Disney Running 101

A quick reference guide for anyone wanting to run a Disney race (or any race actually!).  Some information about race day and logistics is subject to change.  If anyone wants to see any other information, leave a comment!

Disney Resort Running Trails
Disney Resort Running Trail Maps


Disney Running 101

** Much of the Disney specific info was written about the WDW January races but the info can be carried over to every other race with only a few modifications.  Where I know the differences, I'll be sure to include them! **

Part 1:  4 to 3 Weeks Prior to Race Day
Part 2:  The Packing List
Part 3:  The Week Leading Up to the Race
Part 4:  The Expo
Part 5:  The Day Before the Big Race
Part 6:  Race Day!


Training Plans & Advice

Half Marathon: 
          Jeff Galloway's Official Half Marathon Training Program (links to runDisney site)
Full Marathon:
          Jeff Galloway's Official Marathon Training Program (links to runDisney site) 
          Hal Hidgon's Marathon Training Guide (links to Hal Hidgon site)
Goofy:
          Lee Hoedl's Goofy Challenge 16-Week Training Plan (links to Lee's site)
          Jeff Galloway's Official Goofy Challenge Training Program (links to runDisney site)
          So You Want to Run Goofy?


Other Race Information

** Full Marathon course was changed in 2013 so parts of the description are no longer correct **

Race Route:  Walt Disney World Half Marathon Turn by Turn Description
Race Route:  Walt Disney World Full Marathon Turn by Turn Description


Disney Race Recaps & Meet-Ups

WDW 5k:
          2012 Race Recap
          2013 Race Recap (Guest Post)

WDW Half Marathon:
          2010 Race Recap
          2012 Race Recap (Part of Goofy)
          2013 Race Recap (Part of Goofy)

WDW Full Marathon:
          2011 Race Recap
          2012 Race Recap (Part of Goofy)
          2013 Race Recap (Part of Goofy)

Tinker Bell Half Marathon:
          2012 Race Recap (Guest Post)

Expedition Everest:
         2013 Race Recap (Guest Post)

Disneyland 5k:
          2012 Race Recap (Guest Post)

Disneyland 10k:
          2013 Race Recap (Part of Dumbo Double Dare)

Disneyland Half Marathon:
          2011 Race Recap
          2012 Race Recap
          2013 Race Recap (Part of Dumbo Double Dare)

Tower of Terror 10-Miler:
          2013 Race Recap (Guest Post)

Wine & Dine Half Marathon:
          2010 Race Recap
          2011 Race Recap
          2012 Race Recap

runDisney Meet-Ups:
          2010 Wine & Dine Jeff Galloway Meet-Up and Run
          2011 Disneyland Meet-Up with Jeff Galloway
          2011 Wine & Dine Meet-Up & Eat-Up    (Guest Post)
          2012 Marathon Weekend runDisney Meetup and Run
          2012 Tinker Bell Meet-Up & Fly Away (Guest Post)
          2012 Disneyland Meet-Up and Run
          2012 Wine & Dine Meet-Up and Tweet-Up
          2013 Marathon Weekend runDisney Meetup
          2013 D23 2.3 Mile Fun Run (Guest Post)
          2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Meet-Up (Guest Post)




And since so many people keep asking...here are the inaugural years for all of the runDisney races!

Inaugural Race Years

Current Races:
Walt Disney World Half Marathon: (1998 - current)
Walt Disney World Full Marathon: (1994 - current)
Walt Disney World 10k (2014 - current)
Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge:  (2006 - current)
Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge: (2014 - current)
Princess Half Marathon (2009 - current)
Princess 10k (2014 - current)
Glass Slipper Challenge (2014 - current)
Tinker Bell Half Marathon: (2012 - current)
Expedition Everest Challenge (2008 - current)
Disneyland Half Marathon: (2006 - current)
Disneyland 10k (2013 - current)
Disneyland Double Dumbo Dare (2013 - current)
Tower of Terror 10 Miler (2012 - current)
Wine & Dine Half Marathon: (2010 - current)

Past Races:
Race for the Taste (2003 - 2009)
Walt Disney World Minnie Marathon (2006-2008)
Tower of Terror 13k (2007-2008)
Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay (2010 - 2011)
Chip & Dale Marathon Relay (2012-2012)



21 comments

  1. Oh, I love this page--thank you! I just linked over from another run-halfway as I'm trying to gather my courage to register for the WDW full 2013 (it would be my second marathon). This is great info and I love the packing list--thanks again!!

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  2. @Wendy... Thank you! So glad that it could help you! Hopefully you muster up the courage to register. It's such a great race and I think you'll have a great time :)

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  3. Jenn -- I just found your site about an hour ago but the info I am dying to find somewhere -- for DISNEYLAND races, where did you stay?? Can you list some alternatives, what you've heard, what you think?? I would so appreciate that! Doing january 2013 tinkerbell and don't want to wait to book....

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  4. Jenn,
    I would LOVE info about Disneyland races too. Specifically the Tinker Bell. It's my first half. Any advice would be amazing!!

    Thanks!

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  5. @Heidi.. I'm SO sorry I didn't get back to you sooner! I stayed at the Best Western on S Harbor Blvd and it was pretty decent. My friend loves the Best Western Stovalls Inn (which is on Katella). They're both easy walking distance, which is perfect. I think the Stovalls Inn location is probably the better of the two but it was booked when I tried last time.

    @Jamie...I'd love to give any advice for any questions you have. Send them along and I'll try to answer as best I can!

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  6. I stayed at Best Western Stovall`s for Tinker Bell and it couldn`t have been a more perfect location. I had to check out soon after the race to head to a Disney Cruise from L.A. The hotel was right on the other side of the parking lot from the race finish area (which was pumping out music at 3 a.m. so not such a good location for non-racers!!) I chose a Travelodge at the north end of Disneyland for the Disneyland half (because the corrals are up that way and I`m a walker so I`m at the back!!) but hated that hotel. Stovall`s even opened their breakfast up at 4 a.m. on race day for Tinker Bell.

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  7. @Tara...thanks for the review! I've heard good things about the BW Stovall so I definitely need to stay there next time! And I'll def stay away from the Travelodge :)

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  8. Thank you! This is really helpful. I've done one marathon before but have never traveled for a marathon. Do you know what is provided along the race route besides water & Powerade? Is there any food (bananas, etc.) along the way, or just drinks? I plan to carry a bunch of GU but wondered about fruit (which I do not plan to carry.)

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    1. There are some food stops along the way. I know there's bananas at least once, possibly twice along the way. There's also CliffShots (not Gu's unfortuantely) once or twice. Around mile 23 they give out chocolate and candy too. :) When it gets closer to race time, they'll publish the race program that lists the type of food and location of each!

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  9. Hi Jenn! I googled for info on Run Disney races, and came upon your blog! Enjoying reading through old posts :)

    My question would be - what would be the "best" run disney race to do?? And by best, I mean least busy, slowest crowd times?? We would love to do a run disney race, and aren't particular about which one, but we do have a family and would be vacationing at the same time, so we'd like to attend when the parks are the least busy. Any feedback?? Thanks so much!!

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    1. Hey Megan! Hmm...tough question about which race is during the least crowded park times! All races are usually scheduled during slower times in the WDW Park Calendar. Wine & Dine and the Marathon Weekend in January are probably the busiest. Wine & Dine since it's the last weekend of Food & Wine Festival (and usually Veterans Day) and Marathon Weekend is busy just due to the sheer number of runners there that weekend. I've heard Princess is pretty quiet but I've never run it myself. Hear it's a great race, a ton of great costumes on the course, and even the men get into the excitement of the race (even though it's geared more towards women). For Marathon Weekend in January, the weekend of the races is busy but the Tuesday after the races (and the remaining weekdays) are a ghost town. So that's always something to consider too. Try staying the week after the races and you'll have almost the whole park to yourself! Good luck!

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  10. where should someone stay for the goofy challenge in 2014? Any suggestions? Disney resorts are SOOO expensive!

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    1. Hey Sarah! If you're looking for a cheaper hotel on property, you can't go wrong with the Value Resorts: Pop Century, All Star Music, All Star Sports, and All Star Movies. All are reasonably priced, provide race transportation during the January races, and are still on Disney property!

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  11. Thanks for all the info. I've run 2 half-marathons, the last like 4 years ago, and started running again a few months ago. I'd like to register for the Disney 2014 marathon but I'm worried about it - I'm running the Bolder Boulder at the end of May, so I thought I'd see how I feel after that before committing (but I'm keeping an eye on the percent full in case it gets close to selling out). It's a big, big step!

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    1. Hey Debbie! Def a big step, but you have plenty of time to get the correct training in! I was petrified when I registered for my first full but realized it was all in my mind after awhile. :) Good luck with Bolder to Boulder, as well as your future full!

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  12. I just stumbled onto your blog. I have only ever run Disney races, and am attempting the Dopey next year. It will be great to keep track of your runs. I started a blog as a training log to help me out. Im glad i found you!

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    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to Dopey but scared out of my mind all at the same time! What's your blog, would love to follow along as well!

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  13. Hi Jenn! I am thinking of either the Tower or Terror or the November Food and Wine Half marathon for 2014. Any thoughts for a first time Disney runner?

    Background- no kiddies with us on this visit, this will be a 40th bday present to myself!, we will only be staying about 3 days (going with family May 2014)

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    1. Hello! Sorry it took so long to write back! I think both races would be great first time races. Tower though is earlier so it tends to be hotter. However, it is a shorter distance if you're worried about running the half. They both happen during Food & Wine, so that's a plus! Tower also tends to have a lot more villains on the course, which is pretty cool. I've never run Tower though, but hear good things!

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  14. Jenn...great blog info..thanks! Planning on DW Marathon January 2015. When does registration start and how long till it sells out (your historical opinion). How about your strategy for booking Value resort for race. Non-running hubby attending...any feedback on ChEAR packages & strategy for meeting up?

    Thanks so much! This is a bucket list item for me at 60 years young.

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    1. Thank you! Registration usually opens up in April. For the full marathon, you should have a few months before it sells out completely. I would just make sure that you register before the price increases a month or so into it. The special combination races (Dopey, Goofy, etc) sell out the quickest. Within a few weeks or so.

      As for booking hotels, I would go ahead and book as soon as possible, just to have a room reserved. If you see or hear about a discount (I would also keep checking the disney site, etc), you can apply that discount to your room.

      As for Chear packages? I think they're a waste of money. We also ran into a LOT of angry cheer members this year when we were spectating. They all said it was a waste of money. For the full marathon I think the easiest places to cheer are at the TTC and Poly, and then possibly Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios, or even the Boardwalk & Yacht Club area. Let me know if you have any questions and GOOD LUCK! :)

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