Ultimate Guide to runDisney Race Weekends
Four weekends each year, Disney World hosts runDisney Race Weekends. Keep reading for your ultimate guide to runDisney race weekends!
Whether you’re registering for a runDisney race, supporting a runner, or just visiting the parks during a race weekend, you will want to be prepared.
Runners – Register Early!
Early each year, runDisney usually releases race weekend dates for the following year. It’s important to check the website for information on when registration will open.
Race spots tend to fill quickly. When registration opens, hopeful runners should be on the website early and ready to register.
Make Sure You Train.
RunDisney events are for all skill levels. Even if you aren’t an experienced runner, with proper training, you will have no problem finishing the race!
On the runDisney website, you will find training programs for both beginner and experienced runners. Programs are also specific to the distance for which you’re registered.
Add to the Fun by Dressing Up!
Every runDisney race weekend has a theme. Many runners dress up in themed running outfits, and sometimes in full costumes.
Some runners choose to dress in a DisneyBounding costume that makes them comfortable. This is often the case for longer distance runs.
Experienced runners recommend doing training runs in your costume, especially if you have headwear or other items you don’t typically wear to run.
Disney has always prided itself on safety of both guests and Cast Members. The same goes for runDisney events.
Races start early in the morning – at 5am! Not only do runners have time to make good progress in (or complete) the race before the heat sets in, but it also minimizes the amount of times the roads are closed.
When running long distances, hydration and nutrition are incredibly important. Disney offers water, Powerade, and running fuel snacks along the route.
For example, during the full marathon, runners were offered frequent water and Powerade, as well as Jelly Belly Fuel Beans and bananas.
Disney also closes off space on the roadways used for the race routes, and has them monitored to maintain a safe atmosphere for runners at all times.
Medical tents are available throughout the courses to aid runners. Medics also ride bikes through the courses and look for runners who appear to be in distress.
The message at registration is clear – no refunds or transfers for race registrations.
While a lot can happen in the months between registration and the event weekend, runDisney has a strict no-refund policy. They also do not allow race bibs to be transferred to other runners.
Runners are required to show photo I.D. to pick up their race packets at the Expo. If a runner sells or gives his or her bib to another person and is caught, both can be banned from future races.
Go to the Race Weekend Expo.
Runners pick up their race bibs and shirts at Disney’s Wide World of Sports prior to race day.
Also at the Expo, special runDisney race weekend merchandise is available for sale. In recent years, runDisney implemented a Virtual Queue for the first day of the Expo.
Some items do sell out fast, so if there is a specific item that you want, try to go on day one!
Races begin early in the morning; if you’re staying at a Disney resort, transportation is provided to the start of the race. Check with the front desk to confirm when and where busses will pick up.
A good night’s sleep is important, so make sure you head back to your room early and get some rest! Also, having a good meal the night before is important!
Runners are divided into corrals to stagger the start of the race; this keeps the congestion to a minimum to avoid dangerous crowding.
Once the race starts, enjoy yourself! There are special character meet-and-greets and photo ops along the route.
Running through the parks is a magical experience! Spectators in various locations will cheer your on, and provide the support that helps you keep going!
Soak up every minute of the race you choose; you do not want miss a single detail!