Why I LOVE RunDisney!
Table of Contents
Let’s just start this by saying, I am NOT a runner! I am however a HUGE Disney fan! If it’s happening at Disney, please Mickey just take my money! I want to participate!
I recently completed my 4th RunDisney 5k and it was just as fun as the first and I’ve signed up for my next race, the Princess 5k in February.
2019 and 2020 Race Schedule
Racers can choose from a variety of races. Kids races, 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon and on some race weekends full marathons. You can also participate in the various “challenges“ in which you compete in all the races in a weekend.
Disneyland Paris Run September 19-22, 2019
Wine and Dine Half Marathon- 10th Anniversary October 31-November 3, 2019
Registration March 19, 2019
Marathon Weekend January 8-12, 2020
Registration April 16, 2019
Princess Half February 20- 23, 2020
Registration June 4, 2019
Star Wars Rival Run 6th Anniversary April 16-18, 2020
Registration July 15, 2019
For those guests who would like to participate in RunDisney but can not make it to Disney World you can sign up for the RunDisney virtual races.
Virtual Series June 1-August 31, 2019
Registration May 7, 2019
Star Wars Virtual Jan 3- March 31, 2020
Registration July 16, 2019
*Tickets go on sale at 10 am EST on registration day. Some races fill up quickly so be ready to go at 10 am on registration day.
How to Sign Up
You can sign up for RunDisney by visiting the RunDisney website. Enter your email information to get updates in your inbox when registration opens! The 5k and 10k races sell out FAST, so don’t wait!
All registrations for the RunDisney events take place online. You will need your credit card for payment at the time of registration. Race bibs are non-transferable and guests are required to show their drivers license to pick up their race bibs on race weekend.
What Your Registration Fee Includes
- Race Bib
- Race T-shirt
- End of race metal
- Box of snacks and drinks upon completion of the event
- Character meet and greets before and during the race
Additional Events on Race Weekends
Post-Race Party at Epcot – Wine & Dine Marathon Weekend
Race Retreat VIP Package – Marathon Weekend
What happens on Race Weekend
When you arrive to Walt Disney World for
My First RunDisney 5k
My first RunDisney 5k was the Castaway Cay (pronounced Key) 5K on Disney Cruise Line’s private island. This 5k event is included when you sail with Disney Cruise Line. You sign up onboard the ship at the excursion desk. On the morning of the event, you’ll meet at the specified location and then be one of the first guests off the ship. We met in one of the adult lounges on the morning we participated.
If you’re sailing with children you can either leave them on the ship in the Oceaneers Club or drop them off at the island kids club. We opted for the island kids club. It was fun for the girls to try a new place and easier for us to pick them up after the 5k.
The Castaway Cay 5k uses the island bike path and runway to complete the 3.1-mile run. You can walk, run or do a combo like I did. It was hot and humid, and lucky for us, it was a bit overcast on the morning we ran. At the end of the run, you’re presented your medal (which is actually plastic on the island) and there are several photo pass photographers just waiting to take your picture.
After my first RunDisney 5k, I was hooked! And quickly signed up for my second! Poor cheap husband! lol
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – My Second Race
The Disney Fall Feast 5k was my second RunDisney event. The Wine and Dine half marathon weekend takes place at Disney World each November.
The 5k run was at the Animal Kingdom and we ran/walked through the park and some backstage areas. It was my first Disney World RunDisney event experience and I didn’t stop for very many characters pictures but I wish I would have! I was worried about finishing on time and the lines appeared to be a bit long, so I skipped them. I shouldn’t have because that’s half the fun!? More on character meets later in the post.
You can also meet characters prior to the race, but you’ll need to arrive early because these lines are long. Depending on which coral you’re in, you’ll need to start getting in place to start the race about 30 minutes prior to the run start time. You’ll end up waiting in a corral way longer because of the tiered starting procedures but it’s necessary to be in the coral and ready to go.
After crossing the finish line I was handed my first METAL RunDisney medal. You’ll also be given a banana, water, Powerade and small snack box to help hydrate and replenish yourself.
Cast Member 5k – My Third Race
This past year Disney hosted their first Cast Member and family 5k. And again, I was happy to give Disney my money to participate!
The 5k was at the Animal Kingdom and unfortunately, most of the character meets were finishing up by the time I arrived at them. I started the 5k in the very back of the last corral and was held up by some slower guests which in turn didn’t give me a chance to stop. In fact, some of the character meets were already done and the characters were gone by the time we got to their location. A lesson for next time is to position myself closer to the front of the walker corral. I don’t typically run but I am a pretty quick walker. I could also do some short runs followed by walks to get my pace up to be able to participate in the character meets. Having done a few other RunDisney events, I feel like the Cast Member 5k had a shorter time frame, but I could be entirely wrong about this!
Regardless I had a fantastic time running with other Cast Member friends! We will definitely do it again next year and bring the girls to participate this time!
Dark Side 5k- My Forth and Most Recent Race
My most recent RunDisney 5k was the Dark Side 5k just a few weekends ago! I finally felt like I understood how it all worked! I was also super excited because this race was at Epcot, so a new RunDisney venue for me! I arrived at 4:15 am with my friend Kara and we had plenty of time to meet characters and be in line early enough to get a good starting position.
Disney places you in the correct coral before by assigning you a corral letter on your bib. Kara and I had different letters, but Disney does allow you to go back a coral, not forward. So, we opted to do this to be able to participate together.
Before the race, we met BB8 and then got in position! You can see from the pictures that themed outfits are a thing at each of these races. Kara and my Star Wars themed shirts and sparkly skirts from Team Sparkle are nothing compared to some of the outlandish attired during the races. It’ fun to see what everyone comes up with! Sometimes I wonder how they walk in these outfits much less run!
Once the race started we made our way into Epcot from backstage by Mexico. I am always excited to get to go backstage! Kara, also a Cast Member, and my husband think I’m so funny that it makes me so excited. But I just love to see “behind” the magic. It’s nothing spectacular, I’ll give them that but it’s fun for me none the less.
As we came into the World Showcase by Mexico the park was beautifully lit up with its white lights and the early light of the morning. It was beautiful. I always love to see Jeremy’s pictures of the park when he goes to work in the early uncrowded hours and now I was getting to experience it myself. I loved it.
Kara and I had decided early on that we would stop for quite a few characters just to get the full experience. Our first race stop was with R2D2 in Italy.
After that, we met Chewy backstage near the United Kingdom.
The flower garden was beautiful with the rise of the early morning sun.
Our final character stop was with the Storm Troopers with Spaceship Earth in the background. It’s my favorite picture of the event!
And again, after we finished we recieved our medals, water, and a box of goodies!
It was so fun! I can’t wait to do the next one, the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Enchanted 10K in February! We’ll be signing up just as soon as registration opens!
I’m also considering the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend 5k or 10k in January too, but last year it was absolutely freezing that weekend so I’m somewhat reluctant! Are you participating in either of these events?
Other Race Weekend Activities
Starting the Thursday before the races Disney’s Wide World of Sports opens up for race weekend activities.
Guests are asked to pick up their race bibs that day.
where you can also visit the Expo show floor to find race apparel and other weekend souvenirs. There is so much to see!
Have questions about RunDisney or want to sign up for the next race?
Email me at jamie@LOTMV.com