runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Meet-Up

On Thursday, November 7, runDisney held their first nighttime meet-up leading into the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Previously, meet-ups had always been held on weekday morning and I wouldn’t have been able to attend due to work. As soon as I saw that this one would be held at night, I jumped at the chance to sign up. Luckily, I got my email in quick enough and I made the list of 125 attendees!


Check-in began at 7:00, but the meet-up didn’t officially start until 8:30 where we were to be in place at Mexico Vista for Illuminations. I got there around 7:30 and received my admission ticket, a runDisney shirt made specifically for the meet-up that we were asked to change into, and a fastpass for Test Track to be used that night. With some free time on my hands, I wandered around World Showcase for a bit.


Soon it was time for the first part of the evening – Illuminations! This is my favorite nighttime show at Walt Disney World so I was especially excited to have a prime viewing spot.


After waiting for some of the park crowd to thin out, we made our way over to the America Gardens Theatre. There were a couple food stations set out, one with the Trick’n Chick’n Curry from the Terra booth at the Food and Wine Festival. I hadn’t had the chance to try that yet so I was happy to have that opportunity and ended up really liking it! They also had samplings of chardonnay from The Vegan Vine. I can honestly say that I had no idea that there was vegan wine. It was really good too!


Chef Mickey was also available during this time for pictures. I also took the opportunity to meet Jeff Galloway, whose run-walk-run method I follow. He was so nice and was genuinely happy to hear from everyone about how they were doing in their training.

Chef Mickey Jeff Galloway

Soon it was time to hear from a few speakers. First up, sports media director Darrell Fry and Faron Kelley, Director of Marketing and Communications for Disney Sports, came up to give out some prizes. I was really hoping to win one of the certificates for a future runDisney race entry! Next up was Jeff Galloway and nutritionist Tara Gidus. They spoke about how great runDisney has been in making running accessible to so many people. I, for one, probably would not be running if it wasn’t for volunteering for one of their races and seeing how fun it could be. Tara also gave some advice on fueling up for a night race.

Giveaway time!

We also heard from a couple of Epcot chefs who told us about foods that might be good for us to try during the party after finishing the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. One excellent suggestion was the salmon from the Scotland booth. My friends and I definitely enjoyed that one after the race!


Representatives from New Balance spoke a bit about the shoes that were designed for runDisney. They have been wildly popular with long lines to purchase at the race expos. They let us know that the current versions would only be available through Wine and Dine Weekend and the 2014 design would be available at Marathon Weekend in January. Sneak peeks will be coming so keep an eye out on Twitter! Other new merchandise next year will include race specific shoe inserts and lace charms. We got to see the race inserts and they looked great!

Ali from New Balance shows off the new shoe inserts. Photo courtesy of runDisney

Next up – time to run! There were two running groups: one for straight running and one for run-walk-run. I went with the latter and off we went through an empty World Showcase. The torches and countries had remained lit after Illuminations, which was pretty cool. We ran one and a half times around the lagoon, ending up by the Fountain of Nations for some group photos.

runDisney Group Shot
Photo courtesy of runDisney

After photos, we headed to the front of the park for a toast. The meet ended around midnight and was a great start to a fun Wine and Dine Weekend! If you ever have the chance to attend a runDisney meet-up, I would definitely recommend it!

A toast under Spaceship Earth
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2013 Full Sail University Hall of Fame Class

Full Sail University Announces

2013 Hall of Fame Induction Class

Full Sail University


Full Sail University is proud to announce the 2013 Full Sail University Hall of Fame induction class comprised of six graduates recognized for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, media, and the arts. The induction of this new class of honorees will occur during Full Sail’s 5th Annual Hall of Fame Week, which will be held February 2014.

Coinciding with the university’s 35th anniversary year, the 5th Annual Hall of Fame schedule will include a weeklong series of campus-wide events featuring VIP speaking engagements, guest lectures, and concerts – including several events that will be open to the public – culminating in an induction ceremony to celebrate and recognize the 2013 class of inductees.

Sponsors already committed in support of the 5th Annual Full Sail University Hall of Fame Week include: Adobe Systems, Inc., Avid, CDW-G, Cisco, Murphy Lighting Systems, Sennheiser, and WWE, with additional sponsor announcements forthcoming.

The inductees to be honored at the 5th Annual Full Sail University Hall of Fame Week are:

Kim Alpert

*   Current Title: Founder and Director of Creative Strategy at Make Amazing
*   Industry Credits: With over a decade of working for world-renowned marketing and advertising agencies, Kim has been the creative force behind award-winning campaigns for global brands including: The Four Seasons Hotels, Nintendo, Samsung, Motorola, Sears, Pizza Hut, Reynolds Wrap, and Seattle’s Best Coffee, just to name a few.
*   Her work as a Creative Director and Strategist has been broadcast nationally and hosted online with unique visitors in the millions.
*   2003 Graduate (Digital Arts & Design)

Tom Boyd

*   Current Title: Underwater Cinematographer
*   Industry Credits: During his 20+ year career, Tom has worked on more than 35 award-winning film and television projects including: Parenthood, CSI: NY, NCIS, Little Miss Sunshine, and Crimson Tide.
*   His work has been featured by popular national and international brands including: TLC, IMAX, NCAA, and Nike.
*   1991 Graduate (Film)

Demacio “Demo” Castellon

*   Current Title: Producer, Engineer, Mixer and Artistic Director Industry Credits: A native of Florida, Demo has worked as an engineer, mixer, producer, programmer, artistic director, and A&R representative for countless artists such as: Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Lady GaGa, Robin Thicke, Rihanna, One Republic, Jay Z, Timbaland and Chris Cornell.
*   His innovative style can be heard on Jay Z’s 2013 #1 release, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and Madonna’s 2013  #1 DVD release, MDNA World Tour.
*   Demo is currently working with longtime collaborator Timbaland on a new posthumous Michael Jackson album, to be released in 2014.
*   2001 Graduate (Recording Arts)

Leon Hopkins

*   Current Title: Road Staff Manager for Clair Global
*   Industry Credits: Serving the world of concert touring for more than 28 years in two major capacities Leon currently serves as the Road Staff Manager for Clair Global, a leading sound reinforcement provider worldwide. In this capacity he has focused on road staff development at both the entry and experienced skill levels helping to launch and advance many careers which includes numerous Full Sail graduates for more than two decades of audio service to the worldwide touring industry.
*   Previously, Leon served as a Live Sound System Engineer working around the globe with touring projects including major artists such as: Boston, Genesis, George Michael, Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney, ZZ Top, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, and more.
*   1985 Graduate (Recording Arts)

Larry Katz

*   Current Title: Second Assistant Director
*   Industry Credits: Working in production for over a decade in the motion picture industry Larry’s credits on major blockbuster films include: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
*   In addition to feature film credits, his career includes work on numerous television projects including the primetime hits ER, Desperate Housewives, Castle, and 7th Heaven, as well as Showtime’s comedy-drama series, Californication.
*   2000 Graduate (Film)

Juan Peralta

*   Current Title: Re-Recording Mixer at Skywalker Sound
*   Industry Credits: Juan has worked on more than 90 film, television, and video game titles, including: Oblivion, War Horse, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, TRON: Legacy, Avatar, Ratatouille, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Cars, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and many more.
*   His latest projects include: Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
*   In 2009, he won the Best Sound Editing award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) for WALL•E.
*   1996 Graduate (Recording Arts)

Since 2009, the university has celebrated the now time-honored tradition that is the Full Sail University Hall of Fame. Its purpose is to acknowledge those graduates who have made outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, media, and the arts throughout the university’s 35-year history. This honor serves as a tribute to the creative inspiration, technical brilliance, and determination of each inductee, their unyielding dedication to more than a decade of excellence in their professional career, and their heartfelt commitment to the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Full Sail University.

“As we embark on the fifth year of this remarkable celebration, we look forward to welcoming the latest induction class of the Full Sail University Hall of Fame back to campus, and we congratulate them on receiving this prestigious honor,” said Garry Jones, President of Full Sail University. “It is with great pride that we share this announcement with our students, staff, faculty, alumni, the Orlando community, and the entertainment industry as a whole.”

Additional information regarding events, special guests, and live concert performances will be announced, as we get closer to Hall of Fame Week. Please visit the official Full Sail Blog for more details, and follow @FullSail to join the #FullSailHOF conversation on Twitter.

Full Sail University Logo

About Full Sail University:
Full Sail University is an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in the entertainment and media industry. Founded in 1979, Full Sail has been recognized as one of the Top Five Game Degree Programs by Electronic Gaming Monthly, one of the Best Music Programs by Rolling Stone Magazine, and one of the Best Film Programs by UNleashed Magazine. In addition, Full Sail received the “21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning Award” from the United States Distance Learning Association, was named the “School/College of the Year” by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges, and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Social Media Colleges by

Full Sail offers on-campus and online Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree programs in areas related to animation, art, business, education, graphic design, film, marketing, web development, music, recording arts, sports, and video games. Full Sail graduate credits include work on OSCAR®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, ADDY®, MTV Video Music Award, and Spike Video Game Award nominated and winning projects.

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