest things they constantly struggle with (i.e. traffic and road closures). I guess because it is ultimately such a huge company?!? But it couldn't hurt to email them although doubtful it would matter. :)
Sounds like the perfect anniversary trip! We agreed on our honeymoon that for our 10th anniversary (next year) we would do a trip just the two of us and stay at Grand Floridian. But since we stayed at Grand Floridian this year and we've decided to take the kids Thanksgiving week next year my husband is hoping to do a Rick Steve's Europe tour instead. I do miss the Disney time just the two of us, we haven't been as a couple since our babymoon before our oldest was born.

I get the struggle about when to tell the kids. Mine were not happy I was going 2 days before them and they still had to go to school. I haven't told them yet that both grandma and I are going to WDW in January for marathon weekend. I might let my husband break the news after we're successfully on our way :RpS_lol:
 

Anne

Well-known member
But this is usually the most interesting part of any trip report! :RpS_laugh:


On our last trip in February this year, we departed on the same day as The Princess Something-or-Other race, I think. When I asked for advice on driving out, I just asked the question with the assumption the race would get in the way and that I should avoid World Drive. I think the CM still tried to convince me it would not be a problem but because I directly asked for alternatives instead of whether I needed an alternative she gave me the necessary directions. She also gave me a cool looking driving map (I mentioned this in my trip report) for WDW that I have never before seen, and to my regret, I somehow misplaced before getting home. I'm still waiting for someone else to get one and post a scan of it.
This is perfect advice! It didn't even occur to me to get alternate directions "just in case". I wish I had gotten "THE MAP" because the map I had from Alamo didn't have any roads other than World Drive. Maybe I will see if I can come up with a good Disney map in January. I'll post it if I get it :)
 

Anne

Well-known member
I know they just switched W&D to a morning race a few years ago, but the hotel should still be 100% familiar with road closures on race mornings. I can't believe the hotel didn't know this! Wow.
Yes, Bear Island road is part of the marathon course. That takes you to the "back door" of Animal kingdom. It's like miles 8-12 or something!
I'm guess rD assumes that since most of the race happens super early in the morning and kind of not near MK much at all, they perhaps didn't communicate anything to the MK resorts? It's a piss-poor excuse, but it's the only reason I can come up with that they wouldn't inform GF of what's happening.

Anyhoo.... the Parisian afternoon sounded wonderful! That's awesome the convention could rent out IOA for you guys, but probably a good idea that you skipped it.
I didn't realize that the Bear road I was on was the same one from the Marathon (it was pretty dark that morning). I really liked that part of the route, shady and rustic. I think it was part of the route for the Wine and Dine half this year too? I don't have a great sense of direction but we did come into AK from a back area and it seemed familiar from the Marathon course.

It was cool that they did the IOA night. The national convention is in Orlando once every five years and five years ago they rented out Hollywood Studios for the night. That was really fun. If it had been a Disney park this time I think we would have moved our flights around just to be sure we could all attend.
 
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