RunDisney: What Is It?
RunDisney is a racing series put on at various Disney properties around the world as well as a virtual race that you can participate in without leaving your own community. There are a variety of themes: Princess, SuperHero, Star Wars and Disney. There are now two locations: Walt Disney World, Florida, and Disneyland Paris, France. The races taken place in California were cancelled in October 2017. There’s also a variety of distances: 5k, 10k, half-marathon, full marathon and kids races. To participate in these races you must register ahead of time. While running on property can be a lot of fun, and there are a variety of routes you can find throughout Walt Disney World, you must register to officially participate in one of these RunDisney races.
While you can find a road race in any community, a RunDisney race is going to be different than your average running event. For one, there are thousands upon thousands of people who turn out for these events. From all over the world. Making running a personal best at one of these events almost near impossible. The atmosphere at these events is electric. With music pumping along the route via DJs, live bands, orchestras and marching bands. Fireworks start off the race with a bang and characters line the route, with photographers to take your picture. No autographs unfortunately but they say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Another reason these races are different then your hometown race are the costumes. Runners dress in a number of different ways, from head to toe character costumes, to skorts, shirts and accessories to represent their favourite princess. There’s one guarantee, you’ll see tutus everywhere. Of course the scenery is like no other. While some events take you around Epcot and Hollywood Studios, others take you right through Cinderella’s Castle. For those Disney nerds out there, many of the routes take you backstage which gives you a look at what your favourite park looks like from the eyes of the cast members. The medals are also second to none and keep runners coming back for more. They are constantly changing the medals, making collecting them all the more appealing.
As with anything Disney you can expect nothing but the best. Expect huge mile markers, amazing starting lines, an obscene amount of porte-potty’s. They bring on thousands of volunteers to make sure the water stations are well manned, medals are given out in a timely fashion and that everyone receives a nutrition box.
Races begin early in the morning, striving to beat the heat and minimize the interruption for the day’s park operations. Paris’ events start at 7am and Florida events typically begin at 5:30am.
I’ve been running races for the last 14 years. Small local races and big city races. I have participated in four separate RunDisney race weekends and can’t wait to go back again in 2020. The events are so well put together. There are aid stations everywhere, water everywhere, characters everywhere. I learned after my first RunDisney race to go and have a good time. Not to worry about what my pace is or to reach any goals. Hometown races are for such plans. RunDisney is for making memorable miles. Spotting characters you never knew there were costumes for, running along side people who love Disney as much as you do, and spending the rest of the week wearing your medal or medals proudly. If you haven’t done a RunDisney race yet put it on your list of must-do’s. You won’t regret it. Happy Planning Friends.