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runDisney Guide: Walt Disney World Weekend Marathon Races

Are you a runner? Do you love Disney movies and theme parks? If so, then the Walt Disney World Weekend Marathon Races are for you! This Disney entertainment event is a series of races that takes place over the course of three days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

There are races for all levels of runners, from beginners to experts. The registration details are listed months in advance to help runners prepare ahead of time.

You can participate in a variety of races including 5K, 10K, 13.1-mile course with the Goofy Challenge, Dopey Challenge, and Castaway Cay which extends over two days. So, if you’re up for a multi-race challenge, go for it!

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the different races and give you some tips on how to prepare for them as a first time runner for Disney!

We hope that this information will help make your experience at the Walt Disney World Weekend Marathon Races a magical one!

Here’s the scoop on the Disney Half Marathon and other races!

runDisney Marathon Guide

rundisney magic kingdom route
Credit: runDisney

If you’re a runner looking for an epic challenge, the Disney run half marathon is for you. This race takes place over the course of three days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and features many different races to suit runners of all levels.

The Disney run half marathon offers several different courses to choose from for race distance, including a 13.1-mile half marathon, an 8K race, and a 5K family fun run. They also have the runDisney kids races including the diaper dash.

Whether you’re a beginner runner or an experienced pro, there’s a Disney run marathon race for you.

Marathon Preparation

To get ready for the Disney run half marathon or half challenge, it’s important to focus on your training and diet. Start by building up your endurance and speed with regular runs and cross-training activities like cycling or swimming.

At the same time, you should also eat a healthy diet rich in lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

If you’re thinking about signing up for Disney run half marathon races, we wish you the best of luck! Just remember to stay focused, dedicated, and patient throughout your training, and you’re sure to have an amazing experience.

When is the next Walt Disney World Marathon?

The next marathon weekend in the most magical place on earth will take place from January 4th through the 8th in 2023. The start time is 5 am EST with a registration fee based on the date of purchase.

Usually, people register months in advance to have the opportunity to join Mickey Mouse and friends in the extraordinary race. Race alone or tag with a family member.

Walt Disney World Marathon Highlights

runners at Magic Kingdom
Credit: runDisney

The Disney run half marathon is a truly magical experience. Some of the highlights include running through all four Disney theme parks, crossing the finish line at Magic Kingdom, and experiencing amazing entertainment throughout the race course.

Other perks include cheering stations where you can get motivational messages from favorite Disney characters, use of the Disney names, special food offerings at select locations along the route, and much more.

Photos for runDisney

While running, there are photographers throughout the parks that will capture the moment. After the race is over, runners can access photos through My Disney Experience app or online.

All of the information can be found on the back of the race bib worn during the race. Enter your bib number and which race you are participating in.

For Disney character photos, it’s a surprise on which characters will appear during the race. But if you want character pictures, ask a cast member to take photos.

Proof of Time Guidelines:

To sign up for the Disney Run half marathon, you will need to provide proof of time. This means that you must have completed a race in the past 12 months that is at least 13.1 miles long and was completed within a certain amount of time.

The exact requirements vary depending on your age and expected finishing time, but generally, you must have completed the race at a pace of 16 minutes per mile or faster.

However, 5K and 10K runners don’t have to submit proof of time. Make sure you have the completeness of information for a smooth racing experience.

If you are not sure whether your time will qualify for the Disney Run half marathon, it is recommended that you reach out to Disney Run organizers in advance to get more information.

They can help you determine whether you are eligible and provide tips on how to achieve the time you need for registration.

Marathon Group Placement

If you are interested in the Disney half marathon start group placement, there are a few factors that will determine your starting position. You can refer to a Facebook group on runDisney marathons for additional tips, especially if you are a beginner.

These include your expected finishing time, age, and whether you have previously completed the Disney run full marathon or Disney half marathon in the past.

Generally, faster runners will be placed in the front start groups, while slower runners are placed in the back.

However, Disney run organizers also take other factors into consideration when placing runners in their respective start groups. This may include your age and previous Disney marathon experience.

How to get to the runDisney Expo?

rundisney virtual 10k
Credit: runDisney

On race morning, runDisney signs will be in the lobby of any Walt Disney World Resort and other host resorts not affiliated with Disney.

The display will give you additional information about free transportation like shuttle buses and the monorail if you’re staying in the Lake Buena Vista area.

Keep in mind that guests cannot travel on a bus to the expo from a Disney theme park. Find a nearby hotel and catch the bus to the event.

Parking for runDisney

If you decide to drive to the runDisney expo, make sure you take advantage of the free parking lot at Epcot and go early as the Epcot parking lot can fill up fast.

Before the runDisney Marathon Starts

Before appearing at your starting stations, all runners will have to go to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where there will be signs giving more information on what the runners should pick up for the race.

You can also pick up merch through the virtual queue system at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo from the comfort of their Walt Disney World® Resort. Get a Disney gift card for an even more seamless experience.

After a very early morning, the first day of the expo starts off with warm-ups, checking bags, and food trucks to help runners prepare for the race. Depending on if you’re a half-runner or going for 10K, it can determine whether or not you have a long walk to the corral.

Basic Rules to Follow as a Runner

To ensure the runDisney races go smoothly, every runner should stay to the right and run in a single file line.

Make sure to get rid of anything that may set other runners off track. There are also pacing requirements to ensure everyone’s safety when running through the Walt Disney World Theme parks. All runners should keep a 16-minute-per-mile pace.

runDisney Events

wine and dine marathon event 2022
Credit: runDisney

Have the chance to experience a wine festival during the Wine and Dine half marathon weekend. Since the event took place in early November this year, be on the lookout next year for the registration information.

In honor of the half marathon event, runDisney helps donate to a food bank fundraising campaign in Central Florida. Experience Disney wine like never before!

The runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend is another event and the last race held by Disney on Friday morning (2022-2023). Sign up and register to experience the magic of Pixar with Cars 5K, Monsters 10K, and the Toy Story 10 miler.

The next runDisney event is the Disney Princess half marathon weekend which is centered around inspiration for the runners as well as a celebration for the classic princesses.

Park Time After Marathon

One of the best parts following the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend race is receiving a medal for your favorite Disney characters like Buzz Lightyear and the coveted Goofy medal at the awards ceremony.

Runners will also have time to hang out and experience magical live entertainment during the post race party or after-hours party.

Runners have access to Epcot attractions, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom. The Epcot International Food Festival and the World Showcase will give runners of all skill levels the option to drink and eat culinary delights from around the world.

runDisney Race Weekend Guide

The global community of runDisney is a special way to give towards a cause for advanced and first-time runners. runDisney helps the charity group The Teaching & Learning Collaborative (TLC) for support on science and math programs for elementary through high school kids.

Every marathon hosted by Disney has continued to improve to become even more memorable.

In recent years, the runDisney events have learned to adjust to COVID-19 and will continue the magic and memories for years to come. Show up at the starting line and have fun while supporting a good cause in the running community!

For your second time in the race, you will have a better sense of preparation and how runDisney race events work.

That’s the scoop on the Disney half marathon and other runDisney events!

rundisney guide weekend marathon races

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