8 runDisney tips you need to know

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Disney races are by far my favorite races! There’s the fun, the characters, the pictures, the food (did I mention running through the theme parks?!)

While I’ve done 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, and a marathon (Some are the inaugural race, some are well-established races), Disney comes up on top every. single. time.


Disney just does it right.

From the entertainment before, during, and after the race to how organized and efficient they are, (despite there being tens of thousands of runners) runDisney is my top pick!

Really, they haven’t paid me. I’m just impressed every time.

Since you’re here, lets talk about my top 8 tips for runDisney Races (or a super jam packed beginner’s guide to runDisney when your ready to take the leap).

1- you’ve got to move it!

Literally, but also figuratively.

If you want to run a Disney race, especially the more popular races like Princess or Wine and Dine, you will need to be quick to register. They tend to sell out within days, or sometimes, just a couple of hours.

Not to mention that annual passholders and DVC members get early registration, leaving even fewer slots open.

The shorter races tend to sell out more quickly, but don’t use that as an excuse to put off registration if you are running the longer race of that race weekend.

You also need to know far in advance that you are committing to the race, which brings me to my next need-to-know.

2- It’s like planning to have a baby…

So you’ll need to know pretty far in advance that you want to run a Disney race because it’s going to open EIGHT months in advance.

As our pal Mickey would say, ‘Oh Boy’.

runDisney typically has an email reminder, if you sign up for it. I’d recommend signing up for it, since it might not be on your mind in March to sign up for a race in November.

One of the positives behind this is it gives you plenty of time to train, right?

3- no pirate coins allowed

Of course, it wouldn’t be a discussion if we didn’t talk about money. I have to talk a little about expenses, guys!

It can be challenging to justify the cost of these races if you aren’t a Disney fanatic.

At the time of this blog posting, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Princess, and Star Wars weekends’ prices are:

  • 5K is $89
  • 10K is $129
  • half marathon is $208

The Marathon Weekend prices are the same for 5K and 10K, but are $188 and $190 for the half marathon and full marathon, respectively.

There can be a bit of sticker shock when signing up for a runDisney race, especially if you tack on merchandise while registering.

But you get a nice medal for it!

4- pre-linking required.

If you do want the professional pictures taken along the course (look for the folks in the small, green tents on the side!), you will have to link your bib ID to your Memory Maker.

I decided to try to jump for all the professional photographers and I was NOT disappointed

Disney makes this very easy, and they walk you through it.

Once it’s linked, your pictures will start trickling in later in the day after the race. It could take a few days to get all of your pictures though.

If you do not want to link to a Memory Maker account, Cast Members are more than happy to use your phone to take a picture for you. Just be sure to have it out and the camera pulled up before your turn. The lines move fast.

5- porta potties? Notta-potties

No, I’m not talking about running to the side of the street to pee. Although I did see a guy do that at the Wine and Dine half last year.

One awesome perk of runDisney races is that you get to run through the parks. Which also means you get to use the park amenities.

If a park bathroom falls along the race course, you can make a pit stop at a proper bathroom, complete with flushing toilets and running water.

I personally always hold out for the park bathrooms!

It’s held in a parking lot… need I say more?

6- You’ll definitely need one of two things.

I have ran the Wine and Dine half marathon and the full marathon at Marathon Weekend. Both of those races ran through Epcot as the last park.

And in both of those races, I saw people make a pit stop at a food/drink stand and buy something.

If the park is open while you’re running through, you have access to everything along your race course. This includes some funnel cake in America, maybe some school bread in Norway, or even a margarita in Mexico. BUT you have to have either or magic band or cash. NOT a card.

Trust me, you will not be the first person to forget- but I’ll still feel bad for you either way.

Shoutout to my husband for always supporting me on my running adventures!

7- do it for the ‘gram?!?

Let’s talk a minute about the pictures, the medals, and the glory.

You shouldn’t run to PR at a runDisney race because these races are meant to be fun and enjoyed!

Aptly timed character stop; I was feeling pretty Dopey around mile 12

There are multiple character stops along the course to stop and meet characters you don’t see often, fun entertainment along the course, running through the parks, and even the ability to pause your race to go ride a ride, then get back out there!

Disney races are all about fun. There aren’t many out there that run to PR, simply because there are so many other races out there to PR in. Enjoy what Disney has to offer and soak up as much as you can while you’re out there!

8- 4 am

So… you need to get there early, before most people are even up!

You won’t have access to the restaurant at your resort, but they should have a small selection of food available for purchase.

We stayed at the Coronado for Marathon Weekend, and there was a kiosk inside the main building with things like bagels, bread, oatmeal, and bananas.

They are good at stocking many of the traditional and popular pre-race foods, so you have a plan B if you forgot your food.

That’s a Wrap

And that’s that! Do you have any runDisney tips if you are a runDisney veteran? Is there anything you’re curious about with these races?

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