Taking a Runcation with Disney.
Let’s talk your next Disney vacation based around a Run Disney event. Whether you plan to participate in the event is entirely up to you, but, going on vaca during these times, is just a truly inspiring experience.
There are different themed races at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. My personal favorite is the Wine & Dine ½ marathon at Walt Disney World Resort. I’ve run it twice. My most recent race was the Princess ½ marathon at Walt Disney World Resort. I ran with some friends from a running group.
If you decide to run in the events, you can choose from many different distances 5k-full marathon (26.2miles). There are also challenges, where if you run more than one race that weekend, you get an additional challenge themed medal and shirt, along with the medals and shirts you would get with your distance race. If you decide to run a race on each Disney coast (Florida and California) in the same 12 month time period, there’s a special challenge medal and shirt for you, too!
Staying on property is keen. You will have complimentary transportation to/from the events. We can help you choose the best resort that meets your family needs for each race event.
There is also a free race expo at every single race weekend. At the expo, is where you will pick up your bib, shirt, race event guide, and get to explore all of the wonderful vendors. Some of the merchandise you can buy at the expo are only available at the expo, such as the Disney themed New Balance shoes. For the shoes, you can pre-book a reservation to shop them. You can also pick up the latest Dooney and Bourke collection that was made themed to the race. Not to mention all of the fun merchandise in the Run Disney area of the expo featuring all things from shirts, hats, accessories, trinkets, and more that are Run Disney, and race event related!
When you book your race registration online (MONTHS in advance as they do sell out QUICK!), you can also pre-purchase race event pins, hats, jackets, etc. Note: not everything can be pre-ordered.
Now- let’s chat Kids Races. These races also tend to sell out quickly. However, if your little one is still crawling, there’s an event for them up to the older kids who want to run the Mickey Mile, and a few dashes in between for different age groups. Each kids race weekend shirt/medal stays in theme with the rest of the races. The kids love the race, they love the party beforehand, and love the treats JUST FOR THEM at the finish line! There is a parents waiting area, or you can run along with your child during the younger kid’s dashes.
Each child gets a t-shirt and medallion to call their own along with their registration. Go EARLY to the kids races so they can warm up with a live DJ, vendors hosting fun stations (hula-hoop, jump rope, Frisbee, coloring, etc). Plus, Mickey or Goofy are usually in attendance giving the little runners a high five at the finish line!
Some events host pre- parties or post parties on property, which anyone can attend, you just need to pay the fee to get in. The party events include food, and special entertainment.
Along the race courses (5K, 10K, ½ and full marathon), you won’t be bored. There is entertainment all along each course including rare characters you would normally never see in the parks, live bands, parade floats and DJs. Bathrooms, first aid stations, and water/food stations are plentiful along all courses, as well!
Did I mention that there is also a 5K on EVERY Disney Cruise that has a stop at their private island Castaway Cay? The 5K is no additional charge, and all participants get a unique running sight seeing experience on this gorgeous island, along with a finisher medallion.
Even if you don’t want to participate in the actual race events, you can still enjoy the race by spectating. Runners love to see your funny signs, give high-fives, hearing the cow bells, whistles, and your words of encouragement. You can sign up for ChEAR Squad, and you’ll get a shirt, and ChEAR Squad only sections to cheer inside the best locations in the parks, and at the finish line. If you don’t join ChEAR Squad, that’s okay! The race course runs along many of the on property resorts and popular common areas such as the TTC, and the WWoS Complex. If you don’t want to run, that’s okay! Come out, and cheer on the runners!
Throughout Walt Disney World Resort property, there are Run Disney trails that you can use as well. My favorites are the trails in the Boardwalk Resort, Fort Wilderness, and along the All-Star Resorts. They have signs along the route, and the Run Disney logo painted on the ground so you’ll know you’re on the right pathway. These are free for anyone to use.
A few race event weekends fall in with other events: Wine and Dine ½ is during Food and Wine Festival, Avengers ½ marathon is during the beginning of Holiday season at Disneyland, and now, there are Star Wars ½ marathon weekends at BOTH Disneyland Resort AND Walt Disney World Resort. Disneyland is the Light Side, Walt Disney World Resort is the Dark Side. Run both of the half marathons, and get a special medal JUST for running these two!
The expo, parties, and event weekends are all family friendly, with an amazing experience that only Disney can provide for it’s participants. There is something for everyone to enjoy. If you have any further questions about your next Disney vacation around a race event, or for the cruise, contact one of us at Travel Time and we’ll be happy to assist you. Maybe I’ll see you at the next Run Disney event. Have a Magical Runcation!
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