Magical Miles with runDisney

Magical Miles with runDisney

Running events at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

As if I needed another excuse to visit the happiest place on Earth, I recently discovered that Disney also organises running events!

And not just regular fun runs. I’m talking the most spectacular running events that not only take you through the various Disney theme parks, but entertain you from start to finish. Picture fireworks, Disney character photo stops, photographers, live entertainment and an army of friendly volunteers to cheer you on.

Running past Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom.
Disney Princess Half Marathon 2020

Even when the race is finished, the fun doesn’t end there. Each race participant receives an amazing medal, post race snack and then there’s more character photo opportunities. After heading back to your hotel to freshen up, you can then celebrate your achievement by hitting the parks. I mean, for this Disney addict it doesn’t get better than this!


Please note, you will have to purchase park tickets if you wish to visit the parks after the race.


As soon as I took part in my first runDisney event, the 2019 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, I was completely and utterly hooked. It was the first race I had ever taken part in that I genuinely didn’t count down the miles until the finish line. And it was a half marathon!

Post race photo with Mickey & Minnie! Wine & Dine 10k 2019

There was just something so magical about running through the Disney parks with thousands of other people either sporting their runDisney event top or dressed up in Disney costumes. In fact, I enjoyed myself so much that I signed up for the 2020 Princess Half Marathon Weekend three months later!

I did it! Princess Half Marathon 2020

If you fancy taking part in a runDisney event then read on to discover how you can run magical miles at Walt Disney World in Florida.


runDisney Walt Disney World Event Calendar

Throughout the year there are a variety of events and challenges catering for every type of runner, from beginner to seasoned marathon runner.

The kids can get involved too as there are a number of events for kids aged 1 to 8 and a diaper dash for the crawlers in the family.

Bib collection at the Health & Fitness Expo, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Each event weekend includes a 5k, 10k and half marathon except for the Marathon Weekend which, you guessed it, also hosts a marathon.

For the kids, each event weekend has a 1 mile, 200m, 100m and diaper dash.

You can either sign up for individual races or challenges. The challenges involve running 2 or more races consecutively on the same event weekend. The best part, you receive a special challenge medal and running top!

Wine & Dine 2 Course Challenge medals 2019

For further details and current prices, please visit the runDisney website.


What’s Included?

Included in your race registration fee is a running shirt, personalised race bib and medal.

Disney Princess Half Marathon medal 2020

If you choose to take part in the Half Marathon or Two Course Challenge at Wine & Dine Weekend then you will also gain free access to the post race party at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Please note, participants of the 5k and 10k can pay an additional fee for tickets to this exclusive event.

Wine & Dine 2 Course Challenge 2019 Completed!

If you choose to stay at a Disney resort over the race weekend (which I highly recommend) you will also receive complimentary transportation from your hotel to the start of the race and to the Health and Fitness Expo at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It’s here where you will need to pick up your race bib and complimentary running tops prior to race day.

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend 2019 Health & Fitness Expo

Please note, you do not need to purchase a park ticket to take part in the race.


What does Race Day look like?

Typically, the 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon will start at 5am to 5.30am.

Start line at the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2020

Transportation

Due to the sheer volume of people needing transportation from Disney resorts to the start area, complimentary buses from the Disney resorts start running from 3am. It is highly recommended that you arrive at the start staging area no later than 1 hour before the start of the race.

If you are staying at a non Disney hotel then you will have to make your own way to the start line.

Race Start Staging Area

Upon arrival you can grab something to eat and drink, place your bag in gear check or get in line for some character photo opportunities. Even at this early time of the morning, the atmosphere is alive as there is a DJ, presenters and a big screen informing everyone of what is going on.

Friends and family are more than welcome to join you and can travel on the complimentary buses from the resorts with you.

The finish line! Disney Princess Half Marathon 2020

Corrals

A few weeks prior to race day you will be assigned a start corral. This basically allows everyone to have a staggered start to the race so that you can all start the race safely.

The last thing you will do on race morning is head to your corral and wait until it is your turn to cross the start line.

Wine & Dine 2019 10k

Can I take part in a runDisney event anywhere else?

Disneyland Paris is currently the only other Disney park which hosts official runDisney events.

In Disneyland Paris you can take part in 5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon and kids races.

Alternatively, you can participate in their virtual series. This basically involves paying for a medal and then doing a run wherever you like.

For further details and current prices, please visit the runDisney website.


What makes a runDisney event so unique?

Pandora, Animal Kingdom, Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2019

As a keen runner, I’ve taken part in lots of running events over the years.

For me, the main difference between a runDisney event and other events is the novelty of running through the parks and the fact that because you are at Disney, people are generally happier!

I’ve never seen so many people running in costumes, with smiling faces whilst enjoying the entertainment along the course. It’s such a friendly event where people are generally very supportive of each other whilst running.

Running through Hollywood Studios, Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2020

Also, it doesn’t take itself too seriously so if you want to walk that’s fine. You just have to maintain a 16 minute mile pace. Want to run in a full Elsa dress with matching wig then go for it!

Will you get the best time for running a runDisney event? Possibly not because all the character stops and photo opportunities at the parks are too tempting. However, you’ll have a lot more fun than a regular race.

Post race celebrations at Oga’s Cantina in Hollywood Studios. Cheers!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the exciting and fun running events that you can take part in at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris.

If you need some motivation for training for a running event, then a runDisney weekend really is the best source of inspiration!

I highly recommend taking part in one of the most magical running events on the racing calendar. I’ll see you there!

Hitting the parks after the race, Animal Kingdom.
Disney Princess Half Marathon 2020

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I paid for all my travel expenses and race registration myself. All opinions are my own.

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